GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

(PR) Margaret Weis Finds Serenity

POSTED BY: JAMIECHAMBERS
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 7, 2005 05:22
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 3:20 PM

JAMIECHAMBERS


http://www.thegpa.org/index.php/pressrelease/MARGARET_WEIS_FINDS_SEREN
ITY


(The following is an unformatted text-only version of the release.)

PRESS RELEASE
DATE: April 26, 2005
CONTACT:

Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.
Margaret Weis/Jamie Chambers
Tel 262-248-2419
Fax 262-248-6103
E-mail games@margaretweis.com

MARGARET WEIS FINDS SERENITY

Margaret Weis Productions to Produce Roleplaying Game Book Based on Universal Pictures' Upcoming Release Serenity

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, (April 26, 2005) - Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. is pleased to announce its agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group to produce roleplaying game products based on Universal Pictures' upcoming film Serenity. Written and directed by the Oscar®- and Emmy-nominated Joss Whedon, (creator of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel), Serenity is scheduled for release on September 30th, 2005.

Like the film, the roleplaying game book is set in the future and allows players to either re-create the action of the movie or experience new tales of adventure. The core book, the Serenity Roleplaying Game, is a self-contained roleplaying game using a new game system specially created for the line. The game book will be a full-color, hardcover book featuring still images from the film as well as original artwork. It will provide rules for play, character creation, and a short adventure along with information about the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship, Serenity. A release date for the Serenity Roleplaying Game is forthcoming and will be followed by supplemental roleplaying game books and an interactive website.

"The universe created for Serenity is amazing," says Margaret Weis, New York Times best-selling author and game publisher. "The movie presents a fascinating and intriguing view of the future. Serenity combines the best conventions of science fiction and westerns in a unique way, and is a natural fit for a roleplaying game."

Vice President of Margaret Weis Productions, Jamie Chambers, who leads a team of game designers and writers, including Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, James M. Ward, Tony Lee, and Andrew Peregrine, commented, "I could not be more enthusiastic about the new game. Everyone involved on this project has an excitement and passion for the material, one that shows in the quality of their work and the fun we're having in early playtests." Chambers continued, "Our goal is provide a game that is easy to learn, fast to play, and encourages the kind of fast-paced action, fun, and character development that fans will see in theaters."

##########

About Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.

New York Times bestselling author Margaret Weis, author of Dragonlance and the Death Gate Cycle, leads her company into ventures for book and game publishing. The company has card and roleplaying games scheduled for 2005, with exciting plans for the future. Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. is based in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the birthplace of hobby roleplaying games.

About Serenity

Joss Whedon- the Oscar®- and Emmy-nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel-now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity.

Based on Whedon's cult hit television series Firefly (which has taken on a second life following its December 9, 2003, DVD release, winning new fans and critical praise worldwide), Serenity will continue and expand upon the adventures of the memorable characters launched in the series, who will be joined by new characters created expressly for the motion picture adaptation. Whedon will act as both screenwriter and director, with Barry Mendel (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and The Life Aquatic) producing and Chris Buchanan and Alisa Tager (of Barry Mendel Productions) serving as executive producers. The Serenity cast will include such returning Firefly cast members as Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds, Gina Torres as Zoe Warren, Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra, Jewel Staite as Kaylee Frye, Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, Sean Maher as Dr. Simon Tam and Summer Glau as River Tam.

The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family - squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

When Mal takes on two new passengers-a young doctor and his unstable, telepathic sister-he gets much more than he bargained for. The pair are fugitives from the coalition dominating the universe, who will stop at nothing to reclaim the girl. The crew that was once used to skimming the outskirts of the galaxy unnoticed find themselves caught between the unstoppable military force of the Universal Alliance and the horrific, cannibalistic fury of the Reavers, savages who roam the very edge of space. Hunted by vastly different enemies, they begin to discover that the greatest danger to them may be on board Serenity herself.

This film has not yet been rated. Please consult www.filmratings.com or www.parentalguide.org for more information.

About Universal Studios Consumer Products Group

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition of the extensive catalogue of NBC Universal properties. Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is a unit of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

# # #

Dragonlance is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Margaret Weis Productions is a trademark owned by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 9:24 PM

SAFFY


I got to talk with Margaret Weis and her staff in March at an industry trade show. (She is SO my idol.) They truly love Firefly -- they were fluent in "Browncoat" -- and I know they're going to do a brilliant job.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 10:16 PM

RELFEXIVE


Hmmm... now, what's the word again? Ummm... Oh yeah...

