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Alien rpg

Discussion in 'The Gazebo' started by Lagi, Dec 25, 2020.

  1. Lagi Savant

    Lagi
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    [​IMG]

    Usually I should play loads of board game by now, but current situation thwart that routine. It been 10y since the last time I play some pnp rpg that was worth the time spend on it. Trying to support my local game place I decide to buy this book. I didnt play Alien Rpg, its just my opinions after reading it. Im not a fan of alien franchise (but I value the universe above SWars or STrek) so i would not comment about content faithfulness.

    Book is 400 page thick waste of black ink. Doesnt have any boring walls of text. Layout is very pleasant to read. Have not enough pictures. I like this book very much, and dont regret my 40 pounds.

    rules

    I buy Alien RPG after checking inside that the system is not yet another copy of DnD, and the game mechanics actually was mode by someone who play pnp, not only pretend its fun to do math calculation or sleep with eyes open waiting for own turn to do some calculation.

    TLDR Mechanic: Attribute+Skill+Stress = pool D6 -> you need single "6" on any dice to success. Modifiers are +- dice.

    4x attributes (strenght, agility, wits, emphaty) with 3x skill each (total 12).

    Gender dont affect anything. Which is a shame, because the mechanic begs to give females -1 Strength and +1 Empathy.

    attributes take value 2-5, skills 0-3.
    Which create issue: Very agile redneck who cannot ride a bike can be a better pilot than some leg amputee guy with years of fly experience.
    Agility 5 + Skill 0 > Agility 0 + Skill 3

    IMO attributes should grant you +1, +2 (or -1) and most of dice should come from skill (gear).
    f.ex. you have no idea how to fix the engine, but you had motorcycle as a kid (atr+1, skill 0 = 1 dice).
    f.ex.2 you are master of karate, too bad you're skinny guy (atr -1, skill 4 = 3)

    some of the skills are just extension of attribute:
    stamina [from strength] = its used to endure harassment, well the attribute is covering exactly same thing
    mobility [from agility] = this one should be renamed to Sneaking, cause its used also for hiding.

    every one has Health, which is a normal HP. A thin layer of paint on someone, you have to scrap to hurt him.
    Nope it is not used as "body calories / energy" or its not reduced by hunger or radiation. You need to tick separate boxes on character sheet for that. Health is a "Force-shield", used for tracking when you can get wounded.

    Stress
    this rules are brilliant. You accumulate Stress points (0 - 10). More stress = more dice (that makes sens!). More stress more chance for Panic (roll "1") - I like that!

    NO,
    Add 1d6 to current Stress & check table for result.

    Wound table is similar, but worse. When your Health is 0 (="broken") and you then get wounded again, you roll 2d6 to check table for anything from nothing to instant death without save.

    You dont track ammo use, when you Panic during shooting you need reload. I like that too.

    There are auto-success rules that wreck the whole purpose of having mechanic in your game. If you like only to pretend that rolling dice can fail, then there are Pushed Roll rules and Story Points.

    On the plus I acknowledge the rule, if your modified dice pool is zero or less, you auto fail. No minimum 1 dice pool regulations.


    Equipment

    weapons have static value of damage, that reduce health.
    How many damage the iconic pulse rifle do? 2
    How many damage the naked, human fist do? 1 (same as pistol)

    each success (1/6) on armor dice cancel 1 damage.
    How many armor dice the combat armor grant (standard that was used by Marines in Alien2)? 6 dice

    How many stage 5, Xeno Soldier (the main sneaky dude, from cinema), has health? 8 (and 10 armor dice)
    How hard Xenomorph hit? you roll in table: it scare you, stun you or hit with damage 2.

    Im not saying above values are wrong, because you can add more damage with extra success from hit, you can pierce armor (or double armor if you punch someone). Blocking melee hits reduce damage, like armor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  2. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    It's a nice system, I liked a lot the division of "single shot with high lethality" and campaign play less focused on kill 'em all. From the tests I've run (good fucking luck finding someone willing to play this) the combat is insanely lethal, as it should be. It's a very nice RPG book to simply read tho, it gets the Alien feeling quite well and has a good amount of references to even secondary material (the commieblock of the failed Alien 3 scripts, for example, or the political organization of colonial space).

    The only complaint is that the adventure you get with the base book seems confusing to run, with a kitchen sink of mostly Prometheus-inspired foes. I'd love to hear the opinion of someone that managed to run it.

    Also, the equipment and the gun nut part is mightily uncreative.
     
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  3. Elim Augur

    Elim
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    The system is nice for oneshots or small adventures.
    For everything else...Traveller+Hostile is the best Alien game on the market.
     
