|Just a group of happy sunbeams ready to feast and die horribly!|
I don't know how much you know about the Alien RPG by Free League, but you may have heard about its d6 dice pool mechanic in combination with its Stress and Panic system. The rumors are true, people! The system at its foundation makes for an excellent recreation of an Alien movie! Things start out calm in the beginning, and by the end, there's mahem, madness, and death galore!
I wrote up my own Cinematic adventure and used some pregens from other Alien RPG products available for free on the Free League website. Most of the people in my group are experienced players, but there were a couple guys who were new to roleplaying. I was determined to keep things fun and flowing, trying to avoid looking up the more detailed rules of the system.
Basically, you need to roll 6s on your rolls to succeed. If you fail a roll, you can opt to reroll but you have to increase your Stress level by one. For each Stress level, you roll a Stress die. If a one comes up on the designated Stress dice, you have to roll on the Panic table. Hilarity and horror ensues!
My scenario centered on a ship called the Bettendorf, and the PCs were passengers paying to get away from Earth to find new opportunity on the Frontier of known space. The PCs all had their own agendas that spiced things up (such as the scientist PC constantly scheming to make "space cocaine"). The first act of the session involved them plotting and scheming while waiting to go into hypersleep for the 180 day journey ahead. They interacted with the NPC crew a bit, including discussion with the captain's 14-year-old son about the book Space Beast, written by the character Robert Morse in Alien 3, the lone convict survivor at the end of the movie. Little did the PCs know that the Bettendorf, a Wayland-Yutani science vessel, was carrying all sorts of deadly specimens...
Act 2 of the scenario started with the PCs being rudely awakened from hypersleep by the ship's XO, Ava. From there, they encountered mutated abominations like those encountered in the Prometheus movie, a facehugger, a bloodburster like the one encountered in Alien: Covenant, and of course a classic Xenomorph! Heck, there was a secret android among the crew who saw the humans as expendable thanks to Company orders!
By the time they were fighting the creatures, the PCs started dying horribly and losing their minds to Panic. Let's just say there was a lot of fear-induced paralysis, screaming, tremors, dropped weapons, and other bad things. Of the eight PCs only three survived: one officer, a drug-addicted pilot who was beaten to a pulp, and a roughneck/space trucker type who selfishly escaped in the Bettendorf's single lifeboat shuttle by himself (the lifeboat could accommodate seven people). The officer, beaten pilot, and the 14-year-old NPC were taken prisoner by a crew of soldiers in a passing Union of Progressive Peoples' patrol ship (or "space commies" as I called them during the session). These three were hauled off to a "space gulag," and the Bettendorf was left to float in space for the time being, until some unsuspecting fools decide to go salvage it...
All that fun was punctuated by a friendsgiving feast of turkey and other seasonal delights! All told, it was a great way to game in the holiday season!