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Serenity Role Playing Game Hardcover – September 19, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. is a game publisher and book packaging company founded and managed by Margaret Weis, who has over two decades of experience best-selling novels and games. The company is based in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin -- the birthplace of the roleplaying game hobby.

From the Author

Written and Designed by Jamie Chambers; Fiction by Margaret Weis; Cover Art by 11th Hour

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions (September 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931567506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931567503
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Now, seeing as there's two parties that'll be looking at this, I'm going to address this to both of them individually; first to browncoats, and second to roleplayers. Go ahead and skip to the section that applies to you if you want, or you can read my little introduction.

Ok, I've been playing RPG's since I was nine or ten, and I also fair near recently became a big Firefly/Serenity fan, so when I first saw this book, two things immediately leapt to my mind. The browncoat in me said "Sweet! A Serenity RPG!" While the

roleplayer in me said "Oh no, not another cheap movie rip-off."

I'd been a roleplayer for a much longer time, so that side of me won out at first. I figured I had d20 Future, so I could make a campaign set in the 'Verse we all know and love if I wanted to. Eventually, though, I read some reviews, and decided to go ahead and get it. Worst case scenario, I ended up with a lot of interesting stuff about the movie. Now, if you haven't already guessed from the rating, it was a wee bit better than that.

And now on to the review!

To Browncoats:

When I first opened this book, it nearly blinded me, it was so shiny. In addition to all sorts of information about the ships, the stuff, and the 'Verse, it really does a great job of representing all the characters. The system is simple and easy to learn, but it's complex enough that it'll last you a while. It's easy to roleplay, and for all y'all that I'm sure will find yourselves as new gamemasters, it's easy to adjucate as well. Browncoats in general should have no problem with it, and a lot of fun.

To Roleplayers:

First off, I'm going to say this: powergamers need not apply.
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Format: Hardcover
I am not a role player but I bought this book on the strength of learning how to play. The book is covered with beautiful photographs and design layout of the various ships. It also has a geography for the known 'verse. The book has dossiers on all the crew members with their strengths and weaknesses if you choose to play as a crew member. For the more creative fan, the book walks you through creating a new character. Like all role playing games, the background history is given as well as rules to follow. If you are a gamer and loved Firefly this is right up your ally. IF you are a Firefly fan and do not game , this is right up your ally because of the history and insight to characters is wonderful, along with photos, diagrams, etc. For any fan of Firefly, this is a must have.
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Format: Hardcover
Having gotten my hands on a copy of this shiny rulebook, my standards for the RPGs I play jumped a few notches. The core rules are simple and efficient, and the primary mechanic---the use of Plot Points---allows for a lot of fun, drama, and good storytelling without removing the gritty, life-on-the-line feel of the series.

To put myself in perspective, I'm a long-time gamer and gamemaster, and actually contributed to the playtesting and design of the Serenity Roleplaying Game. Up until just now, I was refraining from posting a review, as I considered myself biased....however, the reaction to the game that I've recieved from my friends (who did not get to contribute or playtest) assures me that my views are far from unusual. After showing the book around briefly, I've got more than 20 people wanting to play, some gamers with no Firefly experience, some gamer Browncoats, and some Browncoats who never touched the funny dice before in their lives. And they all love it.

After doing character creation---unusually easily, compared to d20 or AD&D, or even White Wolf---and a few brief sessions, everyone is having fun with the game. The dice system (rating each attribute and skill as a die-type like 'd4' or 'd8', rather than an abstract number) made it easy to get the non-roleplayers into it, and my gamer-geek buddies love the atmosphere of the game and characters, the way they can control the story with Plot Points instead of just getting 'experience points'....the list goes on.

To draw this ramble to a close, everyone whom I've shown the book to has gotten something fun out of it---the setting, the rules, the chance to sail the black. The chance to spit in the eye of the Feds, or turn tail and run like a bitty little bug when the Reavers come callin'. That's what makes this game so worth it, whether you're just a fan of the show, a gamer who never heard of Serenity, or someone without experience in either.
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Format: Hardcover
The official web site ([...]) says a fourth printing is in progress and will be out in August or September 2006 so another review may be helpful. That web site also offers a character sheet and index that are not included in the game book itself.

While I am a new Serenity/Firefly fan I am an old role playing game (RPG) fan. So I was very excited to pick up a copy of this game both to see how it handled traditional RPG elements as well as to gain a little additional back story on the Serenity milieu.

As far as additional back story goes, the game is more of a compilation of information from Firefly/Serenity than it is a fleshing out of it. There is no map of the planets, something that is a foundation of almost every science fiction RPG, and little information presented that didn't appear in the series or movie. While these references often brought a smile, they were not illuminating. I do give them credit for finessing what I thought was one of the more interesting issues - paper money being more valuable than platinum - which Simon referred to in the Ariel episode. While the economic details are still something of a mess (100 silver pieces = $10?), I thought they finessed the explanation of this dual monetary system aspect well.

As a game, Serenity has a lot to recommend it. Characters are generated by allocating points, so everyone starts with characters of similar power. The mechanic used is one of bigger die the higher the attribute, with average being a six sided die. I thought this was very clever and adds a lot of drama into the game. Even if you have a great character attribute you can still roll a one and "botch" things up.
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