Sci-fi horror tabletop RPG for fans of the Alien franchise

A selection of sci-fi tabletop RPGs with rules and themes perfect for storytelling in the lone horror style of the Alien franchise.

The Extraterrestrial film franchise, an influential sci-fi horror saga that popularized tropes such as blue-collar astronauts, duplicate synthetics and parasitic aliens, has been adapted into graphic novels, video games and, more recently, in tabletop RPG created by Free League Publishing. Alien: the role-playing game is just one of many sci-horror RPGs for sale both online and in print – games themed around the ruthless loneliness of deep space, the disturbing nature of alien organisms and aspects dehumanizing corporate culture.

The original Extraterrestrial The film, directed by Ripley Scott, written by Dan O’Bannon, and released in 1979, drew inspiration from several sources – earlier sci-fi films like John Carpenter’s. Black Star, science fiction novels like that of AE Van Vogt The journey of the space beagle, the actual parasitism of creatures like Digger Wasps, etc. Another possible inspiration for Extraterrestrial may be the middle of Dracula, where the crew of the sailboat Demeter, unknowingly carrying Dracula in its cargo hold, are kidnapped one by one during their sea voyage – proof that the horror trope “monster on a ship” is older than many people don’t think so.


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Each of the tabletop RPG systems listed below, in addition to reflecting the future aesthetics and biomechanics of the monster used from Extraterrestrial, also have settings that sound true to the motto of the Extraterrestrial series – “In space no one can hear you scream“This refers to the dangerous and ruthless nature of space, but also expresses the horror of dying alone at the hands of a starving alien or being abandoned by a soulless company that treats its employees as consumables.

Alien: the role-playing game

Alien-style tabletop RPG Alien The RPG

Alien: the role-playing game was designed by Free League Publishing, and uses a modified version of the D6 dice pool system seen in their RPGs such as Tales of the Loop Where Abandoned land. The game takes place after the events of Extraterrestrial 3, where the destruction of several ships and colonies at the hands of xenomorph epidemics raised tensions between the Americas (the political regime of the colonial Marines of Aliens originated from) and the Weyland-Yutani Corporation which continues to try to monetize Xenomoprh life forms. Alien: the role-playing game can be used to run single cutscene sessions or extended campaigns where player characters navigate the harsh environments of space and their blue collar jobs while encountering xenomorph infestations and “Space Jockey” ruins at dramatic intervals.

These dark places

Alien-style tabletop RPG These Dark Places

These dark places, an RPG by Osprey Publishing that describes itself as an “industrial sci-fi” role-playing game, relies heavily on the “Space Trucker” aesthetic of the first four Extraterrestrial films, painting images of a distant space frontier filled with filthy and dangerous space stations and ships. Play sessions These dark places, ranging from stories about Extraterrestrial-From stylish encounters with alien horrors to storylines about surviving the harshness of the cosmos, all center on the mechanics of pressure and stress, which crew member PCs accumulate over the course of the game (unless they are not synthetic androids).

Shadows on Ground

Shadows Over Sol Alien-Style Tabletop RPG

Shadows on Ground, a sci-fi RPG released by Tab Creations, mixes the “horror and corporate politics” themes of Extraterrestrial with the scientifically accurate world-building of films like The Martian or show as The extent. The setting described in the Shadows on Ground core book is a solar system colonized by commercial interests and net-based subcultures, fleshed out with details of realistic future technology, factions, colonies, and actual solar system landmarks. Player characters are typically handymen for hire who attempt to complete missions across the solar system, coming up against engineered biological weapons, alien life forms, and sleeping cosmic horrors in the process.

Related: Tabletop RPG For Telling Challenging Sci-Fi Stories

Mothership

Sci-Fi Tribute Tabletop RPG Mothership RPG Alien

Mothership, a sci-fi horror RPG, explores many of the same themes as Extraterrestrial: The role play, although with a sort of “Old-School Revival” sensibility. This system’s character sheets contain a fluid flowchart structure that allows players to quickly create new characters when their current characters perish at the hands of space dangers / alien terrors. The rules GMs can use to run a training session. Mothership are also accessible, with descriptions of how to perform different scenes confined to individual pages.

Next: Tabletop RPG About Monsters And Aliens Trying To Blend In As Humans

Sources: Osprey Publishing, Tab Creations

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