The Firefly Role-Playing Game Every Fan Should Play

By Steven Nelson | Published

strange world firefly

With only 14 episodes and one movie available, Firefly fans have always been eager to find other ways to get their fix of Joss Whedon’s space western. Thankfully, the show’s cult following has helped the Firefly ‘verse to expand into other media over the years. And loyal Browncoats should know that there is a Firefly role-playing game out there that expands on the story and takes things in new directions.

The Firefly Role-Playing Game came out in 2014, with the cult classic show at the core of the story. The game comes from Margaret Weis Productions, which has produced pen-and-paper RPGs for properties such as Smallville, Supernatural, and Marvel Comics. It uses the Cortex System ruleset, which involves rolling different dice for different categories in the game.

Firefly Role-Playing Game

In the Firefly Role-Playing Game, players create crew members with attributes with all different types of RPG-related abilities and can play roles like captain, pilot, mechanic, etc. The Firefly Role-Playing Game focuses on the crew taking on various jobs and dealing with the complications that arose. In many ways, it’s very similar to the Firefly episode structure.

The Firefly Role-Playing Game creators worked under the style mantra of ‘Find a Crew, Find a Job, Keep Flying’, and the game manager acts almost like the director guiding the “crew” through jobs, adventures, and complications. Combat isn’t intense, and the game is a bit more big picture than some other RPGs.

The Firefly Role-Playing Game rulebook provides pretty extensive background on the Firefly universe in case fans aren’t all the way caught up there. And the themes do range more toward the mature side of things, again, not all too dissimilar from the series itself.

Longtime Firefly fans may remember that an RPG wasn’t be unexplored territory for MWP. They already had released a Firefly game back in 2009 and released four volumes, counting the initial rulebook, before their licensing agreement eventually expired.

Of course, Firefly Role-Playing Game came from the sci-fi western TV series created by Joss Whedon that aired on Fox for one season in 2002. It starred Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds, the captain of the Serenity spacecraft, along with a crew played by Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass. 

The show followed this fan-favorite ragtag crew taking on odd jobs and evading the totalitarian Alliance government in a futuristic, space-faring frontier. The series had critical acclaim and a passionate fanbase, but Fox canceled it after just 14 episodes due to low ratings.