The craft opened and from within emerged an alien life-force. As we watched in a bizarre mix of horror and curiosity, the strange creature from beyond our planet…
I was wondering this morning why it is that in the pantheon of aliens traversing the stars in media such as movies and TV, most are categorically lumped into what are obviously two silos of alien manifestation and depiction:
- The Star Trek/Star Wars alien dichotomy where sentient beings are typically hominid in design with non-humanoids being mostly relegated to a lesser status. Granted there are a few exceptions, but this description is sufficient for our 30,000 foot view of the question.
- The Lovecraft alien take where all lifeforms outside our small cosmically backward, backwater planet are essentially foreign and dangerous in both form and function. Which is arguably less easy to describe but far more likely considering how alien some creatures here on Earth can seem at times.
And that got me wondering a couple of things…
First, I’m curious how aliens are presented at your role playing table.
Do you take your gaming cues from and follow the Trek/Wars alien concept with most aliens being of the humanoid variety?
Do you find your RPG inspiration in a more Lovecraftean model with its strange and terrible creatures from beyond?
Or perhaps you find a healthy mix of the two, sufficient enough to not be listed as generally in either camp.
And second, why?
Do you take your direction from canon material such as is typical (and arguably expected) when running a game in Call of Cthulhu or Star Wars d6?
Is it a matter of ease?
Or perhaps simply one of genre (horror vs. space opera) focus?