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In space, no one can hear what's creeping up behind you...

Alien: The Roleplaying Game is a tabletop RPG developed by Free League Publishing to allow groups of players to roleplay in the setting of the Alien franchise.

There are two broad modes of playing, "campaign" and "cinematic". Campaign games feature the Player Characters going from one scenario to another, usually in a role as something like long-haul space transporters, Colonial Marines, or colonists on the frontier. By contrast, cinematic mode games are focused on short self-contained scenarios that can be completed in a few sessions, but have a much higher lethality where not all the player characters are expected to survive, with a heavy focus on dramatic horror.

See also the parent Alien franchise, which this game obviously inherits many tropes from. How those tropes apply to this game are described below. Beware Late Arrival Spoilers for works in the franchise this game makes direct references to.

The game provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: As a tabletop roleplaying game, Free League necessarily has to expand on the lore from the films, Canon Welding unpublished elements and oblique hints toward Extended Universe content. This is done in service of giving Game Mothers more fodder for exploration by the players and more hooks to set adventures into.
    • As specific example is the Hope's Last Day introductory scenario included in the main rulebook. The Director's Cut of Aliens has some scenes set on Hadley's Hope before the incident, but Hope's Last Day goes into detail by depicting the final hours of the colony shortly after the climax of the Newt's Tale comic. This includes elements that weren't apparent in the film or hinted at in other sources, but also fit the known facts about it.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: The game tracks assorted "Supplies," like food, water, power, and air. The Game Mother can call for Supply checks when appropriate, where you roll the number of Supply in Stress dice, each 1 that comes up costs you one of that Supply. So as your Supply gets lower, the odds of it going down again decrease... but if it does go down, you'll be dangerously low, if not out completely.
  • A.K.A.-47: Inverted with the Norcomm AK-4047, the standard issue assault rifle of the UPP. If its name wasn't enough of a hint, its picture in the Colonial Marines Operations Manual is obviously designed to be a recognizable descendant of modern AK series assault rifles.
  • Anyone Can Die: The game is structured with the express expectation that Player Characters will die across a campaign, or even during a single session game. Thanks to certain kinds of gameplay mechanics, the game is lethal on the statistics. In cinematic gameplay modes, it's not uncommon to have one player character be the Sole Survivor. The rulebook recommends having Non Player Characters around not necessarily as Red Shirts, but rather to have replacement PCs already in the story to be picked up by players who've had their characters meet a gruesome end already so they can continue playing the game.
  • Arms and Armor Theme Naming: AW soldiers all have last names of weapons: Spears, Axe, Hammer, Gunn (sic), etc. Some can get pretty esoteric, like Karambit (a curved Indonesian knife).
  • Artificial Human: Comes in more than one variety:
  • Auto Doc: In keeping with the trope naming parent franchise. A lot of insurance coverage for spaceships and colonial ventures mandate the presence of an auto-doc of some kind as a liability mitigation measure, so auto-docs are quite common. However, "common" doesn't mean "good", and their quality and reliability can be variable depending on how much money is being spent on one and how much their maintenance gets deferred. The most expensive varieties are nearly self-driven advanced surgical suites, but the majority of them are "economy" models that require supervision and programming by a qualified med-tech and are only built to handle basic operations.
  • Beam Spam: The "independently targeting particle-beam phalanx" Hudson refers to in Aliens is a piece of equipment statted and detailed for Colonial Marines issue. Hudson was being characteristically hyperbolic when saying it could "fry half a city". While it can certainly do some damage, its primary role is as a Close In Weapons System for point defense against things like missile strikes. It can be either mounted on APCs or set up at a fixed location, and when powered and activated will auto-target incoming missiles, rockets, and aircraft who don't have friendly transponder signals. Whether it's even capable of targeting xenomorphs is still an open question....
  • Bottomless Magazines: Downplayed. The game's looser, more narrative structure means that for most weapons, players don't track each individual shell, bullet, burst, or charge. Instead, rolling a Panic while firing indicates your weapon is out of ammo. Reloads are tracked as gear that can reload a weapon which is out of ammo. Certain weapons and tools use Power Supply instead (see Almost Out of Oxygen).
  • Breather Level: The rulebook recommends the Game Mother incorporate these as story beats during a session where the crew can be out of immediate danger, take inventory, and try to form a plan. This is a time for things like administering medical aid and helping reduce each others stress levels, before they move into danger again. The benefit in particular is that having opportunities to let out some of the tension gives other opportunities to wind it back up.
  • Broad Strokes: A lot of events from older Expanded Universe stories, and script drafts, that are not part of the new, stricter canon are referenced in Broad Strokes for GMs to use as they wish. These include the Dark Horse Comics run, Wilks and Billie from Rim, and references to the events of both the William Gibson "Anchorpoint Station" and Vincent Ward "Wooden Planet" scripts for Alien≥.
  • Camp Unsafe Isn't Safe Anymore: Playing hand-in-glove with the Breather Level above, the Game Mother is also encouraged to keep the pressure up on the Player Characters. Thus they should wait for the party to feel safe enough to let their guard down before letting them realize that their place of safety isn't as safe to remain in as they might have hoped and forcing them into fresh challenges.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Zigzagged - The only movie that the RPG makes no references to is Alien: Resurrection, but that's only because the book's timeline takes 2180 (and onwards) as the 'present' day. In-universe, that is the year that the rebuilt Anchorhead opens, and the year after the Sulaco investigates Hadley's Hope and the survivors subsequently land on Fiorina 161. Resurrection takes place over 200 years later. and whether those events happen or not is up to the Game Mother.
    • " Notably, the RPG does use the Mantis-class ship, since Ripley 8 notes that the Betty is "older than I am", therefore the class must date back to at least the 2170s, if not the 2120s.
  • Canon Welding: The RPG fuses lore created in the original Alien trilogy with that of Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, the books, the comics and the videogames (even Aliens: Colonial Marines!) Additionally, elements created in rejected scripts for prospective Alien sequels which have long been known to fans are included and expanded upon, to give Game Mothers more options for spinning scenarios. Something notable by its absence is anything original to the Alien vs. Predator franchise, which is legally a separate licence. (Chigusa Corporation does get a mention, possibly because it later appeared in a non-crossover Aliens comic.)
