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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
 
$19.99
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Michael [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/11/2024 03:39:09

This book gives you everything you need to create a well rounded sci-fi campaign!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by J C S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2024 12:05:58

I ran a whole campaign of this, and I love it. Everything about this system is great. A stripped-down straightforward d20/2d6 system that will be familiar enough to folks coming from other games, but still entirely its own. Has enough variety to sustain a number of different character concepts, even though it only has 4 core classes. For anyone wanting more complexity, psionics act like spellcasting in other games, giving the min-maxers a giant rabbit hole of possibilities to go down.

My only quibbles ever were wanting more, just a little more actual-game crunch. I wanted something simpler than Starfinder and the like, but crunchier than the simpler one-shot or story games like Mothership. Something that really sustains campaign-level play, similar to D&D, with characters continuing to grow in power and influence. With characters who can reasonably survive a whole campaign.

(There's genre limits to this, of course, since sci-fi heroes are always intrinsically going to be more power-level-capped than fantasy heroes who essentially become demigods at higher levels. Unless you're explicitly playing science fantasy, having some limits to player power DO make it feel more sci-fi.)

The GM tools are amazing, and it has a whole big crunchy solo game for DMs to play to track faction progress in your background setting. Tools for generating interesting planets, stations, whole galaxies. I can't praise them enough. Really, he set the standard for amazing GM tools, and I know plenty of people just use the GM section from this book for their sci-fi games, without ever trying the system itself. If you're running sci-fi, I think it's worth picking up for that alone.

This was also Crawford's first Without Number game, and both later ones (Worlds without Number [fantasy] and Cities without Number [cyberpunk]) took everything great from this game and expanded on it. Especially CWN feels like it reaches the "crunch" ideal I was hoping for the whole time in my SWN campaign--crunchier than story games like the Sprawl but not as complicated or unplayable as something like Shadowrun. So anything lacking here, which is not much, is improved later in further iterations on the system. And yet all three remain fully compatible, where you can literally play a WWN fantasy character in a SWN sci-fi game, if your setting allows for some fantasy elements.

SWN also makes up for it's low crunch by being imminently moddable. I ran a Mothership module in it and just tacked the Stress and Panic system right on top of the standard SWN system, and it worked like a charm. If there's something you want to change or update, it's easy. If you don't like the starship combat rules, you could easily change them out for ones from a system you like better. So the simplicity is also a powerful feature, not just a bug / deficiency.

Overall it's great, and a fantastic starting point for anyone wanting to get a sci-fi campaign going. I recommend it heartily.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Eric [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/31/2023 15:20:37

A fantastic system that - in my opinion - strikes a fantastic balance between simplicity and depth. Playing the game is simple enough for my friends who are more casual or narrative focused players to be able to pick up and play without worrying about trying to hyper-optimize or remember a thousand detailed rules; meanwhile, there is just enough to the system for those who love to optimize to play around and squeeze out an edge, a noticeable bit of extra oomph without leaving everyone else in the dust.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by William D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2023 19:55:31

Been running a campaign for roughly 2 years now, its kept my friends together even as we've drifted apart through graduation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by David [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/02/2023 09:12:27

Awesome, The paid version comes with sections on trans-human, Rouge AI, & Mechs. I thought the trans-human worth the price alone for the interesting ideas and concepts.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Price R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/10/2023 02:30:32

The Sci-Fi Space Opera You Always Wanted There's really not one thing about Stars Without Number I dislike. I've run several science-fiction style campaigns before, including a planet-hopping space opera (my favorite I have ever run). SWN is the best possible toolkit for those types of sci-fi sandbox games. Emphasis on the word toolkit, it's a very inspiring and versatile ruleset that gives you room to breathe. SWN achieves this unique balancing point of so many competing ideas of game design, about OSR, indie RPGs, sci-fi games, and more. It also clearly pulls inspiration from D&D and Traveller, yet is not burdened by any of these influences.

SWN feels remarkably familiar and accessible, but still refreshing. Kevin Crawford has not reinvented the wheel, instead he has taken recognizable sci-fi mechanics, and polished them to a shine. I find sometimes OSR type games can be skewed by nostalgia, upholding sub-optimal mechanics in the name of "authenticity", but SWN does not fall into this common pitfall. It is just a great standalone game, I'm truly impressed by the consistency and quality throughout the book. It is not just super fun, it is super well-made.

My players and I love the system, it's got a great deal of depth, yet the logical consistency of the game makes the core rules quite easy to follow. I think a complete beginner could pick this game up in a few sessions, but there's enough nuance that it does not feel stifling to veteran players. As much as I loved learning with DnD 5e as my first game, I think a SWN or Worlds Without Number game would have probably been a better introduction to RPGs in general. It neatly intersects with so many ideas and playstyles, and I can't help but think the games of the next 5-10 years are going to owe a great debt to Kevin Crawford.

We have not encountered a common trope that is not addressed in the mechanics, from ship-building, to funky space magic, fighting mechs, cybernetics, aliens, etc. All of the key information is packed into the front, so the density of the book is not a major issue when you can really use the first third to get things up and running. Gameplay also strays away from the archetypical hack-and-slash playstyle and into a (I think more interesting) realm of problem solving and exploration. Despite being a single text, it feels almost modular in that you can pick and choose which parts are relevant to your game with ease.

