Free League announces official Alien RPG

Toadmaster

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Wasnt it Newt's only film?
I think so, there is no entry for her on Wiki, IMDb lists Aliens and gives her a credit in Alien Evolution as herself being interviewed about playing Newt. Also for an "in development" film Triborn for which there is no information.

In a further Alien / Terminator connection Jenette Goldstein / Vasquez was also John Conner's foster mother in T2. Unlike Newt she has gone on to a fairly successful career in supporting roles.

 

Picaroon Jack

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I think so, there is no entry for her on Wiki, IMDb lists Aliens and gives her a credit in Alien Evolution as herself being interviewed about playing Newt. Also for an "in development" film Triborn for which there is no information.

In a further Alien / Terminator connection Jenette Goldstein / Vasquez was also John Conner's foster mother in T2. Unlike Newt she has gone on to a fairly successful career in supporting roles.

She had a mini-reunion with Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen in Near Dark.
 

carpocratian

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She had a mini-reunion with Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen in Near Dark.
Love that film!

I got to meet her at a horror convention years ago. They had sort of a mini Near Dark reunion thing going on. She is a really nice person. It took me a while to put 2 and 2 together and realize that she was the same actress who played Vasquez.
 

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I found In Range TV through the frequent collaboration with Forgotten Weapons. There is a lot of general guns stuff, along with a variety of historical content and some what if stuff (one of my favorite was a series of videos on "what if the Union Army had adopted a lever action repeater instead of the single shot Sharps rifle").

Occasionally they just do something off the wall and dorky, like an Aliens themed shooting match presented in a "found video" format. Some good ideas for game scenarios here as well.


 

Picaroon Jack

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I got this in an email update from Free League:

"We're really looking forward to 2020, which will be a big year for the ALIEN RPG. As mentioned before, we're hard at work on a second cinematic scenarioDestroyer of Worlds by Andrew E.C Gaska – as well as a sourcebook for campaign play, focused on Colonial Marines. More news in the weeks and months ahead!

Finally, a heads-up that we have just started a big holiday sale in the Free League webshop – up to 60% off on selected products. So if you're curious about our previous roleplaying games, board games and art books, this is the perfect time to check them out."
 

Picaroon Jack

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I'm confident at this point that the Free League will have a quality Colonial Marines supplement. But I really need more help with a campaign based on Space Truckers.

Here's what I've been thinking so far:

I know something about virtual Space Truckers and it's not positive. :tongue: If you have played the most recent version of Elite Dangerous, you might be able to relate to my concern.
elite_dangerous_fleet_carriers_trailer_grab_2.jpg
If you're not familiar with it, it's a 1:1 scale space flight simulation game. Among other things, you can be a bounty hunter, pirate, cruise ship with tourists, and space trucker. Space Trucker is sort of the default since any ship with cargo can take stuff from here to there. This is what I did since my skills and starting ship couldn't hang in space combat (actually I could barely dock on a space station and had to buy an onboard auto-landing computer to do that), that I became a space trucker. The way FTL works is there are jump points tied to the largest system stars. So you jump star to star. In the system you have other ship engines to get you around at rapid speeds. But here's my point, SPACE IS HUGE!! So in the game I would jump to a star with a delivery of frozen foods and then spend 20 minutes of real time flying it to a remote planet far, far away from the system's primary star. I could literally aim at the distant outpost and walk away from the screen and make a sandwich, take a nap, go up to work and dink around, come back and still have 5 minutes to go.

So that's my concern, the boredom of the vastness of space. Sure, they can just go into cryogenics unit and sleep from point to point, but that's not much better for game play.

So, I thought about what could I use for inspiration for Space Trucker campaign play (where xenomorphs aren't popping out of your chest every game session) and came up with 1970 and 80s trucker movies. Convoy was the first and it would translate to a space crew being hassled by corporate law enforcement in a system and then having to get the heck out of their jurisdiction when it all goes bad. I'll have to double check Smokey and the Bandit, but I think it's basically transporting a runaway as well a a huge cargo of contraband with the authorities in pursuit.
MV5BNWFiMjg0ZmQtMzViNS00MjYzLTlkNGEtZDVlNzE1NGFjNDZkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_SX1777_CR...jpg

Cannonball Run might not be in the spirit of the game and I don't even think there were transport trucks in it, but it would basically be trying to race to the far side of the galaxy (and possibly back) for a big reward.
 
