Eviscerae
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu 20 Jun 2019, 16:17

Help me brainstorm Ideas for exploring a xenomorph hive world

Mon 02 Dec 2019, 22:29

Ever since I read about G-435 (page 280 in the rulebook) I've been fascinated on ways to get players there organically and in a way that would allow them to explore the hive structures and Zeno-sociology of such a place.

I was hoping to get a few ideas that I could run with from you all.

So far, I've come up with things like:
-- One-off Cinematic of Marines landing on planet, and having a starship troopers type encounter.
-- Enable some sort of observation from afar (orbit?)
-- maybe a pheromone that makes players invisible to xenomorphs?

A lot of focus on my campaign is on letting the players decide what's right and what's wrong in this universe with an emphasis on turning against the corporations.
I think a nice "how - it's - made" episode on a xenomorph hive world would work nicely in some of these designs.

Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Anaxander
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri 22 Nov 2019, 20:34

Re: Help me brainstorm Ideas for exploring a xenomorph hive world

Mon 02 Dec 2019, 23:52

You could take a page from Starship Troopers (the novel). 

We have the technology to nuke them from orbit, but there has to be some hook to require us to send in troops. For Starship troopers, it was to liberate our POWs and force the queen to surrender. So...that makes me think of these two hooks:

OPERATION RHINO: Hives could be hardened, underground, requiring the USCMC to assault or infiltrate with a nuke to detonate underground. 

or

OPERATION BIG SIX: Maybe its a planetary assault, with most the planet being saturation nuked, except for one hive that we want captured intact. Maybe we found a way to communicate with the queen of that hive (though an AI intermediary) and we are going to force her surrender. 

Sounds cool to me. Massive USCMC operations. 
 
Eviscerae
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu 20 Jun 2019, 16:17

Re: Help me brainstorm Ideas for exploring a xenomorph hive world

Tue 03 Dec 2019, 01:38

Thank you so much for your reply!

This is exactly what I'm looking for.

I can drop hints of the location, have the PCs encounter reconnaissance reports detailing parts of the hierarchy, and culminate the campaign arc with a full on assault on the hive world much like you describe.

This fits perfectly with the themes I have with the humans making peace with their Gods (engineers), as well as letting their children (synthetics) free. There's a lot of themes of Motherhood, Religion, and looking back on what we've done in the past.

What better culmination than to "Avengers: End Game" with Engineers, humans, and a new race of synthetics taking out a hive world in grand fashion...

Thanks again for the reply! It certainly helped dislodge my writers block.
 
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Anaxander
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri 22 Nov 2019, 20:34

Re: Help me brainstorm Ideas for exploring a xenomorph hive world

Tue 03 Dec 2019, 02:07

Glad to be of help! Your idea sounds cool. Love to see it in action. I'm really liking the idea of our esoteric AI tech communicating with the Aliens. Just how David (made in our likeness) communicated with the Engineers (of which we are in their likeness), the AI (esoteric and alien) could communicate with the Alien (which is ALIEN). And it would be in a way that we could not even understand. Adding to horror, I wouldn't even tell the players what they were saying to each other. Just that they were. 
 
Bengt Petter
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Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Re: Help me brainstorm Ideas for exploring a xenomorph hive world

Wed 04 Dec 2019, 08:32

I would also consider how the xenomorphs might have affected the planet itself, maybe creating entire ”cities” of nests. I imagine something looking like giant termite mounds (have a look at this ”cathedral”: https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Cat ... wbooks.jpg). There might also be some kind if fast evolution going on. I would assume that the creatures could become a lot smarter, creating and even building things never seen before. Maybe a fast growing biomechanical ”antenna tower” of some form, perhaps for long distance telepathy? I can also see their ”nest cities” growing organic and take new forms: glowing, strange ”polluting”, giving birth to derilicts and maybe even some form of bizarre eyeless humans, coming out of eggs... The xenomorphs might be able to create an entire - and fast developing - biomechanical ecosystem with living things and beings. It’s life in a way and a scale that people from Earth haven’t seen before...

Finally, since the xenomorphs are developing, they may offer something to humans. Probably they understand that they might be attacked. I also imagine that they could threat mankind by developing new weapons, that could be fired towards Earth. Maybe some kind of biomechanical ”seed missiles” full of nasty organisms? That could be the reason why the planet hasn’t been nuked yet. The negotiation with an entire collective of queens is probably really bizarre, aggresive and unpredictable. Maybe they are able to ”fire” entire ”nest cathedrals” against Earth? Or contacting even more powerful allies somewhere far away?

So what we have seen in the movies is just a very ”humble” beginning... The xenomorphs are truly nasty beings with a potential unknown to mankind. If you think the become too dangerous, just make them start a civil war and/or suffer from some kind of powerful virus.
 
YellowSign
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 12 Dec 2019, 15:38

Re: Help me brainstorm Ideas for exploring a xenomorph hive world

Sat 14 Dec 2019, 03:37

You could have them sent or find it and get given missions that they should be able to do without too much personal risk. Start the requests small and give them a feeling that they're in control, and not doing anything too risky or ethically dubious. They're OBSERVING the hive, not collecting samples! It's a research mission, they're totally not there to collect samples for bio weapons!

And then slowly escalate.

Weyland Yutani (or whoever their benevolent corporate overlord happens to be) asks them to survey the planet and the aliens behavior.

Long range scans and fly bys are good enough at first. Drones or androids sent down to survey can get quite a bit of information, though some may end up lost to an angry xeno.

You can do your best nature documentary stuff here, showing off the Alien hive world without giving them crap loads of stress in the process. They can learn and explore without too much risk.

Then they're asked to get a sample of the nest material. That's not so bad. They have time to prepare, and if they're smart they can get away without an encounter, or maybe just a scout or two.

But the xeno here look bigger. Better catch a live one so we can study why.

Now we'd really like to see inside the hive. And get some jelly.

A massive queen, you say? We're sending a cargo ship and reinforcements. Capture it alive. All other considerations secondary...

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