Firefly: Crew, Ship, and ‘Verse

When we were starting our Pandemonium game, I offered the group the chance to play a Firefly RPG campaign, instead. I did this because we were coming to Pandemonium from an experiment with space opera ((Using the Ashen Stars game.)), and I wanted to give them the option of continuing with space opera in a new system, rather than jumping genres to super heroes. The decided to stick with the super heroes, and I’m fine with that.

But the little bit of thinking I had done about a Firefly campaign lodged in my brain and I couldn’t get rid of it. So, I invited some other friends to play in a Firefly campaign, and had four of them join.

We got together on Friday evening a couple of weeks ago and did the by-now-familiar process of game and character creation. I started with the Want/Do Not Want lists, as I’ve done for both Sundog Millionaires and Pandemonium, then we came up with the elevator pitch for the game, which is basically this:

Some time after the events of the Serenity movie, the crew of Peregrine are working under a subcontract to deliver mail and parcels from the Border and Core worlds out to the worlds of the Rim. Adventure ensues.

After the initial campaign structure was determined, we went into fleshing out the universe. The two main issues they came up with for the game were the lawlessness of the Rim and the time pressure of their contract deadlines, both of which fit, leading to a kind of Pony Express feeling for the game.

When it came to the locations and faces, they did something kind of interesting. In a lot of ways, they went at the creation process in a much more structured way than the other creation sessions I’d run ((Which were pretty loose and open, very much like brainstorming sessions.)). They’d start by picking a planet ((From my big map of the ‘Verse. Yep. I’m bragging.)), decide why it was important to them, and then proceed to fill in more detail – individual settlements, people, businesses, gangs, whatever.

They fleshed out four different planets, then called it done. At this point, it was still early enough ((One thing that saved time was that, unlike the other two game creation sessions, we didn’t create distinctions or aspects for the various locations, etc. The reason behind that was that distinctions work differently in Firefly than they do in MHR, so it would have either been wasted effort, or would have required me to come up with some way to use them in game, and I figured I should keep it simple. Turns out that it saved a lot of time to not worry about the distinctions/aspects if you don’t need them. But they really enhance Fate games or MHR, so I don’t regret having done them.)) that that we moved on to character creation. Character creation is pretty quick in Firefly – you pick three distinctions, which give you your basic skills and a few funky abilities, spend some extra points to customize, and then choose signature aspects and specialties. It would have gone more quickly/smoothly if I had seen the Master Distinction List on p344, but I missed that, and just printed the distinction list from the Find a Crew chapter. The list I printed had most of the distinctions, but there were a number of them that featured on the character sheets in the Find a Crew chapter but were not included in the list in that chapter. They all appeared in the Master Distinction List, though, so I wish I had printed that one out ((I found the Master Distinction List the day after the session. I sent e-mail to the players, telling them where to find it in the book, and that if they wanted to swap out some (or all) of their distinctions, I was fine with that. Some did, and some didn’t. But I felt better making sure everyone had a broader choice than I had initially offered them.)).

By this time, it was closing in on midnight, and I asked if folks wanted to finish up by creating their ship, or if they wanted to wrap up for the evening. When I explained what needed to be done to create the ship, they said that it shouldn’t take too long, because it was pretty much identical to the process for creating characters, except with discussion and consensus. So, they wanted to go ahead.

There were some interesting debates about the ship, but they ended up agreeing on what they wanted in under an hour. One of the biggest stumbling blocks was coming up with a name; I wound up loading up a ship’s name generator on my iPad and reading off names until they chose one they liked: Peregrine.

I’m still working on getting the setting bible typed up ((Due to poor decisions on my part, coupled with scheduling delays for me and others, this past month I’ve been scrambling to get THREE separate games up and running. It’s caused me some problems because, whenever I put time in getting one ready, I feel guilty about not working on the others. But Sundog Millionaires launched yesterday and Pandemonium is just finalizing a couple of characters, so I should be able to finish the prep for this game and get a first session scheduled very soon.)), but here’s a list of the crew:

  • Domino – Decorated war hero and captain of Peregrine.
  • Price Jiang – Peregrine’s pilot and legal expert, with ties to the Jiang Triad.
  • Su Jin – Peregrine’s mechanic, and not a grifter at all. Want to play some cards?
  • Walter Yu – Ex-sheriff and general able hand aboard Peregrine.
  • Peregrine – A refurbished once-famous Road Runner with a plant-augmented life support system.

Tonight, I should finish reviewing the characters and send out copies of the form fillable .pdf sheets ((I like filling out the sheets for the players. For one thing, I’ve got a full version of Adobe, so it looks right and doesn’t wind up cutting off window text when the entry runs long. For another, it gives me a chance to review the characters and see if there’s anything I was unclear about. Also, it lets me get to know the characters and start planning scenarios.)) and rough out the setting bible. When I send that out, I’ll look at booking the first game.

It should be fun.

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3 Responses to Firefly: Crew, Ship, and ‘Verse

  1. LogicMouse says:

    Hmm. ^

    Got any bot remover, Rick?

  2. Rick Neal says:

    I do, but it doesn’t always keep pace with bot development. It catches most stuff, but sometimes I need to manually remove spam. Like I did here. 😉

  3. LogicMouse says:

    Yay manual removal! (Cool post, btw.)

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