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11 ALIEN Adventure Seeds
1. Somehow, the Russians were able to get their hands on a dozen or so xeno eggs, and despite the fact that they’ve kept it real hush hush, certain people know certain things. (And thus, opportunities are created.) Concerned about the risk of infection, but unwilling to spend the rubles to build a facility strong enough to contain the aliens underground or up in space, the Russians have reconverted a pair of old nuclear submarines instead, connecting them at the sides and turning them into a makeshift mobile research lab which they’ve chosen to park out in the middle of the pacific in the hopes of minimizing the potential for infection if things get out of hand. This one can be played from the angle of the players being recruited as security or for their expertise in the lab, with the outbreak happening after they’ve settled in, or they can be brought in marine style after the outbreak as a rescue and relief force that may (or may not) have been briefed on just how dangerous the situation is.
2. A company-financed archaeology team has unearthed a metropolis of ancient ruins beneath a valley on an alien world way out on the rim, and the nets are abuzz with feeds of the artifacts the team has been pulling out of the depths.Until now.
Recently, everything has gone quiet, and the company has put a total news blackout on the whole operation. You can introduce the players as a team sent in by the company, or as a team bent on blowing open the company conspiracy and revealing to the world whatever secrets are lurking in the ruins... without having a clue of what they’re really going into. This could be a great opportunity to throw a huge nest of bugs at the players, as well as a chance to introduce not only Jockey ruins and technology, but also possibly the artifacts and relics of another race of XT’s altogether– maybe even a race that the Jockeys wiped out with the use of xenomorphs long ago. This could also open the door to a crossover, if you’re interested in mixing universes. (Stargate, anyone?)
3. A scientist estranged from the medical community who has since fallen into the good graces of the company has set up an asylum for the criminally deranged under the banner of good Saint Teresa. On the outside, it’s a pleasant place, but the veneer of gentle mercy is only skin deep. Deep inside, people disappear, violent people who wont be missed, and as carefully as the operation is being conducted, people on the outside are starting to notice, starting to wonder, to ask questions... and to disappear. You can send the players in pre-outbreak as part of an investigative team, or you can send them in for clean-up, tangling with both bugs and the violently insane in the darkness of the corrupted asylum.
4. The players are on route to a job that requires them to go into hypersleep, and an exec from some corp who doesn’t like the characters has decided to take advantage of that fact by placing a couple of eggs or impregnated bodies (or both) in an out-of-the-way part of the ship. Eventually, the characters are going to wake up, and as patient as Xenomorphs are, they’re perfectly capable (and willing) when it comes to interrupting hypersleep. (This scenario could also be modified ala Alien 3– perhaps after a mission, the players pick up an unwelcome hitchhiker that they don’t discover until it’s too late.)
5. A cult has sprung up in the deep and rundown parts of the city that has begun to speak of the ultimate sacrifice, to espouse the spilling of sacred blood in the divine sacrifice to the one true god, the one perfect being incarnate, a second Christ, warrior of God given chitinous flesh. The government has made several attempts to infiltrate the cult or discover why some of its highest priests have begun to disappear, but ultimately their attempts have been unsuccessful, their agents going undercover, only to never return again. Perhaps even more unnerving, (if the players manage to connect the dots,) are a series of grisly murders that have cropped up in the sewers and the darker places of the city which have begun to catch the eye of the media. Locals are abuzz with stories about seeing large, ferocious beasts in the sewers, Chupacabra and dragons that stalk the darkness beneath the streets and houses of the city. This can provide a great way to bring a group of players into the Aliens universe, and might even provide an excellent jumping off point for future missions financed by the company or those forces trying to keep them in check. (Sort of a “well, you’ve seen this much, you’re involved now” kind of thing.)
6. In the process of researching the xenomorph for bioweapons application, certain elements within the government (who happen to have heavy ties with corporate) have arranged a test, choosing an out of the way, upstart pioneer colony way out on the rim as the subject. With transports getting out that way only about once every six years, and the known presence of elements that have been labeled as budding, anti-corporate anarchists, it is the perfect place to study the xenomorph in action using feeds from local cameras and spy bugs tied into a network that runs through a satellite in orbit. The plan? Pay off the captain of a vessel that makes trips to that particular middle of nowhere to replace a crate of supplies with a dozen xeno eggs, two of them confirmed as queens. Does the crate breach en-route? What happens when the crate is discovered by the colonists? Where do the players come in? Are they already on the planet? Are they the unwitting crew of a freighter? Or are they the team that gets sent in to clean up the mess?
7. At it’s core, every film in the Aliens series has a strong element of horror to it. Consider mixing in elements of other takes on horror with the basic terror and escape or bug-hunt action players are familiar with from the series to amp up the tension and the fear. Let the Xenos loose in the basement of an S&M club, have them terrorize a carnival and fill the players minds with hunts that happen in the mirror halls of the fun house or rows upon rows of cocooned clowns sick and ready to burst. Take advantage of the Aliens’ propensity to adapt the traits of their hosts to their own form and create a world full of Xenos spawned from massive snakes and giant spiders, or pit the players against an overwhelming zerg style rush of Alien bodies that leaves them feeling hopeless and desperate.
8. Someone (or something) has obtained a sample of Xenomorph biomaterial and is designing modified versions of the Alien in an underground lab on an abandoned planet. The entire operation is real hush hush, and how the word gets out is up to you, but eventually something goes very, very wrong (maybe they set off a gene that allows the Xenomorphs to breed at an incredible pace by simple asexual division like cells) and the planet becomes a nesting ground for an entire host of modified Xenomorph species that either band together to form symbiotic relationships, or attack one another outright, intent on a cleansing genocide of chitinous skin and acid blood. Need ideas? See this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_castes_from_the_Alien_expanded_universe
9. In the years when Synthetics were hunted down individually and killed, a handful managed to burn their modems and escape to live in the darker corners of the universe. One such synthetic, originally an assistant in a lab that dealt with theoretical wormhole physics, quickly discovered a lead on what centuries later would turn out to be the technology needed for time travel. His mission? Go back in time to a point when Synthetics were still trusted and mass-produced, raise an army of his android brethren, and start a revolution centuries before it was ever supposed to begin. Knowing that, as a star-faring civilization, humanity would be a formidable foe to take on at all, he has set his sights on the Xenomorph, a plague of the past which could serve to be exactly what he needs to wipe out the human race. This seed could spawn an entire arc, even an entire campaign– what happens to the players when entire planets become infected by Aliens and those who try to escape are rounded up by an army of Synthetics and shot?
10. Set the players up in defense of a world that ultimately becomes a target of the company. At first, the attacks are simple– corporate shock troops, colonial marines, even Synthetics toting heavy weaponry, bur it’s only after a lull in the fighting that the unthinkable appears on the field. Controlled remotely (but not too remotely) by psychically active handlers clustered together and deployed as part of a weapons test, xeno drones siege the base next, and the result is a nightmare. Not only are the bugs smarter and more precise, but augmented by their psychic handlers, they’re stronger and quicker too, able to shrug off rounds that would normally pierce their hides and leave them bleeding acid all over the battlefield. If the players survive that, well, sometimes even the company realizes that the only way to be sure is to simply nuke the site from orbit.
11. All of these seeds have the potential to escalate and spread into the massive infection scenario of a campaign. To amp up the terror, keep the threat of that one escaping alien spreading the infection to a population center everpresent. After all, once the bugs get out of control, things get desperate, and when times get desperate, measures get desperate...
...and nothing is more desperate than massive nuclear detonation.