Bengt Petter
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Fri 06 Dec 2019, 13:24

The things you list, Aramis, are useful, but still quite general or just random. Campaigns might have general traits, but the core is specific. There should, I think, be a specific secret, mystery or conflict. That is the point with my questions: they are meant to lead to specific answers, not general.

I think a campaign works much like TV series. There is some kind of central drama with a few key characters involved in a conflict or/and a huge discovery. Exactly what it is has to do with what kind of genre it is. The genre is a framework you can work with - or against. I like to figure out what is specific for Alien as campaign or drama. Aramis, I don’t think you really answer that.
Yeah, you suggest what I'm running. I just don't want to lay out what all my campaign beats are gonna be as my players would easily swing around here at some point given their loving the game.
I get that you don’t want to post secrets from your campaign here. But perhaps you could share something more general. What would you add or remove from my list above? Are dark secrets the right opening step when planning an Alien campaign? Is it hard for you as a GM to surprise your players? I guess most people playing this game would expect being confronted with lurking xenomorphs.
Last edited by Bengt Petter on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 21:19, edited 2 times in total.
 
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_ArthurDallas_
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Wed 04 Mar 2020, 04:47

pretty good thoughts here
thanks
 
wendal
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Wed 04 Mar 2020, 15:05

Just to add my two pence, I treat my solo campaign play like an Alien tv series.
viewtopic.php?t=5397
"The bitch is back" Ellen Ripley.
 
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Diego
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat 06 Jul 2019, 18:16

Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Sat 07 Mar 2020, 23:48

The things you list, Aramis, are useful, but still quite general or just random. Campaigns might have general traits, but the core is specific. There should, I think, be a specific secret, mystery or conflict. That is the point with my questions: they are meant to lead to specific answers, not general.

I think a campaign works much like TV series. There is some kind of central drama with a few key characters involved in a conflict or/and a huge discovery. Exactly what it is has to do with what kind of genre it is. The genre is a framework you can work with - or against. I like to figure out what is specific for Alien as campaign or drama. Aramis, I don’t think you really answer that.
Yeah, you suggest what I'm running. I just don't want to lay out what all my campaign beats are gonna be as my players would easily swing around here at some point given their loving the game.
I get that you don’t want to post secrets from your campaign here. But perhaps you could share something more general. What would you add or remove from my list above? Are dark secrets the right opening step when planning an Alien campaign? Is it hard for you as a GM to surprise your players? I guess most people playing this game would expect being confronted with lurking xenomorphs.
The issue of suspecting the Alien is the main thing to get over. I purposefully have kept the Alien out to usurp that expectation, it has only been present in what are flashbacks. My main plot they are involved in has been a conspiracy plot with a mega Corp out to get them.
Alien: Wanderer
https://alienwanderer.obsidianportal.com/
Session 9+ now up
 
Bengt Petter
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Sun 08 Mar 2020, 14:53

I agree. Dealing with the fact that most players will expect an encounter with the xenomorphs is hard to avoid. A way to get around that in a campaign could be the questions I posted on page 3 in this thread. Another, perhaps simpler way, could be to consider three core themes in the Alien franchise:

1. There is a corporate conspiracy. There are secrets and hidden agendas within the Company. They will have an impact. People will do things because they are a part of a bigger picture.

2. AI matters. Androids have agendas of their own, perhaps connected to a higher corporate level. Or just to a deeper understanding of things. It’s worth considering that androids see things profoundly different than humans. They might have a deeply moral programming - or a programming that makes them able to act beyond any kind of human standards. They are not human, even though they might seem to be.

3. There is alien life and it’s partly unknown to mankind. In a campaign it could mean encounters with the xenomorphs that are described in the basic ruleset. But that is the expected. You could also explore the unknown in other, more creative ways. I expanded on the grand vision of Gigeresque biomechanics in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=4968 I hope those ideas are enough thought provoking to make it possible for others to go far beyond the expected - and still stay very true to the core ideas of the Alien universe. To me, H. R. Giger is a true visionary. We can all harvest his art for new ideas. Alien is something far more than a Disney staple monster brand.

I would say that an Alien campaign could explore any of these core themes - just one or two or all three. There are also other themes in the setting, but I don’t see them as important as the three above. Seeing and defining the core is, I think, allways a good start.
 
TheoGB
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Sat 28 Mar 2020, 00:29

I'd like to point out that while the game predates Alien: Resurrection, that film still offers a 4th campaign mode, essentially space privateers/mercs.

As we know, Joss Whedon used that film as a test ground for what he later created as Firefly so that crew is there, miscellaneous mercs out to do anything for money. I feel like this is a bit different space truckers, it's more likely your crew is disparate with a weirder skillset.  
 
