Rulebook (129 pages)
White Star is an old-school style RPG set in a mostly agnostic setting, i.e. the rules are the framework and you fill in the holes. For mood, think Star Wars, Flash Gordon, John Carter, or any other pulpy or space opera setting. One could even Star Trek here without a problem.
The attributes are familiar, as the 1.0a OGL was used. As far as character classes, one can play as an aristocrat, mercenary, pilot, or Star Knight (complete with star sword and powers called “The Way”). Races can include humans, as well as any number of agreed upon alien races, as well as those included in the book: alien brute, alien mystic, and robot, each with pros and cons. Brutes can only go to level 6, mystics to level 8, and robots level 4.
Equipment offers a wide variety of high and low tech options. AC comes in 2 forms (pick one): the more traditional AC where lower is better, and the idea of higher AC is better (referred to in the game as ascending armor class, or AAC). The chapter on gameplay is short and sweet at 4 pages. Personal and starship combat are discussed separately, but are pretty similar in execution.
Gifts and meditations are discussed next. Star Knights make use of meditations, while alien mystics use gifts. Meditations are spread out over 5 levels, while gifts are spread out over 3. Meditations include: Charm Person, detect good/evil, find traps, speak with animals, dark vision, and water breathing. Gifts include: hold portal, hold person, and fly.
Next comes a menagerie of aliens and creatures to populate the universe. Descriptions tend to be broad and general so you can make them more tailored to your specific setting. They include: Cyborgs, Falcon-Men, Felinoids, Greys (yes, exactly what you think), and others.
There’s a short chapter on advanced technology, like armor and protection, cybernetics, etc. Then we come to the White Star Campaign Setting. Despite not having a default setting, this gives a jumping off point for adventurizing. It gives some general settings, like Rebels Against the Regime, Amongst the Stars, and Invasion.
Chapters 11 and 12 focus on a setting called Interstellar Civil War. It gives the basics on the Kelron Sector and its inhabitants so one can use the adventure that is Chapter 12: The Second Battle of Brinn, designed for 6 - 8 characters of 1st to 3rd level. Overall, I like the design and general setting for the game and think there are many opportunities for some good old fashioned storytelling.
The Important Stuff (as of 8/6/2023): pdf $9.99; softbound $14.99; hardbound $19.99; and combos being $5 higher.
White Star Companion (96 pages)
More goodness to add to the sandbox, as it were. We start off with 8 new classes, including: Bounty Hunter, Man of Tomorrow, and Yabnabs (yes, they are Ewoks). Like in the rulebook, each class is given features unique to them, as well as level progression and other information. Chapter 2 adds new vehicles, both land and space.
A new addition to the game is the notion of skills and serials. PC’s start with 3 skills (a class associated skill and 2 player associated ones, with ranks of 2/2/1 respectively). They would receive a new skill or add +1 to an existing one at levels 4 and 8. Serials allow for more background development. There are 7 elements involved and a d6 is rolled for each, and the results complete the characters story. Elements include: home world, family, youth, allies, and adversaries.
More equipment is added, as wekk as aliens and creatures to expand the universe. There’s even a chapter on creating random encounters, with enough tables to make one cross-eyed. Lastly, there’s an expansion sector to go with the one from the rulebook.
The important stuff: pdf $6.99; softbound $9.99; hardbound $14.99; and combos $5 more.
I feel like that between the two books, one can create any story one wants. I could even argue you only need the rulebook to do that (and you easily can), but who doesn’t like to have more sand in their sandbox?