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Betrayal, Panic and Dice Rolls, Reviewing Alien: The Roleplaying Game – AvP Galaxy Podcast #115

We have just uploaded the 115th episode of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast (right-click and save as to download)! Corporal Hicks, RidgeTop and Xenomorphine are joined by community guests Shevvie and j0nesy to review Free League’s Alien: The Roleplaying Game!

 Betrayal, Panic and Dice Rolls, Reviewing Alien: The Roleplaying Game - AvP Galaxy Podcast #115

We discuss our own experiences with RPGs before we took the dive into Alien, how we feel the mechanics suit the Alien franchise, our own favourite encounters in the game, and plenty more!

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Comments: 15
  1. Kailem
    Good stuff and completely agreed, the game is great!

    I still haven't gotten round to finishing my readthrough of the core rules so I never realised that Chigusa Corp was included as one of the corporations! Yay for more AVP content sneaking in there! :laugh:

    As someone who's brand new to the world of tabletop rpg's I can confirm that this is a really great entry point. The rules are straightforward and easy to learn (though you'll certainly want to have a copy of them on hand for the more specific situations you might come across like a room being engulfed in fire for example), and it does a really great job of recreating the atmosphere of the movies.

    I can't speak first-hand to the replayability of the scenarios since I've only played through Chariots once and am currently halfway through a playthrough of Destroyer of Worlds, but while you're certainly going to have some things "spoiled" for you by virtue of already having played them before it does seem like there are enough elements that can change pretty drastically to make other playthroughs unique.

    Like Ridgetop metioned, mine and his characters teamed up in our playthrough, but he said that on a previous go where Hicks was playing the same character as me they were trying to kill each other. So even just having different people playing is going to make things go a lot differently than they might have in a previous session. Not to mention the dice rolls, on which so much of the game hinges.

    Either way I think it's a pretty darn fantastic game and I'm definitely glad I took the plunge and bought it!
  2. Xiggz456
    Thanks for the response guys! Having only read the scenario it seemed like such a good blend of prequels and the original film which I really liked. I have the next 2 weeks off of work so I'm strongly considering giving it a go on one of the online groups that you recommended! Thanks again fellas!
  3. j0nesy
    hi xiggs! i really agree with shevvie's analysis (even though i can't speak from a gm perspective), and i'd like to throw in a few extra points about cotg:

    • having played through chariots maybe five or six times, not once has it gone the same way; i would say that generally, the story beats inevitably lead to act I always feeling a bit similiar, but by act II, every session i've played has taken a unique route, which is super refreshing and keeps things new and exciting
    • on a broader level, and i'd say it's more of a comment about the rpg overall and how all the different elements (story, atmosphere, characters) blend together, i came into the alien rpg wanting to feel like i was experiencing part of this universe that we love (from the confines of my apartment, at least :laugh:) and all three cinematic scenario's have achieved that for me. i've been mia for a lot of our dow run, but even from my limited participation, i can see see that each release just feels more and more like you're living and breathing in this world
  4. Shevvie
    Hi Xiggz456, thanks for the comment!

    I quite like Chariot of the gods as a scenario in this game. It's quite adaptable and allows the GM to give breathing room or apply pressure to the players depending on what's needed. I saw lots of comments on release saying that they were disappointed that it didn't contain -The Alien- but I was sort of glad it didn't, partly because I don't want this game to just be about Big Chap and it was a nice treat to open up the physical copy and read it's stats for the first time and go "Oh Dear.... GOOD LUCK" when you see how badass it is.

    Chariots has an Alien feel throughout, it's a ghost ship with monsters hiding in the dark and is designed to hit certain admittedly familiar story beats which works in its favour. In RPG's I suppose this could be considered a bad thing for some because the players feel somewhat railroaded, however as an introductory scenario it gives the players a fantastic taste of what Alien has to offer whilst delivering a solid RPG Horror experience.

    With the Agenda and Buddy/Rival systems thrown in for good measure the players tend to determine how and when certain things will go down which has been random each time I've GM'd Chariots with some very different outcomes.

    The one important distinction is that the Cinematic Scenarios are all about getting the players into the fire and keeping them there until they're cooked. It's meant to be a relatively short RPG experience over a few sessions unlike the campaign where you might only introduce the Alien at the very end of the games story arc. Player Characters are as easy to kill in Campaign as they are in the Cinematic ones.

    Personally I do like the Story overall, I think ACT 2 gets a bit messy with all the NPC's coming out of Cryo and I imagine a new GM would really struggle with what to do with them all, especially because each of them has their own agenda! Of course this adds to the absolute chaos aboard the Cronus, especially when they start turning  ;) . I certainly have my little complaints about how the scenario is planned out in the book as well. For example the crew get on the Cronus and you're meant to tell them "Hey there isn't much in the way of breathable O2", this bit of information makes it a high priority "FIX ME" task, however you aren't meant to fix this until ACT 2!

    So without too many spoilers, I really do like Chariots as a more streamlined story with as you said some variation each time. It has quite a bit of replay value as well because I've found that players tend to interpret their Agendas differently sometimes. Lucas can be hidden by giving the player the Android objectives as well as the actual crew agenda to help throw people off. The slow introduction to finding their first hostile Alien creature is spot on.

    I hope this somewhat answers your question and I didn't go off on too much of a tangent. I really do love this RPG and so far Destroyer of Worlds is delivering on the story front as well.
  5. Xiggz456
    Great episode guys! Always like it when Shevvie joins in, dude's got good vibes lol. Thanks for all the info regarding where you could meet people online to play, may have to give it go! Only thing none of you touched on that I've been wanting to know about is what do you all think in regards to the story beats of Chariot of the Gods? I know there's variations every time you play but like Shevvie said you're basically on a track that pretty much leads to a certain point. So ya what do you guys think?!
    Great episode guys! It was good to hear more about the mechanics of the game and what you all thought about it. I got the game last year but have yet to play it....need a group to play but also need to learn more about RPGs as I'm a complete newbie to the world of RPGs. If anyone out there is interested in helping me learn that be great 👍
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