Org Profile: Browncoats


Citizen Star News - 2014-03-11 - Browncoats, the seemingly near omnipresent group of libertarian bent firefly fans that exist in many guises in all corners of space these days, are indeed here in the Star Citizen 'Verse. As of this writing, they number 431 players strong, aiming to misbehave or be big damn heroes as the mood strikes them. That places them as the ninth largest organization in Star Citizen at this time.

So here’s how it is: Find a ship, find a crew, find a job, keep on flying. We may not be carrying the most legal of cargo, but it’s honest work and we don’t hurt other folk doing it. Just look for us on the raggedy edge.


The loose organization respects the Captain's independence and command of his vessel, and so represents more of a band of like minded individuals than a unified fleet. Rather than declaring the Firefly show/Serentity Movie as their inspiration in the game, they've come up with a history that loosely parallels Captain Mal "Tightpants" Reynolds' backstory in the battle of Serenity. And come up with a different in game reason to be known for wearing the brown coat.

We were being talked about and it’s hard to talk about somebody if they’ve got no name, so we became the Brown Coats, nicknamed by other spacers – freighter captains, mostly – for the brown leather jacket popular amongst independent captains that we all seemed to wear in place of the company uniforms of larger shipping lines and the fancy digs of upstart fleets who want everyone to know they’d “made it.” Trade secret: You won’t need gilded threads to know when you’ve made it.

Interested parties should check them out here. Their history and credo laid out in full while capturing the charming unique linguistic style of Joss Whedon's beloved show remarkably well.


Interview of Three Prominent Browncoats

Citizen Star News is proud to bring you an interview with three of the more prominent members of the Browncoats: Org Founder MagiK  and Fleet Captains Lord_Cromwell (Cromwell) & Gryphon_Osiris (Osiris).

Citizen Star News (CSN): What made you found/join the Browncoats?

(Now this would seem to be an obvious one, but what is it about Serenity/Firefly that inspires you and why bring it into SC?)

MagiK: I was one of the earlier Star Citizen fanatics and I am a total Firefly fan...was in chat and said something like wouldn't it be cool if someone made a BrownCoats Fleet/Guild next thing I know people from "The Galactic Syndicate" approached me and told me their would give me a site and forums and a team speak server to use for the Brown Coats if I would just start it up...and so we began :)

Osiris: I have been part of more rigid rule clans and guilds in the past, and quickly tired of the mandatory requirements of raid times, participation requirements, ect. When I found the Brown Coats my first thought was, "Cool Firefly related" but after talking with the folks and getting a feel for them I felt that the looser, more 'organized chaos' nature of it was better, particularly with my more erratic schedule.

Cromwell: I first joined because from what i had seen it looked like a nice loose group of people that would let me do whatever the day saw me do, but offer me some like minded people to talk to and group with as need. Since i have joined the BC some year and half ago, i have made many new friends that i dont just talk to on the BC site but guys i have spent many an hour with any many other games. Once SC rolls out i look forward to seeing them in the ‘verse and making lots of money with them and helping to keep each other alive. I spent 4 - 5 years in EVE online, one of the things i picked up on was going it alone is hard and you can spend more time picking up the pieces then making money. So having some good friends out there can be the difference between broke and shipless and overseeing the latest expansion of your mining operation.

CSN: How do you plan to spend the time and build an organization as the game draws closer to launch?

MagiK: Good question, the BrownCoats are independent captains and so a lot will be dictated by the membership we only have 3 written and one unwritten law. 1. NO PIRATING, 2. NO TRADE in SLAVES, NO Trade in "Harmful Drugs" (as defined by the UEE) and the Unwritten law "Don't be a dick" which covers griefing and a lot of other issues.

Osiris: Part of what we are planning on doing requires people to be aware of our reputation, and to quote Niska, "Reputation is rumor, it is people talking." So, we are getting people talking about us, what we stand for, what we can do, but also a little bit of mystery, just for fun. Our biggest priority is just communications between our captains, making sure that everyone has a way to get hold of a fellow member if they need help, want to socialize, or are looking for jobs hen the game comes out. After that we've been doing flight training for our less experienced combat pilots, comparing PC specs and recommended upgrades, flight sticks, Track IR, Oculus Rift; i.e. the usual geek talk.

Cromwell: I plan to found a sub org to build a small indy corp that uses BC members to do the work. I have people already signed up to do everything from mining to security to transporting. I will use its supplies and resources to help further not only my goals but that of the BCs.

CSN: What are your thoughts on how the organization is going to work?

MagiK: Well if things continue this way we will need some administrative staff to keep things up to date, and I will focus on keeping us true to the 3 Rules and the Unwritten rule, while the rest of the membership focuses on Business and making our way in the verse. I also count on them to bring the atmosphere of the Firefly theme as I am not the creative type and some of these guys are just awesome at that.

Osiris: As mentioned before, we are organized chaos, each captain is an independent operator, but we also plan on having some companies whose job is to handle contracts we may take. This entirely voluntary, of course, but it provides some extra cash in the coffers of those captains that take the jobs on. Think of it more like being a contract worker where you decide if you want to take the job or not. Job sounds to risky? No problem, you have no obligations to take it, and we'll offer it to someone else.

Cromwell:  I think it it will be unlike most orgs out there, you may see a lot of ships out there flying our flag but at the same time you are not likely see a large footprint from us. By that i mean you are not going to see bases / stations flying our flag or large capital ships carrying our forces into large battles against other orgs. We just don't have plans to do those kinda things, especially since doing such things would go against our plan to be unstructured.

