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Review Aliens RPG Post Mortem

I'm going to use this thread to do proper post mortems on my game.

I was hoping to have an expedition take place tonight (that is what the PCs planned for after the first session revealed looming airlock gasket failures in all of their habitats) in the second session of my Aliens game so I could write up a proper post-mortem with a lot of the system stress-tested.

Unfortunately things spiraled pretty dramatically with nearly everyone in the small Frontier Colony getting a virulent fungal infection + a sabotage effort within the Russian Roughneck/Engineer portion of the 15 person crew (the UPP, basically an interstellar socialist confederation composed of exactly who you would figure for the 80s franchise, believing the Frontier Colony was a secret bioweapons endeavor by the UA; United Americas).

So as of now, I've just got a lot of social conflict + a lot of Medic/disease conflict + Marshal investigating a scene + some Comtech conflict + science moves and fallout. No combat. No expedition. I'm not sure I want to do a write up yet.

My initial impressions after two sessions and no expedition + stealth/combat is as follows:

1) My Pathfinder 2 Fu isn't particularly strong, but there appears to be some inspiration here at both the noncombat level and the combat level. The noncombat action/conflict resolution level yields a spread of results like this:

- Success + Stunt (boon for every extra 6 result beyond the first).

- Success.

- Fail Forward.

- Hard Fail.

- Hard Fail + Spiral (Panic).

I was a tad skeptical at the outset, but I feel like this spread of outcomes/procedures for handling moves is working well to promote the sort of play one would expect in Aliens.

2) Combat has some level of intricate and interactive action economy with blocking (like PF2 I believe) for melee attacks. I'm utterly agnostic on this at this point (other than to say things like Xenomorphs are crazy deadly).

3) Contests (Opposed Rolls) are rough for the defender because (a) they can't Push (increasing your Stress Level but increasing your prospects in a move) and (b) they have to beat the aggressors 6 count (on a push - they both get 1 * 6 result - the aggressor wins). So therefore things like Stamina vs Virulence (for a disease) or Stamina vs any exposure or Stalking are likely to be rough on the defender.

4) The game has ways to marshal courage/grit (Pushing and increasing Stress) that encourages boldness and aggression but this also can and will absolutely trigger spirals internally (within a PC) and externally (within a crew/colony). This has a bit of a Dogs in the Vineyard feel where you marshal Relationships/Traits/Things in which you have a conflicted relationship (giving you both a big dice and a small dice which yields a much increased chance of Fallout). This should create that internal tension on a decision-in/decision-out basis and yield the erosion of character out from under you feel of Dogs and Aliens.

5) The game is Zone-centric for all mobility based conflicts (piloting vehicles, climbing/trekking, stalking/evading, ranged to close combat). Although they haven't been deployed yet in game, they seem to be very easy to use, to scale up and down as required for the obstacle/challenge/conflict and fairly well integrated with the system.

6) The fact that the Android (the Medic in this game who received a software download right before deployment as the first Medic perished) can't gain/use Stress (Push) nor Panic and doesn't deal with exposure related fallout will likely end up conveying a very functional "alien consciousness within our midst" vibe as all of the characters will be dealing with these things constantly.

7) Gear/Loadout/Encumbrance mechanics seem solid on the surface but (again) expedition to test this pending (I mean...hell, we'll see if we even get to that...this Colony may get "nuked from orbit" before that even occurs...the Android Medic and the Scientist - who is infected - will be working to devise a cure next session before everyone dies...nearly the entire Colony of 15 is infected after this session).

8) The advancement scheme of the game and the reward cycles broadly absolutely do the good work of having the game be propelled by Aliens-archetype dramatic needs/relationships (Agenda, Buddy/Rival).




So those are my initial thoughts without a full post mortem. I'll throw out some examples of the actual play in the coming days.
 

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1) My Pathfinder 2 Fu isn't particularly strong, but there appears to be some inspiration here at both the noncombat level and the combat level. The noncombat action/conflict resolution level yields a spread of results like this:

- Success + Stunt (boon for every extra 6 result beyond the first).

- Success.

- Fail Forward.

- Hard Fail.

- Hard Fail + Spiral (Panic).

I was a tad skeptical at the outset, but I feel like this spread of outcomes/procedures for handling moves is working well to promote the sort of play one would expect in Aliens.

I have no familiarity with PF2 at all, so I don't know about similarity there, but I agree that the outcomes as you've summarized do fit well with the setting.

