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Thread: Alien the RPG?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Alien the RPG?

    Anyone played this? A beautiful book, lots of good fluff and good for just general knowledge of the franchise. Trying to wrap my mind around running a campaign in this universe. A one shot is easy. Has anyone here actually played a decent campaign of any length especially as the marines(or something similar like corporate security forces).

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien the RPG?

    Tonight will be our 3rd session. A mixed bag of a Corp. exec. who is more interested in science, a hippy pilot, a technical specialist and a newly promoted (and very uncomfortable ) 2nd Lieutenant

    G.M. has informed us every time we quote one of the movies we add an alien to a certain scenario he has in mind. We think he's bluffing but................
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Alien the RPG?

    Does it flow pretty smooth? With only a couple stats, a couple skills and some guns it looks like it would be pretty smoothly run.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien the RPG?

    Our GM is very much rules light in his approach (i.e.) Only use them when you have to. But its run smoothly so far. I mean apart from us losing a Weyland-Yutani refinery
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Alien the RPG?

    It wasn't the Aliens RPG, but I ran a heavily Alien-inspired GURPS short-campaign. It ran over two parts and in total lasted about 10 sessions (I think it was a 2/8 split, maybe 3/7, of sessions between the first and second parts). It was mostly designed as an "intro to GURPS", but there's no reason I couldn't have put more time into it and lengthened it into a full blown or even open-ended campaign. The first part of the campaign had the players take on the role of pre-gen civilian characters that get torn apart by the inevitable aliens. Second part had the players design their own Marine and get dropped onto the abandoned settlement their pre-gens got slaughtered in, followed by the ensuing investigation and escape. Sound familiar? It remains one of the most successful and enjoyable campaigns I ever ran and it turned out to be an excellent model for introducing new players to a system (even one as crunchy as GURPS).

    The "prelude" civilian section of the campaign served to tutorial-mode the players through the basics; how the dice mechanics work, what the tone of the setting is like, etc. It also gives the players that "audience metaknowledge" factor going into the "sequel"; the players know the situation without you having to make them guess at some things that they might otherwise miss (which, if you've ever GM'd, you'll know that players miss those cue's all the time). They also know the aliens are deadly and they know how fragile their characters can be...they experienced it. This can be a really useful tool to set up the horror factor of playing someone competent (like a marine) and still getting your butt handed to you! If you set it up right, you didn't reveal too much in the prelude, so there can still be some shock-factor when you have a "big reveal". You also still have the opportunity to make changes to the location, etc. to represent the time between the first and second parts, so the players won't know everything.

    I don't know how the Alien RPG runs, not having read it myself, but I imagine this intro-campaign model would still work. Fans of the franchise will feel like they're in familiar territory (they're basically getting to play the colonists that we don't see from Aliens, as well as the marines that we do) and get to act out their theories from their franchise knowledge, whilst those new to the setting get to experience the horror first hand!

    Moving forward into a more lengthy campaign, it's important to remember that the Xenomorphs are not the bad-guy (depending on what kind of character you're playing, of course...). Like the ever-present zombies in their particular genre, the Xenos are just the backdrop upon which the real story is told. They're the threat that drives the narrative into interesting and complicated places and creates conflict, but they are not the true source of the conflict; just the catalyst. For example; the survivor vs. the company man vs. the marine...the Xenos are there to expose their flaws and highlight their virtues and create the narrative about how they interact, not how they respond to the Xenos themselves. Because being faced with death-on-legs is pretty much a given; "fight or flight" isn't an interesting story, but "the company man that feeds the survivor to the Xenos to get his big pay-off, but then the marine saves the girl and decks the douche-bag because he's basically a decent human being who wants them all to get out alive"...well, that's a more interesting story.

    Involve the machinations of the corporations; you can even get the players involved in the politics between different companies, perhaps selling their services to the highest bidder or being paid to infiltrate and sabotage. Give the players secret agendas or hidden motives. Hell, make them not-so-secret if you want (ordering a marine to capture one alive, for example, can create conflict just as, if not more easily than giving a civilian a secret order to arrange something similar). Encourage the players to build friendships and rivalries with other characters (including other player characters), have NPCs do the same and play the players off against each other. This is "GM-ing 101", I know, but I think it's really important to stress this kind of stuff for a "franchise forward" game like Alien, because it would be to easy to focus in too hard on "Hell yeah! Let's shoot some Xenos!", forgetting that isn't at all what made the franchise great.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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