Alien in Traveller

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Alien in Traveller

Postby zero » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:26 pm

As promised last week, heres some additions for a campaign to run Alien. I'm basing most info from the original script by Dan O'Bannon, found on Disc 2 of the Alien Quadrilogy box, I'll leave notes to point these out.

Disclaimer: This thread uses property of 20th Century Fox, HR Giger and writers Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusset. I do not hold claim to any of the locations or named parts of this and have made none and wish no profit from this thread's contents. Also, Mongoose Publishing has had nothing to do with this thread's creation except for my own use of their Traveller RPG system to create the rpg stats. To show my sincerity in this matter, all images will taken down and certain pieces of this thread removed.

Obviously you may take what you want whilst leaving or changing other things to suit YTU. I'll be putting up stats for the alien beasts through the week, but today I'll be writing about the Alien planet.

Alien Planet

Located 12 parsecs from the Sol system, the Zeta 2 Reticuli system holds at its far edge a certain barren, frozen planet.


Alien Planet (Hex no. ??) X772000-1 X Ba Lt ??

The planet is 12,000 km in diameter with a pressure of 0.86, making it walkable once onworld. However the planet has a rusty atmosphere, tainted by a high amount of nitrogen, needing a filter to breath. Also the temperature is a standard -127 degrees, which means protection from the cold is also needed.
The only water on the basalt plained planet is in small areas of ice that make up only 16% of the world. The planet is in essense a frozen desert world.
Due to the Zeta 2 system having a twin system (Zeta 1) in close proximity (within the same jump-hex), the planet has a day of 2 hours and 20 minutes as both suns illuminate the world but both are too far away to heat the planet sufficiently. Any life scans of the planet show that there arent even microbes on the world.This barren rock would go unnoticed except for two main locations of note.
A Derelict spaceship lays crashed on this world's surface, sending a distress signal throughout the jump-hex in an inhuman voice, speaking an unknown language...

The derelict has evidence of bio-engineering that sits at least at TL 19 and is quite possibly a vessel of an ancient precursor race. Inside the ship's bridge the fossilised remains of an alien pilot sits at a console, a triangle clearly engraved into its fossilised casing. The alien pilot's ribcage seems to have exploded from within.

On the floor of the bridge lies a perpetually spindling container chanting the distress signal of the derelict (the source of the signal). Also near the pilot lies an empty fossilised "urn".
The Derelict cannot be salvaged as whatever isnt fossilised has splatter shaped holes burnt through it, including the hull of the ship.

The second location is a walk away from the ship, a 100 ft tall pyramid, the remains of whatever TL 1 life had populated the world. The pyramid has many strange features to it, its first one being a strange ability to disrupt any communication signals within a small area around the pyramid. The source of this seems to be coming from within its structure.

The frozen basalt and sandstorms of this world have buried any ground entrances (however further sandstorms may reveal them again). However a small entrance also lies at the top of the structure, luckily for the curious, eroded steps and ledges make an easy climb to the top.
Those with climbing equipment can rope down this entrance into a small chute that leads 40 ft stright down into the more open-plan structure within.
The pyramid strangely has a Hot internal temperature thats almost tropical in comparison which can be a shock to those who were dressed for the frozen exterior. The internal walls of the pyramid are lined with heiroglyphs in an unknown language, along with diagrams of a strange alien life cycle.

Each of these carvings lead downward splitting into two more of the same until hundreds of this design line the bottom of the structure. At the floor of the pyramid, statues of these creatures line the area while a raised area of the floor (approx. 200 x 200 ft) sits thousands of the leathery urn-like eggs from the carvings. These things are dormant and have no life-signs, until they sense a living host approach (see entry on Facehuggers, coming soon).
There is no trade for this world except possibly speculative trade in certain exotics that the world holds. The alien eggs weigh roughly 5 kg or more but someone moving them may set it off.
Those permanently stranded on this world are doomed either way.
Last edited by zero on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Old timer » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:24 pm

Cool, look forward to the rest of this over the coming week.
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Postby middenface » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:00 pm

Do you know the Chris Foss Alien Concept stuff?
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Postby zero » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:58 am

@ rust - yeah, Ive seen it, though I have to say I prefer Ron Cobb and Giger's work on the film. I wont be statting out the Nostromo as that way the aliens can be introduced to whatever ship the PCs have.

