Following their tightly-written Chariot of the Gods cinematic module for the Alien roleplaying game (reviewed here), Free League Publishing have released their next standalone module; Destroyer of Worlds.
Ever wanted to be a colonial marine? This is the game for you. If the Chariots of the Gods cinematic module delivered the Alien experience, then The Destroyer of Worlds is their love letter to Aliens. This boxed module includes everything that GMs need to run the module, including maps of the settings, pregenerated character sheets and new character motive cards.
The story of The Destroyer of Worlds follows a squad of colonial marines as they are assigned to capture four soldiers that are absent without leave (AWOL). However, as with all things Alien, things soon go from the bad, to worse, and then even worse. In this regard, The Destroyer of Worlds delivers the full Aliens experience.
The module builds to a fantastic climax that is so evocative of Aliens. As with all cinematic modules for the Alien roleplaying game, players should not expect all of the characters to survive. The module states “If anyone survived,” which indicates the challenge that players will be facing.
As with all of the other Alien: The Roleplaying Game releases, the art is fantastic and the art editor should be justifiably praised for their attention to detail. The box art is particularly atmospheric and the module gives room to appreciate the internal illustrations. It never feels crammed or too small to make out the details.
What I particularly liked about The Destroyer of Worlds is that it includes everything that the GM needs to run the game. Statistics for each of the antagonists are all there, along with pregenerated character sheets, The page numbers referencing where certain rules can be found are given for the both Core rulebook and Starter Set rulebook.
The maps are also fantastically designed, harkening back to the wireframe neon of the layouts from Aliens. These neat little touches further add to the mood and impressiveness of the game. The maps are so well designed that they could be easily transferred by enterprising GMs in to other Alien storylines.
That said, The Destroyer of Worlds is a huge module and not for the faint hearted, as it is a sprawling storyline set over three arcs in multiple locations. The structure of the module does not help matters, as it sets out the locations before explaining the proposed three arcs of the storyline. It would have made easier reading if the intended story arcs were presented first, giving GMs an understanding of what is expected to happen.
Structure aside, The Destroyer of Worlds is gorgeous to look at, as the format and internal layout is incredibly evocative of the mood. Character statistics and GM narration each have their own formatting, making for easy reading when the GM needs to find a particular role
The two-page spreads of artwork within the module were particularly impressive. There was no need for them to be there, but they sold the mood of what was happening in the game and could be easily be shown to players in a “this is what you see” moment.
Aside from minor complaints about the structure of the module, The Destroyer of Worlds is a fantastic addition to an already excellent roleplaying game that GMs can run as a one-off “event” game. To quote Aliens; “This time it’s war,” and The Destroyer of Worlds completely delivers in that regard.