You Are Expendable, Stay Alive if You Can with the Alien RPG Starter Kit

The USCSS Montero starfreighter diverts to check out the distress call of the USCSS Cronus science exploration ship. As the crew unravels what is happening stress builds sharpening skills and creating panic. Bodies pile up and conflicting agendas demonstrate that in some ways humans are worse than aliens.


Alien the Roleplaying Game debuts in December with pre-order customers receiving the Cinematic Starter Kit PDF for free. A link in the PDF allows for feedback. The RPG covers all of the movies and adds additional details and locations.

Alien monsters and body horror are featured. The Alien RPG also covers man’s hubris, motherhood and family, and loss and sacrifice. It wrestles with questions about A.I. and faith and creators and creations struggling for dominance over each other. Corporate greed and avarice run rampant, superior firepower and fancy tech won’t save the day, and life is about pushing the envelope despite the consequences. Player characters are part of the rough and tumble colony worlds and space routes of the Frontier and must face their demons both internal and alien.

The Frontier is dominated by the United Americas although other nations like the Three World Empire, dominated by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, vie for resources. Three years have passed since the destruction of the Hadley’s Hope colony, the disappearance of the USS Sulaco and its Colonial Marine unit, and the closing of the prison on Fiorina 161. These losses have created distrust between the United Americas and the corporations that sponsor colonies. Many Frontier worlds have had Colonial Marine units redeployed off-world and have elected Marshals to oversee law enforcement.

Groups play as Frontier colonists, space truckers, or Colonial Marines. A PC might also be a company rep for a corporation or an android (hidden or revealed). The GM, the Game Mother, runs either a Cinematic scenario as a one-shot with pre-generated characters or a full campaign (not covered in the Starter Kit). The key themes are space horror, sci-fi action, and a sense of wonder.

Alien runs on Year Zero, Free League’s d6 dice pool system based on attributes, skills, and gear. A failed attempt can be pushed, which generate stress dice that improves later rolls but can lead to panicking. Consumables include air, food, water, and power are normally available in civilization but if scarce can disappear quickly using a dice pool mechanic.

In addition to combat, the game features stealth mode. PCs search areas looking for enemies while those enemies sneak around in secret hunting the PCs. Detection is handled via skills with motion sensors detecting motion automatically. Markers can be used to track movement and pings on the sensor.

Combat is handled in zones and through the use of skills and gear (weapons and armor). Many other hazards are detailed along with radiation and vacuum. Synthetics and xenomorphs get special rules. Vehicles and ships will be detailed in the main rulebook.

Chariot of the Gods is a complete included Cinematic scenario. It includes pre-generated characters with conflicting agendas. The three themes are covered with a focus on space horror sci-fi action as an answered distress call leads to terror. PCs who pursue a Personal Agenda earn Story Points which are used to get bonus successes. Story Points belong to the player not the character and can be used in later Cinematic scenarios.

The Alien RPG will build on the universe background, character building, and rules provided in the Starter Kit. The Starter Kit promises a complete roleplaying experience in a few short hours with a promise of more space horror adventures to follow. The Alien RPG Starter Kit hits the mark and delivers sci-fi horror.

This article was contributed by Charles Dunwoody as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. Please note that Charles is a participant in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to DriveThruRPG. If you enjoy the daily news and articles from EN World, please consider contributing to our Patreon!
 
Charles Dunwoody

Comments

lyle.spade

Explorer
I bought into this, and have run and played the Chariots of the Gods adventure. I like it. FL has done a fine job of tweaking their Year Zero engine to provide for a streamlined, drama and setting-focused game in which player decisions - at least in cinematic mode - will almost certainly generate discord between characters...and that's a good thing. The Panic system is easy to track, makes sense to facilitate the horror vibe of the franchise; and combat and resource tracking is easy, too.

If you want to know anything about it feel free to ask me here.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
This sounds awesome. I totally love the Year Zero Engine and have written heaps of extras for it, including adapting it to run Star Wars.

Very interested in this, though I am not the most learned on Aliens lore, so would probably rather be a player ;)
 
This sounds awesome. I totally love the Year Zero Engine and have written heaps of extras for it, including adapting it to run Star Wars.

Very interested in this, though I am not the most learned on Aliens lore, so would probably rather be a player ;)
The core rulebook will have a lot of Alien universe info. And you can always watch Alien and Aliens again. Plus movies like Blade Runner and Outland.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
This sounds awesome. I totally love the Year Zero Engine and have written heaps of extras for it, including adapting it to run Star Wars.

Very interested in this, though I am not the most learned on Aliens lore, so would probably rather be a player ;)
True :) Just not sure I would be the best at running such a game ;) I would like to, but another member of our group might be better placed for that role. In any case I would love to delve into this take on one of my favourite systems. I really enjoy YZE.
 

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