PBF Stationfall tutorial

@COMaestro @mr.ister @RossM this will be the game thread, rules questions can go in the recruitment thread.

This is the setup, RossM is yellow, COMaestro is blue, mr.ister is green, and the bot “Lindsey” is white.

I will not be doing an up-front rules dump, and instead will follow the tutorial method of doling out just enough information to get by.

Link to reference manual: SF_rulebook_reference_manual living rules.pdf - Google Drive

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In this game Lindsey is playing with her cards open. Lindsey is dealt the Engineer and Station Chief.

From the remaining 10 Identity cards, 2 random cards are dealt to each player, face down.

On the Identity cards, some of the information is identical to the Character cards. And some of the information is new. The Agenda is found on both. It is a list of statements with stars in front of them.
The Agenda tells you how you get the main portion of your points in Stationfall. The scoring procedure is explained at the end of the tutorial game in the Chapter “Stationfall.”

Lindsey chose the Engineer as her Secret Identity, and has the Station Chief as her Bonus Character (called BC). This means that she will get points from the Engineer’s Agenda + Bonus points if the Station Chief is Down at Stationfall (the end of the game is called Stationfall). She rotates the Station Chief card 180 degrees in her hand to mark her choice. Now it is your turn to choose your Secret Identity.

The winner is the one who gets the most points during scoring. The main way to score points is from their Secret Identity’s Agenda. There are strategy tips on the Identity card on how you can achieve your Agenda. Consider them if you want. But if this is your first time playing Stationfall, choose a Secret Identity with your gut feeling.

  • Of the two identity cards you received, you will choose one to be your Secret Identity and the other will become your Bonus Character (BC) which score Friend or Grudge points for you.



There are places where the civilized human mind breaks down. But fortunately man did not inhabit the Earth alone and there were creatures around him made of stiffer stuff. Noble savagery, savage nobility… teeth that can peel one’s face off and prodigiously strong arms made for throwing various throwable objects. Pan Troglodytes, the mighty chimpanzee helped propel mankind upward into the stars with its grit, ferocity, and almost complete lack of fear.

These days the descendants of the Astrochimps are an underappreciated lot. Your lives are a lot like your forefather’s disposition: nasty, brutish, and short. But when the station is in danger, ancient instincts are triggered and this brave creature swings into action on anything resembling a vine. The Astrochimp may not grasp all of the ‘higher’ cultural aspects of his jabbering hairless cousins, but he definitely gets that timeless rule passed down through the ages… surviving and getting shinies are always good decisions.



Everyone on board is on edge. Counselor knows well the toll that life in space can take and has read everyone’s files several times over to calculate and leverage that toll. But the whispering has been getting louder. It has something to do with that extraordinary artifact the scientists recovered. Counselor is sure of it. It calls out somehow, beckons in the quiet stillness of downtime and sleepshifts.

Fortunately Counselor has mastery over his mental state and is not vulnerable to the relic’s emanations. But some member of the crew has been compromised by that remarkable bauble’s wiles… perhaps all of them have. Counselor is sure of it. His only option now is to secure his confidential files and liberate… ahem, save, the artifact… for later study. It all makes perfect sense. Counselor is sure of it.



It is often said that the best revenge is living well. Those who say this have usually not tried conventional forms of revenge. Living well has its merits but often means that whoever transgressed against you thinks that they got away with it. Fortunately, the study of revenge has been refined and we have weapons manufacturers that make cool metallic monsters with knives in their eyeholes and lasergun hands and secret self destruct code phrases known only by shady creeps with military clearances that don’t officially exist.

And of course there are complications when Slaughtercus Omega or whatever you called the poor sap realizes that you won’t let him die even if he does kill the beautiful union organizer and brings you the prime minister’s eyeballs so your clone can get past his retinal scanners. Cyborgs are rigorously tortured and rebuilt for maximum efficiency and this might come back to haunt you if you happen to be a shady corporation with no qualms about turning low level office drones into human test subjects. But, you know what? You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.



Your mother probably told you not to go undercover in a gang of DNA smugglers. The Station Chief probably asked you politely not to spike volleyballs out the airlock and then float out to catch them, borne on the space winds, out into the black until the moment when Death seemed imminent and then grabbing onto an incoming shuttlecraft, emerging in the hangar so close to the grave you could hear the sound of shovels. It’s a good thing the Daredevil never listened to these perpetually nagging and pedantic voices of so-called reason. If space were meant to be boring, they’d have put it on Earth!

