Darkness Visible Now Available

Discover Sights of Woe

Rain-slick streets beneath an alien sky. Untraceable mail on a private terminal. A man in a shabby coat who is always watching. Poison in a glistening needle. From the distant ages of humanity’s dawn to the far end of the Silence, espionage changes only its tools. A useful lie is eternal.

With this book, GMs and players are equipped with everything they need to run campaigns of interstellar intrigue and covert action. New backgrounds, training packages and equipment options will kit out your starfaring spies, and the history and context of interstellar espionage will help you plan your adventures in a cosmos in dire need.

GMs are given special help in assembling an espionage campaign, with tools for the cooperative creation of enigmatic intelligence agencies and long-hidden Perimeter outposts. You’ll also find concrete, step-by-step techniques for building complex spy adventures and sinister plots, complete with detailed support material to keep your focus on the fun.

Look inside to find…

  • The history of interstellar spying in the Stars Without Number universe.
  • Details of the hideous maltech cults that threaten the very future of humanity.
  • A system for cooperatively creating intelligence agencies for your campaign and handling exploits against their nefarious rivals.
  • 36 new tags for flavoring your cults, all of which can be used as world tags as well.
  • Over 200 new adventure seeds, each one keyed to a different aspect of an espionage agency.
  • NPC, scheme, and method tables for fleshing out conspiracies and dark plots.

Get it now at DriveThruRPG!

Darkness Visible proofs and New Work….

Now that Darkness Visible has been entrusted to the tender hands of Lightning Source and I have another week or so to wait for the printed proofs, I can start work on the next project.

An Echo, Resounding will provide the tools and resources to help a GM run princely domains and sweeping mass combats under Labyrinth Lord rules. While specifically set in the devil-haunted world of the Red Tide, the tools in this book are applicable to almost any old-school game or retroclone. An initial chapter helps the GM build a sandbox region that both provides immediate outlets for adventure and embeds the necessary framework for future political machinations. Rather than having to suddenly retrofit everything in as soon as the PCs start to show an interest in influencing the local powers, these tools let the GM build those elements right into the sandbox. PCs that want to lead a village to victory over its oppressors or who are suddenly placed at the head of a city-state’s ragged militia can now effortlessly step into place without forcing a sudden rush of ad-hoc judgment calls and improvisations by the GM.

Many old-school domain management systems focus on simulating the strict details of a fantasy fief- gold income, population, peasant morale, food supplies, and other specifics. While this is a perfectly natural approach, An Echo, Resounding instead abstracts the fundamental elements of a domain into Military, Wealth, and Social values. These totals rise and fall depending on the types of locations held by the domain and the sort of special resources or advantages the PCs can bring to their homes. These totals are then used to support Assets, which reflect the military units, unique traditions, temples, schools, and other specific resources the domain has at its disposal. Outside threats and conflicts between domains then become focused on these Assets and the locations that support them. Struggles become specific, and every clash or sudden peril from the wilderness becomes a ready-made adventure hook for the redoubtable rulers. In addition to these domain rules, a mass combat system is provided that can flex to accommodate heroic PCs, massed troops, and special monstrous foes all on the same battlefield.

An Echo, Resounding is going to require extensive playtesting on the appropriate balance of location values and asset costs, so keep an eye on this space for playtest invitations over the course of the next month. And fear not, Stars Without Number fans; the lessons and playtesting data drawn from An Echo, Resounding are going to be directly useful for the project to follow; Other Dust, the standalone SWN-compatible game covering the post-apocalyptic savagery of Terra in the wake of Scream’s horrific devastation.

Darkness Visible Coming This Month

The sinister secrets of interstellar espionage are set to be revealed at the end of the month, as Darkness Visible makes its PDF and print debut on DriveThruRPG. Guidelines and tools are provided for forging your own campaign of star-spanning intrigue and trans-solar spies, complete with specific mechanics for generating both the agencies that employ these daring covert operatives and the vicious cabals that threaten all they hold dear.

In the customary Sine Nomine style, it is not counted satisfactory to simply give you dozens of pages of practical advice and specific pointers for emulating dashing interstellar agents. No, it is not enough. Darkness Visible provides page after page of specific, focused tools to produce concrete results for your game, along with step-by-step instructions for using them to generate the content you need.

You need a spy agency for your players? Follow these steps to build one. Your players want to break into a maximum-security prison satellite to kidnap an alien framed for war crimes? Take this template and fill it in from these tables. You need to dish up an adventure full of double-dealing and hidden actors but have no idea how to support the players’ investigation attempts? Use this adventure structure, lift the challenge rules from this chapter, and prepare these things for the session. Darkness Visible gives you the direct, specific guidance you need to get the job done.

Darkness Visible is written for the Stars Without Number role-playing game, but the guides and tools it uses are system-neutral and compatible with a vast swath of science-fiction settings. Expect it by the end of October.