Posted in General Writing

Grey Matter – Alien Invasions in RPGS

Welcome back to My20sided life. It has been awhile. A friend of mine, Marc Plourde, over at, did a twitter poll awhile back asking if he should start back up his blog. He was a regular blogger for some time. I had read his stuff long before I started my own. Upon seeing the poll, however, I told him, if he started blogging again I would too. This led us to start chatting about what to blog about and possible collaborations. So we are going to try to push each other, feed off each other’s ideas, and create a blog dialogue if you will. Let’s see how this works out.

So last week Marc posted a Blog about Gideon IV, a world he was using for an Alien Invasion Cypher game. He had some neat ideas about making the game a bit more Survival Horror, and less plucky resistance. Well, Alien Invasion has been something on my mind in the RPG sense for some time. Something I have never gotten to the table. So, sit back, and I’ll tell you MY tale.

Back in the Mid ’90s when I was a freshman in High School I was introduced to two things that consumed a huge portion of my free time. One was Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, the other was a Computer game called X-Com: UFO Defense. (1994 Micropose)   X-Com was a complicated Computer where you controlled an organization trying to find out what the aliens were doing and stop an invasion. In the meat of the game, you controlled soldiers on a tactical map trying to find and kill/capture aliens that were terrorizing the populous or that wandered out of UFOs that you had shot down. The soldiers had names (you could rename them whatever you wanted) had their own stats and were persistent from mission to mission, unless you got them killed. Their deaths were permanent. The similarities between the soldiers in this game and an adventuring party in AD&D were not lost on teenage me. I kept thinking about the stories of these poor soldiers and how I convert X-Com to an RPG to bring to my high school friends.


My ideas of an X-Com style RPG never came to pass back then, however, with the Cypher System I have had a renewed interest in making this game a reality. I have written quite a bit that I wanted to give you all a taste of. Once I get my hands on CSR2 I might try to make my ideas of an Alien Invasion setting I call “Grey Matter” into a reality. Continue reading “Grey Matter – Alien Invasions in RPGS”