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White Box In Boots [Swords & Wizardry]
by Harry K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2015 00:26:39
Every so often, you come across an idea so brilliant, so clever, so *you* that you wonder why you didn't think of EXACTLY this years ago. This is one of those ideas. Literally, Puss In Boots re-imagined as a player character class for Swords & Wizardry. Not a human-sized, scaled up cat, no sirree. A cat-sized cat. With cap, cape, a dagger, and of course boots.

Absolutely brilliant.

-punkrabbitt

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box In Boots [Swords & Wizardry]
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White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Jeremiah M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2015 00:04:13
Okay, I will go ahead and write review. I covered this on youtube, if you want more rambly version.

First, the only reason I give this a 4 instead of a five is there is no 4.5. I like the game, overall, but I would not say it is for everyone. It is a system meant to be hacked, like the old D&D often was. If you have the bug of a game designer, and you are just looking for a framework to make stuff, this is awesome. It is structured off the old school model of D&D, using a complete compatibility with Swords and Wizardry. It is, by design, stripped down and simplified. The game is a start to a project.. I want to make something and here is my start point.

There are a lot of people that will not work for. Many games come complete with all you need to slip into them. No need to hack a bunch of stuff to fit in. The worlds are detailed in many books, with a lot of lore to learn. I love those games too, but White Star is not like that. You have a basic system to learn, some little bits of lore give you starting point, and you do the rest yourself. If you are not looking for that, this game may not be for you. There are a number of third party people making content for White Star, so you really can fill a lot of stuff it might lack, but the main reason to buy it is to try your hand at making your own stuff. It does that job really well.

Beyond the game design elements, the actual published work is solid. It is well laid out, and has a good amount of art. The art is better than a lot of indie publishers manage. The text is easy to read, and I spotted no glaring errors in the text. It is a professionally put together pdf.

Anyway.... those are my thoughts. I don't write many reviews, but maybe I should do that more.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
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White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Keith P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2015 19:34:37
An outstanding use of the Swords & Wizardry (read: original D&D) rules and mechanics, if the latter had been designed for space opera rather than fantasy.

Like original D&D, White Star's rules are simple and straightforward, and leave considerable room for the referee to tailor elements of the game to meet the needs of his/her campaign. For example, I love the generic races, which allows the referee to plug in whatever classic (or home brew) race of beings suits his/her needs. I also like the way that melee and missile combat rules are carried over to starship combat. The rules also contain an excellent bestiary.

The only two drawbacks are the lack of encounter tables, and cover art that just didn't seem right. But those are not showstoppers.

I would love to see a series of adventure supplements similar to the classic AD&D G- and D-series modules. I would also love to see a POD copy made available for those of us who don't like reading PDFs.

Outstanding game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2015 20:26:56
Great artwork with an amazing layout! The application of Swords & Wizardry Whitebox rules set in scifi format is elegant and familiar. This book is perfect, I need to own a copy in hardback.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Jerry L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2015 00:49:25
White Star euphoria has seemingly overrun the OSR community at large of late...
Not a shocker, it is the best retro-clone space rpg currently available.
Praise has been littered high and low since its release with little constructive criticism, aside from the omission of encounter tables perhaps.
But really, there are more pressing concerns that have not been addressed, such as:
Isn't it strange that ALL of the classes in this stand-alone OSR rulebook are considered IP and not Open Content?
Wow.
That's like the traditional Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, and Thief never being allowed for use in any publisher's product.
How can archetypes so common to the sci-fi genre (such as Mercenary or Pilot) be considered anyone's property anyway?
Another issue is that there are only generic monikers for races with no options given to customize them.
"Brute" race?
Maybe there was a self-imposed deadline (May the 4th, SW Day) to unleash this .pdf a bit sooner than proper development time would allow for?
Honestly, with a few more minor tweaks, White Star becomes the be-all-end-all of S&W Space Opera!

