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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Version)
by Will H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2018 15:51:38

i cant comment on the edition differences but SWN is a fanastic product, perfect for space sandbox adventures. i love just rolling up planets and societies using the tables.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Version)
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Version)
by Nathan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2018 23:33:51
Kevin Crawford has once more shown his shear genius and understanding of OSR rule systems. The original Stars without Number was an excellent rule system with some clunky features and a few overly complex ones. This new edition streamlines character creation and has made starship combat one of the strongest points of the game where it was one of the worst parts of the game. The new foci system has allowed players to put true mechanical depth into their characters well the new adventurer class has preserved the customizability of the adventurer background and training packages of the original edition. This new edition has brought a breath of fresh air to one of the most creative uses of the OSR system since its conception. The rule system is also incredibly elastic with its focus on interesting but not overly complex sci-fi this system can be applied to many an idea or concept not outlined in the book. The faction system also unique equips every GM from greenhorn to grognard to run a sandbox system without the prospect of twenty hours of prep work between every session. With all of these positives along with the fact that Crawford continues to offer most of his work to people for free there is no reason not to check this out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2018 18:33:00

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): This is not a complete product, but just about. The only thing missing is minor...spell lists for Space Magic (and setting changes for said Space Magic) Kevin Crawford is obviously a one man band and what he has produced is phenomenal given those constraints. There are some things missing such as the spell lists mentioned, and character sheets usable for magic using characters.

This is a good set of tools for GMs to create a scifi universe. I love "Scarlet Heroes" and "The Red Tide Campaign" the original version of Stars Without Numbers is an excellent starting point. This is a worthy successor. The rules streamline the game. Changing the way AC is used actually decreases the math over the previous system. I liked using the 2d6 for saves instead of a d20, but it is not a game breaker. (I prefer having skill checks with a known average roll, same with saves). Psionics is completely revamped for the better. It runs much more smoothly and seems more internally consistent than before.

In the interest of honesty a few months ago I bought a hard copy of the original SWN. I was not pleased to find out that a new version was coming out and that I had "wasted" 30 USD (and there was no disclaimer on RPGNow or affliates). This review doesn't reflect any enmity, just a cold appraisal of what you get with this product. (I have spent about 100 dollars on Sine Nomine products! I like what Kevin Crawford is doing even if I at first don't understand it)

I will call Original SWN OSWN for the rest of this review. With OSWN you got rules for making a sector. You get that with SWN:RE. What you don't get that you got with OWSN is the Hydra Sector (an example sector along with factions), along with 15 pages of information on the Hydra Sector. RE doesn't have the blank maps for sectors, or planets that OWSN has. It doesn't have blank forms for factions, alien record sheet, adventure sheet, starship record sheet that are present in the original. (There is space for Starship info on the character sheet, but it is just a empty text box). In the OWSN we get examples of Xenobeasts, not in RE. In OWSN we get examples of Alien races if you guessed you don't get examples in RE you would have guessed correctly. What you do get is Cyberware, Transhuman, Robot/AI campaign and character possiblities. I mentioned Space Magic before it just doesn't offer the tool kit available with those first three systems mentioned.

There is a section that discusses how to retrofit any of the previous products in this line. It is succinct and misses no major change between products.

There was a list of quick name tables and tables for creating new religions, heresies, corporations...not present in RE. In RE you do still get rules/tables for making factions. You also get rules/tables for making up societies. The latter give a lot more room for imagination. There are more tags for planets. This is nice but see my comment on gravity below.

You know that extra 20 USD you spent to get the extra goodies...? Well how about Space Magic? The character sheet has no place to reflect a character as Arcanist or Magister (or Adept). Psychics have several boxes dedicated to them (which is useless space for other classes). When you make up your spell lists you'll have to make up a character sheet as well. But I would have to say this is overshadowed by the completeness of the other additional sections. Definitely worth the 20 dollars.

As I go through the book, now for the second time, I see that many of the sections here are sparse in detail but long on verbiage. Not my cup of tea. Mr. Crawford is letting us as GMs and players make some decisions on our own. He even has a section of House rules that I greatly appreciated. I think he could have tightened up on word usage and found the room he needed to add some of the other areas he felt he had to drop.

