[Year Zero Engine] Alien RPG Idea

#1
Hi everyone, I know there are some very experienced GMs here so just wanted your thoughts on an idea I am playing with.
I'm thinking of running a session using the Alien RPG at a convention, but the threat will not be 'zenomorphic' and something else. Do you think players would be ok with this or if signing up for an 'aliens' game finding there were no typical zenomorphs would spoil the session?
I was thinking that the expectation for something recognisable from the movies would work towards keeping the tension level up.
Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#2
This is a "switch and bait", and it can sound cool as a GM. However I have never found players like it nor have I as a player.
Double that for a con game where people are likely to want to trial the game "as pitched".
 
#3
I'd second The Guv's post with regard to a one off/con game. If playing in a campaign I think it would be good to vary the type of opposition the PCs encounter. An endless diet of acid spewing xenomorphs might get boring after a while. Alternative antagonists might be corporate personnel/mercs, other hostile life forms with their own deadly quirks (a la Pitch Black maybe), rogue androids, or a group from an area of space that's not US dominated as Alien etc seems to be. Maybe something like the Union of Progressive Peoples in William Gibson's unproduced Alien 3 script - Starship Spetznaz anyone?
 
#4
Thanks appreciate your input. I've resurrected and old scenario that was published in White Dwarf as a sci-fi Call of Cthulhu game way back in the day, the big bad was a star vampire. I think I'll use the base of the scenario and add some zenomorphic fun and switch out the strange alien altar (which did seem a bit non alien and more Myan) with some left over 'engineer' stuff.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#5
Aaaaaaah!
Well if it's a star vampire then what the hell it is a xenomorph!
I'd say that's easily close enough. The altar could be an Engineer operating theatre, but looks horribly like an altar.
 
#6
Thanks appreciate your input. I've resurrected and old scenario that was published in White Dwarf as a sci-fi Call of Cthulhu game way back in the day, the big bad was a star vampire.
The Last Log? One of my favourite classic White Dwarf scenarios and responsible for sparking my love of Call of Cthulhu and its progeny that continues to this day.

I’ve not playtested this but I have thought of running the scenario with additional antagonists – the scenario mentions the tribes that roam the planet (Pozalt VII?) and I thought they could make an appearance if the PCs manage to vanquish or escape the vampire. Sand Dwellers strike me as a suitable candidates, perhaps emerging en masse from the ground, or the caves in the rock formation beyond the altar to give the PCs a nasty fright just when they think it’s all over. Better get those sentry guns ready.

In your proposed scenario perhaps the tribe would worship the Engineers and regard the operating table as a sacred site, hence their irritation when the offworlders tramp all over it. Maybe the Star Vampire is an escaped or abandoned Engineer experiment who is treated as treat as a sort of demi-god with the attendant sacrificial rites and other hair raising devotional acts.
 
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#8
Aaaaaaah!
Well if it's a star vampire then what the hell it is a xenomorph!
I'd say that's easily close enough. The altar could be an Engineer operating theatre, but looks horribly like an altar.
Great idea...consider the engineer operating theatre idea used. Thanks
 
#9
The Last Log? One of my favourite classic White Dwarf scenarios and responsible for sparking my love of Call of Cthulhu and its progeny that continues to this day.

I’ve not playtested this but I have thought of running the scenario with additional antagonists – the scenario mentions the tribes that roam the planet (Pozalt VII?) and I thought they could make an appearance if the PCs manage to vanquish or escape the vampire. Sand Dwellers strike me as a suitable candidates, perhaps emerging en masse from the ground, or the caves in the rock formation beyond the altar to give the PCs a nasty fright just when they think it’s all over. Better get those sentry guns ready.

In your proposed scenario perhaps the tribe would worship the Engineers and regard the operating table as a sacred site, hence their irritation when the offworlders tramp all over it. Maybe the Star Vampire is an escaped or abandoned Engineer experiment who is treated as treat as a sort of demi-god with the attendant sacrificial rites and other hair raising devotional acts.
Yes it was 'The Last Log', goodness knows what year its from, but it certainly was back when White Dwarf was a great publication. I've got the players being a rescue team following up on the lost communication....just scribbling ideas at the moment. I was going to have the 'tribes' or rebels from the scenario replaced by another corporations commando squad who were sent to basically claim jump, but got on the wrong side of the creature and are now running for their lives. Sooo many good ideas.
 
#10
Pretty sure the The Last Log was from summer 1984. The hostile tribes don't get much air time, other than being mentioned as cultist types and chasing the luckless Zark Corp troops around the place. They're mostly background but giving them a starring role might amp up the fear level a bit, especially if they're manifestly non-humanoid, and/or bona fide nutters like the possessed miners in Ghosts of Mars.
 
#12
That sounds about right. I was in hospital at the time with a broken arm, complete with drip just after the op. My brother brought me WD to read, and (possible spoiler ahead) when he'd gone, reading the section where the investigators find the corpse strapped to the stretcher which has been savagely attacked incuding having the drip yanked out of its arm really made me freak. I suppose you had to be there. Certainly stuck in my mind all these years.
 
#13
That sounds about right. I was in hospital at the time with a broken arm, complete with drip just after the op. My brother brought me WD to read, and (possible spoiler ahead) when he'd gone, reading the section where the investigators find the corpse strapped to the stretcher which has been savagely attacked incuding having the drip yanked out of its arm really made me freak. I suppose you had to be there. Certainly stuck in my mind all these years.
Now you've put a date on it its made me feel really old! Funny after all these years I've ended up living in the same house and still playing games and painting miniatures...you think I would have move on a bit in the previous 36 years! lol
 
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