The Firefly Roleplaying Game is Now Available

The Firefly Roleplaying Game is Now Available

Get out the pen and paper, Browncoats.

The Firefly roleplaying game core book is ready to fly off into the Black. Margaret Weis Productions announced yesterday that the digital edition is now available in PDF format from DriveThruRPG.com. The release date for the print edition will be sometime in mid-April. The book has shipped to printers and the release date will be confirmed once the books arrive in warehouse. The RPG uses the Cortex Plus rule system and is compatible with the Echoes of War Firefly adventures, released separately.

The core rulebook includes a detailed episode guide for all 14 episodes of Joss Whedon's Firefly television series. The book includes over 30 pre-generated characters, including the Serenity crew, and instructions for creating original characters. A playable scenario, maps of the 'Verse, and a Chinese teaching tool (including phrases from the show) are also included. The game was demonstrated at GenCon 2013, and fan comments were used to improve it. Monica Valentinelli, Firefly RPG Brand Manager and Lead Writer, says, "Thanks to you and your feedback, we fine-tuned the 360+ page Firefly RPG, implemented printer-friendly pages, added interactive Crew and Ship sheets, and jam-packed it with examples and information you requested."

Margaret Weis Productions announced the Firefly tabletop RPG in February 2013. The company, headed by bestselling fantasy author Margaret Weis, publishes tabletop roleplaying games and has licensed games for the worlds of Dragonlance, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, and many others. In the release date announcement for the Firefly RPG, Weis says, "For years, Browncoats have been coming up to me at Gen Con and writing to me on Facebook asking when Margaret Weis Productions will publish another Firefly RPG. The day I posted on Facebook that we had acquired the license for Firefly from Fox, my Facebook page got more "likes" than any time before or since. I am so pleased that now the day is almost here when my crew and I can bring you more Firefly heroes and villains, spaceships and mules, horses and guns and, of course, more swearin' in Chinese. Without fan support, this would not have happened!"

Source: Margaret Weis Productions

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Er, the Serenity RPG was released in 2005 and also used the Cortex rule system.

http://firefly.wikia.com/wiki/Serenity_Role_Playing_Game

Sounds like this one is exactly the same but with proper licensing for material from the TV show.

I also wonder how it will compare to the Serenity RPG they released in 2005. I read the rulebook for that and it seems like a good enough system, but I never played it.

Can I just write "OMG" like 4000000000 times and scream in joy like a 6 year old girl getting a pony?

I know... I'm not proud of writing this.

MinionJoe:
Er, the Serenity RPG was released in 2005 and also used the Cortex rule system.

http://firefly.wikia.com/wiki/Serenity_Role_Playing_Game

Sounds like this one is exactly the same but with proper licensing for material from the TV show.

And not just that, but the Serenity RPG was a total ball of awful when it first came out. The core rulebook (which I still have) contradicted itself in numerous places and the shipbuilding rules made zero sense. Hopefully this new version has been double- and triple- checked before it left the printer.

Hey there! I'm one of the designers who worked on the Corebook.

The Firefly RPG uses the Cortex Plus rules and focuses on the Firefly TV series. The Serenity RPG series used the Cortex Classic rules and focused solely on the feature film. The Cortex Plus ruleset has some elements that are the same as Cortex Class, but has some very substantial differences. Cortex Classic is more your 'typical' RPG like Dungeons and Dragons, Classic Traveller, Call of Cthulhu. Cortex Plus has more of a 'story game' aspect to it, more like more recent games like Fate, The Dresden Files, and Dungeon World.

If Cortex Classic is to AD&D 2e, then Cortex Plus is more D&D3e (though I'd argue that the difference in focus is more substantial).

Because of licensing restrictions, Serenity RPG could not refer to anything from the Firefly TV series directly.

Also, one thing about the Episode Guide. It's not just "This is what happened in each episode." We take each episode and gradually teach the rules as you go. If we did our job right, you could have someone who is completely new to RPGs, read the Episode Guide, and by the time they finish Objects In Space, they'd know enough to be quite comfortable playing the game.

Each episode also adds in new twists to NPCs, locations, ships, etc as well as displaying the important characters and ships using the Firefly RPG mechanics.

I've never been crazy with systems like these, since you could take something like d20 Modern/Future and just follow the lore of whatever you wanted quite easily. I suppose if you want numbers on the specific guns and vehicles that it's nice to have reference material, but a lot of new stuff mostly seems to be about getting new players eased in with extremely simple mechanics.

I'm not saying everyone should learn AD&D or anything, I certainly didn't like it much back then and certainly not now, but the point is to use your imagination and let the story do the work.

Fair enough. I'm all for hacking other systems to support different IPs!

