It was three days before I got my first glimpse of the invaders: great monstrous, manlike machines that strolled through the city like they owned it. Later, I’d learn that these so-called golems were in fact soldiers equipped with high-tech armor that put our finest suits of plate to shame. I’d fought against the drow before, and I knew one thing for sure: if the drow were in charge of the galaxy, we were all in a lot of trouble.

Dragonstar, a roleplaying game available for download through rpgnow.com and drivethrurpg.com, is a unique space-fantasy campaign setting for the d20 system from Fantasy Flight Games. The Starfarer’s Handbook provides everything you need to run adventures and campaigns in this exotic setting. Players can incorporate their own fantasy world into the Dragonstar universe or introduce high technology and space opera elements into an ongoing campaign.

In the world of Dragonstar, dragons have taken taken up residence in deep space, in the galaxy known as the Serpent’s Eye. The metallic and chromatic dragons rule the explored worlds throughout the galaxy in an uneasy alliance dubbed the Dragon Empire.

For five thousand years, the benevolent metallic dragons have ruled, but that time has passed. Dragonstar sets adventurers at the dawn of the rule of the Red dragons, and the cruelty of the new Red dragon emperor knows no bounds. Drow soldiers in immense mechanized suits of armor, powered by magic, brutally conquer new worlds in the name of the Dragon Empire and its bloodthirsty new Emperor. Under the rule of the cruel Mezzanbone, nearly every world in the Serpent’s Eye galaxy has suffered. The Red Age holds little promise of peace or prosperity, and less than a hundred years have passed since its dawning. The peoples of the Serpent’s Eye galaxy despair for any deliverance from their plight, as well over four and a half thousand years remain before the Empire can pass from the hands of the evil chromatic dragon races.

The boundless universe of Dragonstar is characterized by the union of magic and machine, science and sorcery. Intrepid adventurers explore the Outlands in starships powered by fusion fire and arcane rituals. Set out for the far reaches of space with Dragonstar, and discover what magic lives in the far flung corners of the Serpent’s Eye galaxy!

Explore the Serpent’s Eye

In a game of Dragonstar, you will take on the role of a member of the sprawling Dragon Empire. Many different races have spread far and wide across the known galaxy.

Dwarves have done well in taking to the deep darkness of space. The close confines of interstellar spacecraft and the proliferation of asteroids for mining has made space a comfortable home for the dwarven race. Dwarven miners tend to the care of their spacesuits more than themselves, and the wealthier dwarves have set up enormous fortresses of complex tunnels on huge hunks of rock floating throughout the system.

The elves have had a somewhat harder time adapting to the barren interstellar landscape. Deeply connected to the natural rhythms of their homelands, the elves were not attracted to the ideas of modern technology and traveling the cosmos. Not wanting to be left behind as the universe marched onward, the elves crafted living space stations laced with both magic and science. The elves travel the galaxy terraforming dead planets and researching the natural order of living worlds throughout the Dragon Empire.

The gnomes are truly at home among the stars. Always a technologically inclined race, they have only become more adept in manipulating machinery. The gnomes were the first race to achieve space travel, and gnome spellcasters invented the powerful spellware that can be implanted to magically enhance a user. They also created the first soulmechs, androids animated by living souls, and they are utterly fascinated by this particular marriage of magic and technology.

The intermingling of races has happened frequently throughout the sector, as many civilizations are very accepting of inter-racial relations. Half-elves and half-orcs abound in the universe of Dragonstar. Both feel rather at home with humans, who are more often willing to find out what they have in common with these individuals than focus on the differences. Half-elves have integrated well with the bulk of society, and find that they get along extremely well with soulmechs. Half-elves know what it’s like to be caught between two worlds. Half-orcs have a harder time gaining acceptance, as most peoples despise orcs, and orcs despise half-orcs. Many half-orcs take up military service, as the combination of human adaptability and orcish aggression makes them excellent soldiers.