CSN: You've said that the UEE is not the Alliance, but isn't the Empire in many ways just as bad?

MagiK: Good, Bad, They are the guys with the Guns...sorry a bit of Bruce Campbell there. No the UEE is not the Alliance and I don't see them as being bad at all. In the firefly universe there were just humans, in this 'verse we have aliens and not all of them are fluffy bunny types. You need a strong and LARGE Military force for that. We arent so much aiming to misbehave as we are trying to make our way in the verse without harming innocent folk.

Osiris: The UEE may have policies that rub us the wrong way, however part of who we are is that we straddle the line of both side. We may be smuggling Neo-pets one day, and running a medical shipment from Terra the next. The simple fact that is to us it's just business. The UEE pays, and it's a bad idea to lose the revenue that would be offered to us from their systems.

Cromwell:  Maybe so, but we arent a rag tag group of freedom fighters looking to make a statement by taking the bull by the horns. After all UEE is likely going to be one of the many people filling our bank accounts.

CSN: Your rules seem a bit restrictive for those who aim to misbehave?

(Could someone get tossed from the Browncoats for pulling a train job or robbing a security payroll from a bank? If yes how do you reconcile the concept of tossing Mal from the browncoats?)

(Editor's note: Took a bit of a devil's advocate stance here. Not expressing an opinion on the UEE.)

MagiK: You are apparently seeing the UEE as the Alliance, the jobs Mal and crew took due to the Alliance leaned toward the criminal but they liked the honest work and helping folks more. Mal and Crew were "Criminals" Because they were remnents of a lost war, it may not hae been the winning side, but theres no convincing them it was the wrong side. You have to put those jobs Mal took in the FIREFLY Universe into context. As I have said before we aren't trying to recreate that universe in SC, we are trying to recreate the Environment of the Serenities crew into our guild in this universe.

Osiris: The rules actually fall right in the the idea Josh Whedon had for Mal, to quote Mal "It may not be legal, but at least it's honest." As we have in our charter, Piracy, slave running and drug trafficking are a special kind of criminal act that we refuse to touch. Smuggling is one thing, it's good for making money, but there is no point in making some credits if it cost you your humanity. As for Mal, Cromwell put it best with the Train Job, when he saw who the real victims of the theft were and gave it all back. We'll stick it to corporations, to the UEE, the Xi'an, ect, but hurting plain folk just isn't our way.

Cromwell:  Well if you remember once mal found out what he was taken off that train and who it was for he gave it back. So if you are robbing a train full of ammo bound for a UEE base no ones going to say anything. So it all depends on the details. Of course if you don't get caught then it never happened.

CSN: Would you describe your concept for in game presence, your personal character(s) and how the Org will be present?

MagiK: In game we will all be different, each man is the captain of his own boat, or in some cases fleet. We look to be a force for (mostly) good in the Universe while making ends meet, Many of us will be running sub groups/corporations. the one thing you can count on is that If you are a BrownCoat you will have other 'Coats out there to have your back. If you get into trouble with the law though, one of us is likely to turn you in for the bounty then split the bounty with you.

Osiris: I'll going to start off as a bounty hunter, maybe a 'white glove' delivery service ....smuggler... , but planning on keeping a low profile on the law side. As for representing the Org, well, you'll know me by my brown duster.

Cromwell:  Like i said before we have no plans for building / having resources intensive infrastructure as a whole. You may see a bunch of us out there but since everyone owns their own ships and equipment, then we wont say give up your stuff for the greater good / glory of the BC. We plan to just be out there doing the jobs that need doing. Take my character Thomas Cromwell, he comes from a family that has long been about making money and running corps. So you are just as likely to find me on terra picking up no mining gear as in some backwater system getting the ore. On the same stroke another one of us may be in vandual space killing a patrol for the UEE. Next zoom over to another BC and he /she maybe sneaking in some black market beagles. It is up to every member to make there own mark.

CSN: Are you going to acknowledge in game that your culture is based on a fictional show aired in the early 21rst century?

MagiK: The thought had never entered my mind. I have no idea.

Osiris: We worked out a back story that fits in the SC lore and explains the name logo, and our perchance for wearing brown dusters.

CSN: What could CIG do for you to help you be successful? What do you need in the Star Citizen 'verse?

MagiK: CIG could make a great game, with superb tools for Fleets/Guilds such as chat services, forums and these wonderful organizational tools. What do we need to be successful? If that were an easy answer then there would be no failures in the world. My personal hope is for good story lines and lots of nifty things to find and places to explore.

Osiris: At the moment, for the game to be released, :-P, but seriously, they keep releasing more tools for us regularly that it makes the organization that much easier for us. Off the top of my head though, I'd love a tool to be able to send an org wide message easily.

Cromwell:  Honestly they have done more then i think most had ever expected and they are still adding things, for now i really can't think of anything.

CSN: Do you still tear up a bit when you hear the phrase "I am a leaf in the wind"? I know I do.

MagiK: I rewatch the series every now and again, Im not too tied to the plot line of Serenity....never felt like the characters were who they evolved to be in the tv they had forgotten who they were.

Osiris: Too soon man, too soon... ;-)

Cromwell:  RIP Wash you are forever missed.


Final Comment From MagiK

MagiK: These are just my off the cuff thoughts. I wouldn't get too worked up about them if you don't like them (speaking to your audience) The 3 Don'ts are inflexible and the unwritten rule is paramount. We want to feel like we can trust and WANT to fly with other BrownCoats. We aren't your babysitter or mother, if you don't get caught it never happened but if your rep brings us grief or you cause the UEE to interfere with the Coats...the other captains will have a thing or two to say.