Let's Read the ALIEN RPG

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Séadna

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So here's a new thread about one of my favourite new RPGs: Fria Ligan's ALIEN.

The intention is to go through the book with two main aims:

1. A summary of the rules to help others see if they'd like it

2. Some commentary on the setting material and how it relates to and expands previous material for the setting. Obviously the movies, but also the comics, novels and games and earlier drafts of some of the movies.

The chapters are essentially (not their real names and I've grouped some):
  1. Setting: Basics
  2. Character Generation
  3. Skills and Talents
  4. Combat and Spot rules
  5. Gear
  6. Life in space
  7. GM advice
  8. Setting: Government and Corporations
  9. Setting: Planets
  10. Aliens. Rules and Setting info
  11. GM tools, e.g. Star System generator, Job generator
I will not be covering the book in order. Instead I will pass through the rules first with only a sketch of the setting info for framing, before returning for a deep dive on how Fria Ligan has expanded and in my opinion improved the setting with comparison to older material.

716qOdMTDtL.jpg

 
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TristramEvans

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I bought this for a friend who is a huge fan of the franchise, but never got the chance to read it myself.
 

finarvyn

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I bought it then had to clean out my den, and the box is somewhere buried at the moment. :sad: I'm dying to read the thing.
 

Chaotic Wooster

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I have and read this quickly when it first hit shelves. I've been looking for an excuse to do so again more thoroughly. The Destroyer of Worlds scenario should be coming soon, and I want to re-familiarize myself with the basics before then.
 

Séadna

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Setting: A sketch

So the first chapter starts off with the basic aspects of the setting itself. The setting as presented here is a very careful combination of the movies, comics, games and earlier movie drafts which is careful not to provide clear answers to certain mysteries of the setting while being more concrete than previous works about human civilization and technology and how they have developed.

Setting is not the focus in this run through so I'll only provide the outline. Next post will be onto the rules.

Powers:

The main point is that on Earth three major superpowers have arisen. The book sticks fairly strictly to a "future of the 80s" feel, so these major superpowers are based around obvious themes of that time, e.g. increasing economic power of Japan, Eastern block communism. The powers are:
  1. The Three World Empire (TWE). Essentially a formal unification of Japan and the UK. India and Australia follow shortly after and then within two decades many SouthEast Asian and African countries. In essence anywhere that had been under British or Japanese influence (such as being a member of the Commonwealth).
    This union was based around the Weyland and Yutani corporations of the UK and Japan establishing successful colonies on Titan and Mars. The "Three Worlds" of the name then being Earth, Mars and Titan. Ultimately these two companies would merge into the Weyland-Yutani of the films.
    The major recent historical event for this nation is their internal nuclear civil war with Australia during its attempts to secede.

    3WE.jpg

  2. The United Americas (UA). Basically the entire American continent unified to counter the economic and military might of the Three World empire. They then began their own independent settlement of space. The main megacorp here is Lasalle Bionational, a major recurring player in comic story lines.
    The marines of the films are part of the military of this nation.

    Flag_of_United_Americas.jpg

    Before moving onto the final superpower I should point out the obvious setting feature that these nations were formed for mainly economic reasons and their individual megacorps have close ties to their governments. Many features of the setting enhance this super-capitalist feel. For example Weyland-Yutani has a seat in the TWE parliament along with the UK and Japanese prime ministers. The TWE actually rents out the UA military instead of having a large standing navy of their own. This is why the Weyland-Yutani colony in the second movie is investigated by the Colonial Marines who are part of the UA military. In return the UA requires Weyland-Yutani to run many of its colonies.

  3. The Union of Progressive peoples. The communist superpower. Russia and China together with other Asian and Eastern European nations. Germany and Spain as well.
    Stands out as the superpower not controlled by corporations.

    UPP.jpg
These are not the only powers on Earth. The EU remains* and is mentioned as having a few colonies of its own. However the above are the big kids in the playground.


Space:
As for space itself it's mainly settled in three "spirals" stretching out from Earth. One for each of the superpowers. In addition to this there is an economic block of colonies close to Earth that have declared themselves independent. As mentioned above a small minority of colonies belong to other powers like the EU.

