Category Archives: Games

Games and books by Sine Nomine Publishing.

Stars Without Number wins Three Castles Award

This past weekend, the festive doings of the North Texas RPG Con drew together a convocation of designers and players with a real love for old-school gaming. One of the features of the con was the Three Castles Award, which this year was judged by Dennis Sustare, Robert Kuntz, Sandy Petersen, Steve Marsh, and David “Zeb” Cook. If you’re as big a fan of the old ways as I am, you’ll recognize those names and the contributions they made to our hobby- I cut my gaming teeth thirty years ago on Moldvay/Cook D&D. Well, the competition was fierce- the award shortlist featured the mighty gaming chops of ASE1 – Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore, Realms of Crawling Chaos by Daniel Proctor & Michael Curtis, and the Tome of Adventure Design by Matt Finch & Bill Webb. But in the end, Stars Without Number got the nod. Even if one of the other worthy entrants had won, however, it would’ve been completely worth the effort just for the pleasure of having SWN read by some of the giants of the hobby.

Mandate Archive: The Imago Dei Now Out!

Paladins of the Long Silence

Not every synthetic mind is bent on mankind’s destruction. Some have a higher purpose, a nobler war to wage in the darkness between stars. Open this free supplement for the equally free Stars Without Number RPG to learn the truth about the enigmatic Imago Dei and their unending crusade to defend worlds ignorant of their very existence. As humanity is the image of God, so the Imago Dei is the shadow of His red right hand.

Aside from their little-known history, you’ll find specifications for their bleeding-edge ship hulls. Included are seven sample Imago Dei warships for your own campaign, whether found as derelict plunder, seized by fanatics, or threatening the PCs’ homeworld with the guns of a heretical Shepherd Fleet!

Get it now, at DriveThruRPG!

The Crimson Pandect

CrimsonPandectCoverThumbUnlock Dark Sorcery…

Open the Crimson Pandect to reveal the hidden arts of the arcane world and the grim obsessions that snare the minds of their adepts. This book is for both players and Labyrinth Lords alike, providing tools for weaving grim tales of blood and unleashed sorcery!

Use new classes, new spells, and new guidelines for magical research. plunder ancient troves of occult lore to fuel your arcane ascension. Use the new guide for sanctum construction and the tools for cult and cabal creation to fashion sorcerous towers and malevolent foes. While built for the Red Tide Campaign Setting and Sandbox Toolkit , the contents are all designed to be easily and swiftly transferred into your own old-school campaign world.

  • Six variant classes for magic-users, each with their own spell list and focused theme: the elementalist yamabushi of the Mountain Way, the wonder-working internal alchemists of the Nine Immortal Art, the Makerite Theurges and their burning incantations, the grim Kuan Amelatu and their vengeance for the dead, the prophetic seers of the Astromancers,  and the flesh-bending, degenerate science of Shakunasar.
  • Give your players a good reason to want more than mere spellbooks. With new rules for research points and labwork, watch them scramble to plunder the libraries of their foes and delve deep in the earth for the secrets of lost pre-human races. These new tools let them spend their hard-won lore to learn new spells, create magic items, fabricate new enchantments, and spawn horrific monsters.
  • Help your mages build their wizard’s towers and hidden sanctums. Find rules and costs for the construction of arcane lairs and the acquisition of minions, the better to protect a mage’s precious library and ease his fearsome studies!
  • Labyrinth Lords have a fistfull of tools for generating arcane academies, sorcerous cults, and secretive conclaves. Need maddened worshipers of eldritch darkness? Turn to the tables in this section to give your pack of maniacs the flavor and style you need to make them crackle!
  • Resources for quick wizard characterization, fast spellbook lists, instant arcane tome generation, and lists of random occult treasures all smooth the creation of a Labyrinth Lord’s awful minions!

Softcover and hardback print options are coming before the end of June, for those intrepid souls who require a more tangible weapon against the lethal coils of the arcane unknown!

The Crimson Pandect Approaches…

Unlock the dark secrets of sorcery in the Sunset Isles with the Crimson Pandect, a guide to magic in the world of the Red Tide.