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Toadmaster

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Trucker movies were big in the 70s and 80s. Convoy and Smokey and the Bandit are in my view the most iconic, but there were many others. The plot of Smokey and the Bandit was essentially deliver a cargo of beer to a point in X hours, legalities be damned.

Space trucker (well actually land based as well) share much in common with age of sail adventures. Honest truckers just trying to do their job hassled by the man and maybe a criminal element (mafia, hijackers, etc). Smuggling, piracy, roadside encounters, side tracks, and over all the ever present hazards of travel and a relentless time clock always pushing them.

Honest truckers could be pressed into hauling an illegal cargo, either through intimidation or deception. Illicit cargo could be secretly stashed in with a mundane cargo, or falsified documents lead to the crew hauling weapons believing them to be crates of machinery. How do they handle the discovery, and do the authorities know. Dumping the cargo could create a powerful enemy, law enforcement could come after them or press them into acting as their agents to bring down a smuggling ring.

As far as media involving space truckers, of course there is Alien, but you also have Dark Star and Futurama. Futurama is at its core all about a space trucking company after all. Star Trek also occasionally goes there.

Many Classic Traveller adventures could be mined for ideas.

If you need some musical inspiration you can always turn to Deep Purple. :music:

 

Nobby-W

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[ . . . ]
But here's my point, SPACE IS HUGE!! So in the game I would jump to a star with a delivery of frozen foods and then spend 20 minutes of real time flying it to a remote planet far, far away from the system's primary star. I could literally aim at the distant outpost and walk away from the screen and make a sandwich, take a nap, go up to work and dink around, come back and still have 5 minutes to go.
Does it not have a time speeder-upper to deal with tedious transit? Other versions of Elite did.

Fist played Elite in 1984 on a BBC Micro - tape version before we got a floppy drive for it.

Uphill both ways etc. Now get off my lawn.
 

Picaroon Jack

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Does it not have a time speeder-upper to deal with tedious transit? Other versions of Elite did.

Fist played Elite in 1984 on a BBC Micro - tape version before we got a floppy drive for it.

Uphill both ways etc. Now get off my lawn.
No, I don't think it does since it is online multiplayer. I could be wrong, and that would definitely make it more playable.
 

Voros

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Trucker movies were big in the 70s and 80s. Convoy and Smokey and the Bandit are in my view the most iconic, but there were many others. The plot of Smokey and the Bandit was essentially deliver a cargo of beer to a point in X hours, legalities be damned.

Space trucker (well actually land based as well) share much in common with age of sail adventures. Honest truckers just trying to do their job hassled by the man and maybe a criminal element (mafia, hijackers, etc). Smuggling, piracy, roadside encounters, side tracks, and over all the ever present hazards of travel and a relentless time clock always pushing them.

Honest truckers could be pressed into hauling an illegal cargo, either through intimidation or deception. Illicit cargo could be secretly stashed in with a mundane cargo, or falsified documents lead to the crew hauling weapons believing them to be crates of machinery. How do they handle the discovery, and do the authorities know. Dumping the cargo could create a powerful enemy, law enforcement could come after them or press them into acting as their agents to bring down a smuggling ring.

As far as media involving space truckers, of course there is Alien, but you also have Dark Star and Futurama. Futurama is at its core all about a space trucking company after all. Star Trek also occasionally goes there.

Many Classic Traveller adventures could be mined for ideas.

If you need some musical inspiration you can always turn to Deep Purple. :music:

One New Wave sf novel that features a Space Trucker/Drug Smuggler (with the protagonist even being called John Truck) is The Centauri Device by M. John Harrison. There may be more examples in 70s sf of the hippie/counterculture variety, just as there are a number of sf ‘Biker’ novels from the same era.

One issue I see with that approach though is that the Trucker genre focuses on the freedom and rebellion/hedonism of the romantic trucker figure.

Whereas in Alien the ship is a microcosm of a highly class-regimented society with the disgruntled mechanics like Stanton and Kotto clashing passive aggressively with Ripley. The point seems to be the exact opposite: shiplife is neither free nor easy.

