Stars Without Number is one of the best hard sci-fi games out there. This reviewer feels it IS the best. If you haven't already checked out Sine Nomine Publishing's other offerings see what all the praise is about. As the title proclaims in Darkness Visible GMs are given tools to handle espionage campaigns. To start, this material is easily portable to other sci-fi games and with some adaption could be used with contemporary era spy games. All of Kevin Crawford's books come from the utility of being tool boxes for GMs. Giving options and launching off points for continuation of the ideas presented. Agents of the State starts the book with a introduction and chapter rundown. Hold the Line is a brief historical overview of intelligence operations in the Stars Without Number universe. God Doesn't Know My Name covers the organization and operations of intelligence agencies in the SWN universe. Architects of Night deals with construction of agencies and cabals. This chapter covers advantages of your agencies, along with the benefit of those advantages broken down into 3 levels of strength. There is also a table of 1d10 plot seeds for said advantage. There is a sample of one of these advantages on the Sine Nomine Publishing website (Armory I think, other examples would be Assassins and Beamgates). Of note within the same chapter are more advantages but for Maltech Cults (as close to the "other side" as you're going to get in such gray area campaigns). Lastly ther are rules for playing these agencies as one might play a player character, used between sessions. Thou Shall Not covers the before mentioned MalTech cults. Sowers of discord and ruin in the name of science without conscience, they could very well be the mysterious cause of The Scream which caused the collapse of the Mandate. Rules for tailored creations (such as genegineered servants) are provided. Sample cults and cultists flesh out this chapter more. Maltech theme tags finish out this chapter but the tags themselves can be used in other capacities (like for planets). Tradecraft is practical advice for GMs to run espionage stories, with tables to roll for random plot elements. Unknown Soilders covers character creation ad ons for spy characters (such as backgrounds and equipment). All in all 96 pages of stuff useful to the GM who may never even run spys in their games. The art is sparse but the writing remains top shelf. All in all giving the feeling of a professional product. Need I remind you this is one guy doing this. The material ties in nicely with the new material introduced in the Core Rules and Skyward Steel (both put out by Mongoose). The stuff on Maltech Cults was alone worth the price. Old school goodness mixed with modern story focused roleplaying. Get back into the sandbox and see if this just doesn't fit nicely into you Space or Spy game.
[5 of 5 Stars!]