In this book you will find fully Labyrinth Lord-compatible information on eight new paths of sorcery, six with their own specialist magic-user classes and over a hundred new spells. Use them as-is for your campaign, or slap on a new coat of paint to make them your own! Behold the secrets of…

  • The High Path, the versatile and potent art favored by most magic-users within the Sunset Isles.
  • The Stitched Path, a heterodox art of blood and soul-sacrifice to accomplish by theft what talent cannot give.
  • The Kuan Amelatu, elven necrolators devout in their shepherding of the blameless dead and their guardians against the living.
  • The Astromancers of the Gadaal, peerless diviners and fateweavers who wield luck and foresight as weapons against their foes.
  • The Makerite Theurges, seekers of the holy sorcery of their stern god, speakers of the words by which creation was made.
  • The Nine Immortal Art, the ancient Imperial magics that make a sorcerer into a living vessel of transcendence.
  • The Mountain Way, a path of elemental force and natural power that strikes down its foes with flame and storm.
  • Shakunasar, the forbidden sorcery of the Shou and its unnatural command of the flesh and minds of lesser beings.

Aside from these glimpses into the grim sorcery of the Isles, the Crimson Pandect also includes…

  • A new system for acquiring new spells, creating magic items, and constructing magical servitors- a system based on the accumulation of eldritch tomes and experimental lore. Finally, your wizards actually have a reason to hunt down those books of forgotten wisdom and spend their hard-won coin on experiments and strange artifices. Includes extensive helps for the Labyrinth Lord in creating arcane treasures for inquisitive sorcerers to seek.
  • Guidelines for designing and building your wizard’s sanctum, including prices for laboratories, scriptoria, arcane distilleries, and other vital necessities for a wizard’s researches. The guidelines are integrated with the research system to reward those wizards who devote their precious gold to the facilities and resources they need for future greatness.
  • Guides for the Labyrinth Lord who needs a wizard cabal in a hurry, either as patrons, teachers, or enemies of the PCs. Based on an elaboration of the Court Site system in the Red Tide campaign guidebook, use this to generate a fast wizard’s tower, arcane academy, or nefarious witch-cult.
  • Resource tables for easy generation of arcane artifacts and eldritch tomes for your campaign’s wizards to find!

Look for the Crimson Pandect to make its appearance in early May, as it’s currently in layout. And for those eager enthusiasts of apocalypse, do not fear- Other Dust is still on schedule for release early this summer. The Crimson Pandect has been under work for some time now, and I’ve decided that May is a good time to slot its release. Why? Because I scorn sleep as a sign of moral weakness, and never shall such turpitude stain the scarlet mysteries to be revealed herein!

An Echo, Resounding Now Available!

An Echo, ResoundingLet Them Know Your Fame In Hell.

In An Echo, Resounding, a Labyrinth Lord-compatible guidebook, you’ll learn the arts of war and kingly rule in the untamed borderlands. Referees will find all the tools they need to build a savage land of adventure and bloody struggle, carving the foundations of empire into the very bones of their campaign. Players will find new talents as Champions of their lands, fighting for a noble cause or struggling to establish a beacon of light in the wilderness. And together, both will find new tools for domain management to bring the red-edged games of kings and princes within the grasp of fiercer souls!

Within this book, you’ll find that same dedication to practical play tools and detailed table helps that you’ll find in all Sine Nomine products. In particular, you’ll find….

  • Complete rules for domain founding, management, and conflict.
  • Quick and easy rules for mass combat with both military units and heroic individuals.
  • New Champion abilities to give expert adventurers even more value to the lords who win their capricious aid.
  • Extensive GM support for building campaign regions of cities, towns, ruins, lairs and precious resources. Don’t waste your creation effort- learn how to support your endgame from the first campaign session!
  • The Westmark, a fully-worked example region from Sine Nomine’s Red Tide Campaign Sourcebook and Sandbox Toolkit. Hit the ground running with zero prep or strip it for parts for your own campaign!

Grab it now and forge yourself a land worth conquering!

Mandate Archive Collection 2011 Now in Print!

