Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stars Without Number: Free RPG & Source Material

I've written about it Stars Without Number before, but I'd like to go back to it. Primarily because Sine Nomine (Kevin Crawford) has consistently cranked out quality adventures and sourcebooks that, despite their occasional brevity, blow you away with mineable material for your science fiction game.

And all this material is presented from the point of view of a Science Fiction sandbox game.

So what material can you get for free (we're talking PDF, of course) online?
Stars Without Number: Free Edition -- a retro science fiction role playing game influenced by the Old School Renaissance and partially inspired by the great fantasy role-playing game editions written by Tom Moldvay and Frank Mentzer. The contents are compatible with most old school clones and are designed to be easily imported to your own favorite gaming system. In addition to a complete pre-made stellar sector, Stars Without Number offers GMs and players the tools to create their own sandbox-style adventures in the far future.
Mandate Archive: Martial Arts -- From the scattered databases of the fallen Terran Mandate comes the second in a sequence of supplementary files for Stars Without Number, the free OSR retro-influenced game of science-fiction adventure. Sample this free file and learn how to add esoteric martial arts styles to your game and equip your PCs with the arts of the open hand.

Mandate Archive: Bruxelles-class Battlecruiser -- This free Mandate Archive gives you the details on the Bruxelles class of battlecruiser- its history, function, standard crew complements, and statistics for the free Stars Without Number role-playing game. A half-dozen plot seeds are also provided, each one revolving around this ancient engine of war. Finally, several examples of pretech ship weaponry are given with which to terrify the feeble heirs of the Mandate's lost glory.

Mandate Archive: Cabals of Hydra Sector -- This new Mandate Archive provides an overview of two of the sinister covert cabals that operate in the Hydra Sector, as detailed in the Stars Without Number core book. Snatch this free PDF up for your own campaign, or use them in conjunction with the new Darkness Visible campaign guidebook for espionage adventure.

The Gansu Loyalty Association serves as the fist of the brutal Great Exemplar of Gansu, his secret police among the stars. Its ruthless agents war as much amongst each other as against the hated offworlders, each striving to gain more control over the precious flow of offworld luxuries. When not at each others' throats, they gnaw at the pillars of their neighboring worlds. The Great Exemplar can be safe only when every other world is rendered into rubble, flame, and red chaos.

The Daedalus Group hides the grim secret of the AI master of the Mixcoac Shipyards. Faced with the certain destruction of his people at the bloody knives of the Burning Mirror Compact, the AI Daedalus has consented to the removal of the limiting brakes on his artificial reason. Now free, the light of brilliant creativity pours into the shipwright- along with the terrible glare of growing madness. Can the Daedalus Group hide this criminal sacrifice from an unsuspecting people until the AI can produce a war-winning weapon?

Mandate Archive: Bannerjee Construction Solutions -- From the scattered databases of the fallen Terran Mandate comes the first in a sequence of supplementary files for Stars Without Number, the OSR retro-influenced game of science-fiction adventure. Sample this free file and learn of the rough-and-tumble space stations of the far frontier worlds and the Bannerjee Construction Solutions that made them possible.

Mandate Archive: Red Sangha Mercenary Corps -- Heirs to a bloody nirvana, the Red Sangha mercenary corps has built a terrible name on their gene-cursed serenity and smiling ruthlessness. This free supplement to the free Stars Without Number sci-fi role playing game details the grim origins of this band of neo-Buddhist mercenaries along with their current resources and procedures. Additional details are provided for Red Sangha PCs, including a new background and training package, and information on the brutal, self-sacrificial Jivakan martial art of Upaya.

Mandate Archive: The Dust -- The Terran Mandate was forced to let the frontier worlds go when the expansion of the Second Wave sent too many colonists too far from the core's organs of control. The Directorate did not intend to make that mistake a second time. The Dust was their solution- a planet-wide mist of microscopic nanites, conduits for the unblinking gaze of the AI Maestros and their panopticon security state. Not a single core world escaped the basilisk glare of the Dust and its masters, until the madness of men and the cold resolve of the Maestros clashed in the last hours before the Scream destroyed them both. Now the Dust remains scattered throughout abandoned Mandate bases and derelict Fleet ships, watching for what never comes. Unsleeping AI security directors and mad explorers stand ready to seize control of this waiting storm, and as the nanofabs begin to groan to life after half a thousand years, the black streamers of Dust promise a new night without end. This supplement for the free Stars Without Number sci-fi role playing game details not only the insidious nature of the Dust, but also the exotic configurations of long-lost Mandate technology and the dangers of experimenting with their alien designs. New Mandate devices and weapons are included for your Stars Without Number game, all waiting to be found in long-lost Terran caches or aboard starships left derelict for five hundred years.

Mandate Archive: The Qotah -- From the scattered databases of the fallen Terran Mandate comes the next in a sequence of supplementary files for Stars Without Number, the free OSR retro-influenced game of science-fiction adventure. Sample this free file to discover the secrets of the Qotah, an alien race of merciless avian warriors bound by an ancient pledge.

The Qotah were conquerors once, and frontier worlds were peeled of their humans so that the world-flocks could grow. But the Mandate Fleet broke them and extracted the Vow of Red Feathers, the pledge of peace that has held all through the Silence. But now these jewel-plumed hunters grow impatient, and some speak of the vow's end. Is the frontier to face a furious sky once more?

Contained in this file, you'll find...
  • The history, physiology, and alien mindset of the Qotah.
  • The grim demands of the Kri and its check on their conquering ambitions.
  • Plot seeds and capsule NPCs for quick insertion into any sci-fi game.
  • Rules for Qotah PCs and guidelines on their play.
Mandate Archive: The Imago Dei -- Not every synthetic mind is bent on mankind's destruction. Some have a higher purpose, a nobler war to wage in the darkness between stars. Open this free supplement for the equally free Stars Without Number RPG to learn the truth about the enigmatic Imago Dei and their unending crusade to defend worlds ignorant of their very existence. As humanity is the image of God, so the Imago Dei is the shadow of His red right hand. Aside from their little-known history, you'll find specifications for their bleeding-edge ship hulls. Included are seven sample Imago Dei warships for your own campaign, whether found as derelict plunder, seized by fanatics, or threatening the PCs' homeworld with the guns of a heretical Shepherd Fleet!

Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech -- This mini-supplement to the free Stars Without Number sci-fi role-playing game offers optional mechanics and guidelines for introducing some of the favorite tropes of transhuman science fiction into your campaign.
  • Swap your old body for something new with the guidelines for gengineered Hulls
  • Explore a post-scarcity world with the cornucopian wonders of matter compilers
  • Get guidelines on status-based economies and loot in a post-material world
  • Grow your own ideological zealots with guides to transhuman faction generation
All wrapped up with advice on building a transhuman campaign, tips for developing conflicts in a world without material need, and a convenient one-page player handout on the default Threshold Sector setting. Get it now to add some posthuman spice to your campaign!


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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