The Captain is the player's own personal character and representation of themselves in the game universe of Star Traders Frontier. They command their own ship and crew and is the only character get to fully customize during the Captain Creation at the start of the game. Whilst players start from one of the factions in the game, they renounce any alignments at the start of the game and become largely independent. How players choose to play the game will affect their captain, officers and crew.
- Your captain is the only character you get to customize fully.
- Only the captain's attributes are used for any dice rolls outside of combat.
- Any Skill Bonuses your captain has are added to the pool for dice rolls outside of combat.
- Captains first job must be one of the following: Bounty Hunter, Explorer, Merchant, Military Officer, Pirate, Smuggler, Spy or Zealot. Additionally, Commander and Assassin can be unlocked as starting professions.
- Captains can have up to three jobs in total.
- Captains receive the most job points and talent points than any other character.
- Captains can die depending on the Game Difficulty. If the captain dies then the game is over.
- Like every character, you can only level up your captain by visiting the Spice Hall once you have gathered enough experience points. You do not however have a wage.
- Although independent, you can become friendly and allied with different factions and obtain military rank with them. It is possible to ally with all the major factions though not easily.
When creating a captain, you select your first job. This will define your starting traits, and also influence your crew's starting traits.
You may add a second and third job as your captain levels up, but these will not affect your traits or crew.
See Captain Creation for details.
Becoming A Captain
A captain of a spacefaring vessel is one of the most distinguished roles in the Star Traders civilization. It is these captains, after all, who have lent their name to the people as whole. A captain comes into his or her Star Traders license in one of two ways -- they were sponsored by a powerful member of a faction, or their mother or father passed it down to them. At either moment, they chose to renounce their faction citizenship and become a Star Trader. It was a choice not to be made lightly, as it can never be undone, and will change the course of their life forever.
A license alone makes an individual a Star Trader and restricts their on-world movements for the rest of their days, but it does not make someone who they truly are. They must have a ship, and it defines them, their life, and their future. A ship is freedom, it is their ticket between worlds, and is it their livelihood and the engine of their income, power or glory. Upon this ship, they will rebuild their nuclear family from trustworthy officers and loyal crew, all who have suspended their faction rights to join a Star Trader with their own hopes and dreams of adventure, riches, or whatever drives them.
It is notable that a Star Trader license cannot be revoked once it has been granted, to the chagrin and political determinant of many faction princes and commanders. Licenses are granted rarely and carefully, and those with the power to do so are only too well aware of the cautionary tales of infamous Star Traders like the Cadar-sponsored Captain Vincent Vax-Cadar who went onto become a scourge of Cadar worlds across multiple Quadrants after being handed his license by an all too eager Cadar Prince.
Privileges Among the Stars
Star Traders are such an integral part of the interstellar life of the Factions that there are many privileges accorded to them by Shalun Law. Faction Princes and military commanders galaxy-wide know these rules and adhere to them strictly, as they too need Star Traders. Sometimes the laws are followed simply out of respect but other times from fear that by breaking the accords that other Star Trader Captains will turn their back on such a law breaker, as well as their allies who also rely on the coming and going of Star Traders.
One such privilege is that a Star Trader will never be denied the right to land on a world. Refusing the right to land could amount to a death sentence to a captain and crew of the vessel, and so landfall is considered a right. Even a wanted criminal must be allowed to land at the Starport. However, the Prince, military, and other arms of the local Faction government have the right to deny services and privileges, such as access to the Exchange or the Palace, once the Star Trader has made safe landfall. In the same vein, a Faction military may never use orbital defence weapons against a Star Trader -- any military engagement against a Star Trader must be in space or face-to-face on the ground. The Accords provide the Factions some limited security controls -- Starport rights can be temporarily suspended in face of civil unrest, Xeno activity or extreme orbital dangers. These closings are politically charged for Star Traders, and are limited in their duration.
While there are some protected privileges, a Star Trader is still sailing a vessel through Faction space, which grants the Faction military its own set of privileges and rights that cannot be refused. Within Faction space, the Faction military marines have the right to interdict and search a Star Trader vessel if they believe that it is carrying illegal cargo or fugitives, or if the Captain is a wanted criminal. If a Star Traders is able to prove that their business, cargo or passenger are protected by military rank, trade permit or the Accords then they have the right to sail safely past the military unmolested.
Farther from the gravity wells of planets, situations between Star Traders, Faction military marines, and other spacing vessels become more touch and go. Out in the depth of space, the rules start to bend, if not break. It becomes a question of how far either party is willing to risk their ship and lives of the crew. Often such a risky meeting will result in jockeying for position, threats, bribery and intimidation tactics as each captain tries to gain the upper-hand without having to resort to ship-to-ship combat. Far enough away from occupied space, there is little or no hope that help or a rescue ship will arrive if things end badly for either party, and it tints these entire encounters. But, by the same turn, there is smaller chance that word will spread of the transgressions against the law in deep space, and many captains--whether a Star Trader, pirate, or Faction military--choose to take advantage of this.
License and Limitations
Your license as a Star Trader catapults you into a rare position among the stars. You have near unlimited freedom to go where you please, to make a living how you choose, and to rule your own ship as you see fit. On the other side of the coin, your license restricts your life to the stars. When you land on a Faction world, you will do so only in a sanctioned starport or orbital station, and from there you are not allowed to go far. A cluster of important buildings surrounds every starport, giving spacers a temporary, if penned in, home on a planet’s surface, among the gravs. Beyond the bays of the starport, you and your crew are limited to the neighboring spice hall district for planet-leave or you may buy and sell cargo within the Exchange, a limited market only open to Star Traders.
A Star Trader captain and officers may apply for permission to travel beyond the district to visit political dignitaries and Faction powers, even the Prince at the Palace, if they are have the approval of the local powers that be. While such permits are possible, being granted exceptions that allow you and your officer corp to leave the restricted area around the Starport are rare -- they are, after all, exceptions. While outside of the zone restricted for Star Traders, expect to be closely watched. This is why many Star Traders may instead turn to some distraction, a hefty bribe, or discreet stealth to allow you and a few of your spacers to slip out unnoticed, though you risk legal trouble if you caught in the act or abroad without the proper papers. Another common occurrence is for contacts of all sorts to come to the district surrounding the starport, most often the spice hall, where enough is happening that observation is low and privacy can be achieved.