2) Combat has some level of intricate and interactive action economy with blocking (like PF2 I believe) for melee attacks. I'm utterly agnostic on this at this point (other than to say things like Xenomorphs are crazy deadly).

My group of players have mostly played D&D or similar systems, and they all enjoy tactical combat to one degree or another, and the system seemed to give the ones that love that stuff enough to use, but not too much for those that aren't as concerned. It seems like a pretty good balance.

And yes, the xenomorphs are potentially very deadly. I liked the idea of the GM having to roll on the creatures turn to see what action it takes because it kind of helps portray them as unknowable and unpredictable, but also because it helps absolve the GM of responsibility for deploying their deadliest moves.

3) Contests (Opposed Rolls) are rough for the defender because (a) they can't Push (increasing your Stress Level but increasing your prospects in a move) and (b) they have to beat the aggressors 6 count (on a push - they both get 1 * 6 result - the aggressor wins). So therefore things like Stamina vs Virulence (for a disease) or Stamina vs any exposure or Stalking are likely to be rough on the defender.

I have to say I don't recall too many opposed rolls coming up in our game too much, except for combat rolls, so I don't recall this being an issue. It sounds like maybe it stands out as obvious given the scenario you've got with the viral outbreak? Probably something to be aware of and to adjust if you don't like how it works.

4) The game has ways to marshal courage/grit (Pushing and increasing Stress) that encourages boldness and aggression but this also can and will absolutely trigger spirals internally (within a PC) and externally (within a crew/colony). This has a bit of a Dogs in the Vineyard feel where you marshal Relationships/Traits/Things in which you have a conflicted relationship (giving you both a big dice and a small dice which yields a much increased chance of Fallout). This should create that internal tension on a decision-in/decision-out basis and yield the erosion of character out from under you feel of Dogs and Aliens.

Yeah, I like that the game moves you toward more capable as your stress mounts, but then at any moment things can go terribly wrong because of panic. It allows the characters to be capable and to pull off cool and dangerous stuff, but they know at any moment things can spiral. I've not yet had the chance to play Dogs in the Vineyard, but it does seem like a similarity, based on my minimal knowledge of that game.

5) The game is Zone-centric for all mobility based conflicts (piloting vehicles, climbing/trekking, stalking/evading, ranged to close combat). Although they haven't been deployed yet in game, they seem to be very easy to use, to scale up and down as required for the obstacle/challenge/conflict and fairly well integrated with the system.

I like the simplicity of zones. I think that it does come at the cost of some level of specificity as it relates to positioning and the like, but we were able to handle that in play. I recall when a Roughneck specifically moved into position to protect another PC, I think the rules would still allow an enemy to attack the other character because they're at Close range. We didn't do that because it undermined the Roughneck's move and seemed needlessly technical, but I remember thinking this could be an issue in some way or for some groups.

My memory could be off here, though.

6) The fact that the Android (the Medic in this game who received a software download right before deployment as the first Medic perished) can't gain/use Stress (Push) nor Panic and doesn't deal with exposure related fallout will likely end up conveying a very functional "alien consciousness within our midst" vibe as all of the characters will be dealing with these things constantly.

Yeah, I like how Androids do change things up instead of just being like a race option for a PC. And given that with Prometheus (and supposedly Covenant, but I can't say for sure as I've yet to see it) the nature of AI through the lens of David was pretty much the most compelling part of the film, I think your idea of an outsider among us seems suitable.

7) Gear/Loadout/Encumbrance mechanics seem solid on the surface but (again) expedition to test this pending (I mean...hell, we'll see if we even get to that...this Colony may get "nuked from orbit" before that even occurs...the Android Medic and the Scientist - who is infected - will be working to devise a cure next session before everyone dies...nearly the entire Colony of 15 is infected after this session).

Most of this worked just fine for our game, which was a three part cinematic scenario. We didn't concern ourselves immediately with the Supply mechanics; they seemed unlikely to come up given the shorter nature of the game. But later in the second session I started to implement them. I think on an expedition type of situation, where choice of loadout is meant to be important, these rules will help drive play and ratchet up the tension.

8) The advancement scheme of the game and the reward cycles broadly absolutely do the good work of having the game be propelled by Aliens-archetype dramatic needs/relationships (Agenda, Buddy/Rival).

