Free League announces official Alien RPG

Picaroon Jack

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Personally I'd sell it more as a cyberpunk-ish / space sci-fi game with horror as an added feature. I'd look at movies / series like Blade Runner, Altered Carbon, Hardware and Firefly for plot inspiration. Almost any Cyberpunk 2020 or Shadowrun mission could be made to work. The corporations are ambitious and ruthless, the government corrupt, and ineffective due to the influence of the Corps, but not entirely without teeth or morals.
I completely agree with the cyberpunk angle primarily due to the corporations so quick to betray people to boost their stock value. It is more working joes compared to rebels/anarchists, but you have to start somewhere! I wonder if Ripley's character arc would have made it to dissident/rebel if she had lived longer?
 

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To keep it Alien focused you could always go X Files with it, and have the Aliens not only be one of the most terrifying life forms discovered but also related to a conspiracy.
 

Toadmaster

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I completely agree with the cyberpunk angle primarily due to the corporations so quick to betray people to boost their stock value. It is more working joes compared to rebels/anarchists, but you have to start somewhere! I wonder if Ripley's character arc would have made it to dissident/rebel if she had lived longer?
There are suggestions that there is an uneasy peace between the government and the corps. Aliens clearly show that the corps kind of run things, but there is still enough power left on the government side to at least force the corps to keep their worst excesses concealed. I'd say "rebellion" is at the level of do-gooder trying to expose the high level corp leadership for the terrible people they are. So not quite at the level where it has become illegal to oppose the corps, but certainly not a way to ensure a long life. Large scale rebellion usually comes at the point where opposition is illegal.

The Winona Rider character in Aliens 4 does suggest there is some sort of underground fighting back against the Corps, although the unofficial military involvement also suggests things have gotten worse since the first 2 movies. 4 was set well into the future of the series, with 50 years spanning the time between 1 and 2, and a couple hundred(?) between 2 and 4. Don't recall the time lapse between 2 and 3, but don't believe it was a huge gap.
 
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EmperorNorton

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@Toadmaster has it right in that you are selling it short if you haven't seen all the movies.

The cool thing about the Alien movies is that each one very much has the feel of the director layered on top of the central premise of the xenomorph.

Alien is very much a Ridley Scott movie.
Aliens is very much a James Cameron movie.
Alien 3, especially if you watch the Assembly cut is very much David Fincher.

Alien Resurrection is a bit of a odd duck in this case, as it's style kind of has a weird conflict between the direction of the very artistic Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the pop humor scriptwriting of Joss Whedon. I honestly feel the biggest problem the movie had was not picking one direction or the other.
 

3rik

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In my memory, Alien had a lot of pointless strobe light and steam going on. Will the RPG have rules for that?
 
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Séadna

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Alien Resurrection is a bit of a odd duck in this case, as it's style kind of has a weird conflict between the direction of the very artistic Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the pop humor scriptwriting of Joss Whedon. I honestly feel the biggest problem the movie had was not picking one direction or the other.
That contrast is even greater in earlier versions of the film. Look up the original design for the hybrid (very NSFW), they wanted to go more into Geiger's style of sex horror from the first film.
 

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@Toadmaster has it right in that you are selling it short if you haven't seen all the movies.

The cool thing about the Alien movies is that each one very much has the feel of the director layered on top of the central premise of the xenomorph.

Alien is very much a Ridley Scott movie.
Aliens is very much a James Cameron movie.
Alien 3, especially if you watch the Assembly cut is very much David Fincher.

Alien Resurrection is a bit of a odd duck in this case, as it's style kind of has a weird conflict between the direction of the very artistic Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the pop humor scriptwriting of Joss Whedon. I honestly feel the biggest problem the movie had was not picking one direction or the other.
Any fans of the Alien films should check out David Thomson's book The Alien Quartet, he goes into lots of detail on the original Hill scripts for the later Alien films that have a lot of interesting ideas the films never went with.

9535
 

Trippy

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@Toadmaster has it right in that you are selling it short if you haven't seen all the movies.

The cool thing about the Alien movies is that each one very much has the feel of the director layered on top of the central premise of the xenomorph.

Alien is very much a Ridley Scott movie.
Aliens is very much a James Cameron movie.
Alien 3, especially if you watch the Assembly cut is very much David Fincher.