Riggswolfe
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Mon 30 Mar 2020, 16:22

Plus, the stress system is a great push-your-luck mechanic. One not present in Traveller and Serenity, present but much less brutal in Firefly or Savage Worlds. 
Have I named Traveller, Savage Worlds or anything else as alternative?

Yes, sounds like hell of fun.

Session 0
"Wanna play a longterm campaign in the world of ALIENS?"
"Yes!!!"
...

Session 2
"There is something lurking in the dark. A dark, silvery scheme is rushing towards you... draw for initiative."
...
"Okay, two of you died a cruel death, but you have hurt the Xenomorph for three hitpoints till now. 
Let´s move on to round two..."

Session 3
"Let´s play Coriolis with stress mechanic, background story, intrigues and no meta currency"
"Yes!!!"
...
 
Just kidding. :D
I thought I'd share what will likely be my players first Xeno encounter in roughly 2 sessions.

They're going to be going on a space station to rescue an NPC crewmember. (Presumably, they may just be like 'that sucks, I guess we need a new crew member now!" but I doubt it.)

It's a black site research station run by Bionational and the players, if not the PCs, know already they are studying Xenos. They know because they brought some biohazard cargo to them. One of the containers caught fire and melted through their deck causing massive damage. The NPC scientist on their crew told them it looked like some kind of acid, not fire, caused the damage. Anyway, their crew member is essentially a hostage on this station while they run a mission for Bionational. That's what happens when you get caught trying to steal research data to sell to a competitor!

Anyway, I don't intend them to actually fight the Xenos. The closest will be an event I plan to play out like a scene in Alien Isolation. They'll hear something and be warned to hide. When they do one will emerge and search for them for a while then leave. I'll probably have to fudge the Xeno observation rolls because I want this scene to be tense and scary but not result in a direct confrontation. Other than that, they'll hear screams in other corridors, people begging for help on the intercom, come across the aftermath of attacks, stuff like that.
 
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Diego
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Joined: Sat 06 Jul 2019, 18:16

Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Tue 31 Mar 2020, 04:01


Anyway, I don't intend them to actually fight the Xenos. The closest will be an event I plan to play out like a scene in Alien Isolation. They'll hear something and be warned to hide. When they do one will emerge and search for them for a while then leave. I'll probably have to fudge the Xeno observation rolls because I want this scene to be tense and scary but not result in a direct confrontation. Other than that, they'll hear screams in other corridors, people begging for help on the intercom, come across the aftermath of attacks, stuff like that.
It's a good way of doing it, the only issue is that if kept up players will become bored. Yet another horror trope as we hear a load of gruesome stuff, but nothing we have to worry about because we have plot armor. Not saying you are going to over do it, just saying that the tactic of hiding the creature under a blanket only works for so long.This is why I've done the flashbacks/one shots that tie into the game. That said, I have now moved the goal posts. My players have had the opportunity to come across the creature if they are not careful. They actually currently are on a planet they know the creature is on, just they don't know if it's stuck at the bottom of a hole (not a literal hole but you get the idea) or if it's loose on the surface. The challenge of maintaining the threat of the creature versus wiping the players is a challenge I am rather enjoying as a gm.
Alien: Wanderer
https://alienwanderer.obsidianportal.com/
Session 9+ now up
 
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Black Dow
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Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Thu 02 Apr 2020, 19:30

I'd like to point out that while the game predates Alien: Resurrection, that film still offers a 4th campaign mode, essentially space privateers/mercs.

As we know, Joss Whedon used that film as a test ground for what he later created as Firefly so that crew is there, miscellaneous mercs out to do anything for money. I feel like this is a bit different space truckers, it's more likely your crew is disparate with a weirder skillset.  
Yeah - this is very similar to the potential campaign I was mulling.  Was also thinking of mixing in some elements of Pitch Black (in terms of that movie's plot/premise) and having a Colonial Marshal and transit Prisoner being another couple of options for "crew" presence for my players.
David: "I have a problem with this."
Jude: "Which part?"
David: "The part where we're running around down here in the dark with that fucking thing chasing us."
 
TheoGB
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 03:32

Re: Campaign Mode... some thoughts

Fri 03 Apr 2020, 06:53

I'd like to point out that while the game predates Alien: Resurrection, that film still offers a 4th campaign mode, essentially space privateers/mercs.

As we know, Joss Whedon used that film as a test ground for what he later created as Firefly so that crew is there, miscellaneous mercs out to do anything for money. I feel like this is a bit different space truckers, it's more likely your crew is disparate with a weirder skillset.  
Yeah - this is very similar to the potential campaign I was mulling.  Was also thinking of mixing in some elements of Pitch Black (in terms of that movie's plot/premise) and having a Colonial Marshal and transit Prisoner being another couple of options for "crew" presence for my players.
Ah yeah good call. I'd forgotten how much of an Aliens rip-off Pitch Black was in many ways!

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