Free League announces official Alien RPG

Stevethulhu

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Alien is your classic Haunted House scenario. And is so easy to adapt to an RPG.

Take a group of characters, put them in a place they don't mind being. They might even want to be there. Then make it difficult or dangerous to leave. Then give them a reason to want to get out.

That's Alien in a nutshell.
 

Dan Davenport

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That's kind of funny to me as I always interpreted the dismissive delivery of the line to meant that a "bug hunt" was like a "snipe hunt" or a "wild goose chase", that this was just going to be a waste of time, not that fighting hostile alien threats was something that they did all the time. On top of that, the complete dismissal everyone has for Ripley's story ("She's some kind of consultant. Apparently, she saw an alien once."), it seems strange for it to be a normal thing.
Based on the response to this -- "Whoopie fuckin' doo! Hey, I'm impressed!" -- I took the interaction to mean that they had encountered alien lifeforms previously and that this was no big deal.
 

Gabriel

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Based on the response to this -- "Whoopie fuckin' doo! Hey, I'm impressed!" -- I took the interaction to mean that they had encountered alien lifeforms previously and that this was no big deal.
Until the Leading Edge RPG, I never interpreted that they had encountered extraterrestrials.

At least one of the marines exhibits ignorance of what "xenomorph" means. I think Hicks is the one that clarifies that it means a "bug hunt." It's clear they view the idea of looking for some kind of alien lifeform as a total waste of time and the worst sort of busywork.

I'd say the reaction to Ripley having "seen an alien once" is kind of the same as a potential reaction to someone saying they saw Bigfoot once. I get the impression their first reaction is that Ripley is a bit of a loon. It's a reaction that Ripley reinforces when she flips out in response to learning Bishop is an android.

What I inferred from what I saw in the movie was that it was a fairly regular occurrence for some whackjob to cry out "It's aliens!" (insert meme here) and for whatever reason the Colonial Marines have to check this shit out. So the Marines end up trudging around looking for something that isn't there for a month or so.

I'd say it also explains why the marines are so casual in investigating Hadley's Hope. They really don't expect to find anything. If anything, they probably expect to find a colonist revolt or something.

The big flaw here in my interpretation is their lack of reaction to the facehuggers in the tubes. Then again, the facehuggers are in the tubes and look relatively harmless.

At most, the marines have possibly previously encountered some kind of low intelligence animal life, probably lacking any hunter's instinct or cunning. Potentially they've encountered herbivores only, or docile, non predatory insect style life.

That was my take-away anyway. The issue with Alien/Aliens is that it's difficult to tell how big the "universe" really is.
 

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There's also the Brood, which are pretty plain Alien rip offs. I'm partial to the start of the Brood storyline which ran in the late 80s. It had a very dark beginning.
I haven't read those stories as I never really followed the X-Men. There were also the Dire Wraiths from Rom: Spaceknight and The Mighty Avengers, which I vaguely recall as Alien-y.
Rom60.gif
3690759-$(kgrhqv,!qce-+z5gs8nbp8hrlvbeq~~60_57.jpg
 
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Toadmaster

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That was my take-away anyway. The issue with Alien/Aliens is that it's difficult to tell how big the "universe" really is.
I think that is a plus, it reminds me of Classic Traveller where you had a basic description, kind of a vibe for the universe and a whole lot of room to expand it. Alien / Aliens is kind of the same way. The universe is kind of gritty and bleak, and very, very hostile. A little cyber punk with the clearly powerful corporations, but not as optimistic. Also takes a little from the colonial period and even the Age of Sail where there is an implied competition between various "nation states" and well placed powers to control "habitable" and exploitable planets. There is certainly an air of the East India Company in the way Weyland-Yutani is depicted.

Traveller 2300 is the closest RPG I've found to the look and feel of Alien / Aliens and it was clearly inspired by Aliens.

For those who say you could do Alien with all sorts of games, sure, no problem. Alien is straight up horror film in space. I'm much more interested to see what the do with the Alien universe and hope it is more than "just another bug hunt".
 

Charlie D

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I'm... ambivalent.