    • A specific example is the xenomorph life cycle. The script for the original Alien called for its adult form to actually transform captured victims into eggs, and while that made it into the novelization and the director's cut, it was omitted from the theatrical release. Aliens, on the other hand, posited that the eggs were laid by a queen. This RPG takes both as being true, with victims being injected by a xenomorph with a variant of the black goo from Prometheus that causes them to "ovamorph". Eggs made by this method are less robust than laid eggs, but also have a higher chance of producing a "royal" facehugger which will in turn produce a queen. At that point, their reproductive rate can increase and they enter the hive stage of their development.
  • Continuity Nod: The RPG coordinates with Aliens Fireteam Elite, with the Frontier War campaign detailed in the Colonial Marines Operations Manual being an important part of the backstory, and characters like General Vaughn are namechecked by Fireteam. Between the time RPG is set and the timeframe of Fireteam, greater knowledge about both the Xenomorphs and corporate malfeasance related to same has come to light, resulting in the Colonial Marines of Fireteam having the authorization — and firepower — to deal with out of control Company secret projects.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Character death is quite likely in this system, and when those deaths involve xenomorphs, they're rarely quick or painless. The rulebook notes that horrific deaths at their hands are a big part of the source material, and encourages the Game Mother to play up the gruesome details of them for drama when it happens...
  • Death Is Dramatic: The game is undoubtedly lethal, and Game Mothers are encouraged to be "brutal- oh so brutal". However, it does include advice that, should circumstance force a character death, the Game Mother should fudge the specifics a little to make such a death more dramatically satisfying. The example given is that, in the event a xenomorph queen makes an attack who's table results would be taking a character's head clean off with a single swipe of her bladed tail, a Game Mother might instead elect to rule that the attack takes off the character's leg. The shock and blood loss will still result in the character's imminent death, but they might have the opportunity to detonate an explosive they were carrying in the queen's face before they expire, injuring her, driving her back, collapsing a roof, or some other thing that would give that character's companions an opportunity to fall back and escape the potential Total Party Kill she represents.
  • Death World: The rulebook includes several different worlds that players may visit, but it also applies a special note to a few of them that landing there is tantamount to suicide:
    • LV-223: The planet that Prometheus is set on. The combination of uncontained black goo that spread among the local biosphere, along with an excavation shuttle piloted there by colonists escaping from the fall of the nearby Hadley's Hope colony that, unfortunately for the former crew, contained xenomorphs. Those xenomorphs have reacted with the black goo, mutating them into new and even deadlier forms. The evolution on the planet is out of control and virtually everything there is highly aggressive.
    • G-435: A planet overrun with xenomorphs who've reached a state of ecological balance with the local lifeforms. Flat and arid terrain spotted with shallow brackish seas, the only major topographically distinct things there are xenomorph hive-complexes. The fact that the xenomorphs have reached equilibrium with the indigenous lifeforms gives an indication of how deadly the local lifeforms can be. The local xenomorphs have adapted to this, and there are forms of them present here which occur nowhere else, and there are literally thousands of them. Chances of humans surviving there is practically negligible.
    • O'Bannon's World: A world of immense and dark jungles, and the site of a major battle during the Dog War. The trees are tall and thick, the predators are deadly, and even some of the vines are hungry for warm animal blood. The magnetic field of the planet's moon interacts with the planet's own to create an ionosphere that's hard for electronic communication to penetrate without large stationary relays, meaning anyone who goes down there can't easily call for help. However, it says a lot that this planet is one of the more downplayed examples in the setting.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The "Panic Loop," "Panic Cascade," or "Panic Death Spiral." As the characters encounter stressful situations (the whole point of the game, obviously), their stress increases, adding dice to their dice pools with a chance for Panic. Many Panic results will also increase the Stress of nearby characters, making them more likely to Panic on their next roll, or outright force immediate Panic rolls on nearby characters. Unless the players are very careful about managing their Stress levels (and assuming the GM doesn't outright deny them breaks to reduce Stress) it's not hard to have characters Panic one after the other in a fairly mundane situation. . . or worse, in the middle of a fight for their lives. A group doing surprisingly well can suddenly fall completely to pieces as everyone Trembles, Freezes, Screams, Takes Cover, or even goes Catatonic.
  • Disco Tech: The rulebook notes that the control systems for Engineer technology primarily relies on patterns of carefully delivered notes to activate and direct them, usually delivered via a flute-like control mechanism. It's a kind of blurred state between issuing commands and playing music. It is difficult, but not impossible, for humans and androids to reproduce the noises that such commands require using one of those control flutes, but since there's no known "Rosetta Stone" for the Engineer's command music and no known instruction manuals, it's also highly improbable.
  • Effective Knockoff:
    • The RPG goes with the stance that the Xenomorphs are Bioweapon Beasts created by the Engineers, and that the Xenomorph variant from Alien: Covenant — given the official name "Praetomorphs" — is David's imperfect attempt to replicate them. While this was the case in early drafts of the script and the official novelization, Ridley Scott has stated in interviews that he decided last-minute to make David the Xenomorphs' creator rather than the Engineers, something the RPG ignores.
    • The Union of Progressive Peoples disallows corporate influence in their domain, which also means that corporations don't sell to them. However, given the ubiquity of corporate products throughout much of human space, that means that the UPP often finds some of those products falling into its possession anyway. Consequently, a lot of reverse engineering goes on, at the least to make compatible matching components, which can sometimes lead to the UPP producing entire lines duplicated from copyrighted corporate designs. Obviously, this angers said corporations a great deal, who accuse (with plausible reason) the UPP of stealing their technology through espionage. The corporations have little recourse to stop this, but it does lead to a lot of paranoia within them as well as within governments that they operate under. A specific example of this in action is 1VAN/3 AI that runs UPP ships, similar to the MU/TH/UR AIs that run United Americas and Three World Empire ships. It's such a knockoff of the Seegson A.P.O.L.L.O. that the game states the GM uses the stats of the latter for the former.
  • Fantastic Ship Prefix: Enough to pack an M-series starfreighter.
    • UAS stands for United American Spaceship, and is applied to (most) United Americas military space vessels.
    • USS stands for United States Spaceship, and is applied to ships operated by American space military forces, like the United States Colonial Marines or Unites States Aero Space Force. Thus the USS Sulaco from Aliens is specifically a Colonial Marines ship.
    • USCSS is for United States Commercial Star Ship, used for United Americas commercial vessels (like the USCSS Nostromo).
