Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2024 Character Creation Challenge Day 13: Star Ace

Here we are at Day 13 of the 2024 #CharacterCreationChallenge. Today I’ll be using Star Ace originally published by Pacesetter in 1984. Sometime in my gaming past, I had created a character for this game, but I never remember playing it. Perhaps we never got out of session zero where we were getting everything ready. In the post I linked above, I mentioned that the game wasn’t on DriveThruRPG or other sites that I could find. Buying a game that I would probably never play at Ebay prices didn’t make sense to me. A reader sent me a message after that post stating that the PDFs was available on the Paizo website at a reasonable price. So I snagged them. It only has the three books from the boxed set, but it would be enough for me to use in the challenge.

The three books are the Star Team Basic Training Manual, the Star Team Wilderness Briefing Manual and Deuces Wild, an introductory Star Ace adventure. The first two PDFs are kinda bookmarked. They only bookmarked the start of each chapter instead of the contents. But considering that these are scans of the original books, I guess that is more than what we could have received. The character creation process starts on page five of the Basic Training Manual. I’m instructed to use three ten-sided dice and I write my name next to Player on the character sheet.

Next we select a race for the character. I slipped down to the end of the chapter to read the descriptions. Crystal Clones (some sort of human/crystal hybrids) sounded interesting. The Humans (sounds boring). The Kleibor (Large humanoid polar bears with telepathy). Then there is the Traka (an agile cat like race). None of these really knock my socks off. So by a random roll (my decision) this character will be a Traka.

Next, I have to select three skills. Two of them have to match the Order I’ve selected. Uh, I haven’t selected an Order yet (goes and looks up what an Order even is). Hearts, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs (the card suites). OK, but what do they do? Ah, a few pages down finally describes them and they sound like the classes. Spades are the weapon specialists, Heart the techs, Clubs is the noetic skills (mental powers) and Diamond are decoy activities like deception and stealth (and for some reason called ducks). So Diamond it is. And I finally found the skills (I really wish the bookmarks were more precise) and wrote them down.

Now on step four we are finally generating the Basic Ability Scores. Roll 3d10, multiply the sum by 2 and add 20 for results between 26 and 80. Um… OK. I wrote down my results since in step five I assign them to one of the eight abilities. Strength, Dexterity, Agility, Personality, Perception, Willpower, Luck and Stamina. From these scores, other statistics and skill scores are generated (there is a lot of math in this creation process). This actually took us through several short steps.

Step nine is to find the base scores for each skill using the mathematical formula provided in each skill description. Then step ten states “Find the character’s actual scores by adding 15 to the base scores obtained in step 10.” Uh… I hope you mean step 9. Yea, I’m going with that (blasted lack of editing).

In step eleven we select a name (I wish they had given us examples) and a background. I plucked Balkor out of the air. As for his background, since the Star Aces are the Robbin Hoods of their time, yea he joined up because he wanted to steal stuff and give it to the less fortunate.

There is already some basic equipment (weapon, armor, starfighter) on the character sheet. But nothing else is listed in the character creation steps. Going back before the steps started I did see a note that stated that starting characters roll 2d10+10 for their starting chips (money). You also get a kit to a skill that you use. So I’m assuming I have a forging kit and a lockpick kit. None of the other equipment made any sense to my character. Ya know what, I’m tired of sloshing through this, I’m done. Here’s the character sheet.


Since the game is the year 3512, I noticed that the rules didn’t treat humans like they would have been in the 1980s. Longer life span, slightly larger size by a few inches, etc. Too many times I see a game treat humans as they are right now. In a hundred years we should have better ways to stay healthy and expand our life spans.

The character creation process seemed to be all over the place, which was typical from games published in the 80’s. Certain steps were referencing other sections that you hadn’t selected yet. For example, picking skills that would match your Order, but you hadn’t selected an order yet. It made me want to re-write the steps so that everything flowed in order. Another example, the skill descriptions were after the starship descriptions? Personality and Perception both have the abbreviation of PER? (I think Perception is PEN? that shows up in some of the formulas) Who edited this book?

Playing or homebrewing for this game. Likelihood is very low. I wouldn’t turn down a session to try it out (it looked like there was a lot of chart consulting to see what type of results came up from your rolls). If I was really going to play or run a generic sci-fi game, there are a lot more that have caught my eye like Frontier Space or one of the Traveller variants.

Additional Notes:

I’m very thankful that Paizo made this game available on their website, but that site needs a lot of help. There are a lot of links to sections that have nothing listed in them. And when you order PDF copies off of the site, it is like pulling teeth to get the downloads to come through. I’ve never had this happen with other publishers where I’ve purchased directly from them. Not only was I having issues with Star Ace, but when I picked up a charity bundle that contained a lot of books for Pathfinder and Starfinder, I wanted to pull my hair out. I had sent their customer service an email and they responded right away. But when I sent some feedback on the lack of quality on the website, I never received a response. Shrug, oh well.

The past few days have been extremely busy. I wish I had set up a buffer just in case real life issues came up. But I was able to get through it. I’ve already seen one person drop out. If you need to back off but still want to complete the challenge, you can. Some participants would make multiple characters for a familiar system on one day. What ever you need to do, do it. That includes taking care of yourself. This is a project for fun, not an assignment to be graded by a teacher.

Coming Up Next:

Ninjas and Superspies

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