SHINY!!

"My God - you're like a trainied ape. Without the training."

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 11:17 PM

BARNEYT


ooh... very, very shiny! Card games and role-playing games! Neat!

*makes note on Christmas list*


---
"I think the right place to start is to say, fair is fair. This is who we are. These are our numbers." Mr Willis of Ohio - The West Wing

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:21 PM

SITTINGDUCK


Quote:

Originally posted by JamieChambers:
Like the film, the roleplaying game book is set in the future and allows players to either re-create the action of the movie or experience new tales of adventure. The core book, the Serenity Roleplaying Game, is a self-contained roleplaying game using a new game system specially created for the line.



Good! I can't tell you how weary I am of seeing seemingly every licensed property RPG get shoehorned into D20. There are some settings for which D20 just doesn't work. I'll certainly get it when it comes out. Because even if it turns out that the system itself is go se, I can easily convert it to the Savage Worlds system.

Speaking of which, the crew of Serenity (as well as a few of the more noteable baddies) have been statted with Savage Worlds.

http://savageworlds.blogspot.com

You have the right to the remains of a silent attorney. If you cannot afford one, tough noogies!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 4:14 PM

ZOID



...And of course, from there it's just a hop-skip and a jump to MMORPG. Maybe we can get LucasArts and BioWare to develop it (a la KOTOR). How ironic would that be?

Let's see... Mal-licious would be a Companion, zoid would be a Shepherd (with mysterious skills, of course), TiPpY would be an Academy escapee, Gunny could be our merc, Static our pilot, and Haken the Cap'n of our Firefly-class transport, the Irritability...

And JewelStaite ( http://www.fireflyfans.net/showprofile.asp?u=6501) would be our sunny mechanic, the emotional rudder of our ship. Sorry, we got dibs...


Ideally,

zoid

P.S.
Still need a female martial artist and an effete doctorly geek who gets tongue-tied around willing farm girls. Bad news is that the doc will never get to kiss the mechanic (otherwise, I'm pretty sure I could pull off 'effete' my own damnself). Any takers?
_________________________________________________

"Sure as I know anything, I know this: I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDM'

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 4:50 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


I have been working w/ Jamie and crew and developing this RPG and I must say it is shaping up to be one of the greatest RPGs I have ever seen, and I have played and read up on nearly all of them.

If you are an RPGer or just want to play in the 'verse Joss created than this will be the game for you. Keep your ears open for updates as we get them.


__________________________________________

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Richmond, VA & surrounding area Firefly Fans:

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/richmondbrowncoats/


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Thursday, April 28, 2005 6:51 AM

RELFEXIVE


Quote:

Originally posted by BrownCoat1:
I have been working w/ Jamie and crew and developing this RPG and I must say it is shaping up to be one of the greatest RPGs I have ever seen, and I have played and read up on nearly all of them.

If you are an RPGer or just want to play in the 'verse Joss created than this will be the game for you. Keep your ears open for updates as we get them.




Ooooh...

"My God - you're like a trained ape. Without the training."

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 7:54 AM

RABIT


I'll be interested in seeing how the mechanics work, personally. At this point, that's the reason I play a game - you can do anything, any setting, with the right mechanics.

Rabit

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:11 AM

ELLYDRAGON


Do we know when the RPG is coming out? Will it be out before the movie? Or just sometime in the future?

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:42 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by ellydragon:
Do we know when the RPG is coming out? Will it be out before the movie? Or just sometime in the future?



Right now we're planning to premiere the new game at the Gen Con Game Fair in Indianapolis this summer ( www.gencon.com ) with some fanfare and cool events. Our tentative date for wide release is August 30, one month before the film hits theaters here in the U.S.

We'll have lots of details and previews on our new website, which is currently under construction.

** Jamie

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:42 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Jamie,

If you haven't already seen it, check out this thread:

http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=9754

Seems Zap2it did a short article on the RPG:

http://www.zap2it.com/movies/news/story/0,1259,---25602,00.html


The buzz is on my friend.


