Tabletop RPGs – Firefly

Burn the land and boil the sea

I’m jumping around all these shiny new-to-me systems like a flea with another flea up its butt, and I have to admit the idea of playing Firefly is super-hyper-duper-attractive, at least on paper. In RPGs like in so many other games, sometimes the idea of playing something is a lot better than the actual experience, but we don’t always know until we try it. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to try it.

The Clues before SnoozeĀ  group (oh yes please, get me a better name, I’ll pay you in free mints) is now two groups, cunningly named Left-Pondians (North-America) and Right-Pondians (Europe). We’re sitting at 3-6 players for the Left-Pondians and currently 3 for the Right-Pondians, and there are spaces left in the Europe-time group if anyone is interested; let me know in the comments or wherever.*

We have no idea what we’re going to play next, in either group, though I’m glad they all had a good enough time with the Dresden Files Accelerated Edition playtesting to want to carry on. I’m certainly not going to force a system or setting on anyone, though I will definitely argue for trying Firefly in at least one of them, likely the Right-Pondians because Brian, one of our Left-Pondian players, is *gasp* not a die-hard fan of the series. I know, right?! (Here’s an excellent post on how it’s warm and comfy as a childhood Saturday in front of the telly. And yes, Mr. Fillion is totes swoon-worthy as the complete smart yet stupid, slightly bumbling but strong almost-bad-boy, thinking girl’s crumpet package. Ahem. Where were we?)


So, yes. Going to be trying this one out, even if I have to play with myself.

Play IT with myself.

Yes. That.

You can’t take the sky from me

In my quest to remember how to GM (which is roughly like riding a bicycle) and almost certainly as a desperate displacement tactic so that I don’t actually have to think about the upcoming don’t-yet-exist omg-what-shall-we-do campaigns — because I’m glutton enough to want to do it not once, but twice, for two different groups — I’ve been reading system books, GMing books, prepping books, GMing and gaming and playing and RPG websites and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! My brand-new download of Evernote is already brimming with things to read, remember, or consider.

I’ve even downloaded the demo version of Scrivener to see if it’ll help me manage my games more effectively, because my management technique is pretty much exactly like what I described my brain to be: an explosion in a gummy-bear factory:


I’ve only run through the tutorial but so far it seems pretty awesome. It’s structured, which will help me, but not so structured that my brain rebels and goes FUCK YOU I’M JUST GOING TO USE POST-IT NOTES THAT WILL FALL OFF THE MONITOR AND GET EATEN BY THE DOGS AND THEN YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHO THE BIG BAD WAS WHO TRAPPED TIMMY DOWN THE MINE.

My brain likes to shout at me. The meds should be kicking in any day now.

They also do an idea-jotter that’s kinda-sorta-but-not-quite like a mind-mapping program, called Snapple. No wait, Scrapple. No, that’s not it. Scapple!

Best of all, both versions come with a 30-day trial which is a genuine 30 days of use trial, not a 30-days-from-when-you-install-it trial. That’s the kind of demo I like, especially when it’s for a product that looks as though I might seriously want it. They’re giving me plenty of time to become irretrievably hooked… and then buying them isn’t even that expensive. Oh, they are cunning.

Anyway, to get back to the original point, I’ve added about a million new sites to the Feedly feed I don’t check nearly enough, because somehow in all the other crap going on in my life I’ll find the time to read 25 blog posts every day. (Said lots of people, perhaps, but not me, ever.**)

Here are two I found just today, shared because they cropped up in my search for Firefly reviews and I loved the style and tone of both of them: The Reef and Ed Plays Games. Also, as a French person and French-speaker, I can’t not like someone whose domain name is Nasty Anemone.

All right then. Since this blog post is itself a displacement activity that I’m doing to delay the time I have to sit down and try to brainstorm some campaign ideas (because I want to have a few ideas the groups can spitball off rather than starting in a vacuum and the inevitable awkward silence***), I’d best toddle off and do that thing.

Just like riding a bicycle…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

* The groups are intended to meet for sessions once every two weeks, since even in my RPG-deprived state I don’t think I can run two sessions and attend another as a player every week. Prospective players will be asked to commit to that as best they can, or there’s little point in having a ‘regular’ gaming group. We’re currently using Roll20 as a VTT platform and it works rather better than I expected, though we haven’t exactly stretched its capacities so far.

** But I live in hope. I am going to give Dave Allen’s Getting Things Done method another shot in the new year. I’m half-hooked from my first read-through of the method some months back but have yet to apply most of the principles. But I will. Because as a chronically anxious person with real issues finding meds that work, anything that lets me empty the whirling morass that is my brain and occasionally actually relax, knowing that things are under some semblance of control, would be wonderful.

*** See what I did there?



7 thoughts on “Tabletop RPGs – Firefly

  1. I suspect you’ll like Firefly, as it’s a nice mix of the Cortex we’ve been playing, and Fate. Our group found we liked the original Cortex a bit better, but it’s a solid enough system. As for playing it, you or I could run it for the group.

    1. I’m going to pitch it at one or both of the VTT groups for sure, but I suspect I’d enjoy playing it at some point too. That said, I don’t even know if I’m the one who’s going to end up GMing those groups. šŸ˜‰

      Interesting that you preferred Cortex 1.0 — most of what I’ve read from others has involved a marked preference for Cortex Plus.

      1. I’d say Cortex 1.5 — the rule set after “Serenity” RPG…essentially the BSG system. I think the Firefly version of Cortex Plus works pretty well, but I like the more granular attributes/skills of old Cortex.

  2. Has the Dresden Files playtest finished then? I only remember reading two session write-ups and definitely no wrap-up to the mystery.

    1. Hmm, there should be 3 write-ups. But yes, the testing officially closed on Nov 20 and no, we haven’t been able to finish the scenario, mostly due to xmas/holiday scheduling craziness.

      With the playtest group now split into UK & US, wrapping up the test scenario will be difficult, though I’m quite prepared to do it for one or both groups if they want.

      I didn’t think anyone here would notice or care. šŸ™‚ If it gets played through, I’ll post a write-up. If it gets officially abandoned, I can post a synopsis of what was going on / was planned, if you’d like.

      1. Ah, I just flipped back through your older posts and I had read all three write-ups. I’d conflated them into two in my mind somehow.

        Yes, I’d be very interested to read a synopsis. With Jim Butcher off doing some other series (which I hear isn’t up to much) it’s the closest to a new Dresden Files story I’m likely to get for a while!

      2. Actually I’m enjoying the other series. You just can’t approach it thinking it’ll be more Dresden, but after 15 years I can see how he might be feeling a bit of Dresden-fatigue, even if we fangirls aren’t.

        I say ‘series’ but it’s only the first book so far. Still, I just finished that end enjoyed the hell out of it once I managed my own expectations.

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