Monthly Archives: January 2011

AGE (Dragon Age) and Firefly… Got My Eyes on the Stars- Looking for Feedback

Edit: I have finished Firefly up through Box Set 2 release of Dragon Age as of 03/16/11.

Here is the full PDF.

Firefly Hurtlin Through the Verse V2

Edit: I realized I forgot to put that the charts for the Ability Scores are trying to keep with the AGE mechanics. The descriptions come from the Serenity RPG however.

The other day I posted what I have done thus far on converting the Cortex RPG system of Firefly to the AGE system by Green Ronin.

Today I’ve started the task of figuring out starships and space combat for a system that doesn’t have such rules.

Here is what I have jotted down thus far. I am open to suggestions. I still have a few things to do and add as time goes on.

Ships and Space

• Keep Space flight simple.
• Keep Ship stats and rules the same as ground.
• -4 for ships to hit people.
• Heavy Weapons can do damage to a ships hull.
• Two types of Propulsion- Reaction Thrusters and Pulse Drives (pg 100)
o Reaction Thrusters are burners and can be used in atmosphere.
o Pulse Drives are for fast travel in space.
• Power for the worlds and ships are Fusion based. Using Hydrogen-Oxygen Fuel cells for Ships that funnels the energy created by the Fusion Plant into the ship- the exhaust produces clean water and can be used to distill alcohol.
o Ground vehicles use Hydrogen fueled motors and utilize Power Cells.

Parts of a ship
• Life Support
o Atmosphere System
 Fire Suppression
 Disease Control

• Air Filtration
o Water Tanks
o Waste Management

• Hull

• Fusion Plant
o Hydrogen-Oxygen Fuel Cells
 Exhaust is clean usable water

• Reaction Thrusters

• Pulse Drive

• Computer

o Navigation
 Fly by Wire System- most spacecrafts
 Navigational Beacons were deposited throughout core worlds and high traffic areas of the rim by Alliance. These are separate from the Cortex. Ships can do SoS and search messages through these beacons.
• Using four of these or contacting a planet or moons communication system will give ship a time stamp for date and time.

o Sensors
 Simple detectors- tell crew what is out there
 Scanners- This makes sense of what the simple detectors are seeing and gives details.

o Communication
 The Cortex utilizes all modes of communication to make sure messages are delivered.
• Messages are called Waves
• There is usually an 8 hour delay between Core Worlds and Rim for Waves due to Speed of Light.
• Messages are prerecorded. Live messages have a limit of 100,000 miles.

o Ships are generally unarmed. The Alliance deems that such armaments are illegal save for rare cases and the Alliances own ships.

 Four types of Weapons-
• Space Mines
• Missiles
• Cannons
• Warheads
o Kinetic
o Explosive
o Canister
o Magnetic
o Jammer
o Decoy
o Nuclear
o Maintaining a ship-
 Costs: Coming

Ship Statistics-
• Communication- See Perception
• Constitution
• Cunning
• Dexterity
• Perception
• Strength
• Willpower
• Speed
• Defense
• Armor
• Penalty
• Hit Points

Ship attributes show the type of ship you are flying

• Communication- See Perception

• Constitution– This ability shows the ships upkeep and maintenance.
o Barely holding together- 0 (-10 Hit Points).
o In need of regular service- 1 (+ 0 Hit Points).
o Performs well within standard maintenance- 2 (+5 Hit Points).
o Newer model or design requires low maintenance- 3 (+10 Hit Points).
o Newer model or design has redundant system built in- 4 (+15 Hit Points).
o Fresh-off-the-line model or design auto-repair systems built in- 5 (+20 Hit Points).

• Cunning– This ability represents the ships computer functions (auto-pilot and computer safe guards).
o Barebones- Can make only basic corrections, stop in emergencies, or sound an alarm- 0.
o Substandard- Can handle mundane flight details, and issue automated responses to communication attempts- 1.
o Average- Can auto-calculate a flight plan with correct input, account for unusual (but not unheard of) anomalies during flight- 2.
o Good- Fast response and crash avoidance, auto-landing routine on predictable terrain- 3.
o Excellent- Auto-checks sensor information to verify its accuracy, extensive emergency response programming- 4.
o Amazing- Sophisticated systems can handle most flight details without pilot assistance- 5.

