New Year, New Character Day 12: Stars Without Number
New Year, New Character
Stars Without NumberNew Year, New Character" challenge. When I started, I created a list of 31 different games I wanted to make a character for. I thought of sorting them by system or theme or age or something like that, but decided to go random. Given the odd numbers involved, I had been using Wizard of the Coast's old online dice roller. I simply add in however many systems were left as a custom die and "rolled" that. I've now completed 11 of these, meaning I have 20 left. Which means I actually got to roll an actual, physical d20. I did, and got a 4 giving Stars Without Number.
Stars Without Number (SWN) is a fairly "hard" Sci-Fi game, in the tradition of Traveler. Players take the roles of mercenaries, traders, and explorers in the far future. A few hundred year prior to where the game begins, a massive catastrophe devastated all of settled space. The survivors have slowly rebuilt, and are tentatively rebuilding the old political and trade networks, but limited by much slower FTL drives, forcing the focus onto a more localized sector rather than careening throughout the galaxy. Like most of Kevin Crawford's games (including Silent Legions), the game is intended to be a sandbox for the players stories. The bulk of the book is about providing the GM with various rules, tables, and other tools for creating this sandbox, with the game being about what happens as the players set forth and explore the world around them
At it's core, SWN is derived from Labyrinth Lord/Basic D&D, with a few tweaks. The classic abilities are here--Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Skills are rated from +0 (barely trained) to +4 (master), and players roll 2d6+skill level+attribute modifier against a difficulty to determine success. Each character has a Background which provides some skills, and then pick one of four classes. These are Expert, Psychic, Warrior, and Adventurer. Each has their own unique benefits and Abilities. Well, except for Adventurer, which is a combination of two of the other three. A lot of character creation is assumed to be based on random rolls (Attributes, Backgrounds, etc.), though there is an option to make decisions instead. For this post, I'll be using the random option whenever I am presented with it.
Step 0: Concept
Given it's random nature, one can expect to discover your character through Character Creation, rather than having a pre-determined concept you are trying to bring to life. As such, there's not much to determine initially. At this point, I just decide that my character will be a woman and will have the name Joan Chen.
Step 1: Attributes
- Strength--1, 2, 2 for a total of 5
- Dexterity--4, 6, 4 for a total of 14
- Stamina--6, 3, 5 for a total of 14
- Intelligence--3, 2, 6 for a total of 11
- Wisdom--4, 6, 4 for a total of 14
- Charism--5, 6, 4 for a total of 15
Joan automatically starts with the Skill Talk at a value of 0, indicating basic training. As a starting character, she can't have any skill higher than 1, so a 0 isn't all that bad. I could pick the "quick skills" listed for a Clergy, or choose two skills listed. But, the other option is to roll three times and see what we get. Since I'm defaulting to random when possible, I go that route.
I can either pick a pre-determined "package" of equipment, or roll for a starting set of credits and purchase them individually. My default was to go with the random roll, but one of the packages is literally called "Gunslinger," which is just too perfect for Joan. I grab that.