Space is also divided in terms of distance from Earth. The Core Systems are the early developed colonies with terraformed biospheres. Beyond that is the Outer Veil which is basically the mining and production region. The Outer Rim is even further beyond this but in fact contains the greatest amount of worlds that didn't need to be terraformed and was heavily settled by the UA. Finally there is the Frontier, the systems where human settlement is just beginning.

Most terraformed worlds are barren, rocky, rainy places owned by either a corporation or a superpower. The further out garden worlds often have different continents or regions settled by different nations.

Typical population of a terraformed world is circa 100,000. For a garden world circa 2 million.

starmap.jpg

Aliens:
First the most mundane. Many planets have indigenous fauna that is not any of the races from the films.

The presence of a precursor super-civilization known as the "Engineers" is well known, as their ruins are to be found on a few colonies. Debate still continues as to whether this was one civilization, a federation or a sequence of civilizations sequentially borrowing technology from the ruins of predecessors. That this society meddled with life on Earth and human life in particular is generally accepted, but the extent is debated.

The infamous Aliens/Xenomorphs are well known to those living on the Frontier where the awakening of a long dormant hive is a constant worry hanging over people's heads. Again there are a million theories as to what they are: Weapons made by the Engineers, Wayland-Yutani bioweapons run amok, agents of God(s), naturally evolved, etc

Resistance.jpg
 
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Séadna

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Character Rules:
So now we get into the rules for PCs. General skill system is up first, then modifications to it such as Pushing and Stress. This will be followed by Talents and then by Character Generation, Careers, Combat and finally the Stealth System. The Stealth system is basically used to adjudicate being hunted.

I should note that with these Character rules you basically have all that is needed for one shots or even short campaigns that take place on a fixed world. Most of the other rules deal with starships, vehicle combat and generating solar systems. In most colonies the only vehicles are for work so combat with them isn't that common. The only other important set of rules are the Hazard spot rules (e.g. Fire, Disease) which I'll get to after the Character rules. However I will note that all published scenarios contain a cheat sheet for the GM that detail the only Spot rules needed in the current scenario.

As an aside there has been plenty of discussion of the Stress Mechanic online but as far as I have seen little about the Stealth system and how Stress, Combat and the Skills feed into it and work together. As such when I get there I'll do a walkthrough of a basic hunter-prey set up where the PCs have to restore power and turn on a communications tower.

aliens-ripley-powerloader.jpg

Skills:
So now we move onto the central/core mechanic for characters which is skill resolution. It's a fairly simple system.

You have four attributes as follows:
  1. STRENGTH
  2. AGILITY
  3. WITS
  4. EMPATHY
These have fairly obvious meanings. I should point out that WITS is an abstracted combination of what other games would call "Notice" with Intelligence and Sanity. Essentially measuring how mentally "sharp" a character is by combining every mental aspect that goes with such a vague concept. EMPATHY is ability to read others and personal charisma.

After that there are 12 skills. Each is attached to a given attribute:
  1. Heavy Machinery (STRENGTH)
  2. Stamina (STRENGTH)
  3. Close Combat (STRENGTH)
  4. Mobility (AGILITY)
  5. Ranged Combat (AGILITY)
  6. Piloting (AGILITY)
  7. Observation (WITS)
  8. Comtech (WITS)
  9. Survival (WITS)
  10. Command (EMPATHY)
  11. Manipulation (EMPATHY)
  12. Medical Aid (EMPATHY)
Again most of these are clear in meaning. There is an obvious focus on a near future setting, but also on running for your life.

A few skills deserve a bit more explanation.

Heavy Machinery is a very abstract skill since it covers basically all aspects of dealing with machines. Hence it combines together driving, engineering and mechanical skills of other systems. So this is operating and fixing cars, power-loaders and also starship repairs and operations.

Comtech is really computer systems and hacking in any capacity, not just communications tech.

Starship maintenance and operation is either Heavy Machinery or Comtech or a combination depending on the systems involved.

Stamina is unusual as many other systems would have it as a basic or derived stat rather than a skill. Stamina does tend to show up in skill rolls that are purely biological such as resisting a disease or being exposed to a vacuum.

