Facehugger for Call of Cthulhu

“Return to the place where no one can hear you scream…”

This article contains information on inhabiting your world with the “facehugger” from the Aliens series of movies. Included are: Anatomy, Combat statistics, and recommended sanity losses for encountering them.

A Short Overview

The facehugger, as it has become known, is the creature responsible for spreading the “Alien” menace. It starts out inside an egg. This egg is air tight and impervious and allows the facehugger to survive for hundreds or maybe thousands of years in a stasis-like sleep. While the facehugger may survive inside the egg for Aeons, it is unknown for how long they would survive outside its protection. Eggs are immobile and become firmly attached to the surface where they are laid. The exterior of the eggs are tough, able to withstand intense heat, cold, and the vacuum of space. While the eggs may last long even in environments that humans could not, the exact limitations of the protection the egg provides to the facehugger within is unknown.

After this egg is laid, the facehugger within is aware of its surroundings. Perhaps the egg itself enhances the creature’s senses, or maybe the creature’s own senses are simply that attuned. Either way, it is able to sense motion, heat, light and sound through the egg; perhaps even more. These receptive senses are required, since the primary job of the facehugger is to impregnate other living creatures with an “Alien” embryo. When the facehugger, living within the egg, detects a living creature nearby, the egg opens, revealing the facehugger, allowing it to spring forth and attack.

Anatomy of the Facehugger

The facehugger appears to humans as some kind of arachnid, for it has eight finger-jointed legs attached to its main trunk, arranged four on each side. There is also a long tail like appendage, which is five feet long. If the facehugger has sensing organs, they are either not exposed or not distinguishable from the rest of hard tan colored skin that covers the creature.

The facehugger’s mobility is greater than that of its prey. It is uses all legs and tail during movement and is able to climb and leap, as well as run. It moves across floors and over or around any object at blinding speeds. Easily, it can overtake a human; children and the infirmed stand little chance to outrun it.

The facehugger’s job is to attach itself to a host creature. The legs are long enough to wrap the head of a human, and the tail constricts the victim’s neck. While attached to a host’s face, it moves to impregnate the still living host with an embryo of an “Alien.” The impregnation occurs via a long tube-like organ which it inserts through the mouth of the host. This tube extends into the stomach where the embryo is inserted.

During the impregnation phase of the facehugger’s life it is oblivious to world around it. Its primary job of implanting the embryo now underway, the facehugger can still detect attacks against it. If the creature is  threatened or damaged it will abort the impregnation and kill the host creature.

Once the victim has been impregnated, the facehugger will detach itself, run off a ways, curl up, and die. The victim is free for a short time of additional horror or ill health effects. Sometime later though when the embryo has grown large and strong enough, it will violently burst through the rib cage of the victim and emerge from its host’s body in a shower of gore.

The Facehugger in Combat

The facehugger has no real offensive weaponry. Its goal during combat is always the same: to attach to the intended host and impregnate it with an embryo. It will avoid damaging the host creature as much as possible, using its great speed and strength to overcome and immobilize its victim.

Facehugger – “Alien” Impregnator

Lesser Servitor

Str: 1d4 + 18

Dex: 1d4 + 20

Con: 2d4 + 4

Siz: 3

DB: 0

HP: 5-8

Sanity Loss: 1/1d4


Climb 60%

Dodge 75%

Hide 75%

Jump 90%

Listen 50%

Sneak 50%

Track 70%

Blood Spray 75% (see below for details)

The attacks of the facehugger should be resolved on the resistance table, pitting the facehugger’s strength vs. that of the intended host. The host may receive assistance from other nearby investigators and the keeper should decide how much assistance they can provide. The facehugger will always attack if within range of a human. It will continue to do so until it is killed or trapped,  or until it succeeds in overcoming a human.

For each round spent in combat with the facehugger, a victim will receive scratches, be whipped by the facehugger’s tail, or be choked. The facehugger is not attempting to kill the prey, but still this struggle results in 1 point of damage inflicted on the victim per round.

If the intended host fails a resistance roll the facehugger attaches to the victim’s head. The victim enters a coma like state and cannot move, see, hear, or speak. If the facehugger loses more than half its hit points while attached to a victim it will kill the victim (by strangulation), detach itself and try to escape.

The facehugger has no armor, although it does have a single passive defensive mechanism. Its blood is a powerful acid. This is discovered when investigators attack and harm the creature, and if the creature’s skin is punctured or cut in a violent manner (i.e.: gunshots or knife wounds) the acid blood will spray out, coating everything nearby. Blunt attacks or fire based attacks will not cause a significant spray from the wound although in the case of blunt attacks the bleeding may damage or ruin the weapon used. Treat this spray as an attack with base chance to succeed of 75% with typical modifications for range. Since the spray is unpredictable, a separate attack roll should be made for each target within range. The amount of acid that hits the target depends on the damage the creature took that generated the spray.

Range: Short Medium Long
Distance in feet: 0-2 3-4 5-6
Damage Caused on round 1: damage taken times 2 damage taken damage taken divided by 4

The acid sticks to what it hits and continues to cause damage. For each round after the first the target takes one-half the damage (rounded down) taken in the previous round. Once this number results in zero damage being inflicted the acid has lost its effectiveness and stops causing damage.

(Example: Locksher Moans is in mortal struggle with a facehugger, he is holding onto it and has kept it from attaching itself this round. Vincent Armstrong uses a .38 revolver and shoots the creature while it is in Locksher’s hands. Vincent inflicts 6 points of damage to the creature, which is enough to kill it. The keeper rolls the attack for the acid spray for Locksher and the attack hits. On that round, Locksher takes 12 points of damage from the acid. On the second, third, and fourth rounds he would take an additional: 6, 3, and 1. On the fifth round the acid, now expended, would no longer cause damage. Locksher could have survived had he perhaps tossed the creature away from him, prior to Vincent’s gunfire, or if Vincent only caused a few points of damage to it. In this case however, the acid kills him.)

The Sanity (and insanity) Factor

Much of the “Alien” menace is truly that; utterly alien, regardless of when in time the creature is encountered. Below, are suggested values for sanity loss, where facehugger hijinks are involved.

Spotting a facehugger: 1/1d4

Seeing the facehugger attach to a victim: 0/1d4

Realizing the creature has acid for blood (for the first time only): 0/1d4

Seeing the new “Alien” burst from inside the host: 1/1d6

Witnessing the entire process while it happens to a friend: 1/1d6 (additional)

Killing a person you know is impregnated: 1/1d6

Waking up and realizing YOU are impregnated: 1/1d10


Since it is known to attach not only to human hosts but also other similar sized mammals, and since the resulting “Alien” is always based, in part on the host, it is reasonable to assume that other “types” of the facehugger alien may exist. Perhaps they may be larger or smaller, sized to implant other creatures, or maybe they adapt or grow with additional forms of weaponry to combat unimaginable natural predators.

Note: The facehugger and the Aliens movies are copyrighted by 20th Century Fox and its related entities. References to them in this article are used without explicit permission.

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