Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rules of the House: Stars Without Number


I originally began this with a long, rambling preamble. But, let's be honest, people don't want to read that junk. Instead let's just jump to it: Below are some house-rules I plan to use for Stars Without Number.

Drop Numbers, Use Bonuses

Stars Without Numbers use a conservative attribute number. The highest you can get is a +2 by rolling a 17 or 18 on 3d6 (which you roll in order). With the bell curve nature of 3d6, you'll generally find characters who have -1, 0, or +1 with few examples of the extremes. Rather than having to roll in or out of order your attributes, let's just drop the numbers and instead give the player's "Character Points" and use the bonuses only.

Players begin at 0 for all bonuses and 4 character points to spread out how they choose. They can purchase up to a maximum of +2 (a GM might limit that only one score can be at +2 for the purposes of encouraging spreading out the stats). They can also volunteer to take penalties for more points (a limit of only 2 extra points might be stipulated by the GM).

Example: I begin with a attribute block like below

Attribute
Bonus
Strength
0
Dexterity
0
Constitution
0
Intelligence
0
Wisdom
0
Charisma
0

I have 4 character points and decide to make a adventuring gunhand. I might distribute my stats like so:

Attribute
Bonus
Strength
+1
Dexterity
+1
Constitution
+2
Intelligence
0
Wisdom
-1
Charisma
+1
This spent my four points, voluntarily taking a -1 in Wisdom for an extra point. I end up with an adventurer who is strong, adroit, very tough, has a bit of charm, but kind of foolhardy. After all in the future, who would want to be an adventurer except the very, very foolish.

Yeah, I like Ascending Armor Class

Baseline armor begins at AC 10 and is modified by what armor the character is wearing. Let's take a look at the chart.

Armor Type
Armor Class
Encumbrance
Cost
Tech Level
Shield
+1
1
10/100
0/4
Leather Jack
+3
1
10
0
Metal Mail
+5
2
50
1
Metal Plate
+7
2
100
1
Woven Body Armor
+5
1
400
3
Armored Undersuit
+3
0
600
4
Combat Field Uniform
+6
0
1,000
4
Assault Suit
+8
2
6,000
4
Powered Armor
+9
2
10,000
4
Field Emitter Panoply
+10
1
30,000
5
Deflector Array
+8
0
30,000
5
Above is a sample chart. For a quick, probably unnecessary reminder, the formula for converting descending to ascending is minus the descending armor class from 20 and then minus that number from your base. Mine was a base 10. Thus, a 7 Armor Leather Jack minus from 20 equals 13. base 10 from 13 gives me an armor of +3.

Here's one one way to fabricate races

So by using the bonuses only we can fabricate races for a game like Stars Without Number. You can even balance it with humans as you no longer need to add to a score, you just give them a starting bonus or penalty and then let them use points to get a final bonus. Let's look at some samples.

Human

Traits:

+1 Character Point (starting points 5 instead of 4)

Skilled: +1 Skill Point at start of play.

Standard Classes: Any











Zetan

Traits:

+1 Intelligence, -1 Strength

Small: +1 AC vs. Medium or larger size creatures. May have a difficulty in wielding heavy weapons such as machine guns, thunder guns, or cannons- all of which might require specialized suits or equipment. They may take either a -2 to attacks with said weapons or might just be unable to use weapons at all.

Psychic: +1 Power Point

Standard Classes: Expert, Psychic





Crustacea

Traits:

+1 Strength, -1 Dexterity

Armored: +1 AC due to a hardened carapace.

Slowed: Movement is slowed due to exoskeleton bulk and lack of adroitness.

Pincer: This is a natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage.

Standard Classes: Warrior, Psychic





Hochog

Traits:

+1 Strength, -1 Intelligence

Warbound: +1 skill in a Combat specialization of character's choice.

Standard Classes: Warrior, Expert

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