Katagena
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Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Sun 22 Mar 2020, 22:07

I GM my first game of Alien Rpg, in fact my first game ever (I was always just a player).


I choose to test the Hope's Last Day with some personals touches. I think I don't follow all the rules perfectly but the game was smooth and the serie of events crédibles. I am with 4 friends, and I control holroyd myself ( In addition of the will to save everyone (agenda) I had him a little disturbance, like ash in Alien 1 he had a big big admiration for the monster he discovers during the adventure, it's translated by sometimes losing his mind, contemplating the beast in combat before retrieving his mind and give a hand).
In fact that was so smooth we played 6 hours straight and nobody saw the hours.


After that I ve got two questions :


- I am not sure how synthetic reparation work. I see it's à comtech check but then what? It needs just one success to regain all health and repair all crit injuries ?


- Another question : when a xenomorph die... It isn't really die right we have to check the broken table. But so when does it die? The only chance to die is on 3 to 6? So that's mean virtually, with no luck a xenomorph can be immortal ?


At the moment I just "relieve" it one time and then make it die but it seems incorrect. 


Thanks in advance for your advise and answer and sorry for my english!
Ps: with the coronavirus we played on roll20 ( live on Twitch) and this make an incredible great job for alien Rpg if some has questions don't hesitate!
 
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JonHook
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Sun 22 Mar 2020, 23:46

Hi Katagena, 

This post is to answer your first question about synthetics. I'll research the answer to your second question in a minute. 

Page 111 says that after one Shift of work, (between 5 - 10 hours of work time), and a successful COMTECH skill roll, that a synthetic can recover all lost Health Points and all critical injuries, as long as that synthetic's critical injury did not result in a System Shutdown. It also notes that a synthetic can repair itself, which is kinda cool and kinda overpowered, in my opinion. Though, as a GM, I would adjudicate that while the Health of a synthetic can be fully restored, that there could be certain levels of damage that might require successful Stunts on the COMTECH roll to have those repaired too. 

Double check what the rulebook says about Synthetics on page 111. I think you'll find your answers to your questions there. 
- Jon Hook
Game Designer & Podcaster
 
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JonHook
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Mon 23 Mar 2020, 00:17

Hi Katagena, 

This post is to answer your second question, the one concerning the death of a xenomorph. 

Okay, so on pages 290 & 291 we see the rules on killing a xenomorph. First, the creature must have it's Health Points reduced to zero. Once a xeno has been reduced to zero health, the GM rolls on the Xenomorph Critical Injuries table on page 291. And yes, Katagena, as you noted in your post, the xeno does not die if the GM rolls a 1 or a 2. And if the GM rolls a 3, it's possible for the xeno to survive. So, in reality, you can only really be sure that you've killed a xeno on a roll of 4, 5, or 6 on the critical injury table. 

On one hand, I love that. That makes the monsters even more scary and that much harder to kill. I love it. 

On the other hand, I can see that some players could be frustrated by this, so I have a proposal that might help. If a xeno is taking multiple critical hits from characters, the GM could apply a +1 modifier for each additional critical hit roll. 

For example -- three marines are shooting at a charging xeno. The first marine shoots it, and reduces the xeno's health points down to a value of "2." The second marine shoots it, and this shot reduces the xeno's health to zero, so the GM rolls on the Xeno Critical Injury table and gets a result of a "2," it's "Wounded." Before the xeno can act, (because it had terrible initiative cards during this combat), the third marine shoots it successfully again. The xeno is already at zero health, so that means that the third marine's hit is resolved with another roll on the Xeno Critical Injury table. But now, instead of just hoping for a higher number, because the xeno has already had one previous roll on the Critical Injury table, the GM will apply a +1 modifier to this roll. So no, the GM rolls, and gets a result of a "3," but due to the modifier, the final result is a "4." Now the xeno's new critical injury is "Last Breath," since that is a worse result than the "Wounded" rolled for marine #2. 

I hope that helps. 
- Jon Hook
Game Designer & Podcaster
 
Katagena
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Mon 23 Mar 2020, 01:42

Wow, firstly thanks a LOT for the two greats answers :) it's really appreciate, especially for a beginner. 

For the synthetic :
REPAIRS: Androids don’t heal. Instead, a shift of work and a COMTECH roll is required
to repair all lost Health points and all critical injuries, as long as the android hasn't suffered a System Shutdown. They can repair themselves.
 I was not sure, i find this so powerful. I think i ll do it like you say : depending of the injuries i'll let synth repair himself or not and retrieve all HP or not

For the Xenomorph : 
I was not sure too, like you said i love the idea that the xeno is imprevisible even in death. But if the group of players is not lucky the xeno can theoriquely "revive" an unlimited number of time.
I think i will take your idea again adding +x ( x being the number of time the xeno already get down ) 
Thanks a lot for the ideas ! 

I will push my luck and profit you are here to ask another question : 


What if a xenomorph (facehugger or a bigger one) grapple a PC ? I saw that they have to challenge the grapple at the beginning with a close combat roll. What if they miss this ? Does his friends can help ? if yes what kind of roll ? same as the first : close combat vs a nb of dice ? 

