Target: Alice was a ridiculously ill-thought-out campaign done in an attempt to do a quick-and-dirty d20 Modern campaign setup by one asshole DM. The main goal of it was to come up with a quick adventure to be run over several days and help a few players that were inexperienced with the system get more accustomed to it, with mixed results. Since none of us had anything else to run at the moment, and our group had recently completed a marathon of the Resident Evil movie series, jokes began that we should set up a campaign based on trying to stop Alice, the RE Movie series' notorious Mary Sue. At some point after far too much drinking, a DM was appointed and, bad ideas abound, the group set up to hash out the game during our upcoming holiday break.
At no point was the campaign intended to be taken seriously beyond its core premise and setup. A lot of the campaign made heavy use of existing monster entries from the d20 Modern enemies section, with most of the human opponents simply ordinaries taken from the same. Monsters that didn't quite have an analogue, such as Hunters, Lickers, and Mr. X we simply found analogues for in the monster section and Menace Manual and altered them accordingly. Essentially a dumb idea with a framework of story bolted on, our group got their characters together, and went forth.
The core premise of the campaign was pretty simple: Alice from the movie series is widely considered one of the worst Mary Sues in existence. The term gets thrown around a lot, but it rarely has quite as good a foil as Alice, though there is some question as to whether the character's being as bad as she is is intentional, a side-effect of the movie series basically existing to keep the Director's wife employed, or if it's just incompetence at the core of it all. My take was all of the above at various points; she starts out pretty normal in the first movie only to have the ability to kill someone with mind bullets through video cameras in the second.
The central premise of the campaign was to flip the usual paradigm of a team of crack commandos going out to deal with a nightmare situation (E.G. Kill Team) and instead throw the group intentionally against opponents they'd be outmuscled and out-powered against, necessitating teamwork and care. This appealed to the party, who tended to like thinking their way through problems but also had a tendency to snort pure Colombian insanity in the most abrupt way possible and the weirdest times - so there was every chance this could result in a TPK due to how d20 modern's rules worked (a setting where an ill-timed crit can trigger massive damage threshold and wipe you out), and just how overpowered Alice could be in the movies.
Eventually a series of basic character sheets were made for the Alice clones (level 15-25) were drawn up and one for the actual one (Level 30). Some basic templates were drawn up to cover some of the ridiculous advantages Alice had in the movies, as well. For the actual areas laid out, we recycled a few maps from previous official and unofficial modules, (including one map from Gamma World).
The Alice clones weren't designed like normal critters. Ignoring one player's suggestion that I just make them all 18/everything by default, I wound up giving the clones a base-set of statistics (all 14s/15s/16s/17s/18s depending on clone level). They also gained a Natural Armor Bonus of +1/+2/+3/+4/+5 based on clone level, and were also immune to poison and disease.
Alice Clones of Alpha or Beta level may have one of the following traits. A Gamma may have up to two, Omega three, and Prime has them all.
- Fast Healing (Ex): The Alice Clone benefits from an unusual mutation that closes her wounds rapidly. She gains Fast Healing 1/2/3/4/5 based on Clone Level (Alpha/Beta/Gamma/Omega/Prime), healing that much every round. As a drawback, her massive damage threshold is reduced by 4. The Alice clone also heals ability damage at a rate of 1 point per minute.
- Adrenal Surge (Ex): Once a day as a free action, the Alice Clone can increase its strength and dexterity scores, but at the cost of reducing its saving throws accordingly. Whilst this ability is in effect, the Alice Clone gains a +4 bonus to Strength and Dexterity, but takes a -2 penalty on all saving throws. The surge lasts a number of rounds equal to the Alice Clone's level. Following an ability surge, the Alice Clone is fatigued (-2 Strength and Dexterity, unable to run) for as many rounds as the Surge was in effect, but it can negate this penalty by spending an action point.