However, that is a lot of work and most people don't care to put that time and effort in. However, the system that we've developed in the Firefly RPG definitely brings out the flavor present in the TV show.

And certainly, the system won't appeal to everyone. If you're someone who really, really, really likes crunchy stuff like you get in Pathfinder you probably won't care for this as much. However, if you're someone who like me, has different preferences, this system works very nicely.

Long time player of the GenCon Preview system, pre-orderer of the core rule book, proud browncoat here. Just to add, the new Firefly game is pretty damn awesome, and as I said on reddit one of the reasons why I think it wins over cobbling another system to fit the Firefly theme is that the game itself is engineered to replicate the feel of the show.

Yes, the rules are no where near crunchy but that's a good thing when you're trying to emulate the idea of a fast moving episode and focus more on the plot and theme. The system also does a lot to bring in the random turn of events like in the show and... well, I could prattle on about it all evening.

If anyone wants to know anything in particular about it before buying it, feel free to drop me a PM, happy to help fellow browncoats. ;)

Smilomaniac:
I've never been crazy with systems like these, since you could take something like d20 Modern/Future and just follow the lore of whatever you wanted quite easily. I suppose if you want numbers on the specific guns and vehicles that it's nice to have reference material, but a lot of new stuff mostly seems to be about getting new players eased in with extremely simple mechanics.

I'm not saying everyone should learn AD&D or anything, I certainly didn't like it much back then and certainly not now, but the point is to use your imagination and let the story do the work.

d20 can't do everything. Yes, you could use it for any setting, but there are some systems are better suited for different styles of play. Systems like Cortex Plus, Fate, and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire are in a class of game systems referred to as "narrative" RPGs, which tend to work out substantially different in play than more traditional systems such as D&D, World of Darkness and Rifts. There are things you cannot do within the rules of D&D that these systems do by design.

Scars Unseen:

d20 can't do everything. Yes, you could use it for any setting, but there are some systems are better suited for different styles of play. Systems like Cortex Plus, Fate, and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire are in a class of game systems referred to as "narrative" RPGs, which tend to work out substantially different in play than more traditional systems such as D&D, World of Darkness and Rifts. There are things you cannot do within the rules of D&D that these systems do by design.

I mentioned d20 as an example of what I've used for settings similar to Firefly. What I was saying, was that I don't like systems tailored for one setting, especially ones based off of a franchise. There's nothing in this specific setting that isn't covered by d20 and any power or special vehicle rule (like a "crazy ivan") that you need, can easily be made up. That is, if you need the rules at all.

As for narrative roleplaying, you could do it with a deck of normal playing cards where numbers and suit denote actions, results, fortune or anything else that you use to tell a story.

Which brings me back to what I was initially saying: You can use whatever system you want to make the kind of game you'd like to play, be it with a detailed system, a basic one or simple storytelling through chance or predetermined plays.
As long as you use your imagination and do things with a bit of maturity.

Something I would buy the book for, would be setting information and scenarios.

Cortex Plus isn't a setting specific system any more than d20 or Fate is. Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is, but it's an awesome enough system that people have been filing off the serial numbers and using it for other settings (including Firefly). And yes, you could use any system for any setting, but that has nothing to do with whether or not any given system is worth playing. You could just sit around a table making up stories, but that would evoke a different experience than pulling out dice and playing, wouldn't it? It's the same between different systems.

What you are saying is coming off like the system doesn't matter, but that isn't strictly true. That would be like saying that you can use a chess board to play a game of real estate dominance. Yes, it could be done with some imaginative reinterpretation of the rules, but you are probably better off just playing Monopoly instead.

Well, Cortex Plus itself isn't a setting specific system, but then again it's not actually a system. It's more like a language that allows you to create a system...that is specific for different settings.

Dean Gilbert:
Also, one thing about the Episode Guide. It's not just "This is what happened in each episode." We take each episode and gradually teach the rules as you go. If we did our job right, you could have someone who is completely new to RPGs, read the Episode Guide, and by the time they finish Objects In Space, they'd know enough to be quite comfortable playing the game.

Hi! Just wanted to chime in and thank you for expanding on this - that sounds like a neat approach to introduce first timers to the idea of rpgs, as well as walk experienced gamers through the system.

MarlaDesat:
The Firefly Roleplaying Game is Now Available

Well, I was really excited about this - preordered the hardback book the day this article was first written and got a delivery date of April 2014. That then got changed to May 2014. That then got changed to June 2014. That then got changed to July 2014. That has just now been changed to February 2015. So I cancel my hardcover order and try to download the .pdf file - but DriveThruRPG.com doesn't allow you to enter a billing address that is outside the US.

Any news on why the printed version has been delayed so badly, OP?

 

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