Mostly because I can "do" Aliens with a number of established systems and do it quite well. (Interlock, Savage Worlds are both systems I'd use for entirely different reasons). The only thing I'd be interested in is the fluff. But even then, most of that is readily available. So I'm wait and see at best... they'd have to do something particularly special with the system to make me buy it. I seriously doubt Fox is going to let them extemporaneously build out the world more...

But if they did... then that would *certainly* pique my curiosity.
They are building out the world including a universe map which hasn't been officially done before. They have an expert who works with Fox to write the background and setting.

ROLEPLAYING IN THE ALIEN UNIVERSE

Most ALIEN films tell a horryfing and thrilling story with a tight focus. They generally don't reveal that much detail about the greater universe, instead leaving the viewer with largely unexplained names of locations and organizations to spark the imagination.

Cinematic scenarios for the ALIEN RPG will work in very much the same way as the films. But for Campaign mode, we need to flesh out the universe and present the ALIEN world of 2183 AD to you as a cohesive whole. The full game will have meaty chapters on governments, corporations, star systems, planets, colonies, and xenomorphs, as well as a beautiful star map of known space for you to explore.

The lead writer of the setting chapters is Andrew E. C. Gaska – author, senior development editor at Lion Forge Comics, and franchise consultant on ALIEN, Predator and Planet of the Apes for 20th Century Fox. With total attention to the minute details of the ALIEN lore from decades of movies, games, books, and comics, Drew's work is to preserve the essence of the expanded material and bring it in line with hardcore canon, filling in gaps where needed. In addition to his setting design, Drew is the lead writer of the introductory scenario Chariot of the Gods.

To compliment Drew's work, RPG designer Paul Elliott (Hostile, Zenobia) is writing systems and missions generators for the Gamemaster to use, as well as modular locations and adversaries, to make the ALIEN RPG in Campaign Mode a truly sandbox, open-world game.
 
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Simlasa

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They are building out the world including a universe map which hasn't been officially done before. They have an expert who works with Fox to write the background and setting.
That's nice... but how 'Alien' will if feel if you're not facing down the titular monster and are off doing stuff that's nothing like the stuff depicted in the movies? It just seems like such a shallow/narrow IP... now with this expanded universe that we've got no real familiarity with... it like there's not much to get excited about, yet.
 

Trippy

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Alien is your classic Haunted House scenario. And is so easy to adapt to an RPG.

Take a group of characters, put them in a place they don't mind being. They might even want to be there. Then make it difficult or dangerous to leave. Then give them a reason to want to get out.

That's Alien in a nutshell.
I think Alien was also significant in that they changed to nature of the 'beast' from simply being a creature that wants to eat you, into a creature that essentially wants to rape you. The ickiness of this premise is why the nature of the horror is amplified.
 

Charlie D

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That's nice... but how 'Alien' will if feel if you're not facing down the titular monster and are off doing stuff that's nothing like the stuff depicted in the movies? It just seems like such a shallow/narrow IP... now with this expanded universe that we've got no real familiarity with... it like there's not much to get excited about, yet.
Sounds cool to me. Blue collar space work with occasional screaming and dying. YMMV:

Space is vast, dark, and not your friend. Gamma rays and neutrino bursts erupt from dying stars to cook you alive, black holes tear you apart, and the void itself boils your blood and seizes your brain. Try to scream and no one can hear you—hold your breath and you rupture your lungs. Space isn’t as empty as you’d think, either—its frontiers are ever expanding. Rival governments wage a cold war of aggression while greedy corporations vie for valuable resources. Colonists reach for the stars and gamble with their lives—each new world tamed is either feast or famine. And there are things lurking in the shadows of every asteroid—things strange and different and deadly.

Things alien.

This is the official ALIEN tabletop roleplaying game—a universe of body horror and corporate brinkmanship, where synthetic people play god while space truckers and marines serve host to newborn ghoulish creatures. It’s a harsh and unforgiving universe and you are nothing if not expendable.

Stay alive if you can.
 

Dumarest

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Seems like that Stay Frosty game @Séadna has can handle Alien pretty well, although I don't know what else there is to do in the setting aside from hunting Snarks, Boojums, Jubjub birds, Bandersnatches, and Jabberwocks.
220px-Jabberwocky.jpg
 

spittingimage

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There's also the Brood, which are pretty plain Alien rip offs. I'm partial to the start of the Brood storyline which ran in the late 80s. It had a very dark beginning.
Is that the one where they arrived on Earth in a big shark?
 