__________________________________________

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Richmond, VA & surrounding area Firefly Fans:

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/richmondbrowncoats/


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Thursday, April 28, 2005 10:03 AM

SOUPCATCHER


This is great news (made even more outstanding by the fact that BC1 is involved)! Thanks so much for passing the news along. On most days this would be generating a lot of excitement here on FFF.net. Unfortunately, the trailer and the early screenings happened to coincide with your press release (not that that's a bad thing, just a coincidence). So, hopefully this thread will remain in the general consciuosness for a few more weeks until the dust settles.


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Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:20 PM

DEANNAMAY


I don't mean to be stupid, but I am, when RPG is being mentioned, is it for a gaming system like PS2, or a book and paper based one?

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 3:03 PM

JAMIECHAMBERS


There are no stupid questions, just goofy guys like me who don't give out enough detail. We are talking about a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, one played with nothing but imagination and dice.

** Jamie

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 5:00 PM

JCPRICE


Shiny :)

Also - At last!

I've been waiting for an rpg in this setting since I first saw it.

The setting just smacks of rpg. You can almost see rpg sessions writing the scripts.

Oh well.

It's on its way. August 30 hmmm.

I can wait. I can wait.

Maybe.

I don't suppose you need any more playtesters?

jason

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 5:53 PM

SHINEY


Quote:

Originally posted by jcprice:
Shiny :)

Also - At last!

I've been waiting for an rpg in this setting since I first saw it.

The setting just smacks of rpg. You can almost see rpg sessions writing the scripts.

Oh well.

It's on its way. August 30 hmmm.

I can wait. I can wait.

Maybe.

I don't suppose you need any more playtesters?

jason



Get your D20's at the ready!!!!!!!!
I have GOT to get my BF/DM/ST to buy this!

Hee hee can a person be a Reaver ? =giggles=




"Oh My God It's Grotesque! Oh And There's Something In A Jar."

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:10 PM

JCLEMENS


Yet another RPG system? While I can understand the previous poster who's sick of stuff being shoehorned into D20, there are all sorts of perfectly fine systems out there.

In fact, when I first saw the Firefly pilot, I thought "This is Traveller!" For those of you not familiar with it, Traveller is one of the 1980's vintage RPGs--you can still buy it at www.farfuture.net. Yes, if my RPG habit were a person, it could drink by now.

I dislike GURPS, but maybe GURPS would have been the right system to do this in. If not that, then some other established system.

See, my biggest gripe with brand new game systems is that they're either too shallow to model much or they're too buggy so the GM has to throw the rules out the window anyways and just go with the flow. I think Firefly deserves better. I have no doubt that whatever system the Firefly game is stuck into, it will still be fun.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:16 PM

JAMIECHAMBERS


Actually you can put your d20s away... The game doesn't use 'em. You will got lots of use out of all your other polyhedrals, though.

(Oh, don't worry that OTHER game system gives your d20 plenty of love!)

As for the type of game system we're using, it has actually been around since 1998--just mostly hidden away. I took it off the mothballs, made some revisions and tweaks to make it really fit Serenity like a glove, and now have dozens of playtest groups all over the country working it over all the way until we go to press.

I'm biased, so feel free to ignore me, but I really like this game!

** Jamie

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Friday, April 29, 2005 3:32 AM

SHINEY


Ooo, no dice ?

Hmm, that actually sounds even better!
I don't have to lug around Ye Olde Trusty Dice Bag!

"Oh My God It's Grotesque! Oh And There's Something In A Jar."

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Friday, April 29, 2005 3:35 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


I didn't say "no dice"! I said "no d20." We roll the bones plenty in the Serenity RPG, but the d20 gets a well-deserved rest.

** Jamie

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Friday, April 29, 2005 3:58 AM

SHINEY


So there's a chance of dice related injuries then ? Especially if one uses a Jumbo D6 of Doom! =echoes= Hey I got hit in the head with one once. OWW!

Too bad my group isn't meeting this saturday. =mopes=

"Oh My God It's Grotesque! Oh And There's Something In A Jar."

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Friday, April 29, 2005 4:34 AM

SITTINGDUCK


Quote:

Originally posted by jclemens:
In fact, when I first saw the Firefly pilot, I thought "This is Traveller!" For those of you not familiar with it, Traveller is one of the 1980's vintage RPGs--you can still buy it at www.farfuture.net. Yes, if my RPG habit were a person, it could drink by now.



