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sathyr
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 08:36

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Mon 09 Dec 2019, 21:38

As for your alien stages, the dog Xenomorph from Alien 3 is just a variation of the drone, it just happens to have come from a different host so looks and behaves a bit differently.
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But if this is so, where does the game's "Stage IV SCOUT Xenomorph" come from?
I this is not the same as the "dog alien" from Alien3, then where in the source material do we see one of these?
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You're correct, the Scout is written to be the Runner from Alien 3. The Sentry is written to be the Adult/Mature form of the Runner/Scout in the same way the Warrior/Soldier is the mature form of the Drone. The dog alien in Alien 3 dies before it reaches this stage, but the book takes a liberty in introducing an advanced stage. It then further establishes that the Charger/Crusher (from Aliens: Colonial Marines) is the Praetorian evolution of the Runner/Scout/Sentry.
 
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aramis
Posts: 314
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Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 00:26

The cancer model actually is what you describe. Describing it as a cancer is more of a layman's description of it. It's described pretty closely to what you talk about. It also injects stuff that weakens the bone structure to make breaking through the rib cage easier which I like.
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Seems to be a question of semantics, then ... in my mind, "cancerous" implies a cellular reproduction system that has run amuck. The way I see it, it would be difficult for that kind of stampeding mitosis to follow any kind of template, or result in anything like a deliberate structure.
But if we're talking about that the Facehugger implants more or less an Alien "tumour" that starts to metabolise the tissues it finds itself surrounded by for its own exponential growth, then yes, it's not all that far from what I'm talking about.
Most cancers grow more slowly than children do in utero... 
—————————————————————————
Smith & Wesson: the original point and click interface...
 
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Vader
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri 15 Nov 2019, 14:11
Location: The Frozen North

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 00:45

The cancer model actually is what you describe. Describing it as a cancer is more of a layman's description of it. It's described pretty closely to what you talk about. It also injects stuff that weakens the bone structure to make breaking through the rib cage easier which I like.
.
Seems to be a question of semantics, then ... in my mind, "cancerous" implies a cellular reproduction system that has run amuck. The way I see it, it would be difficult for that kind of stampeding mitosis to follow any kind of template, or result in anything like a deliberate structure.
But if we're talking about that the Facehugger implants more or less an Alien "tumour" that starts to metabolise the tissues it finds itself surrounded by for its own exponential growth, then yes, it's not all that far from what I'm talking about.
Most cancers grow more slowly than children do in utero... 
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Specific growth rates notwithstanding, it still entails the mitosis running haywire — by definition, a cancer cell’s reproduction follows no genetic “blueprint” to govern where the process is headed, but just stampedes out of control.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
Riggswolfe
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed 07 Dec 2016, 17:27

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 16:58

.
Seems to be a question of semantics, then ... in my mind, "cancerous" implies a cellular reproduction system that has run amuck. The way I see it, it would be difficult for that kind of stampeding mitosis to follow any kind of template, or result in anything like a deliberate structure.
But if we're talking about that the Facehugger implants more or less an Alien "tumour" that starts to metabolise the tissues it finds itself surrounded by for its own exponential growth, then yes, it's not all that far from what I'm talking about.
Most cancers grow more slowly than children do in utero...
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Specific growth rates notwithstanding, it still entails the mitosis running haywire — by definition, a cancer cell’s reproduction follows no genetic “blueprint” to govern where the process is headed, but just stampedes out of control.
I'm going to quote from Xenopedia which pulls information from the EU and movies. 
https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Chestburster
While the terms "impregnation" and "implantation" are liberally used to describe this process, they are not strictly accurate; studies by Lasalle Bionational and Weyland-Yutani have shown that no actual embryo is inserted into the host. Instead, the infant Xenomorph begins its life as a highly mutagenic fluid known as Plagiarus praepotens,[10] which is injected into the host organism's chest cavity by a Facehugger. This fluid brings about chemogenetic restructuring of the host's cells, essentially "building" the Chestburster from the host's own biological material at a cellular level.[11]

