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Here you can find answers to the most common questions for Xia: Legends of a Drift System.

How many people can play Xia?
Xia can be played with 3 to 5 players.

How long does a typical game take?
Xia has a variable game length – you choose how many points to play to at the beginning of each game. The typical game length by points is:
5 points ≈ 15 min per player.
10 points ≈ 30 min per player.
20 points ≈ 45 min per player.

Rule Clarifications / Questions

Double Planetary Border Jumping
Scenario: A ship attempts to move 1 space passing through 2 planetary boundaries. If it successfully jumps through the first planetary boundary, but fails its roll to pass through the 2nd, what happens?

The ship does not leave the origin space until it has cleared both planetary shields. Either you pass through both shields, or are rebuffed by one or the other and stay in your original space.

Tigris Gate Connections
Scenario: The Tigris Gate does not connect to other gates, but do they connect to the Tigris Gate?

The Tigris Gate is not connected to the other gates and the other gates do not connect to the Tigris.

Mag-Harpoon Movement
Scenario: What is the exact algorithm for following a ship via Mag-Harpoon. The rules do not say at what distance you may follow behind the other ship. Also, the rules use the word “may”. Assuming a follow distance of 1, does this imply that when a ship is adjacent to you before and after single move space, that you can choose whether to take the spot he vacates or remain still (yet attached)?

After attaching to a host: When the host ship moves a space, your ship moves into the space previously occupied by the host. The “may” is used to imply that you may either move into that space, or choose to “detach” from the host ship, at which point you will cease to follow them.

Entering a Lawful Planet Entrance via Mag-Harpoon as an Outlaw
Scenario: An outlaw player is following an innocent via Mag-Harpoon who goes through a lawful planetary entrance. The innocent then attempts to move further inside the planet. What happens?

The Outlaw cannot enter via the entrance and is automatically “detached”.


Passing through a planetary shield via Mag-Harpoon
Scenario: A player is following another via Mag-Harpoon who goes through a planetary shield. What happens if the first ship makes the roll, but the follow ship fails?

The “follow ship” is rebuffed by the planet shields and is automatically “detached”.

Over-Surge Dice Penalty
Scenario: Over-Surge is used in combination with normal uses of the same outfit for a single Action or Defense. Does the damage penalty from Over-Surge get applied to each roll or to only the overcharge roll?

When combined into one attack – the damage to the outfit is applied before the attack roll(s). All rolls from that outfit will have the damage applied to them for that attack.

Over-Surge Double Slot Usage
Scenario: Can a player use an outfit space (placing a marker on that slot) and use Over-Surge to place a damage on the same spot on a combined attack/defend?

While it is certainly possible to do this – you would not gain an extra roll. The use space would only count as being activated once in that combined attack/defend.

NPC Action Ordering
Scenario: Do the NPC’s actions always occur top to bottom?

Yes – pg.16 of the rulebook > Non-Player Ships: “To take an NPC turn, the player simply reads the NPC card from top to bottom, following the directions.”

Merchant Targeting
Scenario: Does the Merchant decide its next planet at the time that it sells or based on where it last sold, as in the case of newly discovered planets?

Merchant picks the next planet on the trade route at the time of “selling” (or when it first spawns). If a planet is not discovered at that time it is skipped – so planets discovered during a trip don’t affect it, as they have already been “skipped” and are therefor at the back of the trade route rotation.

Finite Money/Damage Markers
Scenario: Is money/Damage Markers finite?

No – they are infinite. I tried to include enough tokens that you shouldn’t run out in most scenarios.

Title Generous
Scenario: When can generous be claimed? How is it arbitrated, if applicable, when more than 1 player wants to complete the title at the same time? If it is possible to complete generous on someone else’s turn, is it possible for Generous to give you the winning point, but you cannot collect it until the end of your turn, allowing someone else to win the game before your turn starts?

Titles are drawn during your status phase and therefore cannot be claimed by the player who drew it on that turn.

For a Title that can be completed on another player’s turn – it’s simply claimed during the next available status phase. In the case of Generous – you should use turn order to decide the conflict.

Title Veteran
Scenario: If you have Veteran, do you still have to roll for failure?

Yes. All mission rules still apply – except when receiving the actually payment, instead of getting what you’ve “earned”, you get the maximum amount possible.

Using Occupied Spaces Through a Planetary Border
Scenario: A player attempts to use an occupied space that is on the other side of a planetary border. If he passes the first roll but fails the 2nd, what happens?

If you’re outside of a planetary shield, you are not considered to be adjacent to spaces inside the shield (pg.13 > Adjacency). In this section I only included being adjacent to ships, but I should have included spaces. So this situation isn’t possible.

Using Occupied Spaces Multiple Times
Scenario: A player attempts to use an occupied space multiple times. Does he have to spend 2 move and potentially cross borders for each usage, e.g. when mining?

No – only spend once, take actions as if you were on that space. You can take multiple actions.

Business Phase Actions
Scenario: Can you take actions during the Business Phase more than once in the same phase?