So to me the play would be more focused on the internal pressures and conflicts of the shipmates as they face the alien threat.
 
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Picaroon Jack

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One New Wave sf novel that features a Space Trucker/Drug Smuggler (with the protagonist even being called John Truck) is The Centauri Device by M. John Harrison. There may be more examples in 70s sf of the hippie/counterculture variety, just as there are a number of sf ‘Biker’ novels from the same era.

One issue I see with that approach though is that the Trucker genre focuses on the freedom and rebellion/hedonism of the romantic trucker figure.

Whereas in Alien the ship is a microcosm of a highly class-regimented society with the disgruntled mechanics like Stanton and Kotto clashing passive aggressively with Ripley. The point seems to be the exact opposite: shiplife is neither free nor easy.

So to me the play would be more focused on the internal pressures and conflicts of the shipmates as they face the alien threat.
I totally agree, @Voros . . . and really this applies to any campaigns IMHO, and definitely in games that have people working together in close quarters (space craft, military, team of superheroes, etc.).

I'm on a Free League Aliens facebook page and the folks on there are all about trying to xenomorph threats into each game or wondering how to incorporate Predators into the rules. If they are having fun then I give them two thumbs up, I am just looking at sustaining the game past a few "holy crap we should not have open those eggs!!"
 

Voros

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I totally agree, @Voros . . . and really this applies to any campaigns IMHO, and definitely in games that have people working together in close quarters (space craft, military, team of superheroes, etc.).

I'm on a Free League Aliens facebook page and the folks on there are all about trying to xenomorph threats into each game or wondering how to incorporate Predators into the rules. If they are having fun then I give them two thumbs up, I am just looking at sustaining the game past a few "holy crap we should not have open those eggs!!"
Yeah I’m a bit of a purist, really preferring the first film although that premise is harder to extend beyond a one-shot.

I’d suggest the Alien comics, they are a bit hit-or-miss but manage to extend the narrative while keeping the tone really horrorific instead of the heroic tone of the second film which is so different.

Recently I really enjoyed Aliens: Dead Orbit although more for the art and atmosphere than the story.

5E08E14F-21F3-4BFB-9304-2A6D2EFF8608.jpeg

Also this book by David Thomson on the Alien films is excellent, the author delves into the various scripts of the later films, most of which sound far more interesting than what we ended up with. Lots of ideas to pilfer.

A7E4D12E-8A78-4080-8E7A-C03D552C7BFD.jpeg
 
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Toadmaster

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One issue I see with that approach though is that the Trucker genre focuses on the freedom and rebellion/hedonism of the romantic trucker figure.

Whereas in Alien the ship is a microcosm of a highly class-regimented society with the disgruntled mechanics like Stanton and Kotto clashing passive aggressively with Ripley. The point seems to be the exact opposite: shiplife is neither free nor easy.

So to me the play would be more focused on the internal pressures and conflicts of the shipmates as they face the alien threat.
The first movie was based on a corporation owned ore hauler, so in that case I agree. The later movies suggest that is not the only option. The rugged individualist in trucker movies are usually based on the independent owner operator, the Nostromo would be more like a driver hauling goods for Amazon.

Of course the other issue with looking at real truckers vs "space truckers" is real drivers tend to work alone or in pairs so you don't have much of a group dynamic beyond CB buddies. With the advances in operation though, it doesn't seem unrealistic that a crew or 2-3 could run a massive cargo ship.

The age of sail still holds fair bit of promise, pirate ship, small privately owned sailing vessels, East India Company, and military naval vessels offering a nice variety.

Modern cargo ships are definitely worth a look for ideas, but not a popular choice among writers / movie makers. Capt Phillips would be worth a watch though, particularly the parts up to the hostage taking. Mister Roberts (with aliens) could also offer some ideas. The plot of Mr Roberts is best described by the words of the man himself "The crew of the USS Reluctant (a US Navy auxiliary cargo ship), sails from Apathy to Tedium with occasional side trips to Monotony and Ennui." If you are not familiar with it, it is a great movie even if it somehow fails to inspire any game ideas.

If you want to play up the intra-party conflicts look no further than zombie fiction, where the other people are just as much of a threat as the zombies. Ash definitely brought that to Alien.
 
