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Bundles Without Numbers

Greetings Programs!

Just popping in to plug the current Bundle of Holding collection. It’s a great stash of Stars Without Number books.

I’m a big fan of Sine Nomine’s books and the Stars series in particular. I’m currently running a campaign on G+ using the Hard Light book offered in the base level bundle and I already own most of these in both PDF and hard copy.

This is a great opportunity to get into the Stars system. If you’re still on the fence, download the free version of the core rules from Drive Thru RPG. The GM’s tools alone make it worth a look.

Okay, back to Pennsic prep.

 

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Gaming, Science Fiction

 

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Stars Without Number, Number One

Check another ONE off my Gamer Bucket List!

Last night I launched my Google+ Stars Without Number campaign.

The previous week I ran my one-shot to fill in for a short roster and kick the tires on the game system. I’m glad I did, as actually letting the dice roll helped me understand a few things about the game. That let me focus this week on preparing the star system and the adventure itself.

And boy, I’m glad I had that time. The system creation tools for Stars is a game in itself, and it’s easy to get swept away with building out the sandbox. The more you build the more details you develop, and if you aren’t careful each new detail will make you feel like you have to add more or it won’t feel “complete”. Eventually I had to pull back and say it’s good enough to run with and I can add on the fly.

To kick things off I decided to use the Stars Without Number adventure, Hard LightThis is a nicely set up location based adventure in a sector dominated by an active red super-giant star. It comes complete with a space station, some alien Sky Tombs, plenty of NPCs developed just enough to run with but not overly done, and being a Sine Nomine product it includes tools to develop more aspects of the system.

In short, it’s the perfect adventure to drop into my sector and let the players and me get our feet wet.

Which is exactly what they did. The hook I used is that an old friend of the characters was dying. Before he kicked the bucket, he told them the location of a starship, damaged but salvageable, that was abandoned in a sky tomb until its radiation levels dropped enough to recover. The rest of the pirate crew was killed not long after, leaving the characters’ old friend as the only one who knew where it was. The only stipulation was that they had to promise to lay his body to rest inside the tomb where the ship is docked.

Our Sunday night crew plays from around 7:00 to 10:00 and we managed to break in a new player to our online setup and get the characters up and running. The crew managed to reach the space station, get settled in, and engage in various shenanigans. Intelligence was gathered, possible transport was located, and a fair bit about the station and its crew was learned.

Not bad for a first session.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Gaming, Science Fiction

 

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Gaming!

Despite a crazily busy weekend, I managed to get into some gaming.

First, my son wanted to take another crack at Sentinels of the Multiverse and this time my daughter joined us. My son has fallen in love with Ra, I use Haka, and my daughter picked Wraith, who she took to with great glee. The three heroes faced off against the nefarious La Capitain and her time pirates, who sought to plunder the Tomb of Anubis. The heroes took a good beating, but triumphed before any of their number fell.

My daughter loved Wraith’s combat stance power, that lets her do damage to a target that damages her. She decided that the power let her punch the villains in the face and proudly announced, “I have anger issues,” while occasionally growling. I am such a proud geek dad, though I wonder if there will be any “stories” from the playground from this. I can imagine her leaping from the monkey bars shouting that as her battle cry.

Our normal Sunday night G+ game was broken up due to people’s holiday schedules, but I got in a small G+ game on Monday night. We decided to kick the tires on Stars Without Number, which I’ll be running when we resume our normal session. This is the first time I’ve run the game and the first time my players have had a crack at it and I’m pleased to say that everything went well. I had two players and they each created two characters in a little over 20 minutes, not bad for a first time.

I based the adventure on Dungeon from a Distant Star, a great one-page dungeon that’s free to download. I’ve been wanting to give it a try for quite a while and this was the perfect opportunity. As things turned out we got a good look at how Stars Without Number worked and had fun doing it. The party explored a good chunk of the crashed spaceship, got into one fight, and made plenty of skill rolls. Through good fortune they avoided most of the more dangerous encounters and got to play with several alien artifacts. In the end one character was both seriously wounded and suffering mental trauma from one of the alien devices, but at least he survived.

I am definitely looking forward to running the game. It plays fast and easy, and while combat is lethal it does offer ways to mitigate the risk for groups that play smart.

If you’re not familiar with the game system, you should be. Stars Without Number is one of the crown jewels of the OSR movement. It’s a science fiction game based on original Dungeons & Dragons mechanics, but it offers more than that. It also offers a fantastic toolkit for building space sectors, worlds, cultures, adventures, and alien species. The tools are system agnostic, which makes the whole package even more useful.

And you can get the core rules for free. Not a stripped down starter version, not even a complete version without artwork. The whole game book is available as a free download. There is a paid copy of the core book that adds a few chapters on robots and mecha, which I own in print and PDF format, but those are extras.

Stars Without Number can be downloaded here. Be warned, once you read it you may find yourself collecting everything Sine Nomine Publishing puts out.

An affliction I enjoy greatly.

The Wraith(1)

 

“I HAVE ANGER ISSUES!”

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Gaming, Science Fiction

 

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