Stars Without Number: Record Sheets

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I have recently discovered Stars Without Number, quite possibly the best sandbox-gaming RPG ever made. SWN won the "best free game" category in the Indie RPG Awards this year, which prompted me to give it a look. I'm VERY glad I did.

The GM tools presented in this game for managing a sandbox are second to none. Every last element is considered and provided for, from creating a sector of space to explore -- its planets, factions, and NPCs -- to modular adventure creation, one-roll quick generators for every conceivable thing (from religions to corporations to alien species), and a simple but interesting faction-level conflict system to keep the world(s) spinning with conflicts. The amount of work put into this game is staggering. Major kudos to Kevin Crawford, the author.

Those who love Apocalypse World will recognize this style of game immediately, and feel right at home. (The skill system just so happens to be 2d6+bonus, which makes it a cinch to tweak to AW-style miss/partial/hit results). I really can't recommend the game enough. Oh, did I also mention that it's FREE?

Since I plan to run the game soon, I had to make new record sheets for it (naturally). You can grab the PDF, which includes class sheets for the Expert, Warrior, and Psychic, a starship record sheet, planet sheet, and faction files.

Enjoy! If you have experience running or playing SWN, I'd love to hear about it.


Anonymous tonydowler says:  

Yeah! I took a look at that after I saw it win as well. Definitely looks interesting!

Blogger GeneD5 says:  


Blogger Witold Krawczyk says:  

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Anonymous Reid says:  

Nice! Thank you for posting them!

Anonymous Brandon says:  

I was curious John as to what program(s) you use to produce the character sheets and games?

Blogger John Harper says:  

InDesign, mostly, with Photoshop and Illustrator as needed.

Blogger Brutorz Bill says:  

Nice character sheet. I agree SWN is a GREAT game!

Blogger Matt Staggs says:  

I've loved this game ever since downloading it on a whim. I bought the hardcover a week later! We're playing it again today.

Blogger LeGrümph says:  

I am a french author and RPG publisher (John Doe Editions). In the next months, we plan to publish a french translation of SWN. I really love your character sheet - very clear, complete with all infos. Great job. Would you agree if we use your model for the french CS in the book ? We would obviously credit you.
And, by the way, I had the pleasure to play Apocalypse World last summer and I read the book cover to cover. Huge fan ! Thank you for your very inspirative work.

Blogger John Harper says:  

Hi LG! Yes, feel free to use my sheets as the model for yours.

I'm glad you liked Apocalypse World, but I'm not the author! Vincent Baker wrote it. I'm just a huge fan and supporter.

Blogger LeGrümph says:  

Thank You !
Will you add a CS for the AI characters ?

Blogger Patrick Mallah says:  

Did you know you left off the Steward skill from all three character classes?

Blogger Trentin C Bergeron says:  

Awesome stuff!! Nicely done. Thanks!

Blogger danskmacabre says:  

Thanx for the sheets, very handy as I just got this game :)

Blogger danskmacabre says:  

I made an AI character sheet based on the ones on this site.
IT's not as good, but ok for a stopgap.

Blogger Stan Shinn says:  

Love the character sheets!

What's the font you use in the Stars Without Number set?

I was thinking of doing some additional resources for SWN, and I'm trying to make them match your look and feel. Looks similar to the Flywheel font, but I'm not sure what font your using :-)

Blogger Unknown says:  

Hi people. I made a program that essentially has the 3 character sheets in a form-fillable format, but they're not pdfs.
Here's the link:

Anonymous Anonymous says:  

How do you add the stats to the character sheet (without printing it off)?

Blogger Unknown says:  

Hi there, LOVE the SWN sheets. They are fantastic and I plan to press them into service immediately. I know this is a loooong shot but is there any chance that you could also work your magic on Spears of the Dawn too?

Blogger cloudf66 says:  

These sheets are awesome, I love your work. My only question is, looking at the core rule book, several of your psychic ability descriptions differ from those described in the book (teleportation, biopsionics from what I see right away). Is there a reason for this? Are there more up to date rules somewhere that I am not aware of?

Blogger Tom says:  

These sheets are great. Any chance you updated them to Revised Edition?

Same question about your Apocalypse World sheets, actually.

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