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Firefly

Miss Atomic Bomb

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I got my hands on the new Firefly exclusive at Gen Con.

First off, gotta say, for a license that only came about in March, this is an impressive piece of work. It's not a traditional core book, but it's enough to run an awful lot of Firefly games. The layout's also beautiful, with great use of the photo assets. I was reminded of George Vasilikos' layout for Buffy, and it's a good thing when a licensed game reminds me of Buffy.

Mostly, though, I was interested in how the rules would encourage Firefly-type play. The big shift between Cortex and Cortex Plus was that the latter focuses a lot more on capturing the style of the licenses. This game uses a fairly conventional attribute/skill breakdown, but it looks well-tuned. I especially like that all of the skills are verbs.

Resolution is similar to Leverage/Action. Rather than competing to raise the stakes, though, players pay Plot Points to take a Complication rather than get Taken Out. This suits the series, and might work well for a lot of other primetime adventure shows... I'm now considering it for the procedural campaign I'm working on. It's similar mechanically, if not aesthetically, to the nWoD's new Beaten Down mechanic.

Most of the Firefly flavor, though, looks to live in the Distinctions. These take elements from multiple prior Cortex Plus games, but they remind me most of the Distinctions in Smallville. Jayne's Crude is probably my favorite... he's rewarded for creating social problems for the crew. There are a good number of them included, ranging from violent abilities like knife fighter to River's (maybe) psychic Reading to being a handsome ranch hand. The two to three sentence descriptions of the Distinctions also capture the voice of the show well.

Haven't read through the adventures, yet, though I heard good things from people running them at the con. I'm quite interested to play this.
 

CarpeGuitarrem

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Jayne's "Family Ties" Distinction was actually one of my favorites. The flow of gameplay in this addition is also fantastic.
 

Cam Banks

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I have to say, having the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide developed in advance of this was a gigantic help.

Cheers,
Cam
 

@robowieland

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One of the big ways the game was tuned for Firefly was bringing Complications to the forefront. They step up and step back with more regularity. While Leverage is about coming up with clever solutions to eliminate problems, Firefly is about fighting through Complications to accomplish your goal.

They can also drive your story to very unexpected places. One of the games I ran at the con featured an appearance by YoSaffBridge, even though she appears nowhere in the actual adventure. But the Complications made it obvious she was masquerading as someone.
 
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@robowieland

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Jayne's "Family Ties" Distinction was actually one of my favorites. The flow of gameplay in this addition is also fantastic.
My five minute system demo for people is "Jayne, someone in a bar just made fun of your cunning hat. What do you do?" That puts the choice in the players hands - when he hits the guy, is he going to put him down, or will his punch cause him trouble. 95% of the time, the player picks the d4 and Plot Point.
 
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@robowieland

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I got my hands on the new Firefly exclusive at Gen Con.

Resolution is similar to Leverage/Action. Rather than competing to raise the stakes, though, players pay Plot Points to take a Complication rather than get Taken Out. This suits the series, and might work well for a lot of other primetime adventure shows... I'm now considering it for the procedural campaign I'm working on. It's similar mechanically, if not aesthetically, to the nWoD's new Beaten Down mechanic.
Thank you for the kind words, Rose.

My upcoming adventure for Echoes of War has some...interesting ideas using Complications as part of an ongoing murder mystery. So keep an eye out.

Haven't read through the adventures, yet, though I heard good things from people running them at the con. I'm quite interested to play this.
I was happy at the reaction to my first two development gigs. People loved the adventures and took them to some awesome places. I can't decide if my favorite was the simultaneous jewel heist/fake kidnapping/jailbreak or the sudden and completely unscheduled appearance by Saffron was my favorite run at the show.
 
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Miles R.

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Emprint,
Can you explain what you mean when you say "not a tradional corebook"?

Very interested in getting this.Hows the rule for starships?thx
 

CarpeGuitarrem

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Emprint,
Can you explain what you mean when you say "not a tradional corebook"?

Very interested in getting this.Hows the rule for starships?thx
Currently, there is no Firefly corebook released. Emprint is talking about the "GenCon Exclusive" preview book. However, there's enough material in that preview book to run the game for some time.

Ships are interesting--they're characters in their own right, as in the Serenity RPG, and you hitch up one of your skills to one of the three ship attributes (Hull, Engines, and I forget the third--Sensors?).
 

Miss Atomic Bomb

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Emprint,
Can you explain what you mean when you say "not a tradional corebook"?
Well, it's got resolution rules, and it's got character generation, and it's got adventures, but they're all phrased in terms of being a preview for the upcoming core. So it's not a main rulebook... but it kinda is.

Given that I'm working on a 2e-but-not of another game, though, I'm not going to criticize. As an industry we're just not all on the same model we ran with for so many years.
 
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