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I think that one problem with the ALIEN universe is that if you tell your players, "hey, let's play Alien" you ruin a lot of the suspense and surprise factor for the campaign. If I run this, I'm thinking about typing up character sheets without any identifying features so that the players don't know that it's an ALIEN game.

[Spoilers follow, so beware]
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My wife and I saw the movie "Underwater" tonight and before I got too far into the thing all I could think of is, "this would make a great alternate setting for ALIEN." A bunch of folks trapped deep underwater in a sea-complex. Seems like a lot of the same basic ideas of space would come into play, and having the potential that characters could panic seems like it could add a lot of fun. As I got farther into the movie the parallels seemed a lot bigger, but I think if a person ran an undersea adventure the players would be a lot slower to make an Alien connection and perhaps that would keep the surprise a bit longer.
 

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I think that one problem with the ALIEN universe is that if you tell your players, "hey, let's play Alien" you ruin a lot of the suspense and surprise factor for the campaign. If I run this, I'm thinking about typing up character sheets without any identifying features so that the players don't know that it's an ALIEN game.

[Spoilers follow, so beware]
...
...
...

...
My wife and I saw the movie "Underwater" tonight and before I got too far into the thing all I could think of is, "this would make a great alternate setting for ALIEN." A bunch of folks trapped deep underwater in a sea-complex. Seems like a lot of the same basic ideas of space would come into play, and having the potential that characters could panic seems like it could add a lot of fun. As I got farther into the movie the parallels seemed a lot bigger, but I think if a person ran an undersea adventure the players would be a lot slower to make an Alien connection and perhaps that would keep the surprise a bit longer.
I always found the best way to run Kult was just to layer its cosmology onto another RPG.
 

Toadmaster

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I think that one problem with the ALIEN universe is that if you tell your players, "hey, let's play Alien" you ruin a lot of the suspense and surprise factor for the campaign. If I run this, I'm thinking about typing up character sheets without any identifying features so that the players don't know that it's an ALIEN game.

[Spoilers follow, so beware]
...
...
...

...
My wife and I saw the movie "Underwater" tonight and before I got too far into the thing all I could think of is, "this would make a great alternate setting for ALIEN." A bunch of folks trapped deep underwater in a sea-complex. Seems like a lot of the same basic ideas of space would come into play, and having the potential that characters could panic seems like it could add a lot of fun. As I got farther into the movie the parallels seemed a lot bigger, but I think if a person ran an undersea adventure the players would be a lot slower to make an Alien connection and perhaps that would keep the surprise a bit longer.
I think this is true, but you run into similar issues with other games as well. Thinking Call of Cthulhu, players are probably expecting to run into some tentacled horrors. Actually thinking about what works in CoC is probably worth considering, as there is a fair bit of similarity. Like CoC player expectations can result in the players reacting out of proportion to fairly mundane encounters.
 

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CoC, WoD, Kurt, Wonderland - all are great as “secret history” the characters unravel while doing something else.

The problem with Alien is, it’s not cosmology, it’s just a space setting where the hostile alien species aren’t yet common knowledge. The easiest way to deal with player knowledge is just make it character knowledge, especially if the PCs are Corporators or Marines.
 

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I'm confident at this point that the Free League will have a quality Colonial Marines supplement. But I really need more help with a campaign based on Space Truckers.
The "square pigs" Space Truckers? Loved that movie. Not seen in a while. Seems to have dropped off the radar but it was totally insane and had a great piece.

 

silva

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CoC, WoD, Kurt, Wonderland - all are great as “secret history” the characters unravel while doing something else.

The problem with Alien is, it’s not cosmology, it’s just a space setting where the hostile alien species aren’t yet common knowledge. The easiest way to deal with player knowledge is just make it character knowledge, especially if the PCs are Corporators or Marines.
Makes sense. That's why I suspect the selling point here is really Cinematic mode.
 

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Makes sense. That's why I suspect the selling point here is really Cinematic mode.
Maybe. Buying a game just to run Alien one-shots though seems awfully limited. I suppose if it’s one of the games in the rotation and you do a lot of them.
 

Stevethulhu

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CoC, WoD, Kurt, Wonderland - all are great as “secret history” the characters unravel while doing something else.

