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.



    14,269 Subscribers


    Is There a Stars Without Number Event at GenCon 2024?

    I click the dropdown for game systems and do not see it!

    15:24 UTC


    Speeder bike pack

    1 Comment
    19:34 UTC


    SWN Custom Fillable Sheets for GMs

    I made these for my personal GMing use, but there is no harm in sharing them, especially if someone else also finds them useful. The idea is a simplistic design, each one a singular page with as versatile fields as possible. They are not perfect, of course, but i find them servicable enough.


    1 Comment
    19:16 UTC


    Thoughts on How to adjudicate invisible enemies?

    A big boss battle coming up in my campaign has a cyberninja using active camouflage, and I am trying to think about how I would handle that mechanically. For a while, during my prep-work, I was thinking I would just add the -4 penalty for full cover, but you know...half of my warrior players are rolling like +8s and them losing half of their already egregious Attack Bonus doesn't seem very narratively satisfying for an invisible target.

    I mean, its the same thing they'd be rolling against a target hiding behind a car. Sure, maybe they can't see him, but they know he's there and if he moves they'll see him. Maybe a -6, so its not super duper impossible, but like slightly more difficult to kind of sow the idea that "you're shooting where you last saw him, not necessarily where he is.


    23:28 UTC


    GM screen for CWN

    06:41 UTC


    I made a roll20 script to make session prep easier!

    Hi everyone I'm a recent computer science graduate. While I'm on the hunt for a job I figured I'd make a small project to add to my portfolio. So I decided to create a roll20 script to easily create planets and creatures for Stars With Number. If you would like to use or modify the script you can find it on my gitlab! Feel free to follow or reach out with any questions.

    This script best used as last minute session prep or when you need a world immediately. It uses the roll tables in the book to make a world with a single command.

    Just use .gw and a handout will be created with a random name, some monsters, a planet and some points of interest. You can name your world as well. The script isn't well documented yet.


    For Kevin Crawford: If you would me to take the script down. Please message me. I am more than happy to do so.

    21:33 UTC


    For RPG noobies, are attributes worth the added complexity?

    I ran a one shot for some people who had never played TTRPGs before. Once they figured out how attributes and modifiers worked, they felt it wasn't worth the complexity. An array of 3d6 values separated into different buckets, just for +1/-1 on a few skill rolls and the attack modifier. Yes, there's also encumbrance, system strain, and psychic effort, but skills and combat are the most prominent use cases for attributes.

    It made me wonder about just removing attributes. At character creation you could offer a tradeoff between carrying capacity, psychic effort, and system strain. These don't have to be set with attributes. And you could offer an additional skill or two at character creation to offset the loss of characters' +1 attribute modifier.

    For veteran RPG players the attribute system is no problem at all, but for new players I think they just make things seem more complicated than necessary.

    And even for veteran players, I think the game is totally playable without them.


    20:34 UTC


    Asking for setting inspiration

    Hi everyone, I am about to finish a short adventure with my group of players, which was meant as an introduction to SWN. Now they’re hooked, and we want to turn this into a whole campaign.

    I’ve allowed them to create their own alien races, and want to keep these in the setting lore as well. Unfortunately I mostly consume Sci-Fi media which does not feature a lot of active alien species and intermingling of them with humanity, so I have not a really great grasp of how to achieve this.

    Could anyone here point me in a direction for a setting which has this kind of dynamics? I've been a Star Wars Fan for as long as i can think and have watched a lot of Star Trek as well, but both dont feel quite right for this and I am looking for different sources of inspiration.

    Thanks in advance!

    10:00 UTC


    Multiple quick questions

    1. How much should my PC be able to get if they sold this to a Trade Hub planetary government (neutral faction) or toward their own friendly government?
    • Ship pretech component:

    • Heavy Frigate/Frigate (mostly intact, only battle damage). The skyward steel book said the reward is about 1/2 price of the ship, should i use that?

    • Pretech map rutter

    1. The Sun of Gold book mentioned that the smallest head quarter costed about 10k. A normal worker’s (guard, lawyer…) is about 10 credit per day. By that logic, they have to work for more than 3 years without sleeping, eating or spending money to buy a home (in practice it should take much longer, because a single store is not the same as a home). Isnt that kinda …long?
    09:54 UTC


    JTAS bundle for SWN

    I'm considering getting the Mongoose JTAS Bundle of Holding to use in SWN games. Is anyone familiar with these books? Are they system agnostic or easily enough to convert to be useful in different systems? https://bundleofholding.com/presents/JTASMongoose

    00:26 UTC


    Haywire Systems Crisis in Ship Combat not using Command Points

    I’m planning on using these house rules for ship combat that does away with command points since I’m not a fan of them and think the action-based rules give an easier mental-link between ship and infantry combat Post with the rules

    The house rules section of the rules on p. 237 has a rougher guide for removing CP, but neither mention what to replace the Haywire Systems crisis with (the one that gives -2 CP at the start of the round).

