Love Aliens and Dead Space? Cold & Dark is the RPG for you

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27 April 2017
C_D_Cover_rep-65795.jpg Cold & Dark
Hardback edition of core rulebook launches using Kickstarter-like pre-order system

Although the Alien series is one of the most influential and beloved sci-fi movie franchises of all time – just look at the response to this week’s ‘Alien day’ and the fervour around upcoming sequel Alien: Covenant for proof – it’s been drastically underrepresented when it comes to roleplaying games.

The most notable RPG based on the series is probably Leading Edge’s Aliens Adventure Game, which was released nearly three decades ago and earned mixed reviews thanks to its notoriously lengthy and convoluted combat resolution.

An unofficial saviour may be at hand in the form of Cold & Dark, a sci-fi horror RPG designed by Nocturn creator Mischa L Thomas.

Originally released back in 2012, Cold & Dark is returning in a new physical hardcover core rulebook published by Modiphius, who compared it to the gung-ho Alien sequel Aliens (“Game over, man!”), as well as video games that owe much to the film franchise, such as Doom, StarCraft and Dead Space.

Cold & Dark centres around a group of working-class space-farers who encounter a distributing horror out in deep space and must try and survive while also battling with the greed of their corporate overlords. So, Alien, then.

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The game includes a starmap and details on 18 solar systems to explore, with 19 ‘avatar packages’ used to create characters. Replacing the xenomorphs in ‘big scary things you probably want to avoid’ are the rippers, which are fleshed out in the rules. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the danger of void psychosis syndrome, a crippling mental illness that can affect the unfortunate heroes.

There’s the flexibility to manage space ships and indulge in a variety of activities, from piracy to salvage missions, while equipment such as the customised operation gear nano-suit can be customised for each character.

In a parallel to Dead Space in particular, there’s the presence of a mysterious religion called Infinitology that almost definitely isn’t a play on Scientology. Nope, not at all.

Modiphius is taking a new approach to launching Cold & Dark, offering a Kickstarter-like pre-order programme that unlocks bonus features and content as more people purchase the book – but unlike other crowdfunding platforms, the book will be published whether the targets are hit or not.

Signing up will get you a PDF of the book straight away, with the physical Cold & Dark release set to launch in July.

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