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FiendishlyInventive
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Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 05:50

I must say, I'm absolutely floored by every aspect of this- especially the respect given to the first three Alien films, The Cold Forge and the current Alien canon, (No ACM, Rage War, Fire and Stone, Life and Death thank heavens In retrospect I'm incorrect on the last one. Ugh. ) the realistic tone is excellent and it's the most world building I've ever seen for the series in one piece of media.

The section on the Neomorph in particular is magnificent, perfect understanding of the creature as it is in the film. And the section on the Engineers I could go on about.

My one major issue is the nature of the Alien itself funnily enough, I don't see the need for all the "unique" versions, a great deal of them unhinging the realism the book so perfectly set up beforehand. The Weaver for example is entirely unnecessary, not great for something named "The Perfect Organism" - I do like the addition of the Stalker though, although it's existence I think required a clearer description.

For instance, I think in the Egg section it should have detailed three types of Eggs.
The regular one, producing the regular (Soldier) Alien, the Praetomorph Egg producing the Stalker Alien and the Praetorian Egg producing the Praetorian Facehugger- and perhaps go for the more believable terminology the Neomorph section used.

Why have three unique names for essentially the one thing changed slightly?

Why not just for the Soldier have "Soldier" and then "Armoured Soldier" for instance?

And for the Scout, "Scout" and "Armoured Scout" then?

And for the Charger, isn't it essentially identical to the Praetorian but just quadrupedal instead of bipedal? Why not merge them into the one creature?
In a story for instance just a Praetorian or two that were intended to be Queens just have to stay as is because a Queen is already present?

While I understand the "Royal Jelly" nonsense, might be useful for gameplay and all the castes, I don't think the believability/tonal/plausibility trade is worth it.

Much love, Lucy.
Last edited by FiendishlyInventive on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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HamsterOfWrath
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 10:50

What I love about this book is that they've taken influences from all the Canon sources and as far as I can tell there is a sprinkling from some of the older extended universe novels and some of the older computer games. Royal Jelly was a major commodity in the comics and novels and is even mentioned in the original novelisation of Aliens. The Crusher/Charger is from Aliens: Colonial Marines and while it's not really in keeping with the creeping horror idea of Alien overall, I like the idea of a different kind of threat. You can see it, you know where it is, but you can't stop it (or at least it's very difficult to so do). It's also significantly tougher and slower than a Praetorian if you look at the stat line. 

I like the idea of alien Variants other than the standard Alien, most people who will be interested in this game will be very aware of the pitfalls when it comes down to being in a situation with an Alien in it. Throwing something at them that has different abilities from the ones seen in the movies can keep the players on their toes. I kitbashed a "Boiler" Alien from Colonial Marines, a malformed version of the standard Alien that is physically weaker and explodes into a hail of acid (more so than the regular version) however its sensory apparatus is damaged so it is essentially blind and only responds to sound, basically a sound seeking landmine on legs. I may have to go back and tinker with it now I have the official rules. I'm hoping for a "Build your own Alien" guide at some point.

You can go a bit bonkers with the number of variant Aliens, check out the Kenner toys line: https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Aliens_(Kenner) which might be going a bit too far. Also Batman fought a Crocodile Alien once, I have no idea how a standard Facehugger managed that one: https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Crocodile_Alien as a crocodile snout isn't exactly compatible with its egg laying apparatus, so to speak.     

I also like the continuation of the idea of all the Alien species as myths and legends to the universe at large, you can choose which bits of the story are true and chuck out the bits you don't like and I'd say that goes for the types of Alien as well. 
 
wendal
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 11:30

Sounds absolutely amazing, everything I have been looking for in an Rpg series, one attached to my favourite universe in the universe. Can't wait for this book, the pdf anything to sink my teeth and second jaw into.
"The bitch is back" Ellen Ripley.
 
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FiendishlyInventive
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 15:24

Yeah, I understand I just wish the more "out there" Alien types were separate from the more believable ones. As to me, the number of variants the old EU came up with was beyond ridiculous.
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HamsterOfWrath
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 15:30

Yeah, I understand I just wish the more "out there" Alien types were separate from the more believable ones. As to me, the number of variants the old EU came up with was beyond ridiculous.
Oh yes, it got a bit bonkers with the extended universe stuff no doubt. :) They stopped short of Badger Xenomorphs or Pidgeon Xenomorphs thankfully. 
 
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FiendishlyInventive
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 19:31

It's a real pity I absolutely LOVE the majority of the book, because;

Not sure how I feel about companies actually obtaining the Alien, nor the additions to Acheron LV-426; the idea the Derelict survived, ambiguously. Instead of directly connecting it to The Cold Forge, or declaring it destroyed completely. Fiorina 161; three Eggs in the bowels of the facility, Andrews, Boggs and Rains ovomorphed. Or particularly LV-223- The inclusion of the awful Fire and Stone series continuity in particular is immensely disappointing, as is the referencing of the Pathogen as an "Accelerant" something retconned by Covenant. It's honestly totally took the wind out of my sails in regards to the book...
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wendal
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 19:51

A little retcon, as you do in regards to LV-426, Bishop miscalculated the blast? the yield? The chitinous nest of the aliens acted as some sort of shield, deflecting the majority of the blast up and away from the facility into the atmosphere? I'm no scientist but I love a good story. The radiation could have been absorbed by the nest and made inert. Either way I plan to return to hadleys hope.
"The bitch is back" Ellen Ripley.
 
