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Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim $39.99 $14.99
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Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim
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Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Jeff P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/03/2015 19:24:27

If you've never played the 'Firefly' RPG before, you need to start by picking up a copy of the rules, which are available in two different products. I'll briefly describe each of those below. After you've acquired the rules, though, the "Smuggler's Guide to the Rim" is probably the next book in the product line that you should pick up. I'll explain why below.

First, a word about the 'Firefly' rules. These are available in two different books: the game's core rulebook and the "Echoes of War" supplement. "Echoes of War" contains most of the basic rules mechanics found in the core rulebook, plus four complete adventures in which players are assumed to play characters from the TV show or one of several "character archetypes" presented (although the adventures can be run with the players' own characters, if desired). The core rules, on the other hand, add a detailed system for character and ship creation, information on the planetary systems of the 'Firefly' setting, GM advice for running longer campaigns, and a number of additional rules that you'll want to have if you love this setting and system as much as I do.

As I mentioned earlier, once you have a copy of the rules in one of these two books, the "Smuggler's Guide to the Rim" is probably the next item you should pick up. Here's why. This supplement presents the only major rules expansion to the 'Firefly' RPG, in the form of rules for character reputation-- and these rules greatly expand upon the 'feel' of the television series which this game already captures so well. In the 'Firefly' RPG, reputation allows your character to have some standing with certain segments of 'verse society, from the underworld to corporations, or from Browncoat rebels to senior members of the Alliance Parliament. Even better, these rules allow your character to have poor standing with many of these same groups. Essentially, the reputation rules in this book expand the characters' roles beyond their own crew and the small list of contacts that they may have on the ground; these rules give them a defined place in the 'verse, making them a part of it.

The second section of this book-- the "Shepherd's Run"-- details a nav route favored by smugglers and criminals, including detailed settings and NPC's for eight world along that run. This section is incredibly useful for players and storytellers alike, giving players a place to hang their hats and storytellers a number of setting for future adventures. Since the system information in this book utilizes the new reputation rules, it's also easy for all parties to know where they might expect a warm welcome from the locals-- and where they should plan for a hasty exit, just in case.

Finally, the "Smuggler's Guide to the Rim" continues the product line's amazing run of solid published adventures. Two ready-to-run adventures complete the material that it contains.

The "Smuggler's Guide" is a must-have for 'Firefly' gamers. If you're a roleplaying enthusiast who enjoys the game, this title is something you really ought to add to your game library.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2015 12:51:28

Terrific. The reputation rules are brilliant. The shepherds run is a nice bunch if setting details.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/26/2015 08:32:57

There's a lot here: new rules, new places to visit and two complete adventures to play. Primarily aimed at game masters, there is a wealth of material to enhance an existing campaign or spark off a new one. It's all presented in the casual conversational style that has characterised all releases in the Firefly line, jarring for some but somehow fitting to the style of the original show.

The rules stuff is mostly to do with Reputation. What are you known for? And how well are you regarded? There's plenty of detail about how to get a good Reputation... and how easy it is to lose it. Note that Reputation only affects how NPCs view you, fellow player-characters are free to make up their own minds, no matter what the numbers say. The four 'factions' found in the 'Verse are also introduced: Alliance, Browncoats, Corporations and Criminals. Each one is a collection of assumptions (right or wrong) about the folk lumped into that category, and most people do not actually view themselves as belonging to one anyway. It mostly serves as a mechanic for determining how NPCs will react, but there is a lot of detail here to help you get a feel for how different groups think and feel. Some of it's useful, some of it may come over as rather too mechanical - but it can serve a use, perhaps as a 'rule of thumb' for determining reactions or even bringing out just how polarised society can be in the wake of a civil war. As examples, the Reputations of the characters from the show are analysed in detail. You can do the same for your own characters (or if you've chosen to play the show ones, well, it's done for you!).

There are also twelve new archetypes for those looking for new characters to play. They are grouped by faction, which may influence your choice. The notes take you through the steps from archetype outline to full-blown character, and then each one gets a full page including basic statistics, a run-down on what makes them tick and even a portrait. There are a lot of new Distinctions to choose from as well, and it is even possible to retrofit existing characters if you want. The process of adding Reputation to them is also covered here. If that wasn't enough, there are also a whole bunch more of Signature Assets that you might wish to have.

