Setting Rules

The following setting rules apply to games in the Firmament:


Instead of tracking individual credits, the Wealth system on page 145 of the SWADE rulebook is used to handle money and rewards. This means that characters have a die that represents their finances, instead of a specific amount of cash. Purchases beyond a character’s means impose a penalty to the Wealth roll depending on just how extravagant they are, or may be ruled out completely.

Of course, a sci-fi setting like the Firmament will include some items - like starships and spike drives - that command extravagant prices. Even a d12 in Wealth won’t allow you to drop 5 million credits on a Scout-class ship. For this kind of purchase, the Wealth system isn’t used. Finding a way to get that kind of money should be an adventure in its own right.


Duels aren’t the same as gunfights. Action cards (and Edges that affect them) are less important - it’s not about being caught flat-footed or reacting quickly, after all. When you’re staring the person you mean to kill right in the eye, it’s more important to be a good shot, a quick draw, and strong-willed.

Preparation. Ranged duels are almost exclusively fought with pistols. Anything with fully automatic fire is likely to be disallowed, but anything goes besides that. After all, duels are generally fought to settle a score, rather than as an honourable form of ritual combat. The rules might be more restrictive in more “civilised” places.

Mental Combat. Duels generally begin at the limit of Short range, but there is a mental battle that occurs before the first shots are fired. Each warrior selects a skill - such as Battle, Intimidate or Taunt - and they make an opposed roll. This counts as a Test, and is affected by any relevant Edges that apply. The loser gets a -2 penalty to their Shooting roll.

Fire! Each duelist must select an option: speed or accuracy. If both choose speed, they make an opposed Athletics roll to see who acts first. If both choose accuracy, they fire simultaneously with a +2 bonus to their Shooting roll. Otherwise, the fast duelist shoots first, but the accurate duelist gets a +2 bonus to their Shooting roll.

This is treated as an ordinary Shooting attack - for example, if you want to take a multi-action penalty to get three shots off in the time it takes your opponent to shoot once, that’s allowed. However, you must declare what you’re doing before any rolls are made.

Aftermath. What happens next depends on the nature of the duel. Most duels are to first blood, so if both sides miss the duel starts over. If both parties got hit, it’s generally declared a draw - though if one got a bullet in the foot and the other got one between the eyes, there’s generally a clear winner. If it’s more of a “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us” duel, the aftermath usually involves action cards and combat as usual.