Two major ones to look at are Observation and Mobility. These cover spotting things (obviously) and running away respectively. Mobility is in application a sort of parkour through the "pipes and ladders" layout of colonies and ships in the ALIEN universe. You use it any time you want to get out of a room or area where there is some danger. For example climb up a ladder before the generator blows, sneak past an enemy, make a jump over the exposed wiring. Both of these skills plug into and feature heavily in the Stealth system.

So a quarter of the skills (Stamina, Mobility and Observation) are quite closely connected to the lethal situations of the film, i.e. running from or being infected by some biological horror. Now clearly this can applied more generally, but once I get to the Combat and Stealth system you'll see how this even affects human only combat. Basically with the focus on combat "zones", escaping with the mobility skill, hiding and so forth the system would emulate running and hiding from gangs in a colonial undercity. Thus you could get a very 40K/Necromunda or gangs in Coruscant's undercity feel from the game. The Combat system is not really meant for open air tactical confrontation, but running around shutting doors and ducking through pipes and tunnels and stabbing people from behind an old air processor in a colony or hive.

Gotya.jpg

Resolution:
Very easy.

Get a pool of D6 equal to SKILL + ATTRIBUTE. You're looking for any dice that comes up 6. The book refers to 6s with an abstract symbol, but I'll just call them successes.

If the roll is unopposed you need one success.
If the roll is opposed you need to beat your opponent's success count.

The game directly says not to roll dice commonly. This is because it can easily cause silly situations due to the statistics of the Stress mechanic. Thus only roll when there is time pressure and/or genuine doubt about the outcome. A mechanic or dockworker will under normal situations where everybody is sitting around always repair a power-loader and so on. In my experience outside of starship repairs even the doubt aspect is rarely important if you have unlimited time.

There is some brief advice on how to handle difficulty which is basically adding or removing dice from the pool. However it mentions that as rolling is restricted to tense and difficult situations anyway there's no real need to bother with this.

16f67870ab41e9cea9c9cd8a9d380707.jpg

Any success you get beyond those needed can be spent to improve the roll. Common improvements are performing the task faster or permanently. By permanently I mean for example you never need to roll to repair this mechanical error or hack this type of system again. There's also a sort of "getting into the flow of things" where you can spend one of these extra successes to have a +1 on future related rolls.

Individual skills then have their own improvements. For example Close Combat allows you to switch initiative order with your opponent. Mobility allows you to give a success to another PC, i.e. "Head through the pipe on the left!".

Some skills have an obvious use for additional successes. For Close Combat and Ranged Combat additional successes up damage and for Medical Aid they increase the amount of health recovered.

Next Pushing and Stress...
 
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Séadna

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Stress, Panic and Pushing:
I have gathered the details here into one section. In the book itself the rules for these systems are split between Chapters 2 & 5. I generally try to captalise system terms, e.g. "This will cause you to Panic".

Stress:
Okay so the Stress Mechanic. Once more this is pretty simple.

You have a Stress score reflecting the increase in focus and alertness due to being in a dangerous situation. At a basic level all Stress does is enlarge your dice pool.

So before we had for skill rolls:
ATTRIBUTE + SKILL

When stressed this becomes:
ATTRIBUTE + SKILL + STRESS

So nothing incredible. The only thing is that if a 1 comes up on any of the additional Stress dice you Panic. Also if the roll was Ranged Combat you accidentally empty the magazine round as well, the well known trope of a marine spraying the walls pointlessly with bullets in raw fear.
Panic means you do a Panic roll. See next section.

Note: It's only if a 1 comes up on any of the Stress dice. I've seen PbPs where people miss this rule and think it's a 1 on any dice even the ATTRIBUTE + SKILL ones, so I just want to emphasise that. The official Stress dice are yellow with a facehugger for the 1 to mark them out.

Just to correct a common mistake I've seen: If you panic it doesn't mean you fail the roll. For example when repairing a comm-tower Dinah gets two 6s, but also gets a 1 on her Stress dice. Dinah will not necessarily fail. We have to see how the Panic roll goes.

Two additional things to note:
  1. There's a trade off here. More stressed means a better and better chance of success, but it also means an increasing chance to Panic. Also panics will tend to be worse the more stressed you are as you'll see shortly.

  2. It's the Stress system in particular that means rolling is to be avoided unless it's an interesting or tense situation. With even just two Stress you have a 30% chance of panicking. This is ridiculously high if you started to apply this in normal situations with people losing their shit when fixing a wire or a pilot doing a standard takeoff.

