This book, which came out well before the main Firefly RPG core rulebook, is designed to enable you to leap into action with the adventure series Echoes of War. For those who fancy playing the crew of the TV series, they are presented in detail, whilst those who'd rather play their own character in the setting have a selection of archetypes on which to base their own creations.
Then we move on to each of the main characters, the crew of the Serenity. Each has a good portrait (now I can figure out who is who... yes, I did watch the show but was more interested in the stories than the characters!) with plenty of background about how they came to be there and what makes them tick - all useful stuff if you want to role-play them effectively. This is followed by a full character sheet. The complete information fits onto two pages, so quite easy to print out back-to-back and have everything you need on one piece of paper. Printer-friendly versions are provided, basically on a white background rather than the coloured one in the main text. They mesh well with the characters on TV although they go no further - things that the characters didn't like to talk about there are not explained any further here.
For those who prefer designing original characters there are a dozen archetypes. These are almost-complete characters with scope for personalisation - you'll need a name and although there's a bit of background provided you may tweak it, change skills and such like to make it your own. It's a cut-down version of the full character generation system, and enough to produce a playable character. There are printer-friendly versions of these included as well, but they will end up rather messy by the time you have finished your customisation - pick up the free Interactive Crew and Ship Sheets download and use that for your character sheet instead, or you can use the rather more basic blank character sheet at the end of the book.
Finally, there's a section on that other essential you're going to need before you start playing: a ship. Just like characters, ships have various characteristics in numeric form that can be used to roll dice when the need arises, and this is explained here. The equivalent of attributes are engine, hull and systems; and ships then have signature assets. For the party's ship, you use the characters' skills as appropriate, GMs use a fourth attribute called crew to replace the characters on other ships. There's a blank sheet for writing up ships provided at the end too.
This is a good 'get-you-started' tool, and once you have your characters there are a range of compatible adventures around to try them out on. It's a bit more expensive than the average 'quick-start' package but a lot of care and attention have gone into it, although some people may find the rather casual text a bit off-putting. It's pretty much in character for the game itself, though. A good way to get started.
Return to Serenity Crew page.
Reviewed: 6 January 2015