SWN 10: Conversations with AR3S

I had time to make my second faction turn and things got complicated. It was me, rolling dice alone, saying, “Holy shit!” Looking up rules to clarify this or that and cussing again as the shape of the Guevaran Hegemony’s assault on the Mante Wheel became clear.



The players are on Kaprianou, a TL1 world with a blend of Nigerian and British cultures. They’ve noticed that the 10,000 Tigers army had a Perimeter Agency banner on its flag-pole. The 10,000 Tigers don’t want help from TL4 worlds. They want to get back to modern tech on their own, in their own way.

But there is an A.I. named AR3S on the planet and suddenly, the purpose of the nanite cloud surrounding the planet – to keep an A.I. trapped here. AR3S wanted them to take its phylactery to nearby Circe, a TL4 hub planet. They are stalling AR3S.

They suspect AR3S is in communication with other factions on the planet and suddenly, other factions’ armies start mobilizing towards them.

The players burned down a fleet of galleons heading for an island fortress south of them. The sailors on board died in the ocean of hypothermia while the ships burned into the sea under a hail of laser fire. The players and hired merc NPC’s were in the ocean in their vacuum suits, laser rifles in hand.

General Idowu is the 10,000 Tigers’ southern patrol general. He sent his neice and aide-de-camp, Bisola with the players to guide them. When she felt she had seen too much science and technology, she ritually scarred her cheeks to take herself out of Kaprianou society. Now she’s an Astral Dragon LLC employee.

The players are talking about dropping a car-sized asteroid to the planet’s surface to deter the armies under AR3S’ influence.

NOTE: I forgot a key decision point in the game. AR3S offered the players the coordinates of a Bruxelles class battle-cruiser, left for dead since the Scream if they took AR3S off planet and hooked it up to Circe’s computer network.

They are in the process of turning him down, after a good number of minutes of game time were spent fantasizing about what one could do with such a ship.


At the end of the session Strachan Natana, the Gudridim Hunter, took a small force towards the army with only knives, thinking that they’d kill a few officers and deter the army from its future battle, save a general they befriended from being killed without violating the TL1 world’s strict codes about technology. The game ended on a failed stealth roll. We’ll start from right there next game.

And meanwhile, there is a young A.I. gestating in a village around ruins of an ancient castle. It was funded by a LLC called Witch-Hunters but is now funded by a LLC called Astral Dragon. It is being bred to hunt unbraked A.I.’s that have caused genocide across the sector; its name is 0R10n.

War in the Mante Wheel


Bulldog Flotilla Press

Networked stealth fighters manned by adventure-journalists


Battle of Fatimah System

The Lalita Navy, consisting of strike ships and the Guevaran Capital Fleet, calling itself, the Most Holy Navy, traded fire. The Lalita Navy was decimated and Guevaran capital ships sustained been damaged in the exchange.

Tensions have been growing between the Guevaran Hegemony’s forces and the governments of the Mante Wheel since their capital fleet arrived in Jurre from the Holy Cluster last month. When clerical law declared a cessation of any pre-tech artifacts being taken off Jurre with strict laws against any ships the clerics declared as having smuggled xenoartifacts out of the system, the Lalita Navy mobilized against the Most Holy Navy.

Cleric Diplomats speaking for the Guevaran Hegemony would not disclose how many of their own forces were lost, nor would they disclose how many Lalita naval officers were captured in the engagement. Dropship pilots on Jurre Station make their living taking artifact hunters onto and off of Jurre during the dangerous geological shifts reported that they personally witnessed several escape pods hit the surface of the planet during the battle.

The Cleric Diplomats would only say that they were attacked unprovoked and plan to take steps to see to their own defense.


Chaos on Jurre Station

Jurre Station is now seething with tension after a firefight between unknown forces and the Guevaran officials. Rumors are a Guevaran was kidnapped but no one has stepped forward to ask for a ransom. Video-files from the violence clearly shows psychic powers being employed against the Guevaran forces along with weapons consistent with Gudridim Hunters. Gudrid is the planet in the Shobhna System, in the Holy Cluster, where most of the Guevaran Space Marines are recruited.

The link between these Gudridim is unclear.


Pirates’ Fall

The Comet Dogs were a pirate cartel operating in the Abidah System, centered around the domed cities on Arecilaos just a little over a month ago. When the Most Holy Navy arrived near Jurre, they took over the planetary government, hoping to fight off the Guevaran incursion.

The pirate fleet was manned by former Lalita Fleet officers who received medals in what they called the Bug War and by other sailors whose department was far less reputable.

