PD/FSA Standard Rules


[ PD/FSA Standard Rules | PD/FSA Technical Readout ]

Reverse video version.

These are rules that will (probably) not change in games that run in the PD/FSA universe. As such, they are put here so you only have to read them once. Addenda/changes to these rules will be published separately. New changes appear in green.

[ Safety | Game Locations | Elevators | Stairs | Headbands | Stealth |
Dropship Controls | Doors, Airlocks, Bulkheads | Vacuum | Neutron Detonators | Guns |
Damage Types | Powerarmor | Armor Repair | Stims | Hit Points, Dying, and Death ]

Date Changed Section Changed
Wed Jan 12 13:54:50 EST 2005 Cloaking, neutron detonator changes.
Sun Oct 31 10:52:57 EST 2004 Forcefields are shot-permeable.
Mon Oct 11 10:11:24 EDT 2004 Initial draft.


Be safe. If you aren't, the GMs'll kick you out.

No charging: don't run closer than double-ZOC to an enemy. Running is OK. Charging is not. Can you walk up to ZOC of an enemy? Yes. So it's OK to run up to double-ZOC of an enemy and then walk/dodge in closer up to ZOC.

Halts should only be called for emergencies. No ammo halts.

Game Locations

Don't go outside unless a sign says that you may. If a sign says you can, read it closely: it may tell you to go directly there, to not double back, to not take your time getting there, etc.

"Can we fire across the open space from 36-mez to 36-basement?" No.


Elevators are generally not in game unless you are told otherwise.


The general rule is: don't.

The expansive rule is: You may not shoot in, into, or out of stairwells or elevators. You may not talk about anything game-relevant in stairwells or elevators. For purposes of talking or shooting, you are in the stairwell or elevator if any part of you is inside. For purposes of being shot, you are outside the stairwell or elevator if any part of you is outside.


Red headbands means PD powerarmor or uniform.

Blue headbands means FSA powerarmor or uniform.

Green headbands means cadet powerarmor, for both PD and FSA. (Mnemonic: "Green as a cadet.")

Purple headbands are obviously alien. We're not talking cyborgs; we're talking creatures with tentacles, claws, eyestalks, etc. If they're not shooting at you, they may be friendly. If they're shooting at you, assume they're hostile.

Random human beings will have yellow headbands.

GMs/observers will have white headbands.

Stealthed units may have odd colored headbands. Currently, PD stealthed units may wear metallic silver headbands and FSA stealthed units may wear black silk headbands with flowers. The stealthed unit can still elect not to wear a headband; this requires them, however, to keep their hands over their head, which gets tedious.

Bad-ass stuff will additionally have black headbands. If you see someone wearing a bunch of purple and black headbands, it's a seriously bad-ass looking alien. No one will be wearing just a black headband, because it's just too damn hard to see.

You may also see color-and-black headbands tied around arms. Whatever they are, they are worse than just someone with a color-and-black headband.

Examples: heavy powerarmor has a color-and-black headband. Assault powerarmor additionally has the color-and-black armbands as well.


Note: stealth mechanics will almost certainly vary from game to game. Read your game's specific Rules Addenda. In general, stealth will be rare and of short duration.

People who look suspiciously like Guild players who aren't wearing headbands or are wearing Stealth headbands, look like they know what they're doing, and have their hands above their heads are Not Here. IG, you do get a funny feeling when this happens, though, but you cannot localize it other than "being in this room".

If you cheese this by always looking right at the stealthed person, the GMs will hose hose hose you.

For both cloaking and de-cloaking:

Stealthed units may not talk to anyone. Stealthed units can play charades with other stealthed units.

Dropship Controls

In order to do anything with a Dropship, you need the four Keys for that dropship. A Dropship Key is a brightly colored piece of cardboard with the name of a Dropship: that key only works in that Dropship. The four Keys are identical: put one on each of the Dropship Keyholes and then do what you want. Officers can pilot a dropship; anyone can hit the Big Red Button which gets you the hell out of Dodge. Hitting the Big Red Button is guaranteed to save your butt, but you will probably be out of game at that point. (Which may be exactly what you want.)

Doors, Bulkheads, Airlocks, Forcefields

Doors into rooms: enter freely. Don't go into offices, clusters, etc. In general, if it's not marked, go nuts. This applies to internal doors as well (the various classrooms in m36-1xx or the classrooms up in m34-3xx).

Doors that close in hallways may be just doors or may be bulkheads. If the former, they'll be unmarked: go through them freely. If they're bulkheads, then they will be clearly marked on both sides. Follow the directions on the sign.

Airlocks and forcefields may be signs on doors or marked by duct tape on the ground. Airlocks will have controls on either side. Forcefields may or may not.

All bulkheads, airlocks, forcefields, etc, will say on the sign whether they can be destroyed or compromised (and if so, by what: gunfire, heavy gunfire, neutron detonators, cryptosmashers, decking, etc). If you see colored tape on the floor but no sign, then you can safely assume that airlock or forcefield has been destroyed.

Forcefields stop people and items from crossing, but do not stop shots. This is new: forcefields are shot-permeable.