This complex process involves the absorption of organic material from the host, which is then broken down at a molecular level and rearranged into new compounds. Carbon units are disassociated and recombined into crystal lattices, which are used in the formation of the Xenomorph's hard body structures.[12] Freed H+ ions are combined with surplus sulphate (SO42-) and nitrate (NO3-) groups to form the basis of the creature's highly acidic blood.[12] As a side-effect of this unique process of development, Xenomorph genetic material is passed to the host as well as vice versa, and it is this trait that allowed the scientists aboard the USM Auriga to clone the Queen gestating inside of Ripley 8 as well as Ripley 8 herself.


The manner in which the Chestburster develops from the host's genetic material means that the host's characteristics will in turn dictate, to an extent, the Xenomorph's physical features — embryos are thought to copy 10-15% of the host's genetic code via the DNA reflex.[13] T
Part of why it is nearly impossible to remove a chestburster is because in the process of doing all this it grows tendrils throughout the host's system. 
 
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Vader
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri 15 Nov 2019, 14:11
Location: The Frozen North

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 18:28


Most cancers grow more slowly than children do in utero...
.
Specific growth rates notwithstanding, it still entails the mitosis running haywire — by definition, a cancer cell’s reproduction follows no genetic “blueprint” to govern where the process is headed, but just stampedes out of control.
I'm going to quote from Xenopedia which pulls information from the EU and movies. 
https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Chestburster
While the terms "impregnation" and "implantation" are liberally used to describe this process, they are not strictly accurate; studies by Lasalle Bionational and Weyland-Yutani have shown that no actual embryo is inserted into the host. Instead, the infant Xenomorph begins its life as a highly mutagenic fluid known as Plagiarus praepotens,[10] which is injected into the host organism's chest cavity by a Facehugger. This fluid brings about chemogenetic restructuring of the host's cells, essentially "building" the Chestburster from the host's own biological material at a cellular level.[11]

This complex process involves the absorption of organic material from the host, which is then broken down at a molecular level and rearranged into new compounds. Carbon units are disassociated and recombined into crystal lattices, which are used in the formation of the Xenomorph's hard body structures.[12] Freed H+ ions are combined with surplus sulphate (SO42-) and nitrate (NO3-) groups to form the basis of the creature's highly acidic blood.[12] As a side-effect of this unique process of development, Xenomorph genetic material is passed to the host as well as vice versa, and it is this trait that allowed the scientists aboard the USM Auriga to clone the Queen gestating inside of Ripley 8 as well as Ripley 8 herself.


The manner in which the Chestburster develops from the host's genetic material means that the host's characteristics will in turn dictate, to an extent, the Xenomorph's physical features — embryos are thought to copy 10-15% of the host's genetic code via the DNA reflex.[13] T
Part of why it is nearly impossible to remove a chestburster is because in the process of doing all this it grows tendrils throughout the host's system. 
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That is, indeed, the current “canon” in fandom, agreed — and as such, also one that many of our players will know in embarrassing detail.

However, as I said in my earlier post — the gist of my position isn’t adhering to that. I use a somewhat different interpretation (one that I happen to like better), as detailed earlier.

If someone would like to use it just to keep the players off balance, be my guest.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
Riggswolfe
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed 07 Dec 2016, 17:27

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 20:40

It is also how it is depicted in some of the novels. I haven't read all of them but one or two explicitly go into detail about that. It's not a fandom thing really. It's an EU thing. A novel that came out just a couple of months ago had this method of embryo implantation as a major plot point. So, if your players are fans of the novels and such you may want to clarify you're changing things so they know what to expect.
 
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Vader
Posts: 83
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Location: The Frozen North

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 22:13

It’s as with me and SW, then — I utterly disregard EU there, as well.