Planetary Quirks (for designing your own aliens)

Sensory: no eyes, echolocation
Defence: Acid blood, generates silocone armour
Nesting: Hides nests from threats
Locomotion: N/A
Reproduction: Creates spawn from hosts
Attack: Offensive tendril-type attacks

The terrain of the world is a unique Frozen Basalt Plain. Please use the Woods terrain to determine Type and Size of any homebrew alien.

Note: I kept Instinct undefined for these stats so the GM can define it for their own campaign's needs.
Also I have not read the 1980's Traveller article on the Alien, this is my own take on it.


Type: Unique (Takes nutrients from host when attached) [Trapper]
Habitat: Frozen Basalt Plain Walker

Weight: less than 1kg, approx 30cm tall with same length tail.

Str: 1
Dex: 6
End: 1
Int: 1
Instinct: ?
Pack: 0

Weapon: Thrasher +1 (2d6 damage. The close range represents its jump to latch onto a host)

Armour: 1, but if it survives an attack it will molt a new level of silocone, adding +1 armour (up to a max of 5)

-Any hit that breaks the skin sprays Personal range Acid Blood (2d6 hybrid damage - damages people and vehicles the same, a whole 5 damage can melt through a ship wall/floor)

Athletics 0
Melee (Thrasher) 4
Recon 1
Survival 0
Stealth 1


Anyone who gets close and touches an alien egg will be victim to a surprise Thrasher attack from the Facehugger (Facehuggers tend to take End down first to get a quick k.o) The Facehugger generally aims whilst still in the egg before launching outside.

If it lands but the host is still conscious, it will continually grapple (using its tail around the neck) until the host is ko'd. Once on a ko'd host, any contact on the Facehugger will make it do damaging grapples on its host (the melee roll determines damage done).

Armour worn by a potential host will only protect against the Facehugger's Thrasher if all damage from it is halted. However a hit means the Facehugger is attached and can make further attacks (The Facehugger can exude an acidic resin to melt through face protection).

Make a note of the damage done by the Thrasher attack as this is important for surgery to remove the alien it implants in the host (see below).

Pulling off a Facehugger is a contested melee check against it. Any failed checks cause the Facehugger to damage the host as mentioned above.

The Facehugger has a lifespan of 18 hours to implant its spawn in a host. After 18 hours pass, the Facehugger if on a host, leaps away and dies.
Once a Facehugger dies, the host will awaken with amnesia of the incident and a severe hunger after a number of hours (From the Facehugger falling away, the Alien will emerge 6 hours later, in essense, from the Facehugger attaching to the burster emerging is 24 hours).

Surgery to remove the Alien safely can be performed within the final 6 hours when the Facehugger has detached (because the Facehugger will damage the host if still attached). If the surgery fully heals the Thrasher damage, the alien is removed. More than one surgery may be needed to fully remove it (representing only slicing its umbical cord and maneouvring it for easier removal next time). However, surgery is touch and go as each time takes 1d6 hours.
Last edited by zero on Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby zero » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:59 am

The Alien
special: all sizes of the alien move 9 metres per round, not six as normal. They also all have the acid blood defence as noted with the Facehugger.

Type: Omnivore Hunter (an Alien will eat any material to grow, but things like hatchs, iris valves etc are generally too thick for its teeth to penetrate. However, ventilation grates, are not :wink: )

Habitat: Frozen Basalt Plain Walker

All Alien sizes have an Intelligence of 1 (however Instinct is usually high) and the following skills:
Athletics (Strength) 1, Melee (Teeth) 2, Recon 1, Stealth 1, Survival 1.

