I love the Firefly RPG by Margaret Weis Productions. It’s got all the great parts of the Cortex System, all the great parts of the TV series, and is a great lesson in crafting a game to evoke a specific atmosphere. An earlier licensed RPG by MWP (the Serenity RPG) was also pretty great but the newer, narrative-focused Firefly game is a better design in my opinion. Still, I look through the Serenity stuff for inspiration and background materials and one of the things it has the Firefly lacks is a boatload of pregens.
There are plenty of premade crews for players to utilize in Serenity and I’m working through converting all of them to Firefly system. Today, I’m posting the first three ships: the Aces and Eights, the CanTankerous, and the White Lightning.
In the Serenity core rulebook, the Aces and Eights provides a ready crew of mavericks for your players. The captain of the boat, Jack Leland, is a high-stakes poker player who splits his year between traveling the casinos of the Core and traversing the Border planets in his own ship. A gambler and his friends are a mainstay of Westerns and the plot hook of poker games will give GMs an excuse to send their players to any planet in the ‘Verse.
The crew of he CanTankerous, a modified Alliance dropship, is more along the lines of Serenity‘s crew with Browncoats and traveling companions. It’s a great option for a “classic” Firelfy crew with lots of ties to the War and fun connections all over the ‘Verse. There are even a few ex-Alliance folks who provide some divided loyalties. Like Simon or Inara, these folks are disenchanted with the powers-that-be but they have old friends who aren’t and pasts that the other crewmembers might not care to hear about.
The White Lightning is something of a middle ground between the other two. It’s colorful owner, Big Daddy Holbrook, is a bootlegger who provides custom-made moonshine to far-flung planets. That’s a hook that the GM can use to start adventures, get the crew in trouble with the Alliance, and draw in unsavory types, but it’s also open-ended enough to have something like what we see in the show. Holbrook and others have Browncoat ties, for instance, so having a war buddy or two who’s in need is not out of the question.