The Daredevil has abandoned the drudgery that characterizes our dumb lives in favor of sexy, zero G adventure and lucrative promotions from fringe beverage corporations system-wide! The Daredevil is about thrills, chills and defying death, to find the true meaning of the word “extreme”, all while plugging the corporate “push-the-boundaries-of-science-for-fun-and-profit” messaging. With rocket-wings on her back and rocket-fuel in her veins the Daredevil is ready for her greatest stunt: a 17,000 mph swan dive from orbit. And if she gets back to Earth with a rad scar, a unique trinket, or a strange rash, well that just makes a better story



There are few refugees from change. Over his many decades of life, the Engineer has seen good hardworking sentient beings replaced by automata, his community fall into desperate poverty, and the Earth’s ecosystem ravaged by change. He learned from a young age that you can’t resist the march
of progress but you can protect others from it. A fission reactor always needs a dedicated steward with a good work ethic and no patience for nonsense to protect everyone from the hellish neutron mosh-pit within. It’s a damn shame that outside those control room walls, it’s sheer pandemonium. Xenobiology, psychic rats, germ warfare… enough is enough.

In the face of disaster, the Engineer will do what an Engineer must - he’ll fix things. And sometimes to fix things you have to break them first. The Engineer doesn’t know for sure what happens if the horrors on board make it into the atmosphere and he is not going to take any chances. Someone must take a stand against pulp science fiction and it’s probably not going to be the robots, the rich dilettante, or the unfrozen cryogenic aberration.



Exile had all of the skills to be a standout in the exo-global intelligence marketplace. Patience. Spycraft. Machiavellian instincts. Whatever the opposite of scruples are. But there inevitably comes a time where you’ve been working both sides against each other for so long that they don’t need you anymore. And when the biggest players burn you there aren’t many safe places to lay low. Almost everyone has an extradition treaty with someone. Fortunately Exile had a lead on a private corporate orbital backwater with an extra bunk and a fierce need for someone to keep their mainframe running, and their mouth not.

The Exile might be persona non grata in most circles because of the high treason and all but he’s just one big score away from being back in the game. Just make sure that score doesn’t involve any of your secrets, or he’ll be squeezing you until the end of days.



The medical profession is a double-edged sword. All medicines are poisons, it’s only a question of dosage. All surgical tools are murder weapons, it’s only a question of geography. Coincidence? Of course not. Medical bots are programmed to be as useful as they can be, to do anything to preserve our immediate life. Maybe they’re not familiar with love or empathy or with the pain that living beings experience when you poke them with thousands of needles. But what Medical lacks in context, they make up for in fanatical devotion to playing short-term God.



Sooner or later, something or someone is going to try to kill you. You could respond to this by getting depressed or drinking yourself stupid or releasing a lab rat to impress a girl you like. Those perfectly understandable responses are a coward’s way out. Why not take several tons of mechakaiju grade foamed space titanium and make for yourself a piston-pumpin’ gun-totin’ rootin’ tootin’ champion of pure self-preservation! No threat too big, no threat too small! In fact, the smaller threats are generally perforated with bullets quite easily.

Security is the height of law enforcement and perimeter defense perfection. Just the kind of thing you want around if whatever the lab coats are keeping locked up in Vault X ever gets loose. Regular guns are all well and good but very large guns with just enough intelligence to know that everything that gets in your way deserves to be swiftly mutilated are more effective. Security bots are the closest thing to love money can buy, and also the closest thing to a gun made of several smaller guns. Here’s hoping the safety protocols aren’t as glitchy as the rest of the software on board.



Is there anyone aboard the station more loved and appreciated than the steadfast and competent Station Chief? Yes. Yes there is. The Station Chief has taken a solemn vow to eschew popularity, kinship and job satisfaction in favor of a higher calling of some kind. We may not necessarily like the Station Chief, but damned if everyone doesn’t develop a tenuous, begrudged respect that can barely conceal the deep-seated hostilities behind it. Sure, we’re thankful for our lives but do Station Chiefs really need to be such pills about it?

Prancing around being all “ooh, look at me, I think you should wear a Hazmat suit” and “hey, you’d better not give that chimp a gun!” Maybe we’re all sick of it and would rather just let the place burn than take another second of sheer unrefined buzzkill but alas, the Station Chief does want everything to run smoothly and for all of us to proceed in an orderly fashion to the escape pods so whatever awesome disaster doesn’t kill us. And that’s fine, I guess. Still, it’s hard not to imagine that the survivors might envy the dead.



A free press is instrumental to society. Without it we would toil in the darkness, utterly unaware of the forces of corruption, mad science and rampant wrench beatings that go on just outside of society’s notice. One might therefore think that the life of a journalist would be one of spacehopping luxury and ease, punctuated by the occasional award acceptance speech. Alas, civilization is not so intuitive. Many journalists exist in states of constant danger and discomfort, forced to hide in tight spaces to better listen in on shady dealings. And there are many of those to be heard on this station. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it.

