Update Coming For Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse

I’ve put working on my Firefly campaign setting for a bit while I worked out some nagging issues I have the AGE system and worked on other things like my Wrath of Zombie game and got two different campaigns up and running.

Problems with the AGE system?!  Whaaa–?!

I love the AGE system for its overall simplicity and feel, but I became disenchanted with it due to the thing that many people applaud about it…  Stunts.

I’ve read several game reports and forum posts about rulings on attempting to do stunt-like things without the use of Stunt Points, like disarming, knocking a target back, or tripping them.

Many GM’s seem to have ruled that a player can’t do that unless they have stunts..  And that just bothered me big time.  The whole “NO you can’t do X” just grates on me unless what the player is asking is really unreasonable.

The other thing about Stunts that was bothering me is that seems to be a big thing that people focus on and add more of, and I honestly fell prey to this when I developed Firefly, especially when you look at my Talents and Specializations.  These are great stunts by Saisei and I have used them in a few Dragon Age games that I have run, but I noticed that adding these bogged down game time because the players had to look through their available options and decide what to do.

I love Stunts, but I’d also like a few more abilities and the like for each class rather than a huge plethora of stunts (that’s just me though).

So What’s a Dude to Do

After sitting on it for a bit I hit a Muse (no literally I did) and came up with some bits of levity that I think fit (for me) the conundrum that plagued me.

So first was what to do with those pesky actions that players wanted to do even if they didn’t have Stunt Points?  Simple, just read below (this is from the upcoming Firefly update).


One complaint heard about the AGE system is the randomness of Stunts when dealing with actions like disarming or tripping an opponent.

If you desire to let your players attempt these actions without the need for Stunt Points it is easy to do.

Allow them to make an appropriate Ability (Focus) test with a -2.  If they reach the TN then they are successful at the desired action, but they do no damage, where as the stunt allows them to disarm and damage.

If the player roll doubles and generates Stunt Points they must select the appropriate stunt that they are performing.  You can also rule that performing “stunt” like actions does not generate SP when doubles are rolled.

Second- dealing with an overabundance of Stunts.  An awesome post over on Dragon Age Oracle made me sit down and think about how I had approached designing my game and what I thought the AGE system was directing me to do and that I was slightly off key.

I’ve gone back through and redesigned MANY of the Talents and Specializations (some from the ground up) and hopefully they’ll be more interesting and have more use than just waiting to roll stunts.

I also changed how poisons work (from Box Set 2) since it bothered me that delivering the poison to a target was a stunt.  I played a game where the rogue had poison on his blades, hit several targets during combat, but didn’t roll stunts once.

He was disappointed and understandably so.  I didn’t like that design for poison- so I went with a more direct manner.

Delivering poison to a target is no longer a stunt, as per the standard rules of DA.  When the target is hit by the weapon with the poison they must succeed at a Constitution (Stamina) ability test, TN 13 for Novice, 15 for Journeyman, and 17 for Master or fall prey to the poisons effects.

Hopefully the decisions I’ve made will be useful to myself and anyone else who takes my version of Firefly for a spin.

I’m not sure when the update will be out, but hopefully soon.  I don’t want to rush it.  I want to put everything I intend to in it.

Next Week- Firefly and…. Cyberware?!


About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

7 responses to “Update Coming For Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse

  • Chuck

    How about a set number of stunt points per scene? Or something like that

    • wrathofzombie

      I don’t think that would work since it would remove that random element, which I think is needed for stunts to be exciting. I think having that element is vital to making stunts unique. If there is a pool or set amount, I feel it becomes a feat or “power.”

  • Saisei

    Interesting stuff there. I’ve actually thought the same as regards stunts (ironic considering) within DA. But when players have asked to trip or grapple someone I’ve done basically as you said and used common sense to say “Yup, you can do with with an opposed Strength (Might) test” or something similar.

    I’ve actually reworked my stunts which may be published in a future Kobold Quarterly (well wait and see) and they’re a bit more balanced. As well as that players don’t have access to all the stunts straight away. Novice in a talent you can use stunts costing up to 2, Journeyman up to 4, Master up to 6 (same as the divine Stunts in the last KQ)

    Oh as an aside I think we’re going to be running a Firefly game soon using your rules 😀

    • wrathofzombie

      Very cool on having them put in KQ! Let me know when that is! I will be digging that, for sure! Looking forward to seeing what you’ve done.

      I’m hoping that the reworking of performing various actions allows for more player creativity and fluidity.

      I’m looking forward to hearing what you and your group thinks o’ Firefly! Let me know. If you find anything wonky or weird, let me know! I’m always looking for feedback.

      When the update is done I’ll let you know.

  • Neil Ford

    Looking forward to seeing version 2. Finally getting a local group organised and want to show them what AGE can do. And Firefly is just made for roleplaying.

    – Neil.

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