6 January 2018

COMING SOON...


THOSE

DARK

PLACES

The Industrial Sci-Fi Thriller Roleplaying Game

by

JONATHAN HICKS





On Sunday the 11th of July 1982, when I was very young, I sneakily watched a movie that would change the way I looked at science fiction cinema. The movie was Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’.

I had never seen anything like it. I was bought up on the ‘Star Wars’ movies and one of my favourite shows was ‘Star Trek’ – it was all very bright and full of adventure. There were heroes and baddies and cute bleeping robots.

Then darkness. The universe was suddenly a dangerous and scary place to be.

This game has been designed with the science fiction horror genre in mind, films such as ‘Alien’, ‘Aliens’ and ‘Outland’. It is also influenced by survival horror games like ‘Alien: Isolation’ and ‘Dead Space’. There’s an industrial, low-tech feel to these stories that make things even more threatening.

A lot of these movies and games have something in common – claustrophobia and the idea that there is no escape from the situation the antagionists find themselves in. The best stories take place far from Earth on space stations or starships or lost colonies in the far corners of the galaxy, far from anyone, far from aid, and they revolve around being cut off in an alien environment, surrounded by things beyond comprehension.

You only have to watch the movie ‘Alien’ to understand my meaning – a small crew of seven (about the size of a gaming group!) on a starship almost a year’s travel from Earth. An alien organism that is totally incomprehensible to them, the lifecycle of which is first experienced through invasion and violence, a creature that kills indiscriminately. Add to this the fact that those in charge may have actually known of its existence… that’s some pretty powerful gaming material right there. The roleplaying and adventure opportunities abound. Skulking around the ship trying to find the creature, fighting it off as best you can, running for your life… this setup and others like it just scream (excuse the pun) for a roleplaying game.

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