Liked: Overall Concept, Layout, Writing, Equipment, Ships, Bestiary
Disliked: No Encounter Tables, Classes and Races aren't Open Content, Races need customization Options.
All of these things are ESSENTIAL to the core rules before even CONSIDERING releasing a
print version!!!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
\"Isn\'t it strange that ALL of the classes in this stand-alone OSR rulebook are considered IP and not Open Content?\" Actually, this has since been updated and Chapter 2 is now considered Open Content. Thanks for the review!
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Matthew W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2015 13:13:22
Buy this right now. Seriously. Tidy, well written, awesome sci-fi game. This is all you need to adventure in space!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box Omnibus [Swords & Wizardry]
by Lawrence H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 18:37:23
http://followmeanddie.com/2015/05/06/white-box-omnibus-a-rev-
iew/

I won a copy of White Box Omnibus, by +James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games on the Happy Jacks Podcast for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day.

Things have kept me busy since then. After White Star came out and I reviewed it, I figured I better hurry up and read through the Omnibus and do my promised review.

James' own introduction to the text explains it well:

White Box Omnibus is a compilation of six previously published
products: White Box Companion, White Box Bestiary, White Box Treasures, White Box Adventures: The Wererat's Well, White Box Adventures: The Wizard's Tower and White Box Adventures: The Dragon's Hoard. But a few extras have been added. In addition to cleaning things up a bit, there are a few new things you'll find.

The Monk has been added as a player character class. It is written in the spirit of Arneson's Supplement II, but streamlined to fit WhiteBox. You'll find simple, easy to implement rules for introducing powerful magical artifacts into your campaign along with new monsters in the bestiary.

The three adventures featured in White Box Omnibus have now been augmented by an appendix – The Willow Valley Gazetteer. It's a mini-campaign setting which can be used to tie the three adventures together, or even continue having adventures in that region.

Section 1 - Class options - Contains variations on standard classes that give bonuses in one area, but limitations in another. Such as the "sub-class" of cleric, the healer, who can use a healing touch once per day but has a -1 on to hit rolls.

Bard Class - This is a simple class designed to work within Swords & Wizardry and other D&D clones, instead of the kludge of AD&D.

Druid Class - A version of a cleric with a Forestry ability that allows tracking, passing without trace, or dealing with wild animals.

Monk Class - Similar to the class in AD&D, with house rules suggestions to make it more like the AD&D monk.

Paladin Class - With the exception of leaving out the warhorse, this is the paladin we recognize.

Ranger Class - With the Forestry ability, like the Druid.

Thief Class - Single skill called Thievery using a 1d6 mechanic based on level. This covers all the thief skills in a big separate table in AD&D. There is a house rule for climbing that add a bonus to the roll.

Section 2 Magic Items - A list of very interesting armor and shields.
potions, scrolls, rings, staves, wands, weapons, and three pages dedicated to miscellaneous magic items. The miscellaneous items has a house rule about "purposed magic items", i.e. Artifacts.

Section 3 - Bestiary - This includes many creatures that are well-known from other versions of OD&D & AD&D.

For example, Brain Lord - Squid headed humanoids p. 39-40.

Section 4 - Adventure - Wererat's Well 15 pages including the introductory illustration and map by Matt Jackson.

Section 5 - Adventure - The Wizard's Tower - 20 pages including the introductory illustration and map by Dyson Logos.

Section 6 - Adventure - The Dragon's Hoard - 18 pages including the introductory illustration and map by Matt Jackson.

Appendix – The Willow Valley Gazetteer - 22 pages including the village map by Matt Jackson, and an area map done in Hexographer. There is a d20 rumor table for the village and a couple of pages on communities of halflings, dwarves, and elves. This mini-campaign setting has a detailed village, and the area map ties it all together into the three adventures and several of the new creatures and items.

I am a big fan of AD&D. Mostly because it is what I knew and played for so long. I am growing to be a major fan of simple. Less rules and less "fiddly bits" that get in the way.

This large collection of material that supplements Swords & Wizardry White Box to give it many of the things I like about AD&D, or supplemental material from the later LBB's. It also streamlines them and makes them easy to use, like the bard. In AD&D, the bard class is a mess. I don't know anyone who started as a fighter, changed to a thief prior to getting the benefits of a 9th level fighter, etc.

