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The setting describes a galaxy under the dominion of the Dragon Empire. The Dragon Empire is a huge bureaucracy, ruled over by the ten houses of dragons, five chromatic and five metallic. The Empire is led by Mezzenbone, a red dragon of immense might and evil disposition, who sometimes travels on board The Maleficent, one of the few remaining immense Dreadnought class warship spacecraft.
Across the galaxy, the same fantasy races are found to inhabit countless worlds, sometimes living in great technological civilizations or magically advanced medieval cultures. When the inhabitants of many of these worlds took to the stars, by magic, machine, or a combination of both, they were amazed by their similarities; including close similarities in their languages. Scientists and archmages alike tried to come up with a logical explanation to no avail. Eventually, a prominent religious leader proposed a theory: all the gods of every religion were the same, just different aspects of the twelve "True Gods". These aspects were the 12 "Deitypes", short for Deity Archetypes. Deitypes are basic, primordial, archetypal icons such as The Father, The Mother, The Magus, The Smith, The Destroyer, The Trickster, and so on. Some deities had elements of two or more of the Deitypes. These 12 universal Deitypes seeded similarities all across the life supporting worlds of the galaxy. This theory led to a new religion that formed the basis of an emerging unified interstellar culture. The dragons eventually rose to dominate and unite this culture under a single massive Dragon Empire, which rules all of known inhabited space. The dragons would assimilate newly discovered inhabited planets along the edge of the Empire, also known as the Outlands.
The Dragonstar setting can easily combine preexisting Dungeons & Dragons and other D20 material and settings. A PC group can be made up of character races and classes in any combination and be rationally integrated with little work. It is similar to the classic Spelljammer setting by TSR, although Dragonstar is more of a science fantasy and space opera blend. A basic premise of the setting is that advanced technology is sufficient to handle most tasks, but things that are considered impossible by our current understanding of physics, such as faster-than-light travel between stars, force-fields, and teleportation, are accomplished with magic. Characters use a combination of technology, conventional weaponry, and magic in combat.
The game was first announced on the Fantasy Flight website on December 5, 2001. Sometime between 2007 and 2008, the company decided to end support for the game. By the end of 2008, the game support page was removed. FFG has made no further product announcements on the game since.
The following products were published for the Dragonstar campaign setting:
- DS01 Starfarer's Handbook
- DS02 Guide to the Galaxy
- DS03 Imperial Supply
- DS04 Player's Companion
- DS05 Galactic Races
- DS06 Smuggler's Run
- DS08 Essential Collection (Contained DS01, DS02, DS03, DS04 and DS06)
- Pook, Matthew (2003-02-05). "Galactic Races (for Dragonstar)". Pyramid (online) (Steve Jackson Games). Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Pook, Matthew (2002-01-25). "Pyramid Pick Dragonstar: Starfarer's Handbook (for d20)". Pyramid (online) (Steve Jackson Games). Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Pook, Matthew (2003-08-29). "Pyramid Review Heart of the Machine (for Dragonstar)". Pyramid (online) (Steve Jackson Games). Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Reaban, Jeremy (2003-06-09). "Review of Dragonstar Player's Companion". RPGnet. Retrieved 2008-07-10.