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Glimpse
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun 26 May 2019, 00:56

Re: First scenario hopes

Thu 06 Jun 2019, 15:32

This raises an interesting thought for me.
Will it be interesting at all to play this game without the xenomorphs included one way or another?

Ill admit i know nothing about the setting outside of the movies and their main events :)
Yes, it could be played without the Xenomorphs or any other alien races. You could do a whole chronicle on the lives and hardships of Colonists, the lonely lives of  Space Truckers, Corporate intrigue (maybe one of your characters is a spy trying to steal information from Weyland Yutani and they get a job there, but come to like the new friends they make). There's all sorts of options.
 
AlexanderMars
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue 04 Jun 2019, 23:50

Re: First scenario hopes

Fri 07 Jun 2019, 05:45

I’ve run many campaigns in the Alien universe over the years, using whatever information was available at the time. It’s probably one of the biggest sandboxes you could ever hope to play in. I’ve used the setting to explore many stories and ideas and rarely relied on Xenomorphs to keep players engaged. Here’s some of the different games I’ve run without the titular antagonists making an appearance until later.

Corporate espionage and assassination campaign, the PCs in this game racked up a serious body count, we didn’t need an Alien.

Smuggling arms to the rebels on Alexandria, the alien only showed up at the very end.

Freelance operatives(think oceans 11, in space) pulling heists for different companies that wanted to maintain deniability.

Scouts operating way out in the high frontier, exploring ancient ruins etc.

The French Foreign Legion on colonial patrol, if you thought the USCM is the only military power in the colonies, you’re mistaken. This was the only legit military campaign I’ve ever run in the setting. I did kick off a few short lived colonial marine games but they never got passed a few sessions.

One of the best campaigns I ran was a Lloyd’s of London insurance investigator, her ex-SAS bodyguard and their psychologically unstable pilot. This campaign ended up turning into a detective thriller as they tracked a serial killer(space trucker) over multiple colonies, I threw this at them on a whim with no serious prep and it went on for 3 years.
 
Attackmack
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun 17 Feb 2019, 03:22

Re: First scenario hopes

Sat 08 Jun 2019, 09:06

I’ve run many campaigns in the Alien universe over the years, using whatever information was available at the time. It’s probably one of the biggest sandboxes you could ever hope to play in. I’ve used the setting to explore many stories and ideas and rarely relied on Xenomorphs to keep players engaged. Here’s some of the different games I’ve run without the titular antagonists making an appearance until later.

Corporate espionage and assassination campaign, the PCs in this game racked up a serious body count, we didn’t need an Alien.

Smuggling arms to the rebels on Alexandria, the alien only showed up at the very end.  

Freelance operatives(think oceans 11, in space) pulling heists for different companies that wanted to maintain deniability.

Scouts operating way out in the high frontier, exploring ancient ruins etc.

The French Foreign Legion on colonial patrol, if you thought the USCM is the only military power in the colonies, you’re mistaken. This was the only legit military campaign I’ve ever run in the setting. I did kick off a few short lived colonial marine games but they never got passed a few sessions.

One of the best campaigns I ran was a Lloyd’s of London insurance investigator, her ex-SAS bodyguard and their psychologically unstable pilot. This campaign ended up turning into a detective thriller as they tracked a serial killer(space trucker) over multiple colonies, I threw this at them on a whim with no serious prep and it went on for 3 years.
Interesting! Since the movies focus on the events revolving the xenomorphs I never thought the rest of the setting was actually covered/detailed. Alien for most people is all about the "space monsters" and Im just worried my players would be disappointed to enter the game and not confront said monsters :) But thats what "cinematic play" is for!
 
AlexanderMars
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue 04 Jun 2019, 23:50

Re: First scenario hopes

Sat 08 Jun 2019, 15:20

Interesting! Since the movies focus on the events revolving the xenomorphs I never thought the rest of the setting was actually covered/detailed. Alien for most people is all about the "space monsters" and Im just worried my players would be disappointed to enter the game and not confront said monsters :) But thats what "cinematic play" is for!
You’re right, for years the rest of the setting wasn’t covered in much detail, for a long time all I had to work from was the old RPG book(which was limited in scope) and my own ideas. But over the years, lots of great books and other material came out and expanded upon the universe. Of course much of the focus on a lot of the material is the Xenomorph and how many people it kills.

It all takes place in a big universe, there’s a full blown economy, with over 200 colonised worlds. Weyland-Yutani for example is a relatively small part of all that, sure they’re a megacorp but they’re by no means the largest(well, in my opinion they shouldn’t be). They just happen to do most of their business off world in places where interesting storylines take place: interstellar transportation, mining, terraforming, industrial equipment, interstellar ships.

Apple or Amazon could easily still be around and still be the “biggest companies” in the middle heavens, they’re just consumer focused and don’t fly spaceships and finance colonies. Weyland-Yutani mostly makes industrial equipment, sure if you’re on one of their colonies they’ll sell you anything and everything with their logo on it, but they’re just buying private label products from subcontractors.

Sorry that became a mini rant.

If you’re concerned that players aren’t going to be interested in tooling around the larger universe, well that’s a conversion so you can manage their expectations. As a general strategy I would suggest a short cinematic to scratch the itch, where everyone dies in the clutch of a Xenomorph. Then follow that up with a campaign, so players can explore the setting itself. You can use the flash back mechanic, start the game with a cinematic session and just before the first PC dies(cliffhanger) flash back to “years earlier” or whatever works for your story.

The story you choose for the campaign needs to be something that your players would be interested in no matter what the setting. So if you mostly play lots of hack ‘n slash then Colonial Marines, kicking ass and taking names. Exploring, then maybe Space truckers on the frontier. Lots of roleplaying and character interaction, maybe Weyland-Yutani version of the Office.
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