    • SS just means Star Ship, and is used for completely independent, privately-owned vessels.
    • STSV stands for Space Towing and Salvage Vessel, and is used for privately-owned service ships.
    • UPP Military ships go by SSV, Space Security Vessel.
    • PSV are UPP civilian ships, standing for People's Space Vessel.
    • The Three World Empire still uses HMS for military vessels, standing for Her Majesty's Spaceship.
    • HMCSS means Her Majesty's Commercial Ship, used for decommissioned or commercial 3WE ships.
    • ISCS ships all use CSCSS, Central Space Commercial Star Ship. Military or not, because from their point of view, war is business.
    • This isn't even a complete list, just the most common ones.
  • Fix Fic: As an adjunct of Canon Welding and Retcon, the RPG makes numerous stabs at aligning some of the less well-recieved parts of the Alien franchise to make sense.
    • Establishing the Praetomorphs are an inferior knockoff of the Xenomorphs, which were an original Engineer creation, retconning the revelation from Covenant that David created the Xenomorphs. Notably, the intention of the script was that David was recreating the Engineers' work on the Xenomorphs, before Ridley Scott decided late in the process that having David be their creator was more interesting.
    • Implying that the Engineers of Prometheus and Covenant are not necessarily the same species as the Space Jockey from Alien, as some fans have noticed the scale doesn't quite match or simply object to the Space Jockey being revealed as a Human Alien.
    • The oddly small numbers and lack of proper military decorum among the marines in Aliens is excused by establishing the Colonial Marines typically operate in small units, with the deployment seen in Aliens of one section (half a platoon) considered the norm. This also leads more informality and a looser command structure than the on-paper organizational charts would indicate. The books, especially the Colonial Marines Operations Manual, explore this further, establishing the "Vietnam In Space" background Cameron was leaning into and stating most marines come from colonies not unlike Hadley's Hope before the outbreak: bleak, boring places with limited prospects, who joined the Corps for travel to exciting new worlds, only to find those worlds are pretty much exactly like the places they were trying to get away from.
    • Using the death of almost everyone on Fury 161 as an important background element to ramp up the tensions between governments and corporations, adding some stakes and fallout to the story of Alien≥.
    • Crafting a narrative in its official cinematics following up on ideas advanced in Prometheus and Covenant to utilize those elements in a way more fulfilling than the films did without delving too deep into the mystery of the Engineers.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The first major sourcebook, the Colonial Marines Operations Manual, abbreviated CMOM. The fanbase is certain this was entirely intentional.
  • Game Master: Titled the Game Mother in this game, regardless of the Game Mother's gender, in reference to the Nostromo's MU/TH/UR Master Computer in the first film.
  • Gossip Evolution: The Sole Survivor of the Fiorina 161 prison colony wrote a tell-all book of his experiences titled Space Beast, linking the delay in rescue to Weyland-Yutani's prioritization of capturing a live alien "dragon" over saving lives, and linking them to the destruction of the Hadley's Hope colony on LV-426. Weyland-Yutani has denied these allegations, having their lawyers label the book libelous and effectively shutting down its legal distribution, and most dismiss the account as the paranoid rambling of a madman. The official story is that the prison facility was depopulated by a disease brought on by the escape pods from the Sulaco, and the delay was due to observing careful quarantining procedures. Yet the fantastical book does fit the facts, and fits into other rumors of strange incidents across the frontier. As a result, some very limited knowledge of the xenomorphs is common, but they're considered simply one among many tall-tales told in frontier barrooms to scare greenhorns and few people think they're actually true.
  • Human Aliens: Arcturians, the only extra-solar intelligent species humanity has acknowledged contact with and who, seemingly inexplicably, have a genetic code close to (but not completely) identical with humans. They live in a narrow band of habitual land on a planet with extreme axial tilt. Their indigenous technological development seemed to be mostly Neolithic (albeit very well applied), but they also have mathematics, astronomy, and even quantum physics knowledge so developed that humanity had things to learn from them. They claim this knowledge was imparted to them by the "Star Teachers" who are prophesized to one day return. They're graceful and often beautiful by human standards, and exclusively gender fluid (at least by the way humans reckon gender.) Wayland-Yutani had a survey claim on the planet at the time they were discovered and has leveraged that into control over who among humans is allowed to visit, ostensibly to "protect" the Arcturians from exploitation... by anyone else.
  • Human Popsicle: Per the franchise, going into metabolism-slowing hypersleep is common for passengers making interstellar journeys. This is to conserve resources, to reduce the likelihood of cabin fever over a long trip, and to prevent the development of Neurological Distortion Disorder, a condition caused by the effect of faster than light travel on human perception which can lead to paranoia, epilepsy, and psychotic breaks. Interestly, people can still dream while in hypersleep, with the metabolism slowing effects stretching out the dream such that months in hypersleep are perceived as a single night's worth of dreaming. Commercial devices are available which encourage and shape these dreams, allowing hypersleep to be one of the more pleasant parts of interstellar travel.
  • Improvised Weapon: Unless the players are Colonial Marines, odds are they won't all be armed and yet find themselves desperately in need of protection. However, there are plenty of commonly used tools which can be repurposed into weaponry in a pinch. Cutting torches for emergency ingress through bulkheads or carve up scrap metal, bolt guns used to apply self-expanding bolts for securing patches over hull breaches, long maintenance jacks for manually overriding sealed airlocks with mechanical leverage, harpoon launchers for latching together otherwise uncontrolled objects in free-fall, etc. They're unlikely to make a determined xenomorph do more than be a little more careful about when it engages, but they're still better than going up against one completely unarmed.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: Not the Colonial Marines, but the Frontier Colonist Campaign Framework has an opening from a colonist expressing this attitude.
    "Life on the off-world colonies is an adventure," they said. "Start a new life with the prospect of untold riches," they said. What they didnít say was that the colony worlds are tough and unforgiving, and while opportunities for making a fortune do exist, it always seems to happen to the other guy.
  • Killer GM: Permissible and even advised in some scenarios, where the Game Mother is allowed or encouraged to simply place PCs in unavoidably fatal situations to ramp up tension, drama, and horror. Whether or not a Game Mother should go full-tilt No Saving Throw to whittle down the party to one survivor should probably be heavily dependent on how well the GM and players like and trust each other, and if the players are understanding of this mode of GMing in this genre of game. It is a horror game based on a film series which traditionally plays Dwindling Party utterly straight, but that doesn't necessarily give the GM free reign to be a jerk. A few scenarios even make explicit that they're set up to create an "Everybody Dies" Ending, where winning isn't defined by survival but by stopping a particularly dangerous threat.
