Aliens in the Vineyard… Wait, I Mean YOUR CHEST!

April 16, 2007

Alien vs. Predator was on TV last night. Which got me thinking about the structure of the alien horror genre and how it’s often very much like a slasher movie. Alien horror often combines slasher movie stuff with zombie stuff, in the sense that aliens often take over people you know and turn them into aliens. The Alien movies do this literally, of course, having the aliens use humans as hosts for incubating their young.

In any case, I was thinking about how to hack my hack of Vincent’s hack (the slasher movie game, which I’ve revised and updated) to emulate the Alien movies. I think you could have a series of conditions that had to be taken in order, like a modified damage track:

– attacked by face hugger
– i have an alien in my chest
– the alien is about to erupt
– death
– i am now an alien

So the PCs would gradually transform into aliens, one after another, and be tasked with killing the other PCs by turning them into aliens as well. Very much zombie movie in that sense, except the surviving PCs would not be fighting faceless hordes or the husks of people they knew, just demonic beasts emerging from the dead bodies of their comrades.

I’m actually really into the idea of GMless survival horror games (slashers, aliens, zombies, natural disasters, kaiju) running on the location-based, modified Afraid engine that I’ve been messing with. I like the potential to have a series of closely related games where you can swap out the premise and change a few rules — like in the board game Betrayal at House on the Hill — and have a different play experience.

I also dig the fact that they would run in a single session, potentially in two hours, just like a movie.

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