Alien RPG

Posted by on 1st Mar 2022

Yep, then you got to try the role-playing game Alien from the Swedish RPG creators at Fria Ligan or Free League , and gosh, what a difference it was to Call Of Cthulhu, which I dug into the most when it comes to Role-Playing. Now there was instead Action, six-sided dice in drifts, maps and last but not least, space's most damnable being in the form of Aliens in all its stages.

The adventure we played is called "Hadley's Hope" and is part of the Alien RPG Core Rulebook and serves as an introductory adventure you can finish in one sitting (Our session took a little over four hours). It worked smoothly and you got to know the rules of the game, the function of the dice and finally how the game itself is structured (like in this case Fria Ligan's excellent "Year Zero"). The characters we played were already created and included as ready-made characters in the Alien Core Rulebook. I took on the role of a female pilot who isn't afraid to step forward first when needed. It didn't take long before we encountered our first danger and you can probably guess what kind of danger it was?

The brief was that we are working on a godforsaken moon called "LV-426" that Wayland-Yutani has decided might be worth exploring. There is plenty of work but also plenty of danger. The general feeling at the base is that those who sit on the chairs and rule do exactly what they want with us who get to do the grunt work, but humanity is such that you are willing to do most things as long as you earn a lot of money? Also, two higher ups from Wayland-Yutani had just arrived who appear to have been some sort of inspection team that had probably come to give us new, more damning tasks to perform and complain about something we had just completed.

On "LV-426" and our base "Hadley's Hope" it was just as usual except that someone had contracted some kind of parasite and died. Something that could be compared to a snake-like creature had apparently somehow gotten out of the now-deceased's body and wound its way down somewhere in "Hadley's Hope". More people have apparently exhibited the same symptoms as the now deceased and it seems that more crap has landed on the fan and you can guess who had to "clean up".

My group consisted of a total of 4 people and we were just happy to get away from our base on "LV-426" to fix something external that was freaking out a bit away from the base. It was pure luxury to get away for a while and get away from all the crap with parasites & higher-ups from Wayland-Yutani on board the station. Now it wasn't exactly like the sun was shining on us outside the base and we weren't on a sandy beach either now that we had left the "safety" behind us at the station. We got a chance to escape the field for a while and a job is a job, you learn to work to collect the money. So we went off and fixed some transmitter or something else technical that needed servicing out in the wasteland on the moon we work and live on.

When we got back to "Hadley's Hope" the situation was quite different from when we left it. We had had some form of communication with the base when we were out on our mission but in the end it was mostly some kind of interference and in the end we had only heard a roaring static sound. It is then hell itself that if you try to leave one form of hell, you are only met by another. The vehicle that had taken us out on our mission had given up on the way back so the slappers started landing even before we had time to get back and we had to walk the last kilometers to "Hadley's Hope" and quickly realize that it now most resembles a right so deserted base. It was dark, quiet and we could see traces of some kind of fighting,

What the hell had happened? What we knew was that someone had been affected by some kind of parasite just before we had left the station but that person had received treatment but unfortunately did not survive, we had heard that "there is no danger, the situation is calm" but what we met of when we were back told us something completely different.

That much I can reveal that "Parasite" is a rather kind name for what we encountered. We didn't encounter mealworms then, but luckily I had a gun, another of us a cutting torch and one of us was good at fixing technical and electrical things that had given up and could then also open doors that we otherwise couldn't could have gotten us through. We did what we could to calm ourselves down.

It should perhaps be added that the station or rather our base on "LV-426" is quite large and also on several floors, so it is important to try to be quiet when searching for weapons, think about what you can benefit from, what you will give the hell and last but not least what you can come across when you move in "Hadley's Hope". Are you not careful. calm and quiet, you can attract horrors you want to avoid encountering.

In one of the rooms in "Hadley's Hope" I found a container for transporting one of two "eggs" model larger that were encapsulated in some kind of liquid, this in a room where these things shouldn't really have been but where someone apparently decided to build some kind of makeshift lab and explore these eggs in a space that had the advantage of not being completely smashed up or looking like a minor slaughterhouse. All of this I would have to discover after narrowly surviving an attack by a Xenomorph that might not have been the biggest where we were but big enough to give me both stress and shock. It was after that meeting with a classic "Alien" as I started using the M314 Motion Tracker that was part of my arsenal and with it we could detect any movement around us and hopefully get a head start and move in the right direction before any danger got too close. It's lucky that you're in a team where you have to help each other, because otherwise you'd probably end up as an incubator for a Chestburster.

Conclusion

It's action, there are many battles with a number of six-sided dice that determine how it goes and above all, do you want to survive or do you want to complete what your employer wants you to do? The Free League's rules regarding the dice and how they worked are really flexible and easy to keep track of, which makes the whole thing very inviting to continue playing.

The game leader (or rather Game Mother as it is called in Alien RPG) for the adventure I played on Roll20 goes by the name of Casey and is highly recommended as he guided us forward with a gentle hand and also set a good mood for our adventure with some atmospheric music that could take part if you wanted. There was a lot of "resistance" we met, but we barely survived this time.

I got to try it out and get a taste of what Alien RPG can offer. I'm going to familiarize myself more with the rules and play a bit more of this and some of the Free League's other RPGs as some of them have the same basic rules in terms of how the dice work in the games. However, it was much more difficult if you compare it to "Call Of Cthulhu" which is a more investigative, detective-like game with less elements of combat. Alien RPG contained a lot more action and the feeling of being hunted was a big part of the adventure "Last Days Of Hadley´s Hope".

As I said, you have a map to follow, which is not as common in the "Call Of Cthulhu" adventures I have played. it facilitates a lot and it is in a sense a "Dungeon Crawler" RPG that you play, if you are used to Dungeons & Dragons and similar games, you will recognize the game system well.