LouGoncey

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Wondering how the new game will compare to the Chris Dias FUZION supplement for ALIENS. Pretty solid for a fan work...
 

AsenRG

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A summary from the podcast stolen from RPGnet:

-There will be an official star chart that will lay out the galactic map of colonies and such.
-Cinematic mode will have some PCs probably not surviving, which we knew, but there will be player Agendas that will change during a Cinematic scenario’s three structured Acts.
-PvP may, but not always, be an element in Cinematic scenarios but typically will only climax in the third and final Act. Agendas change every Act, and other players won’t know another player’s Agenda.
-Cinematic scenarios will be published throughout the game’s run and be semi-connected - like a film sequel with a related plot but probably different characters.
-Core will have three Campaign frames: space truckers, probably marines, and something else? Later toolbox-style supplements will expand these.
-A set of rules for stealth gameplayer oriented around avoiding monsters. This will be sort of map-based, and inspired by Ripley and Newt crawling around and Alien Isolation.
-You can Push to gain stress dice which will increase your abilities but if you become too stressed you panic, and if other PCs witness you panicking they will gain stress dice, too. Obviously seeing a monster will give you stress dice, etc.
-Eight character Archetypes, based on like Ripley, Burke, Bishop, and Newt.
-Will contain and introduce other threats than just Xenomorphs, but no Predators.
-Three major geopolitical blocs, like Weyland-Yutani, but also a socialist bloc from William Gibson’s unused Alien 3 draft.
-Release probably in November. The preorder will net you a 160 page starter pdf.
A three-act structure, again:smile:?
They'd lose me right there if it wasn't for Paul Elliott. Even then, I'm now in Very Cautious Mode:wink:!
 

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Sounds cool to me. Blue collar space work with occasional screaming and dying. YMMV:

Space is vast, dark, and not your friend. Gamma rays and neutrino bursts erupt from dying stars to cook you alive, black holes tear you apart, and the void itself boils your blood and seizes your brain. Try to scream and no one can hear you—hold your breath and you rupture your lungs. Space isn’t as empty as you’d think, either—its frontiers are ever expanding. Rival governments wage a cold war of aggression while greedy corporations vie for valuable resources. Colonists reach for the stars and gamble with their lives—each new world tamed is either feast or famine. And there are things lurking in the shadows of every asteroid—things strange and different and deadly.

Things alien.

This is the official ALIEN tabletop roleplaying game—a universe of body horror and corporate brinkmanship, where synthetic people play god while space truckers and marines serve host to newborn ghoulish creatures. It’s a harsh and unforgiving universe and you are nothing if not expendable.

Stay alive if you can.
Yeah a game that actually captures the feel of the first film sounds great to me. Sure you could hack it with some other system but its nice to have the game designed from the ground up to capture the unique feel of the film world. It may be narrow but some games benefit from having a narrow scope, the aforementioned Stay Frosty is an excellent example. It is crafted to capture the feel of Aliens and does a damn good job of it I think.
 
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AsenRG

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Yeah a game that actually captures the feel of the first film sounds great to me. Sure you could hack it with some other system but its nice to have the gsme designed from the ground up to capture the uniwue feel of the film world. It may be narrow but some games benefit from having a narrow scope, the aforementioned Stay Frosty is an excellent example. It is crafted to capture the feel of Aliens and does a damn good job of it I think.
Or you can play Hostile. All of the retro-feel, none of the narrowness (given that the first supplement/standalone add-on is about yakuza soldiers in gang wars).
 

CRKrueger

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Watch the mess hall scene in Aliens again. They're talking about banging an Alien species. The "she saw an Alien once" is definitely a "whoop de doo" type of reaction. Hicks knows "xenomorph" means bug hunt - they're going after a non-anthropomorphic species, which they apparently have done before.
 

Stevethulhu

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Voros

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Well, the point of the reviewer was that lots of drugs were involved, that's what the budget was spent on, and it's all up there on film. :clown:
The funny thing is that in all seriousness I would bet that Boorman wasn’t on anything while writing or filming. He always had a slightly gonzo Jungian tendency in his work, most obviously in his awful/fascinating sequel to The Exorcist.

