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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Version)
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Version)


The year is 3200 and mankind's empire lies in ashes.

The Jump Gates fell six hundred years ago, severing the links between the myriad worlds of the human diaspora.

Now, the long isolation of the Silence falls away as men and women return to the skies above their scattered worlds.

Will you be among them once more?

Stars Without Number: Revised Edition is an old-school-inspired game of sci-fi adventure, one built from the ground up to encourage sandbox play and simplify a GM's job in providing it. Familiar mechanics are employed to forge new worlds and explore new possibilities, guidelines built on long experience used to help a group venture in wholly new directions. Within the full-color pages of Stars Without Number: Revised Edition, you'll find… .

  • Backwards compatibility, as the Revised Edition is built to work cleanly with existing Stars Without Number supplements and materials. The new systems slot in smoothly, and you can take or leave them individually as your group prefers.
  • Expanded character creation, with PCs now customized by special talents and character foci, new options for psychic characters, and new ways to make your hero mechanically distinct. Yet the process is still smooth and quick, with a special quick generator spread to create a hero from nothing more than a half-dozen die rolls.
  • Refined psionics, with more options to distinguish your psychic hero's powers and more flexible choices for their abilities. Tailor your psychic to your concept, whether as a cynical gunslinging brainguard or an ascetic psychic healer from a world of austere psionic scholars.
  • Improved starship combat, with decisive roles for every member of the party. Build your own starships with the included system and employ new hardware and new starship mods to make your ungainly crate the fastest contraband runner this side of the Veil Nebula.
  • New systems to support additional types of play, including rules for hacking, remote drones, and expert technical modification of gear and starships.
  • Upgraded tools for sandbox sector creation, with forty new world tags to help define a GM's stellar creations, guides for adding additional system points of interest, and material to help a GM define the interesting traits of the worlds they create. These tools aren't just a clump of random tables, they're a framework to boost your own creativity and help you make fast, good, playable material for your game.
  • Augmented adventure creation guidelines. Aside from a hundred piping-hot adventure seeds that mesh smoothly with the world creation tools, Stars Without Number: Revised Edition also includes content to help you turn your vague ideas into a playable evening's adventure. Guidelines on challenges, rewards, and complications in play are all aimed toward the working GM, the man or woman who's not just theorizing their adventures, but actually responsible for making something fun for the whole group.
  • Tools for creating aliens, Virtual Intelligences, and hostile human foes, with guidelines for handling potentially-hostile encounters and creating the kind of fearsome xenobeasts that can challenge the doughtiest explorer. Or perhaps you want to be an alien or robot? You'll find the tools for that in Stars Without Number: Revised Edition.
  • Faction rules, for handling the background warring and intrigues of hostile groups. Need to add life and motion to your stellar sectors? Sprinkle in a few factions to make news for the PCs to respond to, or use these rules to handle the colonies, spy agencies, mercenary companies, or other enterprises your heroes establish.

And these things? They're all in this free version. Yes, just like the original edition, Stars Without Number: Revised Edition has a free PDF edition to share with your friends and pass around to interested parties. Those daring stellar freebooters who want more can grab the deluxe version right here, gaining....

  • Transhuman tech, with rules for bodyswapping, digital identities, post-scarcity economics, and just as importantly, GM guidelines on making exciting adventures when all the old pillars of familiarity have fallen away.
  • True AIs, the vast and terrible intellects that can bring forth wonders and ruin in equal measure. Playing a synthetic VI or aspiring organic godmind? Learn how your PC can accumulate the tech they need to ascend to this new plane of being.
  • Mechs, for those GMs who relish the thunder of steel titans on their far-future battlefields.
  • Heroic PCs, for groups that want to trade the gritty, lethal tone of a standard campaign for classic space opera, with larger-than-life heroes and superhuman skills.
  • Society creation, customizing a world or a hab with its own culture and history, pre-designed with fault lines and conflicts to engage your heroes. You'll get more than a dry recounting of details; you'll get the information you need to build adventures that fit with this world's smouldering tensions.
  • Space Magic, with rules and guidelines for introducing sorcerous powers and old-school magic into your starfaring adventurers, with sagacious Magisters, versatile Arcanists, and Adepts graced with supernatural powers.