Yeah, I like the list of XP triggers. I don't have my book handy, but I think you need like 5 xp to improve an existing skill or gain a new one, and I think it's pretty easy to get 5 xp in a session. Not sure about that rate of progress in a campaign. We weren't really concerned with it during our initial cinematic scenario. We did plan on taking the surviving characters from that cinematic scenario and then going into a campaign after, but we only did a session or two before we got interrupted, and then we haven't yet gone back to it.

I loved how the Agenda worked in the cinematic play, but in that case, they were chosen ahead of time because we used pregenerated characters. But I like how it gives the character clear cut goals, and they're more immediate than far off. Buddies and rivals also worked quite well. My players immediately accepted those and played accordingly, without even the xp carrot to chase.

All in all I think it's a good game, and they made some decisions that really suit the setting and the feel that they're going for. I'll be interested to hear how your game goes if any of the PCs live past your next session.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I still feel like Aliens is built to run prepared scenarios, in that while the resolution space does have the range of outputs that could enable more snowball/story now style play, the structure of the rest of the mechanics is very trad in approach. Skills are limited and tightly defined and almost entirely aimed at making the GM tell you more about the setting/situation. Combat is pretty well seated in wargaming conceits, such that having a map, even a rough one, seems imperative to get full use of the mechanics. I'm unsure if the approach being used is fully supported by the game, or if it's experience with other systems and smuggling in different conceits that's doing the heavy lifting.

I very much love large chunks of this system, but if I were to run it for me group (and I hope to), I think I'm going to lean a lot more towards a trad/classic approach of a prepped scenario rather than try to make what's here do the work I need it to for a more narrative experience.

I reserve the right to alter my opinions as play continues.
 

cmad1977

Hero
We liked it some. Our marines seemed to drop our weapons ALL THE TIME(seriously). I THINK the GM was calling for more rolls then necessary but none of the players(me included) reaaaallly know the rules that well.
There were times when I would need to decide what to do and I literally wanted to stand still because I had accrued so much stress.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
I still feel like Aliens is built to run prepared scenarios, in that while the resolution space does have the range of outputs that could enable more snowball/story now style play, the structure of the rest of the mechanics is very trad in approach. Skills are limited and tightly defined and almost entirely aimed at making the GM tell you more about the setting/situation. Combat is pretty well seated in wargaming conceits, such that having a map, even a rough one, seems imperative to get full use of the mechanics. I'm unsure if the approach being used is fully supported by the game, or if it's experience with other systems and smuggling in different conceits that's doing the heavy lifting.

I think I agree with this. I think that if one is running a prepped scenario, the tendency to generate failure into consequences, as opposed to failure into dead ends, would work better for that--and arguably capture the feel of the source material.
 




I ran two fairly successful, low-prep but short campaigns.

The maps, being zone based, need not be map-type maps, but can be made with flowchart software and work just fine as node-maps rather than deckplans.

If doing a ship based merchants spacer campaign, the skills are used actively to keep the ship running. Failures often result in stress accumulation... Routine operations are a major stressor for a starting party. The stress rules can cause interesting situations without having to add the (robust) random encounters process. One PC (an engineer) snapped from stress due to a drive failure.

One campaign ended due to a character's backstory NPC bringing a facehugger... and the PC tried to save them from themself... and got facehugged. The resulting xenomorph slowly killed off all the PCs...

The players restarted with a mercenaries party.
The other campaign, also a ship=based one, ended due to COVID making it too much like real life for me to cope as a GM. COVID lockdown also killed the mercs game, because that one was FTF.

By providing players with copies of the ship map, the online group handled play sans VTT easily - exact positioning is unneeded. For the local stuff, when it got hostile, a quick text node map was plenty.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Having done a lot of writing for Trophy lately I'm keenly aware of the joys of a good node based map. Never used to be my thing, but, much like a alien fungus, its growing on me.
 

MGibster

Legend
If doing a ship based merchants spacer campaign, the skills are used actively to keep the ship running. Failures often result in stress accumulation... Routine operations are a major stressor for a starting party. The stress rules can cause interesting situations without having to add the (robust) random encounters process. One PC (an engineer) snapped from stress due to a drive failure.
There's no reason to have characters roll skill checks for routine tasks. The rules tell us to save the dice rolling for dramatic situations or tough challenges.
 

I haven't forgotten about this thread. I'm going to put together a few posts to support my position on the ethos of this game and to do some post mortem. Maybe tonight I'll put together a post on my lines of evidence to support my position on the ethos of the game.