An Alien goes to the next size after half an hour passes (this time may be modified per GMs needs)

Size 1
Str: 1 Dex: 6 End: 1
Weapon: Teeth (1d6) Armour: 0

The Alien, when born is a snake-like creature around 14" long. When ready to emerge from its host it makes repeated Teeth melee rolls (results equal damage done to host) until the host is killed and the alien is then free to flee the area and find a safe place to nest.

Size 2
Str: 2 Dex: 6 End: 2
Weapon: same. Armour: 1

The alien sheds its skin under which it has grown limbs and is generally quadrapedal at this stage. It is 20" long with the same length tail.

Size 3
Str: add 1d3 Dex: add 1d6 End: add 1d3
Weapons: Teeth (1d6) plus personal range Paralysing Stinger +1 (2d6)
Armour: 2

The alien will shed its skin one more time to achieve this form. Beginning to shift to bipedal movement, the alien is 2'9" with the same length tail. It begins to exude a resin that will fuel further growth rather than shedding. Also a paralysing stinger has developed on its tail (which the alien can now use to parry with). A hit with this calls for a Tranq Gas check or the victim is paralysed (though they can still communicate).

Size 4
Str: add 1 Dex: add 1 End: add 1
Weapons: same
Armour: 3

The Alien is now fully bipedal and 3'10" tall with the same length tail.

Size 5
Str: add 1d6 Dex: add 1d6 End: add 1d6
Weapons: same, though Stinger can now reach Close range
Armour: 4

Height: 5' with same length tail.

Size 6
Str: add 1 Dex: add 1 End: add 1
Weapons: same
Armour: 5

The Alien is 6'1" and will now begin hunting outside the nest for hosts to egg-morph (see below).

Size 7
Str: add 1d6 Dex: same. End: add 1d6
Weapons and Armour: same

Height: 7'2" with same length tail.

Alien Behaviour

Once it emerges, the Alien will live for 24 hours due to its increased growth metabolism. When ready to hunt it will find hosts to egg-morph to continue its legacy after it dies.

The Alien can and will fold itself in tight spaces to hide or move undetected such as a ship's vents (where it will be invisible on deck plans). Also an Alien doesnt have to be shown on a deckplan if it passes a Stealth check but it must drop this invisibility to attack or if a Recon check by a witness passes.

When the Alien becomes strong enough to carry people, it will begin hunting (generally around Size 6) hosts to egg-morph back at its nest. An Alien will first use a Surprise Paralysing Stinger attack. If this doesnt ko or paralyse the target, they will use the Teeth in their inner jaw to lobotmise the target (Teeth attack against target's End for a quick ko).

Once knocked out or paralysed, the Alien will pick up the target and try to escape with them to its nest (even dragging targets through a ships vents).
The Alien will attack those who try to hurt it with the Teeth in its inner jaw. If not killed but ko'd, the attacker is a viable egg-morph host.

Egg-morph hosts are cocooned at the nest, below where the Alien nests. Dripping resin from it solidifys around the host over 6 hours into an egg-shape around the body, leaving the head exposed.
Many hosts are merely paralysed and so awake to feel the caustic resin on their flesh, painfully setting around them.

Hosts on a ship can be cut free in this initial phase, but damage to the hull could be caused to free them (as the cocoon merges with nearby material).

After six hours pass, it is too late for the host as their body is slowly turned into a Facehugger over the next six hours. On the twelfth hour, the host's head (now quite gone from this world) falls away leaving the rim for the new Facehugger to emerge from.

So thats it for Aliens in Traveller. You could have the PCs find a silo as noted in the Solomani Rim Sector (where the Alien planet lies) or find a derelict ship of crew egg-morphed by a deceased alien.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and add some rules of your own, or stories of what happened when your game group ran into the aliens :)
Last edited by zero on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby zero » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:18 am

Just a quick post to alert everyone to the update in this thread as edits dont show up as new posts.

I kept the Alien as random stats (to a point) to make each unique if you're having a group appear.

