Monday, September 20, 2010

[Movie] Evil Aliens could be AFMBE'd

Evil Aliens is indie splatter/humour/horror movie. I have seen splatter movies more entertaining and absurd than this, so I was a bit disappointed when there was not that much crazy bloody action than splatters usually involve.
As it's an indie movie, special effects and acting was how you would except it to be. In imdb discussion area director was both mocked to be as bad as Uwe Boll but also praised as a rising star.

I think movie was worth watching, but not great. I thought for a splatter it could have been more gory and less boring. There was not that many gory scenes after all.

Anyways, let's go to the part, about:

With What Game I Could Run This?

First in my mind came All Flesh Must Be Eaten. Even though AFMBE is all about zombies, you can do different kind of horror-monster genres with it. There is this zombie creation section for Zombie Masters (later referred as ZM) what is basically ment to create different kind of zombies, but witty ZM can easily use it to create all kinds of critters from horny human eating monsters (Feast series) to well, aliens that kill you (Evil Aliens).
By watching the movie yourself you can create stats for alien as you see fit, but I will present one template here later.

Deadworld: Evil Aliens

So, what kind of "Deadworld" is evil aliens? Very simple. Remote place where aliens will land and you will fight them to survive or be killed. Really straightforward and simple. Aliens could be thread for bigger city, continent or whole world, but in this movie it is kept local. So this campaign setting (or survival adventure) is also kept local in small scale.
It's all about survival. Kill or to be killed. Or try to escape or be killed. Lot's of action.

Characters: How Did They End Up There After All?

There is this tv program about paranormal activities, UFOs and other strange things. They hear a rumor about this remote island where a woman is argued to be impregnated by aliens. This story would be a kick for the show what would be shut down without anything interesting to come.
So, show hires a crew to do the shoot. They don't necessarily believe in paranormal things, but make money from it. So crew members (players) could be something like this:
  • Camera man
  • Microphone holder/Recorder
  • Actors (to reconstruct happenings)
  • Anchorman/Presenter
  • UFO specialist
You could fill some spots with NPC's (to kill before player characters of course).

In my opinion characters should be created as norms not to make them too powerful. After all, they are normal people doing a hoax tv-show.

NPC Cast

In the movie NPC's were the inpregnanted girl and his three twisted crazy and dumb brothers. Stat sister and two brothers as normsbut make one of the brothers as a survivor. His weapons will be hunting bow and machete. He is tough one, only fighter who can handle weapons well, but (as a good NPC should) you could kill him to make player characters more... insecure.

Location And What There Is

Location is distand island like said before. It could be near England coast, or you can make it another remote location. Points are, that:
  • It should be hard to get out (in the movie reason was tide)
  • There should be some ancient mystical stuff (in the movie ancient stone pillars)
  • There should be no more people present or accessible than player characters and NPC's presented earlier
At the island there is said stone pillars (where the abduction and fertilization happened), some fields for cows (aliens like to mutilate livestock doesn't they) and the mansion of brothers and sister.

Okay, There Are Aliens, How Do You Introduce Them?

Let players do their filming session and interviewing impregnentated sister and his brothers (bonus points for ZM if they don't speak the language player characters do). Let them investigate the place and act the events and film it. Only supernatural thing is that the stones have energy field (electromagnetic, ley-line, something else UFO-blabber). One to spot this energy should be UFOlogist of the crew. So let his equipment beep or something.
Also notable thing is the formation of the rocks, but if player characters don't notice it, it doesn't kill the idea. They will later figure out what they are all about anyways.

So, they have interviewed the residents, victim, filmed their stuff and are ready to go. Nothing happened. But, when they are leaving the place suddenly earth shakes and their car shuts down (this is when aliens land to the stone pillars, but obviously player characters don't know it).
When they try to figure out what's wrong with the car (even with repair skill, car doesn't work. There seems to be no reason why it suddenly died) some of them should spot that cows are restless. If they investigate (or if don't make them see the following) they find the reason for it. There are aliens mutilating cows! Make two of them.
Characters can flee or fight, but don't make this first fight too tough if they decide so. You could make aliens a bit more dangerous if they flee before fight, so players won't know how tough they are.

If they flee or "scare" aliens off, they might continue to figure out the condition of their vehicle. It won't work no matter what. So, they have one option to go back to the mansion. You should point out that it is impossible to carry all their equipment with hands and it is too long way to main land to walk. And you can make it dangerous (movement in the fields, weird noises, what ever). Try to push characters back to mansion.