Alien Resurrection is a bit of a odd duck in this case, as it's style kind of has a weird conflict between the direction of the very artistic Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the pop humor scriptwriting of Joss Whedon. I honestly feel the biggest problem the movie had was not picking one direction or the other.
In my view the basic problem with the entire Alien franchise is that it was based upon one singular concept, which was spectacularly orginal and well done in the first instance, but hasn't really developed much beyond this in terms of world development. While the Promethean movie was an attempt to provide this, which seemed like an adaptation of Lovecraft's Mountains of Madness in a way, that movie was a bit incoherent too. The best development, in some respects, was the Alien vs Predator movies (even though they were hardly good movies), because the universe being created suggested more of an involvement beyond the interaction of humans and just one type of hostile alien.

The RPG looks like it could look stylish though, with a sound set of rules. Can't see what use it would be to me however, as I could run the same scenario with Traveller rules, tbh.
 

Toadmaster

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In my memory, Alien had a lot of pointless strobe light and steam going on. Will the RPG have rules for that?
I dearly hope so, and it has been suggested there is a "stress" mechanic. Also random hanging chains and dripping water.

In defense of Alien, having spent some time in heavy industrial sites, seemingly pointless steam and flashing lights are not an uncommon feature.



Any fans of the Alien films should check out David Thomson's book The Alien Quartet, he goes into lots of detail on the original Hill scripts for the later Alien films that have a lot of interesting ideas the films never went with.

View attachment 9535
A Walter Hill directed Alien film would be interesting. He has visual style that would be quite effective in a planet side Aliens film. I'm picturing a mashup between Alien and Jack the Ripper (in space!!!), with a hard boiled space cop on the trail of some grisly killings and missing persons.
 

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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.

That aside, is it really all that interesting an interpretation to suggest what happened in the movies is commonplace?

In any case, I'm not that excited about the game. RPGs have been riffing on Aliens without a license since the movie came out. A license simply means that it is a game with tight restrictions on developing the setting, a development cycle that will be slowed while every product undergoes corporate review, and one that will completely disappear from legal existence as soon as the license dries up.

Like any game, if it is well-designed, it can bring me around. I'm just generally not a fan of licensed games, especially when I already own multiple games that can tackle the subject matter of the license with ease.
 

Picaroon Jack

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I got mine yesterday, too. They said something about the first batch. I'm not sure if they are doing it in waves.
 

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The only thing that would make me interested in the game is if they focused on the extended setting, including Blade Runner, replicants, synthetics, corporation stuff, colonies, etc.
 

Skywalker

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They have, except for the Blade Runner IP which is not officially connected to the Alien setting and is owned by another company.
 
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Voros

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I dearly hope so, and it has been suggested there is a "stress" mechanic. Also random hanging chains and dripping water.

In defense of Alien, having spent some time in heavy industrial sites, seemingly pointless steam and flashing lights are not an uncommon feature.





A Walter Hill directed Alien film would be interesting. He has visual style that would be quite effective in a planet side Aliens film. I'm picturing a mashup between Alien and Jack the Ripper (in space!!!), with a hard boiled space cop on the trail of some grisly killings and missing persons.
Hill has been part of the series from the beginning as producer and screenwriter but it is odd he hasn't directed any of the films. His peak as a genre director was the late 70s and early 80s with films like Hard Times, The Driver, Southern Comfort and The Long Riders. His later films are far less inspired imo.
 

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Hill has been part of the series from the beginning as producer and screenwriter but it is odd he hasn't directed any of the films. His peak as a genre director was the late 70s and early 80s with films like Hard Times, The Driver, Southern Comfort and The Long Riders. His later films are far less inspired imo.

He has a certain style with his action movies that makes them quite distinct. He manages to combine over the top action with a gritty realism that is hard to pull off. Personally I'd go to at least late 80s with 48 hours, Streets of Fire, Red Heat, and Extreme Prejudice. Even Last Man Standing (1996) which was basically just a double remake (Fistful of Dollars / Yojimbo) can stand on its own due to his directing style and a great cast.

Another 48 hours (1990) was a bit of a let down due to the story, but the action is still good. Apparently 45 minutes of the film was cut shortly before release. I'd be very interested to see the movie without the last minute cuts, but as far as I know only the theatrical release is available.


I'm not sure that his directing style has changed as much as the projects he has taken on are different. He is always at his best when he is basically doing a modern day western and beginning with the 80s he started to take on other types of films that I don't think played to his strengths.
 

