Alien0 images and player handouts
Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:40 AM
I hope this ten-session game meets with your approval (or, at least, fails to completely meet with your disapproval).
The audio quality is not up to the binaural brilliance of other (epic-level?) recordists, and there is quite a bit of cross-talk in the early episodes, but I hope there are still some points of interest for the SF-minded, especially for fans of Ridley Scott's seminal 1979 film 'Alien'.
Alien0 is a fan-written prequel which establishes the state of affairs encountered by the Nostromo and her (somewhat hapless) crew, in that film.
To do so, it is based upon a new backstory that engages with the critical plot issues of:
Exactly how much 'the company' knew about the situation on planetoid LV-426 in the Acheron system, years before the Nostromo entered it.
How it came to be that a synthetic human was infiltrated into the Nostromo crew, and used to knowingly guide them into an infectious encounter with a parasitical xenobiological species which (potentially) demonstrated the capacity to achieve planet-sterilising destructive capability.
The true source of this species, given its (evidently) engineered nature.Consequently, Alien0 explores - through roleplay - the following questions:
Assuming (a) 'the company' understood the destructive capabilities of the infectious alien species, and (b) was in any way rational, what could possibly motivate it to risk its own host civilisation in such a poorly-controlled first contact scenario with a species apparently designed to destructively transform other species into a version of itself?
Even if further delays, red tape, bribery, and quarantine-breaking were all involved, why would 'the company' not send a properly-trained, undercover, scientific team with real defensive capabilities to perform a comprehensive survey of the artefact on LV-426, rather than leave the situation to 'space truckers'?
Incorporating the plotline offered in the follow-up films (i.e. 'Aliens', etc.) why did 'the company' not attempt to follow up the failed Nostromo encounter with such an investigative team for many decades?
Just who or what constitutes 'the company' anyway?Set some twenty years before the events of the 1979 film, Alien0 deals with a shadowy underworld of corporate espionage, 'black' operations, compromised terrorism investigations, government corruption, and personal revenge.
(Oh, and a bizarre new lifeform, encountered somewhere in the Acheron system, with a novel means of reproduction.)
In the course of the game, which uses a mixture of GDW's Traveller RPG and the Aliens RPG, I pulled together some player handouts which I will link to via this forum. They may help in managing the information load, which - this being a technothriller dealing with deniable intelligence operations - is sometimes considerable.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 04:36 AM
Aliens RPG Starmap (from the future, not 20yrs before)
The party has been assembled by S8, a secretive quasi-governmental/pseudo-corporate group that is difficult to pin down and probably exists only in the minds of over-excited elected representatives or conspiracy buffs (who tend to expire before their time, in embarrassing situations). Some believe S8 to be affiliated with Weyland-Yutani.
Just another megacorp
The S8 crest - therefore - is presumed apocryphal by anyone in the corporate or governmental media, officialdom, or anyone holding a bureaucratic position.
If it does exist, S8 is (are/would-theoretically-be/etc.) darkly rumoured to be associated in some fashion with the up-and-coming Weyland-Yutani corporation, though this has never been proved (and wouldn't interest the dumbed-down population of the colonised sectors of space, anyway, who can barely scrape together the attention-span to brush their teeth without passing out.)
S8 assembled the party from available operatives several years in the past. However, as party members were transferred in hypersleep from their past duties, they were not been formally introduced at this time. This is standard operational procedure for S8, and the team is expected to acclimatise when they are roused from hypersleep, 72hrs prior to their first mission encounter. Backstories, cover identities and credentials are supplied to each team-member upon awakening. (Players who have decided that their characters have met previously should feel free to 'recognise' each other upon awakening: S8 has no issue with teamwork-building, as long as covers are maintained.)
The team has been issued with the Diamelen, a Recon Scout class starship, designed for interstellar cartography, scientific research, and the all-important Colonial Mail service. Although not designed to enter atmospheres, she is equipped with drop capabilities to allow crew to reach the surfaces of planets via shuttle. The Recon Scout starship design is reasonably commonplace throughout Colonial space. Beyond her basic armament (one hardpoint, justified by its mail-carrying role), the Diamelen has been enhanced for infiltration purposes by S8 with improved sensors and equipment.
The Diamelen (main ship)
The cigar-shaped Recon Scout design is comprised of two decks. She is about 160m length, and displaces 200tons. She is equipped with a Jump-2 drive, and is capable of 2G acceleration. Cargo capacity is 50tons.
The Diamelen comes with two identical shuttles, the Arsat and the Verloc. As the Diamelen is not designed for atmospheric flight, she relies on her shuttles for hydrogen-fuel skimming duties, from gas giants or water-bearing planets. Each shuttle has a compressed-fuel module which can be mounted internally, and store the unrefined hydrogen fuel from its wing-pod filters.