    So to some degree "Should I get the players to roll?" can be rephrased as "Would it be realistic/sensible/interesting if somebody panicked from this?"
I'll describe sources of Stress after Pushing, which is one of the more common sources.

caspar-nordling.jpg

Panic:
So you've panicked. How badly do you lose it?

Roll a d6, add your stress score and check the panic table.

The panic table runs from 1 - 15. 1-6 is basically no effect. From then on it gets progressively worse from a twitch to shaking and dropping things, on to screaming and fleeing until we get to going berserk or catatonic.

The most common cause of Panic is rolling a 1 on a Stress die. However there are others:
  1. Seeing an ally Panic if they get 12 or above on the Panic table.
  2. Critical Injury
  3. Attacked by an Alien
  4. See something horrific and Lovecraftian in general
Crocodile_Alien.jpg

Pushing:
The pushing mechanic is meant to reflect your character going the extra mile and really exerting themselves to get something done. This is done after your first roll attempt in a skill check.

Again it's a pretty easy system. First you up your Stress score by 1 due to the stress of exerting yourself so much. This will make your dice pool 1 larger. Then you hold/keep successes from the first roll and reroll all the dice that didn't have a success as well as your new die from the Stress increase.

So say Dinah does a comms check with a dice pool of size four and gets: 3, 4, 6, 2
If she pushes the roll then she takes the three dice that didn't have a 6 and also takes her new Stress die and rolls them to get 5, 6, 2, 3. Together with the single success from the first roll this gives two successes.

Again a common mistake people have made online is just rerolling the dice that didn't have a success and forgetting to add the new die they get from the upped Stress.

You also cannot Push a roll if you panicked on the first attempt.

Note here how players are choosing to gain Stress by pushing themselves. The character who stays calm and takes it easy is less focused and determined and so will fail more often, but they are less likely to panic.

Source of Stress:

Pushing is the main source of Stress, but there are a few others.
  1. Firing an autofire burst
  2. Receiving damage
  3. Going without sleep, food or water
  4. Killing a defenseless human being. A bit more on this in the combat section.
  5. Being present when a scientist fails when analysing something, e.g. "I've served all over the Frontier and I don't know what the hell this thing is".
Final thing to note is that Stress and Panic showcase the general "asymmetry" in the rules. NPCs don't have Stress scores and they only Panic as determined by the GM. You'll see something similar when we get to the Aliens where they aren't modelled by the Combat system in the same way as PCs and human NPCs where they bypass/ignore sections of the combat rules.

Summing up:
Quick summary of the last two posts.
  1. Skill checks are ATTRIBUTE + SKILL + STRESS.
  2. You need one success when unopposed. Beat opponent's success count when opposed.
  3. Extra successes can be spent for additional benefits such as more damage, completing the action quicker, never having do to a check for that situation again and so on.
  4. A 1 coming up on a Stress die triggers a Panic
  5. Roll D6 + Stress and check the Panic table if so
  6. You can Push, upping your Stress, and reroll the dice without successes together with the new Stress die.
  7. You can't Push if you Panicked.
  8. Don't call for rolls too much. With the Stress system it will in general cause silly results
These rules are essentially the core of what a player needs to know for this game.
 

Majestic

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Greatly enjoying this!

I've run the game twice, and it's nice to see I appear to have been doing everything correctly.

Your recap of the various corporations and groups was really helpful. I'm familiar with the setting from all of the movies, but I haven't dived into the ancillary products, and I'd skipped over this portion from the rules, so having a summary was most helpful.

Thanks for doing this, and hopefully it will cause a few more people to check out this great game!
 

Fenris-77

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I really like the FL engine. Theyve managed to do a lot of different things with it in different games. They've been excellent at adding in that one mechanic or twist to make a particular game really sing. Injust finished an Alien movie marathon, so I'll be following this thread with interest (plus it goves me a reason to read my copy of the rules).
 

Séadna

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Minor addition. For dice pools of size 7 or less Pushing increases the odds of success by ~20%. Once you have a dice pool of size 8 or beyond it begins to give less of an improvement (you already have very good success odds at this point anyway).

This more for GM interest. Players choose to push after their first roll so it's not like they have to weigh these things.
 

