Photograph via snooOG

A subreddit dedicated to all things Stars Without Number, a sci-fi tabletop role-playing game designed by Kevin Crawford.

Welcome to /r/SWN, a subreddit dedicated to all things Stars Without Number!


Got a question about rules or lore in your campaign? Feel free to ask it here! ;)



Stars Without Number publications:

Core Rulebooks:

Campaign Supplements:


Setting Supplements:


Mandate Achives:

(Only available as part of the

Mandate Archive Collection 2011)

  • MA09 Transhuman Tech

  • MA10 The Imago Dei

  • MA11 Scavenger Fleets

  • MA12 Stellar Heroes



    Other Dust

    The following additions are set within the same SWN universe and follow the same lore, but the included books are intended for Other Dust campaigns which are set on earth about 350 years before the events of SWN (but around 185 years after the scream hit).

    Core Rulebook


    Codex of the New Earth:



    Sine Nomine Publishing Journals

    Every once in a while, a free journal is published with additional content supplements such as roll tables, items, or new classes. However, these releases aren't SWN specific, and contain supplements to various Sine Nomine publications.



    12,996 Subscribers


    GMs, how do you guys run the personal goal-based system for exp?

    Do you have your players set a short-term possibly 1 session goal for 1xp then maybe like have an overall backstory-based goal for 3? Maybe like a intermediate goal for 2? Have you any examples of goals your players have set and the xp reward for them?

    20:19 UTC


    Deluxe Edition Character Builder?

    It looks like there are two nice character builders, https://www.swncharactercreator.com/ and https://www.swnfreebooter.net/. Neither supports the expanded material from deluxe edition.

    I can think of a few options off the top of my head for deluxe edition (e.g. revenue share). I don't really think that there's a good way of handling a "did you purchase deluxe" given the wide number of options for purchase for folks who have the PDF.

    It looks like the Sine Nomine website is built with Shopify. Maybe sell a "digital character builder" license code ($5? $10? $20?) and then allow character builders to verify that code for access. There's stuff like JWT that would allow for validation, or even just a simple GUID code that could be validated with a one-line REST call. Or alternatively allow folks to sell licenses or use Patreon or something and split the revenue somehow?

    21:59 UTC


    Where does weapon damage go on the default character sheet?

    I see a spot where the weapons to hit mondifier is listed, and a spot for ammo, ranges, and the weapon name, but no place for damage. What gives?

    14:23 UTC


    Spaceship maps

    Do you prefer the traditional yacht style maps for ship interiors, or the more accurate skyscraper style?

    03:29 UTC


    Cost of a Rutter

    What would an average rutter cost in most sectors?
    How much would a rutter cost when it's kept purposefully secret, in the upper hundreds of thousands of credits?

    21:43 UTC


    Mining industry feedback

    I recently saw a few posts that were talking about the viability of a mining ship industry and a lot of the issues I saw were that people were only putting one extractor on a free merchant because it goes over the max crew, reducing the life support to like just under 2 days but the facilities do fit and here was my reply to the post what do yall think?

    Do a Free Merchant with 5 extractors, a systems drive, automated support (25bots for the 5 extractors), 11 cargo space for 220 tons. Then have more of them and a Bulk Freighter with shiptender mounts if you want to go to a distant star, a cargo letter or two, a mobile factory for the repairs and then you have a very profitable business. Each mining ship makes back its own cost in a single year and a few weeks (including maintenance fees and time not mining bc of maintenance) that's a great payback point and in a year and every year and a half you can double your miner ships (being generous with the half i just haven't run the numbers with the cruiser maintenance fees yet but its probably closer to 1.25 years than what I just said)

    If safety is a concern your profit margins will be able to maintain a few fighters or pure combat frigates as escorts and considering the small end of most asteroids we know of is in the 100,000,000+ ton range (massive emphasis on the +) you can have them all mine the same asteroid.

    05:06 UTC


    Other OSR Rules to Import

    What other OSR and OSR adjacent games have interesting rules and subsystems to import into a SWN game?

