Rescue or Bug Hunt? A Colonial Marines One-Shot, Part 1
Happy GURPSDay, folks!
Just a quick post today, but “short” felt a lot better than “none.”
I once again find myself up against a looming deadline for game registration. Somehow, the span between “Plenty of time, the registration deadline isn’t for weeks” and “OMG the deadline is tomorrow!” never fails to whip by in a flash (translation: I can be a horrible procrastinator).
Thankfully, a few weeks back another GURPS GM (hiya, Cal!) was reminiscing about the old “Colonial Marines Technical Manual,” one of my favorite fan books ever, so I dug mine out and got inspired to run a Colonial Marines game. I’ve run them a few times before and always had a great time, so I’ve been turning things over in m’brains to come up with a rollickin’ good one-shot.
(Here are the completed notes for download once all this was done.)
Rescue or Bug Hunt? | Downloads: 1,269 | Size: 3.0 MB
At this point, all I really need are enough details to get a decent blurb written for the convention registration. The deadline of which is tomorrow. So, let’s get crackin’.
Note that if you plan to play in this game at Gamex 2017, the below contains spoilers!
A bit stream of consciousness, but this is what I have so far:
- Four PCs, all line infantry in the United States Colonial Marines, the “absolute badasses” from the “Aliens” movie. At first pass, I’m thinking:
- Corporal, Rifleman and Squad Leader
- PFC, Rifleman and Corpsman
- Private, Sniper
- Private, Smart Gunner
- The game takes place shortly after the events of “Aliens.”
- The ship the PCs’ platoon is aboard receives a distress call from a remote Weyland-Yutani research facility on Tau Ceti e. Initial reports suggest a pirate attack, and U.S. Space Command has authorized the Marines to reroute and assist. The PCs’ Section is specifically tasked with the recovery or proof of demise of a high-value target, Michael Bishop. They are given encrypted trackers keyed to his bio-implant and ordered to recover him at all costs.
- What the Marines don’t know is that they will not be going in against a ragtag group of deep space pirates. In direct violation of governmental and corporate treaties, Hyperdyne Systems has sent a platoon of corporate mercs to Tau Ceti e and seized the Weyland-Yutani facility. Once inside, they discover and inadvertently release a small colony of Xenomorphs being bred there for weaponization and research. Hilarity ensues.
- I would really like the game to begin with the PCs awaking from unconsciousness, finding themselves stuck to the wall in a Xenomorph food chamber. Eggs slowly open, facehuggers emerge, and as they leap towards the PCs’ faces…
- We cut to the platoon briefing aboard ship prior to the drop on Tau Ceti e. A subtitle on the scene reads, “Ten hours earlier…” The mission is laid out to the PCs’ section and they prepare for drop.
- As the capital ships engage, both dropships head to the surface. Being armed with high-tech Hyperdyne anti-aircraft technology, the secondary dropship is destroyed and the PCs’ dropship is damaged. They crash to the surface, no survivors aboard except the PCs.
- In very broad strokes (especially at this stage of brainstorming), the scenes might be something like:
- Xenomorph food chamber, flashback to…
- Shipboard briefing and dropship crash
- Combat: the PCs are discovered by a Hyperdyne squad sent to confirm no survivors
- PCs set out towards the facility (either to fulfill their mission, or because it’s the only shelter/resource point on this extremely inhospitable moon)
- As they near, Hyperdyne mercs run from inside — fleeing something, not attacking. Somehow (help me!), the mercs are killed and the PCs are rendered unconscious. Mercs drop a grenade in their panic? Hyperdyne orbital ship launches a massive ground strike? Ordinarily, I am loathe to fiat my way to getting the PCs somewhere, but they need to return from flashback to…
- Xenomorph food chamber. Escape and re-arm/re-equip. According to Michael Bishop’s tracker, he’s still alive
- Host chamber: mercs filled with chestbursters
- Combat: Xenomorph drones try to prevent the PCs escaping from “the nest”
- Outside the nest, deep in the facility, locate Bishop hiding in his panic room. The walls and door are covered with the blood of other apparently trying to get in
- Attempt to get Bishop out of the facility to the supply hangar, to commandeer a shuttle and rejoin their ship in orbit
So, that’s where I’m at the moment. It still needs a lot of polish, but seems like a solid start. In particular, I’m concerned about the segue from “We’re in a firefight for our lives!” to “We’re stuck to a wall about to be eaten!” I’d love to hear any suggestions you might have for this narrative down in the comments.
At the moment, though, it’s enough to base a convention blurb on, so this is what I’ll be submitting for Gamex 2017:
As they head back to Earth, a platoon of Colonial Marines receives a distress call from a remote Weyland-Yutani research facility. Initial reports sound like a pirate or corporate attack… but could it be something far more dangerous? Come find out! NO GURPS experience needed.
I’ll let you know how this game shapes up in the coming weeks, and how it runs at the table after the Memorial Day weekend when the convention is. Until then, I shall be happily immersed in the “Aliens” universe.
(Continued in Part 2)
If you enjoyed this post and others like it, might you consider the Game Geekery Patreon?