FredH
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Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Thu 20 Jun 2019, 04:15

So here’s the thing: running into Aliens in the Alien universe is actually a pretty rare event. Most of the time, the Space Truckers just keep on Space Trucking. So does every session of an Alien game have to be horror? I’ve been thinking about a campaign that’s mostly a day-in-the-life spacer campaign — until the campaign ends, at which point the characters we’ve spent weeks or months with find themselves in a very final Cinematic scenario. Would the new ruleset support such a setup?
 
Konungr
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Re: Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Thu 20 Jun 2019, 05:57

My understanding is campaign play is about more than the aliens themselves. It's built to do a lot of things dealing with any planets potential hazards, political intrigue and just general dangers of space and alien planets.

That being said, while some want to run Alien as a ongoing campaign like you are suggesting I only have interest in running it as a series of short stories that are all horror. To each their own.
 
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The1TrueFredrix
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Re: Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Thu 20 Jun 2019, 07:30

Yeah the campaign mode has three frames, depending on your preferences: space truckers, colonists and marines. You have guessed how space truckers will play - ie like most space based RPGs. I imaging the marines will be more mission based and slightly less “roleplay-y”, but there are enemies out there, and even aliens that are are not Alien Xenomorphs. The colonists frame might be a struggle of building a viable community on a hostile world. We will have to wait and see...
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Byrax
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Re: Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Sat 03 Aug 2019, 17:43

I wanna see some odd one-off scenarios as well, like the Aliens; Alchemy graphic novel (long time stranded ship descendents).
 
Jhea
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Re: Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Sun 04 Aug 2019, 13:24

The interesting part about the alien universe .... well... are the aliens. 
The players will be expecting Aliens everywhere, when you call it an alien game... 
Keeping it alien free is the easiest part - just don't let any be there... but you have to make it interesting in another way.

Space trucking can be an interesting thing if you want to play in that universe and do it some kind of 'traveler-ish' gameplay (see the RPG Traveler), where you run missions from a to b and get Maybe in trouble with the authorities, pirates and the like.
Here the players can get XP on the game mechanics, XP to improve the characters

But sooner or later you have to throw in the casual alien, otherwise you could just call it Traveler.

Either may it be the nostromo-ish setting, where you land and pick up some kind of alien, or they find some spaceship in the middle of space for some salvage.

oh my, i could keep my players on the edge for so long and never have an alien show up.
let them be the salvage crew and their first mission is a long lost transport...
(that was only struck by an asteroid or something) and they are on the edge the whole time since they expect to see the facehuggers and stuff comeing from every corner ^^
and always have that feel that they might have missed some important roll or something.
and when they least expect it, let all hell break loose when the real aliens come in.

there are some stories out there...
in the book Aliens: Invasion, where the 'Predators' flee from a giant alien swarm that tends to overrun them. seems like a somewhat ok idea to have the group then confront the aliens, in maybe some derelict predator scout vessel or something... before they realize what is really going on (with the whole invasion thing)

might be intersting - and if i can persuade my group to play a longer alien campaignw ith me... i will certainly do this ^^
But first i have to get my hands on this game (should be gettting the drive thru link soon (tm)) and see how the oneshotty sessions (the first few missions) will play out and how this game can be considered an classic RPG like Das schwarze Auge (yes i'm german), DnD, Shadowrun and so forth
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aramis
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Re: Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Sun 04 Aug 2019, 20:33

But sooner or later you have to throw in the casual alien, otherwise you could just call it Traveler.
Nope. The trope set of Traveller and the trope set of alien, while they overlap somewhat, differ far more than just the xenomorphs... (besides, JTAS 4-26 includes the "reticulan parasite... a serial numbers under the tape version of the Aliens monster.)
Traveller assumes as part of its trope set several things...
  1. a longstanding exodus of humans to other systems (In the OTU, at ≅300,000 BP by Yaskodray.)
  2. relatively strong interstellar government; in the published sectors before 1997, the center was remote.
  3. A system of nobility
  4. alien biomes generally human compatible.
  5. many intelligent species (at least post 1981 - the second edition of Classic is the 1981 rules version)
  6. Ships are best able to make money when slow
  7. low  demand shipping; high speculative shipping (excepting the GURPS variant universe.)
  8. adventuring is what you do upon retirement
  9. no true AI (at least not until TL16. And TL16 is outside the normal setting space)
  10. travel is done awake, as cryosleep is potentially deadly.
Things they share
  1. merchant shipping with civilian crews
  2. slughthrowers instead of zapguns
  3. Protagonists and/or PCs tend to be experienced individuals
  4. plenty of XT life
  5. ships need people. 
  6. long contracts to buy ships
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Bengt Petter
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Re: Space Truckers, mostly Alien-free, UNTIL...