How Fight To Survival Begins?

Characters are back to mansion. It is up to players what they do there. Do they try to call for help (no phones and you might say that mobile phones doesn't work as car isn't working). There is no internet connection. If there is car within the residense, it is not working also. Make characters feel stuck.
Will they tell to locals what happened there? If they will, brothers are angry about someone (-thing) killing their cows and will arm themselves and go take a look to the fields. All or some of the player characters could follow them.
Try to make it so, that brothers get to know somehow that their cows were mutilated.

This might be a split-party, if some will go to fields with brothers and some will stay. You can make this not to be boring to other part of the party. Make movie cuts. Play both in turns, don't play both of theirs full scene alltogether. This makes tension and prevents some players to be bored out of action.

So, if party is separated (or not) there are two scenes following. I mark them as A and B now.

A: Staying At The Mansion
Pregnant-for-aliens-sister has a seizure like condition. She looses her conscious for a moment. If characters approach her, she wakes up and goes all violent. Player characters propably tie her up or stuck her in one of the rooms or if not, the seizure is over and this sister wants to rest alone, as she is not feeling well. So, if characters don't take sister to room, she want's to go there herself.

B: At The Fields
Those characters who follow the brothers back to fields to investigate, should be encountered by several aliens. Kill two norm brothers hastily, but leave the survivor one alive. There is two options: Characters and survivor brother can fight the aliens (and hopefully kill them) or flee back. Both are acceptable. But did they fight aliens or not, they should go back to the mansion after this first bloody encounter. Maybe brother wants to check her sister, or more likely characters would like to get  back for plan. If they try their vehicle, it still doesn't work.

Back At The Mansion
If when sister went to the room (by force or volunteerily) she has escaped through the window. If she was left alone, this is easy part. If she was guarded, she just jumped through the window. Before her escape, she did rip her human skin off and underneath it was alien-human hybrid. If someone is seeing this, make it fast and gore.
Point is, when everyone is together, sister escapes.
If characters go outside, they cannot find her.

What Now?
 Now you can start to present aliens. Don't push too much of them at the same time, you don't want to kill characters (yet). But make it so, that there are many of them. Characters don't know how many actually. For ZM you don't keep count of them. There is always N+1 of them present at this point.
But generally fighting aliens and surviving starts to be hardcore here.

UFO
Those stone pillars were the place where UFO landed. You might want to make one character to wake up at some point if they stay night in the mansion to see an UFO flying by. They might go investigating those stone pillars, but they don't find aliens there. Inside is their pet though, what is agressive and characters are forced to flee or kill it. But generally, let characters investigate the UFO if they will. If this happens before cow mutilation, they can get some cool material to their tv-show. If they find it after cow mutilation, they know there are aliens.
Control panel of UFO is giant brain. Basically you rub it to make it move. Rub foward, it rises, rub to the left, it steers left. Characters might want to fly it, but touching the brain very first time makes the vessel just to shake. If they continue rubbing the brain, they might actually fly it.
To fly UFO, use Perception + Sleight of Hands and difficulty should be Heroic.
If character(s) get UFO airborne, every manouver they try to do with it is new Perception + Sleight of Hands roll now in difficulty Very Difficult.

Trying To Escape
Make characters wait tide to get out. They might later get their vehicle working, but let them wait several hours the tide. If they barricade themselves into the mansion, make aliens attack it. They might survive pretty well there, but at some point they might want to try to escape the island (running short of food and water might be a good reason).

This is also the point where characters might start to die. It is up to you as ZM do you want to "kill" characters, or do you want them to survive.
How the characters survive then? Stay alive long enough for the tide so they can drive off. They might try to swim away, but it should be extremely difficult. What ever the case is, they will realize, that they cannot stay there forever.

More Aliens
UFO what landed to rocks was actually just a smaller ship, and at some point (when characters feel too "comfortable") they see how a bigger UFO lands to the rocks. More aliens, yey!

Benefices Watching The Movie
Movie was fun to watch, even though I have seen better ones. But for this kind of Deadworld (or campaign setting) you surely get more ideas out of it. Like exploding liquid dung, getting alien sex and other.

Statting The NPC's
Actually, only NPC what needs stats would be the brother survivor, as other brothers are killed and sister is turned into an alien. Here I present characteristics for brother survivor. Let's call him... Earl. Reason why Earl is survivor instead of norm, is basically that there is one character involved capable of fighting aliens better. Characters are norms for the reason of... well... making surviving more interesting and making the horror greater.

