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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
 
€18,57
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 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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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Skuuf S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2022 22:27:47

I've been running games every week for 14 years and this is my favorite System/Setting by far. The tools that Kevin Crawford gives to the GM are powerful and freeing. This product is worth the purchase for the Faction system alone. If you want a game that enables you to be creative, and then gets out of the way, this is the one for you. It can also be modded for a fantasy setting without much difficulty and I currently perfer it to D&D.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Charles F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/16/2021 06:52:39

I really love this RPG. It is fast in play, it offers a traditional character-immersive experience, it provides good variety in characters, it encourages characters who have a wide variety of useful skills ( not just combat as in dnd), and it works with a huge variety of different settings from stone age to modern to sci fi. It is fun to play and fun to run. Better than D&D, well worth it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Chris P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2021 12:06:28

Just finished reading through the revised edition. Very much looking forward to running this for our group. Factions mechanic was a pleasant surprise. The author has done a great job tailoring this product to a sandbox style of play. The random tables are well designed and easy to use. The native setting is interesting and allows for an immense amount of variablility to play the kind of sci-fi game that your group wants. The transhuman chapter is a good example of this with a breakdown between hard and soft campaign options. Very well written and easy to follow. Arrtwork is fantastic.

I paid for the hardcover with premium colour. Printing was great, but there was a problem with the binding where some of the pages at the front of the book were detached. I contacted DriveThruRPG support and provided some pictures. I haven't purchased a lot from the site, and this was my first quality control issue. A replacement book was sent and the binding issue is gone.

Have to say that customer support has turned me into a DriveThruRPG super fan. Top marks for this company. They go the extra mile to ensure that customers are happy.

I've told my group about this title and we are all excited to give it a try. Would absolutely buy this again. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2021 10:49:09

Originally poster here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2021/05/review-stars-without-number-revised.html See link for pictures of Print on Demand version.

A few years back I reviewed Kevin Crawford's Star Without Number. At the time I said: The game is beautiful and there is so much going on with it that it would take me a number of games with it just to get the right feeling for it. The overall feel I get with this game is that it is the perfect child of Basic D&D and Traveller. So much of what made both of those games so great is here.

Is Stars Without Number perfect? No, not really. But it is really, really damn close and even from a short distance I could not tell it apart from a perfect game. Recently I went back over the game and still found it to be nearly perfect. But I had not played it all that much since then.

So on a whim really I picked up the newest Stars Without Number: Revised Edition and I figured I would grab the Print on Demand as well. I just go it in the main this past week.

Wow.

That is really the only way to describe it. Any of the reservations I had about the previous edition evaporated with this edition.

I am considering the PDF and the full-color Print on Demand version.

Written by Kevin Crawford, art by Jeff Brown, Christof Grobelski, Norah Khor, Aaron Lee, Joyce Maureira, Nick Ong, Grzegorz Pedrycz, Tan Ho Sim. And what fantastic art it is too! All pages are full color and each one is evocative and eyecatching. 324 pages.

Chapter 1 covers Character creation. We have seen this all before, but perfect for people new to RPGs or sci-fi fans new to the Classic 6 Attributes and level/class systems. The feel here is solid old-school and SWN:RE wears its old-school and OSR cred proudly. BUT they are also a new game with new design sensibilities. For example, character creation is broken down into easy steps.

You can determine your character's skills (and these can be from a number of sources). There are background packages that can be added to classes to give your character more depth and determine some of their skills. There are also training packages to further define your character.

The classes are the three "archetypes" that you can find in other games, The Expert, The Psychic, and The Warrior. This edition also has The Adventurer which does a little bit of all the above.

Character creation is a breeze and no one seems to die while doing it. There is even a quick character creation method on pages 26-27.

Chapter 2 covers Psionics. Psionics are rather central to the background fiction of the SWN:RE universe, so they get special placement. There are quite a lot of psionic powers detailed here. So first thing, if psionics are something you must have in your sci-fi game then please check this game out first. Psionic points always give the powers a different feel for me than magic, so this is another plus really. These powers are not merely reskinned spells, they have been redone to fit within the mythos of the game better.

