Bengt Petter
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Sun 26 Jan 2020, 11:26

Wait a second. I have created and written several published sandboxes for Mutant Year Zero. And YOU explain the concept to ME?! I was nice and I gave you a chance, but you didn’t take it.

Of course, I could explain things all over again (what the sandbox concept previously has been in the Year Zero line etc.). In the Alien RPG another concept has been used. A sandbox is there a more vague concept (only mentioned on the back of the cover). Several other than me has pointed out that the campaign concept in the basic rule set is kind of vague. I think the problem is that several core questions remain unanswered. What is a sandbox in this particular game (not in other games)? In what ways can the Alien mythos be used for creating campaigns? I know that there are a lot of creatures in the book, but that’s not a campaign concept. What does corporate power mean from a game point of view? Questions like that. I get that a creative GM could come up with great answers him or herself. But the game should, I think, be more supporting, offering better tools. If I should make a not very wild guess, the crew behind the game ran out of time or pages or both. And there will be supplements. When you create an RPG, it’s not allways obvious what should be included in the basic rule set. The making and editing of the actual pages might be a decisive factor.

I could explain this to you over and over, but I’m sure you would ignore it. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. In most or all European countries it’s still quite important to be polite, and respect the work of others. I don’t think you are able to understand that. Over and out.
 
Bengt Petter
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Sun 26 Jan 2020, 15:22

If you're having problems for ideas for adventures check out Dark Horse comics https://www.darkhorse.com/Search/aliens and check out some of the synopsis'.
This is probably more in line with the intention of the original post in this thread. I suggest we get back to that. The comic books are, just like the best novels and short stories, a good sorce for new campaign modes.

Another way of actually developing the campaign concept for Alien, could be to discuss other career paths than those mentioned in the basic rule set. I would probably go for criminal syndicates (a Hong Kong triad in space), bounty hunters, prisoners in a huge space based Gulag (corporate or a super size U. P. P. complex with thousands of prisoners involved in some kind of work), a group of corporate scientists in a secret lab facility like the Cold Forge.

I would also say that interesting locations - usually something bigger than a small spaceship - are cruisal for creating interesting campaigns. That’s probably also something that makes campaigns different from most cinematic scenarios: the locations can be a lot bigger and offer more complications than just a limited situation with some xenos and one or two crews (nothing wrong with that, small locations suits fast play well). I’ve already mentioned spacestations as possible campaign locations (I almost said sandboxes, but let’s not go there again...). But of course, you can be a lot more creative and add more unconventional locations - perhaps large ruins on the bottom of an ocean, a large android factory, a large corporate archive with xeno samples etc.
Last edited by Bengt Petter on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 23:10, edited 2 times in total.
 
Byrax
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri 08 Jan 2016, 10:42

Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Sun 26 Jan 2020, 22:41

I would like to see some of Bengt Peters ideas/adventures/sandboxes in an official ‘Alien zone compendium’.

I am awaiting more cinematic adventures before I start gaming. Wanna be able to choose.
 
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Diego
Posts: 263
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Mon 27 Jan 2020, 12:37

Well this escalated.

At least for an answer to the OP folks can see my post on the previous page which got lost in the 'discussion'
Alien: Wanderer
https://alienwanderer.obsidianportal.com/
Session 3 now up
 
Riggswolfe
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Mon 27 Jan 2020, 21:15

I thought I'd give an example of how I'm approaching things. My game starts this Saturday.

We decided on Space Truckers because I didn't want the game to be about nothing but shooting people and/or aliens and the players didn't want to be colonists. (Sidenote: Once we get the tools in a supplement I'd be colonist RP would be closest to the sandbox Bengt wants.)

I've asked my players to each come up with 1 NPC who they'd do anything for. It could be a relative, a friend, a lover. And one NPC who they hate for some reason and would do anything to thwart. Think of this as a much stronger version of a buddy/rival. These people are not on the ship but will hopefully be recurring characters I can drop into the game.

I told them our first session with be at Novgorod. They'll be picking up 2 NPCs to round out their ship's crew. I also pre-rolled 3 different cargo runs for them. I decided on my own that if the mission is listed as difficult it gets a plot complication.

Let me give an example of how the random tables result in a potential for an adventure that could lead to all kinds of cool places.