The Stowaway has vowed to stop at nothing to reveal to her media compatriots what she’s witnessed. She has found the best eavesdropping positions and network taps, and with them she can dig up and dish out the darkest dirt. But after months in hiding, our would-be hero is starting to crack. The isolation, the witnessed atrocities, the sleeping in vents, it is becoming too much. Now it’s just a question of which breaks first, her or her story



Enigmas: they make people cool and interesting. You might look at someone thinking they’re a regular schlub and then suddenly, their clone shows up and tries to club you, but gets shot by a chimp and promptly eaten by a space plant. Variety is indeed the spice of life, particularly in space where everything is always aggressively interesting to the point of potential lethality. And that’s pretty fun, right? Anyway, we don’t really know when or why the freaky space-mage showed up, but everyone’s memory has been pretty iffy lately anyways. I’m sure it’s in the logs somewhere.

The Stranger practices a faith that predates our own by centuries. Nobody knows what faith that is, but we should probably stop being so judgmental about stuff we know nothing about. Things that we, according to the Stranger, could not even begin to fathom in our puny mortal minds. The Stranger carries an air of mystery that reminds us why we went into space into the first place; to attempt and fail to comprehend the great unknown. Sure, maybe some of the Stranger’s behaviors are suspicious, I’m pretty sure molotovs are a safety violation of some sort, but this is probably because we lack cultural context. So, let’s all enjoy the mysteries of freaky space magic on our own shallow level.



There’s an old saying: “anyone with a wrench and a strong work ethic can go far in life. ” It’s hard to find exactly where this saying came from, but whoever said it was surely some kind of moron. Life is miserable for your average Troubleshooter. A wrench can’t fix loneliness and isolation. A wrench can’t fix the knowledge that everything you fix will just be broken again. In their solitude and commodification, Troubleshooters find connection with robots. If people treat you like you are just a machine, it’s reassuring when machines don’t.

The Troubleshooter knows and loves bots and will do anything to keep them safe and get the station back in working order. Maybe anyone with a wrench and a work ethic can’t go far in life, but they can at least make sure that this bucket of space-bolts is still purring when the clock runs out.


Turns are called Minutes in Stationfall. Here’s an overview of a Minute.
(Terms presented below will be explained during the tutorial and can also be found in the Reference manual.)

Each Minute as a player you do the following, in this order:

  1. Reveal your Secret Identity, if you want.

  2. Place Influence Cubes, on a single Character card, if you want.

  3. Activate a Character with your Activation disc OR Renegotiate.

  • If you Activate you have the potential to do each of the following things with the Activated Character in any order:
    1 Action, Actions can be Basic, Section or Character specific.
    1 Extra Action (if the Character was not Exhausted).
    1 Free Pick Up or Drop, if you want.
    Kompromat Action, spend a Kompromat to do 1 Action with the specific Character indicated on the Kompromat.
    Bribe Action, spend a Bribe to do 1 Action with any Character.
  • If you Renegotiate you return your Activation disc and 1 of your Influence cubes from any of the Character cards to your supply.
  1. Resolve Time markers and Project X actions.

One special feature of Stationfall is that, even though your Secret Identity is one specific Character, you take actions using several Characters. You place 1 or more of your Influence cube(s) on a Character (at the feet of the portrait) to make them your Conspirator.

Then you place your Activation disc (above their portrait) on any one of your Conspirators to take your actions with that Character. A Character is your Conspirator when you have at least one Influence cube on it and at least as many cubes as any other player. You do not need the most cubes, just be tied for most cubes. So if you have 1 cube on a Character and another player also has 1 cube on the same Character, that Character is a Conspirator to both of you. In addition the Character has to be Live to be able to be Activated. All Characters in this Tutorial game are Live at the start of the game. We’ll come across other states, such as Down or Escaped, later on in this tutorial.

When you Activate a Conspirator you get:

1 Action with that Character if it is Exhausted (has at least 1 Activation disc on it at the start of your turn).

2 Actions with that Character if it is NOT Exhausted (has no Activation disc on it at the start of your turn).

NOTE: When determining Exhaustion, all Players’ Activation discs count, including your own.

Example: You activate Troubleshooter turn 1 by placing the first disc on her Character card, and do 2 actions with her. The next turn she is Exhausted to all players since your disc is on her card, if you decide to activate her again, this time you can only do 1 action with her (unless you use a Bribe or her Kompromat).

In addition to the 1 or 2 Actions, you always get 1 Free Pick Up/Drop Action when you Activate a Character.

In this first turn we will focus on the Actions “Step” and “Pick Up.”

Step is an Action used to move a Character’s pawn between the Sections in the station, following the Corridors.

You can Pick Up two kinds of things on the Station:

  • Items (square shaped) may enable certain actions and/or may score points. A Picked Up Item is put on the Item slots which are the dark areas at the right end of the Character card. Each Item slot holds max one item, unless otherwise noted on the Character card.

