Hosting an alien embryo

Hi everyone
Looking for some ideas here. One of my PC's has been made the (unwilling) host of an alien embryo (as per 'Alien').

This was actually the idea of the player; who was being attacked by a creature we made up on the spot. They rolled a '1' in defence and suddenly announced "What if I've been implanted, like Kane in 'Alien'?" It was too good not to run with; but has left a load of questions.

I'm looking for ideas on how to handle the gestation / growth of the thing and the effect on the PC, who is not aware at the moment that anything is wrong (even though the player is).

1) I could drain 20% Might per day and not let them recover it. When Might = 0 then the embryo is born
2) Have the PC make a Might roll per day at an increasing penalty; failure means move 1 level down the Damage track.

How about handling the abortion of the thing?

Any ideas welcome

Comments

  • Draining 20% daily would mean gestation lasts 5 days and that would be super painful for the PC. That time frame also does not give the group a chance to save the Host/PC, and there is no drama in that except the PC's death. That is unless the player is interested in writing a new character. I think it best if you and the player sit down and hash out the discoverable details about the creature (since this was their idea to begin with) that planted the embryo, add some temporary bonuses and physical changes based on the adult creature's abilities and defenses to the PC. Nothing too OP or outrageous. Then decide how long this gestation is actually going to last, a ticking clock is a excellent drama motivator especially when they discover there is a clock and figure out that a large portion of their time is already gone. But it should only last as long as the story needs it to be, dragging the gestation out longer will drag parts of your story down with it.

    I would also force an Intellect roll with the increasing difficulties at PC the longer the creature is in the host to see if the PC is developing parental and protective feelings toward it. Even funnier if the player or the character is male, Think like the movie "Junior" with Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Sorry, I'm old.)

    As for aborting or birthing the thing, I would have a highly specialized or trained healer, maybe an Aeon Priest, a member of the Convergence, or even just a member of a rival faction that is rumored to be able to preform the operation. Specialized tools (an artifact, a cypher or just really old mundane equipment) would also be needed.

    There is always the possibility that the child/creature could be a boon to the group like a druid's animal companion. I would also impress that the PC may have a bit of control over the creature after birth since they would be it's mother. Maybe the embryo allows the PC to gain a limited telepathy to others of the creature's kind, and they are the ones that need to decide if the PC is worthy to carry their offspring. With a point already in the character's favor since they were able to kill the "father."

    The "Devil's Spine" adventure cover's exactly this kind of situation, with a parasite. Having the parasite is a boon to the PC for the first two months with added bonuses and such, but it starts to drag the PC down (slowly losing the bonuses and health) until the creature destroys the host when it emerges at the end of the three month gestation. Unless the PCs are able to get the parasite off/out of the infected character. - This adventure takes the assumption that the parasite is overall a bad thing to have.

    This one is yours and you (and the Player) get to decide if this embryo is bad news.
  • Thanks for the ideas - there's some useful stuff here. I don't have 'The Devils Spine' (I must have missed that one - guess what I'm getting next)
    The player is working on the 'Alien' angle, so they (and I) was assuming that it was bad (I have no idea why they want to be eaten from the inside and have something explode out of them.)

    "Maybe the embryo allows the PC to gain a limited telepathy to others of the creature's kind, and they are the ones that need to decide if the PC is worthy to carry their offspring. With a point already in the character's favor since they were able to kill the "father."


    I LOVE this idea - I think I'll run with this and see where it goes. I'll post the write-up here and on 'Uncanny Worlds'
  • edited March 2016
    You should check out the mechanics for the "Flesh Pup" in the Ninth World Bestiary, if you have access to it. It's almost exactly what you describe in your initial post. Such a disgusting creature!

    This is definitely not a creature that offers any boons. While its emergence is technically survivable, it's potentially deadly and very damaging even if you survive. Surgical removal is preferable, and even that is rough.

    Where the weird comes in is with the protective attachment the host forms with the nasty things. The host refuses to allow any harm to come to the parasites. Your friends have to hold you down, knock you out, or whatever to help you. Crazy.

    I'd think these nasty little guys could easily be adapted and contribute to a very memorable story arc in your game.
  • OK, I'll have a look. I have got the Bestiary but haven't had time to read all of it yet (nor most of the other Numenera stuff I've got
  • Ecch! Just read it. That is a) is nasty and disgusting, b) exactly what I'm looking for. Now they just have to find out that information 'in-Game'
  • Great! They were fresh in my mind, as I'd been looking through the bestiary recently. I'm glad they'll fit the need. They really are nasty.
  • edited March 2016
    I don´t think you actually have to do anything. Use that as a tool for creating suspense. Tell the player he "fells something growing inside of him" and let them figure it out themselves. They´ll be totally grossed out and if you want just let that thing burst out and THEN be something totalyl different from what the players expected.

    Example: The PCs search a ruin or so to find a tool to operate on the impregnated player. They fight creatures and solve riddles in desperate race against time. In any situation you just interrupt: "(players name) falls to his knees, screams in pain and a tentacle erupts from his belly!!!"
    The player are panicked but suddenly they realise that the tentacle is actually a third useable limb for the infected player to use. That would be awesome.

    If you want to complicate matters later on, just think of something. Maybe the host slowly loses controll to the entity, maybe the tentacle is just annoying and slaps the player regularly.

    You have three advantages, first you don´t have to put up with any kind of rules, secondly you have some totally gross shocker inbetween, thirdly I think that would be oddly rewarding to the player.
  • Joe
    I really like this; it wasn't a direction I'd thought of.
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