• Dexterity– This ability shows the ships maneuverability and handling.
o Slow unresponsive maneuverability- Alliance Cruiser- Rating – 0.
o Ungainly, slow maneuvering- Alliance Liner- 1.
o Average maneuverability- Military Patrol Boat- 2.
o Good maneuverability- Firefly Class Transport- 3.
o Exceptional maneuverability- Alliance Gunship- 4.
o Near perfect maneuverability- Hummingbird Fighters- 5.

• Perception– This ability represents the ships sensors and recognition systems.
o Rudimentary- Only the barest nav-sat, Cortex access, and communications equipment- 0.
o Basic-Typical needs for a privately-owned civilian vessel, including long range emergency beacons for distress situations- 1.
o Average- Standard commercial vessel- 2.
o Good- Standard military vessel- 3.
o Excellent- Military listening post- 4.
o Amazing- Expensive sensors or communications gear designed to send/receive broadwave messages, scan all spectrums, and analyze all frequencies- 5.

• Strength– This ability shows the ships weight and plating for resisting damage.
o 10-100 tons- Escape Pod, One-Man Shuttle- 0.
o 100-1,000 tons- Small Transport, Standard Short Range Shuttle- 1.
o 1,000-10,000 tons- Mid-bulk Transport, Firefly Class ships- 2.
o 10,000-100,000 tons- Large Transport, Blockade Runner- 3.
o 100,000-1 million tons- Alliance Warship- 4.
o 1 million-10 million tons- Alliance Cruiser- 5.

• Willpower– This ability represents the safety systems of the ship, as well as the function of the ship as it takes damage. This also represents a ships ability to be jury-rigged for temporary repairs and bypasses and the ability to push a ship beyond her normal limits.
o Rudimentary- Auxilary life-support and little else- 0.
o Basic-Automatically seals bulkheads at critical sections, backups available for the most critical systems- 1.
o Average- Often able to maintain optimal function after modest damage- 2.
o Good- Most ship systems have an auxiliary backup- 3.
o Excellent- Damage containment protocols and redundant backup systems may allow ship functions to continue after significant damage- 4.
o Amazing- Modular, redundant system designs and integrated emergency procedures allow ship to often function even after extensive damage- 5.

Speed– 10 + Ship Dexterity Rating
Defense– 10 + Ship Dexterity Rating + (piloting focus)
Armor– Ship Strength Rating + Hull Rating.
• Hit Points– 30 + Constitution Modifier.

Placing Starship Attributes
Ships get 15 Ability points to allocate.

Ship Cost
Ship starting cost is 10 per ton times Cost Complexity.

Cost Complexity
Add Constitution and Strength Rating divide by .5 and round down.

Cargo Capacity in the Ship
Keeping with the philosophy of the AGE system, tracking encumbrance and weight that a ship can hold have been removed to avoid unneeded complexity. What a ship can hold is abstract and final call should be made by the GM.

De-homogenizing Eberron

I’ve recently seen posts talking about various campaign settings from Dungeons and Dragons and how one of WotC pitfalls has been to cram every one of their source books into the setting, which in the end homogenizes that particular setting.

One setting that came up quite often (and I apologize for not having the links to these posts) was Eberron. I will admit that it is my favorite DnD setting as well (the 3.5 version).

What I’m curious about is what would you take out of or change in the game to make it more unique?

Specify for both 3.5 and 4e as there are differences in the settings. I know 3.5 has a truck load of info and I heard that the info given in the 4e is a bit more streamlined (I’m not sure if this is entirely true given that I’ve only glanced at the 4e books and wasn’t wholly impressed with what I saw).


One thing I would have flushed out more was the Dragon Marks. While nifty, mechanically I didn’t feel that they were worth a Feat (or several Feats for). The reward just wasn’t that great.

The Dragon Marked Houses are described as controlling or having their hands in virtually everything in some manner of speaking. I felt that this could have been better emphasized in the core rule book.

Now I know that there was danger in Khovaire, especially in the Demon Wastes, but sometimes I felt the book was pointing to Xendrik as where you go for danger. Khorvaire has mostly been tamed, save for a few areas, but go to Xendrik because that shit will hurt!

I loved how the races were changed. Savage Halflings riding dinosaurs, the Elven Undying Court infused with voodoo style magic, dwarves being more like loan sharks and greedy, and gnomes being vindictive crazy strategists. All very cool.

AGE System (Dragon Age) and Firefly- What I’ve Done Thus Far

Edit: I have finished Firefly up through Box Set 2 release of Dragon Age as of 03/16/11.