  • Kompromats belong to the Player and not the Character that picked it up. They are held in your hand, kept secret until used.

  • Contamination tokens are a special case that takes up one Item slot. Whether you want it or not, any Character that enters Bio Lab receives a Contamination token, placed on one of its Item Slots. It has relevance for some Characters’ Agendas but has no additional bad effect. (Well, no bad effects right now for the characters on the Station, but may of course have some really bad effects on people back on the ground if it gets there. But that’s a whole other movie…)

Lindsey will act first, then RossM, COMaestro, mr.ister. Your first 4 minutes will have a few limitations to avoid conflict with the bot’s scripted actions, and you can simply follow the tutorial advice to only influence, activate, step, and pick up initially.

Just checking, I thought @mr.ister asked for green, so I picked blue?

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Note that Lindsey’s Secret Identity, Engineer, has an Agenda that is affected by Contamination. Because Engineer is Lindsey’s Secret Identity, she does not want any Contaminated Characters to Escape from the station. Looking further at Engineer/Lindsey’s Agenda, the straightforward way to score many points is to arm something called the Antimatter. Antimatter is an Item found in the section “Magnetic Containment.” The Antimatter will detonate 4 Minutes after being removed from Magnetic Containment, so Lindsey would like that to happen, and probably fast, to mess up other players’ plans. So, what to do?

The Antimatter is in a Section behind a locked corridor. Locked corridors can be passed by Characters that have the Officer Ability (which removes the lock). The Engineer has that Ability. But to make it harder for other players to guess Lindsey’s Secret Identity she will try to use the Station Chief to access Magnetic Containment rather than Engineer. Station Chief also has the Officer Ability. Antimatter is in a room with a Hazard token.

A Human needs a Helmet on their Character card to survive a Hazard. So somehow Lindsey needs to get a Helmet for Station Chief.

NOTE: Outer Space represents space, immediately outside the station. In the game this is 1 Section and you move to and from it using the Airlock Action following the Outer Space arrows. These are sometimes bidirectional and sometimes only allowing one direction. Moving to and from Outer Space takes 1 Action, just as any other movement between Sections. This way, a space walk into Outer Space can be a shortcut. To move from Forward Airlocks to Aft Airlocks for example only requires 2 Actions via Outer Space. Also note that Outer Space is always Hazardous, so any Human Character has to have a Helmet to be able to go there.

Lindsey will play with her Kompromats open since her hand is open in this Tutorial. First she makes Station Chief a Conspirator.

  • Place 1 Influence cube on Station Chief’s Character card.
    Since it is Lindsey’s first turn, Station Chief is her only Conspirator.

  • Place her Activation disc on Station Chief.
    She then decides to activate the Station Chief. Station Chief was not Exhausted so Lindsey gets 1 extra Action = 2 Actions (as well as a Free Pick Up/Drop). Station Chief starts in Therapy Garden.
    Lindsey chooses to use the once-per-activation Free Pick Up there immediately to get a Kompromat, in case it might be useful later.

  • Pick Up the Kompromat. The Kompromat is Astrochimp’s.

Lindsey’s original plan was to move Station Chief to Storage to Pick Up the Helmet there, but since she got the Astrochimp Kompromat, it is probably a better idea to have Astrochimp help out with that during a later Minute.

Lindsey chooses to take the Action “Step” twice.

  • Step Station Chief from Therapy Garden to Aft Hub and then to Reactor.


  • Create your first Conspirator, by placing 1 Influence cube on any Character card. If one of the cards’ two abilities is in a purple box, there may be special rules on how to place Influence or Activation discs there. It is written on the card in these cases.

  • Place your activation disc on your Conspirator.

  • Take 1-2 actions. (1 action if the Character was Exhausted, otherwise 2) Choose between Step and Pick Up in any combination.

  • If you can, Pick Up a Kompromat. Try to have your activated Conspirator be in a Section with a Kompromat at some point during your turn, and pick this up, as your Character’s Free Pick Up Action.

Because of Lindsey: Do not place Influence cubes on Station Chief, Stowaway or Astrochimp to make Lindsey’s Actions work in future turns. Avoid Picking Up the Helmet in the Aft Airlocks to make Lindsey’s Actions work in future turns. You are also not allowed to down the Station Chief or Astrochimp at this time.

@RossM is up.

Ok. Sounds like we need to down the AI and smash some helmets.

Place 1 influence on the Cyborg.

Activate cyborg.

Move to nano factory and pick up K card.

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Next up is @COMaestro

remember: Because of Lindsey: Do not place Influence cubes on Station Chief, Stowaway or Astrochimp to make Lindsey’s Actions work in future turns. Avoid Picking Up the Helmet in the Aft Airlocks to make Lindsey’s Actions work in future turns. You are also not allowed to down the Station Chief or Astrochimp at this time.