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Free League Publishing (Fria Ligan) announce new Alien RPG [merged x2]

Gee4orce

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I had assumed that an "Arcturian" was just a human who had colonized the Arcturus system.
This was my take too - perhaps with a bit of genetic engineering tailored to the environment (making them a bit Star Trek aliens-y in appearance)
 

ruemere

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This was my take too - perhaps with a bit of genetic engineering tailored to the environment (making them a bit Star Trek aliens-y in appearance)
I think I would borrow a concept from Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin.

The people native to the planet where the story takes place, are capable of alternating between sexes (they are ambisexual) depending on personal preferences and availability of partners, with periods of heightened sexual awareness.
 

Damina

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I think I would borrow a concept from Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin.

The people native to the planet where the story takes place, are capable of alternating between sexes (they are ambisexual) depending on personal preferences and availability of partners, with periods of heightened sexual awareness.
That's a better idea.
 

dmakovec

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I got to play the Gencon scenario for this game, and I'll give my thoughts.

First, it's definitely a Fria Ligan production. You have attributes, skills, and equipment, and all three things give you dice. It contains the same mechanic of rolling for sixes, push your luck. When you push your luck, though, you take a point of stress, and then roll your stress total as extra dice. It takes push your luck to extremes. If you roll a 1 on the stress dice, that's when you make a panic check. You roll 1d6 plus your stress points, and that determines what happens - I think the threshold to panic is six, but it might be seven. Things I suffered from panic checks included a tremor (-2 to all Agility tests), Drop Item (exactly what it says on the tin - it sucked when I had a firearm in one hand, a motion tracker in the other, and I panicked because I opened a door to see a xenomorph staring at me), nervous twitch (plus one stress to me and everybody who sees me), as well as Keeping It Together. I think that if your roll + stress is less than six you hold it together. So in order to panic, #1 you have to accumulate stress points, #2 you have to roll a 1 on a test where you're pushing your luck, and #3 you have to score (at least) a six or higher on your 1d6 + stress points. So you're almost never going to panic just driving. It would have to be a situation where the GM called for a test (meaning it's challenging or important), you have to push the roll, roll a 1, and then get 6 or higher on your panic check.

For the cinematic mode and PvP: here's how that works. If you decide to take a PvP action against a fellow PC, then your character becomes an NPC and the GM takes over. In cinematic mode (can't say for the others), you get an Talent, an agenda, a rival, and a buddy. The last two are mostly for role-playing, and drive conflict. Your talent gives you some extra bonus: I had Reckless, which let me push my Agility twice on a single roll. Your agenda is your secret agenda: Burke's is to bring back a live sample at all costs, for example.

You also have resources like in Forbidden Lands, for example. One cool one is firearms and ammo. A firearm can have a Reload: in short, it's being able to stock up on extra ammo. If you get a 1 on your stress check with a firearm, instead of having to deal with a firearm complication or running dry (you may still panic), you can expend a reload to negate it. In our scenario, I think two PCs started with a weapon (no reloads), but we were able to access a firearms stash that gave us more firearms, some of which had reloads. The motion tracker functioned similarly - it had a power source which I think complicated the same way as any other resource.

There's a damage rule that I can't quite remember. You have a health track, and the success on the die roll somehow translated to levels of damage, but I can't remember how.

In our game, we were very cautious about stress, right up until I betrayed everybody else and tried to sneak out of the colony to cover up the infestation, and I started throwing stress dice around like crazy to evade xenomorphs and get to the shuttle I could fly off-planet.

In short, if you like Fria Ligan games, if you like push your luck mechanics, or if you just like Alien, I highly recommend. There's clearly a lot of love for the source material in the design, and what I've seen of the starter game materials themselves, the physical design of the books is amazing and conveys a sense of uncertainty and dread just with layout and art. It's great.
 

N0-1_H3r3

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You also have resources like in Forbidden Lands, for example. One cool one is firearms and ammo. A firearm can have a Reload: in short, it's being able to stock up on extra ammo. If you get a 1 on your stress check with a firearm, instead of having to deal with a firearm complication or running dry (you may still panic), you can expend a reload to negate it. In our scenario, I think two PCs started with a weapon (no reloads), but we were able to access a firearms stash that gave us more firearms, some of which had reloads.
That's different to the version in the starter kit that came with the preorder: that said that if you panicked while shooting, you expended a reload (because, in your panic, you empty the magazine).
 