The post mortem will have to wait though because some loser had Kidney Stones last week so we didn't get to play (loser!)!
 


Quick thought after the session tonight on Panic:

* My review of the system presently is the Panic rules are (a) not specific enough when/how success is overtaken and (b) not thematically general enough in their renderings.

* I think sorting out when Success turns into Failure due to Panic result overwriting the success state in the fiction is a bit of an issue. This is complicated a bit by the fact that the results themselves (eg Drop an Item) are too high resolution...too specific.

* If I would have written the Panic rules, I would have codified when a Panic result overwrites a Success and made it strictly math (eg Failure = Subtract 1 Success for every Panic above 9...if you get to 0 Success, the result is a Failure...eg Success +2 is cancelled by Panic 11).

Then, I would have written the results themselves to be more like a PBtA move so the result can be mapped on the attendant fiction; eg Reveal an Unwelcome Truth or Show Signs of an Approaching Threat on 8 and 9.

This way the procedure for handling Success = Failure is low overhead and the "WTF does panic look like" carries a much broader descriptor and can easily be mapped to more situations/conflicts.
 

Presently, I think I see the game a little differently than @prabe and @Ovinomancer (who both see this as something of a Trad/Story Now tweener). I see (at least the Frontier Colony play) being entirely amenable to Story Now play along the Alien thematic axis. However, as noted above, I think the Panic rules are ultimately not beautifully crafted. They definitely seem to be written too specific to Xenos on your ship or confronting your marines in a creepy abandoned colony. So my thoughts:

* I look at the thematics of the character build rules, the xp triggers, the extremely good (imo) condition/exposure rules, the very solid encumbrance/gear rules. These all support survival horror, hubris-of-mankind tinkering with biology and engineering Story Now play about your biome trying to kill you and the politics/fears/curiosities spraying gasoline on the tender that is inherent to the Alien milieu (including the Corporations and the UPP and the UA) quite well. Things are big and sweeping and scary...but the thematics inherent to build/advancement are personal and intimate.

* The GMing advice tells me this game aspires to Story Now ethos. Here are the seminal parts I feel:

p18 The Game Mother
The game is a conversation between the players and the GM, back and forth, until a critical situation arises where the outcome is uncertain. Then it’s time to break out the dice—read more about this in Chapter 3.

It is the GM’s job to put obstacles in your path and challenge your PCs, forcing them to show what they’re really made of. But it is not up to the GM to decide what happens in the game—and above all, not how your story is supposed to end. That is decided in the game.

That is why you are playing the game, to find out how your story ends.


That is pretty much the Agenda of Dogs in the Vineyard "prep situation not plot...don't play the story...play the town" and Apocalypse World "play to find out."

* p206-208 Principles

  • Riff from the movies
  • Limit their resources
  • Stay in the shadows
  • Increase the pressure
  • Let them breathe

- F U E L T H E I R AG E N DAS
The PCs are living and breathing characters in the world of ALIEN, each with their own agendas and goals. Learn their agendas by heart
and feed into them. Put them in situations that directly challenge their goals and see how they react. Use their fragile humanity against them.

  • Bring horrible death
  • Reveal the univierse


Among these, I see a host of Story Now aspirant principles. I picked out Fuel Their Agendas in particular because it is so apropos of the premise of play in an Aliens game and the tech (character build and triggers and special item) push play toward this. It is the dramatic need portion of play and its telling GMs that play should orbit around this heavily and I think the system does solid work to enable this.


As I've said above, my only complaint (thus far...there absolutely may be more) is how the Panic rules were implemented. Tight codification vs interpretation of Panic overwriting Success would have been preferred and less specificity on the actual fiction of each result would have been better. If I was writing Aliens, these two things would have been changed.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Presently, I think I see the game a little differently than @prabe and @Ovinomancer (who both see this as something of a Trad/Story Now tweener). I see (at least the Frontier Colony play) being entirely amenable to Story Now play along the Alien thematic axis. However, as noted above, I think the Panic rules are ultimately not beautifully crafted. They definitely seem to be written too specific to Xenos on your ship or confronting your marines in a creepy abandoned colony. So my thoughts:

* I look at the thematics of the character build rules, the xp triggers, the extremely good (imo) condition/exposure rules, the very solid encumbrance/gear rules. These all support survival horror, hubris-of-mankind tinkering with biology and engineering Story Now play about your biome trying to kill you and the politics/fears/curiosities spraying gasoline on the tender that is inherent to the Alien milieu (including the Corporations and the UPP and the UA) quite well. Things are big and sweeping and scary...but the thematics inherent to build/advancement are personal and intimate.