Chapter 3 is the Systems chapter. It includes the expected combat, but also a new twist on the skill checks with Target Numbers. Useful if you are using the skills as described here, but its real utility comes in how flexible it can be. I would have to try it out more, but it's close enough to other skill + die roll + mods vs TN that I can see its use in a variety of situations. What I like about these skills is they are a 2d6 roll resolution system and not a d20. Sure makes it feel a little like Traveller. TRhis chapter also covers all sorts of actions, like combat (regular d20 vs AC here) and Saving Throws; Physical, Evasive, and Mental. Hacking also dealt with here since it is most similar to a skill check.

This also covers Character advancement.

Chapter 4 details all the equipment you will need including the Technology Level of the equipment. D&D would be tech level 1 (or so) while we are at TL 3. The game is set at TL 5 with some artifacts at TL 6. Time Lords are hanging out at 7 or 8 I would say. D20 Future and Traveller also use a similar mechanic, so if you want to see how they can also work, checking out those games is advisable.

The standard batch of weapons and armor from sticks and stones all the way up to energy weapons are discussed. AC is now ascending. What is really nice about this game is in addition to lasers, energy swords, and computers it also includes Cyberware, Drones, Vehicles, and "pre-Silence" artifacts.

Chapter 5 gives us Starships. Everything on size, type, and costs to ship-to-ship combat.

Chapter 6 covers the History of Space of the default campaign setting. Even if you don't use it there are some great ideas here.

Chapter 7 is Sector Creation which is just FULL of material for any game. While this game has a lot going for it, this is the real gem in my mind. This chapter is long, detailed and honestly, it makes me want to create worlds.

Chapter 8 covers Adventure Creation. You have characters, you have created all these worlds. Let's get them together.

Chapter 9 is the Xenobestiary. AKA the Monster Manual. Again we are given a lot of detail on how to make alien beasts and then a listing of several samples. Given the old-school nature of this game you could grab ANY old-school monster book for ideas. Yeah...doing Space Orcs could be boring, but Warhammer 40k has been doing them for so long and if you wanted to do them here, well the rules won't stop you. This chapter also covers the creation of alien species. First, the hows and whys of aliens are discussed; what to use, where, and why to use them. Some of this is situated in the campaign setting, but there is some good advice here even if you plan on using your own background/campaign or not even have aliens.

Chapter 10, Factions. Factions are important groups. Say a group of allied pirates or smugglers, a government or a band of plucky rebels. Several key factors when creating a faction are given and there is a huge list of sample factions.

Chapter 11 is Game Master Resources. It talks about character death and when to roll for skills. How to build a galaxy and conversions from First Edition Star Without Number.

Chapter 12 covers newer material, namely Transhuman stories. Or what I call the Altered Carbon chapter. The ability to move on to new bodies.

Chapter 13 has my undivided attention since it is Space Magic. That's right magic and wizards in space. Not psionics, but real arcane magic.

Chapter 14 covers heroic characters. These are not your Traveller grunts or even characters from Star Frontiers, these are your Luke Skywalkers, your Buck Rogers, and more.

Chapter 15 is True Artificial Intelligence.

Chapter 16 covers Societies.

Chapter 17 gives us Mechs.

There is also a fantastic Index (sadly lacking in many books).

SWN:RE ups the game in every possible way over SWN:1st Ed.

Print on Demand

I said this book was gorgeous and I meant it. The print-on-demand copy I got is sturdy and heavy. It is also the closest thing I have seen to offset printing in a POD product. You would have to look hard to tell difference.

I described the previous version as "nearly perfect." Reading through this version I am only left to say that is one pretty much is perfect. It does everything a sci-fi game should. I mentally slot different sci-fi stories, tropes, and ideas in while reading through it and I could not find something that didn't have a fit somewhere.

I have read a lot of sci-fi games this month, but this is one of the very best.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Louis P. S. L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2021 05:07:24

Recently DM'ed a couple of one shots for a few friends and I have to say this is one of the most fun RPG systems I have played in a long while. It is super fun for anyone looking into a more sandboxy-style of play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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