Fenris-77

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It say its pretty important. Players should know the odds on the basic mechanics when making decisions.
 

Fenris-77

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Yeah, they should. The PCs wouldn't have any info on percentage chances of anything, thats all meta. The radomization in a rules set is there to approximate success and failure, and knowing the odds is, IMO, the best approximation of what the chatacter would intutively know about the same situation.

For example, a player in Alien doesnt have any idea about the approximate chances of performing a comms check. The character would, if they had comms skills, and the odds on the dice are where those two ideas come together. Obviously there are instances where the character wouldn't know, but in those cases it would make sense to use a push mechanic based on thenimpirtance of the outcome, which for me is still in line with the narrative concerns of the game. Thats my two cents anyway.
 

Séadna

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Talents:
These are basically what other systems would call Feats or Edges.

There are thirty one generic ones and then each career has three specific to it. Some give bonuses to rolls, others reduce the consequences of some of the Spot rules and a small few (mostly the career ones) reflect special skills.

Examples are (not quoting those that use rules not mentioned yet):
  1. Fly Weight: Block using agility not strength
  2. Hothead: +2 to oppose Manipulation rolls since you don't like being told what to do
  3. Merciless: Kill a defenseless person without an EMPATHY check
  4. Zero-G training: +2 to Mobility when in Zero-G.
  5. Analysis: Allows Observation rolls to determine facts about alien artifacts or creatures. This is a Scientist career specific Talent. I also include it because it's special in that failing such a roll causes Stress to those present.
  6. Overkill: You can choose for Panic rolls of 11 or above that rather than having their normal result you instead do nothing but fight until all enemies in sight are dead. Marine specific
Anyway that's all there really is to say about these. Starting characters have only one talent drawn from their career list of three. So it's a very simple choice when rolling up a new person.
 

Séadna

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It say its pretty important. Players should know the odds on the basic mechanics when making decisions.
Sorry I should have been clearer. I meant that the relative difference in success chance between a normal or pushed roll is not something that needs to be weighed by a player since they don't choose between them in advance.
 

Fenris-77

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Ah, that makes perfect sense then. Carry on sir.
 

Majestic

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It's nice that the rules give you a chart of the different chances of success, depending on how many dice.
 

Séadna

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Character Generation:
Okay so next up is making a character. Again this is fairly simple. The steps will be:
  1. Pick a Career
  2. Distribute points to Attributes (This stage determines your health)
  3. Distribute points to Skills
  4. Pick a talent
  5. Pick starting Gear
Before going into the Careers I'll go through Attributes, Skills and Talents.

I should note here that all of the rules below and when I cover the Combat and Stealth systems I will be assuming human characters. Androids have a different character generation procedure and very different rules over all. I've had one game where we tested out being an android and it's not even remotely the same experience. No surprise because in a game centred around tension, fear, body horror, stress and threat of being brutally wounded you're playing an entity without any fear, are incapable of stress, don't feel pain the same way and so on.

In my opinion it makes sense that they were included to "complete" the setting, but even the book points out that in-setting they are rare and that it's worth thinking about with your group if you actually want them. Since they operate outside all the normal mechanics of Stress, Panic, Pushing and more and complicate the char gen rules I'm leaving them out to keep things useful and snappy. Later after all the rules are given I will have an Androids post.

Basic Stats and Talents:
So for your Attributes you get 14 points to spend among the four Attributes of: STRENGTH, AGILITY, WITS, EMPATHY.
Each Career has a "Key Attribute" for which you can start with a value between 2-5, all other attributes start with a value between 2-4.
Note: An attribute cannot start at 1, so every roll in the game as at least two dice by default so chance of success is at least 31%. It's rare that situational modifiers would push a roll down to 1 die.

Health is equal to your STRENGTH score, but Talents might modify this.

For Skills you get 10 points. Each career has three Career skills that can start with scores 0-3. Skills outside your career can start 0-1.

Finally you pick one talent from the list of three offered for your career.

Careers:
There are nine careers in the core. I have their Key Attribute follows by the three Career Skills.

