Bengt Petter
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Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Thu 30 Jan 2020, 09:09

S. M, as I said above, I think you are right that Alien is a horror franchise (body horror, to be more specific). The reason why you are a bit sceptic to campaign play in this universe is because it would mean that the PCs wouldn’t be killed fast like most characters in the movies. Personally, I think that’s a quite boring pattern in the movies. I’m more interested in what happens before all the killing starts. The original movie is an exception, because it’s a masterpiece. But maybe that’s just me.

However, I think this fact - almost everyone gets killed in the movies - raises another question: HOW could the Aliens be used WITHOUT having everyone killed within hours? If you want to use the xenos in campaign play, that’s something you have to consider. Some ideas to make people survive for a much longer time than in the movies:

1. The xenos are caged or contained, like in Resurrection. Maybe they actually don’t get out. Still, they are a part of the drama. You can see them.
2. There are no full grown xenos, just contained embryos. The resource is there, but not yet that dangerous. The embryos can be stolen or destroyed.
3. The xenos are there, but they are dead. Their blood and bodies would still be interesting.
4. There are only some eggs (or many). That’s actually just a potential danger. You can just watch them. And there is actually a possibility that the eggs contain something else than a facehugger. Perhaps Engineer babies?
5. The xenos are just present as genetic samples. Some scientist are experimenting, so the xenos might show up in some form, but maybe not.
6. The xenos have been mutated or changed (another host animal) in some way that makes them less dangerous. Perhaps they are more fishlike and contained in a supersize aquarium and can’t breath air? As we know from Resurrection, the xenos can also take a more or less human form. There are different and very bizarre stages on that scale. Those could create new situations.
7. The xenos are in another location, but what happens there matter to the campaign. For example: imagine someone getting messages from the Sevastopol Station during the events in Alien Isolation. The events would still matter - several other companies might send their crews to the station. How they deal with the situation and their corporate rivals might be scenario (or even the start of a campaign) in it’s own right. Again: the xenos could matter without killing a lot of people. The horror is still there. You can use some familiar events (from any of the movies) but put your action somewhere else.
8. A classified xeno research project is finished (maybe by a disaster), but a lot of documentation is left. The campaign is about finding and grabbing as many documents or files as possible. There are probably no xenos left - or they will be found in a distant location late in the campaign timeline. How to include the xenos is also a matter of timing - in the movies they show up roughly at the same time (after 30-40 min?). That’s quite predictable.
9. A group of really aggressive androids (a previously unknown and classified model) has captured a xeno, an egg or maybe just some acid blood. The androids are developing new technology. They and their new technology is the real danger.

There are probably some more alternatives. Still, I think alternatives like these are important if you want to use xenos in campaign play - without having a lot of characters killed. It would make the drama more extensive. Alien is a body horror franchise, but it can be done differently than in the movies (even without any kind of violence, even though the danger is still there). I think the game should discuss this more explicit.

Actually, I think something similar could be an issue also for an Alien TV series. The characters, at least some of them, will probably have to survive for at least some time.

EDIT: I know this is slightly off topic. Could be a new thread if you like.
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Fri 31 Jan 2020, 06:37

I'm treating it for my campaigns as the senior staff of weapons development  of all the corps with one, plus the UPP, 3WE, and UA military weapons development labs, have a clue that something biowarfare hit the Nostromo... And when things went down on the colony, they all took notice... her "Half-baked rants" and the quick cover-up. 
I figure that, by 2182, EVERY one of them has tried to send a snatch team... and most of them got a little data up to the dropship... but nothing down came back up...

WY probably recovered theirs from the Nostromo. Top brass simply knows a bioagent was being recovered...WeapDiv senior execs know it's what wiped out the colony and the Nostromo. Only the actual dev team and a single JVP of WeapDiv have ever seen the actual footage...

My PC's ran into the UPP's team (or what was left of them) on the team's trip home... with samples from LV-426... Some hatched...
Smith & Wesson: the original point and click interface...

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