    I could just remove that crisis and reroll, but I’d rather adjust it to fit the non-CP combat. Currently I’m workshopping this:

    Random department this round suffers these penalties per stack of haywire systems:

    1. Dept. may not receive support from captain and the captain may not grant support
    2. Previous + Dept. may not use Above and Beyond action nor receive it’s benefit from a non captain department
    3. Previous + dept. must succeed on DC 8 skill check to perform action other than resolve a crisis
    4. Department loses action this round

    The random department would be determined by 1d10 with each 2 being one of the 5 departments.

    The mindset was that just having 1 or 2 haywire crises isn’t so bad, one department this round will just lose the ability to get additional actions or help other departments. However if it’s not addressed, with 3 or 4+ it can seriously cripple a department for the round which may or may not be really bad depending on which department it affects this round and the overall situation of the combat.

    I’m open to ideas on amending this and/or other ideas for additional or reworked crises options anyone has come up with.

    18:56 UTC


    How do I suggest a setting?

    Hello all!

    How would I go about proposing / submitting a setting? I have a pretty well conceived and thought-out world set in the year 7019. I'd like to apply it to a TTRPG like Stars Without Number. There is a pretty significant etheric energy component, a sentient-like energy unpinning the workings of the cosmos.

    Thank you!

    16:04 UTC


    Shouldn't Tech Level do more for armies? (Starvation Cheap)

    Very important note: I am only just now getting into SWN. I only read the core rulebook last week, and I'm only now halfway through Starvation Cheap. It's very, very possible that I'm not understanding something about the mechanics - especially since I've never actually played SWN. Feel free to let me know if this is the case.

    I love a lot of what I'm reading. The mass combat rules in Starvation Cheap may be the absolute simplest I've seen, while still giving the GM and players enough to work with.

    One thing confuses me, though. When it's time for an actual battle (via the Attack a Vital Point unit action), there are two modifiers: Strength (from the unit's size) and Tech Level. Strength can go from 0 to 16, and Tech Level can go from 0-6 (I think?). What befuddles me is how small the effect TL has on things.

    Would it be fair to double the modifier for TL, so that it can have a comparable effect on battles as size?

    22:34 UTC


    Adding heat management to space combat?

    I'd argue that one of the more interesting aspects of realistic space combat that is absent in SWN is heat management. Real spacecraft generate tons of heat - power generators, engines, and weapons (not real yet obviously) are the biggest culprits. Managing that heat could create an interesting dynamic to combat, but I'm not familiar enough with the mechanics to create that kind of subsystem.

    As far as I can tell, these would be the basics for making a system as simply as possible:

    • Thermal Points - Inverting the values of the Command Points system would allow for easy "Thermal Points." (I'd say Heat Points, but that abbreviates to HP, which is just confusing.) I don't have the numbers in front of me, but if I recall, shooting one weapon costs one CP; here, it would generate one TP. Actions that generate CP could be reflavored to reducing TP.
    • TP Thresholds - At certain thresholds, TP would cause detrimental effects to the ship - maybe the same amount of damage and effects as a critical hit.
    • TP Reduction - A new kind of ship fitting would be needed - radiators, for disposing heat. At the end of every round, a ship's TP would be reduced by their radiator rating. Damaging and destroying the enemy's radiators would reduce their capacity to manage heat, making it dangerous for them to act.
      • Note: As it stands, adding a whole new type of fitting and making it take up the same space as other fittings would wreck every preexisting spaceship design. It might instead be better to have ships automatically come with a certain radiator rating based on their hull type, with options to add additional radiators.

    Thoughts? Dumb, or has potential? Any additions/revisions to the basic system I have here?

    Thanks in advance!

    22:10 UTC


    Ashes Without Number playtest stream TONIGHT!

    20:40 UTC


    What non-Sine Nomine resources do you use to support your games?

    Kevin has done us all a great service in making both SWN and WWN compatible with a lot of OSR material. That gives people a lot of extra opportunities when pulling in resources from other games.

    What do you use for your SWN games? Any interesting resources for spaceships, horror, whatever?

    03:27 UTC


    What supplements still work for the Revised edition?

