You might be a Serenity fan ready to jump into gaming for the first time or you might be an experienced gamer ready to try a new system and find out just what the ‘Verse is all about.

If you listened in school, you already know that the ‘Verse is a huge planetary system with a whole heap of inhabited planets and moons. Much of the real estate has been terraformed—a long and hazardous process—to support human life. Spaceships of every size sail the black in between.

The central Core planets, them as formed the Alliance, decided to unite all the outer worlds under their rule. Some people didn’t take kindly to that notion and fought hard to maintain their independence. The Unification War ended some seven years ago, after the Independents suffered a crushing defeat at Serenity Valley on the planet Hera. Since the war, many rebels drifted to the edges of the system. Here they take on work as they can find it, determined to live as free as they can in a ‘Verse strictly controlled by the Alliance government. Memories of the war still claim a powerful hold on those who fought in it—on both sides.

On the central (or “Core”) planets, life is good, flush with technology. The rich and prosperous have laser guns, holo-scanners, and flying cars. Food, shelter, and health care are readily available, which gives folk time to think on more than the basics.

On the outer worlds, known as the Rim, folks have to make due with the most basic technologies. Newly terraformed worlds are raw and primitive. Lacking paved roads, people ride horses. Lacking lasers, they make due with bullets. Survival takes precedence over good manners and education, which is why some Core world folk consider those on the Rim to be a bunch of ignorant hicks. And while the Alliance rules over the Border planets in theory, enforcement is a mite spotty, so most folks go armed for their own security.

Strung between the Rim and the Core is the Cortex, a system-wide information network that can be accessed on ships or groundside with a terminal or dedicated sourcebox. News, communication, law enforcement bulletins, and online shopping are all available. Nodes are placed throughout the system, allowing for unrestricted information to be accessed just about anywhere by just about anyone.

Out in the Black

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