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  4. Lagi Savant

    Lagi
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    or maybe i do.

    I play with myself some Marine vs Xeno Soldier battle.
    The amount of damage deal to Xeno is too low. Dont get me wrong Im all hands and legs for, Alien wipe the floor in red with human corpse. But it feels like Marines are shooting concrete wall instead some Bio target. Xeno should has about 33%-50% to die if just front attack the marine (give them chance to shoot at him), it would be in tact with movies.

    Even skilled marines with some stress that roll 12 dice [atr 4+ 3 skill + 4 stress +1 gear bonus], will deal about 3 damage.
    then xeno has 10 armor dice! which reduce damage by half, to 1 or 2 points... and still can withstand 8 damage, before can (or not) die.

    Im not sure how many turn exactly it take me, assuming my marines dont die previous turn, but it was about 8 turn? to kill a single creature in open combat.

    Xeno has special random attack when he usually roll 12 dice,... or do nothing, or make a suicide ?!?! WTF. its faster to wait for xeno kill himself that to shoot him down.

    =============
    other thing is the amount of dice I have to roll.

    the attack is ok, and its quite fun, to see dice pool growing taking into account lots of things (atr, skill, stress, gear).

    but rolls for xeno are wearing, its more than 10x dice every time. And you rolling and rolling and nothing happens, like in Warhammer FB.

    I said this game system would benefit if some rolls succeed on 5+ (xeno armour or attack) or even better, forget about rolling dice for armour and give static 1 damage reduction, to speed up the game.
    f.ex. the situation when you hit marine in uncovered by armor place, is simulated by a chance to roll one more 6 on attack roll.

    second thing is the stunts from extra success, maybe im wrong but its better to increase the damage. That saying, the "5" results could give some stunts effect without increasing the damage.

    =============
    I love this game, i think i would like to play it.
    I check the other game mechanic from Free League games (Forbidden Lands, Coriolis - they are free to download), but Alien RPG seems to have the most refine rules.

    ==============
    ==============
    edit: house rules (yes yes autism (open)


    Xeno signature attack nr 5 Die for the Queen, from page 311 should be replaced with attack nr 3 (or nr 4 if the current hive strategy is to capture hosts).

    For xeno critical injury on page 291, for value 5 should be replaced with Die for the Queen - so Alien explode, and shower everyone with acid or other blood type (if its not acid).
    -------
    no armor rolls

    Adult Aliens have 2 dmg reduction (1 vs fire)
    *Charger has 3 (1)
    *worker 1 (0)
    && divide all aliens health by 2 (I know they would have less HP than tougher humans, but they not always die when critically wounded)

    m3 personal armor & pressure suit: 1 reduction
    Eco & Apesuit: -2 dice for all enemy attack rolls. 0 reduction.

    Cover (96 page):
    bulkhead wall : 1 armor reduction
    armored covers : 2 armor reduction (or more)

    rest of softer walls and obstructions:
    -1 attack dice - if target is visible behind cover
    -2 dice - target is hidden behind small cover (fully ducking behind box)
    -3 dice - target is behind big cover (somewhere in room, behind thin wall - spray and pray)

    -------
    [rest of my ideas are much worse]


    edit2:
    i playtest marine vs xeno soldier little more. I use more rules (Full Auto shoot, Armor pierce for rifle, Push rolls)

    Amount of dice in pool is insane. I roll 16 for marine. Each time picking 12x dice for xeno attack is wearing. I need to count how many dice i have in hand to be sure.

    Panic mechanic is odd, I once twice in a row panic during shooting which result with need to reload turn after turn, and no bullets were shoot at all (panic cancel current action). Hmm... Im reinforced in opinion, there should be less dice in pool, but success on 5+ , in some cases.

    I try to block xeno attacks with about 10 dice. Then its armor rolls. Insane dice bucket rolling, all the time (just for 1x marine vs 1x alien).

    I even make test with ArmorReduction and the game is faster, better. Unless one dont cry about "my personal armor dont give me any benefit vs Armor Piercing :' - ( " , but only signature effect 3 of xeno soldier is armor piercing, so armor has its use.

    For about 6 try, I kill xeno twice, once he dont even come to melee range. On the other hand 2x I shoot full auto to xeno and do him nothing, then in melee with -3 dice, and even 6 stress (each full auto+1, some xeno attack can add 1, some panic effect add 1, you might want to PushRolls) dice shooting is risky. Im not sure if stats are fine or not now :/ , there is too many dice to roll for sure.

    also can i still use rifle if I receive wound to arm?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  5. Lagi Savant

    Lagi
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    another combat playtest solo:

    I discover;
    Aim action that grant +2 dice when shooting
    Acid Splash every time Xeno get wounded, it spray acid on the guy, he is in melee with.
    Xeno signature attack nr 6, just kill you on spot if it deal ANY damage.