The simple bard class presented here, plus the simplified single skill abilities for druids, rangers, and thieves make it easy to avoid paper shuffling and digging through the manual.

The magic items are new and interesting. They have given me many ideas.

I also like how James separates out ideas for house rules in grey highlighted text.

The simplicity of what is presented here is also modular, so that one can pick and choose what you want to use, and easily house rule things that you feel are missing or "not your way of doing things."

I only skimmed the three adventures. They are clearly presented and to the point. There is enough detail to help out the DM and enough openness to easily supplement the material or drop it in to an existing campaign.

The gazetteer is a village with a map of the village and an area map that ties the three adventures together with the setting. This could easily be the start of one's own sandbox campaign, or be dropped in as a new area to explore. It is a good model of one way to build a sandbox.

The layout is well done and the whole thing is easy on the eyes and easy to read on a screen.

Just as with the recent White Star, I recommend the White Box Omnibus!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box Omnibus [Swords & Wizardry]
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White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Lawrence H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 18:35:35
http://followmeanddie.com/2015/05/05/white-star-white-box-sf-
-rpg/

White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying, by +James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games is all the rage at the moment. It has a vibrant and rapidly expanding G+ Community. It also has its own compatibility logo!

Appropriately enough, it was released on May 4th, for Star Wars Day.

I am a big science fiction fan and my first love in reading was science fiction over fantasy. I have played Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, Traveller, plus various board games such as Imperium, and several video games. I tended to be the one who ran Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World, to give my brother a break from DMing AD&D.

However, my days of playing/GMing science fiction RPGs faded and have not revived like fantasy based RPGs, like AD&D or recently DCC.

I recently bought the Metamorphosis Alpha PDF and printed it out and read it through, with plans of making my own version of the starship Warden, perhaps for a Roll20 campaign.

All the hoopla about White Star is contagious, and I bought the PDF.

I had plenty of interruptions trying to read the PDF. This whole working for a living thing interferes with all my fun.

The art, maps, and layout make it easy to read. The system is designed to be totally compatible with Swords & Wizardry White Box, so any creature or item can easily traverse the two genres. Like the AD&D DMG discussion of combining Gamma World and AD&D, or Boot Hill and AD&D.

The original six standard abilities and 3d6 make it quick to pick up and play.

Rules are presented with a framework, and a clear Rule 0 reference that the Referee can make any changes they want to games in their world.

If you need a lizard man/reptile man in space, you have them stated in Sword & Wizardry already. Take any creature and "re-skin" it by changing its description, and any creature found in S&W is ready to go in White Star.

That is one powerful thing about all the clones and play alikes in the OSR. I have not specifically played Swords & Wizardry, but I "get" it, and since I am used to it, it will not require a lot of effort to run it.

I like how ship to ship combat is a simple abstraction from regular melee combat, with AC, HP, etc. for ships. While certain details are nice, I know that some SF RPG's are so "crunchy" with rules for every little thing, that the rules get in the way of moving on. Combat can take way too long even in some "rules lite" systems. I'll have to whip up a couple ships and have them fight it out.

The rules as presented are a sufficient framework to get playing quickly. This framework is familiar to so many, that it is easy to add house rules, ideas from other games, genres, etc., that one can make White Star their own.

Any SF sub-genre could be crafted with this, a generation ship scenario like Metamorphosis Alpha, post apocalyptic like Gamma World, space opera, exploration, war, space pirates, etc.

Race As Class

One thing that others complained about, and I didn't like at first, until I thought about it, is race as class. In most fantasy worlds with retro-clones or AD&D, demi-humans have level caps. I don't like that. Also with OD&D clones, there is race as class. I don't like all aspects of that in fantasy, or in Science Fiction, but I see it making sense in a planet hopping scenario.