Earl, Surviving Brother Of Three

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES:
Str: 4; Dex: 5; Con: 4; Int: 2; Per: 3; Wil: 2

SECONDARY ATTRIBUTES:
Life Points: 42
Endurance Points: 23
Speed: 18
Essence Pool: 20

QUALITIES:*
Hard to Kill, 3 points; Nerves of Steel, 3 points; Situation Awareness, 2 points

DRAWBACKS:*
Addiction: Moonshine, 1 points; Charisma, 2 points, Humorless, 1 points; Reckless, 2 points

SKILLS:
Brawling: 2
Craft - Carpenter: 2
Dodge: 2
Driving - Car: 2
Driving - Truck: 3
Driving - Farming Vehicles: 4
First Aid: 2
Guns - Rifle: 1
Guns - Shotgun: 1
Hand Weapon - Club: 1
Hand Weapon - Axe: 1
Hand Weapon - Sword (machete): 4
Hand Weapon - Bow: 5
Intimidation: 3
Mechanic: 2
Notice: 3
Tracking: 3

WEAPONS:
Machete (as short sword/huge knife).
Bow with 20 arrows.

*As you see, I did not spend all Qualities and Drawback points character creation allows. He is just a NPC afterall.

Equipment You Can Use As Weapons Found In The Mansion And It's Area
There are few real weapons, but improvised weapons are more common. Characters can find or use these:
  • Small knifes (found in kitchen for example)
  • Staffs (use your imagination)
  • Pitchforks (as spears, found at field and storage)
  • Small club/stick (improvised wooden objects for hitting aliens)
  • Chainsaw (found at one of the dead brother's body at fields)
  • Broken bottle (at house)
  • Long/Composite bow (with survivor brother)
  • Short sword/large knife (machete, with survivor brother)
  • Shotgun (birdshot, at house near the door has 50 ammo)
  • 5.56 Civilian rifle (at house in the gun cabinet, has 15 ammo)
Ofcourse, if players have really good idea for improvised weapon, let them use it.

Aliens As Stats
For first, I have to admit I am not good at this area. Never played AFMBE more than three sessions, so I don't know how to make a balanced zombie... umh alien. But here are some suggestions you could use:

  • They fight hand-to-hand similarly to martial arts using nasty knifes. They are quite agile.
  • Their weak spot is their head. If their helmet is crushed or breathing tube is cut, they die because Earth air is not suitable for them. Basically they take damage like humans do, so their weak spot is all. You can just kill them faster by bashing their head. Power: +0
  • Getting Around: They are as fast as humans are, so life like. Power +3. Also add climbing, as they are not zombies, and can manouver more versatile. Power +2.
  • Strength: Dead Joe Average gives strength of 2, but I'd like to push it to 3. So let's make it Power +3.
  • Senses: I don't see that they are more perceptional than human in the movie, so let's make it like the living worth of Power +1. Not sure how it is in the movie, but they have a helmet after all, so I'd give them also infravision. Power: Perception x2.
  • I have no idea how often they need to feed, but let's make it daily. Power +0 here.
  • Intelligence: They got language, they can communicate with eachother (and with humans if they knew alien linguistics), so Power +1. Tool use, they fly a frikkin' UFO, so level 3 it is with Power +9. As they are intelligent beings, they naturally also have long-term memory. Power +5. Problem solving, Power +15.
  • Spread the love. In the movie they could make females pregnant and have intercourse with male to get pregnant, so I will adapt bury the body in this case. Power -2.
Stats are the following:
For sister who turns into alien, use Basic Zombie stats found in rulebook. For genuine aliens, use this template:

Str: 3; Dex: 3; Con: 2; Int: 3, Per: 3; Wil: 2

Actually, I leave the rest of statting for more experienced Zombie Masters, so if You want to stat these, leave a comment including their stats!

Final Notes
It is ofcourse best for you, if you as ZM see the movie first. But I quess you can wrap something up from this draft even without seeing the movie. Just use your crayons of imagination and you are good to go.
This is not too detailed, but gives basically everything to start the action and leaves the surviving from the island open. There are various things characters can do, so it's kind of freeform to play.
There are few "trigger scenes" like cow mutilation, leaving the island the first time, sister turning into alien (for example) but after those are introduced into the play, rest is in the hands of the players.
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