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He has a certain style with his action movies that makes them quite distinct. He manages to combine over the top action with a gritty realism that is hard to pull off. Personally I'd go to at least late 80s with 48 hours, Streets of Fire, Red Heat, and Extreme Prejudice. Even Last Man Standing (1996) which was basically just a double remake (Fistful of Dollars / Yojimbo) can stand on its own due to his directing style and a great cast.

Another 48 hours (1990) was a bit of a let down due to the story, but the action is still good. Apparently 45 minutes of the film was cut shortly before release. I'd be very interested to see the movie without the last minute cuts, but as far as I know only the theatrical release is available.


I'm not sure that his directing style has changed as much as the projects he has taken on are different. He is always at his best when he is basically doing a modern day western and beginning with the 80s he started to take on other types of films that I don't think played to his strengths.
Streets of Fire I like but I feel the rest while good in some ways don't feel as personal as his early films, except for Last Man Standing perhaps. He has directed a lot of Deadwood which he's perfect for. I do agree it would have been interesting to see him do an Alien films, heresy perhaps but I suspect I would have preferred his Aliens to Cameron's.
 

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I got mine yesterday, too. They said something about the first batch. I'm not sure if they are doing it in waves.
Put me in the "got mine yesterday" camp as well. Hopefully everyone else will get theirs quickly.

I like what I've seen so far. Some pages that describe the Alien universe, some of the political factions, and so on. Some info about characters and their choices. (I haven't finished the rules yet, but I got the impression that the quickplay rules don't have full chargen rules and that those would be in the full rules set.) The base rules do seem similar to those in Tales From the Loop, as was expected.

I rushed out and bought a copy of the original Alan Dean Foster Alien novel. :grin:
 

Picaroon Jack

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Put me in the "got mine yesterday" camp as well. Hopefully everyone else will get theirs quickly.
I rushed out and bought a copy of the original Alan Dean Foster Alien novel. :grin:
Has anyone read it?? If so does the movie follow it closely or no?
 

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Has anyone read it?? If so does the movie follow it closely or no?
It was based on the screenplay so it's more a question of how closely it follows the movie. More than likely it does with a bit of added material and scenes that were left on the cutting room floor included. I read the novelization when I was a kid because my father got the book around the time the movie came out. I didn't actually see the movie until 2009.
 

Picaroon Jack

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It was based on the screenplay so it's more a question of how closely it follows the movie. More than likely it does with a bit of added material and scenes that were left on the cutting room floor included. I read the novelization when I was a kid because my father got the book around the time the movie came out. I didn't actually see the movie until 2009.
Then that is definitely worth picking up.
 

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LouGoncey

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Hill still claims he wrote 80% of the original ALIEN. He lost in arbitration. I am pretty sure Hill and David Gale invented the whole third act, setting up by having Ash be a robot and the company totally screwing over the crew to get a specimen.

He was directly involved with the first three films. He has had no involvement with anything after that, simply getting an executive producer credit since he owns Brandywine Films.
 

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So has anyone who backed this had any communication from the KS? I double checked my paypal and they got my money, but I haven't had one email related to it. Usually I start getting flooded with KS emails after backing a project. Just wondering if this group is less chatty than most or if I may have an issue. Not that I've had the time to read it anyway, but I thought they were going to email backers a pdf of the beta rules.

Come to think of it I haven't seen many updates from Ruinmaster beyond confirming my order either, maybe Swedes are just tight lipped?
 

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I haven't backed it, but I would say that 99% of the stress I've had in gaming this last decade is basically about Kickstarter campaigns that don't communicate or deliver on time. It's not new.
 

3rik

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So has anyone who backed this had any communication from the KS? I double checked my paypal and they got my money, but I haven't had one email related to it. Usually I start getting flooded with KS emails after backing a project. Just wondering if this group is less chatty than most or if I may have an issue. Not that I've had the time to read it anyway, but I thought they were going to email backers a pdf of the beta rules.

Come to think of it I haven't seen many updates from Ruinmaster beyond confirming my order either, maybe Swedes are just tight lipped?
I don't think this game is going to be Kickstarter-funded.
 

