Serenity Articles : Revealing a Bit More of the ‘Verse

(Since this article was written, we’ve seen beautiful ~official cosmologies of the Whedon ‘Verse which purport to identify all the planets and moons in the multi-star system known as the ‘Verse. Well, that is all shiny and good, but as a game master I love the option of creating my own worlds outside of canon to house whatever adventures or ideas I want to spring on my players. So I don’t hold to canon in this instance so enjoy using the planets presented below. – Jim)

(Originally published on on October 5, 2006)

In the core Serenity RPG rulebook, we detail 30 planets or moons, drawn from the television show or the movie. Sure you get the highlights, but there are a lot more worlds in the ‘Verse so I’ve decided to detail them for the Dragonlaird Gaming readership. Enjoy!


Location: Rim, Away from Reaver Territory

Status: Red-zoned

Common Knowledge: To the man on the street, Columbiana is practically a fable. For decades its been off-limits, ‘red-zoned’, as the Terraforming Consortium continued to work on making it suitable for human habitation. Periodically, rumors spring up that Columbiana is about to be opened for settlement, creating an ‘Oklahoma Land Rush’ atmosphere, but its never been opened. Nothing else is known about it except the conjectures that its either a blackrock (uninhabitable) or a lush garden the Alliance is keeping from ‘average folk’.

Adventure Suggestions: Lots of adventures can be hooked on Columbiana, whether she’s actually opened up or not. Plenty of people would kill to get their first, to get a hold of planetary survey data to see where the best claims would be, even just to find out the secret. A strong rumor of opening would have a ripple affect on other planets as people geared up to settle or speculate or explore the virgin world.

Gamemaster Knowledge: It is up to individual GMs if Columbiana is ready for settlement and if so, why it hasn’t been opened yet. Never-the-less, it does have a strong Alliance naval presence to interdict ships before they reach the planet. It also has a large Terraforming Consortium presence consisting of scientists, guards, and a small cadre of isolated workers. Massive TC machines sit in orbit and at various places on the planet: atmospheric generators, water transfer stations, biological seeding arrays, etc.


Location: Border Worlds

Status: Unrestricted

Common Knowledge: Elsine is the poor brother to Hera, once thought to be a second agricultural breadbasket for the expanding population of the ‘Verse. Rumors have it that the Terraforming Consortium tried too hard to convert the planet and ruined it. Conspiracy theorists believe the attempt was made to break the near monopoly that Hera held to exporting foodstuffs. For whatever reason, it is now clear that Elsine is a large, fairly barren world, prone to dust storms, and hard-bitten settlers tending crops on the edges of the wastelands. For a planet as large as Elsine, the population is minute and it is a great place to get lost. The Alliance Penal Colony Hellsgate resides on a large island on Elsine.

Adventure Suggestions: If a person were sent to Hellsgate, it’d be an adventure escaping. Or coming to Elsine intent on breaking someone or a group out of the colony. Loners and hermits can be found, hiding from their pasts and the PCs may be involved in their past coming back to haunt them. Elsine is a great place to hide things as well, even huge things like spacecraft.

Gamemaster Knowledge: Only the penal colony brings Alliance to the planet and the administrative station on its second moon (Oroyos) is continually understaffed. The Alliance might have other facilities on the planet or the first moon (Charon). They might be running experiments or have secret programs there or on the planet.

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