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FiendishlyInventive
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 20:06

Ugh, I don't I've had enough of LV-426 for one lifetime, between Alien, Aliens and Isolation another encounter on it is just unrealistic.
Fiorina 161? Perhaps.

But adding to my variation doubts: Empress, okay but also the redundant Queen Mother? Also the ridiculous Alien King? Really? Seriously? Also the Deacon isn't a missing link, just a variation of the Neomorph due to circumstance.

Because of the information from Prometheus, Covenant and David's Drawings we now know the Pathogen works as such:

David sacrifices the Engineers against their will- wiping the planet clean and bringing forth Neomorphs.
And the Neomorph has every feature the Deacon has, except it also has back spines and a tail.
Generally in appearance is closer to Carlos Huante's concept art.

Deployment of Pathogen on a planet:

Spore Pod = Egg
Notes = Facehugger
Bloodburster = Chestburster
Neomorph = Xenomorph

I believe that in a planet wide infection, Deacons do get created-
Perhaps it even bypasses the Trilobite if the reproductive system is functional.
But it still requires indirect contact- drinking from a river that became infected for instance-
Then if sex occurred, we know the rest- the woman likely dies in birth and the man turns into a raving lunatic and is going to explode.
If it creates a Trilobite the Trilobite needs to survive until it's fully grown and then infect someone else.
If it goes straight to Deacon, which it may well do- sure.

Unlike the Neomorph being generated though- this requires two people to have sex;
Which is far, far more unlikely than some poor sod being in the initial blast radius or
looking for food in the wilderness and getting infected by spores.

This all said;
I actually believe the Deacon of Prometheus is one of a kind, and owes its skin colour to the fact it was
generated through two distinctly different beings, the Engineer and a pair of humans.
Considering literally everything else that was generated solely from one species
in the prequel films is pale white and partially translucent.

The Pathogen always creates a creature slightly different yes, but the chaos is consistent- for example;

"The original liquid atomized to particles when exposed to the air."

"The pathogen was designed to affect all non-botanical life forms.
All the animals, the 'meat', if you will... either kill them outright
or use them as incubators to spawn a hybrid form, highly aggressive."

"From the eggs, came these parasites... shock troops
of the genetic assault.Waiting for a host, entering the host...
rewriting the DNA... and ultimately... producing,
these enviable unions."

Apply deductive reasoning and you start to discover patterns in all things it creates;

The Neomorphs and LV-223 creations all have:
-Acidic blood/saliva
-Pale, translucent skin
-Elongated limbs
-Extra appendages; back spines, extra fingers and a pharyngeal jaw in the Neomorphs' case.
(The unfolding appendages around the head hiding an attack method
in the case of the Hammerpedes and Trilobite, much like the pharyngeal jaw.)

Where-as I'd say the infected personnel of those on LV-223 all shared similar qualities.
The infected Sean Fifield is quite obvious, he became bloated in the cranium, with veins rising to the surface.
In behaviour became extremely aggressive and violent. It's unclear if his proportions were effected.

The infected Charlie Holloway carries many of the same traits, with veins rising to the surface of his skin
and becoming aggressive when crew members of the Prometheus tried to assist him.
I hypothesize it likely that he would have became what the "Fifield Monster" was if given time.

A prolonged death sentence.

Why death? No incubation?
Essentially because it's been stated by the production that Holloway and Fifield
were on the same path that the decapitated Engineer was on.
They showed many of the same symptoms as the infected Engineer, so I supposition that with this usage of the Pathogen;
That if infected it will; (depending upon dosage) increasingly send the victim into a violent rage,
increasing their physical attributes while returning the mental ones to that of the entirely primal;
until their cranium explodes and they finally die.
A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse or delusions of morality...
 
wendal
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 21:24

Unfortunately until I get my hands on this beauty I cannot speculate much on how they have handled the alien variations. 

I agree that the deacon was one of a kind, starting as a black drop in a drink all the way to the hybridised human/engineer Deacon itself. 

I'm also assuming in its life cycle the trilobite would have killed the host as it grew, it was causing shaw pain almost instantly and it ended up rather large, without nutrients of any kind usually provided by a host. Having the pod cut it out for her prevented her death. This trilobite then grew until it could overwhelm the engineer. 

Fiefields infection had multiple factors, the acid splash forcing his helmets glass to fold back in on itself before collapsing face first into a pool of it all. Direct external and internal contact. 

Absorbing smaller amounts of the pathogen directly seems to just destabilise the genetic structure, holloway looked to be going through the same experience  as the engineer at the begging of the movie went through, excruciatingly deconstructed at a genetic level, still able to realise his current predicament and that he needs to be burned. 

Where as fiefield was lost to the ravages of its chaotic mutations on the human form from the outside, holloways one drop from the inside. 
"The bitch is back" Ellen Ripley.
 
wendal
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Re: Love the work put into this

Sat 09 Nov 2019, 21:31

Following the Ripley breadcrumb trail to Fiorina 161 would be cool, the dark, labyrinth of tunnels, maybe WY left behind a synthetic security detail or crew, just in case they missed something, anything. Having been slowly remapping the facility they stumble onto oh I don't know something alien. 

Maybe they just want to use it as a black site to conduct there usual experiments?
"The bitch is back" Ellen Ripley.
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