Of couse, a quite experienced GM can create an Alien campaign from the stuff that is in game. Still, what you get in campaign chapter isn’t that helpful. I think the focus should have been quite different. You don’t really get what I want in a chapter like this: a good structure for building a campaign specific for Alien. You only get some very general guidelines and lists.
Isn't that helpful? The existing is VERY helpful. It doesn't go quite far enough for the Space Truckers mode, but the lack is pretty low:
- how much cargo tonnage does a "standard" mission take (and no, Diego, references to Traveller are NOT helpful for this.)
- more exact locations than the map is gridded at. (The map scale is funky as printed - neither nicely metric nor nicely ETM/US-Imperial, nor even a nice multiple of 3.26 of either... a list to 0.1 Pc accuracy of the locations would be spiff.)
- Fuel and maintenance costs. (Food and LS can be implied from cost of living.)
Metaplots are overrated. The metaplot, if you really need one, is simple: Keep flying. Keep fed. Don't get dead when you eventually encounter the alien. Don't draw corporate ire.
Sandbox? The map and system gen are
the sandbox. It's a big setting. over 100 systems to explore and detail... and different from GM to GM, and even potentially campaign to campaign. The mission system drives travel, and the lack of clear
Main antagonists? whomever the PCs make annoyed in the course of staying flying. If you're running a USCMC game, the UPP are default enemies, but you're more likely to be quelling uprisings and "bug stomping" than actually fighting the USCMC.