    17:42 UTC


    Melee AC vs Ranged AC?

    In our new SWN campaign getting started on Foundry, we noticed that PC sheets have a spot for Melee AC and Ranged AC separately. In addition, many types of armor in the compendium (such as a Combat Field Uniform) only increase Ranged AC. DEX stat bonuses also don't seem to apply to Melee AC.

    I'm not expecting this sub to troubleshoot Foundry - we can do that. But have we missed something somewhere in the rules? I can't find anything anywhere in my copy of the rules that states AC is calculated separately for Melee or Ranged situations.

    02:11 UTC


    Advice for dealing with Ambiguity

    I've been lurking on this and several other forums (namely 5e related) for some time, I've noticed a recurring trend. That trend is to ask others for explanations of ambiguous lore or mechanics. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of these types of posts. The reason why is the ambiguity allows GMs to customize the game more easily. For example OD&D's combat system can be interpreted in two separate ways. One way turns the game into a cover shooter, the other way allows melee fighters to grind up the battlefield. And both of these interpretations have evidence to support their argument.

    The reasons why lore should be somewhat ambiguous are the same: Ambiguity is what allows creative interpretation. Taking the Jumpgates post from this very forum as an example, the status of the jumpgates is left to the GM to decide - to customize their sector and how it relates to the larger galaxy.


    OD&D Combat - Ranged and Melee


    08:54 UTC


    GM Tool: Spike Drive Travel Calc Macro for Foundry VTT

    If you use Foundry VTT, here is a macro for Spike Drive Travel times


    06:24 UTC



    Just wondering did the scream do any damage to the Jump gates themselves or is it just that there wasn’t any psychics left to operate them, and if that’s the case how many would it take to safely operate one again ?

    18:46 UTC


    Running Space Combat with 6+ Players

    I'm planning on running a campaign in this system with a group of 6, and I was wondering how to handle space combat with more players than there are departments.

    17:34 UTC


    Items to integrate to a VI character

    So was bored and thought 'What items could a VI Player character integrate into their chasis... Turns out there are ALLOT of them... So the following is a list of various options one can peruse as a VI to make your inventory management easier (And the lives of you and your meatbag companions too!).

    🟧= Exploration/Utility 🟦 =Comms/Computers 🟪= Emergency use for self/meatbags 🟩= Medical/Science

    *= Needs replenishment when used

    Equipment NameCost (2x base)Encumbrance ValueWhy you should have this?
    Grapnel Launcher🟧4001SPIDERMAN, SPIDERMAN!
    TL4 Rope, 40m 🟧1602DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN!
    TL4 Binoculars🟧4001Low light vision and can see things FAR away.
    Navcomp🟧1,0001Don't get lost again
    Glowbug🟧100Now you can see even in complete darkness to an extent
    Backpack (TL4)🟧1000Never forget a backpack again
    Portable Ladder (10m)🟧2001Just the thought of you 'Transforming' into a ladder' is amusing.
    Floater Lamp🟧2002Like the glowbug but more efficient if heavier.
    Instapanel (x3)*🟧3001For when you need to seal up something/build something quick.
    Toolkit, Postech🟧6003You are now everything short of a TL4 workshop so long as you have spare parts.
    Metatool🟧4001Useful to have a smaller set of tools always with you/on hand for patch jobs/breaking and entering.
    Compad🟦2000Never lose a compad again!
    Field Radio🟦4001Good to keep in contact with others.
    Comm Server🟦2,0003Even better to keep in contact with your group/allies.
    Tightbeam Link Unit🟦2,0001Act as the hacker's relay router, just stay still.
    Dataslab🟦6001For your computing needs.
    Data phase tap🟦10,0001For finding those pesky data-tap points.
    Storage unit🟦1,0003For storing all the data you'll be getting from those ruins/archives/hacking of sketchy megacorps and their emails.
    Type A Power Cells (x3)🟪601For a variety of needs, bring your A cells with you at all times.
    Power Cell, Type B🟪2001In case you need to go off-grid for awhile, good to bring this along, then you're good for a week.
    Panic Shelter*🟪4001In case you (And hopefully a nearby meatbag ally) are caught in a pyroclastic flow, or are ejected out an airlock unprepared.
    Solar Recharger🟪1,0003Good to act as a portable recharging station for others's A-cells.
    Vacc Fresher🟪8001In case the meatbags forgot one, you can act as their O2 refresher.
    Pressure Tent🟪2004I case the meatbags forgot theirs, you can BE the tent/shelter.
    Survival Kit🟪1201If the meatbags forgot this, perhaps you should have let Darwin remove them from the gene pool.
    Lazarus Patch (x3)*🟩1801For when the meatbags are bleeding all over the place.
    Medkit*🟩2002To patch up meatbags and get their internal organs set in the right spot after you've stopped them from bleeding all over the place.
    Bioscanner🟩6001Identify stuff biologically as well as meatbag diseases.
    Survey Scanner🟩5001Identify everything else! AND RECORD PICTURES OF SPIDERMAN!

