Firefly Role-Playing Game Core Book Review - Into the Black

Firefly Role-Playing Game Core Book Review - Into the Black

Margaret Weis Productions' Firefly Role-Playing Game ensures things don't go smooth - in the best possible way.

Read Full Article

This may be first time I've heard someone say, "The first 150 pages is a detailed synopsis of the entire series..." and not follow it up with "... and that is some bullshit." Honestly, I can't imagine anyone playing this game who hasn't seen the show (or maybe one player in the group, but definitely not the GM) so rehashing it seems like a waste of ink, taking space that might have be better used for those supplement systems.

That said, I'm glad to hear that there is a bit of variety with the characters. As the System Mastery podcast put it, in the original Serenity game you would just be playing a Level 1 Mal.

Huh. It's never occurred to me before, but I guess we really never did see a single Reaver in person in the entire show. Crazy...

Thunderous Cacophony:
This may be first time I've heard someone say, "The first 150 pages is a detailed synopsis of the entire series..." and not follow it up with "... and that is some bullshit." Honestly, I can't imagine anyone playing this game who hasn't seen the show (or maybe one player in the group, but definitely not the GM) so rehashing it seems like a waste of ink, taking space that might have be better used for those supplement systems.

That said, I'm glad to hear that there is a bit of variety with the characters. As the System Mastery podcast put it, in the original Serenity game you would just be playing a Level 1 Mal.

I think the key phrase was after that quote: "from a gameplay perspective". The core book is very oriented to beginners who have never played an RPG before, so instead of dealing with extra mechanics it has information fans are familiar with as a reference. (ie, Mal's crew would've rolled these specific dice in "The Train Job", etc)

And to be fair Serenity had all kinds of non-combat character options, but the combat systems were far more developed. The playing field is more even now.

Shocksplicer:
Huh. It's never occurred to me before, but I guess we really never did see a single Reaver in person in the entire show. Crazy...

Unless you want to count that guy who lost his mind from the Reaver attack a few episodes in... but yeah, it's a testament to the show that everyone's terrified of them even though you never see one. (Possibly because if you did see them, you'd be dead.)

The whole "each attribute, skill, etc. being a specific dice rather than a hard number" sounds good in theory, but if this game is anything like Serenity (where bonuses and penalties change the dice you roll), it will involve a constant repeating of the phrase "Wait, what do I roll now?" That dragged down what was otherwise I pretty good game.

I did really liked that Serenity put a lot of focus into the ship itself, which was as customizable as the characters, complete with it own version of the same stats. I hope this game kept that.

Thunderous Cacophony:
This may be first time I've heard someone say, "The first 150 pages is a detailed synopsis of the entire series..." and not follow it up with "... and that is some bullshit." Honestly, I can't imagine anyone playing this game who hasn't seen the show (or maybe one player in the group, but definitely not the GM) so rehashing it seems like a waste of ink, taking space that might have be better used for those supplement systems.

That said, I'm glad to hear that there is a bit of variety with the characters. As the System Mastery podcast put it, in the original Serenity game you would just be playing a Level 1 Mal.

The book runs through each episode from a mechanical perspective, linking the events of each mission with the game rules so that people new to the game system can get a handle on exactly how this new system works.

OT: Got this last year, and really enjoying it so far. The emphasis on narrative and dramatic flair over stat rolling makes sessions flow much easier and there are interesting choices to be made when, for example, constructing your die pool. Too few and you leave yourself open to a couple of duff rolls, too many and you're vastly increasing the chances of Complications without significantly increasing the maximum outcome. Great setting, great system.

I've ran close to 50 episodes of Firefly (3 seasons and numerous one-shots) with great success. The system is easy to pick up and intuitive and whenever I offer it at the local club I typically get oversubscribed. My biggest complaint with the book is that the style of writing is in that of "space cowboy talk"; it reads in a colloquial fashion, as if Mal were narrating it himself. This is great for tone but there were a few times when I was first starting out with the book where I yearned for a particular section to be translated into straight-forward English!

Thunderous Cacophony:
This may be first time I've heard someone say, "The first 150 pages is a detailed synopsis of the entire series..." and not follow it up with "... and that is some bullshit." Honestly, I can't imagine anyone playing this game who hasn't seen the show (or maybe one player in the group, but definitely not the GM) so rehashing it seems like a waste of ink, taking space that might have be better used for those supplement systems.

The handiest thing I found was just the examples of how dice rolls would pan out but I agree, it could have been condensed to a highlights reel as opposed to 150 pages worth!

This sounds really awesome. I'd love to try it some time; anybody up for an internet RPG group?
It sounds like you can "only" play the roguish kind of character, though, the Serenity crew or your own.
I was wondering about playing Alliance or trader or rancher or mudder or whatever else. I guess you could use those as backgrounds for your rogue (i. e. ex-Alliance or former mudder or something), but not actually play as one of them. Also, is there an option to be stranded nude in a desert? Because no Firefly RPG can be complete without people getting stranded nude in a desert.

Skeleon:
This sounds really awesome. I'd love to try it some time; anybody up for an internet RPG group?
It sounds like you can "only" play the roguish kind of character, though, the Serenity crew or your own.
I was wondering about playing Alliance or trader or rancher or mudder or whatever else. I guess you could use those as backgrounds for your rogue (i. e. ex-Alliance or former mudder or something), but not actually play as one of them. Also, is there an option to be stranded nude in a desert? Because no Firefly RPG can be complete without people getting stranded nude in a desert.

There are all kinds of Alliance options. One player in my review group actually took the "Alliance Agent" background and was using their adventures as a cover to monitor activity in the Rim. The Smugglers Guide to the Rim supplement also has Alliance Pilot and Alliance General backgrounds.

As for the later point, it's acceptable as long as you're victoriously stranded naked in the desert.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here