Serenity RPG – Part One

Our group is taking a break from the Four Islands RuneQuest game, and a new GM is trying out a new system – the Firefly RPG. The other players had created characters the previous week, and the ones that turned up on the first ‘real’ session were: Dave Cocknocker, a fightin’ sort; Hammy, a slightly weird type; Bacon, a decent pilot (good friends with Hammy – both grew up on Persephone); and a cleric whose name escapes me.

I rushed through my character creation since I’d been warned it can take a while. I asked what characters they had and what they needed – we had a medic and engineer on top of the ones above, but those players weren’t there. The one thing that no-one had taken was the leader, the captain. So I slipped into that one and grabbed a quick but focussed build – I’m fair with guns (specialising in the exotic energy weapons), but not a fighter. I put many points into Influence – both Leadership and Persuasion, with high Intelligence and Willpower.

As my Assets, I chose Leadership (I can give people a bonus if they are working towards my stated goal) and Steady Calm (should come in handy to maintain control in a panic situation) – both minor. I was given two minor complications – Traumatic Flashes (I may lose control while I relive a terrifying memory) and Greedy (mo’ money, yo).

Since I was greedy, I put a few points into Gambling – if I ever get the chance to play Poker, then a high Persuasion (for bluffing) and a good Gambling should give me a fair shake.

So without further ado (or the time to think up a decent name – I’ve gone with ‘Not Mal’ and the nickname ‘Sir’), we began our first session!

Our crew was meeting for the first time on Persephone. They had met on a Cortex hub (OKCrewpid) and some of us had bought shares in a ship – a Firefly class vessel with nice sensors and a full tank o’ fuel. There’s enough fuel for 16 days flying and food for a month. A box had been delivered to the ship – inside was a lady cleric. Dave and Hammy had no immediately obvious skills, so I expect them to pay their way at some point and in the meantime to do the heavy lifting tasks.

Introductions out of the way, we checked the local Cortex for available jobs. There’s only one worth our time – a chap called Randall Lee wants a box delivered to Londinium (an Alliance world near the core), for 50K credits. Bacon stayed with the ship while Dave and I headed to meet Mr Lee and try to find out more about the job.

The box is 6ftx4ftx4ft, approximately 90kg, wooden, no special transport requirements, and a ‘no-open’ clause (payment is reduced to 25% if it’s opened). Sounds very much like it contains a small human.

Being a jolly persuasive fellow, and Mr Lee having extremely low Willpower, the terms of the job were renegotiated. 56K for delivery, 50% if it’s opened, and 30K bonus if we make it in 5 days (Bacon had plotted a course that would take 4 days).

When the ‘negotiators’ got back to the ship, they found that the Alliance had sent some ‘blue-hands’ over to inspect it and to advise the crew that there were pirates operating between Persephone and Londinium. They left without incident when the crate arrived, along with all the papers that we’d need for passage and landing and so on.

Despite dire warnings, we actually made it to Londinium without meeting any pirates. We did salvage a small crate of high-grade protein foods which should be good for some cash out on the rim worlds. We also landed on time without any problems, delivered the crate to the Alliance Security centre and got paid. We were not allowed back to the ship though, and everyone had to follow the guards and goons (of which there were dozens and dozens!) to a small office. After a short while, we were released back to the ship.

As we approached the ship, we spotted a guard leaving our ship on his own. Since there were no other guards around, we ‘coerced’ him back onto the ship once Hammy had told us that he wasn’t really a guard, and was trying to rob us (though just opportunistically, not targeting us specifically). And so we had a prisoner! Stripped naked and interrogated, we intended to turn him in for a meagre bounty when we got back to Persephone. However, he suggested we decided to keep him on board (tied up in the airlock) when he tipped us off that we’d been double-crossed and our payment had vanished!

We immediately suspected Randall Lee of doing something dodgy, so devised a plan to get our money back. He was well known as a gambler and mule-racer (the little quad-bike, not the donkey thing) so we challenged him anonymously to a race. While preparing for the race we realised that he was unguarded in the shed with his winning Mule, so we dropped a Stun grenade through the window and kidnapped him, and stole the Mule.

As is our standard procedure when interrogating prisoners, we stripped him naked and put him in the airlock (our other prisoner was cuffed to a table in a shuttle, out of the way) and interrogated him while Bacon put us in orbit around Persephone.

It turns out that even though we robbed the poor sod blind (I have a new hat and laser pistol, as well as the contents of his wallet) he had also been double-crossed by Ton Ting, the Pirate King, who had given him the job (that he farmed out to us) in the first place. We had to take on the Pirate King to get our cash back.

Ton Ting’s base (or lair, if you will) is on an abandoned asteroid mining station between Persephone and Londinium (hence all the pirate raids). We took the ship in close (but hidden), and flew a shuttle off to the asteroid. We landed in secret, thanks to our cleric’s covert operations training, and undetected by the guards nearby.

And so we wait for the next session to assault the Pirate king base…