Like all adventures in the Echoes of War series, this one opens with a comprehensive run-down of the basic rules for playing and Game Mastering the Firefly RPG. These are introduced simply, novices ought to be able to get the idea whilst experienced gamers new to this particular system can pick up its salient features. This adventure is designed to be played with characters from the Serenity Crew supplement (who may be either the main characters from the TV show or ones based on the archetypes provided), but will work just as well with characters generated using the core rulebook. This part of the book (only) can be read by both players and GMs.
Next is a section called 'The Way of Things' which explains what the adventure's all about and provides major and minor NPCs. It is full of hints about role-playing the various NPCs, particularly important in this adventure as it is one involving a lot of interaction. There's detail on how to embroil the party, with the suggestion that it might be easiest with the original Serenity crew as the player-characters and a run-down of how the archetypes mentioned above can be woven into the story if that's what your players have chosen. A wealth of detail on the main locations that might feature in the adventure is provided here as well, the nature of it being such that most of the action will happen where it happens rather than being tied to a specific location.
So, on to the adventure proper which comes in a Prelude and four Acts. It all starts in a bar, where an old friend and drinking buddy tells the crew that his wife has gone missing... and then things degenerate into a bar-room brawl which for once actually makes sense as part of the story rather than just being an excuse to flex muscles and smash things up. And that's just the Prelude!
Naturally, things go downhill from then on. The crew will have to defend themselves as well as try and find out what's happened to their friend's wife - who, it turns out, is not the only person to have gone missing. Twists and turns follow thick and fast, and the crew will have to decide who to trust... and how far. Intrigue and interaction mixes with threats and outright violence gives a good balance to the adventure: whatever each player-character's strengths are they will get a chance to shine. And it all ends up with a three-way showdown that should have everybody on the edges of their seats, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
After the dust dies down, there are some suggestions for further adventures, as well as a couple of maps that ought to come in handy when running the adventure.
If quite intricate plots, villains to foil, choices to make and a few good brawls make a good game for you, this is one to take a look at.
Return to Friends in Low Places page.
Reviewed: 8 January 2015