  • Lighter and Softer: "Campaign" gameplay as opposed to "Cinematic" gameplay. The later is intended to be lethal and have a short discrete story that can be covered in a few sessions (essentially, it's meant to replicate the experience of an Alien film, complete with almost everyone getting a gruesome death at some point). The former is generally less likely to kill off player characters at any given moment and the Game Mother is encouraged to lay off the xenomorphs since it wouldn't make sense to encounter them every place the players go. Instead various other human opposition such as mercenaries, cultists, or corporate agents and other hostile alien wildlife are session-to-session fare, with the xenomorphs only showing up directly during big climatic story beats. Of course, "lighter and softer" is just relative in this case, as it's still a horror game and players should expect scary moments and close calls.
  • Magic Countdown: Getting a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong is practically a death sentence, with the gestation and birth of a Chest Burster simply a matter of time for the poor victim after that point. However, while the rulebook gives a range of probable times this can take, it also encourages the Game Mother to fudge the time a bit until a suitable dramatic moment for the "birth" to occur. This is justified by the explanation that certain factors present in an individual host, such as a resistance to or predisposition toward cancers, can either slow or accelerate the process.
  • Meat Moss:
    • The resin that the xenomorphs secrete to form nests and hives, extruded as sticky strands from their mouths that quickly harden into a stiff structure. This serves several functions, including supporting ovamorphing victims, restraining victims for implantation and gestation, giving the aliens places to hide, and making bivouacs where the aliens can hibernate when they've run out of present victims. They'll often take advantage of existing structures to build in, so interior areas get covered in it. In the absence of existing structures to take advantage of, the aliens eventually build freestanding hive-complexes out of it.
    • In the Heart of Darkness scenario, the Living Proto-Hive is an example even more Gigeresque. The protoplasmic Hessdalen Lights are small enough extremophiles that they can survive in plasma conduits and energy systems. Via these, they can spread across an entire vessel where they begin growing tendrils inside the channel spaces in its walls and floors. Existing parts of the structure are repurposed into biomechanical components as the vessel itself grows into a Living Ship. Biological "nodes" serve as both the hearts and brains of surrounding hive structure, and will eventually seek to join with other biological components nearby... including people.
  • Mega-Corp: Giant conglomerates dominate much of human economic life, and are technically transgovernmental but often more powerful in their own way than the governments nominally in charge of them. Some examples:
    • As per franchise standard, the Weyland-Yutani corporation is a major overarching presence. Based in the Three World Empire, they maintain a monopoly on atmospheric processing technology among other things, which has given them an enormous amount of long term profitability and cache among major governments. Unbeknown to many, WY is aware of the presence of xenomorphs and has been attempting to secure surviving specimens of them for a long time, a clandestine quest it is still actively pursuing.
      • The Interstellar Commerce Commission isn't quite a megacorp in the traditional sense, but it is a non-government body that attempts to regulate interstellar trade across companies. They issue licenses to transport goods and conduct cargo inspections and customs control. Their formation was the result of governments becoming concerned by incidents of things like biological contamination, and the ICC was formed by Weyland-Yutani as a show of "good faith" in corporate self-regulation without mandated government oversight. Many governments simply accepted this as "good enough" since imposing outside regulation would lead to a very ugly political fight. Of course, while the ICC is nominally an independent entity, it is still technically a subsidiary owned and operated by WY...
    • Lasalle Bionational is a relatively new company formed after WY laid off major sections of its bio research department, and the department head left to seek startup funding and hired many of the let-go researchers. Some of their more lucrative products include genetically modified crops to better grow on extrasolar planets, as well as engineered blights that could be used to destroy them. Consisting of mostly ex-WY biological researchers, they are aware of the xenomorphs and are in an arms race with WY to find and secure them for bio-weapon development.
    • Seegson has long been Weyland-Yutani's shadow, distributing their own tech to other companies to keep WY from having a complete dominating effect on the market. They lack WY's massive funding and lavish R&D spending, and remain in the market by offering lower-cost alternatives to common WY product lines. Their most notable and successful product is their line of "Working Joe" androids, which while much less advanced than WY androids and requiring a centralized control system to be fully functional, have nonetheless cornered the market when a large, cheap workforce is required and human laborers would be too much trouble for whatever reason.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: In Heart of Darkness the player characters are introduced to the Mutant Abominations by seeing four of them struggling with another. The four rip the limbs of the fifth and sit down to eat them. The fifth, still alive, appears to try and eat its own entrails. The description of this concludes by saying the writer may have a problem.
  • Multinational Team: All the Earth superpowers active in local space are this pretty much default.
    • It started with the merger of the British Weyland Corporation and the Japanese Yutani Corporation triggering the merger of the United Kingdom and Japan, as well as Mars and Titan, to form the Three World Empire.
    • In response, China banded together with other Asian nations into the Chinese/Asian Nations Cooperative.
    • Seeing the writing on the wall, that supernations were the way of the future and that the UN had been gutted into obsolescence, the United States, Canada, and United Latin Americas banded together into the United Americas.
      • This trope is especially prevalent in United Americas military. The United Americas Allied Command oversees all branches of service, which includes the United States Colonial Marines, Canadian Colonial Armed Forces, Latin American Colonial Navy, and United States Aero Space Force. This means a single mission could see Canadian troops transported aboard a Latin American naval vessel carrying American pilots and space fighters.
    • Russia, Germany, Spain, and other European nations band together into the socialist Union Of Progressive Peoples, and China gradually withdraws from CANC and joins the UPP. The rest of the CANC isn't quick to embrace communism, relying too heavily on corporate dollars.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The developers apparently really liked the Aliens (Steve Perry Trilogy).
      • Planet G-453, where Xenomorphs have struck an ecological balance with the local wildlife, as well as housing a massive "Empress" who keeps order among the competing hives and their Queens, is reflective of both Alien homeworlds visited.
      • Lesalle Bionational is also a nod to the name given to the Company in that series, Bionational, attempting to acquire and exploit the Aliens while preventing anyone else (including the government) from doing the same.
      • Cryosleep protecting the human mind from deleterious effects of hyperspace travel was also mentioned.