If the humans are the dominant group and the "aliens" are tagging along, the level limits will exist because the aliens don't fit well into the culture, architecture, and design of the human controlled worlds, buildings, and ships. When a handful of aliens are among a huge number of humans, their uniqueness only gives them so many advantages. The hindrances of being surrounded by human sized items, furniture, doorways, etc. will limit how well they can improve their skills among humans. For example, a creature that breathes methane will require special equipment to travel with humans. For aliens that are humanoid to the point of being indistinguishable from humans apart from outward appearance and interior biology, such limits would not be as severe. A ten foot tall alien, however, would have major limitations on space travel.

If the situation is reversed, where a few humans are among a bunch of aliens, surrounded by alien technology, then the humans would have the same issues. I can see someone building a campaign where the humans are a tiny minority in a vast alien empire. If the humans have to have special equipment to breathe while travelling on a ship, it will limit how well and how long they can function outside any special accommodations on the ship added for humans.

Non-humans on their home planet would have advantages that humans would not have.

Humans could have variations leading to sub-species, such as those who inhabited a high gravity planet and get a bonus on their strength when on lower gravity planets and ships.

Rule 0 trumps race as class. If you don't like it, don't use it. Problem solved.

Forget Rule 0, There's A Problem

One minor thing is buying bullets for firearms in preloaded magazines. I don't know why that minor lack of verisimilitude bugs me. Handgun ammunition is usually available in boxes of 50 and shotgun and rifle ammunition is often in boxes of 20. Detachable magazines are usually reusable. In fact, I am not aware of any firearm for which magazines are not reusable. Of course, Rule 0 and all.

High tech firearms in the universe could be different. People are separated from manual drudge labor, to the point of not having to load magazines. What do you do with the empty one? Turn them in for a magazine deposit? Like bottle deposits in Michigan?

Also a pistol with ten rounds - is it small and easily concealable, or bigger and harder to disguise? Is it ball ammo, hollow point, etc? Can I rack the slide to chamber a round and drop the magazine and top it off to carry 11 rounds? It is all too easy to get hung up on little details and need a rule for it. There is always something that we know from our personal experience that makes it seem like a good idea to add complexity to handle it. Rule 0 still accommodates this. If I really wanted to get down to it, I could build rules for different calibers, revolvers vs. semi-automatics, hollow points vs. ball, ceramic/metal/polymer/combination, breech loaders vs. muzzle loaders, etc.

I don't have a problem with how computers and other technology is presented in games, so why should this bother me? For example, I know a lot about computers, but their functions are so abstract in the internals and have changed so much since the first computer my parents bought in the early 1980's that I can handle computers being small and powerful with interfaces much simpler than today. The whole touchscreen "revolution" has changed a great deal about interacting with computers. Voice recognition is better and primitive voice interfaces exist with smart phones, such as, the well-known Siri for the iPhone. The whole exposure to the idea of computers in movies, TV, and the written word have shaped our thinking to allow the devices we use every day to still hold some mystery that makes it easy to ascribe special powers to them.

Aliens & Creatures

Chapter eight on creatures leads with an explanation that specific details about color, activity, and diet is left to the Referee so that their imagination is not restricted.

There are a great many aliens and creatures to fill all the desired tropes of science fiction.

Campaigns

There are several ideas for types of campaigns, plus a campaign based in the Kelron Sector.

Adventure

There is a short sample adventure at the end to get things started. It is an interesting scenario with many familiar ideas from multiple movies, TV shows, books, and stories.

Art

The artwork of the cover and interior is awesome. Maps by Matt Jackson are cool too!

Ideas

Even if you don't specifically play these rules, there are ideas in here that can be used in any variety of science fiction and other genres of RPG's.

Editing

There are a few oddities in the flow of words and a few misplaced commas, and some other minor things. If you plan to print this out, I would wait for the update to the PDF. These errors increase towards the end.

I think that I will buy this in print, hopefully the textual issues are resolved quickly.

Other than the few issues in the text, the layout is well done, and it is easy on the eyes.

Other

I let my reading this jump ahead of reading and reviewing the White Box Omnibus also by James Spahn, that I won on the Happy Jacks Podcast for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day.

