Frequently Asked Questions

This page covers rules and guideline clarifications.



The rule books seem to be lacking much in the way of a setting. Why is this?

The rule books are intentionally left generic so that the rules can be used with any setting the GM desires. I'm working on the Imperial Federation Campaign Source Book. It will contain sociopolitical information as well as historical background, adventure hooks, etc., but it won't be done for a while.



The rules for the strength attribute state "Open-doors indicate the chance of a character to open a door and other related acts of strength". What does this mean? Is the idea that in the future most doors are stuck shut? Or is this the chance to break down a locked door?

The idea is that most doors (outer doors at least) would be locked. Thus, this is the chance to break down or force the lock on an average secure door.


The rules state that a .44 revolver does 2-16 hp whereas the Laser Pistol does 1-6 hp. Why were laser pistols ever invented, if the .44 Revolver is so much deadlier? Is there any reason for anyone to ever use lighter weapons than the .44s?

1) These weapons have potentially different applications. A .44 revolver is a projectile weapon while the laser pistol is an energy weapon. 2) Often the weapons which do more damage are more expensive. The cheaper the weapon, the more in demand it is. That's why so many more .22 revolvers are sold than .44 revolvers. 3) Cost of ownership and use may be more. For instance, .44 ammunition is more expensive than .22 ammunition.


According to the rules, Antimatter Grenades have a range of 100Km. What does this mean - that you can throw it 100 kilometers, or that when it goes off, the fragments travel 100 kilometers?

The damaging energy from the explosion affects things up to 100 kilometers away. Of course, on a planet, the curvature of the surface limits area of effect. For instance on Earth, 20 miles is probably the outer range of explosion damage from any bomb (fallout damage covers a larger area, but that's another issue). As far as fragments, an antimatter grenade isn't going to send out any fragments - the casing is vaporized by the explosion.

The rules state that a .22 Rifle has a range of 75 yards while the .38 Revolver has a range of 100 yards. Are you sure that you want a revolver to have a longer range than a rifle?

Range and damage are related to mass and velocity. The calibre of a weapon has to do with the diameter of the ammo, but ammo can vary in length. Longer shells can contain a more massive projectile (increasing mass) and/or more propellent (increasing velocity). Conceivably, you could buy .22 ammo that causes more damage and has farther range than .38 ammo because it has more propellent and/or mass. There are some other factors (such as barrel length, rifling, etc), but to make the game simpler to use, I opted for some "standard" ammo for specific weapons.


All of the creatures listed in the Creature Anthology are mythological, fantasy creatures rather than science fiction. I am puzzled by this. Were the alien life forms named for similar creatures from human mythology? Were they the result of genetic alteration of other species? Do they originate from another Universe or extra dimensional space where the fantasy races really existed? I had a lot of possible explanations for it, but I wanted to hear the official word on it.

First, there are some science fiction creatures (the robots), a good representation of actual earth life forms, and then the more mythological creatures. Second, as a generic rule book, I wanted to provide a wide range of off-the-shelf creatures for GMs to use. For those who wish to have a fantasy-like setting, they can use elves and brownies. For someone who wants a setting in the near future, earth life forms could be used. For someone in a far-future high-tech setting, the Supertychs would be useful. Nothing, however, prevents a GM from using all three categories of creatures. So, in the absence of a campaign setting, there is no "official" word on it. In your campaign, choose your own explanations.

That said, I'll step out on a limb and predict what the Imperial Federation Campaign Source Book will say on the subject. Not all creatures listed in the Creature Anthology will be used in the setting (ones which personally strike me as exclusively fantasyish will probably be left out). The Imperial Federation setting will not have the planet Earth mentioned anywhere in it. Chalk this up to the setting being in another parallel universe, or on the far side of ours, or what have you. Thus, things like dragons are not necessarily mythological from the standpoint of an individual in the I.F. setting. Even if they were mythological, it could be that the myth is based on fact and some time in the past, a dragon or dragons were introduced to the people who started the myth.

Are the alien monsters described in the Creature Anthology equally spread throughout the universe or do they have specific home worlds? Does each have it's own home world or do several of them share a smaller number of worlds?

This is setting specific. The Imperial Federation setting will probably define most creatures as being native to only one world. Those with sufficient intelligence, desire, and technology will have moved out to other worlds on their own. Others may have been moved by other intelligent creatures, either wittingly (livestock) or unwittingly (pests). Imagine, for instance, how pervasive rats could be among any/all civilized worlds. Or imagine a rich man's private hunting reserve world populated by large reptilian creatures (dinosaurs) imported from their home world.

I am curious as to the level of technologies used by the humanoid races mentioned in the Creature Anthology. Can the Goblins, Trolls, and other 'evil' humanoids use modern weapons? Are they spacefaring? What about the Elves and other 'peaceful' races?

I'd say that any creature with an intelligence of at least 2 could at least operate nearly any standard weapon although they might need to experiment with it or be trained in its use. Likewise, any intelligent, sentient being could eventually figure out, or be trained in the use of, nearly any other technology, including QIDs. This assumes that the creature finds such an item. To invent or build such things requires both the intelligence and the appropriate technology level. If a race cannot yet refine iron, it's not likely to create a revolver. Technology level is a setting issue. It's specifically left to the GM to decide.