Here is the full PDF.

Firefly Hurtlin Through the Verse V2

The other day I mentioned that I was thinking of doing a conversion of Firefly to the AGE system.

I have gotten a few things done and thought I would throw it up here for some constructive feedback.

The thing I would like to have people keep in mind is the AGE (Dragon Age) system is meant to be simple and not have things bogged down by complicated and unneeded rules.

As such, things like the conversion of money (which is a bit more complex in the Cortex System) have gone the way of the Dodo for something more streamlined.

I still have quite a bit to do:

Create Items, Weapons, and Armor.
Compile Worlds
Create NPC sheets
Create Character Sheet
Space Combat
Space Combat Stunts

Also this is just a very rough draft. I will clean it up and make it more presentable, as I have done with Wrath of Zombie.

AGE System and Firefly

Edit: I have finished Firefly up through Box Set 2 release of Dragon Age as of 03/16/11.

Here is the full PDF.

Firefly Hurtlin Through the Verse V2

My buddy Chuck, over at Geek Life Project, gave me a little feedback and asked questions on how I would do Firefly using AGE. I gave a very rough preview of what I was thinking the other day and figured I should hammer out a few more details and that will allow me to A) See if it is worth doing, and B) Get some feedback.

Note: In the end I will put this up on my site for people, like I have with my Wrath of Zombie, but ultimately this is for myself and my players for fun. Hopefully there will be a few other people out there who like it as well!

I’m sticking with the Dragon Age Model and only having 3 classes. I’m thinking that the Soldier, Drifter, and Noble fit a base line of what we are presented with in the show. I’ll probably do a post on this info as well.

Note: I’m adding this after I have already written the post- Chuck made a good suggestion of using the AGE system, however not having any classes at all.

The Dragon Age class structure breaks down as such:
Level 1- Starting abilities and choice of starting talent(s).
Level 2 and 4- An ability for class
Level 3 and 5- Gain new Talent or upgrade existing talent.

If I were to go “classless” I would follow same structure, however I would have a listing of abilities that people could choose from at level 1, 2, and 4 that may have requirements.

Thoughts? Anyways, back on with the post!




Book could have been a well trained drifter or soldier since we don’t know a WHOLE lot about his past, but most likely a soldier.

As far as things like being a pilot, or a Techie; those would all be Talents that would have bonuses and abilities just like the Dragon Age game.

I believe I am going to have Companion be a Talent. It would make sense as a Talent because you start out as a lowly beginner of the Companion arts and as you get more clients and etc you become more popular and sought after, as Inara was in the show.

There are 7 Backgrounds in the Dragon Age Set One.

Here is what I have thus far:

Class options- Soldier and Drifter

Alliance Agent
Class options- Soldier and Noble

Class options- Drifter and Noble

Frontier Bumpkin
Class options- Soldier and Drifter

Core Worlds Born and Bred
Class Options- Soldier and Noble

Class Options- Drifter and Soldier

Class Options- Drifter and Noble and Soldier

The tools I am going to use are: the Firefly Wiki, which has some info (although I wish it had more), the TV show and Serenity Movie, and the Cortex Serenity RPG itself.

I’ll have more on this as it develops. I’m hoping to spend a good chunk of time this week and next really getting things pinned down. However winter break is over and college is once again rearing its ugly head to gobble up all of my time with homework.

Aside: It LOOKS like the Serenity RPG is going out of print or something.. DrivethruRPG is saying they will not be carrying it after January. As such all of the books are on sale really cheap. I wanted to point that out so people can get their hands on them cheap, if interested.

Aside 2: NewbieDM is also going to start molding the AGE system to fit a wonderfully epic sci fi setting that happened a long long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Keep your eye on him for more developments!

No Pirate Session Due to Player Illness on Sunday… However We DID get to play ourselves some Dragon Age

So I FINALLY got to play Dragon Age. It’s system which I have been in love with for over two months now and have been crooning it to sleep at night, the box cradled in my arms, tenderly, like two lovers intertwined in an eternal embrace, much to my girlfriends disgust and dismay. She’s just jealous of our passion (God I really hope she doesn’t read this post or I’m in trouble)!

My girlfriend Angie, Elmer, and John were the only people who were able to play out of my 6 who will be playing in my Pirate Campaign. I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to role-play, especially since it had been 2 months since I had taken a short hiatus from GMing.

I figured this would be a perfect time to try Dragon Age.