I have heard good things and after reading White Star, I am sure I will find something good!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
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White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Mike M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2015 14:57:54
Looking to run a Sci-Fantasy game with lite rules and HEAVY on good times? You have found it. Plays like Swords and Wizardry White box but with a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Space Opera feel and setting. Easy to play,easy to have fun,easy for fans of Rebels and Empires to make their own...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Michael h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2015 09:05:04
This game is amazing. Unlike other OSR Sci-Fi games, this one stays very true to the Gygaxian White Box game. It is balanced and easy to house rule. Additionally James includes many popular optional rules in the text. I am greatly looking forward to further releases for this game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2015 19:12:19
White Star is worth five stars for the bestiary chapter alone.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2015 14:14:15
http://dieheart.net/white-star
----------
Back at home and I just discovered that James Spahn from Barrel Rider Games released White Star, his OSR sci-fi game. The G+ OSR community is buzzing with excitement. The products I bought from Barrel Rider Games so far were always top-notch (take a look at my review of White Box Omnibus), so I was definitely in.
The game was released on May the 4th, how fitting!
I skimmed through the PDF and I’m sold. Fans of old school role-playing games and space opera sci-fi should take a look at White Star.

I’m not writing a full review here as I normally do but I’ll tell you a bit more than “it’s awesome”.

Why White Star?

The book comes with 132 pages total (including cover and OGL) and is 100% compatible with Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox. That in itself will tell you a lot about the rules mechanics. Basically, White Star is WhiteBox in space. And I could leave it like that.
The ruleset is totally old school D&D, based on the 1974’s original system.
The game captures the feel of space opera science fiction and some of the gonzo parts of the 70s. Inspiration comes from movies and books like Flash Gordon, Star Trek, Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, everything (classes, alien races etc.) feel very much like a mix of Star Trek and Star Wars to me. For instance, the Star Knight is a Jedi, the alien race Quinlon are Klingons and Procyons are a raccoon race inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy.
If you want to play in one of these settings and are willing to go with D&D, White Star has you set right from the start without a need to adjust things.

The classes easily model the typical tropes. You have the charming Aristocrat, a Politico, the martial Mercenary, the dashing Pilot and the afore-mentioned Star Knight. Alien classes are generalized into Alien Brute, Alien Mystic and Robot.
Although I’m not too fond of the race-as-class-mentality I must say that White Star’s approach works fine for most character concepts. (Fellow blogger and Basic-Fantasy-fan Brian attempts to fix that by using Alien Knacks).
The game comes without psionics but Star Knights and Alien Mystics still have access to “magic powers”. They both have a fixed set of “spells” available to them and must prepare them in advance. Star Knights use Meditations like Charm Person, Detect Invisible, Heal Other or Expand Senses. Alien Mystics have Gifts like Light, Hold Person or Alter Time. Folks who have played D&D will feel at home.

In addition to the normal combat system (again, it’s S&W WhiteBox) there are also rules for space combat. The mechanics are mostly the same but scaled up to starships. I like how easy it feels to learn the system as it is basically the same you already know.

Equipment and starships look adequate to me. The GM also has access to a small bestiary of alien lifeforms. Advanced Equipment is only available later in a campaign (i.e. Cybernetics) so there’s definitely something to look forward to in a longer campaign.

White Star also comes with setting ideas and a fleshed out sector to play in. Moreover, there is a sample adventure. Besides these, the game doesn’t have a pre-generated setting but asks you to create a sandbox.

In contrast to Stars Without Number (SWN) by Kevin Crawford there is no exhaustive system for building your sci-fi sandbox. That means you need to come up with your planets, alien cultures and societies yourself. Also, there are no random tables or other generators for different encounters (starship encounters, hooks for adventures or similar). So while White Box is a sandbox it isn’t the swiss army knife of old school space opera. If you’re looking for a more “complete” toolkit, SWN is the way to go. However, White Box stays in the spirit of its parent WhiteBox: Matt Finch’s rules-lite game is also quite bare-bones but still sufficient. There just isn’t much support when it comes to adventure/sandbox-building.