    Opinions:
    Aim is an compulsory action each time. How can you not take +2 dice for fast action? This remove ALL manoeuvrability you could have with a spare Fast Action. I cant move, jump behind cover, get up from prone, draw a pistol (reload case) or block any more , because i aim before. That sucks! Moreover apparently you can shoot full auto and aim... or use Smart gun and aim. I know nonsense on its own, but it should be addressed in rulebook.

    acid splash is yet another rule to slow down the combat with counting dice :/ . After you roll 15 dice on attack, then 10 dice on armor, you have also to roll 10 on Acid Splash. The more I learn the rules the less i like AlienRPG.

    Xeno signature attack nr 6 from page 311 is another IMBA (after effect 5- xeno suicide). Kill player on spot? Much cinematic my ass. Isnt the purpose of scraping Health to save player from instant death from single attack? How was this playtested?

    All weapons have armor piercing. Whats the point? Just reduce every armor by 2.

    HOUSE RULE HARD (open)

    1. remove armor rolls - give flat reduction like in previous post
    2. remove AIM action from game. Completly.
    3. remove Armor Piercing from all weapons. (If weapon use Dirt Bullets page 123, then it has AP. Few weapons should keep AP, Bolt pistol, grappling hook, scope rifle).

    4. the weapon Damage should be lower by 1, but you count each success on dice. F.ex. you roll 6,6,6,3,2,4 with damage 1 weapon - you deal 3+1 damage. (Currently I remove 1 succes from dice and then add the weapon damage, which is always min1).

    5. unarmed attack should has damage "-1" , i mean you need to has 2 success to deal 1 damage. This would incline character to go grapple, shove etc.

    6. All xeno attack are done with STRESS dice AND each value 1 is also a success. BUT they roll half as many dice. F.ex instead 12x dice they roll 6 dice for attack or acid splash.

    7. Players Skill dice are BETTER, and also success on 5+. This way taking 1 dice in skill is more valuable. than having high attribute or better gear.

    8. Player attributes are 1 lower. Starting attributes are 10 points only and you can have max 4, if its career KeyAttribute. You can have attribute at 1. (its done to increase the significance of skills even more. and reduce amount of dice rolled).



    tomorrow I writing my house rules in some cohesive pdf, and gonna playtest this again.
    alien house rule

    edit:
    ofc I would claim my house rules are godlike etc.

    The change to make Skill Dice succeed on 5+, is minimally confusing, because you need to take third color of dice. But it feel much better, because when the success land on 5 Skill dice, it feel like the characters skills really payoff.

    Less health means the combat end even sooner. BUT xeno always with 2 armor reduction is very tough, and can alone fight with PC party.

    Acid Splash is somewhat annoying with rolling again in melee when you wound Xeno. It drag the combat. For me would be better if PC just take determined number of wounds (1+Xeno damage), so its faster than rolling again.

    edit:
    As I find out, you dont always fail when you roll 1 one Stress dice. Only cant Push rolls. The panic roll 10+ only cancel the current action.
    Great, now i need to test it again, with using PushRolls and Panic not cancelling action all the time.
    ---
    Woow the game is more fun. Its not so punishing. And the stress management with PushRolls is self balancing. Even if you shoot, the reload action is a pain, that means mostly death.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
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  6. Lagi Savant

    Lagi
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    I thought you are just nostalgia spamming next iteration of ADD. But apparently not. Travaller is a very nice game. Containing lots of stuff.

    For fist look like ADD, but its very different. test is 2d6+mdf(skill,atr) > 8 , to success.
    Damage is reducing End, then STR or DEX, then you unconscious, when all 3x are zero you die.
     
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  7. Jacinda Arnhem Arcane

    Jacinda Arnhem
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    Some of the world-building in this game is nice:

    You have the Three World Empire (originally on Earth/Mars/Titan) which is a resurgent British Empire combined with Japan. The Japanese royal family marries into the Brit one. Wayland-Yutani is based here. This is a much more optimistic situation for the UK then our own timeline - and its supposed to be a dystopia!
    [​IMG]




    Then there's the combined taco and burger eating prowess of the United Americas.

    [​IMG]



    Various commies and hippies form the Union of Progressive Peoples (OP is probably from here, judging from his strong accent.)

