Saturday, May 23, 2015



There are several important distinctions from the standard X-Plorers game system in this chapter.

The Role of Your Character

All player characters are presumed to be Star Knights as described in the introduction: heroic individuals who’ve pledged their lives to the service of the Galactic Republic…for as long as it stands (it’s always possible the Kloane might win the war and replace the benevolent government with their own tyrannical Empire; if this happens, the PCs’ mission will have to change).

Star Knights come from a variety of backgrounds and are trained to be competent professionals whatever their specialty (“class”). In addition, they are taught to harness their own psychic potential, tapping into the “Star Force,” the name they give to the underlying energy that both creates and binds all things in the universe together. Through discipline and training, Star Knights can learn to “feel” the Star Force and use it to perform extraordinary feats that ordinary folks find miraculous. These psychic abilities (called “talents”) are described at the end of this chapter.

The galactic setting of KWN is one in which millions of sentient creatures interact with each other on a regular basis. While humans are still a plentiful and dominant life form in the galaxy (being highly adaptable, ambitious, and possessing a great facility for reproduction), it’s possible for a player character to be of a non-human species. This is described below.

It is possible that one or more players may not want to be Star Knights; when this is the case, players should create characters using the normal X-Plorers rules, though modified by the non-human species rules presented here if they like.

Character Creation Summary

Except as noted below, use the standard rules when creating characters for KWN.

Step 2: Character Class

There is one new character class available in KWN: the High-Born.  This class is detailed below. All characters are considered to be trained Star Knights, and should note the special rules associated with their status, in addition to their normal class abilities. NOTE: there is no multi-classing option in KWN.

Step 3: Hit Points, Basic Hit Bonus, and Saving Throws

All Star Knights receive an extra hit die for determining hit points (so roll 2D6 at first level, adding PHY adjustment to each die). This reflects both the character being a “cut above” the average galactic citizen, AND their psychic connection with the Star Force. No Star Knight should have less than six hit points at 1st level; players may reroll any result less than six.

Step 4: Equipment

All Star Knight characters begin the game with a beamrazor and comm-link (both detailed in Chapter 2), a survival pack, and either one additional kit of choice OR one defense suit listed in the basic rulebook (NOTE: there are no personal “force screens” in the KWN setting). Any other equipment will have to be purchased in play.

Unlike the original X-Plorers game, KWN does not use or track credits or any kind of “space money.” The accumulation of wealth is not a central part of the space opera genre, and so an abstract method of acquiring goods is used (and detailed in the next chapter).

Step 5:  Personality

At this point in the character creation process, players who wish play a non-human should refer to the ALIENS section in this chapter to determine the details of their species. Choosing a non-human is mostly a cosmetic choice, just like choosing your character’s height and hair color; however, some species may have traits that make them different from the normal KWN player character.


In KWN characters still accumulate experience points and earn levels to reflect their progress and development; Chapter 5 provides some additional guidelines regarding the experience point awards. In addition, KWN recognizes there are some milestones of life experience that can give a character an immediate boost of confidence and courage. Specific milestones are discussed in Chapter 3; whenever a PC achieves a milestone the character immediately advances to the next level of experience, regardless of points earned in a session. No milestone may be acquired more than once during a career, and no more than one level can be earned in a single game session (PCs should record milestones achieved; if more than one might be earned in a single session, count only one as a “milestone.” There is no benefit for achieving two milestones in a single session).

In addition to levels, each Star Knight character belongs to a tier of development, measuring his or her mastery of the Star Force and accomplishment as a Knight. Tiers are ranks of Knighthood, and like milestones they are not earned simply by accumulating points:

Tier 1 (Apprentice): the first tier achieved upon completion of training and being opened to the mysteries of the Star Force; PCs generally begin the game at this tier.
Tier 2 (Adept): the tier achieved by an apprentice that has survived a Trial of Fire, usually in the form of one-on-one combat fought with beamrazors.
Tier 3 (Master): the final tier achieved upon completing a Trial of Legacy; the adept must successfully train an apprentice to the rank of adept, proliferating the Star Knight way.

NOTE: even “apprentices” are considered fully trained Star Knights; tiers measure rank in relationship to each other and also indicate their depth of understanding and degree of proficiency with psychic talents. Achieving a new tier is always considered a milestone.

[to be continued

[Kloane War Knights is copyright 2013 by Jonathan Becker and Running Beagle Games. The X-Plorers rpg is copyright 2009, Dave Bezio & Grey Area Games. The X-Plorers trademark is used under the X-Plorers Trademark License]


  1. This is great stuff, JB. Glad you chose to share it on the blog and not monetize it somehow. I've said it elsewhere but it bears repeating: I can't really begrudge a guy trying to make a few bucks for his creative endeavors in this hobby, but I do miss the days when most things were shared on blogs and forums rather than Lulu or RPGNow.
    I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment. X-plorers was a great little game, and you're right, it didn't get enough love. Plus it's all easily compatible with White Star.

    Now if you just do the same with CDF, or even your older B/X Shadowrun notes. :-) I know some of the ideas didn't pan out as you'd hoped, but I'd love to see them anyway.

    1. @ Reese:

      Thanks for the kind words. I'll probably still try to "monetize" the book at some point but that'll be after this serial finishes posting (I've got the installments scheduled to go up every 13 hours, but that'll still take most of a month).

  2. That's... a lot of content. Now I'm really intrigued.

    As I said, I don't begrudge someone getting paid for their work. You create all that, do layout, editting, some halfway decent art, it's worth paying for. Too often now, I see a slapped together pdf with some clip art and a class or two and they want to charge a buck or two. THAT rubs me the wrong way.
    What youre doing here is just good advertising. You show what we'll be getting, but all gussied up with art and such. People will know what they're paying for and do it gladly. I'll pay $5-10 bucks for a pdf if I know its worth it.
    Has it been 13 hrs yet?

    1. @ Reese:

      About two more to go.
      ; )

    2. @ Reese:

      (you probably won't want to miss it, BTW, 'cause ALIENS. Yay!)