I have a backlog of Warhammer 40k posts to compose and post. For now how about a summary of a session of the Firefly RPG? This marks my return to running RPGs after three or four years off. The total player count is eight but only six were able to attend this first session, which was somewhat of a relief! I hope to post a follow up to this soon, with some relevant details of the crew members.

Episode 1: Where the F— is Valentine?
The episode opens late afternoon at the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone. The crew has just landed, eager to take care of their planet-side business.
M and Bobbi head to a local ship outfitters, Redworth Provisioners. They interact with the proprietor, one Hugh Bowery, and with Doctor Yuan-Qi’s generous accounts they have no problem securing their supplies.
Valentine heads off to attend to his own business. Including a nice (relatively) meal, a bath, and a shave and trim for his mandarin style goatee.
Grace retires to her quarters after successfully landing the ship, to entertain herself. With the ship on the ground and the engines shut off Graden takes the opportunity to tackle various inspection and maintenance tasks.
Joleen escorts the Doctor to obtain various biomedical supplies, to make sure the wealthy Core Worlder avoids trouble of the local variety.

As night begins to fall word has spread that there is a rich ship in the local berths. The local gang moves to collect their due.

Bobbi and M find themselves outside Redworth’s as the establishment closes their gate for the night. A large transport grinds to a stop nearby with a suspicious number of workers aboard. Between their knowledge of the local criminal element they are able to quickly discern the gang affiliation of the toughs and bluff their way out of the situation.
A local catches the end of the engagement and supports their bluff. He claims to be from Macguffin Brother’s Deliveries, a real organization that Bobbi had not in fact scheduled a pickup with but had told the toughs she had. He quickly loads the pallets of supplies and heads towards ship’s berth, leaving the crew members to a leisurely walk back.

Meanwhile, Graden is disturbed from his mechanical tasks by a pounding on the cargo bay door. Checking the intercom screen he sees what appears to be a port inspector. His usual inebriation and the abrasion of space travel on the camera may have contributed to him missing how ill-fitting the government uniform is. As soon as the bay door opens it is clear that the man is in the company of several tough looking gentlemen. They are all wearing red armbands and belong to the Violet Dragoons gang. The very same gang that had attempted to extort and/or rob Bobbi and M.
Graden attempts to bar their entrance but only succeeds in stopping the leader in the uniform and two of his henchmen. The rest brush past. The scene ends with Grace coming down the hall from her quarters to the cargo bay to see who has returned to the ship.

Joleen’s keen intuition and the Doctor’s business sense have secured all of the materials he required at a fair price. Upon leaving the last shop though, they are surrounded by street urchins of various ages. Some of which clearly looking to rob the richly clothed Doctor. Ms. Merrick is able to glean the name of the local gang and invoke it to scare off the older and more threatening youths while the Doctor succumbs to his weakness for children and tosses a double handful of credit markers off to the side to clear their way and hopefully help out the kids.

Just a few meters from the starship provisioner’s M and Bobbi are stopped by an Officer Yeatmen and her partner. Yeatmen is no none-sense and with a few words informs M that he is under arrest for suspicion of Human Trafficking. He attempts to talk his way out of the situation but only convinces her that he’s a mouthy git. Bobbi’s focus on the ship and the supplying thereof leads her to slip away just a soon as she can, uncertain how she can help M out of his predicament.

Grace’s trip down the corridor comes to an abrupt halt as she runs right in to a very, very large thug. They engage in an uncomfortably close tussle. She manages to get him on his back foot and effectively removes his parter from the fight. Pulling one of her pistols she fires a warning shot, however it grazes something important and a massive jet of steam erupts in the cargo bay. Just a short distance across the hold Graden uses the incident to convince the leader of the group of gangers that they are in imminent danger from the leak.

The Doctor and Joleen approach the ship just in time to see the three men flee down the ramp ahead of a distressing amount of gaseous looking substance emanating from behind them. The Doctor worries that one of his experiments has been disturbed while Joleen attempts to sneak aboard to investigate the sounds of gunshots and fighting. Joleen continues to fend off the hulking brute, abandoning her pistols to employ a Big Ass Knife. The engineer uses a Huge Wrench to engage another gang member, a slightly built man with a pair of daggers. Joleen seizes a utility knife from a rack of tools and using the muscle memory of the nearby Doctor Yuan-Qi she attempts to incapacitate an approaching thug. She discovers that his cool leather jacket is impregnated with cut resistant fibers and only manages to degrade its resell value.

Just a few blocks away M is being marched away in hand cuffs. Cutting through an alleyway Bobbi manages to intercept Sinclair and hop aboard his vehicle. The gregarious and helpful delivery driver coaxes the details of the current predicament from her. He is eager to help both due to his nature and his somewhat oppositional relationship with Officer Yeatmen whom he feels frequently oversteps her bounds and fails to follow due process.

In the cargo bay the violence escalates. The engineer receives a moderately serious knife wound and Grace finds herself becoming increasingly more restrained by her mountainous assailant. The Doctor, unused to this level of audacity, finally boards the ship and loudly announces his family name and cites their reputation as a proof that all hostilities should immediately cease. The remaining thugs quickly realize how close they were to being hunted to extinction by very well equipped mercenaries. Joleen hears the voice of the Violet Dragoon’s leader in their heads, Cyril McGuiness absolutely does not allow his people to run afoul of rich folks from the Core Worlds.

Things are looking very bleak for M as he is marched towards the law office. There is a sudden and timely squeal of breaks and grinding of wheels as Sinclair brings his truck to a stop just inches away from the trio. M is able to neatly hop aboard. He leaves the officers with one more assurance that though things look bad, he has his reasons. Yeatmen appears to see a familiar look in his eyes. She also knows what it is to attempt to do right in this difficult and unjust ‘verse.

The episode ends with the heavily laden truck accelerating away from the stunned officers. They blink in confusion, there is a man with a traditional Chinese sword sheathed on his body perched on the back of the cargo.

We’ve been discussing improving the narrative of our games, I mostly play scenario type missions and I think part of the fun is crafting a story around it.

Here are a list of things helpful for forging  a narrative about a mission.

Before the mission

  • Who is your army
  • Where is your army
  • Why is your army there
  • Who is leading your army
  • Plan for the mission

After the mission

  • Significant events in the battle (turning points, major surprises, upsets).
  • Heroic units (lone guardsman wiped a squad of charging Tau in a sweeping advance, Guardian squad bogging a squad of assault terminators for 3 turns)
  • Your armies interpretation of the outcome (da ‘umies wiped out all m’boyz they’z stronger den we thought just ‘ow we like it).