      • The Church of Immaculate Incubation, mentioned as a possible unsavory religion cropping up on the frontier, was the name of the Alien-worshipping cult in the first book. The cult's leader in that book, Salvaje, is alluded to but not named.
      • A sidebar on gravity drives, which were the FTL tech used in those novels, describes them as very expensive and experimental, but otherwise having all benefits and drawbacks the books attributed to them (faster, the gravity envelope around the ship is a Deflector Shield, but add or subtract a few kilos and you'll end up catastrophically off course).
      • Third Base, home of narcissistic sociopath General Thomas AW Spears, is detailed as a classified location in the Sol Sector. The Khadaji system was also mentioned in the Trilogy (Steve Perry shouting out to his own work), and elaborated on here.
      • The possibility that Alien Queens communicate with their hives telepathically, and that particularly sensitive humans can pick up on these transmissions, was a plot point.
      • The Colonial Marines Operations Manual mentions the similarities between Hadley's Hope and Rim. Rim was the world Wilks and Billie encountered Aliens on when the characters had to be changed from Hicks and Newt to original creations. Wilks is actually given an NPC writeup that is exactly the backstory of the Trilogy, including mention of Billie and turning to substance use (verging on abuse) to deal with the PTSD.
      • The same book details the Artificial Womb Soldier program, which was the backstory for General Spears, who's also given an NPC writeup, though as a Colonel (though with hints that reaching General and leading bioweapons projects are in his near future).
    • Morse, the sole survivor of Fury 161, wrote a book about the event which was quickly banned. In the novelization of Alien: Resurrection, Call states she read the banned histories, "I read Morse." Morse's book in the game is called Space Beast, which is similar to the initial working title of Alien, Star Beast.
    • Devices to encourage and shape dreams in hypersleep recalls the opening of Alan Dean Foster's novelization of Alien, which contained extensive description of the concept of "prodreaming," shaping one's dreams then having them recorded for entertainment, and how unsuited Nostromo's crew were to the occupation, which is unfortunate since they spend so much time doing nothing but dreaming. Recorded dreams as entertainment are mentioned in a sidebar.
    • Arceon is slightly different take on Vincent Ward's "Wooden Planet" plans for Alien≥.
    • The Chigusa Corporation is mentioned. This was the Company in Aliens vs. Predator. One of the female sample names for a corporate agent is "Michiko Nogumi," very close to comic's protagonist Machiko Noguchi.
    • A Royal Facehugger is described as being darker colored and having webbed digits (seen in the Alien≥ Assembly Cut), armored and with claws to defend itself (certain comics), or with spines on its back and spots on its air bladders (Aliens vs. Predator comic).
    • While the core book leaves open the possibility of Aliens possessing telepathic communication, it also speculates they communicate with sounds, body language, and pheromones, which has been suggested previously by numerous other works that didn't go with telepathy.
    • The Horde of Alien Locusts from "Reaper," second story of the Aliens: Bug Hunt anthology, is given stats as a potential hazard the characters could face.
    • Berserkers, cyborg power armor suits that are fantastically powerful but near-fatal to pilot, appeared in various Dark Horse Comincs, and given a full writeup in the Operations Manual.
    • The Goreburster first appeared in Dark Horse Comics Aliens: Kidnapped, before being adapted for use in the game.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: When a character is reduced to zero Health, they are considered Broken and must immediately roll on a Critical Injury chart. A Broken character can be helped back up by a comrade, or if left alone for a while will eventually get up on their own. However, any further damage they take while Broken can cause an additional critical injury, and some of those critical injuries are fatal. A character suffering a fatal injury must make Stamina rolls turn-by-turn to avoid dying, and can only be saved by someone applying immediate first aid.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The advice for the Game Mother encourages employing this, particularly in the early parts of a scenario before major confrontations have started. A slow burn of hints and things that happen just out of the players' sights is essential for building tension before all hell breaks loose.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Across the frontier, along the regions where the United Americas and the Union of Progressive People's areas of influence butt up against each other, many colonies have been destroyed following the same pattern: ships arrive from FTL impossibly close to a planet, disable all nearby hardware with a powerful EMP attack, and then drop biological weaponry on the colony that causes a rapidly reproducing virus-like condition that ends with the afflicted mutating and then disintegrating into a vapor, before disappearing back into FTL. The UA blames it on undeclared attacks by the UPP, the UPP blames it on undeclared attacks by the UA, and these so-called "Border Bombers" have escalated the Space Cold War between them into a dangerous stage if cooler heads on each side don't prevail.note 
  • Post-Peak Oil: The release of an "oil eater" bacteria on Earth that consumes crude oil and converts it to a useless fine silt has practically destroyed the planet's ability to pump and process oil. While other power sources are available, petroleum is still incredibly useful and actively consumed across human space (plastic production in particular is highly utilized in the space industry.) As there are a dearth of explored planets that have a biosphere old enough to produce natural fossil fuels, this has trigger a rush to find and tap off-planet sources of oil to import back to Earth and other colonies who's industries depend on it. These so-called "Oil Wars" are a major driver of the Space Cold War between the various super-powers, as each races to find enough oil to keep their economies propped up and looks jealously at the oil reserves any other power might be hoarding for themselves while being paranoid about protecting their own.note 
  • Private Military Contractors: The Independent Core Systems have no formal collective military, and each is in theory capable of raising its own military. Given that many of these systems have corporatocratic governments that consider standing militaries "economically inefficient", these are rarely large. However, interests there still need to be literally protected, and as a result the ICS heavily rely on mercenaries who's services can be scaled up or down as needed. This in turn forms a stable market for guns-for-hire in human space.
  • Quit Your Whining: One of the uses of the Command skill is to stop the panic of a character who is panicking, essentially by sternly ordering them to calm the hell down. Essentially what Ripley did with Hudson in Aliens when she told him "Deal with it, because we need you and I'm sick of your bullshit."
  • Red Herring: The rulebook recommends that the Game Mother sprinkle these throughout a scenario. The game is written on the assumption that everyone playing has seen the main Alien films and possibly more media from the franchise besides that, and will be thoroughly familiar with the tropes therein (hence why they're playing.) However, recreating the experience of those films will require filling the players with uncertainty, doubt, and dread about what might come next. Dropping hints that might throw them off track only to surprise them later is good for keeping the right atmosphere.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: The rulebook encourages the Game Mother to make a point of this by limiting the kind of resources the players have to work with. This is less for the challenge of it and more to increase the tension of the horror by making the players feel less secure. For example, a group of colonists or space truckers might have fewer purpose-made weapons than they do people who might use them, or a group of Colonial Marines might find themselves cut off from ammunition resupply by too many xenomorphs for them to be confident that they can gun down...