* The GMing advice tells me this game aspires to Story Now ethos. Here are the seminal parts I feel:

p18 The Game Mother
The game is a conversation between the players and the GM, back and forth, until a critical situation arises where the outcome is uncertain. Then it’s time to break out the dice—read more about this in Chapter 3.

It is the GM’s job to put obstacles in your path and challenge your PCs, forcing them to show what they’re really made of. But it is not up to the GM to decide what happens in the game—and above all, not how your story is supposed to end. That is decided in the game.

That is why you are playing the game, to find out how your story ends.


That is pretty much the Agenda of Dogs in the Vineyard "prep situation not plot...don't play the story...play the town" and Apocalypse World "play to find out."

* p206-208 Principles

  • Riff from the movies
  • Limit their resources
  • Stay in the shadows
  • Increase the pressure
  • Let them breathe

- F U E L T H E I R AG E N DAS
The PCs are living and breathing characters in the world of ALIEN, each with their own agendas and goals. Learn their agendas by heart
and feed into them. Put them in situations that directly challenge their goals and see how they react. Use their fragile humanity against them.

  • Bring horrible death
  • Reveal the univierse


Among these, I see a host of Story Now aspirant principles. I picked out Fuel Their Agendas in particular because it is so apropos of the premise of play in an Aliens game and the tech (character build and triggers and special item) push play toward this. It is the dramatic need portion of play and its telling GMs that play should orbit around this heavily and I think the system does solid work to enable this.


As I've said above, my only complaint (thus far...there absolutely may be more) is how the Panic rules were implemented. Tight codification vs interpretation of Panic overwriting Success would have been preferred and less specificity on the actual fiction of each result would have been better. If I was writing Aliens, these two things would have been changed.
So, in response, I point to your earlier post where you clearly point out that the main driver of complication for Story Now play is the Panic rules and that these are not written to facilitate the play, but would work better with a fairly substantial rewrite. I agree with this, wholeheartedly, but I think that the very narrowness of the Panic rules, the genre and play assumptions that they assume, and further the same kind of design and intent present in both the skills (very specific, non-general skill system with tightly constrained, pre-story applied result options) and the talents (same as skills -- tightly constrained with story assumptions baked in) actively belie the idea that this system is broad enough to step far outside the titular genre assumptions.

I mean, yeah, there's a lot here that suggests, and even outright claims, things that seem to lead to good story now play, but then there are clear design elements that do not, and these permeate the system. Combat is highly detailed and leans into specific genre assumptions. The skill system and talent system are not flexible but rather tuned to replicate the source material. The panic system is too keyed to specific genre assumptions. This is why I say the game is a tweener -- it leans towards story now in some ways but then claws back to traditional/classic play with others. Outside play features the titular genre assumptions, I think that this very much starts to become incoherent.

That said, you're very much skilled and experienced enough with systems to paper this over. I'm enjoying the game, and the pain points -- so far -- are not strong enough to cause me to do much more than note them. However, when we get a berserk result on the panic table for a roll to try to find out what happened at a murder scene or to treat a wounded roughneck... I'm not sure I see a way to reconcile that at all. I mean, it would be hilarious to watch Birdwhistle go berserk (although I'm sure I could find a way to turn science into a horrific weapon of immediate rage), but I don't see how failing a research roll would lead to that result.
 

@Ovinomancer , that looks pretty good to me in terms of assessment. I think I'll have a better feel after the next few sessions when combat experience, trekking, and exposure/conditions come into play.

I think you may be right though. The Panic rules issue may be a pivot point that really hurts this game. The more I get exposed to them, the less I love their instantiation. And play is so propelled by them that it becomes a thing.

Some of them are good because they belie environmental stresses that are broad:

7 NERVOUS TWITCH. Your STRESS LEVEL, and the STRESS LEVEL of all friendly PCs in SHORT range of you, increases by one.

8 TREMBLE. You start to tremble uncontrollably. All skill rolls using AGILITY suffer a –2 modification until your panic stops.

10 FREEZE. You’re frozen by fear or stress for one Round, losing your next point of action. Your STRESS LEVEL, and the STRESS LEVEL

Others...not so good.