Half-dragons are somewhat less common than other racial combinations, but they do make up a portion of the population. Some dragons enjoy shape-shifting into various forms, and their romantic dalliances with mortals can sometimes produce offspring. Dragons can reproduce with any of the mortal races, and often set up trust funds for their offspring. As a result, many half-dragons live terrifically pampered lifestyles, and have come to expect a certain amount of respect and comfort in their lives. While powerful allies, their assumed superiority can make them difficult to get along with.

The diminutive halflings have found that their small stature is a boon in the confines of space, much as it has been for the dwarves and gnomes. Their sharp reflexes combined with their size makes them excellent pilots, as a ship’s cockpit is often cramped. Halflings love a good riddle, and often view the problems posed by programming modern software as little more than a clever word problem. Halflings are hard workers and are some of the best business partners in the galaxy.

Humans have also made their way to the stars. Humans are the shortest lived of all the races in the Dragon Empire, but they are incredibly adaptable and, compared to most of the other races, have a very fast reproductive rate. Only the orcs rival the humans in sheer numbers, and the humans are a great deal more welcome throughout the galaxy. The short lives and flexible nature of humans sets the dragons of the Serpent’s Eye on edge, as they can’t understand the quick and fluid nature of human civilization.

The drow, dark cousins to the elves, have attained a new prominence in the Red Age. Drow are known for being cruel and evil, and Mezzanbone has taken a particular liking to their methods. The Emperor has created a new special police force made up entirely of drow soldiers. Apart from their jet black skin, the drow share nearly all of the same physical attributes as their elvish cousins, but they could not be more different in demeanor. While there are a few drow that have broken away from their race’s evil ways, they are considered outcasts by their own people, and they have a difficult time winning the trust of others.

Orcs abound in the Serpent’s Eye galaxy, and Mezzanbone has no plans of checking their aggression. Orcs are generally warlike to a fault. While they get along passably well within their own clans, they have no time for many other races. While orcish society is often considered primitive, their love of life is evident in their closely knit clans and propensity for drinking and dancing. While orcs are generally considered an evil race, like the drow, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some orcs have worked for the benefit of their clan and others in the galaxy.

In the far flung future of Dragonstar, there are also a number of soulmechs on many worlds. These robotic constructs have been imbued with a living soul. Typically, the form of the soulmech is designed ahead of time to reflect the race of the soul bound within the body. Soulmechs are disliked by elves and drow, who view the robotic bodies as an unnatural abomination. They are particularly well-liked by their creators, the gnomes. The majority of the population is accepting of soulmechs and simply sees them as an alternative way to live.

What Is an RPG?

In a Roleplaying Game (RPG) you create an alter ego, a fictional character like one of the heroes you've read about or seen in films. Using the game rules, you and your friends create characters and develop them as you play through a series of adventures. Imagine a group of detectives working together to solve a case or a company of knights sent to defeat a monster, but rather than reading or watching the story, you tell it.

How is the story told? How do you decide what happens? What do you do if you and your friend disagree? That's where rules come in. Roleplaying is only half of the story; the other half is the game itself. Dragonstar presents you with the rules of the game—how to design your character, how to resolve actions and how to have fun doing so. During a game of Dragonstar, the players roll pools of custom dice to determine the outcome of combat, social intrigues, or other risky actions.

Before you start playing, you and your friends will need to decide which of you will be the game master (GM). The GM is the referee and the lead storyteller, the person who describes the game to the other players. The GM presents the stories and situations, provides the setting and its denizens, and adjudicates the rules. The other players take on the roles of the characters, around which the action primarily revolves. These characters are known as the Player Characters (PCs). They describe their intentions and actions to the DM, who then decides how their actions affect the plot. So how do you win?

The answer is up to you. The game master is not set against the heroes. Both the game master and the hero party are working together to create a memorable experience for all involved. Each session gives both parties a chance to become part of something larger, and allow them to create their own legend at the dawn of the terrible Red Age of the Dragon Empire.

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