So leap forward, brave adventurer! The stars await you, and the wild glories of an untamed sky!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (14)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Philipp K June 19, 2021 7:58 am UTC
As I know Sine Nomine Publishing from Scarlet Heroes, I wonder if SWN is solo'able?
Customer avatar
Andrew B April 18, 2020 8:29 pm UTC
What's the difference between the free and paid versions? I will totally buy the book if the paid version has extra content worth the purchase price (which is a fairly low bar for me).
Customer avatar
Trevor S April 19, 2020 1:32 am UTC
Quote from the table of contents:
"What does the paid version add? It includes transhuman campaign rules for body-swapping post-scarcity adventures, OSR-compatible “space magic” for GMs who like a little more fantasy in their sci-fi, heroic PC rules for star-striding space operatic protagonists, True AI rules for playing the half-embodied godminds of the far future, planetary society guidelines for building interesting new cultures, and mech rules for campaigns that like a little humanoid armored vehicle spice to their play. All told, it’s more than sixty pages of piping-hot content."
Customer avatar
Andrew B April 20, 2020 6:07 pm UTC
Thanks! Bought!
Customer avatar
John B September 13, 2019 4:15 pm UTC
Is there an OGL for this free version that allows for this to be incorporated as a common component in a virtual tabletop?
Customer avatar
Trevor S September 13, 2019 6:15 pm UTC
Roll20 has this available to select as a game template with built in character sheets. I've used it. It works great.
Customer avatar
seth B June 20, 2019 11:27 pm UTC
I hate d20 systems.
I own everything by Kevin at this point.

It is just good, well written, and most importantly, it is well organized.
Customer avatar
TBeholder C February 07, 2019 7:17 am UTC
Free Mass Units are weird. Especially since there are several scaling multipliers.
Cargo volume is ~10^HullClass FMU. Ammo volume is ~2^HullClass FMU. The result is Cargo/Ammo ~5^HullClass FMU. I.e. dedicating amount of FMU to cargo and ammunition gives different rates of trade-off depending on the class.
Example: on a fighter 1 FMU gives +4 rounds of Fractal Impact Charge or 2 cargo "tons", each round 2/4 = 0.5 t. on a frigate, 20/8 = 2.5, and 62.5(!) t of cargo space on a capship. Torpedo: 5 on a frigate, 125 on a capship.

(I didn't post it immediately, took time to make a spreadsheet, so any specific values are easy to find.)
Customer avatar
TBeholder C October 13, 2019 11:41 am UTC
Another question combination of variable Free Mass Units with Ammo raises: should or should not Oversized Mountings mod for a weapon with Ammo (e.g. torpedo fighter) also either halve its ammunition capacity or require Compact Magazines to retains the same ammunition capacity?
Customer avatar
TBeholder C February 03, 2019 9:19 pm UTC
On the faction TBS. That looks very interesting, but:
1. In Cunning assets the type is "Logistics Facility", in Force and Wealth just "Facility"? Bug or feature?
2. Example faction play has Typhon's income 4 FC/turn, but roundup(5/2) + rounddown ((6+3)/4) = roundup(2½) + rounddown (2¼) = 3+2 = 5; same deal with Vothites.
3. What is attacked? The wording on Seductresses e.g. is "only Special Forces units can attack…" rather than "can be used to defend only vs Special Forces units". And [Stealthed] asset "cannot be detected or attacked". Maybe what's supposed to happen is the attacker picks a visible target, then defender choose to either defend it (with an asset of [defending attribute] class?) or leave it to fend for itself?
4. Tactics type looks a bit strange standalone. Wouldn't it make more sense to let these be purchased [Stealthed], but attach them to either originating or target asset (like Stealth or Seditionists on action) and...See more
Customer avatar
TBeholder C February 03, 2019 12:19 pm UTC
It's cool, but some parts look… incomplete, especially automation:
0. Drone upgrade Expert System is explicitly said to be vulnerable to Quantum ECM, except Alecto which explicitly is not. About robots, nothing, so the reasonable assumption is that since L0 Soldier Bot and Heavy Warbot work on TL4/4+ battlefield, they default to "it's not a problem for robots".
1. How to make a robotic fighter (or frigate)? Not AI/VI, just an Expert System robot. Sure, they can't run a spike drill, but light ships can be carried and all can be system ships. It still could do course trimming? Cannot just slap an Expert System from p.196, since it's an upgrade to a robot armature. Would it be an equivalent of some standard armature robot? So e.g. Heavy Warbot's counterpart would a big slab of hardware (minus plasma guns) with enough of processing power to pilot and shoot twice per round (if it got enough of weapons for this, or Volley Capacitors) at +2 and 2× +8 if L0, and +4 and 2× +10 if L4?
1.1...See more
Customer avatar
Raymond W August 10, 2018 3:09 pm UTC
So far this RPG looks amazing but there are a few odd things that seemed off to me. Partial Warriors are stuck at half level for attack bonus and only get +2 by lvl 5. What if a campaign actually does go to higher levels than 10 and such? Eventually Warriors outclass any partial warrior by a long shot. At lvl 15 for instance the warrior is getting +15 and the partial is getting +9. Seems the only time being a adventurer is more advantageous is when u only like 1 particular physic skill on a character or you just want higher health on a expert and intend to have high enough skills to not need a reroll.