The character customization was also surprisingly rich, with 4 options I feared it would be restrictive but found it was quite the opposite with the versatility of character foci. The skills are easy and intuitive, the XP system helps direct player goals. There's enough goodies in one book to cover years of play, and the canon storyline (which I usually disregard in RPGs) is actually quite compelling. On top of that, the random sector generation is the best I've seen in any game, the tags system combines two common scifi tropes into unique reformulations. It's such a simple and elegant solution, and I've generated an entire in-game sector with just a few dice rolls. Hours and hours of prep time saved!

Building things in SWN is also a blast, I have so much fun assembling unique and zany aliens, tech, etc. that it feels like a mini-game within the game. Can't recommend enough for any sci-fi fan out there, I guarantee SWN has got something for you to chew on.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by David P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/02/2023 20:17:30

You can use the toolset here for sectors and factions in pretty much any science fiction setting. On those merits alone, this is a toolbox to carry with you (and cheap too). A GM's friend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2023 00:06:46

The book itself is horrendously produced. The ruleset is fine and works flawlessly as a sci-fi ttrpg system.

My biggest complaint is the quality of the physical print. It is by far the worst quality book I have ever purchased. There are air pockets in the back between the board and cover art.

For $60, the quality was well under my expectations. Which is super disappointing because I genuinely planned on buying Worlds Without Numbers. Now I will be staying away, perhaps even from the PDF version.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Aidan B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2022 23:05:18

Fantastic toolbox game with simple and mostly effective rules and mechanics. Slightly lacking in narrative elements like bennies and margins of success but so much inspiration. Good job.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Jan T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2022 15:23:51

A truly great game! It allows for a highly modular style of play where you can add rules for transhumanism, mechs, psuonics, cybernetics and much more. It has rules to modify star ships and stations, if you're into that. The Gamemaster advice is next level, even more so so if you want to run a sandbox. The game strifes to make it as easy to run as possible and it is highly compatible with other systems. You could take a Traveller adventure and run it with SWN without mich of a hassle and the same goes for a bunch of other systems. I am super satisfied with the book and its superb layout, it is super easy to reference and find stuff.

anyways, 5/5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by wade g. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2022 02:38:44

A great game. Very, very, well written. However, the psionics is very, seriously horrible. It allows "magic" into a sci-fi game. What even worse is that it provides god-like powers: healing within a 10 meters (30' feet) of the target, transforming targets into any other humanoid form within 50% of their own mass, if the psychic dies it doesn't actually die...largest bit of skin can slowly grow and the pc will recover. I only allow psychic powers below Level-2. Other than that, its really great a game.
Another thought...at least the Traveller rpg provides the possibility of having a starship (which SWN doesn't).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2022 21:19:48

The good folks at Sine Nomine are ingenius. So much content was provided with the Free edition... that you might ask... "Why would I pay for the full version? Why would I buy the print version?"

That's the brilliance... the free edition gives you so much meat... but it isn't the full feast provided by the full version.

The system is relatively simple... a flash back to the bygone eras of the boxed editions... but with a twist... same stats... the usual 6... generated by rolling 3d6. But now... throw in skills, backgrounds...

Character classes are Expert (aka Rogue), Warrior (Fighter), Psychic (or Mage) and Adventurer (think "Jack of all trades" you can be a Warrior/Expert or Warrior/Mage... you get the idea...)

Skills... lots of skills.

Foci (think "feats")

Best of all... the GM Section... build worlds... build empires... build factions...The GM section alone is a gold mine of ideas, hints, tricks, etc to really make the game your own.

After getting the Free edition PDF... I knew I needed the print version... and it is worth it. The art... the additional components... space magic... yes... space magic. Battle mechs... starships... build alien races and societies...

And it is all compatible with Worlds without Number.

And with very little effort... you can bring modules from pre-3rd edition D&D...

The GM resources section is very system agnostic as well...

Like Chaosium's BRP? The resources transfer... with little effort.

Want to fight the cult of the Space Reptile God? This is the tool kit to make it happen...

Want "Space Elves?" You got it.

Want to build space monsters and creepy crawlies? You got it.

But do not ignore the elegent simplicity of the Sine Nomine system. It is deceptively simple.

All this being said... the quality of the PRINTED product is second to none.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Ken [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2022 14:52:34

Stars Without Number (SWN) lives up to the hype (mostly). Positives include the price (free if you just want the core rules) and some of the best culture and adventure-generating rules I've ever read. Negatives include a different game mechanic for combat from every other skill, over-emphasis on psionics (i.e. Space Magic), and an OSR flavor that treats "gritty" gameplay as the "proper" way to game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Gavin P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2022 15:58:44

A superb set of tools for GMs running any sand box campaign (works particularly well for SciFi, but many of them would work well for Fantasy or whatever) - the ideas boil off the page.

Plus there are a full set of RPG rules - and what looks like a very good system to make spaceship battles fun at the table (though I have not tried them).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Bruno C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/12/2022 12:48:18

This is the best Sci-Fi RPG system available! It's worth to check out the extra content from the publisher.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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