In the Imperial Federation setting, Elves will probably have a low technology level - not because they lack intelligence, but they lack the drive to invent new technology. On the other hand, if the Elves came under attack by an intractable foe, they might just aquire such a drive in an attempt to stay alive. Outside of this, you would undoubtably find the occasional exceptional elf who joined with some space-faring adventurers, but he would be considered odd by his fellow elves (possibly even be considered a traitor to his culture). This also helps illustrate the concept of an "evil humanoid race". When mentioned in this context, "evil" is more an issue of the culture. For instance, Goblin culture may look favorably on treachery. But you will always find the occasional goblin who forsakes the mores of his culture and strikes out in a different direction. Since cultures steeped in such negatives as treachery are unlikely to develop a sustained technological growth, such cultures typically have a low technology level.


On one hand the GM Guide mentions that the effects produced by the QIDs are so reality-bending that they must be hand crafted, can only be used by qualified engineers, and self destruct after one use (in portable form). Then on the other hand there are mentioned in the GM's section, a great number of rings, cloaks, cubes, and cylinders that do exactly the same things yet are smaller, reusable, and can be used by anyone. If QIDs are the most formidable technology in the universe, why are there so many devices that can do the same things a QID can and do it smaller, can do it consistently without breaking down, and can be used by non-engineers? Why would one would use a QID over one of these other devices?

QIDs are the most potent technology that can be created by the societies from which the PCs come. The GM guide does make reference to the "ancients" and for the most part the cylinders, cubes, etc. are low-level artifacts created by those long-dead cultures, which were/are much more advanced than the PCs' culture. Some of the low-power items could conceivably be created by high-level NPCs. Some of them may be created by advanced cultures living in parallel universes, concurrently with the PCs. The most formidable technology in the universe (or across the universes) is The Great Computer (TGC).


Submission Guidelines

The guidelines say "The following things shall not be portrayed in an attractive light, or in any other way promoted: ... disrespect to people ... of specific age groups." Do you actually mean that things like mandatory retirement, and minimum ages to drive or vote are to be always presented as bad things?

The question assumes that minimum driving/voting ages are somehow disrespectful - I don't agree. I probably would view mandatory retirement age as "bad". A submission which promoted mandatory retirement as a good thing, would probably strike me as odd, at best. But to answer the question I think you are asking. The intent was to avoid stereotyping people by age group, for example, "young people are always disrespectful", or "old people are mentally incompetent". Promoting either of these as "good" views would be contrary to the guidelines.


I have in mind to submit something which should fit into your family-values requirement, since there won't be any (or much) actual killing of human NPCs by PCs…

Understand, I'm not anti-combat - even with human NPCs. I wouldn't have a problem with, say, the PCs being deputized by the authorities in order to bring in the bad guys, dead or alive. I do want to avoid violence for violence sake, excessive gore, vigilantism, etc. Again, I'm not trying to paint an unrealistic picture of reality, but I don't want to promote or dwell on the unhealthy.


I am hesitant how to present several of the humanoid races presented in the Creature Anthology. On one hand, one of the submission requirements is that all 'humans' be presented as valuable and not of lesser worth. It also states that any predjudice or race superiority should be viewed as evil and wrong in the context of the game. Yet, on the other hand there are several races of humanoids that are described as being stupid, murderous, and even 'evil'. How much human respect should be given to the races such as Goblins, Bugbears, Rakshasas, Orges, etc?

The rule about humans does not apply to humanoids. The idea of race prejudice has to do with races such as "Asian", "Native American", "Hispanic", etc, and not with "races" of humanoids. The problem here is the word "race", which in one usage means "sub-species" or "ethnic group" and in the other means "species". However, assigning a new species a series of attributes which clearly identifies them as a particular race (in sense 1) - let's say "Celtic" - and then treating them with contempt would be a violation of the rule. For instance, "elves have red or blond hair with blue eyes, wear tartans and kilts, and play bagpipes, and are inferior evil beings". I wouldn't worry about inadvertently violating the rule in this way, though - I think you'd have to really try to.


The Quasar Home Page says "I wanted something that I would feel comfortable with my children playing, not to mention myself. Thus, you will not find magic, psionics, demons, sex, or excessive gore or violence in the rules or in anything you download from this site." How can you have challenge without conflict, and how can you have conflict without violence? Does this lack of violence extend to animals?

The term "violence" here means "personal violence" - or violence against persons. Thus it doesn't apply to animals or inanimate objects. Also key is the word "excessive" meaning that there may be occasional acts of violence during play (for instance, a police officer shoots a criminal), but that is not the main point of the game. Finally, conflict doesn't necessarily have to involve violence, nor does challenge. Challenges can involve puzzle solving, for instance. Webster's defines "violence" as "physical force used so as to injure or damage" (and similar alternates). Injury and destruction should not be the only means to overcoming a challenge. However, if bashing down a door is required to solve a problem, that is not covered by the statement in question.