The design and layout job are well done and convey the tone of the space opera genre very well. Everything is good to read, the font and the border are very appropriate for a sci-fi book. I like how the boxes and chapter headings look. The artwork is nice but not spectacular. The book is completely done in black and white (except the cover).
And the cover somehow reminds me of Firefly’s Nathan Fillion!

The price point may be a bit steep considering you can get similar products for fewer bucks (Stars Without Number Free Edition or Hulks and Horrors, to name a few). That said, White Star is its own distinctive game. It’s one of the games where I don’t feel intimidated by the rules and where I really want to start playing.

TL;DR

White Star is a well-written space opera game with OSR rules. It’s totally compatible with Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox and thus with a range of old school D&D systems. The strength of the game is that it can be played as-is with a wide range of well-known settings. The toolkit part of the sandbox approach falls a bit flat. Nonetheless, White Star is an interesting ruleset if you want to play D&D in spaaaace!

Actually, I’m really tempted to pair this one with Trey Causey’s Strange Stars (aff), review here. (Strange Stars is on sale in May, along with other sci-fi products.)

And if old school D&D is not heroic enough for my taste (remember that 1st level characters in S&W WhiteBox are a bit squishy), I’m taking a page or two out from Scarlet Heroes to fix that.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2015 11:43:38
Unless you are living in an OSR-free zone you may have missed the big release this week of "White Star" from Barrel Rider Games and +James Spahn.

BRG had made a name for itself publishing classes for "Basic" era D&D/Labyrinth Lord which is how I discovered them. Recently James has made the switch with some very successful products for Swords & Wizardry. In particular he released the White Box Omnibus to much acclaim.

White Star is a similar quality effort, but represents a serious step up in terms of quality and content from his previous efforts. This is immediately obvious in terms of the quality of the cover art, but the interior really lives up (and beyond) that first impression.
White Star is Space Opera viewed through an old-school RPG lens. So think Star Wars. Not the series of movies really, but just the first 1977 movie.
Starting with the basics the book is 132 pages, two pages of cover art, two blank pages and one page of OGL. As usual BRG is very permissive with the content of the books. So this amounts to 128 pages of content (127 + OGL). Not a bad deal really.
The book is divided up as expected. Chapters on Attributes, Character Classes and Races (more on this in a bit), Equipment, Game Play, and Combat. These chapters are more or less similar to what you might find in S&W White Box. Not a copy, but a re-write to accommodate the style and tone of the book. The remaining chapters cover the important topics of SciFi; Starship Combat, Gifts and Meditations, Aliens and Creatures, and Advanced Equipment. There are also chapters on The White Star Campaign, Interstellar Civil War and Kelron Sector, and the Second Battle of Brinn.
As my friend, Greg Littlejohn says, "just enough meat on the bones, yet room on the plate to add some nice sides." That is 100% true.

Character Classes and Races
The classes of White Star are simple enough to cover a variety of character archetypes. The classes include Aristocrat (think Princess Leia or Paul Atreides), Mercenary (Boba Fett, nearly every movie in the 80s), Pilot (Han Solo), and Star Knight (Luke). There are also two race as classes, the Alien Brute (lots of examples), Alien Mystic (Yoda) and Robot. Each class is 10 levels and presented in the same format as S&W. So one could easily move classes back and forth between the two games with ease.

Sci-Fi Chapters
The chapters on Starship Combat and Alien Creatures are really the star here. Starship combat of course can be easily ported over to S&W as ship combat. But there are a lot of really cool nuggets here. It is also one of the chapters where the pure "Star Wars"ishness of the book fades a bit into some "Star Trek".
Alien Creatures covers a wide variety aliens. Nearly everything is here; Borg, Greys, Fluffy aliens, the lot. Since everything is S&W compatible you can move anything back and forth from S&W to White Star. This little feature opens up thousands of creatures to WS.

Gifts and Meditations covers the magical-like powers used by Star Knights and Mystics. Many of these are re-skinned spells. You could add more powers as spells, but only carefully. Some spells are not entirely appropriate for a sci-fi setting.

