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Author Topic: Summary of Aliens vs. Predator tabletop RPGs  (Read 8057 times)

Accaris
Nov 05, 2007, 10:04:16 PM
Topic on: Nov 05, 2007, 10:04:16 PM
So far I'm aware of only 3 attempts to translate the Aliens (plus Predator) universe into a pen & paper RPG source: Leading Edge Games Aliens RPG, Aliens: Fuzion, and Project Dust-off.

I looked up the Leading Edge game, and I'm betting it must be some kind of collector's item, because it's impossible to find. This is the one I'm most curious about. It's a unique RPG where you play as a colonial marine (of course it has nothing to do with Predator,) and it's based on an old rules system called Phoenix. I saw a copy on eBay for $100 once. What was it like? Did anyone actually play it? Sporadic comments on the internet say that it was neat as a piece of fan service, but as an actual functional RPG, it sucked quite a bit. http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?op=showbook&bookid=3800

Aliens: Fuzion is still available. This thing was put on the web around 2001, and as a source of information about the Aliens universe (including speculation,) it's pretty extensive. FUZION itself is a decent rules system, and it's free. However, the Aliens supplement seems disjointed, and the whole file is written and formatted like a text dump. Overall, you can't just download this thing and consider it usable; plus, I have no clue if the author is still around. It hasn't been updated in nearly five years. http://www.serenadawn.com/AlienRPG-Contents.htm

The last one I saw is called Project Dustoff, which is a web-based Colonial Marines RPG. The authors promised a stand-alone RPG source guide back in 2004, but it's been put on hold indefinitely (presumably due to real-life issues,) and the (incomplete) .zip file is a 404. Project Dustoff doesn't look like it will see the light of day.
http://www.wolvesau.net/Aliens/

Are there any other major RPGs to add here? I wonder if Fox will try and license AVP to d20 if the next movie is successful. (Since d20 seems to be in a state of transition to a new version, I doubt it.)


« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2007, 06:52:55 PM by Accaris »

Xhan
Nov 06, 2007, 08:48:39 AM
Reply #1 on: Nov 06, 2007, 08:48:39 AM
As far as I know, I am quite literally the ONLY person to own this game, that I've met. I have a chewed/used all to hell copy, and one in comic mylar. The combat relied on tables and charts too much, but saying it "sucked" is as stupid as saying White Wolf's World of Darkness or D and D sucks... It only sucks if you have a sucky DM/GM. There was plenty of material to work with, it was extremly consistent with the universe at hand, they "explained" the difference between the A L I E N and Cameraliens, the tech was mostly believable, and there were things that went beyond the movies in a non stupid way; and there were Pred miniatures, and plans for a pred supplement. The layout was super clean, the pictures with movie quotes were great for atmosphere.


Secondly, I believe you're mistaken: Aliens Adventure was a BOARD game of the Hadley's Hope incident that is compatible (same scale, plays somewhat like GW's Space Hulk) with A:TRP, Which is the actual title.

The picture shown in that link is a second printing. The first just had the Title in font on a black background and  "The Role Playing Game" on it and the Leading Edge Logo on the bottom. At least mine does.

« Last Edit: Nov 06, 2007, 10:18:10 AM by Xhan »

Accaris
Nov 06, 2007, 01:15:50 PM
Reply #2 on: Nov 06, 2007, 01:15:50 PM
The combat relied on tables and charts too much, but saying it "sucked" is as stupid as saying White Wolf's World of Darkness or D and D sucks... It only sucks if you have a sucky DM/GM.

I strongly disagree with this. The system matters a lot. So much of a GM (and a player's) time can be wasted trying to understand/explain/modify/shoehorn a game's mechanics. I've never read through the Leading Edge book, but the Pheonix Command system was known for being inordinately slow and cumbersome.

I'm not saying that the Leading Edge book couldn't produce some fun games, I'm sure there were GMs who ran some killer games with it back in the day. But it's like driving a car with bum power steering. It can be done, but damn, what a headache.

