Me and some friends played through the Alien RPG adventure Chariot of the Gods around Christmas. I altered a bunch of the adventure to make it run faster. The following is expanded from my original Twitter thread.
These recaps include SPOILERS for Chariot of the Gods. You have been warned.
The USCSS Montero comes out of light speed, drifting through the stars. The commercial freighter carries dozens of tanks of helium 3 fuel, along with five crew members, bound for the Sutter’s World colony on the frontier of space.
The ship’s MU/TH/UR computer activates, signalling for the crew to awaken from cryosleep.
The Montero’s crew are:
- Rye, roughneck technician (Played by Tucker)
- Cham, roughneck cargo handler (Played by Sam)
- Juno, medic and ship’s physician (Played by Fiona)
- Miller, officer and ship’s captain (NPC)
- Wilson, company agent and Weyland-Yutani representative (NPC)
The crew awake to get some breakfast in the Montero’s mess hall. Christmas decorations adorn the walls. The Montero is due to arrive on Sutter’s World on December 25th. Company man Wilson cheerfully goes over the crew’s holiday bonus situation from W-Y.
Unfortunately for them all, Miller arrives from the MU/TH/UR terminal. No holiday bonus yet. They’re still 3 months out from Sutter’s World. Mother has pulled them out of cryosleep early to investigate a derelict Weyland ship.
Special Order 942
Recover scientific data and samples from the USCSS Cronus.
Escort the salvaged Cronus to Anchorhead or another W-Y facility.
Save crew members on the Cronus.
The crew groans, knowing this can’t be good. Failure to investigate means total forfeiture of shares, so Rye, Cham, Juno, and Wilson suit up.
The team recalled fond memories of trust falls and company space picnics with Wilson as they suited up to explore the Cronus, a 70 year old Weyland vessel. They have their choice of gear and tools to take with them.
“Are you sure you want to take the flamethrower?”
“You never know when a flamethrower will come in handy”
The crew makes Movement checks. Several successes! They board the ship without trouble. Inside, they find the Cronus in deep freeze: no power, no air, its walls are riddled with bullet holes and caked in gore. The cryo-chamber doors are welded shut from the inside, with giant claw marks on the outside.
“Hey here’s a thought. Are we sure it’s not feckin’ aliens wot done this?”
“No, it was probably a dog”
[This was the start of a constant string of jokes through the game. Any time something suspicious or mysterious happened, the first response was always “You think it’s aliens that did this?” “Naw, aliens aren’t real. C’mon, that’s nonsense”. Dramatic irony is a wonderful thing in tabletop games]
Inside the cryo-chamber the crew found three active cryo pods with people alive inside them: the scientist Cooper, the company woman Clayton, Reid the colonial marine, and the medic Flynn. Their records indicated that they were survivors of a failed expedition to an alien planet where they encountered a deadly pathogen.
Wilson successfully accessed the Cronus’ bridge and got the life support and power working. Cham, Rye, and Juno powered up the cryo pods and resuscitated the Cronus’ crew.
As soon as they did, Cooper started getting sick. *Cue the spooky music*
An alien creature exploded out of his face, killing him. The alien began to grow rapidly, growing razor-sharp claws and a barbed tail. Everyone took a point of stress and had to make panic rolls. Ever the professionals, the crew succeeded.
- Cham kicked it across the room into the doorway.
- Rye hit the emergency shut, slamming the pressure door down on the alien.
- Juno finished it off with the flamethrower.
Over the radio, Wilson promised them all promotions.
Things kicked off into high gear pretty quick after that. Taking the Cronus’ survivors to medical, Juno revealed that Reid had a similar alien embryo incubating inside her skull. Juno, using the Cronus’ Pauling med-pod, expertly performed brain surgery on Reid, saving her life and successfully preserving the embryo!
Captain Miller radio’d from the Montero. Something had gone horribly wrong, and MU/TH/UR set the ship to self-destruct in 15 minutes!
Cham and Rye raced back to the ship. Cham set to work moving the Montero’s helium-3 tanks into Daisy, the ship’s cargo shuttle and escape vehicle. With three successes, he loaded them up in record time. Rye piloted Daisy away from the exploding Montero, rolling two successes and getting it to the minimum safe distance seconds before the cargo freighter self destructed!
The crew of the Montero was now safe aboard the Cronus.
As the combined crew took stock of their situation, Clayton revealed the bad news. Their crew went into cryosleep to try to outlive a monster that had stowed away from the alien planet. Some kind of parasitic alien lifeform that was big…and nasty. Some kind of xenomorph.
As if on cue, they heard an unearthly screech from the deck below them.
[To be continued]