But to my mind, the players in any way knowing what to expect slightly defeats the purpose in an ALIEN setting. But in this, it’s as always up to the individual GM how he or she wants to play it.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
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aramis
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri 14 Jun 2019, 20:34
Location: Oregon, USA
Contact:

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Tue 10 Dec 2019, 23:15

It’s as with me and SW, then — I utterly disregard EU there, as well. 
Snark mode: Thanks for the warning; I now know to ignore you on anything where canon matters.

Non-snark: the important element is that the director made it clear that it wasn't removable, and that the process is inherently fatal to the host. Whether one considers that embryonic, canceroid, or digestive damage is largely immaterial to play; it only matters which if you're doing the one thing the creator decided was impossible... removing it without killing the victim. Also, given the time  that the facehugger spends hooked on, the critter itself having acid blood, and being able to suffocate the victim if attacked... whether embryonic, canceroid, or digestive, the death of the host is ensured by the time the facehugger falls off.

All the official and semi-official sources imply it to be canceroid in process, but, fundamentally, the difference between a fœtus and a cancer is merely that the fœtus organizes and differentiates while the cancer does not. (Some forms of cancer still organize - and can be classed by that organized shape.)
—————————————————————————
Smith & Wesson: the original point and click interface...
 
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Vader
Posts: 83
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Location: The Frozen North

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Wed 11 Dec 2019, 16:14

It’s as with me and SW, then — I utterly disregard EU there, as well. 
Snark mode: Thanks for the warning; I now know to ignore you on anything where canon matters.
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I don't take that as snarky at all; it's a fair comment, as I do have my own approach to the subject matter, and it will not suit everybody, nor will I try to make it do so.
But you also raise another fair point: the demarcation lines between "canon", "EU", "apocrypha", and "fan base consensus".

From my POW, there is and can ever be only one truly canonical source: what we actually see in the movies. That's it. Period.
Even Alan Dean Foster's official movie novelisations depart too much from the movies to be considered canonical, at least to my mind.

And as for me personally -- and this is very much one of those "caveat emptor" points -- I draw the line at ALIENS. Everything after that movie -- Alien3, Resurrection, the Dark Horse ALIENS and AvP comics, the Leading Edge RPG, any and all video games, etc -- I completely ignore. Those ... "prequel" ... abominations I will not even mention by name.

So, in my "world view" of the Alien universe -- my personal Canon, as it were -- I try to consolidate and rationalise what we see in ALIEN and ALIENS (extended versions), and that's it.

I do want to at least try to adhere pretty strictly to what these two movies show us. This being the reason e.g. for why I get nonplussed by Fria Ligan not referencing the VP70 -- which obviously is the USCMC standard sidearm in the movie -- but instead inventing their own early-1900's-style gun for the purpose; or -- as you saw in my Nostromo thread -- why I try to draft deck plans that, as opposed to the set drawings used in e.g. Chariot of the Gods, at least somehow actually match what happens in the movie.
Which also, just as an example, underscores one of my departure points: I believe the "A-Deck" set drawing has been widely accepted into the currently established canon as "the" deck plan for the Nostromo. Myself however, I cannot accept it as such, as it is in direct conflict with what we actually see in the movie: the way the movie is shot on that set, and subsequently edited, makes it impossible to track characters in any way that makes sense. Plus, the majority of the spaces seen in the movie aren't even part of it!

So yes -- where adhering to "established Canon" is important to you -- even where this contradicts what we see on-screen -- then absolutely, you are quite right to ignore anything I say.
And if the Alien3 and subsequent movies, and/or EU material, or what has been established in the fan base, is important to you -- then again, you are quite right to ignore anything I say.