11 SEEK COVER. You must use your next action to move away from danger and find a safe spot if possible. You are allowed to make a
retreat roll (p. 59) if you have an enemy at ENGAGED range. Your STRESS LEVEL is decreased by one, but the STRESS LEVEL of all
friendly PCs in SHORT range increases by one. After one Round, you can act normally.


I mean...come on here. This is extremely specific, extremely action economy specific, and extremely threat type/kind specific (you aren't Seeking Cover against a biological threat that can't pursue you/attack at range nor a geographic hazard that isn't a pyroclastic cloud or the like!).

Not great.

I'm also unclear on what the cash economy is supposed to do for outlying Frontier Colonies that are small and isolated.


What this game may turn out to be is a very aspirant Story Now game with some hexcrawl tech and some very poorly conceived tech that wobbles play a fair bit.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
@Ovinomancer , that looks pretty good to me in terms of assessment. I think I'll have a better feel after the next few sessions when combat experience, trekking, and exposure/conditions come into play.

I think you may be right though. The Panic rules issue may be a pivot point that really hurts this game. The more I get exposed to them, the less I love their instantiation. And play is so propelled by them that it becomes a thing.

Some of them are good because they belie environmental stresses that are broad:

7 NERVOUS TWITCH. Your STRESS LEVEL, and the STRESS LEVEL of all friendly PCs in SHORT range of you, increases by one.

8 TREMBLE. You start to tremble uncontrollably. All skill rolls using AGILITY suffer a –2 modification until your panic stops.

10 FREEZE. You’re frozen by fear or stress for one Round, losing your next point of action. Your STRESS LEVEL, and the STRESS LEVEL

Others...not so good.

11 SEEK COVER. You must use your next action to move away from danger and find a safe spot if possible. You are allowed to make a
retreat roll (p. 59) if you have an enemy at ENGAGED range. Your STRESS LEVEL is decreased by one, but the STRESS LEVEL of all
friendly PCs in SHORT range increases by one. After one Round, you can act normally.


I mean...come on here. This is extremely specific, extremely action economy specific, and extremely threat type/kind specific (you aren't Seeking Cover against a biological threat that can't pursue you/attack at range nor a geographic hazard that isn't a pyroclastic cloud or the like!).

Not great.

I'm also unclear on what the cash economy is supposed to do for outlying Frontier Colonies that are small and isolated.


What this game may turn out to be is a very aspirant Story Now game with some hexcrawl tech and some very poorly conceived tech that wobbles play a fair bit.
Or a trad/classic game with some fun "in the sandbox" story now tech. I honestly see this game working well with a classic approach and heavy source genre theming -- like crawling around a colony overrun by xenomorphs or investigating a derelict freighter, but all with pulse rifles close to hand or power tools or the like.

I think it CAN flex, but it would require a panic system rewrite like you suggest above and a pass over the skills/talents. Honestly, though, that's too much work to interest me anymore. I'd rather do the kitbash on a PbtA game, or use FATE, or find another system that I can more easily bend to the genre assumptions than patch Aliens. That said, I'm very much going to be running that classic crawl for my home group in the Aliens system because that looks like hella fun to me. It's gonna be tropey as hell, and if people aren't quoting movie lines every 15 seconds, I'm adding more xenomorphs.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Or a trad/classic game with some fun "in the sandbox" story now tech. I honestly see this game working well with a classic approach and heavy source genre theming -- like crawling around a colony overrun by xenomorphs or investigating a derelict freighter, but all with pulse rifles close to hand or power tools or the like.

I think it CAN flex, but it would require a panic system rewrite like you suggest above and a pass over the skills/talents. Honestly, though, that's too much work to interest me anymore. I'd rather do the kitbash on a PbtA game, or use FATE, or find another system that I can more easily bend to the genre assumptions than patch Aliens. That said, I'm very much going to be running that classic crawl for my home group in the Aliens system because that looks like hella fun to me. It's gonna be tropey as hell, and if people aren't quoting movie lines every 15 seconds, I'm adding more xenomorphs.
Heh. I'd probably want to use a different ruleset in the setting, too, but for entirely different reasons. I think the setting is interesting as hell, and I kinda dig the character oriented stuff, but I think the game gets less interesting, the closer it gets to the source material.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Heh. I'd probably want to use a different ruleset in the setting, too, but for entirely different reasons. I think the setting is interesting as hell, and I kinda dig the character oriented stuff, but I think the game gets less interesting, the closer it gets to the source material.
Fair enough. I like them both -- scratch different itches.
 

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