Just a few hours ago, the Most Holy Navy’s capital fleet entered the Abidah System, taking heavy damage from the difficult-to-navigate comet clouds that have plagued the system since the days of Perimeter Fleet Naval ships patrolling with authority from Olde Earth. The Comet Dogs were ambushed by the capital fleet, moving under the cover of the comet clouds.

Once again, it is not known how many casualties were sustained, nor how many ships were destroyed.

The cities of Areci and New Laos have armed their citizenry and organized them into militias in anticipation of Guevaran Space Marines landing.


The Bulldog Flotilla will continue to document the Guevaran Hegemony’s incursion into the Mante Wheel with journalistic integrity.

Upcoming stories:

Where is Orithya? The Oritheen Legates (or Psi-Cops, as some call them) have been synonymous with law and order in the Mante Wheel for over a century. While the Most Holy Navy decimated Mante Wheel born fleets the Legates were in conflict against the Free Air Society’s terrorism.

Is the destruction of the Lalita Fleet the end of our sector’s last link to Perimeter Navies that linked us to Olde Earth?

It is known that there is a civil war between the Archivists on Eryphyle and Samihah continues. Eryphyllan archivists escaped Guevaran holding cells on Jurre Station. More on this as it develops.

If you want to keep an eye on the powerful and make sure the sector’s governments are kept honest, please consider clicking on the link below and keep our bulldogs among the stars where the news happens…

  • For a payment of 100 credits, you will receive an annual subscription to our newsfeed.
  • For a payment of 500 credits, you will receive the the above item and access to our raw data.
  • For a payment of 1000 credits, you will receive all of the above items and we will tight-beam your news directly to you and you will get access to our rumor files with raw data as we draw the strings together and make the news. See how the sausage is made!



Bulldog Flotilla Press, a fictional group of journalists in our Stars Without Number game, is not to be confused with Bulldogs!, which while Space Opera awesome, is a different flavor of pew-pew-pew fun.



SWN 9: Pillars of Heaven, Meeting the Army and Hacking the Satellite

It was a session rife with mechanical problems as my wi-fi shit the bed.

They have a Free Merchant Frigate, the Pillars of Heaven, homage to Big Trouble in Little China: “We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn’t we, Wang?”


The players got back to Kaprianou to find that some local scouts tried to make their way onto the island and got shot up. They met with the local general of the 10,000 Tigers’ army and made peace. The TL1 army has an emblem on its banner from the Perimeter Agency that was in charge of hunting down rogue artificial intelligences but they carry board spears and wear armor made from lizard hide and bamboo.


The game ended with Deiter and Arkady floating in orbit, trying to hack into the pre-tech satellite that controls the planet’s nanite cloud, hoping to piggy back onto its comms so the ship can more easily communicate with the surface. Arkady nailed his Pre-tech roll and got in, found out that there are still working comms down on this TL1 planet and an AI called AR3S tried to hack past their firewall but failed.

And that is where we ended it. I reckon it is a good sign that we desperately wanted to keep gaming. I need to do another faction round since it took some time to get their ship.

Good stuff!

Replicants as SWN starting characters


The game starts in a trade hub, a place with  millions or even billions, a place where you can disappear.

Once a game you roll a d20+level to see if you start dying; rolling over 20 means you are dying. If you are, you have to make a Con check every time you do anything strenuous. Failure means you take 1d6+1 hit points of internal damage. Success means you take 1 point of internal damage.

Replicant Production

Combat Model Set stats (STR 16, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10), easy to detect through Voight-Kampff testing. Class: Warrior or Expert

Pleasure Model Set stats (STR 10, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 14, WIS 16, CHA 18), easy to detect through Voight-Kampff testing. Class: Warrior or Expert

Dangerous Labor Model Set stats (STR 18, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10), easy to detect through Voight-Kampff testing. Class: Expert

Prototype (roll up stats), nearly impossible to detect through Voight-Kampff testing. Class: Any

Prototype table (roll or pick)

  1. Psychic
  2. Body Double for Faction Leader*
  3. Created by Replicants, one of the first births in the community
  4. Created by corporation
  5. Bodyguard
  6. Former Blade Runner


Fake ID’s that will degrade with time

  • When you use a fake ID, roll 1d6. On a 6, the ID is found to be fake by whoever is checking it and will no longer work. Add +1 to the roll for every time you use it.

List of employees of the company that made you

3 knives

1 Revolver

1 Semi-automatic pistol

1 abandoned hovel out of the elements



*Great idea from captainapop on a Reddit thread.

Sorcerer, Comic Strip AP, Sessions 1-3

The Comic Strip AP site.


