What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

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Do you like the RPG?

Yes
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Total votes: 4

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Philflipsnor
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What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Philflipsnor » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:46 pm UTC

Big Firefly fan here. I saw a Serenity RPG at Barnes and Noble the other day. Before I spend $40 on it, however, I was wondering what the general consensus of it is for those of you who have played it?

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Jorpho
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:48 am UTC

Surely it depends heavily on who the DM is? (This wouldn't be your first pen-and-paper RPG, would it?)

Greatgreen
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Greatgreen » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:30 pm UTC

While I don't have an opinion on the Serenity RPG itself, I'd say don't rail yourself into one universe. Books and systems based around one thing, especially one without an established field of play (ie. Middle Earth is mapped and detailed, but, say, Stargate worlds are not).

If this is your first pen and paper roleplay though, I recommend going with the basic stuff first. A lot of systems are based on the d20 ruleset now, so D&D 3.5 Edition is a good intro, as is anything like d20 Modern.

If you want something a little more cult and obscure, try GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System). It's what I grew up on and, while a little bit harder to ease into, is one ruleset that can be adapted to fit any theme (hence generic and universal).

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Jorpho
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:51 am UTC

(Gee, up until now I thought the G was for Grand. I was wrong!)

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Sir_Elderberry
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:33 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Surely it depends heavily on who the DM is? (This wouldn't be your first pen-and-paper RPG, would it?)

Yeah, but a bad system is going to bad even with a good DM. FATAL is perhaps a bit too extreme to be a serious example, but it demonstrates the point.
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Kizyr
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:37 am UTC

I really like it, but the GM definitely makes or breaks the game more so in this than in other systems. Personally, I had a blast playing it (I was the GM in that case).

I have a full review of it up on Amazon if you're interested:
http://www.amazon.com/review/ROIUA1JIRA ... r_rdp_perm

An excerpt:
I ran a game as GM (gamemaster) with this setup; all of us in the group were familiar with D&D prior to playing (which thus formed our point of comparison). Here are a few main things I took from the experience:
- Combat tends to be very quick. With a good GM, this means more focus on plot. With a bad GM, this means repetitive battles.
- The game encourages players to play through their weaknesses. With a good GM, this means more interesting plot developments. With a bad GM, this means dead characters.
- The game is light on the rules. With a good GM, and a good group, this means less distraction and burdens imposed by constantly looking up rules. With a bad GM or group, this means less cohesion to the game, and possible arguments.
- The game is very light on equipment, ship builds, items, etc. I recommend borrowing ideas from another source to compensate ( Shadowrun, Fourth Edition tends to work well). The lack of equipment is the main reason it lost 1 star.


We played before official character sheets were available, also, so I ended up designing my own character and ship character sheets for the game (that, personally, I rather like more than the official one). KF
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Klapaucius » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Jorpho wrote:Surely it depends heavily on who the DM is? (This wouldn't be your first pen-and-paper RPG, would it?)

Yeah, but a bad system is going to bad even with a good DM. FATAL is perhaps a bit too extreme to be a serious example, but it demonstrates the point.
I think a really excellent DM would be able to make FATAL work.
If they were to take all of the offensive humor and play it completely seriously, examining all the ramifications and complications which would realistically come with, say, a woman magically becoming obsessively promiscuous and then dying from giving birth to a +2 shield, it might be one of the most emotionallyinvolved RPG sessions ever.
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El Spark
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby El Spark » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:57 am UTC

I liked the system and of course the setting is Firefly. The caveats mentioned above are definitely true (but hell, Firefly didn't see very much combat anyway, now did it?). I can say (since several of the players in my game were total tabletop RPG virgins) that the system is pretty easy to learn for newbies.

And a word of advice: Don't play the medic if that's your only real contribution. The other players can and will make you sit on the ship and wait for them to come back.

I spent six sessions without rolling a single die or making any other contribution. We finally just turned the medic into a heal-bot and I rolled up an ex-Alliance Operative version of "Howlin' Mad" Murdoch from the A-Team.

...that was a lot less crazy in my head.
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Kizyr
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Re: What do you think of the Serenity RPG?

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:41 pm UTC

El Spark wrote:I liked the system and of course the setting is Firefly. The caveats mentioned above are definitely true (but hell, Firefly didn't see very much combat anyway, now did it?). I can say (since several of the players in my game were total tabletop RPG virgins) that the system is pretty easy to learn for newbies.

And a word of advice: Don't play the medic if that's your only real contribution. The other players can and will make you sit on the ship and wait for them to come back.

There's a good way out of making that role boring if the GM has enough plans.

Essentially, you can split the party between an "away team" and a "home team", which are pretty much what they sound like. The tough guys, captain, etc., were on the "away" team, while the pilot, mechanic, doctor, were usually on the "home" team staying back at the ship. (Of course this switched up all the time, depending on what they had to do.)

What I did, then, was structure the sessions like episode, with an "A" and "B" plot, so there was always some action going on somewhere.

For instance (without giving too many plot details away), the guys waiting to take someone on the ship didn't do it while the captain, first mate, and merc were on board--they sat and waited until the tough guys left to take care of some other business, and then ambushed the ship (while the medic, pilot, and engineer [and companion] were on board). What followed was a fight where the "weak" characters had to outwit the bandits while relying on something other than raw firepower.

The key to scenarios where medics are doing something other than just healing all the time is the same key to making the game not entirely battle-centric: try coming up with other plots and scenarios that don't involve violence. ("Can I make a suggestion that doesn't involve violence? Or is this the wrong crowd?") KF
~Kizyr
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