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Gebohq
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Mon 07 Oct 2019, 04:52

Some off-the-cuff ideas:

The first post mentioned a scenario similar to Apocalypse Now, and I imagine other scenarios set in this universe could also essentially rip off other stories that would thematically fit, such as:
  • Freelancers hired to hunt down rogue androids (Blade Runner, which heck, depending on how you feel about tie-ins, could be replicants)
  • Marines posted on some undesirable, backwater installation find themselves within a scientific experiment gone wrong (Doom)
  • Bounty hunters hired to stop pirates who have taken over a scientific/archaeological site (Metroid)
  • Colonists of an over-populated site lacking in resources discovering a conspiracy that their food supply is something else (Soylent Green)
  • Veterans, back home after a grueling war, have to contend with a domestic threat (First Blood, or anything vaguely similar)
There's also thematic/aesthetic considerations that scenarios could be built upon:
  • The parallels of creation and destruction (parasitic aliens, engineers, androids)
  • Synthesis of 'natural' and 'man-made'/industrial (alien look, engineer ships, androids)
  • Body horror (chestbursting, genetic clones gone wrong, etc.)
  • Surreal horror (H.R. Geiger art, Lovecraftian influences)
  • Humans as "the real monsters" (Burke, certain prisoners, certain military/scientists)
  • Compare and contrast what is "alien"/non-human (apart from the xenomorphs and the engineers, humans seem to be the only sentient life)
Perhaps from that, there's cybernetic and/or genetic manipulation used for adapting to colony needs that's abused or carelessly misused. Maybe the ability to view dreams as seen in Prometheus blur the line between dream/nightmare and reality ala Total Recall or Existenz as part of a company conspiracy.  And, at least on on occasion, some hapless folk might just have to survive their time with a xenomorph. :)

Given that it'll probably be difficult for me to find the time and people to run any sort of regular campaign, I'll likely lean towards the one-shots. I have danced with the idea of a West Marches style campaign though, with a given colony having a "safe base" and certain frontiers people go about exploring their surroundings for more resources, clear out various alien wilderness for expansion, and deal with rival colony sites or the like.
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Riggswolfe
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Mon 07 Oct 2019, 07:13

[*]Veterans, back home after a grueling war, have to contend with a domestic threat (First Blood, or anything vaguely similar)


[*]
Not to nitpick too much but in First Blood he pretty much was the domestic threat from the point of view of the law. Still, if you wanted to riff on that, you can go with how things went in that movie. Small minded sheriff (colonial marshal maybe?) pushes them too far and they have no choice but to fight back. Unfortunately, knowing PCs it'd be more...Rambo: Last Blood than First Blood which had only one death and it was an accident.
Last edited by Riggswolfe on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 07:15, edited 1 time in total.
 
Riggswolfe
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Mon 07 Oct 2019, 07:15

Yeah, the Roanoke idea is just what got me the inspiration in the first place. I still haven't decided exactly what happens to the first colony...
I know it will involve an archeological finding but still not sure how everything fits togheter. I guess I still have time until the book arrives :-P
I wanted to clarify why I wouldn't run the second part, the bit with the kids during the first colony. It might kill some of the suspense and investigation of the "current" timeline. On the other hand, it might make up for it by focusing all the suspense and dread on the kid part of the game as the PCs will know it's going to end poorly but not how.
 
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Gebohq
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Mon 07 Oct 2019, 18:31

[*]Veterans, back home after a grueling war, have to contend with a domestic threat (First Blood, or anything vaguely similar)




[*]
Not to nitpick too much but in First Blood he pretty much was the domestic threat from the point of view of the law. Still, if you wanted to riff on that, you can go with how things went in that movie. Small minded sheriff (colonial marshal maybe?) pushes them too far and they have no choice but to fight back. Unfortunately, knowing PCs it'd be more...Rambo: Last Blood than First Blood which had only one death and it was an accident.

[*]
Yeah, I kept it vague because I figure it could either go the Deer Hunter / Taxi Driver angle where the players are the "threat" or the later Rambo / Punisher / maybe a mix of Godfather where you're dealing with local crime bosses and corrupt local law and whatnot.
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marcmundet
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Wed 09 Oct 2019, 19:24

I think marcmundets ideas is excellent. I think it would be hard to run, but pulled out would be outstanding.
I know it's going to be complicated, but I lucky to play with a group of players who are all very experienced and we've been playing togheter for more than 15 years now. We've had some "complicated" campaigns along the road (time travel, dopplegangers, etc.) and they have allways been up to the challenge. So I'm confident that they'll be up to the task. Me on the other hand as MOTHER not so sure :-D
Anyway I'll let you know how that turns out. As of now I'm still working on the layout and waiting for the full game to mix it all togheter.
 
marcmundet
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Wed 09 Oct 2019, 19:31

Yeah, the Roanoke idea is just what got me the inspiration in the first place. I still haven't decided exactly what happens to the first colony...
I know it will involve an archeological finding but still not sure how everything fits togheter. I guess I still have time until the book arrives :-P
I wanted to clarify why I wouldn't run the second part, the bit with the kids during the first colony. It might kill some of the suspense and investigation of the "current" timeline. On the other hand, it might make up for it by focusing all the suspense and dread on the kid part of the game as the PCs will know it's going to end poorly but not how.
In my opinion it is exactly the point of playing it in two timelines, let me try to clarify it a bit:

The first session they will play the second wave: There we set the mistery and they collect some clues (luckily) but end up with more questions than answers (let's say they find out the first settlement recieved and extrange radio signal from somewhere on the planet where ther should be no life signs).
The second session they play as the kids on the first wave: some of the clues they found on the first session get some context but they don't have all the answers: they are kids afetr all and it's not likely they'll have a huge influence on the outpost or even in the events that may happen at that time. (In this session the kids would learn about the signal -because their parents talk about it and see how an expedition to explore sets out - maybe a relative of some kids go on the expedition, and the expedition doesn't come back).
So back to the second wave timeline... and so on.