The problem with Alien is, it’s not cosmology, it’s just a space setting where the hostile alien species aren’t yet common knowledge. The easiest way to deal with player knowledge is just make it character knowledge, especially if the PCs are Corporators or Marines.
It's not even that. It's a slasher movie crossed with a creature feature. The sequel was an action movie crossed with a creature feature.And the more gets revealed about the titular Alien, the less interesting it becomes. And the further it drifts from the original concept behind it.
 

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Maybe. Buying a game just to run Alien one-shots though seems awfully limited. I suppose if it’s one of the games in the rotation and you do a lot of them.
I think it is capable of more than one shots, it wouldn't be my choice for a long term sci-fi campaign, but it could definitely do a multi-session short campaign or be a good intermittent campaign.

Besides Aliens I think it would work quite well for something like Dangerous Catch meets 2001, something that emphasizes that space is a really dangerous place to work. Probably not a bad choice for a hard-ish sci-fi space western like Outland too.

Licensed games are kind of a double edged blade, the license draws attention to a game, but it also brings out criticisms and type casting "just like" games don't get. Like I don't ever recall seeing people worry that players of All Flesh Must be Eaten were going to suspect there were zombies going in, but I can assure you if that if there was a Dawn of the Dead game that would be a concern for many.
 

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Maybe. Buying a game just to run Alien one-shots though seems awfully limited. I suppose if it’s one of the games in the rotation and you do a lot of them.
Games designed for one-shots can be a better value sometimes. Games designed for long-term play can be much harder to get off the ground, making them more likely to be the ones that never get played at all. Games that can do a good one-shot are easy to try out, and if they are successful, they can be a regular stand-by on weeks when the usual game can't be played.
 

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I'm planning on kicking off with a cinematic session and then following up in campaign mode with either 1. one of the survivors as a PC or NPC or 2. with players in the campaign being related to someone in the cinematic game (family member/friend) and with knowledge that something lurks out there that the corps want to weaponize.
 

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I do think it would be good if they added a few more baddies. That is a bit of a downside, other than the Predators which are not covered (or at least not yet), it does make it a bit of a one trick pony as far as dangerous critters goes since all we ever really see are the Aliens.

Even just some mundane "space grizzlies, tigers and lions" would be nice to mix things up.
 

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Starter set and new cinematic scenario coming. I have to say having played this a couple of times this is great game. Rules light and fits the feel of the films to a tee.

The new scenario involves a space elevator! Both coming in August.

scenario.jpg

Destroyer of Worlds is a complete Cinematic scenario, written by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska just like the previous Chariot of the Gods. In Destroyer of Worlds, you take the roles of Colonial Marines as seen in ALIENS (1986). The scenario is designed for 3–5 players plus the Game Mother, and it’s a gauntlet of one hell after another. Expect it to take three sessions to complete. This boxed set contains:
*The main Destroyer of Worlds scenario book.
*A huge double-sided map (format 864x558mm) of the Ariaricus moon colony on one side and the Fort Nebraska space elevator ground base on the other.
*Five pre-generated characters to play.
*Custom cards for weapons, vehicles, and personal agendas.
*Player maps and handouts.
starter.jpg

The boxed Starter Set is designed to be the perfect entry point into the game and the ALIEN universe. It contains everything needed to start playing:
*A 104-page condensed rulebook.
*The 48-page complete Cinematic scenario Chariot of the Gods by Andrew E.C. Gaska.
*Five pre-generated characters to play.
*A huge full-color, double-sided map (format 864x558mm), with one side depicting chartered space in the year 2183 and the other floor plans for the Chariot of the Gods scenario.
*84 game markers for keeping track of characters, motion tracker pings, and more.
*56 high quality custom cards for weapons, personal agendas, and initiative in combat.
*A set each of ten engraved Base Dice and ten Stress Dice, designed specifically for the ALIEN roleplaying game.
 

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Sounds like it would be fun to run/play as an evening's entertainment. Is there enough in the game that you can do other interesting things in the setting that don't involve running into a killer alien every time? Any scenarios involving other situations?
 

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Sounds like it would be fun to run/play as an evening's entertainment. Is there enough in the game that you can do other interesting things in the setting that don't involve running into a killer alien every time? Any scenarios involving other situations?
The current scenarios are all Alien based.