Please feel free to comment. :D
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Postby SpaceDog » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:06 pm

This is fantastic. At CotI, there is athread about the Alien and a couple of versions of it were posted - the original Journal 4's Reticulan Alien was alluded to as well.

I really like what you've done. I was in the process of writing up a version for Riki Tiki Traveller myself until I stumbled upon this. This is pure awesome.

I don't think I'd change a thing. I might make the default time between sizes an hour or so rather than a half an hour, but I think I would also play up the 'this thing is eating everything' angle, alluding to it's voracious appetite, high metabolism, and offer the connection to be drawn to the Alien's rapid size change.

Thanks for sticking to the original concept for the Alien too. James Cameron made a great film, but really killed the alien-ness of the Alien when he took his idea for a hive/queen mother against mother finale idea and smashed Aliens over the head with it. The original concept is just so superior in every way.

Beautiful stuff.
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Postby Golan2072 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:47 pm

This is excellent! 8)
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Postby zero » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:22 pm

As noted on CotI forums, alot of property issues may be invaded with this thread so I removed the images, put up a disclaimer explaining the rightholders to Alien and some minor edits to make it a bit more general.

Thanks to all though, I really must have done a good job. :)

Also, I had some feedback saying the crew could just shoot the alien, well I forgot to mention that the Acid blood is Hybrid damage (does the same damage to people as it does spaceships) and if the attack misses whilst in a ship, its going to land somewhere on the ship and do internal damage (Acid blood does 2d6 damage as a reminder).
Last edited by zero on Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dungalad » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:14 pm

Hi all, i've always loved aliens, and i've always loved Traveller, so some time ago i did a complete adaptation for my games.

The bad thing... is that it isnt in english, its in spanish.

Anyway i'll let the download address 'cause maybe you like it, and maybe some of you know spanish and can traslate it (i really dont have time now to do it, and not sure to know so much english to traslate it all). Its based mostly in first and second movies and in the old Leading Edge's Aliens Adventure Game.

It includes the history of aliens, a complete description of their life cycle and metabolism; all completely rule adapted, from the egg to the facehugger, the chestbuster (in 2 different stages), the warrior, the sentry, and the queen.

Also the full film strike team character sheets (Apone, Hicks, Drake, Vasquez, Hudson, Dietrich, Frost, Crowe, Wierzbowsky, Gorman, Ferro, Spunkmeyer, Ripley, Burke, Newt and Bishop) with their equipment (M41-A Pulse Rifle, M56 Smart Gun, M240 Flamethrower, a lot more).

Here's the address (its in a spanish forum i use to be):

Hope you enjoy it :-)
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Postby zero » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:22 pm

After some playtesting I have changed the damage for the Acid blood of my aliens, it now does 2d6 damage but its still hybrid damage so it does 2d6 damage to both people and vehicles (the rule of vehicles taking 50 normal damage to get 1 damage is ignored with the acid blood).

I've edited the previous posts explaining it and also added that acid blood will melt through a ship wall/floor at 5 damage for added flavour. Also if any damage is left over, the acid will melt through a second layer if 5 damage or over is left from the first 5 damage taken away.

After some playtesting I can confirm the Facehugger works just like in the film at least. Currently going through the adult alien forms, I may add more if I feel stuff needs changing.
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Postby zero » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:54 pm

The Alien Egg

When a host is turned into an alien egg, they sustain the Facehugger within by allowing it to survive on superfluous organic material left from the transformation from organism to egg. The Facehugger "breathes" any genetic material, expelling it from the top of the egg into the atmosphere and then breathing it in the same way. This is how the alien's homeworld had an atmosphere even though the only organisms left onworld were the dormant eggs.

In the first six hours a character is taken to be egg-morphed, they can be freed by attacking and destroying the cocoon before it forms the full shell of the egg.
In the first hour, the egg has one hit point, in the second hour this increases to 1 armour, 1 hp. Each hour then it will increase by 1 hp until it reaches its maximum state of 1 armour, 5 hit points. When the cocoon is attacked, further damage than what it can take is recieved by the host in the cocoon and area effect attacks will damage both host and cocoon.