My main suggestion would be to make the +1 to attack for a partial warrior be level 1 and every 4 levels after. Atleast that way it has some proper scaling. If its too strong then change the HP per level to +1 instead of 2 per level.

At the end of the day, with the changes above, the expert seems to be the only one getting somewhat of a raw deal when compared to their partial counterpart....See more
Customer avatar
Robin D April 09, 2018 5:06 pm UTC
At the moment i am mastering one group with this system and it is a lot of fun. However a second group might be forming in the future. The folks in question are not as comfortable with reading english as me, though. Could i get already translated material somewhere (german)?
Customer avatar
Pierre S March 29, 2018 9:27 pm UTC
Something is wrong with the "Full-size Preview". It consists only of the 2nd page of the character-sheet, nothing very informative about the "look" of the game.
Customer avatar
Andrew J May 14, 2019 3:00 am UTC
I initially thought this was the case too, but there are two files to the download. The first is the character sheet, the second is the preview rules.
Customer avatar
Giulio T March 07, 2018 1:29 pm UTC
Can't stand AC and to hit rolls any longer.
Interesting game... but awful rule system.
Customer avatar
Alex P April 07, 2018 10:55 am UTC
Does it still use the lower than zero AC system?
Customer avatar
Nikolai J May 05, 2018 3:50 am UTC
no, its been changed, now you have to roll higher than AC, typical D&D style, kinda confused why he takes issue with the system, you can easily roll it back to the previous system, unless he takes issue with any system where you have to roll to hit?
Customer avatar
Nall W June 09, 2018 5:43 pm UTC
This is my only hick with this game. Wish was roll to hit and then armor penetration. Or, just add an armor penetration mechanic. I thought about trying to come up with one for this game. Anyone already have one made?
Customer avatar
Trevor S June 09, 2018 5:56 pm UTC
For my group we decided to incorporate different ammo types that can grant bonuses such as armour penetration.
Customer avatar
Giulio T June 23, 2018 3:03 pm UTC
I'm bored of armor that makes you difficult to hit.
It always scales badly, and light armors ends up to be not even cosmetic.
I was thinking of using Tech Level for armors (not shields) as Damage reduction.

As optional rule (will slow down game)
You can have fun in combining armour/weapon TL as you wish, like:
Storm Armour TL - Primitive Bow TL = Damage reduction is increased by difference.
In this case would be DR 9 = (5-1)+5
No armor TL 0 - Primitive Bow TL 1 = +1 Damage
Customer avatar
TBeholder C February 03, 2019 12:39 pm UTC
> now you have to roll higher than AC, typical D&D style
And decreasing wasn't "typical D&D style"? =)
Customer avatar
TBeholder C February 03, 2019 12:43 pm UTC
I.e. like in d100 Warhammer RPGs? It got advantages, yes.
IMO the reason is the same as it was in *D&D: it's fast and not very lethal.
Customer avatar
TBeholder C September 29, 2019 5:36 pm UTC
> Or, just add an armor penetration mechanic. I thought about trying to come up with one for this game. Anyone already have one made?
That is, the way armor works for spaceships? The same mechanics could do part of what "Shock damage/AC" does, to think of it.
SWN got a lot of cool stuff, but often not applied consistently, just… duct taped together.
Customer avatar
Trevor S January 20, 2018 9:39 pm UTC
Any chance of a Print on Demand option for this? My players want copies but don't need the Full version.
Customer avatar
Kevin C January 27, 2018 5:00 pm UTC
The only print edition will be the full one, alas- there's no real price savings in just printing a 261 page book versus a 324 page book. As a standard-color hardcover, the latter would currently be $2.23 more expensive than the former, and that's just not worth it when it includes the inevitable confusion that would follow from customers not being sure if the print version they're getting is the full game or not.
Customer avatar
Trevor S January 27, 2018 5:42 pm UTC
Yeah, for full colour that makes sense. I was just hoping for a black & white version that I could have printed and mailed instead of taking it to a local print shop and post office. Thanks though!
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File Last Updated:
December 29, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on December 29, 2017.