The last three chapters cover roughly a White Star campaign universe. The Kelron Sector is given some detail. Enough to get you going and enough to give you a good idea of what is going and where you can take it your own. If you watched any Sci-Fi in the 70s or 80s then you will recognize a lot of the pastiche here.

What can I say about White Star? It is one of the best Sci-Fi games I have picked up. The more and more I play, the more and more I like level and class based systems for space opera. It seems right to me somehow. I think it is because I discovered Star Wars and D&D right around the same time and to me they always go together.

IF I had one criticism it would be I would prefer Sword and Wizardry Complete rules or Labyrinth Lord. But that is weak-sauce on my part really. I could convert it if I wanted.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2015 13:59:42
So your a DM looking for a science fiction or science fantasy retroclone system. Are you looking for one that will work with OD&D and Swords & Wizardry? A game that can handle all of the nuts and bolts of cinematic science fiction and allow you to fit your Swords and Wizardry game characters in through the back door easily? You have been recruited for White Star!
Alright I know what your thinking, oh great another science fiction clone rpg system when your looking at White Star. What does this rpg system do that X plorers, Stars Without Numbers, and Hulks and Horrors do? Well right off the top White Star is cross compatible with the Swords and Wizardry retroclone system but so what there are more then a few add on systems for that. Well White Star is pure flat out space opera and emulates films such as Star Wars, the recent Guardians of The Galaxy Marvel movie. I own X plorers and its a great game, it is a fast, very concise set of rules that takes PC's into the great beyond ala a Saturday matinee. Stars Without Number is complex space opera with a solid science fiction background that has lots of nifty add ons, bells, and whistles to it. Hulks and Horrors is a combination of partial bug hunt, space opera, and a more lost universe style of play with humanity's former empires cut off from the main hub. I'm rather fond of all of these games and that's where White Star comes in.
This is a space opera retroclone system that emulates none of the above and is actually a sliced up and concise set of science fictional space opera tools in a nifty little tool box. Right out of the gate its got a ton of stuff going for it. Some nice artwork, good solid PC options with aristocrat, mercenary, pilot, and star knight as your options on the table but a DM could easily add in their favorite Swords and Wizardry classes as well. There are also racial options to add in to your parties as well as the normal human. You've got Alien Brute, Alien Mystic, & Robot on the table as well to add even more to the party. Anyone familiar with Sword and Wizardry isn't going to be out of their depth at all here. The character generation is straight forward and concise which is nice.
The equipment section is inclusive and includes a wide variety of galaxy and interstellar pieces of hardware. Many of these are going to be solidly familiar to any science fiction fan or Star Wars aficionado but this is a solid selection of stuff here.
The playing the game section is short sweet and to the point giving PC's a solid grounding in a science fiction version of the grand game. This is done very well and with little fuss. There's a bit here and there about hirelings and the assistants.
The personal combat section is where some of the variations of space opera madness come into play with Space Knight meditations and gifts complicating the usual D&D style of combat. This isn't a bad thing just a bit well different. I say that as a science fiction fan because if you've seen any of the Star Wars or old school science fiction many of these powers and abilities will be familiar. Its interesting to see them added into a D&D style game. The section on the meditations and gifts of the space knights are pretty interesting and solidly done in a pulptastic style.
Star Ship combat in the far reaches of space is solidly done, effective, and very space opera style. There's more then a few options in this section, its far cinematic then realistic in its execution. Its very well done and its a good section of space based combat.
Aliens and Creatures gives the DM a good solid range of options and that's all that really needed to get your own style of monsters, horrors, and what not to bedevil your party.
Advanced equipment brings cybernetics, more armor, and a host of add ons to customize your PC's. Sort of like how cybernetics was lurking in the background of Star Wars and some other 70's and 80's science fiction space operas. Not to mention some of the 60's.
But then we get not one campaign setting but three options on the table for your old school space operas. We get the White Star campaign setting outlined with a solidly done history, background, and how to incorporate the rpg system into your Swords and Wizardry Whitebox campaign. Then we get a whole sector to play in as well with the Kelron sector and lots of pretty worlds for the PC's to go play in. Then we jump right into the introductory adventure The Second Battle of Brinn.
