Sunday, March 13, 2011

I love SWN

-I'm nearly done reading Stars Without Number and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I think it combines all the best of Traveller and D&D. My wife is liking the idea of playing SWN more and more because she misses gaining experience levels, something that Traveller lacks. (Even if I did create some new rules for skill advancement, she loves games with experience levels. I can dig.) I'm really interested in the Faction rules for SWN, and in particular a possible conversion of said rules to a D&D game in the near future. (Shouldn't be too hard... planets become cities, starships become siege engines or maybe giant constructs, etc, etc.) Some of the stuff about Jump Gates and the Scream will fit in surprisingly well with some of the elements in my Traveller game. Now, if I can get everyone on board...
I really can't recommend SWN strongly enough. The PDF is available for free at Drive Thru RPG, should you get curious. The GM section is very well done. I will also caution that Stars Without Number trumpets a sandbox ideology as the default mode of play, (along with suggestions on how to deal with the potential snags of sandbox style gaming) so if you aren't into sandbox the game might not be for you. (Of course, there really isn't anything stopping you from playing the game the way you want, you'll just have to endure a lot of pro-sandbox assumptions and a wee bit of proselytizing. Just sayin')

-Picked up Villains Unlimited today for five bucks at the Local Gaming Store. The superhero genre is one time when Palladium's usual disparity of PC power levels doesn't bother me... after all, look at DC: in this universe you have the street level characters of Batman and you have demigods like Superman and Darkseid. On the Marvel side, characters like Jubilee exist in the same world as Galactus. I've wrestled with power level disparity in RIFTS and in Nightbanespawn, so perhaps this deserves another post altogether.

-While perusing the shelves at the used book store, I found several copies of Living Room Games' re-do of Earthdawn 2nd edition. Given that we are converting our Sunday Shadowrun game to 2nd edition, I got all nostalgic for Earthdawn, which is weird because I haven't played it much. I skipped the newer version of ED2 and found the original FASA softcover online for three bucks. It's on the way to my house. I enjoy the idea that Earthdawn could be the distant past or distant future of Shadowrun, or perhaps be both.


  1. After reading this I went and DLed SWN. I've never been a huge fan of space games, but after you and so many others have been talking about it I finally thought I'd see what it was. PLus having the PDF for free helped. Just so you know, your blog was the last straw.