  1. Colonial Marine (STRENGTH, Close Combat, Stamina, Ranged Combat)
  2. Colonial Marshall (WITS, Observation, Ranged Combat, Manipulation)
  3. Company Agent (WITS, Comtech, Observation, Manipulation)
  4. Kid (AGILITY, Mobility, Survival, Observation)
  5. Medic (EMPATHY, Mobility, Observation, Medical Aid)
  6. Officer (EMPATHY, Ranged Combat, Command, Manipulation)
  7. Pilot (AGILITY, Mobility, Ranged Combat, Comtech)
  8. Roughneck (STRENGTH, Heavy Machinery, Stamina, Close Combat)
  9. Scientist (WITS, Observation, Survival, Comtech)
I just want to note the skills found in only one career. Of course other characters can start with them, but only with a score of 1:
Survival: Kid
Command: Officer
Heavy Machinery: Roughneck
Medical Aid: Medic

I think most of these are fairly clear. A Roughneck is essentially a dock or shipyard worker. Either on space stations or planet side ports. Also involved in constructing colonies. Officer is what Ripley from the films was, i.e. the white collar/management on commercial starships.

Aliens-Ripley-vs-the-Queen-Xenomorph.jpg

Careers also come with a list of suggested Appearances and Signature items for fleshing out your character. An example signature item for the Officer Career is "Ship's Cat" and an example suggested appearance for the same Career is "Stiff Body Posture".

Note: Pilot had a typo in the first printing and listed Mobility instead of Piloting.

Gear:
Each Career comes with randomly determined starting cash. In addition to this you get four sets of binary choices. Pick two sets and make the choice within them. Here's an example from the Officer Career (I've removed setting specific names for things):
$2D6 x 100 in Cash
  1. Service Pistol or Rexim Pistol
  2. Watch or Binoculars
  3. Motion Tracker or Compression suit
  4. Data pad or transponder
So I might choose lines 2 and 3 and then within them Binoculars and Compression Suit.

Now you're ready to play Alien!

Aliens_rnot_Smart.jpg

Summing up:
  1. Pick your Career.
  2. 14 points into Attributes. 2-5 starting score for Key Attribute, 2-4 for others
  3. 10 points into Skills. 0-3 for Career Skills. 0-1 for others
  4. Roll Cash and pick your two starting items.
This a very fast process in my experience. Example character:

Career: Officer

Attributes:
STRENGTH 4
AGILITY 3
WITS 3
EMPATHY 4

Skills:
Stamina 1, Ranged Combat 2, Command 2, Manipulation 3, Medical Aid 1, Piloting 1

Cash:
$600

Gear:
Binoculars
Compression Suit
 
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Skywalker

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TristramEvans

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Things on this movie has changed so much over the years, I wouldn't count on anything until its released :smile: For all of the sins of Prometheus and Covenant, I hope they try and close the loop on it as a prequel trilogy.


I may be in the distinct minority, but I enjoyed both of those films immensely.
 

Chaotic Wooster

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Prometheus, especially, gets a lot of hate it doesn't deserve. Damon Lindelof's 'novel' approach to storytelling means that fan edits are better than the cinematic cut.

Both movies are beautiful. Scott's eye for visual storytelling remains as strong as ever. Sadly, neither script was as strong as it needed to be. Most people wanted another Aliens action movie. Scott wanted to explore the Engineers and A.I.
 

Endless Flight

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This might shock some people, but I've never seen any of the films, even the first one. I was very much anti-horror as a kid and I've only slightly loosened up as I've gotten older. My eyes have never laid on many classic horror movies, especially from the 70s and 80s. I've never watched any of the Friday the 13th movies, none of the Freddy movies, no Poltergeist movies and there are some others I'm leaving out, I'm sure.
 

Skywalker

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Aliens is a science fiction action movie much more than a horror movie. You would be doing yourself a favour to watch it if you avoided it as a horror movie.

In fact, Alien is a science fiction masterpiece, even though it also clearly is also a horror movie. If you have love of science fiction, you may want to brave it too.
 

Endless Flight

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Aliens is a science fiction action movie much more than a horror movie. You would be doing yourself a favour to watch it if you avoided it as a horror movie.

In fact, Alien is a science fiction masterpiece, even though it also clearly is also a horror movie. If you have love of science fiction, you may want to brave it too.