Here's where the game really shines and its a great adventure that pits six to eight PC's with their wits, their courage, and their assets into the deep end of the setting. You go exploring into the bowels of an asteroid base and get your necks up in adventure. This isn't a waist high pack of trouble but one where the party better actually have a Space Knight or two on hand to help handle some of the issues in this adventure if things break down your also going to want a fighter or pilot on hand with a steady blaster to help sort out trouble this isn't all hack and slash either. This game also includes some damn fine rules on diplomacy and they are in the rule book for a reason. The adventure really sets out the tone of what the authors and designers were going for. Yes it is an emulation of 80's and 90's science fiction films, literature, and more.
Is the White Star worth the hype and volume that its been receiving? Yes I believe its a really welcome set of tools for the science fiction DM. And I do think that its worth grabbing a copy to play an extended campaign of ? Yes because it adds a whole damn exciting extended range of science fiction options for the Swords and Wizardry DM or any OD&D style rpg system.
Now there is one thing missing in my humble opinion while there is a starting adventure, lots of worlds, etc.,etc. there aren't any encounter tables the game include encounter tables (space, wilderness, urban, asteroid belts, etc.) And here's where the game loses points in my humble opinion. This is a point that many science fiction games miss. An inclusive set of encounter tables helps a DM determine placement of adventure elements in a game. Another thing I came across was this on OSR today, "The new game is completely compatible with other versions of S&W Whitebox and other Swords & Wizardry [AL] games and products, and even comes with its own compatibility logo that third party publishers can use to create and share their own products with." Lately I've been very carefully reading through various retroclone's OGL and White Star has something very interesting going on under its OGL. Everything in the game is OGL except the author's classes, sector, setting, and campaign details. This one thing caused me to look at the game and make a very solid decision. Gut the setting out and create my own. This is where the DYI aspect of the game shines though. Without the restrictions of the setting the DM is truly able to work up their own material in a very well thought out and put together pulptastic system. My advice is to take your existing campaign write out the elements that you want to turn into a cinematic science fiction adventure and use White Star to go for it. The game does lots of things very well. I do think that Barrel Rider games adds a lot to the table with this game. The price point is a bit steep but there are frequent sales through rpg and Drivethru. Personally I'd wait and grab the print copy when it hits lulu or Drivethru's print option. All in all I was pretty happy to look into the background of White Star. A nice and neat little piece of science fictional and science fantasy cinematic retroclone action.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by David O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2015 00:28:21
As an avid player of Labyrinth Lord, I have always relied on Barrel Rider Games products to expand my campaign, but maintain the spirit of old school gaming. I had heard about White Box for Swords and Wizardry on the Save or Die podcast and was intrigued enough to download it and teach it to kids who were eager to run their own games. I was impressed by how fast everything went and how old school it felt. Fast forward to White Star, the science fiction equivalent of White Box. I picked this up as soon as it was released. My first game was on May fourth so it had some strong Star Wars elements including a down and out Star Knight and a galactic empire invading planets.
We made characters and had our first adventure in no time. The game allows for lots of familiar character options with the classes and races. Many pop culture aliens and characters are emulated using these rules, much in the same way D&D emulated the works of Lieber, Vance and Howard. In a real sandbox approach my group created a Star Knight, a Lizard man warrior, a robot dog and a human mercenary. In an attempt to get the Star Knight to a set location there was a battle on the waterfront, an alien invasion, fancy flying, stowaways, Space Ogres, Anime Magical Girls and so much more.. on just the first night and in a fun and playful sandbox approach that is difficult to pull off with more cumbersome systems.
My group of 30+ years loved it and I have lots of cool ideas just skimming the rulebook. I know much more will be released and I am keen to get in on the action myself.
Great book! I love the simplicity and fun this game brings to the table.
Adventure details available here:
http://okumarts.tumblr.com/post/118179239713/i-got-to-pl-
ay-white-star-tonight-very-fun

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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