    Funni options

    For when your enemies THOUGHT they disarmed you. (Turns out they forgot to take off your arms)

    WeaponCostEncumbranceWhy you should have this?
    Heavy Machine Gun10,0003It cost 400,000 credits to fire this weapon, for 12 seconds...
    Ammo, Missile1001You will help me defend my point!
    Rocket Launcher8,0002MAGGOTS!!
    Demo Charge5001They'll have to glue us back together... IN HELL!
    Spike Thrower1,2002BRRRRRT!!
    Ammo x60601Praise the lord and pass the ammo.
    Icarus Harness16,0001Fly too close to the sun!
    Stun Baton1001TRAITOR!
    Mag-chain Cutter5002"I'm F****n INVINCIBLE!!"
    Void Carbine8002Practical, and not about to shoot holes in your space canoe, the Most credible of these choices.
    Laser Rifle6002ZAP
    Pocket Nuke50,0003BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP- WHAT THE F**-BBBBBBBWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!! *Maniacal post-mortem laughter*

    09:21 UTC


    Need help narrating gun fights...

    Title says it all. Coming from years of DnD, I love explaining combat in detail with sword maneuvers and wounds and just really evocative (if violent) narration. But I am having a really hard time adjusting to doing that with gun battles. I would like to spice up combat a bit, but I am finding that difficult when each turn all I can think of us "well, the laser/bullet hits/misses the guy you were shooting at."

    Don't get me wrong. I've read plenty of Jack Carr so I have no problem coming up with gory, gunplay violence, but like...its a little ridiculous to say "The first round of your burst hits the target, the 5.56mm round ripping into his lung filling it with blood while the other two shatter his sternum...but...but also he's not dead...in fact, he's got most of his health still." But I also have a hard time saying "you hit him...but like...in the arm or some other non-vital area which explains why he ain't dead."

    I've played with the idea of having all non-fatal hits be near misses, and actual missed shots just going hella wide, but something about that feels wrong...

    What do you all do to describe gunplay?

    22:30 UTC


    Psychic power similar to the movie Dreamscape

    Hello, SWN community. I'd like to include a psychic power similar to the one used in the movie Dreamscape. My first thought is Telepathy-2 would allow observation of the dream, and Telepathy-3 would allow interaction.

    How would you all play this if the target was asleep?

    Would the target get a saving throw?

    If they die in the dream, they die in real life. How would you play that? Just use their hit points, stats, and such from the waking world? What if they imagine themselves to be someone else in the dream? Create a separate character for the dream persona?

    One thought I had was to use Telepathy-2 and 3 as above, but just have the dream be totally cinematic and not governed by stats. I just use my powers of fiction to create the dream world. It would still be nice to have some kind of fun mechanic to determine if someone dies in the dream. I thought maybe a successful opposed telepathy test would allow the Dreamscaper to either kill the dreamer, or save them if they would otherwise die. Or maybe killing someone psychically in a dream is simply a matter of using biopsionics on them while they are asleep?

    Is there perhaps a supplement already made for this? I searched but couldn't find one.

