Monday, January 22, 2018

Stars Without Number II: Sine Nomine Strikes Back

It has come to my attention that there is a new edition of Sine Nomine's Stars Without Number -- the appropriately named Stars Without Number (Revised Edition). This has rekindled an old interest of mine.

Longtime readers of my blog know that I had many incomplete attempts at building a campaign inside the setting of Stars Without Number (Confederation Chronicles posts). They all trailed off, in retrospect, because I was trying to recreate an old Hero System homebrew setting in a different system, and I got overwhelmed by the conversions.

This time, I have a different approach, and I'm going to try again.

Core Campaign Frame

I'm salvaging what I can from my old Condederation Chronicles posts; in fact it's from one of those failed restarts that I have this summary:

In "Confederation Chronicles: A Campaign Premise" parts 1 and 2, I decided that I was going to riff off of the Battlestar Galactica concept -- a fleet of ships trying to find their way home. Unlike that show, or the other inspiration show (Andromeda), they actually come from a stable part of the Imperium: a self-sufficient cluster of worlds and systems that survived the mysterious disintegration of their galaxy-spanning Empire.

And they've been charged to find a stable path of travel along linked routes back to the Throneworld.

In "Confederation Chronicles: A Mobile Base of Operations -- Part 01", I explore the benefits of a self-sufficient, ridiculously powered ship being available to the PCs, with Blake's 7, Andromeda, and Farscape as inspirations.

In "Confederation Chronicles: A Mobile Base of Operations -- Part 02", I look at how dialing back the power levels and scale might affect the setting, while looking at the other campaign elements shows like Battlestar Galactica, Robotech/Macross, Firefly, and Starblazers/Space Cruiser Yamato dealt with life on a ship.

In "Confederation Chronicles: A Mobile Base of Operations -- Part 03", I decide on the Stars Without Number source material I'll be using to build the campaign's traveling fleet: the Imago Dei and the Bruxelles-Class Battlecruiser sourcebooks in the Mandate Archive series.
However, I'm dropping the Confederation Chronicles part of things, and just embracing a lot of the elements (and ready-made tools, ships, and equipment) in the Stars Without Number setting.

My revised overview is as follows:

The Sol Finder initiative (working title) is a massive conglomeration of ships from various backgrounds with a single purpose -- to find a path across the various Sectors to the Terran Mandate worlds. A cabal of AIs have analyzed decades of data and determined the best route through lost sectors to Lost Terra.

My overall goal for this kind of meta-campaign, is to create a broad enough background wherein many different types of campaigns can be run. There are long-term campaigns that deal with the jump from a known Sector into a lost Sector, and the exploration and adventure that takes place as a result:
  • espionage campaigns to infiltrate and gather information in the new sector;
  • exploration campaigns to map out and uncover more clues as to how to progress toward the Terran Mandate worlds;
  • factional politics as the fleet's progress, discoveries, and own economic gravity impacts the sectors it passes through;
  • military campaigns (from police actions to war) as enemies known and unknown are encountered;
  • new technologies, psychic abilities, and organizations arise and impact the campaign.


  1. Nice post! I am pretty happy with the new edition, not that I've read it (or the previous one) from cover to cover. But it does make me want to use it for something.


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

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