Review – Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech (Stars Without Number)
Sine Nomine Publishing recently released another free resource for the Stars Without Number RPG as a part of their Mandate Archive series. The Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech book is meant to provide Game Masters the tools needed to deal with things like body-swapping and genetic augmentations and matter compilation devices.
I have to say that while I’m not really experienced with Stars Without Number, apart from it’s yellow cover (my eyes! it’s hurt!) this seems to be a very good supplement for the Sci-fi RPG.
To make some ground on which the rules could be based the book provides the Threshold Sector as a “pocket setting” for the rules included in this resource.
The first several pages are dealing with the setting, as well as Faction creatin rules for the Threshold Sector. The added random Faction Traits table enable to personalize your factions in seconds, providing beliefs the members follow together.
The next part Gengineering and Alienation is dealing with the different bodies (Hulls) the denizens of the sector may have, and the associated advantages and hindrances. They may even change Hulls during their lives, if they want to. The more inhuman the body it has more strain (alienation) on the mind, which could cause even coma in a worst case scenario.
There are 5 different kind of Hull Typess available in the game, with one of them is specifically created for problematic Ego‘s for interrogation sessions. Hulls with better alterations has a much higher Status Cost up to 60, while the Basic Hull cost only 10. There are several example Hulls are provided (one for Atlanteans for example) which could be use readily, or could be modified for your own campaign. This part of the supplement is finished with a one-page table about available Alterations, which is good, but I could imagine more.
The next part of the book deals with post-monetary societies and matter compilation devices. In the Threshold Sector it’s the later which made the first possible, as money would have little value when almost anything could be created from almost anything else. The real values in this system are the few things which cannot be compiled : Hulls, data, space and time. To measure this non-monetary values the supplement introduces status, and include a pretty detailed system to use it instead of money. Well, I guess this post-monetary thing is not my thing, but I guess many players will find it interesting.
Transhuman Tech is a nice little supplement : it’s offer several interesting options and even a mini-setting, and all of this for free. The layout of the book is simple but clear, and it’s easy to find any single data you may looking for. I think Stars Without Number fans will be glad to have this supplement.
If you are interested in the Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech resource for Stars Without Number you may download it from RpgNow here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros