A selection of science fiction tabletop RPGs with rules and themes perfect for telling stories in the lonely horror style of the Alien franchise.
The Alien film franchise, an influential saga of sci-fi horror that popularized tropes such as blue-collar astronauts, duplicitous synthetics, and parasitic aliens, has been adapted into graphic novels, video games, and most recently, a tabletop RPG created by Free League Publishing. Alien: The Roleplaying Game is just one of several sci-horror RPGs for sale both online and in print – games themed around the merciless solitude of deep space, the disturbing nature of alien organisms, and the dehumanizing aspects of corporate culture.
The original Alien movie, directed by Ripley Scott, written by Dan O’Bannon, and released in 1979, took inspiration from several sources – earlier sci-fi movies like John Carpenter’s Dark Star, science fiction novels such as A.E. Van Vogt’s The Voyage Of The Space Beagle, the real-life parasitism of creatures like Digger Wasps, etc. One other possible inspiration for Alien may be the midpoint of Dracula, where the crew of the sailing ship Demeter, unknowingly transporting Dracula in their cargo hold, are picked off one by one during their sea voyage – evidence that the “monster-on-a-ship” horror trope is older than many people think.