Yes – provided you meet any prerequisites and have the Credits for business.

Scanning while inside Planetary Shield
Scenario: If you’re on a planet and on the edge, can you scan through the shields to reveal the next sector?

No you cannot. When on a planet you are not adjacent to anything outside of the Planetary Shield.


Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star — (UPDATED: 05/16/17)


Can I buy armor plating (or any other outfit) and put it under a damaged spot? No.

Can I buy a mod and put it on an outfit’s use spot that’s damaged? No.


Auto-Pilot ability for Lone Drifter: You will trigger movement in The Kiln, Comet movement, and/or Gravity Path movement while drifting. Remember that you can’t take any actions (even minor actions) when it’s not your turn.


Damage: When taking damage, if a card says “take 1 damage,” it’s assumed to be normal damage, unless otherwise specified (e.g. “take 1 ice damage.”) When healing damage, if a card says “heal 1 damage,” it’s assumed to be any type of damage, unless otherwise specified, like “heal 1 ice damage” or “heal 1 normal damage.” If an effect allows you to prevent damage, it can prevent regular or ice damage, but not energy loss, unless otherwise specified. (Shields are specifically allowed to prevent energy loss per game rules.)

Base Game

Gaiden, Evasive Thrusters: They may be used outside of combat to prevent damage, but cannot prevent energy loss.

Occam’s Razor, Pyrion Rail Gun: Can the Rail Gun damage ships with no outfits such as NPCs? Yes.


Can the Rail Gun damage player ships with no damage left to give an outfit? Yes, and the target player will place the damage in their hold wherever they wish.


Your ship enters a nebula, becomes stranded (no energy and no active markers), so it immediately stops moving and the action is over. Then, you take a minor action to collect an explore token, since you’re allowed to take minor actions or impulse while stranded.

  • If the explore token is +5 movement, you may move up to 5 spaces immediately.

  • If the explore token is refill energy, then you refill your energy and you’re no longer stranded (but you can’t re-arm your markers until your status phase, as usual).


Infestation: A target ship has Infestation, and then is attacked by blasters or ramming. Assuming Infestation hasn’t moved yet this turn, the attacking ship gets infested before the attack resolves. If the attacker rolls 1s on the attack roll, they will take damage from the event.

If you have Infestation, do you take damage if you roll a natural 1 on gravity paths, comets, space station movement, NPCs, etc.? No, just when you roll for yourself (outfits, abilities, missions, borders, Tigris Gate, etc.)

Derelict Hulk: If your ship is adjacent to the Hulk, you can tow it by spending +1 movement, and the Hulk ends up in the space your ship last occupied. If you move onto a Gravity Path or through a Gate while towing the Hulk, it moves to the space you last occupied, and then you won’t be adjacent to it any more. The Hulk can’t be damaged. If your ship isn’t adjacent to the Hulk, you can’t tow it. To claim the Hulk, you spend 2 movement to get onto The Kiln, and then your Action Phase ends.

Seedy Discount: Is Seedy Discount mandatory? Yes.


Cold As Ice: When calculating the size of your ship’s hold for purposes of this title, each Armor Plating adds +3 to the hold size and Cargo Pods do not affect hold size.

Reckless: To use this reward, you must declare the +5 movement before the new sector is revealed.


Nightshade’s Replication Drive: When you place the Replication Token, the ship ability isn’t used. Instead, when you use the copied ability, that is when is the Replication Drive ability is used.



Q: If an NPC is the first to use a gate, do they gain the FP?
A: Yes.

Q: If there are no NPC’s on the board after my first turn, do I still roll for NPC fame at the end of the round?
A: Yes.

Q: If the Enforcer destroys the Scoundrel, what happens to the bounty?
A: Bounty from the Scoundrel goes onto the Enforcer, per standard rules. Note that the NPCs will get a bonus to the FP roll at the end of the round for the bounty that the Enforcer earned.

Q: If the Enforcer destroys the Scoundrel, do the NPCs get FP?
A: NPCs do not get FP for destroying the Scoundrel, since the Scoundrel isn’t a player. The rule on page 1 of the solo rules specifies that it’s the player only.

NPC Behaviors

General: If an NPC doesn’t have a valid target for its behavior, then by default it won’t move. It will do nothing on its turn, other than respawn if needed. An NPC would need a specific exception on its Behavior card to act without a target (e.g. Single Minded Enforcer).

Q: Can an NPC acquire me as a target from anywhere?
A: Yes, unless otherwise stated on the behavior.

Q: Will an NPC attempt to cross a planetary border (if needed) to reach me?
A: Yes, if necessary. They might destroy themselves in the process, or waste a lot of movement bouncing off the shield, but they will try if that’s the only way to reach you. For reference, read the base game rulebook, Page 16, NPC Details section.


Q: Many of the behaviors include “Repeat Steps 1-2.” Does this mean the behavior loops forever until it reaches the target?
A: No, it just repeats once. For example, the Merchant (Usual Suspect) has:
Step 1: Move.
Step 2: If arrived, +2 to the roll.
Step 3: Repeat Steps 1-2.