Here are the first 3 episodes, all in one place. As a listener, I dig the short, punchy format with a few dice rolls and reveals an episode. As a player, playing 15 minutes at a clip is an odd, cool thing that I’m still processing. My hope is that the Comic Strip AP format will allow us to look at techniques and the episodic format will allow us to locate them easily.

SWN 8: Boarding Parties and Business Deals

RAZORnet Review: Astral Dragon LLC

The Astral Dragon LLC took on an ASSET RECOVERY job and completed the job with professionalism and finesse. They hired skilled freelancers to compliment the gig’s goals and managed their mercenary hires admirably.

We look forward to working with these freelancers again and encourage others in the sector to do so.

Star Rider


Strachan turning the Gurdridim intimidation on the Lalita Navy Intel Officer.

Everyone smoking up with the Melite Exchange Consular once he turned his internal network connections off.

Deiter’s amazement and disappointment at Circe’s population living in decommissioned capital ships.

Star Rider

To: Astraldragonllcboardofdirectors@astraldragon.com

RE: Asset Recovery, Gig #456A397  

Please forward your coordinates to this comm channel and we will send a consul team to assess the recovered asset. Please include any complications that might put our assessment consult team into danger. Please be specific.

It is our understanding that the asset was a laboratory site for some computer science that interests the Exchange. If this cargo is left in an untampered state on the asset, your remuneration will be exponentially improved.

We are prepared to pay you in straight credits or offer free passage to you and your corporate operatives to the Mudsassar shipyards, where we will pay for the outfitting of your own ship with your repo fees taken as down-payment on the finest spaceships built in all of Sector Hades Zeta. The specific accouterments of the ship’s systems and hull would be decided by the coming assessment.

If you have any questions, there is a Melite Exchange office in this sector with consulars standing by. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.


The Exchange

Link for reply


Report from the bridge of the Patrol Boat Tasmania, Captain Rajani Ojo

As per the Condition Blue procedures, our patrol boat boarded and scanned the Free Frigate Exceptional Object in orbit around Kaprianou well within the planet’s dangerous nanite cloud. The ship had recently been legally repossessed by the Astral Dragon LLC. All things considered, the signs of the repo boarding and battle were minimal.

Melite Exchange Consular Kazi backed up the legitimacy of the repo gig and rendezvoused with the Exceptional Object, with the Free Merchant Invisible Hand escorting the Frigate back to the Orbital Syracuse, where it docked in the Exchange bay. The Exceptional Object was given rudimentary probe scanning for weaponized atomic radiations, nanite storage and illegal data gestation.

Navy Intel Officer, Lieutenant Yash Cordova conducted interviews of several former Lalita naval ground-pounder and a Circe planetary grunt, personel #’s included in the data packet. Lieutenant Cordova also interviewed a Gudridim Hunter, Strachan Natana. Lt. Yash’s interview techniques managed to avoid any direct conflicts but did not manage the interviewees into different spaces so that stories could be compared. Further training for the lieutenant is recommended upon return to the Orbital Madrid. Mr. Strachan showed disdain for the Guevaran Marines that is worth investigating.

The Tasmania is in need of a hard hull scrub after being that close to Kaprianou’s shit-cloud.


Comic Strip AP: Sorcerer

Comic Strip AP: Sorcerer 01


Comic Strip AP is something the Gauntlet podcast started on their Discern Realities podcast. At the end of the episode they’d have a 10 to 15 minute actual play example with a recurring character. When I heard they were starting a podcast featuring it, I went to Rich and we decided to play Sorcerer.

I am outside of my comfort zone in a bunch of different ways in this thing. I’m playing Sorcerer without any setting gimmicks and I’m making mistakes. The setting is NYC, a dense place that I don’t feel qualified to pull off even though I live here. The history is too dense for me to be fully comfortable. And of course there is that funky Comic Strip AP format.

Playing in 15 minute bits every week is an odd thing. We try to get one interesting conflict or decision in every episode but the killer, to me, is the downtime. I have too much time to think over my GMing decisions and pick myself apart in a way that I don’t do in my usual gaming, or at least I don’t do it in 15 minute increments.

Right before the third episode I panicked, I nearly e-mailed Rich and told him that the game wasn’t working. I nearly told him that we should ditch this game and start something else before he dumps anymore time into editing this thing. I didn’t and wouldn’t you know it, the third episode is where things start to really click.

Thank you, Rich for rocking this AP with your amazing play and editing skills. Rich posted interesting thoughts in the Comic Strip AP G+ Community.

Check it out and let me know what you think.