AsenRG

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I haven't backed it, but I would say that 99% of the stress I've had in gaming this last decade is basically about Kickstarter campaigns that don't communicate or deliver on time. It's not new.
Why would you allow KS campaigns to cause you stress? I've only been stressed by KS when it turned out we've got no popcorn, and Exalted backers had disliked another portion of text:grin:!
 

Trippy

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Why would you allow KS campaigns to cause you stress? I've only been stressed by KS when it turned out we've got no popcorn, and Exalted backers had disliked another portion of text:grin:!
Generally speaking, I don't back many Kickstarters these days - unless it's low stress. This means, in most cases, I just back for the PDF copy and wait for the campaign to deliver before I commit to hard-copy (on general release). I think the tendency for gamers to get over-excited towards buying new games - and this goes for pre-orders too - tends to lead to the most over-expectation and consequent dissatisfaction in gaming these days.

Basically, I wish game companies would only start promoting new games and editions when their release dates are certain, and I wish gamers like me would just appreciate the products already on offer at any given time. Pie in the sky wish, as it is...
 
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Toadmaster

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I'm pretty conservative with KS, so they are always low stress for me. I add 6 months to delivery right off the top, so as far as I'm concerned they have all delivered early, even when delayed.
 

AsenRG

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I'm pretty conservative with KS, so they are always low stress for me. I add 6 months to delivery right off the top, so as far as I'm concerned they have all delivered early, even when delayed.
I always assume they might fail and never deliver, but I'm helping a gamer to publish his dream ruleset. So I ask myself "how much am I ready to risk":smile:.

BTW, they're consistently performing better than my expectations:wink:!
 

Toadmaster

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I always assume they might fail and never deliver, but I'm helping a gamer to publish his dream ruleset. So I ask myself "how much am I ready to risk":smile:.

BTW, they're consistently performing better than my expectations:wink:!
There is that too, although nearly all of my KS have been with fairly established entities. Outside of the Reaper minis KS which was some real money, most have been $100-ish or less. While it would suck to lose the money, with a little perspective I've spent that much on a dinner out with the family, and half that is just a normal dinner out (2 adults & 2 kids at McDonalds can be pushing $40, and easy to spend $50-60 at a nice kid friendly place).

The riskiest KSrs I've participated in was $10 for an indie film by a youtuber I follow (Georg Rockall-Scmidt), and $100 for a book on French rifles, from another youtuber (Forgotten Weapons). In both cases I've already received more value from their youtube channels than I'm risking if the projects were to fail.
 

Skywalker

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So has anyone who backed this had any communication from the KS? I double checked my paypal and they got my money, but I haven't had one email related to it. Usually I start getting flooded with KS emails after backing a project. Just wondering if this group is less chatty than most or if I may have an issue. Not that I've had the time to read it anyway, but I thought they were going to email backers a pdf of the beta rules.

Come to think of it I haven't seen many updates from Ruinmaster beyond confirming my order either, maybe Swedes are just tight lipped?
There has been 3 or 4 emails since the preorders started but they have recently been quiet, no doubt working in the beta PDF fir release shortly. FL are reliable communicators though they don’t spam customers. I also assume that as this is a preorder that communication with be less than a KS.
 

CRKrueger

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So has anyone who backed this had any communication from the KS? I double checked my paypal and they got my money, but I haven't had one email related to it. Usually I start getting flooded with KS emails after backing a project. Just wondering if this group is less chatty than most or if I may have an issue. Not that I've had the time to read it anyway, but I thought they were going to email backers a pdf of the beta rules.

Come to think of it I haven't seen many updates from Ruinmaster beyond confirming my order either, maybe Swedes are just tight lipped?
The email won’t come from Free League, it comes from Drive-Thru RPG.
 

Skywalker

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I have been getting the regular email updates via Free League’s newsletter. Updates to the PDF will be via DTRPG.
 

Toadmaster

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There has been 3 or 4 emails since the preorders started but they have recently been quiet, no doubt working in the beta PDF fir release shortly. FL are reliable communicators though they don’t spam customers. I also assume that as this is a preorder that communication with be less than a KS.
Ok, figured out what was going on, user error. My paypal was originally set up years ago under a different email, an email I now mostly use when I have to give an email for something I don't want to get email from (a super SPAM folder) so I don't use it or check it much.

I get paypal notices at my current email, but for some reason this time the old email got attached to my order.

Found my emails and the link to my pdf at Drive Thru, also about 4000 useless emails.
 
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