For the benefit of those world-hopping freebooters who prefer their adventures in  unpowered formats, Sine Nomine Publishing offers you the convenient 50-page printout of the Mandate Archives Collection 2011, including all entries published this year. Within these pages, you’ll find…

  • Bannerjee Construction Solutions– Frontier space stations for those worlds with nothing but gumption, resolve, and a cheerful carelessness with human life!
  • The Bruxelles-class Battlecruiser– Stats and plot seeds for these ancient emissaries of the Terran Mandate’s will. Will you find one before your world’s enemies do?
  • The Cabals of Hydra Sector– A list of sinister conspiracies and dark cabals in Hydra Sector, along with detailed writeups of two organizations compatible with Darkness Visible!
  • The Dust– Nanite clouds from the Mandate’s latter days lie in wait in long-lost installations, along with details for randomly-generated pretech super-science!
  • Martial Arts– Want a campaign where lighting-handed unarmed warriors are a match for gunslinging space marines? Try out these ten martial arts styles and tips for creating your own!
  • The Qotah– For six centuries, these avian aliens have kept an honor-bound peace with humanity. Learn about their warlike culture and brooding integrity; is their word strong enough to bind the tempests of war?
  • The Red Sangha Mercenary Corps– Cursed from birth with bloodless calm, these Buddhist warrior-monks sell their implacable courage to support their world. What ends can drive an army without passions?

As a special bonus for those patient souls who have awaited a print format, this book also includes details on The Judicators– heirs to the ancient Bureau of Rectification and its ruthless policing of Mandate officaldom, these psychics wield a unique and subtle psionic discipline. Their arts allow them to use a victim’s own sense of guilt and duty to mold their choices, goading them on with the fires of their own burning shames.

You never know when the blind exertions of cosmic law might annihilate all traces of our advanced technology, so buy now and mock uncaring destiny with your foresight!


Mandate Archive Collection and An Echo, Resounding

Heeding the plaintive cries of the estimable public, a softcover compilation of the free Mandate Archive PDFs is about to be sent off for print proofing. Those who prefer to have their materials in physical format may rejoice at the sublime ease of use which the codex provides. As a bonus for these patient souls, it will also include an exclusive Archive entry on the Judicators- the enigmatic heirs of the ancient Bureau of Rectification, once the remorseless internal security of the decadent Terran Mandate. Their specialized psionic abilities play off the victim’s darkest guilts and deepest social taboos, allowing the psychic to sense their expectations and control their actions through the spurs of shame and duty. Here’s a taste of the new discipline:

In Your Place        Level 1

The judicator has an instinctive awareness of the expectations of others around him. In ordinary social situations and when exchanging common courtesies, the judicator always knows precisely what social behavior is expected of him by his interlocutor, whether in action, appearance, or speech. He can even speak formulaic courtesies and make flawless small talk in languages he does not actually understand, instinctively making the sounds expected of him.

The judicator fails Culture checks related to common etiquette and ordinary behavior only on a natural 2 on the skil check, and can masquerade as a native member of any culture or social group, assuming his appearance makes it plausible. Activation of this power lasts for one conversation or social situation. If mastered, this power is permanently active.

Despite this brief detour to accommodate the format preferences of loyal readers, work on An Echo, Resounding continues apace. This guidebook contains great heaping piles of help for a Labyrinth Lord keen on adding domain management and mass combat rules to their campaign in the customary Sine Nomine style. The guide focuses on building domains into your campaign as a natural, organic part of the setting rather than a phenomenon that simply pops up at 9th level with a sheaf of fresh paperwork. These tools help you build city-states, princedoms, border baronies, and stubbornly independent allods into your campaign from the very start, using them throughout the game’s life to fuel new conflicts, new adventures, and new opportunities for your players to engage with your creations. Even those Labyrinth Lords with existing campaign worlds are shown how to retrofit the mechanics into their games, adding fresh life and activity into old favorites.

But the contents aren’t just for Labyrinth Lords. Players are introduced to Leadership abilities, special powers and knacks related to running a domain or fighting a pitched battle. Accomplished rulers start to acquire Leader levels after they reach a certain point in their heroic progression, their earned XP now raising their level in this parallel class.  As they grow in the arts of rulership, they acquire new abilities to aid their hard-pressed dominion or become more fearsome in the roil of a bloody battlefield. Behold a mighty fighter carve a red path through enemy legions, a master thief cut a general’s throat in the midst of his personal guard, or a dwarven clanmaster marshal his people to fashion wealth beyond the dreaming of less artful breeds. These levels can also be used to reflect the talents of less heroic rulers who yet retain a genius for battlefield command or the ordering of a state; the elderly general may have long since retired to his country estates and be hard-pressed to defend himself against a younger warrior, but put him in command of an army and may the gods have mercy on any foe that dares defy him.

Much of An Echo Resounding is finished, but the mechanical systems yet require the good sharp shaking that comes of careful playtesting. With luck, you’ll hear its onrushing hooves by the end of January.