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Prometheus, Viewed As A Roleplaying Game - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal
June 18th, 2012
10:39 am


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Prometheus, Viewed As A Roleplaying Game

GM RIDLEY SCOTT: So you’ve all been in cryosleep for two years now, on a mysterious mission to the stars.  Your bodies lie in capsules, tended to by -


SCOTT: What?

FASSBENDER: I’M A ROBOT OH BOY!  I never need to sleep.  I’m gonna spend the whole trip watching movies, and running around the ship, and playing X-Box… It’s so cool!  Wait!  Does the ship have a gym?

SCOTT: …I guess.

FASSBENDER: I’m gonna ride a bike and shoot hoops!  Because I’M A ROBOT!  How do I do when I shoot?  Huh?  Tell me how I did.  I bet I did awesome!!!!!

SCOTT (rolls some dice): Sure.  You get it through the net.

FASSBENDER: I do it again!  Look at these stats on my character sheet!  They’re through the roof!  Being a robot is awesome.  I bet you wish YOU guys were all robots…

CHARLIZE THERON (whispering to fellow player STRINGER BELL): Hey, am I a robot?  I can never make sense of these character sheets.

SCOTT: Okay, yeah, Fassbender, you make a lot of hoops.  Then the ship shudders to a stop and everyone wakes up.  Your bodies cry out for nutrients…

STRINGER BELL: I smoke a cigar and set up a Christmas tree.

SCOTT: …what?  This is an enclosed spaceship!  Where the hell did you get a Christmas tree?

STRINGER BELL: Right on my inventory sheet.  I come prepared.  You’ll also see I have three freeze-dried Chihuahuas, a can of shark repellent, a case full of silly string, and a tin full of Mexican jumping beans in my left pocket.

SCOTT: Okay.  You set up a Christmas tree.



SCOTT: So you all meet inside the gymnasium.


SCOTT: No, you do not.  You’ve never met these people before.  Now you have to introduce yourself.

SCARY TATTOOED GUY FIFIELD: Wait a minute, we’ve never met each other?  Weren’t we all in cryosleep on a multimillion dollar mission into space?  Didn’t we at least have some kind of pre-ship meeting?


FIFIELD: What, did they wheel us onto the ship in cryosleep?


SCOTT: See?  Mikey wheeled you all.  That’s how it works.  In space.

THERON: Christ, Ridley, it’s a roleplaying cliché if we all meet at the inn when the plot-coupon guy hands us an adventure… but at least that makes sense.  As adventurers, we’d be drinking at the Inn.  We didn’t take some techno-roofies and lay down in a vaccubed to be shanghaied seventy million lightyears into space, only THEN to be told what the fuck we’re up to.

SCOTT (grumbling): Like you girls know anything about roleplaying.  Girls don’t do anything.  They don’t even give birth in this campaign.


SCOTT: Nothing.  So you’re all at the Inn…. I mean the gym….


MILLBURN: Whafuck, there are DEAD ALIENS here in the compound?  That shit’s bad news.  I’m leaving.

THERON (facepalming): Millburn, you’re a biologist.  This is the first non-Earth biological structure you’ve ever laid eyes on.  This should be your holy fucking grail.  Why do you want to leave?

MILLBURN (waving character sheets): Look at this guy!  I’ve got no combat stats at all!  I’m toast in combat.

FIFIELD: Holy crap, you’re right.  Who the hell gave me 90% skill level in – what the hell is geology?

SCOTT (facepalming): The study of rocks.

FIFIELD: Why the hell would anyone wanna look at pebbles?  I wanted to bring weapons here!  I’m all bad-ass!  I have tattoos and a scraggly beard, and you’re telling me I’m not ju-jitsu expert, just the master of dirt?

MILLBURN: Yeah, screw this noise, let’s go back to the ship.  I’m not gonna get myself killed.

SCOTT: Fine.  You go back to the ship.

FIFIELD: So what’s happening there?

SCOTT: Nothing.  It’s the ship.  All the adventure’s over in the, you know, deeply alien complex I made this gigantic map of.

MILLBURN: You’re telling me there’s nothing to do back here?


MILLBURN: Shut UP, Mikey.  All right, fine.  We go back to the alien complex and wander around.

THERON (horrified): Do you… Want to tell anyone where you go?  Radio in?  So people know what happened to you after you left?

MILLBURN: Nah, we’re cool.



STRINGER BELL: So, you wanna have sex?

THERON: You know, I think this is what passes for character development in this game.  Why not.

FASSBENDER: THIS SLIME IS SO COOL.  What happens if I feed it to Holloway?

SCOTT: Wait a minute, you find the alien muck that you don’t know what it does, on the same ship with your ailing master who you’re programmed to protect at all costs, and you’re just going to… Feed it to someone?  In the hopes of what?

