"The Smuggler's Guide to the Rim" is another solid supplement for the Firefly RPG, but it's also probably the least 'essential' book in the line to date.

The book has five chapters (six if you count the introduction) and an appendix.

The first chapter provides a new subsystem for the game: reputation. This provides a means of tracking the Crew's interactions with four key factions in the game: the Alliance, Browncoats, Corporations, and Criminals. This is fine, but it struck me as an additional complexity that the game doesn't really need.

Chapter two then details the reputations of the core cast of characters (the crew of Serenity), then gives a bunch of new character archetypes, Distinctions, Signature Assets, Ships, and Distinctions and Signature Assets for those ships. All of this is divided up into the four factions, but nothing here is really tied particularly closely to the factions; everything can be used in a variety of ways. This is certainly the most useful part of the book, and perhaps just about justifies the purchase price by itself.

The third chapter details "The Good Shepherd's Run", which is a dozen or so adventure locations that make up a travellers' route through the 'Verse. The settings are interesting enough, I suppose, but alas nothing here truly jumped out at me as a must-have. Given that this is the longest chapter of the book, that's a shame.

Chapters four and five provide two more pre-gen Episodes for the Gamemaster to use. These are okay, though the first in particular definitely assumes the use of the crew of Serenity, which is a slightly odd decision. Again, though, neither struck me as something I must run.

And, finally, there's the Appendix, which gathers together some fairly useful, or at least interesting, stuff: more Chinese phrases, a FAQ for the game as a whole, a bunch of maps, tables, and charts, and then compiled sheets for the NPCs introduced in the book, the new Distinctions, Signature Assets, and Ships. This is probably the section of the book that will be referenced most, and so although it's largely reprinted material, it's material that is well worth gathering in a single location.

All in all, I wasn't disappointed with this book but I am a little hesitant to recommend it. It's good, but it's not essential, and I'd certainly recommend "Things Don't Go Smooth" over this one.