    [​IMG]



    And finally the random planets that make up the Independent Core System Colonies. Many of them have found government unprofitable and are just run by corporations directly.
    [​IMG]




    I assume that in the world of Alien, my homeland New Zealand continues to ride England's coat tails - and this time we're dragged all the way into space!

    This makes the dark and depressing universe of Alien actually a very appealing vision of the future, atleast as far as my own country is concerned.
     
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  8. TZ3K Arcane Patron

    TZ3K
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    Nice map too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  9. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    You know we're in peak clownworld when the average bleak sci-fi future is more appealing than what we have nowadays.
    By the way, seeing this is an Alien RPG, are the rules about using power suits? What about yelling catchphrases in combat?
     
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  10. Jacinda Arnhem Arcane

    Jacinda Arnhem
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    I'm still looking at it. I'll let you know.
     
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  11. Lagi Savant

    Lagi
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    there is powerloader (it give massive damage 3, that is not specify in table page 127)
    [​IMG]

    page 74: Marine can take Banter talent to reduce more stress after combat.
    [i easily take 6 stress in one combat (damn full auto), waiting 1h in-game time to relive it all, would hardly be possible]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  12. Jacinda Arnhem Arcane

    Jacinda Arnhem
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    It's interesting to see the game has rules for playing as the kind of Alien seen in Ridley Scott's director's cut.

    By the way, the suggested names for the 'Kid' character in this game are:

    Chip Harrington
    Hugo Turner
    Jakey Myers
    Meggie Wu
    Maisie Kelly
    Becca David

    Chip Harrington, Maisie Kelly, and Hugo Turner seem to be based on Kit Harrington (Jon), Maisie Williams (Arya) and Sophie Turner (Sansa) from Games of Thrones. Is Alien RPG tacitly endorsing playing as GoT characters? Or did they run out of character names and just start cribbing them from other media?

    Becca David is obviously here for people who want to play as Rebecca 'Newt' Jorden. King David -> River Jordan: is there a connection here? All I can remember is the famous story with Goliath.

    I'm not sure about Jakey Myers and Meggie Wu. Although the Myers one makes me think of the first Halloween film, where Michael Myers is shown as a kid for the first few minutes. I'm kind of disappointed noone slipped in a 'Barron Chump.'

    Every 'career' (basically class) in the game has 6 suggested names, by the way. They try to cover the 4 main 'races' always shown in American media - White, black, Spanish/mestizo and East Asian.

    One of the careers is a 'Colonial Marshall' - even though I don't remember any marshalls in the Alien series. It feels kind of like the book is canonising Outland, a film where Sean Connery plays a marshall.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    It's not easy to tell from this angle, but both of these men have 'Caesar' hats, with gold leaves on the brim.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  13. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    It's an Alien Isolation reference.

    Not that I'm complaining, Isolation was a better movie than Covenant and Prometheus put together.
     
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  14. Silva Arcane

    Silva
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    Nah Isolation is a great game but it's story is nonsensical.

    SOMA is an horror game with great story. Or Edith Finch if you like surrealism.
     
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  15. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    While the plot of Prometheus and Covenant is exactly?

    Logical?

    It was a joke because Isolation, you see, isn't a movie, and it's still better than NuScott.
     
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  16. Silva Arcane

    Silva
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    Weak joke. 0/10
     
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  17. Silva Arcane

    Silva
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    I like this idea of suggesting "evocative" names as examples of classes and stuff. First time I've seen it was in Apocalypse World*. I think Fria League games were influenced by it in some degree.

    *In that game, one class (The Gunlugger) has all names of Rutger Hauer movie characters:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  18. Drop Bear Literate

    Drop Bear
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    Covenant and Prometheus was Ridley's best work actually.
     
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  19. Silva Arcane

    Silva
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    They were good, but best work is exaggerating. Original Alien is Scott masterpiece.
     
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  20. Corvinus Arcane

    Corvinus
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    Joined: Dec 22, 2020
     
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  21. JDR13 Magister

    JDR13
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    I'd say it's a toss-up between Alien and Aliens. The series took a dive after that, especially with Alien: Resurrection.
     
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  22. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    would have been better as a licensed module for traveller
     
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  23. Silva Arcane

    Silva
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    Aliens isn't Scott though, it's Cameron.
     
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  24. Alex Arcane

    Alex
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    5th edition?
     
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  25. JDR13 Magister

    JDR13
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    True. I should have clarified that I was just talking about the franchise there.

    If I was talking about Scott in general, I would have mentioned Blade Runner as well.
     
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