The Arsat and Verloc (shuttles)
Standard shuttle design features a sizeable cargo bay, and fuel processing pods. Each displaces 30tons, can carry 10tons of cargo, and is capable of 3G acceleration.
Each shuttle can deliver and retrieve the team's single Tracked All-Terrain Vehicle, the Krager, from the surface of most rocky planets. It is an effective base of operations when performing ground operations, and when dealing with planetary contacts. Typically, the Arsat shuttle carries the Krager, while the Verloc is fitted for fuel-module duties.
The Krager (ATV)
The tracked ATV displaces 10tons, averages 45kph on smooth ground, 20kph in harsh terrain, and has a range of 5000km before requiring refuelling. It has a cargo capacity of 2 tons, and has spartan (but decent) facilities for eight.
The Diamelen also has small escape vehicles for its crew, and the shuttles can also serve as lifeboats, each featuring hypersleep berths. In keeping with the mission profile, the Diamelen and its crew are intended to present a professional, non-military appearance. The Krager also has an emergency hypersleep module, useful for medical emergencies.
Ship operations aboard the Diamelen are highly automated, given that the crew are kept in hypersleep for the many months of travel involved using Alcubierre-style displacement drives. Flight crew are roused for refuelling duties, either involving the colonial hydrogen fuelling points or via reclamation directly from natural sources, or in the event of emergencies (i.e. accident, attacks, received distress calls, etc.).
All ships and vehicles are powered by portable fusion powerplants, and require hydrogen for operation which can either be obtained from liquid water sources using supplied filtration equipment, gas giants, or colonial hydrogen mining stations.
The Orbus117 is a standard colonial SkyRig mining platform and hydrogen fuel refinery, approximately 120m in length, which uses powerful gravitic drives to remain aloft. The descending reclamation pipe is lowered more than 150km into the atmosphere of the gas-giant being mined.
The Diamelen is scheduled to rendezvous with the Orbus117 mining station in the Chitin star system, within the Borodino Sector.
The Orbus117 mining station
Refuelling is the order-of-the-day, prior to the jump to Thedus, but the crew are also expecting to make contact with an S8 agent, currently staffed on the floating refinery, for a standard information exchange (i.e. similar to the delivery of a locked diplomatic bag).
The name of the party's S8 contact on the Orbus117 is Georgi Fuehr, the Communications Technician aboard the floating mining platform.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 04:41 AM
It seems possible that S8 contact Georgi Fuehr has suffocated under unknown circumstances, or that - at least - seems to be the information intercepted by Col. Sanders (Sami). As yet, no official word has reached the party on the status of Mr Fuehr (a 'personal friend' of a Diamelen crew-member).
With the exception of Dr Killinger (Brendan) and Eliza (the 'Artificial Person' NPC), the Diamelen crew shuttled without mishap some 500m across the hazardous upper atmosphere of Chitin VII, witnessing the astonishing sight of the exotic Gas Giant at close quarters.
Upon arrival, the party were greeted by some of the agreeable daywatch crew of the station, including Commander David South and Dr Jill Mankin.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 04:44 AM
However, before they could focus upon this incalculably-improbable series of events (according to Eliza's ongoing actuarial calculations) the party leader, Col. Sanders was struck down by a rare, fast-acting disease known as feldspar meningitis, which ex-F.C. Dexter and Dr Max determined would require immediate hypersleep and access to an equally rare, expensive drug unavailable on either the Diamelen of the Orbus117.
At this point, the situation across multiple locations within the Orbus117 became increasingly complicated as a series of interior explosions sequentially disabled the all-important gravitic systems of the station (responsible for holding the mining station in a secure position above the radioactive clouds of the gas-giant Chitin-7), and caused a hull breach leading to non-explosive decompression. The station's crew proceeded to rapidly board all available lifepods, while the party rendezvoused with the shuttle Arsat and her pilot Hazdrubal.