Roughly speaking outside of the Alien stuff the game works as a sort of Outland style SciFi setting. I think from older RPGs it's obviously the most like Traveller in feel. Regular Joes in space. A good few planets are detailed in the core. There's a solar system and job generator. Tables of typical NPCs. A section giving a list of standard ships. It has very fast char gen.

At the moment I'd say Alien is better for playing people who live in space and Traveller is better for visiting worlds. However I'd need more experience to make a proper comparison.

For anybody reading familiar with Cowboy Bebop, I'd run it in Alien over Traveller in short.
 
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Toadmaster

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Sounds like it would be fun to run/play as an evening's entertainment. Is there enough in the game that you can do other interesting things in the setting that don't involve running into a killer alien every time? Any scenarios involving other situations?
I think it would work well for a "space is dangerous" game where PC death from any number of causes is likely, aliens are entirely optional. Anything from Event Horizon (Hell Raiser in Space) to a fairly mundane game set around industrial space workers would work, the major underlying theme that differs from many sci-fi games being the focus that space is a seriously harsh environment that will kill you.
 

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I like to pretend that one didn't happen
Apparently so does the director. A case where after making the film the studio re-edited the film cutting out about 25% of the film. They also lost or destroyed a lot of the unused film, so a directors cut isn't possible. The result is a very disjointed and confusing movie. I'm not really into gore, so don't mind at all that much of it was cut, but I thought the film had potential.
 

TristramEvans

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Apparently so does the director. A case where after making the film the studio re-edited the film cutting out about 25% of the film. They also lost or destroyed a lot of the unused film, so a directors cut isn't possible. The result is a very disjointed and confusing movie. I'm not really into gore, so don't mind at all that much of it was cut, but I thought the film had potential.
/yeah, that was the film where I learned what "Alan Smithee" meant.

I read the original script...it wasn't a masterpiece, but more interesting than what we got. The part in space was actually really short, a bookend to the story. Most of the film was meant to be about Lemanchard's corruption and the creation of the box.


...or were you talking about Event Horizon?

I never really rated that film. I've seen it twice andd was bored each time. I always hear it mentioned on 40K boards as an example of a ship entering the Warp, and I'm like "ok, I can kinda see it". But- still just boring.
 

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Plenty of sources of inspiration for different monsters, they all share the same elevator pitch: "Far from help, you're locked in with... something"

Zozer Games has Hostile - basically "80s horror sci-fi for the Cepheus engine. Good for atmosphere and background, a bit light on actual alien horrors. There's a supplement for Hostile called Alien Breeds, which has a different nasty, a colony layout and description, and an adventure.

Last Days on Mars (as opposed to Ghosts of Mars or the Dr Who episode Waters of Mars) was a decent low-key horror film. Deep Rising, The Abyss (nothing says that the aliens have to be the enemy - it's a genre trope that the humans around you are just as dangerous). The Thing, and the original novella Who Goes There. Pitch Black.

The computer game Moons of Madness is Lovecraftian horror set in a Martian base.

Chthonian Stars/The Void (same setting, different ruleset) is a good Lovecraftian horror sci fi RPG.

Any Australian nature documentary. Fkn drop bears, things that live in your toilet, mammals with cocks like mining drills. Half the wildlife wants to lay eggs in you and drive your decaying body around, the rest is poisonous and makes your limbs fall off.

In reality, any alien life is unlikely to be compatible with earth biochemistry, right down to whether the proteins are left- or right-handed. Hilarity ensues.
 

tenbones

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So I'm not particularly interested in the system. The premise of Alien is fantastically easy to reproduce in other systems I already enjoy - the big question for me is: "Is it worth buying for the setting fluff ?"
 
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The Mad Hatter

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So I'm not particularly interested in the system. The premise of Alien is fantastically easy to reproduce in other systems I already enjoy - the big question for me is: "Is it worth buying for the setting fluff ?"
In my opinion it is, but I only know what was in the movies. Haven't tried doing lots of Internet searching to find out about the setting before. Secondly I always finds it easier to convert stats for monsters rather than make them up myself.
But the system is actually very good. I especially like the game mode they call cinematic, which is probably how I would run it.
 
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