When he was on his touch for the mythic was terrific: Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur. He tended to alternate from the great to the disastrous throughout the 70s (Zardoz followed his triumph in Deliverance)

Ironically I think his best film is the autobiographical and slice-of-life film about growing up during the blitz, Hope and Glory.
 

Dumarest

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Just want to state, for the record, that I would instanbuy a ZARDOZ RPG.
Well, I submitted my $20.00* bid for the RPG rights to John Boorman Productions Ltd.; I'll let you know how they respond.

* I figured I should bid high to dissuade competitors. I also hinted that if they don't give me the license I might just take my $20.00 off the table and go the Vartox route to spite them.
Vartoxdcu0.jpg
 

Tulpa Girl

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I'm going to pass on this so I have money for the upcoming Zardoz: Roleplaying in the Postapocalyptic Earth of 2293 A.D.
Tagline for the boxed set: "Beyond 1984, Beyond 2001, Beyond Love, Beyond Death!"
The gun is good! The penis is bad! Man nappies are mandatory!
The best review I've ever seen for Zardoz is one that stated it was a movie where you could see ALL the cocaine in the final result.
The problem is that I don't think that there is enough money in RPGs to afford the amount of cocaine necessary to make the Zardoz RPG.
I'm putting down Zardoz as the product of psychedelics. That movie is not paced for cokeheads.
Its stoned Jungian silliness is definitely more pot and acid than cocaine to me.
...I love all of you.
 
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Charlie D

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Hostile (Cepheus engine) another Aliens hommage. And the setting is excellent! And it totally captures the Alien Movie vibe and more.
Paul Elliott, who wrote Hostile, is writing campaign material such as system and mission generators, locations and adversaries for the Alien RPG. I think it is great that Free League brought him in to work on this.
 

Charlie D

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Mutant year zero, Coriolis, Forbidden lands and The new Aliens rpg do not use The same system as Symbaroum at all.

The system these games use are a D6 pool system where a 6 count as a success. Attributes and skills range between 1 and 5 dice each so you roll between 2 to 10 D6 for tests... Difficulty are determined by the number of successes needed...

Quite lethal and at the same time a good and simple system in my own opinion of course! :smile:
Welcome to the Pub, Gute!
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Paul Elliott, who wrote Hostile, is writing campaign material such as system and mission generators, locations and adversaries for the Alien RPG. I think it is great that Free League brought him in to work on this.
Skywalker mentioned that too. I had know idea tbh... But that's really good news. :smile: Hostile captures that universe perfectly so he will be a perfect fit for it. It's got me interested!

I was talking to my online group about it last night, incidentally. They are a bit dubious about the mechanics being a good fit. I've only played Mutant Year Zero but I don't know how much they will be altering the mechanics for the Alien setting.

I think the Cepheus mechanics would be a good fit personally. As they are hard sci-fi. But an altered version of BRP would work well too. Like 'M-Space' (which I love!).
 

Toadmaster

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The art certainly helps sell the setting. Lots of space walking, repairs, rope climbing, driving, exploring, flying, and body rending horror.











View attachment 8788

I'm not sure how it can be done mechanically in a tabletop, but this kind of creepy, "is that something, or just some thing?" vibe in this illustration is what an Alien game needs to have.

Playing the marine in AVP video game captures the feeling so well, dark, creepy, shadows and sounds make you jump at everything. Flares help, but you have a limited supply... I know I've shot the crap out of many shadowy inanimate objects.


Whether or not the game system works, this looks like it will be worth it for the art alone.
 

Gabriel

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So, is this based on the whole Alien franchise or just the first movie?

Early posts made it seem it was based solely on material from 1979's Alien due to a licensing restriction.

The art is very clearly using material from Prometheus. And it seems everyone else is assuming that this license is the entire Alien franchise from the original through Covenant.

So, did I miss something somewhere? What exactly is the scope of the license of this game?

If Prometheus and Covenant are involved, then I think the potential setting improves a bit. Those are where we finally see some world building in the franchise's universe. (I guess there was some worldbuilding in Resurrection, but... I'll just stay quiet there.)

Oh, and yes, that art is badass. It really captures the look of the Ridley Scott movies. They're all so stark and isolated.
 
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