- Psionic Focus (Ex): The Alice Clone is much more attuned to her psychic abilities than normal, and as such can make better use of them. The Alice Clone counts as naturally psionic, giving her +2 power points and enabling her to take psionic classes without the Wild Talent feat. When manifesting a power, the Alice Clone can spend an action point to increase the damage of a damaging power by an amount equal to her manifesting ability modifier (usually Charisma).
- Energy Resistance (Ex): The Alice Clone gains resistance 20 to one energy type (Fire/Cold/Electricity/Acid/Sonic). This ability can be taken multiple times, each time taking a different kind of energy. Alice Prime gets resistance to them all.
- Damage Reduction (Ex): The Alice Clone gains damage reduction 1/-,2/-,3/-,4/-,5/- based on clone level (again, Alpha/Beta/Gamma/Omega/Prime).
Additionally, all Alices counted as Aberrations, had the standard Aberration traits (including darkvision). The clones and the characters were really the only characters with any real amount of time put into 'em, and the idea was that the players would be handling each Alice clone like a boss fight, with everything that entails.
The team we had were a mix of d20 Modern veterans with a few rookies who generally understood D&D but hadn't had much experience with other d20 system games. The Vets helped the newcomers create characters and I let the players use any splatbook I had with the only stipulation being that I disallowed the Plus feats from d20 Future (since they allowed players to easily grab traits from other classes and reach Advance classes way too early). The party started level 10, and while I was expecting some especially bizarre character setups, in the end they went with a pretty straightforward group consisting of a Soldier, Telepath, Medic, and Tracer. The idea we had was that the entire team would be from the BSAA and sent in to deal with Alice because they don't see a difference between the Waifu and the walking dead. The newcomers also had their characters drawn up but due to a schedule conflict weren't able to get in on the session until day three (close to the end), but their characters included several more d20 Future characters, including a Dreadnought, and Bughunter, and one from Urban Arcana, a Shadow Hunter.
The party wound up having two deaths across the campaign, one more permanent than the other (thanks to the Medic).
The entire group deserve props for putting up with this ridiculous campaign and the nonsense we caused during it.
Afterword and ApologiesEdit
I wound up removing the mission log synopsis the campaign had for a few reasons, not the least of which being that two of my players brought up that I got a lot of things that happened wrong during it, that I blended in several other bits from another campaign we ran by accident (one player mentioned an encounter with a Webspinner and running like hell, which I simply didn't remember in the original synopsis). With the logs I had from the campaign lost in a move, and the game itself taking place almost a decade ago, I've no way to verify that a lot of the campaign's events happened the way I remembered them - and since the logs are lost I might well be remembering parts of the entire thing wrong. While some embellishing over silly shit that happened in an ill-advised terrible campaign could be expected, the players deserve better than that. More importantly, a few anonymous fa/tg/uys were quite correct with the section below: a reminder to everyone that, yes, the campaign was absolutely idiotic, and that more effort (and booze) were put into this than was ever truly necessary. It's a staunch cautionary reminder that there's times you just shouldn't take things as seriously as one does, and the result of failing to remember this will only be just as stupid.
At least it can be entertaining stupid.
Wise Words of WisdomEdit
With Target: Alice being basically a poorly written fanfiction; A piece fueled by the anger of the DM over a fictional character - and disguised as homebrew d20 campaign, it was probably only time until an outsider with no real expertise of the Resident Evil series or the movies that our subject matter came from would find this article. As cringy and terrible it is to have a self-insert character run around in a movie doing seriously stupid things that disrespect the main demographic of the series, it is also quite hilarious at times to see the product of such bitter annoyance in such an extreme case. Much like viewing a clip of an enthusiastic Star-wars fan saying that they want to hit George Lucas over the head with shovel, this article is amusing until the reality sinks in that this is all about a series of movies that were probably seen by very niche set of people. As horrendous as the Resident Evil movies were, Target: Alice is still reads as some guys fantasy of mass murdering some chick most people don't give a fuck about blended together with really horrible decisions and hilarity.