FASSBENDER: I’m a ROBOT, man! I don’t think human!

HOLLOWAY: Wait a minute, I don’t want to eat alien slime.


SCOTT: Yep.  He bamboozles you.  Down your hatch the alien slime goes.

HOLLOWAY:  What?  I don’t even get a save?

SCOTT: It was a very good roll.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, for Christ’s sake.  Charlize is right.  Hey, Noomi, you wanna have sex?

NOOMI RAPACE: Baby, let’s make character development all night long.


FIFIELD: GOD, this game’s boring.  So they went back to the ship and didn’t tell us?

THERON: You didn’t tell us where you went!

FIFIELD: At least you’re having sex.  If I’d known I could have had sex with you, I would have totally spammed that attack, if you get my drift.

MILLBURN: Okay, we found some more dead bodies, and there was some kind of blip over there, and so now what?

SCOTT:  It’s an abandoned alien complex.  It’s been dormant for two thousand years.  There’s not that much to do.

MILLBURN:  Fuck, man, throw us a bone.  Make a roll on the wandering monster table or something!

SCOTT: Fine.  Fine.  You want random fucking monsters?  Okay, a… A deadly alien snake rises from the muck.  It looks like a cobra, flaring its hood at you and swaying back and forth.


SCOTT: It eats you.

MILLBURN: Man, that is so UNFAIR.


SCOTT: All right, Noomi, that was some pretty amazing work.  You exit the autodoc, stomach stapled, alien extracted.  I totally thought you were hosed.

NOOMI: I find Mikey.  Fucking Mikey.

FASSBENDER: HI NOOMI!  YOU’RE AWESOME!  That was so cool, the whole “zip” and “snap” and “slurp” thing!

NOOMI: Now I’m going to kill you.


NOOMI: Because you just tried to kill me.  By implanting an alien baby inside of me.  I assume you’re either trying to destroy me personally, or are generating aliens as part of an elaborate biowarfare program.



FASSBENDER: I just wanted to see what would happen.  Dude, it’s cool, you’re alive, I’m alive, now let’s go meet a alien!  I found a frozen one.

NOOMI: …how did you wake it up?

FASSBENDER: I pressed a LOT of buttons.  They went beep!

NOOMI: What are you going to do when you meet the alien?

FASSBENDER: I’m going to tell it that my dad wants to lick it.  ‘CAUSE I’M A ROBOT.

NOOMI: This I gotta see.


SCOTT: So you kneel in front of Weyland, in service, and clasp his hand.

THERON: I’ll do what you want…. (pauses dramatically) …father.

(Entire group GROANS in anguish.)

FIFIELD: You really went there, Charlize?  Calling him Dad?

THERON: SOMEBODY has to roleplay here, you ass!

SCOTT: You shut up.  I think it’s cool.  Fine, Charlie, he’s your dad.

FIFIELD: 1979 just called, man.  It wants its plot twist back.

SCOTT: Will you shut your pie-hole?  You’re ruining my game!

FIFIELD: I’M ruining it?!?  Dude, I’ve been dead for an hour now!  I’m bored!  Way to DM, lameface.

SCOTT: What do you want me to do?  You fell in acid and DIED.  There’s not much to do after you’re dead.

FIFIELD: …what if I came back as an alien zombie, revengeous for blood, and attacked the ship?

SCOTT: That makes no sense.  On the other hand, I did stat all of these NPCs who I never gave names to.  Okay, fine, roll it up.


SCOTT: All right, Charlize and Noomi!  The alien ship is tumbling from the sky, landing on you.  It’s falling in a completely straight line.

NOOMI: I juke left.

THERON: So do I.


THERON: …what?

FASSBENDER: You’re probably a robot, too!  That’s how you find out!  I bet you run real super-fast, like a rocket, when your life is in danger!

THERON: But the ship will crush me.


THERON: …fine.  It’s not like I’m missing out on all the excellent plot twists if I die.  Ridley, what happens if I run in a straight line?

SCOTT: You get squished.



SCOTT: Okay, so the pilot and his two friends killed themselves out of boredom, Fifield and Millburn killed themselves out of boredom, and the only people left are Noomi, and -


SCOTT: Noomi, you wanna play again?

NOOMI: Can I stuff Mikey’s head in a bag so he shuts up?

SCOTT: God yes.

NOOMI: I’ll be here next week.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/220646.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.