Quote
Secondly, I believe you're mistaken: Aliens Adventure was a BOARD game of the Hadley's Hope incident that is compatible (same scale, plays somewhat like GW's Space Hulk) with A:TRP, Which is the actual title.

Yes, I was confused. I thought Aliens Adventure was a later printing of Aliens RPG. I can't seem to find a site describing the Aliens RPG anywhere.

« Last Edit: Nov 06, 2007, 02:02:31 PM by Accaris »

Xhan
Nov 06, 2007, 08:28:07 PM
Reply #3 on: Nov 06, 2007, 08:28:07 PM
I can't agree there, the person running the show can literally throw out whatever doesn't work and modify whatever does.... the best rpg session are the one where you FORGET that you have mechanics in place to "do stuff", IMO.


Accaris
Nov 06, 2007, 08:59:40 PM
Reply #4 on: Nov 06, 2007, 08:59:40 PM
I can't agree there, the person running the show can literally throw out whatever doesn't work and modify whatever does.... the best rpg session are the one where you FORGET that you have mechanics in place to "do stuff", IMO.

That's also partially my point, if something as easy as combat takes a (comparatively) long time to complete, it takes you out of the experience and puts a damper on suspension of disbelief. The best RPG systems should allow you to FORGET that you have mechanics in the first place (without the GM having to toss them.)  ;)


Xhan
Nov 06, 2007, 09:19:18 PM
Reply #5 on: Nov 06, 2007, 09:19:18 PM
fair enough, but who says the rules > roleplaying/having fun?


Accaris
Nov 06, 2007, 09:42:33 PM
Reply #6 on: Nov 06, 2007, 09:42:33 PM
fair enough, but who says the rules > roleplaying/having fun?

I've found that most RPG players enjoy following rules, and have certain expectations about the rules. With that said, I believe that the rules should perfectly complement roleplaying and having fun, without being a burden on the game. It's up to the GM to lessen any burden that rules might impose, but some systems facilitate that process better than others.

« Last Edit: Nov 06, 2007, 09:47:53 PM by Accaris »

Porkus Maximus
Nov 07, 2007, 02:59:38 PM
Reply #7 on: Nov 07, 2007, 02:59:38 PM
Quote
There was plenty of material to work with, it was extremly consistent with the universe at hand, they "explained" the difference between the A L I E N and Cameraliens

What was their explanation?  Was it good?


Xhan
Nov 07, 2007, 06:02:15 PM
Reply #8 on: Nov 07, 2007, 06:02:15 PM
Their take was that the A L I E N was a Sentry. A guardian Alien that was bigger and tougher than normal Aliens, with keener senses and better combat abilities.


Spaghetti
Nov 13, 2007, 03:50:07 AM
Reply #9 on: Nov 13, 2007, 03:50:07 AM
Their take was that the A L I E N was a Sentry. A guardian Alien that was bigger and tougher than normal Aliens, with keener senses and better combat abilities.

I think that how many people see it. ;)


Pinky Narfanek
Nov 25, 2007, 08:19:53 AM
Reply #10 on: Nov 25, 2007, 08:19:53 AM
The Leading Edge RPG was something else...I'm not sure if it was a good or a bad "something else" though.

As with the Phoenix Command RPG, it was very table intensive and from what I remember, it would take a group (GM and players) that were very familiar with the system to make things run smoothly.  I seem to recall the stats system being pretty close to what one would expect to find in D&D although it was straight 3D6 for your stats and therefore darn near impossible to get a character that would qualify for special weapons training (Drake/Vasquez).  I believe that a friend currently is in possession of my RPG.

Now the Aliens boardgame and Expansionabsolutely kicked Xenomorph tail!  It's available on the internet in various places and folks have designed some new pieces to go with it.  It's been, to the best of my knowledge, released to the public so there shouldn't be any worry about downloading the boards, rules, etc.  Luckily, someone did a pretty decent job at a Flash based version of the original boardgame with the Reactor Room, Operations/Air Ducts and Rescue Newt scenarios.  I'm not really sure where my copy of the boardgame is.   :'(

« Last Edit: Nov 25, 2007, 08:30:47 AM by Pinky Narfanek »

 

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