  • Retcon:
    • The RPG retcons certain elements previously established by the 2014 Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report guidebook, such as disregarding the guidebook's statement that smooth-headed Drones and ridged-headed Warriors are variants of the same caste in favor of canonizing the long-time fan-theory that the Warriors are a metamorphosed form of the Drones.
    • Ridley Scott has stated in interviews that David created the Xenomorphs in Alien: Covenant — admittedly a last-minute change; with the novelization and early drafts of the script originally had the Xenomorphs be created by the Engineers, and David attempting to replicate their work. The RPG disregards Scott's statements and goes with the latter stance, dubbing Alien: Covenant's Xenomorph variant "Praetomorphs" and establishing that they metamorphose into the Drone-like Stalker caste, lacking Soldier, Praetorian, and Queen cognates.
    • The rulebook notes that the Colonial Marines Technical Manual is now out of canon, but the book still recommends it as a resource for information a Game Mother might want to know about the Colonial Marines.
  • Sanity Meter: The game tracks this by giving players "Stress Levels". Seeing horrible things, "pushing" rolls, or realizing the desperation of a situation will increase character's stress levels. This becomes a double-edged sword, for every stress level the player gets to roll and additional dice to see if their character can succeed at something (desperation fueling their effort) but each stress die rolled also has a chance of producing a Critical Failure. The players can do a few things to reduce their stress level, like get a momentary respite after finding some (apparent) place of security, but generally stress levels cause all the stakes of every risk to gradually raise the further on a particular scenario goes on.
  • Sequel Hook: The core rulebook points out several scenarios from the movies that could be expanded on by a Game Mother to spin other scenarios out of. Some examples:
    • Alien / Aliens - The colony of Hadley's Hope on LV-426 was destroyed when the generator powering its primary atmospheric processor overloaded. However, "the Derelict" the Nostromo crew originally found was on the far side of a mountainous ridge, which would shelter it from the worst of the detonation. It may still be intact, though it may also be buried as the ground cracked and shifted beneath it...
    • Alien≥ - Two of the prisoners and the warden on Fiorina 161 were taken by the xenomorph there and remained unaccounted for by the time Michael Bishop and his crew arrived. Weyland-Yutani sent several search parties through the facility, but they weren't told what exactly they were looking for and had a lot of territory to cover, so it wasn't as thorough a search as it could be. The facility was subsequently put up for sale as scrap. Those prisoners were likely subjected to ovamorphing and there may be a small clutch of eggs hidden somewhere in the bowels of the facility, waiting for whomever buys the rights to disassemble the place to stumble upon them...
  • Settling the Frontier: A big part of the setting, and in fact one of the archetypes for campaign play is for the players to be early-in colonists. The frontier is where new mineral deposits are tapped, new worlds are scouted for potential colonization, where the hard work of initial terraforming is done, and where a lot of material needs to be moved back and forth. However, it's also a place of potential danger and discovery, and the place where humankind is most likely to run into something left behind by those who preceded them. Most campaigns are assumed to take place in part or in whole out on the fringes of interstellar human civilization.
  • Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: The Rhodes Vaccine, a difficult to synthesize medical compound with a formulation known only to a few, when injected into a human will cause them to register to a xenomorph's Bizarre Alien Senses as being already implanted with a Chest Burster for period of a few hours (or until when deemed dramatically appropriate by the Game Mother for the illusion to be up.) The aliens will ignore such a person unless they present a harm to themselves or to the aliens, at which point they will attempt to non-lethally subdue the individual and restrain them in a cocoon. However, the Rhodes vaccine is a derivative of the Engineers' black goo and repeated use of it in a short period of time can have its own problems...
  • Shout-Out:
    • The game contains numerous shout-outs to the movie Outland, which shared the same Cassette Futurism aesthetic as Alien and is often treated by fans as a Shared Universe. These include the specific mention of a mine on Io, and descriptions of miners' accommodations on mining stations and zero-gravity vacuum cells are both exactly like those in Outland. The Colonial Marines Operations Manual goes a step further and introduces a Colonial Marshals vessel called the O'Niel.
    • The description of the Biodrone Xenomorph, a genetically-engineered version that's supposed to die after six days. This "expiration date" drew upon "200-year-old bioengineering techniques initiated by one of Peter Weyland's former business competitors", which sounds an awful lot like the Tyrell Corporation. It helps that this is not the first time this connection has been made - Prometheus' special features also contained a veiled reference to Tyrell's death in an "incident" in 2019.
  • Signature Team Transport: In both Colonial Marines and Space Truckers campaign modes, the player characters will typically be living primarily aboard ship, and will typically be operating and directing it. That doesn't necessarily mean they have complete freedom though, as Colonial Marines need to respond to redeployment orders and Space Truckers need to complete delivery contracts. These also make for excellent adventure hooks for a Game Mother to pull, as keeping a ship maintained and fueled is an ordeal in itself and can be used to drive the players forward, even if it means putting themselves into a situation that smells a little risky...
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: The Xenomorphs and related bioweapons can be divided up in a few categories based on where they're at in their respective developmental cycles, with them generally becoming a more serious threat the more they're allowed to grow without being stopped:
    • Neomorph: As seen in Prometheus, the neomorphic stage begins with tiny egg sacs, which in turn release motes, which infect victims, which grow into bloodbursters that quickly grow to maturity. Their ability to infect hosts is rapid, but preventable with sealed environmental protection, and even adult neomorphs go down quickly to concentrated weapons fire. However, their metabolism and growth is so quick that, if simply contained, they'll often die out themselves in a few days.
    • XX121: The classic and best known variation. It goes from the egg to facehugger to chestburster to adult cycle, though there is considerable variability:
      • Praetomorphs are the variant seen in Alien: Covenant. Compared to other xenomorph types, they are more aggressive, but less cunning, displaying a more animalistic intelligence. Their aggression makes them dangerous, but also predictable and that can be exploited to, for example, bait them into traps. They also lack the more advanced forms of the main Xenomorph strain, merely metamorphosing from the Imp chestbursters to the Drone-like Stalkers.
