I think there's a good game here, and one part that I really like is the idea that the scenario gets built up as the game is played using a worksheet sort of thing.
The intention is to have a single session, no preparation-required game.
So I intend to include predefined squads of space marines and a sheet with 'what's going on' that starts off blank (or blank in the most important parts). All players will have a spendable resource that they can use to make a theory or comment about what's going on into the real fact of the matter.
Mission Phase Zero:
The first scenes are played as the marines approach the destination and discuss the mission parameters (i.e. the wake-up scene in Aliens). Mysterious elements will initially be invented here.
Mission Phase One:
The marines arrive at the destination and begin investigating. The gamemaster presents clues and the players make up explanations about what happened. Player characters will not be attacked at this time, but non-player characters might be killed - especially if they wander off alone.
Mission Phase Two:
The aliens (or whatever) begin attacking the marines openly. This is when the action really kicks off and the 'what happened' question will be answered. The capacities of the aliens/opposition will also be nailed down here.
Mission Phase Three: (probably initiated when all extra characters are dead)
The aliens may now be defeated (or the remaining marines might escape). Establishing how to do either of these things will be all that's left to be determined.
That's the plan.
I plan to set up either templated worksheets that present basic scenarios with some important blanks to be filled in and/or a bunch of tables to give you facts (with blanks) that can be completed. Probably a bunch of mysteries for the gamemaster to use as well. However, I find myself pretty uninspired with this sort of idea... I appeal to my readers to help me out here...
I'm looking for ideas in this kind of form:
- There's a civilian observer along, an expert on _________.
- The destination is _________.
- Squad member _________ is newly transferred in, and hasn't earned anyone's trust yet.
- Squad member _________ has a secret problem: _________.
- The colonists (or their bodies) are all discovered to be in _________.
- A survivor is discovered, who reveals that _________.
- It appears that the colonists had time to _________ before the end.
- It appears that whatever did this could _________.
- The opposition are _________.
- They are superior to humans in _________.
- They are resistant to _________.
- They want to _________ people.
- We can kill them if we take off and _________ the site from orbit.
- We can escape if we _________ before _________.
- They are especially susceptible to _________.
- They have already reached _________.
Any ideas appreciated (and will be credited in the final version, if any).