So, the proper implementation is:
Step 1: Move
Step 2: If arrived, +2 to the roll.
Step 3: (Move, then if arrived, +2 to the roll).

You don’t repeat Step 3. You do Steps 1-2 twice. It’s possible that the Merchant will earn +4 to the roll as follows: Move (arrive), +2 to roll, Move (arrive), +2 to roll.

Another option would be: Move (not arrive), Move (arrive), +2 to the roll.

The final option is: Move (not arrive), Move (not arrive).

Enforcer (Corrupt): You pay per tier of your own ship. Any money paid to the Enforcer goes on the Enforcer card. This does not contribute to the NPC’s end of round FP roll (only credits gained from bounty collected and events). If the player isn’t an outlaw, this Enforcer won’t do anything (and specifically won’t target the Scoundrel – presumably the Scoundrel is paying him off, too!)


Enforcer (Big Game Hunter): Note that the Scoundrel is Tier 1, so this Enforcer will never target the Scoundrel. If the player is outlaw but Tier 1, this Enforcer will also ignore the player. Cinder-Beard (an event-specific NPC) is Tier 3, so this Enforcer will target Cinder-Beard. If the player is an outlaw with a Tier 2 or higher ship and Cinder-Beard is in play, this Enforcer will target the player (per card text).


Enforcer (Diligent): Please ensure you follow all the solo-specific rules related to Bounty, as described in the Bounty section of the solo rulebook. Assuming the player’s bounty is less than 2,000cR, then a Diligent Enforcer will target the Scoundrel (which spawns with 2,000cR). If the Diligent Enforcer destroys the Scoundrel, then the NPCs will get +4 to their roll (due to the collected 2,000cR bounty), but won’t gain extra FP for destroying a ship (which only awards them FP for destroying the player’s ship).


Merchant (Investor): Money earned does not contribute to the NPC’s end of round FP roll (only credits gained from bounty collected and events). Of course, the Merchant will be earning FPs directly… If you destroy the Investor, you get all money on the card.


Merchant (Collector): The cubes are bought from the Economy Board (and if none are available, then obviously none are purchased). If you destroy the Collector, you get all the cargo cubes from the Collector. Once it gets to 3 cargo cubes, then it will score +1 FP for the NPCs every round (unless you destroy it).


Scoundrel (Bully): If the player has a Tier 3 ship, the Scoundrel won’t have a target, and won’t move. If the player ever has a Tier 1 or 2 ship (perhaps via a campaign mode upgrade), the Bully will target the player again.


Scoundrel (Usual Suspect): If the player is an outlaw, this Scoundrel won’t do anything. “Usual suspect” refers to the base game Scoundrel, and the base game Scoundrel ignores anyone who is an outlaw.


Socialist Merchants: This event awards 1,000cR (or 2,000cR) per currently active NPC. Example: If all three NPCs are in play and they’re losing by 3 FP, they each get 1,000cR, which goes on their card (and could help the Merchant Investor behavior). During the end of round FP roll, NPCs will get +6 for the 3,000cR earned, in addition to the usual +6 from losing by 3. The benefit to the NPCs for energy is irrelevant.


Martial Law, in hard mode: Roll an extra d8 for the Enforcer, not d20, so it will roll d20 + 2d8, and take its whole turn twice.

Martial Law + Socialist Merchants + NPCs losing: Each time the Enforcer takes a turn, the Enforcer gets the Socialist Merchants reward.


Cinder-Beard: Use the same behavior pattern as the Scoundrel, and use a move of 12 throughout. If a Scoundrel behavior hasn’t been drawn yet, draw it now. A Diligent Enforcer will target Cinder-Beard over the regular Scoundrel, assuming both ships have the same Bounty (and the player has less Bounty). When the Enforcer destroys Cinder-Beard, it collects the 2,000cR Bounty on Cinder-Beard, and the NPCs will get +4 to their end of round roll as a result, but they won’t earn the 3 FP from destroying Cinder-Beard.


Archaeological Expert: If you use the Archaeological Expert reward, the space station will move on its path (even if your ship was already in the space station).

Resurgent: If you use the Resurgent reward, apply the normal rules for picking a random spawn point: roll the d20, go to the nearest number of unoccupied point (higher number if tied), and pick anywhere if you rolled a natural 20.


For the heal 1 damage campaign upgrade (tier 2): The damage can be of any type.

Deep Space Specialist title: If you gain this title and you already have the Tier 2 mission-related campaign upgrade, the reward from the title won’t benefit you at all. It’s probably pretty easy for you to get that title, though!

If I have the Tier 3 mission-related upgrade (scan from anywhere on sector) and my ship is on the Kiln, am I considered to be in the Nyr sector, and therefore could scan all around Nyr? Yes!

If your question isn’t yet covered here, please ask on the Xia Forum (BoardGameGeek), which we monitor regularly and will answer ASAP. Other helpful members will likely answer too! As always, the answers above are provided for rules clarity, but you should always play in the way that's most fun for your playgroup!

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