Let’s Talk About the Alien RPG

This game has made me a fan.

When I was young, I was vaguely aware of the popular Alien and Aliens movies and the Dark Horse Comics that followed them. As an adult, I vaguely watched the movies up through Alien: Resurrection (I guess this now because I recently rewatched those movies, and the plots, characters, and lines were vaguely familiar to me). For the first time I just recently watched Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. As was the word on the street, those movies aren’t very good (does it seem to you that the characters in fiction are just “dumber” and more emotionally unhinged now than they were in the ‘80s?), but, nevertheless, I appreciate the “look” of Scott’s directing.

But the Alien RPG. Man. The mechanics are cool, and I am on the verge of running it for my Conan group on Sunday, so I should have more to say about it in gamist terms later, but right now, as I’m absorbing the setting material… Wow!

These factions, this imagined future that wholly embraces and absorbs the material from the movie franchise while adding (apparently) so much more. This strikes me as a gorgeously realized “hard” science fiction future, perfectly understandable and often analogous to our own current affairs.

I’ve never played Traveller (I’ve read it only), but it is the Alien universe and its physics in which I want to situate any of my science fiction games (anything that is not pulp space fantasy like Star Wars). I’m thinking Firefly and The Expanse (despite those properties having their own games already). Xenomorphs, of course, can get overdone fast, so I’m thinking of human-centric, military-, exploration- or heist-based adventures. For more of the numinous or weird, I’m thinking the Alien milieu could do with the integration of Predator (which clearly already has a precedent) and Terminator (which, in application, will have more of a BSG dynamic, though I’m not ruling out experiments in time travel from Weyland-Yutani!).

But, to get back on topic, these gorgeous factions, these sectors, does anyone who has been a fan of this setting (easily) longer than I know who is responsible for this? I have gathered up all the Dark Horse comics and am currently reading them. Did Dark Horse flesh this out (I recognize the Church of Immaculate Incubation from its pages)? If Free League is responsible, I’m willing to say that this is a significant development of the Alien property, comparable to what West End Games, in 1987, did for Star Wars.


My copy sits next to me by my keyboard… Stalking me like a xenomorph… I must find time to read the tome before it kills me, or worse, turns me into a host for its young…

Funny you should mention Traveller, I have seen several compare Alien to Traveller in reviews. Especially in the long game where the xenomorphs play a smaller but still important role.


@Gabe, I’m not positive, but it sounds like they drew on the Dark Horse comics, Free League came up with stuff, and they mined some fan sources as well. This video is pretty cool for kind of a peek behind the scenes…
Have you looked into the cinematic play? That’s how I first experienced Alien a year and a half ago, and it was amazing.

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Thanks! I did finally get around to looking at that video. I believe came across it before but hadn’t sat through it (I still haven’t :grimacing:).

Thanks for confirming the Dark Horse Comics as likely sources. I’ll keep reading them and taking pleasure in noting connections.

And, yes, I’m aware of the Cinematic play. In fact, that’s the mode I’m using for the only adventure I have planned for my Conan group. I’ve used a recent story from Julie Novakova as my plot and setup inspiration.

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