A lot of useful stuff has already been said, so my take is to focus on the themes that I think is general for Alien campaigns:
1. The Corporate Puppet Master. Someone powerful (typically a corporate executive or a boss in a criminal syndicate) is doing secret things behind the scenes. It has to do with power and danger. The PCs will for sure meet some of the ”puppets” working for the puppet master, and perhaps the puppet master him or her self. Or maybe the puppet master is just someone doing things in a distant and hidden location far away. The PCs should have several possible ways to solve the situation. A puppet master doesn’t have to be an enemy, just someone powerful with resources and a will to work with big and dangerous projects. And there can of course be several puppet masters, perhaps rivals. Describe what they want and why. A twist in the long run could be that there is someone or something behind the puppet master. Maybe it’s not even human. It can be used to create new secrets and new scenarios.
2. The Secret. There is something that can be discovered, probably by encountering some kind of danger. It shouldn’t be obvious what it’s about. In the most typical case, it’s some kind of xeno outbreak in a space station, or a space colony. But of course, you can twist it, and make it about something else. For example Engineer ruins, a find of a rare and valuable resource, a new and powerful android model, a large scale corporate infiltration and sabotage.
3. The Locations. A good adventure location is a place where the PCs have something important to do: interacting with interesting people, saving or finding someone or something, accomplish a certain task, or just, after some time, getting out. To make a location interesting, especially if it’s big, I think there has to be something unexpected, unusual and probably also dangerous. The meaning of the location can also change over time (put new people in there, add a new threat, introduce some new project) . The most typical locations are space stations, space colonies, and space ships. I would probably use some of those, but also add something more unconventional like an asteroid mine, a huge fossilized alien space ship, an under water crash site, or maybe a factory, or a large scale corporate facility.
4. The Conflict. Without conflict, it’s hard to imagine any kind of drama. In the Alien universe, there are many possible conflicts: between corporations, between factions and individuals within the corporations, between employers and employees, between humans and aliens etc. Describe what the people involved wants, what resources they have and how they might interact with the PCs. You could also combine the conflicts with the the big secret, the locations, the tome line, the puppet master and other NPCs.
5. The Timeline. There is a starting event, and there should be some kind of ending, and something in between. It might be hard to predict everything in advance, but just imagening a limited number of events gives you a frame to work with. It should, I think, involve a puppet master, a big secret to discover, some interesting locations and a possible final event. A final event could be a big reveal, a battle, an escape, or simply a new mission. Another way to create timelines, could be to describe the agendas of the key characters in your campaign. They probably all have goals, that could be described in terms of a time line: they want something to happen over time.
Last edited by Bengt Petter
on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 16:18, edited 1 time in total.