Before we go any further let me just state for the record that my knowledge of the Firefly universe is limited to say the least. Indeed other than knowing the TV show exists my sole exposure has been watching the movie Serenity and I fell asleep during that, so not a great start really.
Anyway moving on from stating my ignorance, one of my fellows from Telford Boardgames club recently acquired a copy of the Firefly RPG & asked for volunteer players, long story short, I haven't participated in an RPG as a player for many, many years & frankly jumped at the chance of spending an evening on the other side of the proverbial GM's screen.
So that brings us forward to Friday evening where five of us congregated at the GM's abode & settled down to what turned out to be a very entertaining maiden session of Firefly the RPG.
No doubt the subtleties of this have, as usual, escaped me but basically Firefly uses a system of opposed rolls to resolve combat & other stressful undertakings. The player & GM each assemble a pool of dice based on characteristics, skills, difficulty of the situation etc & selects the two highest of these. Highest total is successful! there are one or two other factors taken into account here, any ones rolled in either dice pool incurs a complication, which as it suggests inhibits the player/ gm in some way, this then has to be described which does lend narrative form to what would otherwise be just another dice roll. The same is true of a successful dice roll, it has to be described which does lead to an interesting running commentary through the game which really helps those of us who aren't naturals in the acting department.
The other notable mechanic from a players point of view is " Big Damn Hero" dice, you get these whenever you beat the GMs dice roll by 5, they are recorded on your player sheet & can be used at any point in the game but crucially are added to the dice pool AFTER other dice have been rolled & compared.
As I say, have surely missed a lot here but it is a new system to me & its yet to sink in.
To save time we were each provided with a character pre-generated( but not named, this he somewhat foolishly left to our devices) by the GM, they were as follows:
Captain Darrien Frey, the in debt owner of the good ship Ning Jing, consequently after any fast buck going.
Pilot William Ask, always very well turned out, but definitely not gay.
Engineer/ Scavenger Godwin Fernandez, of Chinese/ Mexican extraction with a few authority issues.
P. R. man (sic) Kai Kinnison, an ex military man with rather polarised views on right & wrong.
Ships Doctor Beatrice Tuttle, ex. medical student in search of adventure.
Captain Frey is approached by an ex colleague in the military to investigate the disappearance of his daughter, the Sheriff of Patron Town on the planet Jian Xing, tempted by the promise of an extensive expense account Captain Frey accepts the undertaking & without further ado our band of heroes jets off into space.
Rather than give too much away in case GM Will wants to run this with another group of players I will instead just re-cap some of the evenings highlights:
What could have been a fairly nasty crash landing is avoided through the combined efforts of Pilot, Engineer & Doctor, although Captain Frey somehow managed to sustain a couple of broken ribs & a concussion in an otherwise successful operation
Fabulous sharp shooting by P.R. man Kinnison to rescue his Captain, not only does he manage to shoot the rifle out of a sentries hand, the subsequent ricochet sufficiently discourages his colleague that he to throws in the towel.
Some rather imaginative 'information gathering' by Fernandez aided by judicious use of the titular ice lolly & blowtorch. The by now very cowed victim is re-christened 'Lopez the Bitch' & is pressed into unwilling service as engineering assistant.
In the midst of a chaotic rescue effort Doctor Tuttle nearly renders three of her colleagues Hors de Combat when over enthusiastic use of a .50 cal causes collateral damage to a structure they are in, filling it with flying splinters as well as hot lead.
Really enjoyed this maiden session, already the characters are starting to develop some interesting idiosyncrasies, looking forward to continuing with this.