    Thank you in advance!

    15:50 UTC


    Ep 128: Take Me to Your Leader

    1 Comment
    15:08 UTC


    [CWN] Beta 0.23 Clarifications, Commentary & Errors

    New update, new thread! Continuing from last time, a single place to bring together as many questions, errors, typos and such in one easy to find place for Kevin!

    Previous Threads:

    07:06 UTC


    How do Remote Link Units and Remote Tightbeam Units Work?

    So, what the hell is a remote link unit? A dataslab can communicate wirelessly with nearby devices, so it is probably better than that.

    But how does the remote link unit (and the tightbeam unit) work? Do you need to have a storage unit to use them? The rules say that you need two of these units, so if you wanna do a hack does someone needs to go inside the target building and plug a remote link unit to the terminal so that a hacker can use his remote link unit while outside? Is that it?

    1 Comment
    06:03 UTC


    Question about heavy weapons vs starships

    The text blurb on page 103 reads: „As a rule of thumb, …, TL4 small arms fire does 1d6 damage per 10 minutes of persistent gunfire, and Heavy weapons do half their rolled damage, minus the ship’s Armor.“

    I read this as that the „ten minutes of persistent gunfire“ does not apply to the heavy weapons. The only thing that makes me question this, is that anti-vehicle lasers seems so much more powerful than the multifocal laser - even after applying half damage minus armor.

    I am just worried, as my players are flying a Free Merchant planetside, and will be chased by one/two atmoflyers. With good rolls by the flyers, they might not even last one round.

    10:52 UTC


    Atlas Rising PBP Server

    System: Stars Without Number

    Format: Discord based PBP, RP channels,

    Name: Atlas Rising

    Time Zone: 4 GMs, various timezones

    Description: The 12th Fleet arrived in this sector almost 2 years ago following a desperate exodus from their homeworld Atlas. They have explored, fought, and traded their way to a new world to colonize: the ocean planet Calypso. From this new world, the players are searching for new adventures, building armies, rediscovering lost technology and exploring nearby star systems. Will the Fleet have what it takes to develop and defend their new home from their enemies? Join us today and find out if Atlas Rising is the right home for you!

    Other: We are a community that is open and accepting of others. We do not tolerate anyone mistreating each other, or trying to force them into uncomfortable situations. NSFW content is not allowed.

    Link: https://discord.gg/W3qJtGDshZ

    21:48 UTC


    Faction System Questions

    I'm running a game of Stars Without Number for the first time and I have a few questions that I'm unsure there are answers to:

    1. Is it possible in the base faction system to move a Strike Fleet more than 1 hex at a time? I'm in a situation where there is an empty hex between the system that one faction has ships in and a system where it's target is. Strike Fleets can use an action to move one hex away, but as far as I can see there is no way to move it further than 1 hex.
    2. If the answer to 1 is no, would making a new 'unit' with the type 'Upgrade' be reasonable to represent upgrading the FTL drives of ships in a Strike Fleet? I know that I can just wave my hand and make it so, but I'm not sure if that would lead to unexpected problems in the future and want opinions from other players on this point.
    3. The Strike Fleet and Capital Fleet are listed as needing permission to be raised or moved to a planet with the 'A' special code, but neither actually need permission to be moved to a planet (Strike fleets are an example given in the Faction Play Example). Are there any other units that function like this?

    Thanks for the time anyone takes to answering, I appreciate any help anyone can offer.

    21:05 UTC


    DTRPG HC versus Offset Print

    I want a hardcopy of SWN. Would you recommend the DTRPG POD hardcover, or should I go with an offset print from the Sine Nomine store?


    20:28 UTC


    🚀 No Sci-fi Cities or Hi-Tech Settlements are complete without our Cyber Assets!🪐

    1 Comment
    17:00 UTC


    Is there a way to deal non-lethal damage in melee and knock people out?

    Just joined a game and was looking for specific rules regarding knocking people out (was thinking of taking unarmed combatant). Is there a way when you hit somebody and bring them to 0 to not kill them?

    16:06 UTC

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