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Who Are You

You are a person who is living on the edge of civilization, either by choice or by circumstances. You travel the black of space on the edges of systems -- the kind of black that can only be matched by the blackness inside the people you sometimes meet on the border planets -- spend too much time in the Black, and the Black gets into you.

Your Obsession

You don’t survive in this kind of life unless you’re driven by deeper needs than normal folk. This goes beyond dilettante interests and hobbies. Your obsession is your filter for the world; what you live for, what defines your existence, what gives your life meaning. Pick carefully. You want something useful, but original. It should be something simple to express. "Toughness" is a good obsession. "Getting really strong so I can beat people up" is pointless detail. (If you want to begin without an obsession and find one later on, talk to the GM about your idea.)

Your obsession is critical. When your brain is idle, your obsession is what your thoughts generally drift to. Even when you're thinking of something else, you tend to tie it back to your obsession. Your obsession isn't necessarily a goal -- it's how you understand the world. Generally, everything you see in the behavior of others around you can be explained in terms of your obsession. If it can't... well, that person's probably some kind of crazy.

Write your obsession on the character sheet, along with a short summary of what it means to you. Here are some examples from characters in the Firefly ‘verse:

  • Con Games. Bilking people out of their valuables is power that pumps you up -- it’s even better when you can play another player -- the best people to beat are those who think they know how to win the game. (Saffron)
  • Family. You may be in a strange kind of situation, but despite that, you’ve got some good people around you and you know there’s a way that everyone can become a kind of family -- a home away from the home most of ‘em never had. (Kaylee)
  • Freedom. They can’t take the sky from you, and woe betides anyone who tries. (Mal)
  • Human Motivation. You’re fascinated by what makes people stubborn, what makes them give in, what makes them love and hate different things. (Niska, maybe Book)
  • Knowing it All. You want to accumulate all knowledge for yourself. You love the exchange of information, because you always end up with more than you started with.
  • Loyalty. Freedom is fine, and there’s nothing wrong with being strong enough to protect yourself and what’s yours, but when it comes right down to it, none of it means a damn thing without loyalty to those you trust and who trust you. (Zoe)
  • Love. In this crazy ‘verse, there’s only a few things that people don’t pretend about, even to themselves. One of those things is Love (they might try but they can’t really fool themselves). That makes Love one of the few real, true things that’s worth having. (Inara)
  • Physical perfection. You diet, stretch out every morning and evening, lift weights three times a week and try to run ten miles just as often. If you don’t get exercise, you can practically feel your body turning to putty.
  • Religion. Your dedication to [insert religion here] guides your actions and thoughts. You strive to completely adhere to the laws of your faith. (Book)
  • Secrets. You’ve found out that there’s a lot of secrets in the ‘verse, and you’re trying to find them out, piece them together and make sense of them -- maybe to reveal them to everyone or just to help make some sense of your own life. (River)
  • Survival. When it comes right down to it, the only thing that matters is who’s standing at the end; if that means selling a ‘friend’ out to keep your head above water, well... you’re sure they’d do the same thing if they had the chance. (Jayne)
  • Top Dog. You want to be the quintessential alpha, the leader of the pack. In every situation, you want to be dominant.
  • Toughness. You are compelled to be the meanest mofo on the street.

Your Passions

The events in your life can have a profound effect on your personality; somewhere out there is something that scares you silly, something that ticks you off, and something that inspires you to action.

These are the passions that rule your life. In a way, they’re the real foundation of all the "logical" and "rational" decisions you make as a human being -- they run deeper than reason and intellect, stronger than willpower or drugs -- when they come bubbling to the surface, you are at your most visceral... most human... most true to yourself. These are the hot buttons wired deep into your persona; to deny them is to deny yourself and your humanity.

You have three: a Rage Stimulus, a Fear Stimulus, and Noble Stimulus.

Your passions cannot directly contradict your obsession (though one might hamper another): you are a coherent, relatively sane person.

When you’re in a situation that pushes one of your buttons, you can opt use one of your Passions to either flip-flop or reroll a failed roll during that situation -- what you can use that reroll or flip-flop for depends on what kind of Passion you're calling on.

If you try to use a passion for bogus reasons and the GM calls you on it, you don’t get to cut loose. Yet.

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Page last modified on September 30, 2006, at 09:42 AM MST