Men in Black: ALF on deck

The third “Men in Black” film opens today, and Comics on the Brain is happy to dig back through it’s days to recover some files from our days on GeoCities. Once again, we look at some material we created for the “Men in Black Role-Playing Game,” a fun D6-based system that offered fans a chance to become agents of the alien-monitoring Earth organization.

Read another “MIB RPG” entry here.

In this addition, we look at one of the most sinister aliens living among us. You know him as that lovable puppet from the 1980s. Yes, we’re talk about the schemes of ALF. (actual opening credits)


NAME: Gordon Shumway
OCCUPATION: Talent agent and actor
SPECIES: Melmacian
HEIGHT: 1.1 meters
WEIGHT: 38 pounds
AGE: 245 (Born in 1756)

Reflexes . . . 2D+1
—-Dodge 3D
—-Piloting 3D+2
Coordination . . . 2D
—-Lockpicking 2D+2
—-Sleight of Hand 2D+1
Endurance . . . 1D+1
—-Sport: Bouiliabaseball 4D+2
—-Sport Skleenball 3D
Strength . . . 2D
Knowledge . . . 2D+1
—-Alien Tech 3D
—-Computer Ops 2D+2
—-Linguistics 3D+2
Perception . . . 2D
—-Hide 3D
—-Conceal 2D+2
—-Languages (all Earth Dialects) 4D
Confidence . . . 6D
—-Con 7D
—-Streetwise 6D+2
Charisma . . . 6D
—-Charm 6D+2
—-Persuasion 7D+1

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Adaptive Language (see Alien Race: Melmacian)
USELESS SKILLS: Knows 32 recipes for cat. Former runway model. Former used spaceship salesman (Knows the ins and outs of all Phlegm models).

The alien known as Gordon Shumway crash landed in Los Angeles shortly
after the planet Melmac exploded, and quickly started assimilating into
Earth society. First, he got “adopted” by an Earth family, and then he
started making in-roads in the entertainment business.

About 3 years
after his landing, Shumway officially “outed” himself to Earthlings at large, by starring in a
TV network sitcom.

Press releases from the show told the public that Shumway
wasn’t really an alien, but a puppet, similar to those utilized in “The
Muppet Show.” Surprising critics and Hollywood Insiders alike, the show,
called “ALF,” became an instant hit.

Shumway’s popularity shot
through the roof, and among Hollywood circles, it became generally known
that Shumway was indeed an alien. Once this came to light, he became a
popular party host at his mansion in Beverly Hills and even had an open-ended guest spot on the game show “Hollywood Squares.” Most recently, Shumway
starred in a television advertisement for a telephone company and hosted his own late-night talk show.

Shumway has generally avoided the limelight for nearly 10 years, he has
been active in the entertainment business as a talent agent for aliens
appearing in films, video games and television.  This unique role has served Shumway
well. His net worth is in the millions, and he has at least three
space-worthy vehicles at his disposal.

The big concern MiB has with
Shumway is his treatment of his fellow aliens. In interviews with his
clients, MiB agents have had some strange encounters. At certain times,
the alien actors are positively ecstatic to work with Shumway, at other
times, they make disparaging  and bitter remarks about the Melmacian. In
fact, in the last year, MiB has investigated at least three mysterious
deaths that have been linked to Shumway. Sources say that in 1992,
Shumway used his power and influence to strong-arm a group of alien
actors who had taking refuge at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch. The
situation ended when MiB broke up a near-riot between Shumway’s goons
and a smaller group led by Ricky Wellenblat (known for his title role in
“E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial”). With some legal manuevering, Shumway
avoided deportation and began a dispute with Wellenblat that exists to
this day. (Most of Wellenblat’s group was deported off planet.)

As a
way to “give back to the alien community,” Shumway has worked for alien
rights. He even appeared before a Senate subcommittee on alien
immigration. Whether or not he truly believes in this cause remains to
be seen.

PERSONALITY: For the most part, Shumway is a
likeable, friendly alien with a very public persona. However, digging
just a little below the surface of the personality popularized by his
show, agents are likely to find a tough-as-nails businessman. Despite
that, Shumway has a great sense of humor and he only resorts to more
sinister means when all else fails.

Shumway is normally not armed. He leaves that to his bodyguards,
usually three or more Grilbachs (MiB Alien Recognition Guide Vol. 1


HEIGHT: 1 meter to 1.5 meters

WEIGHT: 30 to 60 lbs

Reflexes 2D/4D
Coordination 2D/4D
Strength 1D/3D
Endurance 1D/3D
Knowledge 2D/5D
Perception 2D/5D
Confidence 2D/6D
Charisma 2D/6D

STARTING DICE POOLS: 24D for Attributes and 7D for Skills

Dodge, Lock Picking, Alien Tech, Computer Ops, Forgery, Scholar,
Artist, Business, Hide, Language, Con, Streetwise, Willpower, Charm,

have a marvelous gift for learning new languages, and get a +2D
Language bonus to any language they’re exposed to for more than 24

Mammalian with a thick
mat of hair in a variety of colors. Their nose ends in an elongated
snout. Ears are thick and somewhat pointy and sit at the top of the
head. Black, rodent-like eyes. Melmacians breathe oxygen and are
comfortable living in any Earth climate. Melmacians tend to enjoy Earth
food, especially domestic shorthair feline.

Melmacians are somewhat charming aliens bent on leeching off others and
loafing around. This life-focus has provided them with amazing social 
and business skills, making them one of the most successful races in the
galaxy. Despite this success, there aren’t actually a whole lot of
Melmacians, probably because of their extremely long lifespans. They
also have a habit of fanning out when among alien races instead of
congregating in large groups, or even family units. This behavior allows live in an almost parastic relationship with other races with relative ease. More motivated Melmacians are
excellent businesspersons, who could sell an ice to an Eskimo or sand to
a Martian.

ON EARTH: The Melmacians on Earth are widely
scattered across the globe, often living off charitable humans who
allow them in their homes. In the distant past, Melmacian visitors were
labeled “goblins” by Earthlings.

DISGUISES: Most natives
of Melmac don’t bother disguising themselves on Earth, a never-ending
annoyance to MiB. Instead, they rely on the fact that they can convince
Earthlings that they’re the only alien on the planet, and their new
human friends ought to keep their secret.


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