Firefly Unisystem

Let's be Bad Guys

Ship Generation

Ship Type

The only Ship Type in Firefly is 'Boat.' The Ship Points available are

Attribute Points: 8
Quality Points: Spare Ship Points
Drawback Points: Be Reasonable
Drama Ponts: 5

You have 4 Attributes:

Structure, Size, Maneuvrability, Speed

This is the shell of your boat and costs 8 spaceship points. Every attribute starts at 2. These can be modified by various qualities.

Structure is to do with the strength of the ship, its sturdiness, and how well it can withstand shock. It is used as a modifier when damage is taken, similar to armour for characters.

Size dictates how much stuff can be put in a ship, and how big and heavy the ship is. 10 units of stuff can be put in a ship for every point of size it has. 'Stuff' is essentially a point of attribute and a single level of a quality. So two levels of MedBay, for example, takes up 2 units. Size also modifies Maneuvrability and Speed.

Maneuvrability acts as a bonus to piloting rolls. It is modified by size, so a ship with a Man 2 and Size 3 will be making rolls at -1.

Speed is all about straight line speed and interplanetary travel time. Relative acceleration can be calculated by Speed/Size.

You get as many points to spend on Qualities as the party has ship points, purchased with Quality Points during Character Gneration, minus the 8 points you have already spent on the 'shell' attributes.

You can purchase Drawbacks in the same way, adding to your pool of quality points. Drawbacks and qualities (and everything else for that matter) should be approved by the GM.

You get no skill points because the ship itself does not have skills. The skills of the crew, however, are taken into account when running the ship.

The ship gets 5 Drama Points. These can be used in a similar way to charatcer Drama Ponts as long as it is for the benefit of the ship itself, not just the occupants and with the agreement of the majority shareholding in the ship.

Life Points are similar to character Life Points. There is a simple formula for these: 10 + (4*(structure+size)). You can get extra Life Points by buying the 1-point quality 'Hard to Kill.' You get 3 extra life points for every quality point you spend.

Qualities and Drawbacks

Autopilot (2 points/level Quality)

For every level you buy you improve your autopilot facility.

Be with you till the day you Die (3 points/level Quality)

Every level you buy gets the ship an extra Drama Point.

Bigger (4 point/level Quality)

Adds one to the Size Attribute of the ship. For every point of Size, the ship can fit 10 'spaces' (attributes + quality levels) of ship-generation. For example, if you have 27 spaces in your ship, you must have at least a size 3 ship.

Any spare points can go towards cargo and passenger quarters. One spare space = one point of cargo space or one passenger's quarters.

Bits and Pieces (2 point Quality)

Over the years the ship has acquired a whole array of bits and pieces and spare parts. Anyone worth their salt could rummage around in the storage bay and behind the sofa and maybe come up with just the right bit they need, with a bit of modification.

Compact (4 points Quality)

Due to new technology and good design, the ship is actually a size smaller than it should be. It still holds as much stuff, etc, it's just a smaller neater ship: a smaller target to aim at with faster acceleration.

Computers (2 points/level Quality)

The ship's computers and cortex connexion are particularly good. Your level in this can give you a bonus when doing analysis and research and other computer based stuff on board.

Emergency Measures (2 points/level Quality)

This is a reflection of how the ship is equipped to deal with in-flight emergencies and (combat) damage.

Fake ID (2 point Quality)

The ship has an additional ID that can be used as well as its true one. The ID is standard and ostensibly genuine, and covers paperwork and electronic tags.

Hard to Kill (1 points/level Quality)

For its size and design this ship is able to withstand more damge than it looks like it should. You get 3 more life points for every point of Hard to Kill, as well as a +1 bonus when rolling against Destruction.

Last Legs (3 point Drawback)

The ship is old and everything is on the way out. New faults (mostly minor) occur all the time and it is usually all the crew can do just to keep her running. And spares are getting harder to find.

Luxurious (2 point Drawback)

The ship is fitted with all the best bits of kit for luxury and comfort. It's like some nob's yacht. And it looks really cool and sleek when it lands. The downside is everyone notices you; you can't go anywhere incognito and you're a magnet for every hijacker and kidnapper who comes anywhere near.

Main Engines (2 points/level Quality)

For every level you buy you get an extra point in straight line speed.

Mass Produced (2 point Quality)

The boat is one of thousands. This is a good thing. Spares are cheap and easy to get. Everyone knows how they work. If no one catches your ID you can get lost in the crowd. On the downside, everyone knows what your ship is capable of and they'll be able to exploit this, too.

MedBay (3 points/level Quality)

The ship's med bay can offer a bonus to first aid and more serious medical procedures on board.

Mortgaged up to the Aft Passage (3 point Drawback)

The ship is not fully paid for. At this rate of repayment it will be about 20 more years before you own her outright. Meanwhile the payments every month are not inconsiderable, and if you miss a payment, they'll come and get her, repo man style.