One area where both OWSN and RE lack...rules for gravity. Gravity is mentioned repeatedly thoughout the rules, but it isn't discussed as a system anywhere. How does micro/zero gee change how you use a gun or melee, or movement? (Why would I care if I had a laser weapon or Void Carbine? Why do I care if I have thrusters on my suit?) I don't know. It isn't in either book. How does high gee impact encumbrance? Don't know. We are told that this is a hard sci fi setting, but without rules on gravity it seems that the author is playing at hand wavium not hard science. When rolling up a planet there aren't tags/rules for variable gravity worlds. I also miss Conditions. I understand the OSR ethos of house ruling everything, but just a few conditions would free GMs from having to rule on each individual situation.

This game is worth the 20 dollars. I just wish that the Space Magic section were complete...or not in there at all.

Note: I apologize for my first review. I wrote it after having done only a cursory read through. I missed sections that would have answered questions that I had and I would have avoided having panned this book in the first place.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2018 16:08:44

Played the original game for several years. Really like the direction the revised rules have moved in. Simple.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Streams: Solo Heroes
by Justin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2018 15:24:05

Works great, used it alongside Mythic Game Master Emulator to test drive a couple short moduels in Dungeon Crawl Classics. After taking an hour or so to read over the book I was playing solitaire in no time. Very intuitive system that once you play through a fight or two becomes second nature and does not add much in the way of complexity on top of your current rules system.

I am trying to figure out a way to run GURPS with it though as I am developing some smaller one shot adventures and I want to run thrugh them first with a solo character, but have not devised a system for it yet.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Streams: Solo Heroes
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Godbound Art Pack
by Bryan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2018 10:21:18

Extremely high quality files, very high resolutions and really really really nice artwork. All with an exceptionally permissive license, this is a great pack to grab.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Godbound Art Pack
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Starvation Cheap Art Pack
by Bryan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2018 10:17:24

Got it because I didn't examine the preview closely, and thought it was a fantasy art pack. While surprised, I'm happy with the art pack as is, given that the artwork is high quality and very high resolution.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Starvation Cheap Art Pack
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Silent Legions Art Pack
by Bryan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2018 08:38:23

Silent Legions is one of a few art packs put out that are free, contain a plethora of wonderful images and are more generally usable (nothing is too specific). Thank you for this awesome art pack!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Legions Art Pack
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Scarlet Heroes Art Pack
by Bryan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2018 08:36:33

The art provided is wonderful and while not everyone will have a use for every picture, the price is great and the license (public domain) is wonderful. Major props for that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scarlet Heroes Art Pack
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by Dean P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2018 19:42:40

I ran a campaign a year ago with the orignal rulebook. It was a fun adventure throughout the sector. When I started a new campaign with the revised rules, it was imediate how much better they were. Its more streamlines, allows more complexity, and the psychic rules are much, much better. All in all, this is a brillaint improvement to an already great system, and at a bargain price. If you are a fan of sci-fi or rpg's in any form, pick this rulebook up. It is worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
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Stars Without Number: Original Free Edition
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2018 15:58:51

Massive work with lots of nice details. It is really designed with a sandbox look at the game universe and it gives a lot of help to maintain the game world feeling right)

System is accessible and coherent. Stats on 3-18 and the usual bonused at both end of that scale.

Character creation is limited to basic classes with a very "old D&D" feeling in a science-fiction setting.

Book gives plenty of ways to add things to a campaign (factions etc), like Traveller and its offsprings but in an easier way.

If i have a complain it would be that' i'd like to have more objects, artefacts and psionics

However, I really llike it.

Best free SF DL I got ever.

Will play it soon.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Original Free Edition
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2018 13:51:29

Stars Without Number: Revised Edition is the best kind of "2nd edition" that other RPG titles should aspire to emulate. Why? Because it did not throw away the baby with the bathwater. It is fully compatible with all the original SWN sourcebooks and adventures. The original Stars Without Number was an amazing but identifiably "indie" set of rules. Was it bad? No, it was great, chock full of great ideas, interesting systems of rules, exciting content. But as a gamer who has been around since the '77 basic set, I've certainly read my fair share of RPG rule books, and the original SWN was a very well done "budget" book that looked very good but was not the highest quality layouts and artwork I'd seen before. This new Revised Edition corrects all of that, in spades, and adds a ton of new excellent content as well. There were a few issues I had with the earlier system, and almost all of those minor issues I had have been corrected with the Revised Edition also.

