In a thread on the E.N. World forums, a gamer who played a demo of the Serenity RPG at the Origins game convention gives some details about the system:
“The game completely avoids numerical modifiers on rolls. Instead, you have a ability dice and a skill dice, both of which are between a d2 and a d12. You roll both dice, add them together, and compare to the DC. Circumstances can move your die up or down a varying number of points.
The system strongly empasis’s plot points. These points are awarded when someone does somthing in character, but not nessasairly beneficial, say when a character with the Honest complication tells the truth when itwould be easier to bluff. They are also awarded at the GM’s discretion for any other remarkable actions. They can be spent to improve die type on rolls, make scene edits to the situation the GM describes, and a balancing mechanism to allow character to take actions that would normally be unbalancing.
As far as I could tell, their were no levels.
Each character has both traits, which are beneficial, and complications, which, though not always harmful, can lead to complications. Included in this catagory are moral codes, relationships, and enemies.”
“Stats are: Agility, Strengh, Vitality, Alertness and Willpower. Again, each stat is a dice type; all of Malcom’s stats fall between a d6 and a d10, but I think other characters have a larger range.
The combat round is proably the games most unique feature. First, all players roll initiative. Then, they declare which to actions they will be taking, with dodging counting as an action. The characters then act in initiative order, and suffer a penalty if they change their action from what they declared.
Attacks are made by comparing the attackers attack roll with the defenders defense roll. Like D20, the system also features damage rolls. All this leads to a fairly heavy dice load, but the system is intuitive enough that the pace is still fairly quick. Additionally, combat generally takes only a few rounds, so the total time spent ends up being less than that in D20.”
“Though it is a dice pool system, I never had to roll more then two dice at a time — three would theoretically be possible, but it rarely happens. Theirfore, you don’t have the massive dice pools that supposedy plagued some games. Overall, I thought it was a great system. It was fairly rules lite, but still contained mechanics to handle most situations without making the GM improvise too much .”
I cannot WAIT for this sucker to come out.