If a location is vented to vacuum, a GM will call out "VACUUM! 10! 9! 8!" etc down to "2! 1! VACUUM!" If you can still see or hear the GM when he is done with the incant, and you have no remaining Armor Points, you immediately fall to 0 HP and become Unconscious. If you are fighting in a vacuum area, we will endeavor to let you know. In this case, if your armor ever goes to 0 AP, you also fall to 0 HP and become Unconscious.

Neutron Detonators

"Neutron detonators" is shorthand for hand-held, high-yield neutron bombs. They look like chemical lightsticks and work the same way. They are more powerful than breaching charges and tend to destroy doors, safes, and other things.

Neutron detonators used to knock down a forcefield produce a Lased Neutron Wavefront. Upon cracking the lightstick within ZOC of a forcefield, a GM will call out "DETONATOR!" and start counting silently to 10. Upon reaching 10, the GM will call out "DETONATION!", and anyone in line-of-sight of the GM will be dead. This includes cloaked characters. Moral: don't be stuck in a long hallway when this happens. Lased Neutron Wavefronts only occur when a detonator is ignited next to a forcefield. If you just crack a neutron detonator in a hallway, you'll get a pretty green glow and that's about it.

Neutron detonators are the preferred method of getting through pesky obstacles like forcefields, airlocks, etc. Note that they tend not to work on bulkhead doors (bulkheads are specifically designed to last against neutron detonators).

Neutron detonators have two components: a Housing and a Fuse. The lightstick is the Fuse. Crack it, shake it a 2 or 3 times, insert it into the Housing, and run like hell. You have about 10 seconds after cracking the lightstick before things go poorly.

Neutron fuses and detonators are not grenades. An activated detonator cannot be moved. THIS IS A KLUDGE. We have added Housings into game so that the lightsticks won't roll away from the target. In order to destroy a target (like blowing through an airlock, forcefield, etc), the Housing must be within ZOC of the target.

A neutron fuse, by itself, won't do anything to you, unless you're trying to do something cheesy in front of a GM and they catch you.

Neutron detonators have fail-safes in them such that if the powerarmor they're being carried is destroyed, then the detonator is rendered unusable. THIS IS A KLUDGE. It means you probably can't loot bodies for neutron detonators, so don't be surprised if that happens.


Shooter calls the shot.

Ammo halts do not exist.

Different guns have different effects; see the technical readout for details. Note that for the Academy, we use a vastly simplified setup: see the Academy Rules Addendum instead.

Unless you know otherwise, guns are not transferable.

Damage Types

There are two types of damage: macrodamage and normal damage. Most things do normal damage. Spell packets and large nerf arrows do macro damage.

Macrodamage does 6 points of normal damage. However, if you're reduced to 0 by macrodamage and you don't have a macroarmor suit you are Dead. (If you are in macroarmor, then you only take a point of macroarmor damage.) Heavy suits in prime condition can take a point of macrodamage and keep going.

Generally speaking, forcefields, airlocks, bulkheads, etc, will be impervious to damage and mega-damage. Shots can cross forcefields, but not bulkheads (the physical door will stop the shot).


Powerarmor is transferable. It takes 1 minute to exit your suit of armor and 1 minute to enter another suit of armor. Each person capable of wearing a suit of armor is either Normal or Geneered. (Geneered folks look a little like they've been taking too much steroids, and have more integral HP.) The armor you are trying to put on must have your bulk type on it. (Normal people cannot wear Geneered armor, and vice versa.)

Powerarmor is represented by a card which will have pertinent information on the card about the powerarmor. If you take your powerarmor off and it has armor damage, mark this on the card for the next guy. (Otherwise, track the damage in your head.)

Armor is either macroarmor or normal armor. If it doesn't say, it's normal armor.

Armor Repair

Some powerarmor has a bay for armor repair charges. This can be used on yourself or on others. Armor repair will be represented by sticky dots of some color. Stick the dot on the other guy you are trying to repair armor on and say "I apply this armor repair charge 1, I apply this armor repair charge 2, I apply this armor repair charge 3." or some similar three-second or longer incant of your choice. Coming up with a more stylish incant is good. Each successfully-applied armor repair charge will restore 1 armor point to the suit of armor being applied, up to its maximum armor points.

Armor repair only works on normal armor; there is no known armor repair for macro armor.


There are two types of stims.

Some powerarmor has an internal stim built-in. You can use this stim while unconscious at any point before you actually die. After you have actually died, you may not use the stim to rez yourself, so there is a time limit. Using the stim restores you to Conscious with your maximum HP.

Some powerarmor has a bay for stims to be actively used by the pilot. These stims can be used on others. Stim will be represented by sticky dots of some color. Stick the dot on the other guy you are trying to stim and say "Stim, get up!" or some other three-syllable or longer incant. If the target is Unconscious, they are restored to Conscious with their maximum HP.

Hit Points, Health States, Dying, and Death

There are 5 health states:

Albanian Heavy Industries Jim Waldrop, Dave Leung, Clint Lohse