Nooks and Crannies (1 point/level Quality)

Every level you buy will get you cunning places to hide your contraband and bonuses to resist detection should the ship be searched.

Sensors (3 points/level Quality or Drawback)

Every level you buy gives you extra sensors and adds to (or subtracts from) the Sensors attribute of the ship.

Shuttle (2 point Quality)

You have a shuttle for making short range hops and hitting atmos. Extra levels represent extra shuttles, or even extra-large or extra-special shuttles, etc.

Side Engines (3 points/level Quality)

For every level you buy you get an extra point of the maneuvre attribute for your ship. This represents state of the art or tricked out engines, cool technology and/or design, etc.

Stealth (5 points/level Quality)

The ship has some ability to confuse sensors and avoid detection.

Stolen (5 point Drawback)

It's not actually yours is it?

Stronger (2 points/level Quality)

For every level you buy you get an extra point in Structure. This gives you more armour points, too.

That Annoying Squeak (1 point Drawback)

The ship has an annoying squeak or similar thing that it always does. It could be an airlock that's always sticking and needs a kick, landing gear that must be released manually, Sensors that need rebooting on awkward occassions, etc. However hard you try you just can't get rid of it. And you've tried.

Well Maintained (2 points/level Drawback or Quality)

Every level gives you a factor from -5 to +5 and an adjustment for the chance of something going wrong with the ship at any point in the adventure. This reflects the state of the ship at the beginning of the game or when the PCs get hold of her. Regular maintainance by qualified crew can change the rating over time, as can crew neglect.

Doing Stuff - Action Rolls

Usually, of course, an action roll is made with Attributes and Skills. This should also be the case when amking shipboard actions. However the ship also brings its own modifiers to the roll. For example a piloting roll could use Dex + Pilot Skill; it will also use the ship's modifier which is (Man-Size). A big, unmaneuvrable ship is a lot harder to pilot than a small maneuvrable one. Duh.

Here's a list of possible actions on board the ship and the factors that might influence the roll.

Ship Combat

Ship combat runs pretty similarly to normal combat. Similar skills are used and ships fire on one another is similar ways, taking damage off life points, and taking into account armour, etc. There are no extra rules for special maneuvres and relative vectors, and things. This can all be dealt with simply through description.


Armour works like normal combat. For any damage done to the ship, the ship's Structure attribute is taken off the initial score.


Aiming is slightly more complicated. A Perception + Sensors roll is made and any successes added to the next to-hit roll.

Combat Qualities

Passive Shields (3 points/level Quality)

A level of Passive Shields will soak up 4 points of damage per hit

Active Shields (5 points/level Quality)

Active shields will soak up 4 points of damage per level (level = shield level + success levels of Computers+Perception roll). It requires a dedicated user concentrating on only this.

Tractor Beam (2 points/level Quality)

The tractor beam, once it hits, will hold a ship of Man or Speed equal to the level of Tractor beam purchased.

Weapons (3 points/level Quality)

Choose a number of weapons from the list below up to the number of levels purchased. One weapon can be operated by the pilot (at -2 ) or by a dedicated user.

Ship's Weapon Table

Weapon Type Damage Levels Required Notes
Blaster 12+4 1 -
Linked Blasters 16+4 2 Linked = Counts as single weapon
Laser 16+6 2 -
Linked Laser 20+6 4 Linked
Quad Laser 24+4 6 Linked
Plasma Torpedo 24+4 3 Torpedoes purchased individually
Heavy Plasma Torp. 30+4 4 Torpedoes purchased individually
-2 to hit

Collision Damage

If during a critical manaeuvre near to hard stuff, like another ship, or the ground, a pilot should fail a maneuvrre roll, the ship will take the following damage for each point the roll failed.

Collision Damage Table

Object Damage
Solid steel, other ships, buildings etc. Rock cliff, large asteroids 12
Metal scrap etc debris, small asteroids, dramatic western style rock formations 8
Earth, sand, space dust etc 4

Ship Damage Effects Table

Life Points (or less) Effect
10 -2 to all maneuvres
5 -4 to all maneuvres
0 Roll on Catastrophic Damage Table
-10 Test Structure + Fixit or be destroyed

Catastrophic Damage Table

1 Hull Breach by Location
2 Fire by Location
3 Computers/Sensors
4 Main Engine
5 Side Engine
6 Life Support
7 Shuttle
8 Weapon
9 Make it up
0 Roll Twice

Location Table

1 Cockpit
2 Crew Quarters
3 Galley
4 MedBay
5 Cargo Bay
6 Main Engines
7 Side Engine
8 Passenger Quarters
9 Somewhere obscure and hard to get to (make it up)
0 Roll Twice

Sample Ships


Total Spaceship Points: 45

Str 2, Size 5, Man 3, Speed 2

Full Size Map of Ship


Total Spaceship Points: 21

Str 2, Size 2, Man 3, Speed 2

Full Size Map of Ship

Fast Attack Ship

Total Spaceship Points: 39

Str 3, Size 2(-1), Man 4, Speed 4