This game starts with the basic OSR d20 core system of abilities we've all come to know and love (or at least understand), as a base, and then builds onto it custom layers of science fiction content onto it. So, no, you do not have "Fighter" but you have a warrior class that is similar to Fighter and you have an Expert class similar to Thief (but a far better way to handle the skills compared to 1e), and you have a Psychic to be the "magic user" to add some cool psychic powers to the game. And that's just for starters, there's tons of customization that can go into individual classes, and for the most part, you can develop the character in whatever directions you choose.

There's also some amazingly great GM tools included in this book that can be useful for anyone playing any type of science fiction space opera type setting regardless of the rules you're using. There's chapters on designing your own space sectors, with advise on handling interstellar trade, societies, diplomacy, alien physiology and psychology, robots and VI's (androids or droids with "virtual intelligence" or semi-sentience),how to develop alien, robot, or VI player character classes, factions, etc. Starfinder GM's may want to consider getting this just for its world-building and sandbox play assistance.

But is there anything negative to say about SWN:RE? For fans of lighter "indie" roleplaying games similar to Apocalypse World, Stars Without Number Revised Edition like it's original will feel a bit "heavy" in terms of game mechanics. There's a lot of little mechanics to either remember or reference in the book when they come into play. Not everything is handled by one simple 2d6 mechanic, although basic skill use is, so that's something that fans of PbtA games will probably appreciate. But for the most part, you will need amost all of your polyhedrals to play SWN:RE, and you'll want the handy GM's screen set up while playing so you can quickly reference various charts and tables that will be required to successfully judicate the mostly player-driven narrative. Since SWN is intended to be a player-driven sandbox style game, it has similarities with "indie" titles following the AWE / PbtA model, but there are more rules to handle all of the various situations that can come up in a science fiction setting. For example, starship design, starship combat, designing robotics and VI's and True AI's, hacking into stuff, psychic abilities, the effects of scifi hazards like vacuum, radiation, pressure sickness, poisons, disease (terran and alien), technology levels, etc. All of that may seem overwhelming for a PbtA GM, but you know what? It's there if you want to use it, and if not, you can chunk that and just let the narrative dictate the result just like always because it's YOUR GAME and as the GM you're the final arbiter of the results of any attempted action on the part of the player or non-player characters.

Revised Edition is FULLY COMPATIBLE with the supplements and adventures of the original edition of the rules, so you don't have to go re-buy all of your SWN books to stay current. Or if you are new to SWN, you already have available a lot of adventures and supplements compaitible with this new rulebook! And did I mention that the production values are way up? WAY UP, amazingly beautiful full page artworks and a full color printing that just pops right off the page and is absolutely gorgeous. Along with all the new optional content like Transhuman campaigns, AI's, Mecha, and even Space Magic, SWN Revised is an incredible value for the price and a gorgeous edition to any scifi fan's bookshelf.

I did participate in this book's Kickstarter, full disclosure, but I bought this book, and this is not a paid review. I honestly feel this is one of the best science fiction RPG rulebooks ever produced.

virtuadept



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
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Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by Jon M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2018 16:18:42

The production quality has gone way way up in this revised edition. There is tons of great full color art to inspire players and game masters. It adds great new character creation rules to let players really dig into customizing their character. It's a weighty tome with lots of tables for running a space sandbox for many years.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2018 11:38:39

Kevin Crawford had an amazing product with Stars Without Number and has surpassed that product with his Revised Edition. It is an elegent d20 system with some amazing classes. It is also quite easy to port in characters from other d20 systems with only some minor conversions. Stars Without Number: Revised Edition has amazing and easy to use resources for creating a universe full of adventure, and the stories that will keep both GMs and players coming back for more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
by Ubiratan A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2018 20:55:54

An excellent book all around! Lots of good material here, even if you're not interested in using the D&D-like rules that lie at the core of this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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