29 April 2019
From the makers of Tales from the Loop
Seminal sci-fi movie Alien is getting its first tabletop roleplaying game in almost 30 years, and it’s out later this year.
Alien: The RPG is being worked on by Free League Publishing, the creator of ‘80s throwback roleplaying hit Tales from the Loop and its recent nineties-set sequel Things from the Flood. Tales and Mutant: Year Zero director Tomas Härenstam will take charge of the design for Alien.
Set ‘shortly’ after the events of Aliens – so you can happily forget that Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection exist (Hicks lives!) – the new roleplaying game will tell a completely original story featuring brand new characters in the setting of the Outer Rim Frontier. The previous attempt at bringing Alien to tabletop roleplaying, 1991’s Aliens Adventure Game, used a crunchy d100 system and was based more closely on the 1986 movie sequel.
Free League describes Alien: The RPG as the first game in a ‘series’, and has announced that the game will feature both an open-world sandbox option and a cinematic mode built around pre-generated scenarios crafted to be a single session in length.
The cinematic missions will be focused on the characters’ fight to survive, described as “emulating the dramatic arc of an Alien film” and featuring tough situations. The first cinematic scenario will be Chariot of the Gods, penned by author Andrew E.C. Gaska and included in the core rulebook. More modules and expansions are confirmed to be in the works – including direct tie-ins to the Alien franchise – with releases planned for “2020 and beyond”.
Player character options will include colonists and scientists – good luck surviving – to slimy company representatives in the mould of Aliens’ Carter Burke and, of course, bug-hunting colonial marines.
According to Härenstam, Alien: The RPG won’t just be about blasting xenomorphs and squishing facehuggers, but will go beyond the films’ survival-horror feel and encourage feats of endurance and survival akin to Ripley’s journey.
“The Alien saga isn’t about superheroes with superior firepower,” he said. “It’s about placing ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and testing the endurance of the human spirit against inhuman atrocities and impossible odds. Such a harsh yet hopeful universe has captured our imagination for 40 years with good reason, and we’re excited to explore new stories and perspectives as players must face their demons (in a true and metaphoric sense) and brave the horrors of the unknown.”
Alien: The RPG will kick off in late 2019, launching the ‘long-term’ series of games from Free League.