This picture highlights the fundamental difficulty in mimicking something like Dead Space — if one of them is that close to you and you are not aware of it, you are probably dead. So how can we create this tension?
My working thought is to structure each adventure (or mission) as a Dramatic Task and use scenes instead of die rolls (see Turkey Run). If we think about Issac Clark’s missions, they all revolve around him trying to get some other task done while everything is going to hell. One would draw a card for each scene to see if there is a Complication (so GM has the Main Scene (with Failure, Success, Raise all defined) and a Complication ready).
For combat scenes, Chases are the way to go. They are abstract but still combat driven. Just allow the range penalties to apply to melee attacks for the Necromorphs. This gives the players the feeling of movement but never knowing if something else is going to happen. Then it is just a matter of diversifying the options:
- Flee – PCs have to survive 5 rounds of the Chase
- Stasis gives PCs +2 on next Chase Roll to draw cards
- Fight – 4 rounds are Chase, the 5th round is the Final Combat Scene (in essence, the PCs have to fight the Necros up close and personal to finish them off)
- If a Necro gets to you, then you are considered grappled. Like a Lich, only To Hit is needed to inflict damage. PC has to called shot (-4) to kill the Necro with a finishing move. Other have to kill the thing before it kills the PC
- Stasis acts as Slow
- Can use Telekinesis as well (save Ammo)
- The penalty from the Cards has any called shot penalty built in
- Can vary number of rounds
- After fighting the same type a few times, might use normal combat scenes
- Necros are Henchman (3 wounds, no wild die or bennies)