Let's Read “Stars without Number” - Equipment and Vehicles

The book title “Revised Stars without Number: A Science Fiction Role Playing Game by Kevin Crawford” overlaying a star field
A part of my series. Go grab your free copy of $1 and join in.


There are two slots for items related to encumberance.

  • Readied Items - half Strength, rounded down
  • Stowed Items - full Strength

A readied item is immediately available during a character’s turn. A stowed item is on the character’s person, but require more time to draw out.

The system appears quick and easy to adjudicate. Some items require more than one slot for being readied or stowed.

Credits and Money

A quick concession on the inter-changability of credits from planet to planet, followed by stating that even precious metals may not be precious after extensive asteroid mining.

Equipment Legality

A reminder that different systems may have different laws for weapons and armor.

Forbidden Science

Thou shalt not:

  • make tools of humankind - no genetic tech to enslave or control humanity
  • create unbraked minds - Artificial Intelligences (AIs 📖) must be braked
  • create devices of planetary destruction

Technology Levels

Postech - Any technology that is functional and maintainable since the campaign wide Scream Pretech - Pre-Scream technology more sophisticated than Postech

From sticks and stones (Technology Level (TL 📖) 0) to 2st century tech (TL 3) to Postech (TL 4) to Pretech (TL 5) and beyond.

To build a Spike-drive (and Faster than Light (FtL 📖) transporation) you need TL 4.


Because no one likes getting shot.

  • Primitive - useless against TL 4 and up weapons, but it’ll help against bows, arrows, revolver bullets
  • Street armor - lightweight and wearable under normal cloths
  • Combat armor - for military and law enforcement
  • Powered armor - immune to TL 3 or lower weapons, a step below a mech

Different armor takes up 0, 1, or 2 slots along different tech levels.

Ranged Weapons

A variety of weapons from TL 1 up to TL 5, each taking 1 or 2 slots. Advantages of TL 2 weapons are ease of maintenance; most any planet with minimal tools will do.

Some weapons can fire in burst mode; Spend 3 rounds of ammunition to get a +2 to hit and damage.

Melee Weapons

An abstract list of weapons with two variables: size (small, medium, large) and technology (primitive and advanced). From there you, as a player, name the weapon. Monobloade, knife, pulse-guisarme, chainsword, etc.

Larger weapons do more damage, inflict more shock, and require more slots.

Plenty of variation and options.

Heavy Weapons

These weapons require tripods, fixed support, or vehicle mounting.

Some heavy weapons can lay down suppressive fire, using double ammo, and automatically hitting everyone for half damage to anyone not under hard cover.

General Equipment

  • Ammo and Power
  • Communications
  • Computing Gear
  • Field Equipment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Tools and Medical

A wide variety of equipment to support hacking, healing, communication, tinkering, and power.

Of particular note is the Lazarus Patch; A one time medical device that greatly reduces the difficulty (to 6 instead of 8) of the Heal skill check for reviving people.

Lifestyles, Employees, and Services

Guidance on how to pay for the type of lifestyle your character wants (or is living).

A quick chart of wages for employees by skill type and skill rank. And a chart for services and their costs - Bribes, forgeries, intensive medical care, interstellar mail, workshop rental, passage, and wildly decadent party. A laundry list of services an adventurer might want.

Vehicles & Drones

A list of vehicles and drones, and their game statistics. Plenty of interesting options.


Expensive personal modifications, that incur system strain; which reduces a character’s limit for psionic healing and stimulant drugs.


Stars without Number: Revised Edition 📖 assumes a past when technology was more potent, even bordering on magic. This chapter provides some ideas of what that tech could be.

Modding and Building Equipment

Stars without Number: Revised Edition provides a ruleset and framework for building and modifying equipment.

Modifications require three things: time, money, and pretech parts. Characters have ample time and can earn money, but to get pretech parts, they’ll need to search, scrounge, and adventure for it. And then spend time to maintain.

Characters may also build new equipment, choosing to jury-rig something, build it out normally, or even strive for a masterwork device (which allows a mod installation that requires no maintenance).

A character has a threshold of maximum maintenance - better of Int or Con modifier plus 3 times the character’s tech skill.


As is traditional with sci-fi, characters have access to a laundry list of equipment, many of which will require a significant number of credits or pretech components. All of which drive the characters towards adventure.

Which is what an equipment list should be; A list of aspirational items that the players seek to acquire.