I won’t go into the mechanics of Dragon Age because others have done so and they did it damned well. Check out NewbieDM here and here. Also here is some good posts from Daniel Perez (aka Highmoon’s Ponderings) here and here.

Character Creation

Dragon Age is probably the simplest and quickest character creation I’ve experienced in a long time. Total time for 3 people to create their characters was 10 minutes and that is because Elmer took a few to choose his spells.

In the end we had:

Elmer– Human Circle Mage who is traveling around looking for Magical and Historical Artifacts.

John– Fereldan Freeman Warrior who is seeking an old magical relic that was in his family for generations and recently stolen.

Angie– City Elf Rogue who was hired by Elmer incase they needed to procure a magical artifact in a not so legal manner.

I decided to try the Dalish Curse adventure that is at the back of the GM guide in box set 1. It is a good adventure and a pretty good introduction to Dragon Age. I will admit that I really do have a chip on my shoulder about running adventures that aren’t my own. I just feel, in some ways, I’m cheating… and I also just prefer to create my own stuff. However I was pressed for time because I didn’t find out till Saturday at 5pm that it would only be the 3 of us.

I was already familiar with Dalish Curse having read it when I bought the box set so it made sense to give it a go.

Play and Adventuring

Dragon Age really is a simple system and I could tell my players were really into it. The stunt mechanic, as many people have already doted, is simple yet amazing because it brings gratification and can give some cool cinematic moments.

My players generally liked combat because it was fairly quick, and simple. There was no getting bogged down due to feats, skills, etc or a plethora of rules for every situation that made us have to just toss a rule to keep going or pick up the book to look because the consequence of the action/rule mattered.

As far as the adventure goes we got to the end of part 2 of 4. It was getting late so we had to stop, even though I would have loved to keep going. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to finish it up.


I really do love the system. I mentioned yesterday that I am thinking about creating a Firefly game using the AGE system. I’ve got some ideas in my head. We’ll see if they go anywhere.

I think the system has more potential that JUST being locked into Dragon Age, not that there is anything wrong with that.

I love the world and setting. I’m a huge fan of the video game as well. I am excited to get to know the AGE system better, and where it will take my players and I.

Also for anyone who is interested, Kobold Quarterly issue 13 has an AGE adaptation for Freeport done by Chris Pramas.

A Firefly RPG… But What System, Savage Worlds or AGE (Dragon Age)


Edit: I have finished Firefly up through Box Set 2 release of Dragon Age as of 03/16/11.

Here is the full PDF.

Firefly Hurtlin Through the Verse V2

I love the Firefly show. It’s amazing. It’s early demise is also a sign of how producers and TV companies can kill a perfectly amazing show (airing the episodes out of order when they build on one another.. honestly).

I’ve been reading the session recaps of a pretty awesome Firefly game on Obsidian Portal and it has put me in the mood to: A) Watch the show all over again. B) Eventually (and I stress eventually- I’m doing too many games as it is right now) run a Serenity/Firefly game.

I’m not a huge fan of the Cortex system however (no offense to those who like it), and I was pondering that if I wanted to do this game, what system would I use?

It’s a toss up between Savage Worlds or The Dragon Age system, AGE.

For info on Savage Worlds- click here. For info on Dragon Age/AGE mechanic- click here.

I think both systems have quite a bit to offer in terms of catching the Firefly feel. There is definitely some work involved to port to either system and get it right, but I think it would also be fun to do.

Hell even FATE would be a quick and easy system to use for Firefly, but I think I’m more set on either Savage Worlds or AGE.

What about you? What system could you see for Firefly? Out of SW or AGE, which would work best?

Here is a quick idea for AGE that I had. It is by no means complete, but just a bare bones of how it could work.

AGE System

Class options- Soldier and Drifter

Alliance Agent
Class options- Soldier and Noble

Class options- Drifter and Noble

Frontier Bumpkin
Class options- Soldier and Drifter

Core Worlds Born and Bred
Class Options- Soldier and Noble

*There is no Psychic class like River. I thought about incorporating that, but River is a special and very unique case and didn’t feel that the setting needed a ton of psychics running around.
Drifter (Rogue)


The Most Epic of Star Wars Reviews

I find these reviews of the Star Wars Prequels hilarious and actually really insightful. The reviews are really intelligent (if a bit negative- which is part of the humor).

Hope you enjoy em! Have fun!

Episode I
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Episode II
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Episode III
Part 1, 2, and 3 all on same Page