You'll be able to stuff your stockings with Facehuggers and Alien eggs this Christmas when the official Alien tabletop roleplaying game launches on Dec. 10. Created through a partnership between 20th Century Fox and Free League Publishing, Alien: The Roleplaying Game takes place in the year 2183.
While the sci-fi horror/action franchise is known for its signature struggle to survive against the horrific Xenomorph aliens, the upcoming tabletop RPG plans to expand into other areas for different gameplay scenarios and player characters. For instance, the game plans to cover Colonial Marines and scientists in the Outer Rim Frontier.
The tabletop RPG will consist of a 392-page hardcover rulebook packed with full-color illustrations. TechRaptor previously reported that Axel Torvenius, John Mullaney, and Martin Grip will provide art for the game. Supplements for Alien: The Roleplaying Game will include additional items like maps, markers, and custom dice.
Free League co-founder and CEO Tomas Härenstam served as the game’s director and rules designer. He created a ruleset derived from the Year Zero Engine used in other Free League games like Tales from the Loop, though "further developed to fully support and enhance the core themes of Alien: horror and action in the cold darkness of space."
Two modes will dominate the gameplay experience: Cinematic play and Campaign play. As the name suggests, Cinematic play is meant to essentially let people play through their own Alien movie. This is done by providing pre-made scenarios that dramatically raise the stakes — like killing off characters — and offer viciously quick gameplay for a single play session. Sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska has written a Cinematic scenario for the game called “Chariot of the Gods.” According to Bleeding Cool, it's the start of a Cinematic scenario trilogy Gaska is writing for the game.
In contrast, Campaign play will offer a more traditional tabletop RPG experience. It's geared toward multiple play sessions with the same party of characters, encouraging sandbox style exploration of the Alien universe. More campaign sourcebooks will be published in the future, though the game's official website hasn't shared a release schedule.
Those who already pre-ordered the game received a preview and a 168-page Cinematic Starter Kit PDF from Free League in celebration of Alien’s 40th anniversary. BoardGameGeek shares that the starter kit contained five pre-made player characters, the complete Cinematic scenario “Chariot of the Gods,” and a ruleset for combat, skills, and even panic.
This isn’t Alien’s first tabletop RPG. Leading Edge Games published Aliens Adventure Game in 1991. The Xenomorph-filled franchise also has several other board games.
Do you plan to check out Alien: The Roleplaying Game? Have you played any Alien games? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.