Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weekend Write Ups: ALF

Here's another one of my oddball character write-ups. This time it's ALF from the 80's sitcom of the same name. The series focused on typical American family that has it's life turned upside down when an alien crash lands his ship in their garage. Keeping him out of sight of the authorities and the neighbors focus of a lot of the show, which was made more difficult by Alf's exceedingly difficult personality.  The series ran from 1986-1990, and in 1996 there was a follow-up TV movie titled Project ALF.

ALF (aka Gordon Shumway of Melmac)

Awareness 3      Coordination 2   Ingenuity  5
Presence 2         Resolve  4          Strength 2

Alien Organs (5 stomachs)
Immortal (major)
Keen Senses
Technically Adept


Alien Appearance
Last of My Kind
Tiny (minor)

Convince  3

Knowledge 3
Science 3
Subterfuge 3
Survival 2
Technology 4
Transport 4

Story Points: 12
Tech Level: 6

Gordon Shumway is an alien nicknamed ALF (an acronym for Alien Life Form) by the humans that took him in.  ALF's body is covered with fur and he has a rippled snout, facial moles and eight stomachs. His heart is apparently located in his head. He likes to burp and eat cats, and can whistle without opening his mouth. He was born on October 28, 1756 on the Lower East Side of the planet Melmac. Melmac was located six parsecs past the Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster, and had a green sky, blue grass and a purple sun.

ALF was gardener by profession back on his homeworld, but did serve as a reservist member of the Melmac Orbit Guard.  He was fortunate to be off planet at the time when nuclear disaster caused the destruction of his planet. Homeless with a damaged ship, he crash lands in the garage of the Tanner family when his ship locked in on HAM radio signal Willie Tanner was broadcasting. With nowhere to go the Tanner family took him in and helped him adjust to life of Earth and avoid the Air Force's Alien Task Force that was looking for him.

ALF lived with the Tanners for several years. When other survivors of his planet contacted him with information about their newly formed colony, he jumped at the chance to leave. But before he could escape the Alien Task Force caught up with him, and he found himself  a prisoner.

His captivity by the military was not kind to him, which did include various "experiments" on him that were little more than torture. While the senior officers and their pet scientists were downright xenophobic regarding ALF, his Airmen jailers were much more accommodating. They gave him many creature comforts and allowed to turn his cell into the center of a lot of illegal business on base. When one of the senior officers decided of his own accord to have ALF killed, two of the junior officers smuggled him off base.

ALF's fugitive status was relatively short lived, and when returned to the Air Force, the people responsible for his harsh captivity had been removed. He was further granted status of Ambassador to Earth, though after meeting ALF they  have reservations about how good an idea that really was.


In a UNIT campaign, the characters might be more inclined to run into ALF during his military captivity.  After the events in England with the Slitheen and Sycorax attacks, The US military might have to reveal ALF's existence as part of an information exchange. If he's been in their care since 1996 (the year the Project ALF movie was released) the US might end up foisting him upon UNIT just to be rid of him.

ALF's main role is obnoxious troublemaker, his impulsive nature makes him the one to push the big red button on the control panel, or to run off and try to do something on his own when he should be waiting on the rest of the group. His sarcastic nature sometimes gets the better of him, throwing out one of his quips at the most inopportune moments.

ALF does have his good side though, he is quite loyal to his friends and will try to make amends when he realizes he's gone too far. He is also quite the boffin, having created several gadgets over the years including converting Willie Tanner's HAM radio into a galactic communications system. Given the right motivation he could potentially be quite useful on the technical side.

Melmacians age so slowly they have for all practical purposes the Immortality trait. ALF is over two hundred years old, and likely to live for several more centuries. So it's likely the players could run into him on multiple occasions and points in history.

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