Having already discussed the basic rules and setting of The Frontier in previous posts, it’s now time to have a look at how character creation works and the different characters you can play.
I mentioned before that The Frontier has Old School influences and you’ll get that vibe from character creation. It is a class-based game, with each class having unique abilities and a distinct role. Similar to other older gamers, classes have a fixed progression track, meaning that you cannot change the abilities they provide.
In addition, character creation takes 5 minutes maximum! I know that there are many games out there making that claim, but it is absolutely true. All you have to do is pick a class, assign (or roll) four attributes, write down your starting gear and you’re good to go.
Apart from his class, each character is also defined by four attributes: Muscles, Reflexes, Brains and Guts. Their names are pretty self-explanatory. These are probably the most important character statistics, as they also double as your skills and they determine your defence against the various threat you encounter. Almost everything you’ll do in the game is somehow related to one of these four attributes, which is a great way of keeping character statistics concise and to the point.
Now let’s examine the four classes included in the game. Each class is distinct, with its own strengths, weaknesses and style of play.
- The Commando is a seasoned warrior able to use any weapons or armor. he has a limited ability to exert himself, taking more actions during a combat round. He also receives the most generous amount of Health out of all four classes. This combination of firepower and toughness makes him a potent force on the battlefield.
- The Shadow is the sneakiest of the four classes. He is able to use a good variety of weapons, but is at his best when sneaking around in light armor. His special abilities focus on emphasising his stealthy nature and inflicting devastating damage with surprise and critical strikes. His fighting style requires more thought and strategy than the run-and-gun Commando, but can be tremendously rewarding in the right circumstances.
- The Wirehead is a computer expert with quantum implants surgically embedded in his head. This allows him to run several useful programs, some of which can even affect the physical world. He can be thought of as a supporter that buffs the team via his software, guiding their attacks or increasing their perception. He is also very effective against robotic opponents, being able to short-circuit or even hijack and place them under his control.
- The Telepath is an extraordinary person gifted with psionic powers. Although he has the least Health and combat training out of all four classes, his powers make him incredibly dangerous and versatile. He focuses mostly on telekinesis and influencing the mental faculties of his opponents, being able to disable or even dominate them. He also has a number of direct damage powers, some of which can bypass armor. As long as he’s properly supported by the tougher team members he can wreak havoc on the opposition.
These four classes can be used to build very versatile teams and each is fun to play in a different manner. The Commando is probably the simplest, most straightforward class to play and will be enjoyed by players who like to be at the front line. The Shadow is a more situational character who shines in ambush and stealth set-ups. The Wirehead and the Telepath are more complex characters that will be appreciated by players who like having a lot of different options available. There’s a class for every taste!