      • Scouts are the variant seen in Alien≥. They lack dorsal tubes and typically move on all fours. Compared to other types, they're quite a bit faster, and are more willing to range across wide terrain. It's believed that this is behavior meant to seek hosts and locate good locations to build hives. As with the Praeomorphs, they can be baited into leaping before they look.
      • Drones are the most-common variant, first seen in the original Alien. Compared to the Praetomorph and Scout, they're much more cautious and subtle, being expert ambush predators who pick off lone victims as opportunity permits and absconding with them to an isolated nesting location of some sort to subject them to ovamorphing. They're much harder to pin down than the other forms due to their evasiveness, but if their nest can be located they can be caught sleeping and destroyed or contained.
    • Early Hive: Once a queen is born, she produces pheromones that cause other xenomorphs around her to mutate and grow into new forms and adopt new behaviors as they move into the hive stage of their development, as seen in Aliens. Military-grade munitions and area of effect weapons are recommend for containing them.
      • Soldier is the evolved form of the Drone, first seen in Aliens. Also called "Warriors", their carapace hardens, their head dome develops ridges, they grow blades on their arms, and they're known for attacking anything which threatens the hive en-masse. Their tails are tipped with sharp blades that produce a paralytic neurotoxin that allows them a non-lethal option to subdue creatures so they can be taken back to the hive, cocooned, and subjected to a facehugger.
      • Worker is another form evolved from a drone, which causes it to shrink and become less aggressive. Also called "Weavers", their bodies are adapted to produce more of the resin-mucus that hardens into their hive structures. Their hands are delicate and dexterous, used for moving eggs about and feeding and caring for the queen in her harness. Compared to other forms, they're more evasive than aggressive and will prefer to run away from danger rather than fight it.
      • Sentry is the evolved form of the scout, which produces a drastic shift in behavior. Also called "Defenders", their carapace grows more armored and they spend most of their time stationary, remaining watchful at entrances and places the hive needs defending such as the queen's chambers. They're still extremely fast though, and when the hive signals danger they move quickly to neutralize it.
    • Evolved Hive: If a xenomorph hive is allowed to grow and thrive, in addition to being more populous it also begins to grow new castes of xenomorphs which generally require anti-vehicle weapons to seriously threaten:
      • Praetorians are aptly named as the queen's chosen defenders and champions. Workers feed Warrior-forms royal jelly and they mutate to be much larger in size with a more elaborate head crest similar to their queen. They are everything the Warrior-forms are and more, defending the places the hive needs the most protection to and taking point when among the xenomorphs going on the offensive.
      • Chargers, also called "Crushers", are the evolved form of the Sentry-form. Like the Praetorians, they are fed royal jelly in addition to raw metals for weeks before secreting a resin cocoon and undergoing a metamorphosis. They're quadapedal with a thick head crest and can no longer climb or jump as easily, but are capable of a Foe-Tossing Charge that includes light vehicles in the scope of things it can knock over and trample, which it does like a blood-crazed rhino.
      • Queens: Technically present at the earlier stage of a hive's development, they cluster as a classifications alongside Praetorians and Chargers in threat level. They spend most of their time in a resin cradle laying eggs, but their most dangerous ability is to coordinate the actions of the xenomorphs around them. Its widely believed that this is done by a combination of pheromone secretions and subsonic vocalizations, but there's some evidence that there may be a psychic phenomena at work as well. Regardless, every group of xenomorphs is made significantly more dangerous by the presence of a queen in their midst. The advice the rulebook gives for taking them on is, "Don't."
  • Space Cold War: The sourcebook expands a bit on ideas from Aliens and some of William Gibson's unpublished alternative script for Alien≥, transposing the Cold War into space with rival superpowers competing across the frontier. Unfortunately, the tendency of incidents involving the xenomorphs to both leave virtually no survivors and be covered up by their respective authorities often inflames the tension between these powers, with things like the destruction of Hadley's Hope and the Fury prison colony triggering speculation about covert attacks. Many of their respective intelligence agencies are aware of the xenomorphs and most are trying to find some way to weaponize them under the assumption that if they don't the other powers will do it first and use it against them while denying their rivals information about them. Some of the relevant powers:
    • Three Worlds Empire: Formed from a confederation between the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom, Japan, and a few others, the Three World Empire pioneered much of the early space colonization efforts based largely on the technical and industrial prowess of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, which is based there and incorporated via merger shortly after its formation. It lacks the size of some of the other powers, but what it does have is very prosperous. Given its importance to the TWE, the WY corporation wields considerable political influence here.
    • The United Americas: A merger of many North, Central, and South American states into a single body to compete with the rapid expansion of the Three World Empire, The United Americas have undertaken a massive project of expansive stellar colonization. They also boast the largest military force of the major powers, and even the other powers sometimes petition them to deploy the Colonial Marines on their behalf. Like with the Three World Empire, corporations have major influence here, though not to the extent of the Three World Empire.
    • The Union of Progressive Peoples: A coalition power formed from places like Russia and Vietnam, the UPP is a major socialist bloc that claims a massive swath of space. However, they were able to claim that space with minimal contest due to it being relatively resource poor. They disallow corporate influence within their sphere, which has earned them the ire of companies like Weyland-Yutani. Lacking WY's atmospheric processing technology, most of the UPP's population lives in densely populated sealed environments on extrasolar planets. They compensate for this with an extensive espionage program and a dedicated fighting force that can rival the United Americas Colonial Marines.
    • The Independent Core Systems: A loose alliance of several of the older and wealthier extra-solar colonies. Part of the alliance's charter involves each world being able to maintain its own independent government. In theory this gives them sovereignty, but in practice it often ends up with those governments being the purview of major corporate influence, with some of the governments being owned by corporate masters outright.
  • Space Madness: Neurological Distortion Disorder, or NDD, is a side effect of the conscious mind traveling faster than the speed of light. The symptoms include paranoia, epilepsy, amnesia, and psychosis. It gets worse the faster the ship is and the longer you spend outside hypersleep.
  • Space Western: The game leans this direction, which seems odd considering the franchise, but nevertheless fits. The core rulebook outright compares the situation on the frontier worlds to the Wild West, since proper authorities may be weeks or months away, colonies will have to do for themselves much like frontier towns. A perfectly acceptable campaign idea could essentially be Firefly, with 60% less witty banter and 80% more visceral horror.