My exemple :
A group of PC is ambushed by a facehugger. 
if a facehugger roll a 5 (face grapple p303) or even worse a 6 (the final embrace p303) in combat against a PC. The action work (the pc loose the opposed roll for face grapple or the attack get a success for final embrace). What is the option for the friends of the PC or the PC himself ? is it possible to shove it ? is it possible to let the xeno loose its grapple ( by doing damage for exemple ) ? 
 
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JonHook
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Mon 23 Mar 2020, 02:35

Hi Katagena, 

Great question. Sometimes, some of the specific attacks for the various xenomorphs can be a little bit confusing. I hope I can help. 

Let's take your example of a facehugger attacking a PC. In this example, let's say two PCs are trying to get to the end of a corridor in order to exit the building and run over to a shuttle waiting for them on the landing pad. The hallway looks clear, so they make a run for it. Suddenly, a facehugger hiding in a dark area in the ceiling drops down to attack one of the PCs! 

The GM rolls on the Facehugger Attacks table (page 303) and gets a result of a "5," Face Grapple! According to this result, the facehugger and the PC make opposed rolls. The GM rolls 6 Base Dice for the facehugger's attack, and the PC rolls his Base Dice and Stress Dice for his CLOSE COMBAT skill. For this example, let's say the PC, (a Company Agent character), has a Strength of 2, a Close Combat skill of 0, and 4 Stress... the PC will roll a total die pool of 6 dice, (2+0+4=6). But, the Marine character who is trying to get the Company Agent to safety is in the same area as the Company Agent. Because both PCs are in "engaged" range with each other, the GM says that it is logical that the Marine can help the Company Agent fight against the facehugger. Because the Marine PC wants to help the Company Agent PC fight the facehugger, the GM uses the "Help From Others" rule located on page 63. Basically, no roll is required by the Marine; all the Marine has to do is tell the GM that he wants to help the Company Agent, and because the Marine is only ONE PERSON helping the Company Agent, the Company Agent gains a +1 die to his CLOSE COMBAT die pool. So now the Company Agent has a grand total of 7 dice in their die pool against the facehugger. 

Now the GM and the Company Agent PC each roll their dice pools, and the person with the most successes wins this contest. If we return to the Facehugger Attack table, we see in the Face Grapple section that if the Company Agent wins, then the facehugger is thrown to the floor, but it's still alive, and will try to re-attack the Company Agent in the next combat round. If the facehugger wins, then the Company Agent suffers the Final Embrace attack on the Facehugger Attack table. 

Your extended question was, "Can the other PCs help a PC who has had the Final Embrace attack result from a facehugger?" And, the short answer is, "No." Once a PC has been successfully face-hugged by a facehugger xeno, then it's basically a death's sentence for that afflicted PC. The only saving grace is, what kind of good in the world can that PC do before a monster bursts forth from his chest? 

I hope that helps. 
- Jon Hook
Game Designer & Podcaster
 
Katagena
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Mon 23 Mar 2020, 17:34

Thanks a lot again for this great answer and the time you spent !

Ok again, i found this too powerful to be true. 
It means, if there is a stealth xeno in the zone a PC can be condemned or worse can die without a warning lol 

I find this really good for one shot scenario but it's a bit hard for a campaign no ? 
My group and i are DnD players, they use to be attached to their character ( We even purchase figurine on hero forge lol ) 
I am afraid it creates frustrations to loose character too easily like that.  The easiest way to deal with that will be to tell them that characters are expandables but i think they will be less invest by saying that. 
I think before the game i have to warn them about the fragility of human and more of the xeno threat.
 
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JonHook
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Mon 23 Mar 2020, 17:53

True. Encountering a xeno can be very very deadly. If you and your group begin a campaign of ALIEN, it is suggested that you begin your campaign focus on something more "human"... like maybe a rogue Company Agent trying to develop evil androids. Use evil androids as your campaign's first challenge, and then they continue as they build up their characters until the GM thinks they are ready for xenos. Though, I would assume that no matter how "strong" your character build themselves up to be, they will still lose any fight against a xeno. If nothing else, hopefully they'll have a cool memory of dying at the hands and jaws of a xeno!   :D
- Jon Hook
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Katagena
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Tue 24 Mar 2020, 16:15

We just finished the Hope's last day scenario, only two people survive : Janice and Hannah. Hannah (for her agenda) finally murdered Janice. 

Everyone after the game asked me to prepare another game, they really love the system, the story and the context. 

I think they well understand the deadly threat of a Xeno but i ll remind them in the beginning of the new game.  

I hesitate for the next game scenario between  Chariot of gods, or one of my idea : mercenaries in a kind of pirate space station organizing "xenomorph combats" (like dog combat).

I have to see first what create a scenario implies.
 
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JonHook
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Re: Question : Xenomorph death and Synthetic reparation

Tue 24 Mar 2020, 18:01

Awesome. Good luck, and have fun.
- Jon Hook
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