If the cocoon is destroyed before the first six hours of the egg-morph are complete, the character is freed if they were not killed from the attacks to free them. As a character may be able to communcate in the first six hours before they undergo change, it is a good way to judge if they can be freed or not.

Egg Profile
When the first six hours are up, the cocooned host is considered to be an egg and uses this profile. Note the Facehugger within is not complete until twelve hours have passed and the victim's head makes way for the rim which the Facehugger can exit from.

Type: Gatherer, Omnivore (see above)
Size: 2 (between 3 and 6 kg in weight)
Str: 2, Dex: 1, End: 2*

Instinct: 3
Intelligence: 0

* = These are used mainly for the destruction of the egg, as the thing cannot move and has very base senses.

Weapon: Birth Facehugger
Armour: 1

Skills: Recon 2, Survival 2, Stealth 2

The Egg has very base senses, it can detect changes in light and vibration aswell as having a sense of touch (If touched it will awaken the Facehugger which will begin aiming to attack). If attacked, the egg will birth the Facehugger unless the thing is destroyed, then the Facehugger within dies with it. An Egg cannot birth a Facehugger within the first twelve hours of egg-morphing.
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Postby Mithras » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:04 pm

Related question: how can the GM structure adventures or even create campaigns that prevent the alien from getting boring, very very quickly. After all everyone knows its capabilities and permutations, and notwithstanding the fact that the players will be legitimately crapping their pants, how can the threat be made 'interesting' and unique?

Related, related: Gaming in the Alien universe sounds great too, but again, why bother if your not facing the alien threat ... which leads back to the point above ...

This is a genuine query - I LOVE the movies, and used to model my old Traveller universe on them, I love the feel and of course the threat. I'm worried about the staleness...
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Postby zero » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:19 pm

No worries there, I was thinking of adding some optional capabilities based on deleted scenes from the first film.

First would be to add Regeneration to the creature, I'd say it regenerates one damage per round, although you could change that number/duration for whatever the challenge level you're going for.

Also there is a scene in the first film where the alien seems to float away into a vent after grabbing Brett. You can see from some cuts that the thing is clutching Brett with its hands and its tail is embedded in his back, it takes him seemingly by floating up in the air. You could say the Alien has anti-gravity capability, possibly from its tubules on its back. I'd say give them the standard movement to float up or down for a limited time (say one round at a time).

Also from the same scene, it was before spotted by Brett, it had its feet stuck to a wall and was hanging horizontally from that position. Giving the alien standard movement on walls/ceilings like a gecko is another option.

Otherwise, dont over-saturate the campaign with them, theyre good for a one-shot or a few adventures, but otherwise keep 'em back for a little pop-culture reference for your players.
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Re: Alien in Traveller

Postby navanod » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:15 pm

Obligatory link - The Anchorpoint Essays. Everything you could want to know about xenomorphs.
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Re: Alien in Traveller

Postby Burocrate » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:56 pm

Curse you Navarod, how am I supposed to get anything done now that you have shown me this link?!!!

I forsee many hours of reading that site. Thank you. :mrgreen:
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Re: Alien in Traveller

Postby Old timer » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:37 pm

Mmm, aliens and Mmm, running traveller games on Rpol. Oh the ideas :)
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Re: Alien in Traveller

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:00 pm

I take it (ignore this if you already know about it) that people have seen Mongoose's 'Cowboys vs Xenomorphs'? Aliens statted up for 'Traveller'.
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Re: Alien in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:19 am

An issue of the JTAS had stats for the ALIEN. I had trouble reading xenomorph as a kid.
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Re: Alien in Traveller

Postby Burocrate » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:53 pm

Old timer wrote:Mmm, aliens and Mmm, running traveller games on Rpol. Oh the ideas :)

"Oh no you don't! Dude, I'm a freaking Scout not a Marine. You want a Big-Hunt, you can count me OUT! Game Over Man, Game Over!"

I double dog dare ya! This would definately make for a fast game...
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