New Cover for Mongoose SWN

Produced by the abundant talent of Jimmy Zhang, this cover will be adorning the new Mongoose Publishing edition of Stars Without Number when it launches in September. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to keep up with the Twitter feed, here are some of the important facts about the new edition.

  • The current Stars Without Number PDF available at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow will remain free for the foreseeable future.
  • The new edition will contain new rules for PC and NPC robots, AIs, and mechs in the Stars Without Number universe.
  • A new chapter has been added to help GMs create conflict-laden societies rooted in the history of their colony world.
  • The rest of the book is essentially unchanged from the current free version. The 40-odd additional pages are purely new content, not changes to any existing rules.
  • Mongoose SWN will run $40 in hardback only. The current free version print products will likely be discontinued.
  • There are no current plans for a Mongoose SWN PDF version, though that may change.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this expanded edition hit the market. Going from a modest PDF released at the end of November to a publishing deal, distribution, and a shiny new hardcover nine months later has been enormously gratifying, especially since I thought I’d be lucky to get so much as a few hundred downloads. Thanks to the support of generous fans and users, Sine Nomine has remained in the black for every month of 2011, and while the sums involved will never make me quit my day job, I can’t say I ever thought to actually turn a profit on this hobby. With your continued support, Sine Nomine will keep producing the kind of sandbox games and resources that I’ve had so much fun creating and sharing with you all.

Clippings: Ship Malfunctions and Mishaps

One of a series of little snippets offered here on the website to our attentive patronage.

1d8 Ship Malfunctions and Occasions of Distress
1 A surge of metadimensional energy on reentry into normal space blows out the ship’s life support recyclers. The crew needs to land somewhere breathable within a day or two or they’ll suffocate.
2 Severe radioactivity leak in the engine room. The ship needs to land or dock to repair it, but any space station or city will charge a huge sum for allowing a radioactive vessel to land.
3 One of the NPC crew finally snaps, desperate to get off the ship and onto a habitable world. They’re willing to kill if it gets them off the ship.
4 One of the NPC crew just happens to have brought aboard a serious, virulently contagious disease. The locals are likely to vaporize the craft as a prophylactic measure if its presence is discovered.
5 A life support filter has suffered a drastic failure- or sabotage?- and is now pumping toxins into the ship. (Physical Effect save every hour or lose 1d2 points of Con. At less than 3 Con, the victim is unconscious, and dies at 0 Con. Lost points are recovered at the rate of one per day.) The filter can be repaired, but a failed Tech/Astronautics roll means that vital components must be cannibalized from the spike drive.
6 A faulty distress beacon on the ship triggers briefly before being shut down, though it’s taken the ship’s comm system down with it. A ship with a higher-rated spike drive is accelerating to meet the PC’s ship. Is it a good Samaritan? A pirate?
7 A sudden drive failure provokes a misdrill, leaving the ship unable to move at the far edge of the system, dangerously close to a highly radioactive space station that appears to have been long-since abandoned. A call for help might bring aid from the inner system- or it might bring pirates.
8 A power grid overload has fused the navigation controls at full throttle. A manual shutdown would ruin the drive, but if it isn’t halted somehow the ship will dive directly into the system’s sun. Meanwhile, the overload appears to be traced to a bizarre alien artifact that seems to have been used by a prior owner to jury-rig the system.

Mandate Archive: The Qotah

The QotahThe Qotah were conquerors once, and frontier worlds were peeled of their humans so that the world-flocks could grow. But the Mandate Fleet broke them and extracted the Vow of Red Feathers, the pledge of peace that has held all through the Silence. But now these jewel-plumed hunters grow impatient, and some speak of the vow’s end. Is the frontier to face a furious sky once more?

Contained in this free Mandate Archive, you’ll find…
* The history, physiology, and alien mindset of the Qotah.
* The grim demands of the Kri and its check on their conquering ambitions.
* Plot seeds and capsule NPCs for quick insertion into any sci-fi game.
* Rules for Qotah PCs and guidelines on their play.