Notice: This Page is in the early stages of construction.
This project emerges from asking what my partner imagines when thinking about the ideal RPG. The response was roughly "I'd like to be a dwarf in a spaceship... like Dungeons and Dragons in the Firefly universe."
The game thus far can be thought of as an episodic action-cinema style setting aesthetically modeled after a Post-Unification Wars universe. The cosmos also includes several elements of a traditional fantasy D&D cosmology. Most notably: Dwarves will take the place of Humans as the dominant species.
As we build material for our game we'll focus on including content imminently relevant to each session... In essence this will be developed a lot like a series of standalone adventures.
Firefly/Serenity has a couple settings developed by Margaret Weis Productions using the Cortex and Cortex Plus systems. It's also worth noting there is no free, legal, and open source (FLOS) material related to these and there's no good way to make use of the material without paying for the books; so we'll avoid it.
Fandom has a wiki that will come in handy along these lines, however: firefly.fandom.com.
Following this it will be desirable to pair the Serenity/Firefly cinematic universe with a variety of d20 mechanics because it'll be a combat focused campaign and there's a lot of FLOS d20 content viable for use in far-future fantasy settings.
It is noteworthy that the d20 Modern material we're building on is only guaranteed to be well balanced with other WotC Modern material and even then there are a few exceptions. That is 3.5e, Paizo, Monte Cook, and other 3rd-party sources for d20 content are not perfectly compatible without modification.
As of V 0.7 we're mostly referring to mechanics from d20 Modern, Future and Future Tech as well as bits of material from from Expanded Psionics and the Starfinder SRD.
From a design perspective we're *really* not against adding custom content or considering further house rules as we go on but due to exceptional familiarity with out-of-the-box d20 systems the foregoing is a comfortable starting point. We definitely ought to avoid lore that would take us too far afield from the intersection of Firefly and D&D Fantasy, since that's the goal we're aiming at aesthetically speaking, but that doesn't actually eliminate a whole lot.
Setting Contents Edit
Our Narrative Edit
Play begins in the hangar of a moon base orbiting a thriving but highly hostile planet which the Dwarves call Gar.
As indicated on the grid map of the Moon Base: there is a massive hangar for receiving Ultralight and Light category Starships. The room is roughly 510 ft by 70 ft with an 80 ft. ceiling. The bunker is underground so the hangar has a mechanical floor and rooftop.
The moon base was built by a team headed by an ambitious scientist named Ruff Feohstan a couple hundred years ago while he was petitioning to acquisition plots of land on Gar to exploit the planet for resources to be used on Canton. It was never approved so the project was abandoned and the moon base facility was shut down.
The junction hallway connecting the barracks, Hangar, and Lab is roughly 30 ft wide with a 40 ft ceiling and it also contains the maintenance materials for the facility. There is a rapid conveyor system in the walls for transporting people and resources but it's also reasonable to use other vehicles.
The barracks is effectively an underground community center complete with housing units, a gym, a library, and an event space for organizing entertainment. The room is roughly 270 ft square with an 80 ft ceiling. It's lit from above like an outdoor space and there are buildings with streets laid out in a grid to effectively emulate a small town.
Also to be detailed -- Utility Hallways 1 and 2, The Storage Room, The Lab, The Hazardous Hallway, and The Unused Space.
Over the last decade the royal family has been making use of the base as a place to stash problematic family members or the occasional subversive figure beloved by the crown who they need to hide from the public for a while.
The party objective will be to retrieve a priceless royal heirloom which has been tracked to Gar, the planet being orbited. If habitable planets are natural or terraformed then Gar is natural and has no advanced civilizations capable of space travel but is nevertheless wild and hostile.
Starting Races Edit
We can import other races as we go along.Other races being considered at the moment include: Abrasax (Tiefling), AGI Constructs (Warforged), Half-Orc, and Halfling.
Life on Gar Edit
Time and Seasons
Flora and Fauna
Animals (but not Dinosaurs)
Tiny Vermin (or smaller)
And more (Sea life, etc...)
Geography and Culture
Deities and Magic
Histories and Highlights
System Mechanics Edit
Let's assume we're playing with d20 Modern and Future mechanics as a base.
► Include 5e advantage and disadvantage rules - URL to d20 5e SRD
► Adding 3.5e Fantasy Races: Players may select any ECL 0 races from the Players Handbook or Eberron Campaign Setting.
- All racial traits will be handled through the following bonuses:
+2 to a chosen ability score. Also choose two different skills to recieve a +1. Each distinct species begins play with the ability to speak, read and write in a native species tongue. (Ex: Dwarves speak Dwarven, Humans speak Human, etc.) Racial sizes also remain relevant.
- Favored Classes should be ignored in favor of the multi-classing rules from the Modern mechanics.
- Vitals: Convenience-based imports from other games and sources per species.
- Abrasax (Tiefling) normally has a level adjustment, but we'll be referring to the racial trait bonuses given above for all the playable species being included so this won't be an issue.
► Skills: Starfinder (The rules just make more sense.)
► FX/Magic: Expanded Psionics (for the occasional extraordinary weirdness).
► Everything Else according to Modern & Future: w/ the obvious exception of mechanical details rendered dysfunctional by the narrative.
Summary archetypes for the Serenity crew using d20 M & F class mechanics to project progression:
Intended to help with character creation.
Book - Class: Dedicated | Talent Tree: Empathic and Insightful | Advanced Class: Bodyguard and Explorer
Jayne - Class: Strong | Talent Tree: | Advanced Class: Gunslinger and Street Warrior
Kay Lee - Class: Smart | Talent Tree: Research and Strategy | Advanced Class: Engineer and Techie
Mal - Class: Tough | Talent Tree: Damage Reduction and Unbreakable | Advanced Class: Gunslinger and Field Officer
Inara - Class: Charismatic | Talent Tree: Charm and Fast-Talk | Advanced Class: Ambassador and Personality
River - Class: Fast | Talent Tree: Defensive | Advanced Class: Battle Mind and Martial Artist
Simon - Class: Dedicated | Talent Tree: Healing | Advanced Class: Field Medic
Wash - Class: Smart | Talent Tree: Research and Strategy | Advanced Class: Dog Fighter and Engineer
Zoë - Class: Fast | Talent Tree: Defensive | Advanced Class: Soldier and Dreadnought
Version History Edit
V 0.1 - Page creation with brainstorming notes and a project outline.
V 0.2 - Reorganized the content into proper sections and clarified objective points.
v 0.3 - Rebuilt the mechanics section and added considerable substance to the setting.
v 0.4 - Added the house rules and updated the content for the imminent character creation revision.
v. 0.5 - Updated formatting and lots or error correction.
v. 0.6 - Added details regarding resources and updated the setting and mechanics sections regarding character creation.
v. 0.7 - Tweaks. Lots of out-dated bits removed. Gearing up to add new maps and the rest of the adventure notes.