A role playing game
There must be few who can honestly say that they have not had the urge to slaughter alien wildlife. The desire to inflict lethal force upon another species is a natural and healthy trait in higher forms of life, such as ourselves.Our galaxy teems with many thousands of types of intelligent beings, and many billions more ignorant, bestial and valueless ones. The raw vitality of the universe, with its endless diversity and inexhaustible capacity to restock its range with ever more bizarre quarry is an intoxicating brew to the trigger-happy.Millions of avians sweeping across a turquoise sky, oblivious to the carnage you can inflict, will leave you breathless. The intimacy of coming face to face with grotesque beasts that mimic intelligence and are on the endangered list is a truly extraordinary experience. Never more so than when you are armed to the teeth.
There are countless safari companies to choose from, so why Alien Safaries Inc.? We think there are plenty of reasons: self-guided hunts put you in charge of the action; knowledgeble tour co-designers and quarry species experts on hand at all times; great transport to and from your designated hunt site – from state of the art transmat facilities, to shuttle services either chauffeured or U-pilot, and top of the line ballistic capsules; and (of course) fantastic prices. Last but not least, you will spend a lot more time hunting the best game in the galaxy in a pristine alien environment.
Enjoy this brochure, and I hope to see you on Safari this year.
Alien Safari is a role playing game in the mould of Paranoia and Ghostbusters. The themes and events are intended to be humorous. Logical analysis is both inappropriate and useless as a method of interacting with the game themes.
The galaxy teems with life. Our species, mankind, is neither unique nor even special. We hold no particular position of esteem in the galactic ecosystem. Our existence excites no attention from the numerous more mature intelligences. We are merely one of a multitude of primitive life-forms, spinning our wheels in our own self-important little dramas, imagining ourselves to be the inheritors of greatness. In truth and comparison we are as intelligent as ants, as noble as squid, and as far-sighted as fungus.
We are, however, fox-cunning and exceedingly belligerent: two behaviours that make this tale partially more interesting than it might normally deserve.
The mature galactic civilisations are beyond human comprehension. Their motivations are unknowable; government structures, as much as such human terms are applicable, defy analysis.
The best we can say is this: aliens from these advanced civilisations enjoy hunting. They consider the sport of shooting up local environments, blasting the indigenous animals to be great fun.
Earth is a popular hunting spot because humans are wily prey: check out Predator.
Alien Safari invites the players to act out the roles of these technically advanced aliens and hunt human prey on an (arguably) alternate Earth
Alien Safari is a light hearted game: one of mishaps and misadventures, of poorly implemented plans, inaffective equipment and insufficient safety provisions and support.
The players enjoy advanced technology, but they are faced with vicious cunning.
The game rules are designed to allow play in any period or genre, though this particular supplement is focussed on space adventure. In that context it facilitates a space opera treatment of science fiction, rather than hard science.
It is an RPG-lite set of rules, making it suitable for quick set-up play and for introducing new players to role playing. Character generation can be completed in a minute or less, as can designing a space ship. All events are described verbally, with dice supporting, so there is no need to memorise lengthy rules or tables.
Inspiration for these rules has been drawn from: And One For All by Greg Hallam of Anubis Studios, RISUS by S. John Ross and Wushu by Dan Bayn.
The goal of Alien Safari is cinematic role-playing, an often used term these days that boils down to: a system which rewards stunts rather than penalising them.
The rules are minimalist, with a single mechanism that runs through every type of event resolution.
The basic mechanic of Alien Safari is the process of building a dice pool with 6 sided dice by making verbal arguments. These arguments describe events as if they have happened. Every detail added to the description of the action adds one die.
Unlike similar game systems, in Alien Safari the dice must be rolled as the arguments are made. So on the first argument 1 dice is rolled. On the second, 2 dice are rolled, and so on. Arguments can continue and the dice pool can grow until the player quits making arguments or rolls one or more 1’s.
Ordinary six sided dice are used throughout. A good handful is needed by every player.
Interpretation of the dice is by the Silhouette method: no matter how many dice are rolled by each player, only the score on the highest single dice is compared, with the following caveat:
- multiple 6’s increase the score by one. Thus: a roll that includes two 6’s is counted as a 7, a roll that includes three 6’s is counted as 8, and so on.
Who is the hunter? – Character generation
Characters are defined using clichés. These clichés may be thought of as character classes, if you find that an easier way of considering them. Each cliché covers and includes a basket of skills: everything that you can think of that might be applicable, and you can make a reasonable argument for.
Clichés are inclusive, rather than exlusive, representations of a character’s skills. They are based on what springs to mind when considering what a character could reasonably do as if they were viewed as movie characters. Many of the clichés seem to overlap as a consequence. A Barbarian and a Martial Artist can both attack with pointy objects, for example. Think of a Bruce Lee movie and a Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and tell me honestly that you cannot clearly see the different skill sets.
Should any dispute arrise during play when a player tries to stretch the boundaries of a cliché too far, it is up to the other players to demand a reasonable explanation of the extension.
The system is elastic, but not infinitely so, otherwise there is no point in having a skill system at all.
Clichés are used when making arguments. They create a buffer before you have to roll the dice.
And who is the hunted?
People: ordinary common-or-garden people, are the quarry – the non-player-characters (NPCs) – of this game. Some people are part of the military and have access to advanced weaponry like tanks and supersonic jets. As a rule of thumb, the more sophisticated the Earth weapon, the less effective it will be against the alien hunters – the players. This is because it is far more ignoble to be incinerated by a molotov cocktail and be impaled in a stake-pit than it is to be hit by an armour-piercing round. Moreover, we know from the movies that the aliens are completely imperious to all Earth military technology. That’s why Earth is such an attractive hunter toursit destination.
However, we also know from the movies that a well-placed penknife or a seemingly innocuous can of hairspray is startlingly lethal to aliens.