Feb 9, 2012

Stars Without Number 40K Skill Conversion and Background Packages

I enjoy elements of the 40K roleplaying games, but I find the system extremely cumbersome and hard to modify, and this led me about a year ago to want to experiment with running 40K using Stars Without Number. I ended up using the world generator pretty extensively, but never ran an actual game using my house rules. I did end up creating a ton of stuff that numerous people have said they found interesting, so I'll be putting it up.

Notes for Converting Stars Without Numbers Skills to 40K Appropriate Ones


The Culture skill has an additional specialty called "Ruinous Powers" that covers familiarity with the traditions, organisation and protocols of Chaos cultists, traitor space marines, and daemons.


The Religion skill now has specialties. When an individual takes the Religion skill, they must pick a specialty, and must buy all specialties separately. The specialties are: "Imperial Creed", "Ruinous Powers", "Xeno Religions" and "Cults".

The "Imperial Creed" specialty covers the varieties of religious worship in the Imperium that are accepted by the Ecclesiarchy, including the variant used by the Astartes.

The "Ruinous Powers" specialty covers all worship of the Chaos Gods, demons, and other denizens of the Warp.

"Xeno Religions" covers all religions of nearby Xenos, including the gods of the Eldar, Orkish idols, and the Kroot Shapers.

"Cults" covers all non-Chaotic heresies, including pre-Imperial religions, the religions of lost worlds, and unsanctioned variants of the Imperial Creed.

Tech Skill

"Pretech" becomes "Archaeotech" and covers all archaeotech devices
"Postech" becomes "Imperial" and covers all devices currently built by the Imperium
"Psitech" becomes "Warp" and covers both technology affecting psy-powers and technology that interacts with the Warp (including pentagrammatic wards, psy-trackers, etc.)
"Maltech" becomes "Xenotech" and covers all technology of alien origin.

Additional Background Packages

These are 40K specific background packages that supplement the ones in the SWN corebook. Most of them can be used in other settings pretty easily. The format is:

Name of Background Package
One line description.
Skill, Skill, Skill, Skill

By the way, if you want to design your own background packages, that's all designing one takes. These are all mechanically unique from the ones in the corebook.

Administrative Assistant
The character spent time as a valet, emissary, majordomo or assistant to a Peer of the Imperium, or working in the Administratum.
Bureaucracy, Culture/World, Leadership, Steward

The character is a skilled worker capable of making a living off their trade.
Artist, Business, Culture/World, Profession: Any

The character is a hardy colonist either sent to or born on one of the many Frontier Worlds of the Imperium.
Combat/Projectile Weapons, Vehicle/Any, Culture/World, Survival

The character is a member of a heretical religion and is infiltrating the Imperium.
Combat/Any, Culture/Ruinous Powers or Culture/World, Religion/Ruinous Powers or Religion/Cults, Persuade

The character is an apostate in the eyes of the Tech-Priests for his misuse of technology.
Culture/Traveller, Computer, Science, Tech/Any

The character worked for the Adeptus Arbites, planetary enforcers, or even the Inquisition investigating crimes.
Culture/World, Perception, Persuade, Security

The character's past and memories have been erased and replaced, and the character turned into a Throne Agent.
Athletics, Combat/Energy Weapons, Combat/Unarmed, Stealth

The character is part of a mendicant order that contemplates the Imperial Creed.
Culture/World, History, Religion/Imperial Creed, Survival

Omnissiah Adept
Born in one of the Mechanicus demesnes but considered unsuitable for ordination, this character was one of the countless individuals assisting the Tech-Priests in their work.
Culture/World, Computer, Tech/Imperial, Vehicle/Any

The character has spent years of their life travelling from one holy shrine to another.
Culture/Traveller, Navigation, Religion/Imperial Creed, Survival

Schola Prodigy
An orphan raised in a Schola Progenium to serve the Imperium. Schola graduates often become storm troopers, commissars, bureaucrats, priests and Throne Agents.
Combat/Any, History, Leadership, Tactics

Shrine World
The character was born on a shrine world and spent most of their early life immersed in the rites and rituals of the Ecclesiarchy and working for the glorification of the Emperor's domain.
Artist, Culture/World, Religion/Imperial Creed, Profession:Any

A specialist in the discovery, cataloguing and exploration of new worlds for the Imperium. They are often attached to explorator crews.
Culture/Traveller, Perception, Tech/Imperial, Survival

Underhive Ganger
The character grew up amongst the half-mutated killers of the underhive.
Combat/Any, Culture/Criminal, Gambling, Survival

A specialist in unlocking the mysteries of xenos, including their languages and their strange and unholy artifacts. A key part of any explorator crew.
Culture/Alien, Language, Religion/Xeno Religions, Tech/Xenotech

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