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(25 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)

Prometheus, the RPG

User zoethe referenced to your post from Prometheus, the RPG saying: [...] You must go read Ferrett's reimagining of Prometheus as a role-playing game [...]
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
Between you, Cavalorn, and Film Critic Hulk I've now definitely had my money's worth for the ticket I bought.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 01:33 pm (UTC)
It's a terribly fascinating failure.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
It is. I think that if it was another Transformers 2 then nobody would care - but because it dresses up in "I am important!" clothes, looks great, and has bits that do work, the ways it doesn't work automatically become more interesting.
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)

Actually the speculation isn't that the character "Meredith Vickers" was a robot. The speculation is that Charlize Theron is an android. (She's too hot not to be...)

[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
The speculation is that Charlize Theron is an android.


and yeah Film Critic Hulk was worth suffering ALL CAPS for (which, of course can, in this case, be forgiven cos, y'know HULK!)
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Android? "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Charlize Theron as a Gynoid, that I could buy.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
You young kids, always trying to modren-ify words!

Noun: (in science fiction) A robot with a human appearance.

Gynoid (from Greek γυνη, gynē - woman) Anything which resembles a woman.

So, she's probably both.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 10:41 am (UTC)
[pedant]Well, if you're going to go back to the Greek for the meaning of modern-use sci-fi terminology, then -she- couldn't be an ANDRoid, as that's the male form of Gynoid (and notwithstanding the 'default' since 'male' and 'human' are often used as synonymous when creating scifi jargon from Greek prefixes and suffixes).[/pedant]
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
I think we have two competing tendencies. The first is that words are NOT defined solely by their etymology. Andriod has a long-standing use to mean "humanoid robot", and from a linguistic point of view, it's not incorrect to do so, even though the original meaning came from "male".

One could also use the greek term "android" to refer to any male-human-oid, or "gynoid" to refer to any female-human-oid, but to do so is very rare because of the potential for confusion.

There is also a systematic problem in society of portraying male as the "default" gender, so apparently genderless robots are often seen as male more than female. There are two sensible responses to this:

* embrace androids as truly gender neutral, or make sure there's a balance of androids-that-could-be-male and androids-that-could-be-female
* revive "gynoid" in opposition to "android" to make explicit that there are both female and male artificial humans.

Unfortunately, these reasonable responses are opposed.

So I think there are reasonable arguments for these usages, but I'm not sure one usage is the "official" usage enough to say that people preferring another usage are "wrong"... :)
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
We should discuss the semantics like civilized anthropoids.
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
You forgot the part where Damon Lindelof keeps trying to co-GM, so as to enforce his Big Cosmic Agenda(tm).
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)

straight line?

i just saw the movie again yesterday and the ship did NOT fall in a straight line. it, in fact, kept changing its rotation. which led me to this conclusion:
the Pilot was still alive, right...wouldn't it fit his "fuck you, oo-mans!" schtick if, even after his ship was rammed, he'd still try and manoeuvre to crush at least one of the apelings?

Edited at 2012-06-18 05:29 pm (UTC)
Date:June 18th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)

David doesn't like humans. He is also curious.

He particularly doesn't like Charlie, who talks shit and treats him like he's got milk blood. The best lab rat is a lab rat you hate.
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
Fantastic. And Fassbender reads like a lot of con-gamers I've had the misfortune to GM for.
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)

No title

User coyotegoth referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] gives us this spoiler-drenched reimagining of Prometheus as an RPG [...]
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Priceless! Saving throws for everyone! Oops, they all fail.

Dr. Phil
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
I'm gonna troll you now. Ready? Ready to be trolled? Here we go:

"How come the white actors get names, even Noomi Rapace, or at least their character names from this movie, but the black guy has to be listed as Stringer Bell? Idris Elba isn't good enough to have his own name?"

Bam! Trolled!

Edited at 2012-06-19 12:55 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 08:22 am (UTC)
I did wonder..
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think it's because Stringer Bell was the only character who had enough, you know character to make an impact on Ferrett and therefore the only one whose character name he remembered.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)

The ironic thing is, it's probably a worthy troll, but I'm just going along with a joke I don't even understand. I saw like four of my friends refer to the captain as Stringer Bell, to the point where I thought it was his name, and then when I was looking at the IMDB page to find out who was who, I saw that apparently "Stringer Bell" is a character from the Wire.

Which I've never seen.

So I went with it. Heh.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 11:35 am (UTC)
"let’s make character development all night long" is a bloody brilliant turn of phrase.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
Holy shit, Ferrett! This is fucking brilliant!

It makes PERFECT SENSE now.

Seriously, you've just erased weeks' worth of cognitive dissonance.
[User Picture]
Date:June 21st, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
This is made of win and awesome and badly needs to be reblogged. Everywhere.
[User Picture]
Date:June 28th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
Well done, sir. I didn't have an urge to see the film and now, I can just say your version entertained me more that it ever would.
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