  • Special Attack: Xenomorphs tend to have exceptions to the rules of combat (where human Player Characters and human Non Player Characters ostensibly follow the same rules.) Among other things like acting more than once per combat turn, instead of directly doing damage with a successful attack a xenomorph rolls on a variant-specific table, each option of which is some kind of special attack. Sometimes this might just be menacing their potential victim, sometimes they do potentially serious damage, and sometimes it's a horrific One-Hit Kill.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: The "Goreburster" is an engineered xenomorph variant that only has a Chestburster stage, but a considerably more deadly one. The infected victim's body swells like they've been putting on water-weight, only for their body to violently rupture as the Goreburster makes its birth as an oversized Chestburster. It constantly secretes a variant of the same microbial film that it used in its birth, smearing it wherever it goes, and coming in contact with that film will cause a human's body to rapidly swell up and burst into blood and Ludicrous Gibs. Fortunately, exposure to strong ultraviolet light can neutralize the compound, giving an unfortunate victim a chance if there's a functional medpod nearby before their cellular biology goes critical.
  • Story Arc: Many of the officially published scenarios all take place within the same broad plot arc, even though each scenario generally involves a different cast of player characters and can be used stand alone. For example, the events of Chariot of the Gods cinematic scenario become a reference in the Destroyer of Worlds cinematic scenario, the events of which in turn become the basis for The Frontier War campaign scenario, and finally the Heart of Darkness scenario concludes the thread.
  • Subsystem Damage: Comes in two varieties:
    • Characters who are Broken have to roll on a Critical Injury table. These range from just having the wind knocked out of them at the low end, and having their heart perforated at the high end. Most of them fall somewhere in between, and can result in the character having debilitating injuries. Fortunately common medical tech is relatively reliable and most characters can recover from these in a matter of days, given appropriate facilities for treating them.
    • In spaceship combat, if a ship suffers damage in a single hit less than half that of its Hull Rating, it suffers minor Component Damage. If a ship suffers damage in a single hit equal to more than half its Hull Rating it suffers major Component Damage. All these things can interfere with the performance of, or even completely disable, certain functions on the ship and put it further at disadvantage in combat. Crew typically have to run about the ship during turns in combat affecting emergency repairs or manual overrides to overcome this damage, with full repair typically happening later outside of combat.
  • Terraform: A common venture on the frontier, small communities of first-in colonists doing the hard work of setting up the infrastructure needed to gradually shift a planet into a more Earth-like atmosphere and eventually biosphere, to make it suitable for later, much larger, waves of colonists to further develop it. The atmospheric processor technology that makes the process take a practical amount of time (though still on the order of decades to fully complete) is patented by Weyland-Yutani (a patent who's protection they ruthlessly enforce) so virtually any major terraforming effort will either involve them as direct sponsors or a sponsor that has a strict technology licensing agreement with them.
  • Three-Act Structure: Adapted here as a way to drive and escalate fear, the rulebook recommends structuring scenarios with this pattern:
    • Dread: The sense that something is wrong and things will get worse, but no one is sure exactly what is wrong or when things will go worse. The players should still feel like they're in control of their fate, but they should feel uncertain about whether their actions are moving them deeper into danger or further away from it.
    • Terror: Things are clearly wrong and the players are in deep, but they don't know when the worst of it will strike. The players should be at their limit, with their path to survival unclear and feeling overwhelmed by their situation.
    • Horror: The climax, where whatever they were afraid was going to happen has happened. The players should be most active and engaged by this point, but also have themselves committed to a potentially desperate course of action that might allow them to survive.
  • Used Future: As per the source material, most the the technology that the Player Characters will interface with and depend on to survive out in space will seem like an extrapolation of 1970s technology, with lots of extruded plastics, bulky monitors, and command-line interfaces with mainframe computers. The rulebook notes that sleeker and more compact technology does exist in the setting, but that's typically the purview of Earth, older and more well-established colonies, and the corporate elite. However, for those living out on the frontier, the characteristically bulky and clunky technology is more robust and easier to maintain away from more advanced service centers.
  • Variable Player Goals: A major component of the roleplaying is that while every Player Character will know their fellow Player Characters in broad strokes, every player has their own individual agenda which is not generally known among other players. More often than not this is something benign, like helping someone out or trying to see a family member, but more sinisterly it can be something like ensuring corporate interests are secured... whatever that takes. In any case, it's typically something extremely important to the motivation of the individual Player Character that may introduce unnecessary dangers to the group as a whole.
  • The Virus: Anathema, a variation of the Engineer's black goo. Employed as a viral weapon, it's capable of turning an entire colony it's been unleashed on into Zombie Apocalypse conditions in a matter of hours. The condition progresses through several stages that draw from what happened to Sean Fifield and Charlie Holloway in Prometheus:
  • With Friends Like These...: The UA and 3WE are the closest to allies among the superpowers, but the 3WE has often called in UA military support to quell unrest, riots, or outright rebellions on 3WE colony worlds. The UA is all too happy to respond. . . and leave a "peacekeeping force" behind, practically or actually stealing the world from the 3WE. Recently in terms of the game's timeline, the 3WE has taken steps to beef up its own military might, both to respond to threats posed by the increased tensions between the UA and UPP and so the 3WE won't have to lose colonies either to insurgents or the "allies" they politely ask to clean up the mess.
  • X Meets Y: The three supported campaign types could easily break down like this to sell them to new players:
  • Your Days Are Numbered: This RPG goes with the interpretation that being impregnated by a facehugger is less a case of having a singular "egg" deposited in a host than it is more like a kind of infectious cancer. The infection begins to spread tendrils throughout the host's body, repurposing them to shunt nutrients toward the initial site of infection which grows into a tumor-like womb in which the chestburster gestates. The upshot is that surgical intervention is unlikely to be able to extract the alien without removing compromised parts of their organs that they need to live, and that's not even accounting for the nascent acidic blood that would make such surgery likely to be lethal to begin with. As a result, being the victim of a facehugger is practically a death sentence.note 
  • Zombie Infectee: At least a few of the Non Player Characters that players encountered in some of the official scenario have already been facehugged or infected with spores and are either in denial or unaware of exactly what happened to them. While the players themselves probably suspect what's going to happen, it's unlikely that their characters do and will have to deal with it when that happens. If the players are incautious (or unlucky) it can happen to them too.

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