One of the adventures I rolled is in-system and it's a delivery to a starship. I rolled a late departure and a late arrival. I decided that this means that there were delays getting the cargo loaded which was mineral ore. I decided the late arrival is because the ship they were going to meet is running late. Also, since it's in the system with Novgorod station I decided that the ship wasn't allowed to dock at the station due to prior issues they'd had with the station and would meet on the far side of the system.

It was a difficult mission so I rolled for a plot complication and got Flare. I immediately pictured the solar flare that hits the Covenant and causes all the damage. I decided some kind of powerful solar flare would go off from the star and disable both ships shortly after the other ship arrives. One or both ships need to get their systems back online before they collide since the newly arrived ship was pointed roughly in the direction of the PC ship since that's the rendezvous point. I am also thinking about what that flare means for Novgorod station. 

I also have two other adventures I rolled up that are just as interesting and fleshed out from a few dice rolls.
 
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Diego
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 12:59

Are you purely doing it like this this or is there some metaplot in the background?
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Session 3 now up
 
Luke Styer
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 17:43

I really like the Cinematic Mode of the ALIEN RPG and bought the core book after playing (and then running) Chariot of the Gods. I think it's a fantastic scenario, really like the mechanics of the game, and am happy with my purchase. After running Hope's Last Day I'm currently writing up some more cinematic mode scenarios with a friend and fellow Game Mother.

Campaign Mode is a somewhat different story for me though.
I’ve not actually played or run yet, but I have had three ideas for Cinematic scenarios come to mind almost fully formed. I’m at a bit of a loss as to what sort of campaign would (a) make sense in the Alien universe while not just feeling like generic science fiction and (b) wouldn’t be such a meat grinder that there would be reliable continuity of characters.

I think the ultimate question comes down to core activity. The core activity in the Alien was “fight some xenomorphs,” and while that’s a great starting point for Cinematic scenarios, it may not work even medium-term for Campaign play. Which means groups are going to have to come up with alternative core activities and hope they maintain the “feel” of the Alien universe.
 
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aramis
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 21:27

My Space Truckers in the UPP came to a close saturday last...
They had hoped they had killed a particular facehugger, and ignored the foreshadowed threats... and their player solidarity resulted in a TPK.
They could have, had they abandoned two PCs, survived their first encounter with the Xenomorphs. (At the cost of 2 EEV Class C's, 1 PC self-sacrifice, and 2 more out the airlock).
Within minutes of the end, they were asking for fresh character sheets... 
I slowed them down a bit, did session 0 materials...next sat, we begin a colonial marines mode. 2 marines, 2 pilots, a scientist, and a medic. And they're mercs.
With a dropship.
—————————————————————————
Smith & Wesson: the original point and click interface...
 
Riggswolfe
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 22:02

Are you purely doing it like this this or is there some metaplot in the background?
In a sandbox my first few sessions are usually somewhat random using whatever tools I'm provided with. Then I see what my players latch onto and develop it into a metaplot if possible. Sometimes my players do the work for me and I just have to take notes. "I think that guy was secretly working for Weyland Yutani and now they know we know and are going to be coming for us. We need to find out more information about what happened at this space station!" *Me: furiously takes notes.* "Hmmm, I didn't think you guys would catch on so soon..."
 
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Diego
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Re: Campaign Mode Examples

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 01:59

Are you purely doing it like this this or is there some metaplot in the background?
In a sandbox my first few sessions are usually somewhat random using whatever tools I'm provided with. Then I see what my players latch onto and develop it into a metaplot if possible. Sometimes my players do the work for me and I just have to take notes. "I think that guy was secretly working for Weyland Yutani and now they know we know and are going to be coming for us. We need to find out more information about what happened at this space station!" *Me: furiously takes notes.* "Hmmm, I didn't think you guys would catch on so soon..."
Interesting to know what works for other people. Generally when I tried that I found my plots somewhat shallow, or at least not in keeping with the quality I can produce when I do the leg work myself outside of the game. Between that and listening to the players and seeing what strings they like to pull, I've often found I can get the right balance of players feeling smart because they figured something out (even if I had to change what I had done to make them right) and getting to feel surprised when I've watched them follow a red hearing or misunderstand something and that's led to a revelation down the line e.g. "So he wasn't working for WY but Bionational!". But it is nice to know how other people are gming the game and what works for them. I suppose I don't mind doing a little more work in the background because our sessions are one a month (though day long sessions). But in either case I get like 3 weeks between sessions to think things out a bit.
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