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Firefly: Dogs of the Vineyard Style

You are a member of a tightknit crew struggling to live life your way on the fringes of space. Each day is a struggle to maintain your life, your ideals, and the lives of your friends. Dogs seems to be the perfect vehicle for this type of Wild West Space drama. Here are the conversions (off the top of my head:)

One (or more) of the PCs owns a ship. He is the captain. How he captains is up to him, but ultimately it is *his* ship with all of the good and bad that comes with. All of the Players should agree as to who is the captain during character creation.

Character Creation is pretty standard. Choose a type, assign dice, pick possesions, etc ... Each player must have a tie to either the ship or to the captain (just as each player in Dogs must have a tie to the Dogs.) For example, "I am a member of the Serenity's crew."

As GM you create Jobs instead of Towns. The Players arrive somewhere for a Job. Here are the details and some NPCs. What aren't they being told? What is really going on? What are the complications?

Adapting the Faith: This is where is gets tricky for me. The players are not enforcers as per Dogs (or any of his examples) but I see no reason why there couldn't be several sets of Faith that PCs could or could not choose to call upon. For example, there could be the Faith of the Shepard, the Code of the Brownshirts, or Pyschic Mojo. That being said, who said the PCs are on the fringes and not enforcers of some type.

It looks like there is going to be a Serenity RPG coming out, which would be useful for Source Material (the system looks fine, but definately more cinematic than gritty.)


Brandon, you are right on target here. Vincent has some very interesting things to say about this particular conversion, over at his Forge forum. Here's the link:


The whole thread is good, but pay particular attention to Vincent's (lumpley) posts.

I really, really want to play in a game like this.

YES! I agree that adapting the faith is hard, but then again, you don't have to. You just need to come up with a procedure that works. If you take the firefly model, then it could be all about trying to make a living without compromising your freedom and your values.

The "Adapting the Faith" is mainly relevant because there is that section of Ceremonial gestures that I would like to use, but they are not strictly necessary. I think that it would be interesting to give the players some additional option based on their background.

Ceremonial "battle" is about calling upon the power of god to banish the demons (whether in a corporeal form like the exorcist or in a subtler form, like blighted crops.) Giving Malcolm Reynold's Player a system of beliefs (duty, honor, etc ...) that he can call on as a way of showing his committment in particularly important situations could help to add a bit of the cinematic flair (and could be used as a "stand-in" for something like hero points) while still keeping the gritty reality.

Ceremony in Dogs has nothing to do with God's power or demons, really. You can certainly play it that way if you want to, but the system doesn't require it. I think Dogs is a very atheistic game, in fact, but that's another discussion. :)

Like Vincent said, "... demons and sorcerers are just bad luck and bastards. Every Western needs those; the mechanics of sorcery and possession are there just to make the bastard and his thugs harder to deal with than the townspeople."

I don't think you need Ceremony for Malcom's beliefs, either. Those are easily handled as traits and relationships.

I really, really want to play in a game like this.

Done and Done.

I herebye offer to run a one shot of Firefly in the Vineyard.

Let me know who is interested.

Also, I just posted a more expanded version of this topic to RPG.net. I wonder what Lumpley will have to say about it.

Count me in!

I'm in too.

It might be a good idea for us to start a discussion about the crew for this game (hope it's not too early, Judaica). I think it would be useful to collaborate on creating character for this a bit.

I'm in as well.

Dogs specifically says to create characters collaboratively together, face to face, during the first session (when we also do our initiations). I think we should try to stick to the rules of the game as much as possible.

Brandon was also concerned about the number of players and the number of crew our ship would need. I think the most important thing is to have the right number of players. Three seems perfect, to me. However many we have, that's how many crew we have. I don't see a need to "fill out" a crew roster with NPCs or anything like that, just to emulate the TV show. Three players means a 3-man ship. Simple. The Millenium Falcon only had a crew of two, remember.

I have no problem with a small crew, per say, as long as the necessary roles are filled. With the Millenium Falcon Han was the Captain, Pilot, Steward, and backup Mechanic. Chewie was the Mechanic and backup pilot.

Everything else is flavor and game style that you are looking for.

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