Veteran Sergeant

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I think this has already been confirmed. The short story collection “Bug Hunt” has aliens other than Xenomorphs, Neomorphs, and Engineers in it.
That book is a rough read/listen. I'd say only a couple of the stories are any good. Dan Abnett did an amusing job reskinning an Imperial Guard 40K short story as Colonial Marines, lol.

On saying that, I am not sure that Arcturians are aliens.
The only place I know of where they were expanded upon was in the old Leading Edge Aliens Adventure Game RPG where they were an aggressive, but low intellect alien race. The dialog in the film sets it out more like it's some kind of weird pleasure colony or something. Akin to foreign prostitutes like Thailand or Japan for US troops. It's a bit of a throwaway line of a Marine giving another shit, and that one throwing a "Whatever, don't care" back at him. But maybe humanity is more open to inter-species erotica in the 2100s, lol.


As far as the game itself, I wasn't a huge fan after screwing around with the Cinematic Kit. It has some cool ideas, but the mechanics are weird and at times, counterintuitive. I don't like the idea of stress making you better and better at things, until you suddenly and catastrophically fall apart. To the point where a character can quickly become two to three times better at tasks just by accumulating stress. That's not how stress works in real life. In real life, some people just deal with stressors better. Others simply fall right apart, like Lambert, for example. As a game mechanic, Stress seems "balanced." But it's really silly.

Other stuff with stress is simply nonsensical, like autofire causing stress, which is only necessary because the game has no ammunition rules (you only run out of ammo if you panic) so autofire just becomes an awkward, non-intuitive risk/reward mechanic.


I feel like this is a fun one off scenario game, where you have full player buy-in on suspension of disbelief and not metagaming. As a long term investment for a campaign? No. So the question is, are you willing to pay the price of admission on buying it? The game is clearly made by devoted fans of the license, but the game itself just isn't that good.
 

Skywalker

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So the question is, are you willing to pay the price of admission on buying it? The game is clearly made by devoted fans of the license, but the game itself just isn't that good.
Not sure if the question was aimed at me or rhetorical, but in case it’s the former - hell yes :) We loved the system with the stress mechanic being an absolute highlight in managing to recreate a number of great scenes from the movies. We found it easy to use & intuitive in play. We can’t wait to see it in its campaign mode as well as more one offs.
 

KaijuGooGoo

Not Woke until I’ve had my Coffee
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The only place I know of where they were expanded upon was in the old Leading Edge Aliens Adventure Game RPG where they were an aggressive, but low intellect alien race. The dialog in the film sets it out more like it's some kind of weird pleasure colony or something. Akin to foreign prostitutes like Thailand or Japan for US troops. It's a bit of a throwaway line of a Marine giving another shit, and that one throwing a "Whatever, don't care" back at him. But maybe humanity is more open to inter-species erotica in the 2100s, lol.
I always assumed they were talking about some sort of sentient/sapient alien; just because everything we saw was human-centric didn't mean that there weren't aliens somewhere. The Marines seemed to have both "stand up fights" and "bug hunts", and not all of those "stand up fights" may have been against humans.
 

dmakovec

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That's different to the version in the starter kit that came with the preorder: that said that if you panicked while shooting, you expended a reload (because, in your panic, you empty the magazine).
I may be remembering it incorrectly. I wasn't paying terribly close attention to that rule.

I feel like this is a fun one off scenario game, where you have full player buy-in on suspension of disbelief and not metagaming. As a long term investment for a campaign? No. So the question is, are you willing to pay the price of admission on buying it? The game is clearly made by devoted fans of the license, but the game itself just isn't that good.
So, on the other hand, I absolutely loved the game. I loved the stress mechanic. I feel that it served the purposes very well. When you're pushing, you're taking risks. The adrenaline might give you the edge you need to succeed (the extra dice), it may also lead you to a major screw-up (the panic). The whole game engine is built around the risk/reward aspect of the push your luck mechanic, so if you don't like push your luck, you're never going to like this.
 
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