Heh, I still have the original three black books. Also have Traveller: The New Era, which uses The Other D20 that appears in Dark Conspiracy (cyberpunk horror setting) and 2nd Edition Twilight: 2000 (very dark end of the world, if slightly dated).

Another system that might be good for doing Firefly would be Deadlands. This is because of its strong Western elements (you use poker cards for character creation and initiative).

You have the right to the remains of a silent attorney. If you cannot afford one, tough noogies!

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Friday, April 29, 2005 7:57 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


Funny you should mention Dark Conspiracy... its designer, Lester Smith, is one of the members of our development team!

** Jamie

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Friday, April 29, 2005 9:18 AM

CONFEDERATE


I can see an adaption of WEG's old D6 system working well for this. But I also see GURPS working too. It will be interesting to see what "older" system they use for the game. Whatever it is, I will be adding it to my gaming collection as soon as it comes out.

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Saturday, April 30, 2005 6:49 AM

CYBERSNARK


Yes! I thought I was the only one who remembered D6.

Quote:

Originally posted by Shiney:
So there's a chance of dice related injuries then ?

Half the fun, methinks.

Quote:

"Okay, you hit him, now roll for damage."
*dice go flying across the room*
"Well, you've done plenty of damage, just not in-game."



-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Saturday, April 30, 2005 2:06 PM

CONFEDERATE


Nope, you're not the only one. I remember playing Star Wars using the D6 system before WEG folded the first time. Also loved TORG that they put out. Now that was an interesting game system.

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Saturday, April 30, 2005 7:35 PM

DBLADE


Now I'm really curious about what game system this was derived from. I'm a big Alternity fan so it will have to really impress me to use another scifi system. Regardless I will be buying Serenity the RPG and I look forward to its release.

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Sunday, May 1, 2005 10:13 AM

FORRESTWOLF


Funny you mention good ol' Alternity, actually; Jamie Chambers said near the top of this thread, "As for the type of game system we're using, it has actually been around since 1998--just mostly hidden away. .."

Alternity was published in 1998 (I just checked my Gamemaster's Guide).

I know, they're NOT using Alternity. But for a few moments, I DID wonder if they were. You're not, right, Jamie?

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Sunday, May 1, 2005 1:22 PM

JAMIECHAMBERS


No, we are not using Alternity -- though it was a really good game system that was a victim of the troubled times of TSR. I ran a Dark*Matter campaign and played in a Star*Drive campaign, so you can definitely say I'm familiar.

The game system I'm referring to has more to do with the history of our "sister" company, Sovereign Press. However, the lessons learned from Alternity--a central game mechanic, intuitive game play, and excellent integration with the setting--have all been kept in mind during the development of the Serenity RPG.

And for those Traveller fans out there, I played in a campaign down in Atlanta many years ago we called the "Space Dungeon" (since AD&D ruled the day back then in a big way). We had a crew of misfits on a piece-of-junk ship called the Blackhawk--haulin' cargo, passengers, and taking other jobs as they came. Sound familiar?

** Jamie

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Monday, May 2, 2005 2:17 PM

ALTA


Is there any chance that that some of the BDH might be at GenCon in Indianapolis this year?

*****************************
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity

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Monday, May 2, 2005 4:50 PM

JAMIECHAMBERS


All I can say on that is we are looking into having some very shiny guests at Gen Con, so Serenity fans should definitely stop by! As soon as there is something official to announce, you'll see it here (and many other places).

But for sure, we'll have Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis in our booth--both contributors to the Serenity RPG and best-selling authors in that silly little New York Times newspaper. And I'll be there, explaining to everyone why there are no d20s in the new game.

** Jamie

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Thursday, May 5, 2005 2:17 PM

AEGIS


Just out of curiosity, what are the chances of people like myself (married lads with wives that wont allow them to play an RPG unless it's running off a PC which the wife can also link into from her machine) being able to play the Serenity RPG?

Oh, and please pass on my Kudos to Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for writing the only fantasy books that my boarding school library would stock. That would've been the absolute worst 5 years ever otherwise.

