The Alien Dawn Player Handbook is the principle document providing the science fiction genre setting and character creation methods for the game system. The document was created about 1991 and released in various formats prior to the 1996 version. The final version of the Player Handbook was published as a series of ten WordPerfect documents in a ZIP archive. Roughly simultaneously, the material was released in a series of ASCII text files. The Player Handbook provides rules for Character Generation, equipment, armor, vehicles, and psionics.
Characters have a Nationality and other demographic information including Outlooks, Phobia, and History. They have Attributes (Agility, Coordination, Dexterity, Education, Endurance, Health, Intuition, Learning Ability, Observation, Perception, Strength, and Willpower) which have numeric scores distributed from a point pool. Characters also have a military Rank and Skills. Personal combat is handled by utilization of the appropriate weapon Skill.