Once characters are dealt with, there's a similarly copious array of material for your ship. Different classes of vessel, history, signature assets, distinctions and customisation options - everything you need to make your ship a whole lot more than a means of transportation. There are some ready-made examples too.

Next comes the Good Shepherd's Run, a route through ten planets which are all described in sufficient detail to make a visit interesting. Notable people, what the different factions are doing, places to go... even ideas for adventures to be had there. A wealth of snippets of information to make each location come to life in your game.

This extensive section is followed by two complete adventures, All in the Family and Circling the Wagons. These are laid out in the pattern established by earlier published adventures, and both give plenty of scope for profit and trouble... or maybe that ought to be the other way around. The stakes are high. They are beautifully detailed and easy to run, although you have to edit a bit on the fly if your players have their own characters rather than the ones from the show (mine always want their own characters!). Resources are provided to help you deal with characters who do something other than the intended, seamlessly and without derailing the entire plotline. Nicely done.

There are several Appendices, including a whole lot more Chinese, some rules FAQ (and answers), maps and charts, colourful phrases typical of the various sorts of folk you might encounter, summaries of personal and ship Distinctions and a regular army of NPCs all ready to use (complete with complete character sheets).

There's a wealth of stuff here that will enhance your game - who could want more than that?"

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Walter H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/21/2015 16:55:17

I am so glad to finally get the pdf (I ordered the dead tree version and can't wait to actually see it). I'm very selective of which books I get because money is always limited, and this is a wonderful book to add to the collection. If you can only get one PDF or book other than the Core Book, this is the one!

This has a lot of good information that any player can use, as well as the GM. More Archtypes to add to the list and an interesting new mechanic -- reputation. While I've always had a similar thing in my game, this gives a good rule-set to use and makes it easy to use and understand. More options for your ship also line the pages.

In the end, all I can say is Shiny!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Firefly: Smugglers Guide to the Rim
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Matthew T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/21/2015 05:17:40

I'm giving this a five star review, because I think it's a more essential supplement to the Firefly RPG than the previous Things Don't Go Smooth. The main reason for this is the addition of a reputation mechanic that looks like it will be a lot of fun to play. I worried when I read about four "factions" that the 'Verse was going to be divided into "Goodies and Baddies" but I' pleased to see that the factions are shorthand for four loose sets of beliefs, and indeed, the game forbids mention of said factions within the game's fiction, explaining they are tool for operating the GMC side of the Reputation mechanic only.

That said, the book also offers some more archetypes, and extra Distinctions, that riff off the idea of the four factions. All good grist to the mill, and I noted with interest an archetype (with new distinctions) that would have been a great help to one of my players who, when we started, was trying to create a Blue Sun scientist type.

A good part of the book also expands the mapped 'Verse, adding lots of detail to the Kaldisa and Blue Sun sub-systems. I like the approach taken here, not just limiting every idea to the western motif's found in those all-to-few original episodes, but pushing the boundaries and adding colour in a way that leaves plenty of space for each grouso's own take on the 'Verse. There of lots a episode seed ideas in this section.

But there are also two fully written up episodes, one by Margaret Weis and one by industry veteran Greg Stoltz. The Weis one is weaker (in my opinion) - it relies too much on players running the original crew, and doesn't offer much help in adapting it to my player's characters. So for example in hinges of the players doing a mission to save Jayne's Mom. There is NOTHING in my crew's 'verse that their characters (or indeed the players) would love as much as Jayne loves his Mom.

Stolze offers us a meatier scenario in his episode and one that involves two actual game-world Factions, which works to emphasise the difference between such a group in the diagesis and the faction mechanic in the rules. This one of course offers ways to get the Serenity crew involved in the action, but also pages more help about using player generated crews.

All in all, and excellent addition to the game. If you can afford only one, buy this in preference to Things Don't Go Smooth. (Of course, Things Don't Go Smooth is lively too, if you can afford both).

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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