Sunday, May 10, 2015

White Star / X-Plorers - What's the Difference Between the Two? (Part II)

Continuing with Part II of the comparison between White Star and X-Plorers. Part I is here.

When it comes to creatures, X-Plorers is very much a "do it yourself" type of system. There are examples (3 alien races, 3 earth creatures, 3 mars creatures, etc) but they seem to lack - something. This is purely opinion time here, so take it for what it's worth. The sample creatures in White Star seem more imaginative to my eyes but the system included to create your own in X-Plorers seems fairly complete. Something useful I may borrow, although I don't have a problem "winging" my creations.

Healing in X-Plorers is quicker than White Star, which is surprising, considering that White Star draws upon Star Wars and other recent scifi for some of its tropes. I may borrow the healing rules from X-Plorers for my White Star campaign.

Space combat is very different between the two systems.
Ÿ- Determine initiative
-Ÿ Party with initiative acts first in the following
phase order and results take effect:
   1. Navigation Phase
   2. Engineering Phase
   3. Pilot Phase
   4. Gunner Phase
-Ÿ Party that lost initiative acts in the same
phase order and their results take effect
-Ÿ Once the round is complete, roll a new
initiative and start a new round if the battle
has not been resolved (either by a ship being
destroyed, incapacitated, or having
White Star 
1. Determine Initiative.
2. Starship with Initiative acts first (attacking, using items, etc.) and results
take effect.
3. Starship that lost Initiative acts, and their results take effect.
4. The round is complete; keep turn order for the next round if the battle
has not been resolved.
Actually, X-Plorers space combat reminds me a bit of what I remember from Classic Traveller. has much more complete starship descriptions and options. I THINK White Star space combat will play out closer to regular combat than X-Plorers space combat, but I'll have to playtest that or rely on the experience and feedback of others.
White Star

X-Plorers includes an optional psionics system. Again, it uses a skill system, which is either something you love in your old school games or you don't.

White Star includes some basic setting material (including a star map), some campaign themes as well as an adventure to kick things off with.

So, where does one stand at the end of this admittedly basic comparison?

X-Plorers has a no frill, art free PDF that can be had for free. If price is your only concern, the answer was made for you before I wrote a single word. That being said, at the price of free, X-Plorers is an excellent source of ideas for your White Star campaign.

If you compare the regular X-Plorers PDF at $5.95 to White Star at $9.95 (or $7.95 with my discount link) White Star is by far the more complete and ready to play out of the box product. White Star is also a tool box, so it expects you to add, change, warp and delete from the rules included. It's pretty durable and hard to break.


  1. Oh, I bet White Star will be free eventually much like S&W!

  2. I have X-Plorers, Hulks and Horrors, and Stars Without Number. I haven't obtained a copy of White Star yet, but I have found that there are tweaks and tools from each that can be used. You just have to decide which attribute system and classes you are going to use.


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