Stars Without Number (Revised Edition) does a pretty good job of making character creation a streamlined and easy process. On page 4 we find a numbered walkthrough on how to make a character. Let’s try.
Roll your six attributes and assign them in order. This is the standard strict six D&D-attributes. I use an online die roller for ease, but would normally like to roll real dice for this step.
Strength: 7 Dexterity: 17 Constitution: 9 Intelligence: 12 Wisdom: 15 Charisma: 9
I get high numbers in Dexterity and Wisdom and pretty average in all the rest attributes. Let’s see where this might lead us.
Attribute modifiers is easy. My attributes only goes from -1 to +1.
Strength: -1 Dexterity: +1 Constitution: 0 Intelligence: 0 Wisdom: +1 Charisma: 0
All in all this character seems pretty average, which is probably a fine starting point.
Next up is to pick a background. This will help define what this character is all about. I’m feeling adventurous and decide to roll for my background. A d20 roll of 8 gets me the Noble background and that is pretty exciting. The description of the Noble background goes like this:
Many planets are ruled by a class of nobles, and your hero was a member of one such exalted group. Such planets are often worlds of exquisite courtesy al-loyed with utterly remorseless violence, and a mis-placed word at the morning levee can result in an executioner’s monoblade at noon. Your hero has done something or been the victim of something to dislodge them from their comfortable place at court. Without their familiar allies, wealth, or influence, they must take a new place in the world, however distasteful that claiming might be.
The Noble background automatically gives my character the Lead-0 skill.
Next up is either picking two extra skills from the Noble skill list or rolling three times divided between the Growth and Learning tables associated with the Noble background. Rolling seems the best way to go here, so I decide to roll once on the Growth table and twice on the Learning table.
I start with rolling 1d6 for Growth. I get a 3 which allows me to add 2 to any mental attribute. This is Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. As a Noble I probably should add this to my Charisma, but as the numbers are it wouldn’t give me any real advantage in attribute modifiers. I could also divide the two point between two of my attributes, but again that wouldn’t help me in a significant way. The better way is probably to add 2 points to Intelligence and so increasing it to 14 and gain +1 as an attribute modifier. My Noble is probably not too well liked, but he is a sly bastard instead. Yep, that feels like the way to go.
Ok, let’s roll up some extra skills. Remember I automatically got Lead-0 as a Noble. Let’s see what else my background has taught me. I roll 1d8 and get 5 which once more gives me Lead. This increases my Lead-0 to Lead-1. I roll 1d8 again and get a 6. Checking the table for my background this gives me Notice-0. That’s handy.
This is the decisive point where I choose a class; either a Warrior, Expert, Psychic or Adventurer which is a mash-up of two of the previous classes. Warrior seems out for me based on my low strength, although I could go for a sniper-kind of character. Adventurer is a little bit complicated. So is the psychic. All in all I believe an Expert is the best way to go for my sly and sneaky noble. As an Expert my character get these abilities:
- Get a free level in a non-combat focus related to the background.
- Once per scene reroll a skill check and pick the better roll.
- When I advcance a level I gain a bonus skill point to spend on a non-combat and non-psychic skill. This point can be saved.
My starting hit points is 1d6 + Constitution modifier. I have no modifier and thankfully I roll a 5 for my hit points.
This is the exciting step. Foci is the potentially most powerful concept of character creation in Stars Without Number. Since I’ve chosen the Expert class I get to pick two foci, or the same focus twice. I have already established that my character has a noble background, and that he is an Expert. His skills are Lead-1 and Notice-0. I’m thinking I need to pick one focus that will make my noble expert at least able to handle himself in combat, as well as a focus that will build on his other skills. As a noble I guess he would not be trained sniper, but more into showing off in a duel. The focus Close Combat seems suited for this. At level 1 this focus gives my character an extra combat skill. Also he can now use small firearms in melee without penalties, and ignore Shock Damage in melee. Just what was needed. I pick the Shoot-0 skill for the extra skill. Now, for my second focus, I decide to go with Henchkeeper. This will help my noble attract and keep a bunch of followers. Maybe they will help him stay alive a little longer. I can gain a new henchman within 24 hours of arriving in a community. I can’t find any rules on how many henchmen my noble can entertain at one time though. Also I gain a new level in Lead which would put it at Lead-2, but a starting character is only allowed up to Level 1 in a skill so I get to chose another skill. There is bunch of skills that could be useful, but I’m thinking I’ll pick Administer-0 as the last skill. This will make my character useful on a spaceship and in business.
The final touches allows me one more level in a skill. This represents a particular field of interest for my character. I choose to pick a totally new skill to make my character useful in most ways possible. It narrows down to Connect, Know, Pilot, Program, Talk or Trade. Pilot and Program isn’t really natural for the character I have in mind, ie. he probably will have people performing these skills for him. The other four skills are all useful though. I settle for Talk-0 as my final skill. Lastly I pick the Civilian Equipment Pack which gives me just Secure Clothing, a Compad and 700 credits. The credits will be spent on a Laser Pistol (200 credits), bribes and henchmen.
To sum it up here is my character for Stars Without Number Revised Edition. This could be a fun character!
Name: Alfonso Reed Background: Noble Class: Expert Hit Points: 5 Base Attack Bonus: 0
Focus: Close Combat-0, Henchkeeper-0
Skills: Lead-1, Notice-0, Shoot-0, Administer-0, Talk-0
Saving Throws: Physical: 15 Mental: 14 Evasion: 14
Equipment: Secure Clothing Compad Laser Pistol