Mon 05 Aug 2019, 17:15

I would say that a campaign in the ALIEN RPG could do fine without the xenomorphs. There are several other core themes within the franchise. Personally, I would prefer to include the xenomorphs in some way. Perhaps without the usual violent confrontation on a spaceship or in a remote colony... I would like to make it new in some way. It might, for example, be interesting if they were in background with some other drama around them. 

I have already tried to grasp what the game (and the entire franchise is all about) . Here is a slightly edited version of my earlier post. Perhaps you could skip the third answer (I just tried to think a bit out of the box). The thematic core is, at least to some extent, a matter of interpretation.  

Bengt Petter:
What is the ALIEN setting really about? Well, dangerous xenomorphs is the most obvious answer. They are there in all films, for sure. But what they really are is not that certain. They seem to be able to come in many forms and sizes, some propably totally different from what is known so far. Maybe in the form of bizarre fish living in water (or other liquids) or as tiny but dangerous insects? Or maybe some kind of biomechanical microbes? What if they did something else than kill everyone around them? Building a huge nest? Contacting other beings somewhere else?

Another answer to the initial question, is that the setting is really about the Weyland Yutani, a huge capitalist corporation willing to risk anything to gain more power and knowledge. To me, The Company is actually more interesting than the xenomorphs. Quite early on, I would like to see the Company representatives in action. They should have a large and complicated agenda, including stuff that is not entirely visible, at least not from the start. They must know a lot, some stuff that is even hard to imagine. Getting a glimpse of that early on could be really cool. The scenario should feel like a small piece of something much bigger. A huge, dark unknown.

A third answer to the initial question: the setting is about Ellen Ripley. She is, in some form, the main hero in four of the movies. It would simply feel very ALIEN to make her a part of the game. The PCs might get a message from her: she might want to know something or get something fixed. Perhaps she has recieved signals from a distant moon or unknown ship or so... Another angle might be to make Ripley herself a playable character during a mission. She doesn't really seem to like Weyland Yutani. Maybe they just want to use her after some earlier incident. It may also be cool to see her as a potential enemy, maybe as leader for a rival crew. That would be a quite surprising opening of the game. And of course, she is also a person of interest for many. Who was she really? Why was she really on NOSTROMO in the first place? What did she know? Who knew her? Those questions can be relevant during a very long time frame... The same goes for her daughter, Amanda Ripley, the main character in ALIEN ISOLATION.

A fourth answer: the setting is about exploring the unknown. There is something strange out there – xenomorphs, Engineers and perhaps other stuff too. I can imagine there must some really wild and strange planets, asteroids or abandoned space ships (full of living plants, 5000 years old...). The Corporation (and others) probably wants to know more about this stuff. Or they may already know a lot... One initial discovery might lead to further investigations... 

A fifth answer: the setting is about humans who interact with synthetics (a k a "artificial persons"). This might be a theme that is not fully visible from the start (or maybe it does), but after some time it gets obvious. The synthetics usually follow a very strict and secret agenda. Their presence is usually tightly connected to The Weyland Yutani Corporation; in a sense they are personal incarnations of The Company. But there are, of course, some problems. How independent can synthetics be? Do they have some kind of emotions? Should they just follow orders? What are their deepest motivations? How are they affected by their creators? What happens when (if) they take part in a large rebellion? The synthetics are a key part of the ALIEN universe, just as important as humans and xenomorphs. They have long a history within the setting, reflecting larger conflicts and ideological tensions. In a way, they are constantly dealing with their capitalist creators (Peter Weyland and others), without them they wouldn't exist.   

A sixth answer, that include everything I mentioned above: the setting is about everything we see in the movies. That might seem so obvious that it´s not even worth mentioning. I think it is. In fact, many of the events in the movies are so dramatic and important that they must influence a lot of other people, for example the leaders at the Weyland Yutani Lunar head quarter. When they (and others) get new information about the sensational xenomorphs they will probably do something: send new ships to distant locations, look for other lost expeditions, protect their new knowledge, start new research projects etc. The events in the films are just a part of a much bigger drama, involving other companies, factions, planets, and even beings. It´s all a huge story, involving  all the stuff that makes this setting specific, and not just dark space sci fi with Lovecraftian creatures.  
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