--- Aegis

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Friday, May 6, 2005 11:42 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


> Just out of curiosity, what are the chances of people
> like myself (married lads with wives that wont allow
> them to play an RPG unless it's running off a PC
> which the wife can also link into from her machine)
> being able to play the Serenity RPG?

Hmm... I'm not very familar with the breed of spouse that prefers to play multiplayer computer games rather than a social game around the table with friends and pizza. (I do know of plenty of spousal units that don't approve of either hobby, I'm sorry to say.) Perhaps getting her to try a tabletop game in a small dose (like our upcoming Quick Start Rules) might change her mind. Otherwise bribes work. With my wife, it's shoes.

> Oh, and please pass on my Kudos to Margaret
> Weis and Tracy Hickman for writing the only
> fantasy books that my boarding school library
> would stock. That would've been the absolute
> worst 5 years ever otherwise.

I'll forward your message on, and thanks for sharing. There's actually a very cool Weis & Hickman announcement coming up (non-Serenity related), so keep your eyes on sites such as Dragonlance.com.

** Jamie

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Friday, May 6, 2005 11:46 AM

TECHIECL


This is more a plea: full color close-ups of weapons equipment, and costumes.

I'm an equipmet junkie. More so now that I've gotten into costuming. I'd love detailed pictures of the armaments in the movie in the RPG so I can recreate them.

Kudos for not even considering D20.

__________________________________________________
Dogbert: Try not to think of yourself as an organic pain collector hurtling towards oblivion

Dilbert: Too late...

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Friday, May 6, 2005 11:53 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


> This is more a plea: full color close-ups of
> weapons equipment, and costumes.

On it! With the combination of movie stills and original artwork, you'll definitely get to see fun weapon goodness.

> I'm an equipmet junkie. More so now that I've
> gotten into costuming. I'd love detailed pictures
> of the armaments in the movie in the RPG so I
> can recreate them.

I have just the chapter for you!

> Kudos for not even considering D20.

Thanks! Give your d20s a well-deserved rest when you come play our game. We Browncoats do things our own way.

** Jamie

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Saturday, May 14, 2005 1:05 AM

SITTINGDUCK


Since it would have to be addressed in the RPG, I would like you to clear up something which I thought was handled in an annoyingly vague manner on the TV series. Namely, is space travel FTL? While I've never been sold on normal space FTL (even the stutterwarp described in Fire, Fusion, & Steel), I have an even harder time believing that seventy worlds which don't require any special high-tech gear to survive on could fit in an area easily traversed at sublight. Particularly slow sublight (Read There and Back Again by Pat Murphy to get a good idea on the problems involved with fast sublight).

The rabbit is cuddly. Kids like little cuddly sidekicks. I mean... The rabbit... It's a time-tested... Okay, the rabbit bites.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005 2:00 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


I don't want to be cryptic, but the the game answers your questions -- as does the film itself (very quickly, too!). Whether the answer satisfies your "believability" factor will be up to you, though remember that if you go back and look at visions of the future even as much as 20 or 30 years ago, things have happened quite differently than imagined. (As in, for example, where's my flying car?!)

I don't think you have to look far on groups such as these to get the answer, but from me you'll have to wait just a bit longer. Sorry!



** Jamie

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Saturday, May 14, 2005 5:39 AM

JONESY


Do you know when the site will be up for the game.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005 6:31 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


We're working on the site now, but with work on the game taking high priority and the approval process involved in any licensing deal, I can't give you an exact date. When we close in on something, I'll post it for all to see. Thanks!

** Jamie

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Saturday, May 14, 2005 11:37 AM

RELFEXIVE


Shiny

I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to the most: seeing how the system fits the setting, or getting all that extra funky background and setting info you've been promising

"My God - you're like a trained ape. Without the training."

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 5:06 AM

SITTINGDUCK


One more question to pester you with. Since I live in a rural area, I do my gaming shopping online. Will it be available on Amazon?

The rabbit is cuddly. Kids like little cuddly sidekicks. I mean... The rabbit... It's a time-tested... Okay, the rabbit bites.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 5:17 AM

JAMIECHAMBERS


Yes, the book should be available through Amazon (and I'll confirm that later). We'll also be selling direct on our website. Thanks!

** Jamie

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 5:22 AM

MIGHTYCTHULHU


Any updates on the status of the RPG website?

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