Anyway, as I said, any cool ideas you guys come up for any of it will be greatly appreciated ;-)
 
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Diego
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Thu 10 Oct 2019, 02:09

I know it's going to be complicated, but I lucky to play with a group of players who are all very experienced and we've been playing togheter for more than 15 years now. We've had some "complicated" campaigns along the road (time travel, dopplegangers, etc.) and they have allways been up to the challenge. So I'm confident that they'll be up to the task. Me on the other hand as MOTHER not so sure :-D
Anyway I'll let you know how that turns out. As of now I'm still working on the layout and waiting for the full game to mix it all togheter.
The experience of the players isn't the issue I was referring to.More the difficulty of planning a game like that so it comes out satisfying. On one hand your balancing player freedom, but simultaneously you need what happens in the past to gel up with what happens in the future. In some regards it could come across as feeling rail roady as you will need certain things to happen. Like in short 'In the future we find a burnt out atmospheric reactor' means in the past something must result in the reactor getting burned out. When that happens if will be cool as they'll get why it happened, but the more canny player may realize it had to happen and feel a bit like a spectator because of it. Alternatively if you let player have their freedom and prevent the reactor from burning out, then the players will be sat there going 'wtf'.

I just raise up this difficulty because back in the day I used to gm fireborn (great game look it up), whose entire thing was playing two separate timelines. Now at least in that game, timeline A was in an ancient fantays era and timeline B is modern day, so things aren't so 'cause and effect' as what you suggest. But that game itself was a tall order to run some days. Beware is all I'm saying but I do like the idea.

One criticism I would make is don't have the characters playing kids. By all means have the colony atmosphere with kids playing on their WY trikes, but I would have the characters be adults in the past. Even if you make them grunts so that they don't affect things so much they'll still have more involvement and more immersion in the atmosphere.
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Poulet Noir
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Thu 10 Oct 2019, 13:41

[...] I just recently rewatched Aliens and right in the beginning there's a salvage crew that finds the USS Sulaco adrift and upon seeing Ripley in hypersleep complain "Well boys there goes our salvage..." or something like that and I thought to myself, huh I wonder what happens to them afterwards... maybe something "stays" with them that isn't discovered till they are comfortably cruising the galaxy some time later.  [...]
I like the idea of using these guys as the start of a story line as well. My take was: what if they weren't overly pleased at losing their salvage, and so went digging around to see where the Narcissus came from (via a comtech roll, naturally), listened to Ripley's last recording and either went to investigate or reported what they found to their parent company. Perhaps they even fiddled with the records so that the during Ripley's W-Y debrief, only SOME of her story was corroborated? Meh, maybe not that last bit. In any case, either the salvagers themselves head to LV426 and mount a clandestine mission to the derelict... or maybe the salvagers' parent company send a separate crew to LV426...
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Diego
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Sat 12 Oct 2019, 00:44

I think I prefer the original idea that got suggested for the salvagers. Something got on their ship they didn't know about. The original Alien had brought the Brett egg on board the shuttle and it laid dormant for fifty years. On getting woken up the face hugger comes out and finds it's way into the vents on the ship and impregnates someone. One of the key features of the xenomorph is it's ability to spread. It takes every opportunity it can to get somewhere it wasn't before. it only ever takes 'one of those things' to ruin someones day.
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Gebohq
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Re: Share your on-theme campaign Ideas

Thu 17 Oct 2019, 02:15

Some additional ideas, both one-shot and potential campaign-length, that I largely ripped from Phillp K. Dick stories:
  • Undercover agents sent to infiltrate an illegal drug-producing operation of "D" made to make Substance-D, Can-D, and other highly addictive "die" (called due to their pre-consumed 'packaged' appearance and size) -- Scanner Darkly, Three Stigmata...
  • Scientists tasked with unearthing an ancient alien creature that can mold itself and mimic things -- The Thing, Mouth of Madness
  • Miners from the UA and UPP deal with (self-replicating) robots turned against them after their war -- Second Variety, Screamers, Terminator, Autofac
  • Dangerous player-characters tricked to being prey for game -- Most Dangerous Game, Predators
  • Employees for the Company sent to stop other megacorp plots, such as tricking colonists into 'continually upgrading' to protect them from UPP threats and androids programmed for aggressive marketing -- Foster, You're Dead!, Sales Pitch, The Man Who Japed
  • Transporters hired by an unnaturally old woman to take her to a self-described idyllic planet that by all accounts doesn't exist -- The Impossible Planet
And while not an idea in itself, I'm wanting to name a planet/mood/location Sisyphus for thematic purposes. On that note, I suppose I could consider ship names based off of other Conrad novels.
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