Not really. I’ve not seen many science fiction classics either. For instance, I’ve never watched 2001, most of the Star Trek films or Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

As I mentioned in the Now Reading thread, I just started reading Dune, hoping it’s more fantasy than fiction.
 

Fenris-77

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The last one is worth watching anyway. 2001, meh, and I'm the wrong guy to ask about Star Trek. I figure so long as you've seen the Wrath of Khan you're good there.
 

Endless Flight

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The last one is worth watching anyway. 2001, meh, and I'm the wrong guy to ask about Star Trek. I figure so long as you've seen the Wrath of Khan you're good there.

I just re-watched Khan recently. Very enjoyable. I also like Generations, although I’m aware it gets shit on by many Trekkies.
 

Fenris-77

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I enjoyed the shit out of generations. Trekkies can hold my beer.
 

Endless Flight

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I like the interplay between Kirk and Picard. I loved when he matter-of-factly said “I was saving the galaxy while your grandfather was in diapers.” The plot is just OK. I don’t really like the Next Gen crew.
 

Voros

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This might shock some people, but I've never seen any of the films, even the first one. I was very much anti-horror as a kid and I've only slightly loosened up as I've gotten older. My eyes have never laid on many classic horror movies, especially from the 70s and 80s. I've never watched any of the Friday the 13th movies, none of the Freddy movies, no Poltergeist movies and there are some others I'm leaving out, I'm sure.

While fun I'm not sure I'd call any of the Friday the 13th movies classic, ditto anything after the first Nightmare on Elm Street (although the later meta-Nightmare is good).

Not really. I’ve not seen many science fiction classics either. For instance, I’ve never watched 2001, most of the Star Trek films or Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

As I mentioned in the Now Reading thread, I just started reading Dune, hoping it’s more fantasy than fiction.

Close Encounters is the best early Spielberg film, easily still one of his best films.
 

TristramEvans

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This might shock some people, but I've never seen any of the films, even the first one. I was very much anti-horror as a kid and I've only slightly loosened up as I've gotten older. My eyes have never laid on many classic horror movies, especially from the 70s and 80s. I've never watched any of the Friday the 13th movies, none of the Freddy movies, no Poltergeist movies and there are some others I'm leaving out, I'm sure.


The Alien films definitely occupy a different space (no pun intended) than the Freddy or Friday slashers of the 80s. It's hard scifi mixed with horrific elements - they are intense films, but, especially with the prequels, they are more about exploring essential philosophical questions than ...well, punishing teenagers for being teenagers.


I’ve not seen many science fiction classics either. For instance, I’ve never watched 2001, most of the Star Trek films or Close Encounters of the Third Kind.


I could take or leave Close Encounters - I've never been a Spielsberg fan in general, don't care for Jaws, hated his War of the Worlds, thought Hook was an absolute mess, and was thoroughly underwhelmed by ET. But 2001, OTOH, is seriously one of the best films ever made.
 

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I wouldn't recommend to anyone who skipped them in the 80s bothering with The Nightare on Elm Street films (and I say that as a HUGE fan of them), or the Friday the 13th films (which were always just lowbrow etsy's of John Carpenter's Halloween), or Poltergeist.

But I would say, as far as horror films everyone should see at least once before they die, The Shining, The Thing, and the original Alien are just genuinelly brilliant films that transcend being assigned to any genre.
 

Nobby-W

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I like the interplay between Kirk and Picard. I loved when he matter-of-fairly said “I was saving the galaxy while your grandfather was in diapers.” The plot is just OK. I don’t really like the Next Gen crew.
If you haven't seen them, try googling for some of Marina Sirtis's con videos. They're hysterical. Marina Sirtis is so much better in person than as Deanna Troi. She was criminally underutilised on TNG.

 

Torque2100

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YES! I love this system!

While I'm usually not much of a fan of the new-school Storygame type RPGs, this is one that I really like. I feel like the rules of an RPG need to be set up in such a way that they re-enforce the genre conventions of the story you are trying to tell.

Alien does this excellently.

I also quite like the fear mechanic: Stress and Panic. The fact that stress can cause your character to become more focused at the cost of risking panic feels a lot more organic than the CoC derived Sanity meters many other games use.

I was working on a hack to use this system for running games in the SCP Foundation verse, but I didn't get very far. Just some preliminary notes.
 
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