From their vantage point aboard the Arsat, and under the expert piloting of Hazdrubal, the party proceeded to watch the great Orbus117 station fall into the crushing atmosphere of the gas-giant, and see the flash of light and hard radiation as its fusion powerplant failed.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 04:47 AM
* At 1313 on 044/2105 the Orbus117 SkyRig mining station experienced a catastrophic failure of its antigravity system (explosion) followed by a hull breach (second explosion), and eventually fell beyond visual contact into the upper atmosphere of Chitin-7, the vast gas giant it had been previously mining
* The party and most of the station crew successfully evacuated via the shuttle Arsat or escape pods
* The closest rescue vehicle (aside from PC vessels) appears to be the Chitin system police cruiser Sastre - commanded by Captain Louise Bosch - which is 55hrs away (apparently Sastre's speed increased slightly before Cmdr South was informed that Geordi Fuehr's death by asphyxiation was not accidental)
* Dr Jill Mankin, a senior member of the Orbus177's management has accused Dr Max Killinger of an affiliation with Jonathan Lam (a station engineer) by way of (apparently fake) digital photographs she discovered, and took from Fuehr's quarters, prior to the demise of the station
* Dr Mankin apparently believes Lam is responsible for sabotage aboard the Orbus117 station, leading to its destruction (when searched, Lam was in possession of a knife and monkey-wrench)
* One of the station's ten escape capsules has fallen to disappear into the atmosphere of the nearby gas giant (for reasons unknown)
* Each capsule is designed to support its three occupants for one week, and is capable of 1G acceleration
* Bobbi Green, Jonathan Lam and Gant Smith were each recorded in the vicinity of the little-used second lounge area within the Orbus117 which was the source for computerised instructions which led to the death of the party's S8 contact Geordi Fuehr (via a guest account on one of the courtesy computer terminals)
* The party's ship, the Diamelen, is currently only 20% fuelled
* Both of Diamelen's shuttles - the Arsat and the Verloc - are fully operational and may soon begin fuel-skimming duties in the upper atmosphere of Chitin-7
* Eliza - the party synthetic - is on the flight deck of the Diamelen, and is opening its forward shuttle bay to receive the Arsat
* The location of the missing digital storage chip expected of Geordi Fuehr is unknown
* The location of Fuehr's personal data-tablet is unknown, and was apparently replaced with that issued to Bobbi Green (found in Fuehr's quarters).
Posted 28 May 2011 - 05:06 AM
Anomalous stealthsat image on datachip
Eliza summarises the recovered information on Fuehr's datachip as follows:
1. The rival C.S.C. corporation is apparently running an interplanetary stealth-equipped reconnaissance satellite within the Acheron system
2. The C.S.C. stealthsat appears to have been physically intercepted or had its radio communications intercepted (transmissions from the stealthsat would presumably be very infrequent, if any, given its mission profile)
3. Intercept done by a party known as 'H', from within the Acheron system
4. Imagery depicts a visual anomaly on an unspecified planetoid in the Acheron system
5. Anomaly is over 200m in diameter and registers 66% probability artificial, yet matches no known ship or structural profile
6. Imagery metadata indicated it was captured several years ago
7. Imagery may have been radioed within Acheron, but must have been physically delivered to the Chitin system, due to 8 light year distance, given capture dates
Processed stealthsat image, with enhanced anomaly
8. Fuehr was convinced that an S8 mole exists within the Chitin system, based upon his datachip notes
9. There is no evidence that Fuehr provided C.I.C. stealthsat-related data to any party, or other S8 agent, due to his suspicions
10. Fuehr was apparently planning to give his via datachip to the S8 team on the Diamelen in the hopes that he could bypass any local S8 mole
11. Weylan Yutani (WY) have 1203 staff working within the Chitin system, plus over 3000 subcontracters
12. The number of S8 operatives within the Chitin system is unknown to the party, and may have been unknown to Fuehr
13. The only S8 contact currently known to the party is Harris, Karl on the Chitin-3 orbital platform, where he works as Operations Manager for WY
14. There is a clear possibility that Fuehr's suspicions were true and he was killed before making contact with alternate S8 operatives (i.e. by a local S8 operative, or agents thereof).
Presumed intelligence flow
Eliza's conclusions and presentation to UNCLE (Diamelen's computer):
* The datachip contents and the anomalous image need to be transmitted back to S8, ASAP.
* The nearest S8 contact is Harris, on Chitin-3, however, if an S8 mole exists within Chitin system, as theorised by Fuehr, standard procedure would be either to:
1. Wait for an opportunity to physically pass key intel to a direct superior within the S8 hierarchy, or
2. Abort the current mission in order to investigate the anomaly and situation surrounding its discovery, and identify all parties or organisations which have had access to the anomalous data for appropriate response.
Current situation may satisfy a conclusion of possible contact with an unknown alien civilisation and technology, requiring highest-priority response from S8 agents in-the-field, who will be expected to show initiative, resourcefulness and discretion.
Posted 23 September 2011 - 09:24 PM
Re Eps 4-10, I'm trying to confirm that Hal is able to switch them from the members' section into the community release area (and iTunes too, I gather).
Happy to take suggestions, BTW.
Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:39 PM
Note: I've noticed that my previous image-serving site seems to provide links to their homepage (in Japanese, what's more) instead of to the actual image I uploaded, so below are images from another service.
Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:02 AM
The StealthSat from rival corporation CSC (originally responsible for the anomalous imagery)
Bobbi Green (suspected saboteur)
Dr Jill Mankin (sabotage witness)
Lee (S8 contact on Acheron-3)
Yasmina Hayek (S8 field agent)
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users