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Old 01-06-2020, 04:24 PM   #1
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Aliens RPG

A holiday gift that came with the full kickstarter load of goodies. Hoping to run a modified version of the intro adventure it for my local group. Anyone else giving it a try?
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:39 PM   #2
Anthony
 
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Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Aliens RPG

I assume this isn't the Leading Edge version...
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:29 PM   #3
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Aliens RPG

Nope, Free League -- https://www.alien-rpg.com/
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Aliens RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
A holiday gift that came with the full kickstarter load of goodies. Hoping to run a modified version of the intro adventure it for my local group. Anyone else giving it a try?
Ran the preview version of Chariot of the Gods when it first dropped to backers, had a good time.

Am currently running two campaigns... both of which are doing well. I am enjoying the hell out of it, and the mission gen is working well for me.

There are some flaws -
  • A few rules unclear
  • Space is 2D
  • System & World generation
    • missing rules for and advice on placement of the generated bodies
    • Terrestrial planets sizes not a smooth nor logarithmic progression
    • Terrestrial planets hydrographics not a smooth scale.
    • No list of star types for the maps, but those are needed for system gen.
    • No index of stars on the map, let alone with precise distances
  • multiple issues in Space Trucker missions
    • Missions do not specify number of passengers nor size of cargo lot
    • multiple references to buying cargos (apparently for spec trade) but no base prices.

The inability to fire multiple weapon systems per turn is going to be a problem for some, but I find it a good gamist dodge. It allowed my players to successfully do a slingshot past a pirate ship... by damaging its thrusters.

Do keep in mind when reading/running, like old D&D (pre-3E), it has very specific meanings for round, turn, shift; unlike old D&D, they are ranges not fixed numbers. (Round: 5-10s, Turn: 5-10 min, Shift: 5-10 hours, Day, Week, and Year retain their customary values. Months are not used in the mechanics.)

Weeks are important for maintenance on ships; years for owed payments on lease-to-own contracts. (term of which isn't specified.)
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:39 PM   #5
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Aliens RPG

I've been underwhelmed with some of the setting material. It just doesn't feel well organized or thought out.

I know they're stuck with Prometheus and Covenant, but I'm less thrilled about working in the novels and comics.

On the other hand, I'm working on customizing the Hadley's Hope mission to whet my players' interest. (That could have been better -- as established in the Special Edition, Hadley's Hope is under 200 people -- the PCs should have ties, people who's fate they want to know about, or rescue. I know it was meant to be short, but it feels unsatisfying.

I'd also like to have seen some discussion about the GMing problem of player knowledge and trying to keep the Aliens, well, Alien rather than just another stat block from the monster manual.

How did CotG go? If the Hadley's Hope thing works out, I might do that one next as a second "pilot". If there's interest I'm pondering something with a feel of Expanse meets Alien by way of Firefly.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:23 PM   #6
Randyman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Default Re: Aliens RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
I've been underwhelmed with some of the setting material. It just doesn't feel well organized or thought out.

I know they're stuck with Prometheus and Covenant, but I'm less thrilled about working in the novels and comics.

On the other hand, I'm working on customizing the Hadley's Hope mission to whet my players' interest. (That could have been better -- as established in the Special Edition, Hadley's Hope is under 200 people -- the PCs should have ties, people who's fate they want to know about, or rescue. I know it was meant to be short, but it feels unsatisfying.

I'd also like to have seen some discussion about the GMing problem of player knowledge and trying to keep the Aliens, well, Alien rather than just another stat block from the monster manual.

How did CotG go? If the Hadley's Hope thing works out, I might do that one next as a second "pilot". If there's interest I'm pondering something with a feel of Expanse meets Alien by way of Firefly.
The issue of player knowledge is addressed well in the Aliens-inspired Hostile, by Zozer Games, particularly the Alien Breeds supplement. In short - change it up. Different lifecycle, different morphological forms at each lifecycle stage, etc. Chalk it up to a combination of different host species (remember the dog-alien from, umm, Alien3, I think?), mutagenic exposure (chemical/biological/radiation), and even corporate experimentation, and Bob's your uncle.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:20 PM   #7
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Aliens RPG

Messing with the life-cycle helps, but I'm not explaining it well.

I ran a couple of sessions of Nights Black Agents, a while back and a couple of the PCs commented that I should have unveiled the vampires sooner -- all the players knew that the mysterious attacker was a vampire of some kind, so let their characters in on it early. In Alien, the players know off the bat that Ripley is right, there are xenomorphs, and the Company is evil -- so how do you design adventures around that knowledge.

Do you start with the PCs being cued in in the opening adventure, then pull back? Do you make it PCs v. the xenomorphs, like CoC or NBA? How do you vary the Company so betrayal is interesting rather than expected?
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:08 PM   #8
Randyman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Default Re: Aliens RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
Messing with the life-cycle helps, but I'm not explaining it well.

I ran a couple of sessions of Nights Black Agents, a while back and a couple of the PCs commented that I should have unveiled the vampires sooner -- all the players knew that the mysterious attacker was a vampire of some kind, so let their characters in on it early. In Alien, the players know off the bat that Ripley is right, there are xenomorphs, and the Company is evil -- so how do you design adventures around that knowledge.

Do you start with the PCs being cued in in the opening adventure, then pull back? Do you make it PCs v. the xenomorphs, like CoC or NBA? How do you vary the Company so betrayal is interesting rather than expected?
So more the general problem of running a game in a known setting.

I see this as also related to running a horror game - you have to get player buy-in to the conceits of the genre and setting, and forget about surprising (scaring) the players themselves. Ken Hite's advice in GURPS Horror nails this perfectly.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:54 PM   #9
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Aliens RPG

Make the company a Predator front. They secretly control it from behind the scenes.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:02 PM   #10
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Aliens RPG

Quick thought -- in Alien, Ash talks about how valuable the xenomorph would be to the Company. In Aliens, Burke talks about its value to the bio-weapons division. Who is the Company (or its customers) fighting that they need that kind of killing power?

Heck, who do the Colonial Marines fight that a minor ship for them has the reported firepower of the dropships? (I'm not sure we're ever told what the Sulaco could have done other than nuke it from orbit). (I've also got issues with leaving no one in orbit, but I can excuse that on the theory that Burke put this together on a shoe-string.)
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