In space, no one can hear you scream that you rolled a one. Alien (yes that Alien) is getting an RPG later this year from Fria Lagan.
Fria Lagan or Free League publishing will be teaming up with Genuine Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox to bring players around the world into the inky vastness of space, where hungering xenomorphs lie in wait.
Consider Tales from the Loop, where there are mechanics in place that help simulate the effects of dealing with both sci-fi mysteries and everyday little kid problems (like being bullied). Your character has to take some time and connect with other characters (like a parent or mentor or friend) in the world if they want to overcome their problems. Compare that to D&D where frightened is a condition and, sure, there are Madness rules, but the only way they really affect your character is to impede their combat effectiveness. And you can wipe it away with a spell.
Not that one of those options is necessarily better than the other–just that, it sets a different tone when you’re playing a game with D&D or Call of Cthulhu than if you’re playing a game where you’re meant to really feel how hard it is to deal with feeling lost or alone or scared. And given Fria Lagan’s track record (and the fact that the game is based off of the same basic engine, which powers Tales from the Loop), it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. Because the world of Alien is not a friendly one. In addition to the Xenomorphs out there, there are lal kinds of other dangers just from trying to be in space–not to mention the greed of corporations like Weyland-Yutani who would gladly sacrifice employees for profits. As they put it:
Space is vast, dark, and not your friend. Gamma rays and neutrino bursts erupt from dying stars to cook you alive, black holes tear you apart, and the void itself boils your blood and seizes your brain. Try to scream and no one can hear you—hold your breath and you rupture your lungs. Space isn’t as empty as you’d think, either—its frontiers are ever expanding. Rival governments wage a cold war of aggression while greedy corporations vie for valuable resources. Colonists reach for the stars and gamble with their lives—each new world tamed is either feast or famine. And there are things lurking in the shadows of every asteroid—things strange and different and deadly.
In their announcement, Fria Lagan talks about two different ways to play:
Cinematic playis based on pre-made scenarios that emulate the dramatic arc of an ALIEN film. Designed to be played in a single session, this game mode emphasizes high stakes and fast and brutal play. You are not all expected to survive.
Campaign play is designedfor longer continuous play with the same cast of player characters over many game sessions, letting you explore the ALIEN universe freely, sandbox style.
And both of those sound fascinating. Whether you’re looking to get into a moody, atmospheric one-shot or a long, languid campaign where horror creeps in, the game has you covered. With themes like horror and action in the cold darkness of space on the table here, it’ll be interesting to see how the game shapes up. We’ll keep you up to date with more information when we can, but for now, here’s what the developers have to say about the setting:
The year is 2183—little more than three years since the destruction of the Hadley’s Hope colony on LV-426, the disappearance of the USS Sulaco, and the closing of the prison and lead works on Fiorina 161. The loss of a Sulaco’s Colonial Marine unit along with these Weyland-Yutani sponsored outposts, and the implications of corporate foul play stemming from these incidents, have created an air of distrust between the company and the United Americas.
To add fuel to the fire, conflicts between the rival sectors of space have increased exponentially in the past five years. While unconfirmed, many believe that Hadley’s Hope was a test site for one of Weyland-Yutani’s bioweapons and that an enemy state sent a warship to nuke it from orbit. Others believe that the Company is working with a rogue nation to assume control of the colonies on the Frontier.
The 2180s are a dangerous time to be alive.
Stay alive. If you can.