My point being this: as far as the demarcation lines between "canon", "EU", "apocrypha", and "fan base consensus" go, the sum total of material available is indubitably vast, as well as riddled with internal inconsistencies. As it is hardly possible to consolidate everything into a single, cohesive whole, each and every one of us must instead make up our own minds of what we choose to incorporate into our "own" visions of the Alien universe. Consciously or unconsciously, I believe all of us do it.
I try to be clear about my position, so that everyone reading it is able to understand how what I'm saying may or may not fit into their own vision, as well as the futility of raising objections based on material that I have explicitly chosen to exclude.
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Non-snark: the important element is that the director made it clear that it wasn't removable, and that the process is inherently fatal to the host. Whether one considers that embryonic, canceroid, or digestive damage is largely immaterial to play; it only matters which if you're doing the one thing the creator decided was impossible... removing it without killing the victim. Also, given the time  that the facehugger spends hooked on, the critter itself having acid blood, and being able to suffocate the victim if attacked... whether embryonic, canceroid, or digestive, the death of the host is ensured by the time the facehugger falls off.

All the official and semi-official sources imply it to be canceroid in process, but, fundamentally, the difference between a fœtus and a cancer is merely that the fœtus organizes and differentiates while the cancer does not. (Some forms of cancer still organize - and can be classed by that organized shape.)
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Totally agree.

I'd add that the fundamental difference between a foetus and a cancer, in my mind, is the end result. Cancers are just an uncontrolled growth of cells with damaged reproductive systems. By definition, they do not grow "into" anything. By contrast, a foetus grows according to a strict, genetically coded blueprint, the embryo forming into a foetus; stem cells differentiating into a vast array of different tissue cells that form organs, all arranged into a very specific order, ultimately resulting in an independent organism.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
Riggswolfe
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed 07 Dec 2016, 17:27

Re: Trying to make sense of "Xenomorphs"

Wed 11 Dec 2019, 19:40

From my POW, there is and can ever be only one truly canonical source: what we actually see in the movies. That's it. Period.
Even Alan Dean Foster's official movie novelisations depart too much from the movies to be considered canonical, at least to my mind.

And as for me personally -- and this is very much one of those "caveat emptor" points -- I draw the line at ALIENS. Everything after that movie -- Alien3, Resurrection, the Dark Horse ALIENS and AvP comics, the Leading Edge RPG, any and all video games, etc -- I completely ignore. Those ... "prequel" ... abominations I will not even mention by name.

So, in my "world view" of the Alien universe -- my personal Canon, as it were -- I try to consolidate and rationalise what we see in ALIEN and ALIENS (extended versions), and that's it.

I do want to at least try to adhere pretty strictly to what these two movies show us. This being the reason e.g. for why I get nonplussed by Fria Ligan not referencing the VP70 -- which obviously is the USCMC standard sidearm in the movie -- but instead inventing their own early-1900's-style gun for the purpose; or -- as you saw in my Nostromo thread -- why I try to draft deck plans that, as opposed to the set drawings used in e.g. Chariot of the Gods, at least somehow actually match what happens in the movie.
Which also, just as an example, underscores one of my departure points: I believe the "A-Deck" set drawing has been widely accepted into the currently established canon as "the" deck plan for the Nostromo. Myself however, I cannot accept it as such, as it is in direct conflict with what we actually see in the movie: the way the movie is shot on that set, and subsequently edited, makes it impossible to track characters in any way that makes sense. Plus, the majority of the spaces seen in the movie aren't even part of it!
If you plan to GM you might want to make that clear to your players. I dislike Alien 3 as a movie for example, but I reluctantly acknowledge that it is canon even if it is a super cruel movie. On a side note: You ought to try Alien: Isolation. It's an amazing game and nothing in it contradicts anything seen in those first two movies. It's also the source of some of the tools and such in the RPG like the bolt gun and the wrench. (I forget the in-universe name.) Its design elements are lifted straight from the first movie, down to some rooms having those little dipping birds sitting on tables.

About the Nostromo deck plans. Chariot of the Gods only shows the A deck. The recently released blueprints book which I highly recommend shows the other decks and I was very pleased with it. You can sort of run your finger over it and go "This is where Brett was taken, this is probably the hallway where Ripley saw the alien when she tried to get to the escape shuttle.." etc. The A deck in that book is identical to Chariot of the Gods I think but you see the other decks and how it all fits together. 
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