    I just barely finished the revised core, and I'm hooked. I'm a GM that loves creating tons of content, and this game (along with Kevin's other work) makes that so much easier. It's also incredibly flexible; I can imagine applying these rules to Star Wars, Star Trek, the Traveller universe, and more with relatively few changes.

    I'm hungry for more, so I checked out the supplements. It loos like a lot of these came out before the revision. Which still work - at least with minimal effort to convert them? Are there other resources I should check out?

    Thanks in advance!

    01:14 UTC


    How to present pretech salvage/components

    When it comes to handling pretech components needed for modding, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to deal with them from a mechanical perspective, but one thing I'm a little unsure about is how handle introducing them in-game.

    What should they look like or how should they behave, and how do you communicate to players that these things might be good for putting inside a gun or starship without explicitly saying so? Should they have other uses besides as part of a mod? How have you handled them in your games?

    20:28 UTC


    Spare parts, scrap, salvage, and components

    Hi, in my upcoming campaign I have some players who are pretty tech/fix proficient. And I know they are going to be tapping into the systems involving building equipment, installing mods, and tuning starships.

    However, the book mentions many different items that would be used in these situations.

    Talking about equipment mods, ‘salvage’ and pretech salvage is mentioned often. When it comes to making equipment, it seems to talk about spare parts and components. Starship tuning seems to use components. Repairs all use spare parts.

    My question is what is the distinction between all these things and are there any hard rules i’m missing? Spare parts seems to be the only defined item out of this list with a credit value to it, but where do ‘components’, ‘scrap’ and ‘salvage’ sit in terms of functionality and value? Is there any real difference or are these just words substituting the ‘spare parts’ item?

    When building a weapon instead of buying it off the shelf, I gather that it says it costs 2x the credit value of the store price in component value, but what is the value of components?

    Any clarity regarding this topic is appreciated; thank you.

    01:54 UTC


    Icarus Harness vacc refresh?

    So the book states that the Icarus Harness acts as a Vacc Suit for 30min per vacc refresh. This, to me, implies that the Vacc Refresher is used Directly On The Armor to refresh it. Thoughts?

    00:31 UTC


    Slave trade costs vs expert systems

    How much are slaves worth in general?

    Our players always hate slavery and try to free them and end the trade when possible. A lot of cruel greedy folk don't mind using slaves for cheap forced labor.

    According to Suns of Gold , SLAVES have a base value of 25,000 credits. It does say slave(s), but if we assume that slaves takes up 1 ton, = 10 people. Each slave is 2500.

    A basic level 1 industrial bot costs 2000 (swn revised base book).

    Now a bot requires no food or sleep, but does need energy, so most likely used on tech 4 or 3 worlds. Slaves can be used anywhere, and may be more skilled / adaptable .

    If this price is correct, then that would explain why slavers would be such a lucrative but cruel job. DOES THIS PRICE SEEM CORRECT ?? ARE SUNS OF GOLD PRICES THE SAME AS SWN REVISED PRICES ?

    All this has come up because my players are investigating a rumor of tech 4 aliens capturing humans from a low tech planet and selling them as slaves to unscrupulous businesses on a high end human planet. Most likely they sell to a space station, who sells to Smugglers, who sells to the businesses . The players want to end it, if possible. Simple explanation of plan They made their way into the space station and are trading a pretech artifact to this elite black market, in exchange for slaves. I was trying to figure out how many slaves they could get (to set free / gather info )for this trade.

    17:47 UTC


    Ashes Without Number Campaign Musings

    So, yeah, I know early days, but I am super hyped about AWN and I wanted to start working on my campagin, maybe get some early playtesting in using the existing WNs and whatever Kevin releases for Ashes as we go along. Also, as PA is kinda my favorite setting/genre and I haven't really done anything for a WN game yet, I might actually work this up into a full supplement for later release (after Ashes of course). Since the Chargen exerpt dropped, I have been considering what kind of apocalypse to use, and I think I've settled on a Gamma Ray Burst scenario, modified from real science a bit to allow for survivors of course. High levels of radiation (mostly solar UV in reality, but Gamma of course in fiction), hothouse earth, murky skies (due to the chemical reactions in the atmosphere due to the GRB). Everything that doesn't mutate to survive is dying or dead. Perfect setup for a post apoc, possibly post human, campaign.

    13:59 UTC


    How would "sector wide rail lines" work?

    Instead of the players having their own ship, they could book passage on ships that arrive periodically in the sector that run on fixed paths. I know this removes a decent amount of mechanics, but I'm curious how you would rule it. How much would fare cost? How would you generate routes?

    01:01 UTC

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