3:16 Carnage Amongst The Stars released by BoxNinja

It's at the printers and it's on the web as a PDF so... here's the obligatory official press release.
[Edited to make the title less like shouting. Apols.]
Edinburgh, UK - July 15, 2008 - BoxNinja announces the release of their Science Fiction RPG "3:16 Carnage Amongst The Stars".

Designed by Gregor Hutton (Best Friends) 3:16 is a winner of a High Ronny Award for Games Design. Featuring a stunning cover by Paul Bourne (a|state, Cold City, Hot War) and haunting interiors by Gregor Hutton 3:16 is a visual treat.

This high-octane Science-Fiction role-playing game for 2 or more players has your Space Troopers killing bugs all across the Cosmos. You’ll advance in rank, improve your weapons, slay civilization after civilization and find out who you are through an innovative “Flashback” mechanic.

Terra’s plan is to kill every living thing in the Universe to protect the home world. See where your tour of duty in the 3:16th Expeditionary Force takes you and your friends. Revel in the kill-happy machismo and enjoy a campaign of Carnage Amongst The Stars.

3:16 is a Science-Fiction role-playing game about Carnage Amongst The Stars.

• Take your squad of kill-happy Troopers and annihilate bugs!
• Low preparation, elegant game system.
• Delivers developing campaign play.
• Lavishly illustrated and designed book.
• Winner of a High Ronny Award for Games Design for the original version.

"3:16 is one helluva kick-ass game" - Joe J. Prince, author of Contenders
"Fantastic, gorgeous design" - Ron Edwards, author of Sorcerer
PDF (96 pages, $10)
Available NOW from IndiePressRevolution and OneBookShelf sites.
IPR - https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/product.php?productid=16652
DTRPG - http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=56768
RPGnow - http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=56768

PRINT (96 pages, $20)
Available from IndiePressRevolution from August 1.

See 3:16 at GenCon Indy (14-17 August 2008) on the "Design Matters" Booth (#1940).
NAME OF GAME: 3:16 Carnage Amongst The Stars
AUTHOR: Gregor Hutton
SKU: BOX0316
ISBN: 978-0-9559945-0-0
ILLUSTRATORS: Paul Bourne (cover), Gregor Hutton (interior)
PRICE: $20/£10 (print); $10 (PDF)
SIZE: Digest (8.5" x 5.5", Landscape)
NOTE: Strong Language, Mature Themes, recommended for age 15+
WEB: boxninja.com
COVER IMAGE: http://gregorhutton.com/boxninja/threesixteen/threesixteen-cover.jpg


  • Oh fuck yes.

  • Great news, I just loved the original version !
  • edited July 2008
    Sweet. Congratulations, Gregor!

    EDIT: Dude.
  • What does it mean, "3:16"?
  • I had assumed "3:16" was a biblical reference. John 3:16 is one of the most popular verses in the bible, so I understand.

    Is this not a game based on religion at all?
  • Holy. Fucking. Wow.
  • edited July 2008
    I'm waiting for Gregor to chime in with a mischievous laugh and an explanation that I'm entirely off-base. But here I go...

    John 3:16 is the "gave us His only begotten Son" verse of the Bible that basically says that belief in Jesus is the path to heaven. I can only guess that 3:16 in the game title suggests that humankind is "evangelizing" the other cultures of the universe (to death) with religious zeal.

    Either that, or it's a spoof on the pop culture tendency for everyone to jump on the 3:16 bandwagon and print "John 3:16" on all kinds of stuff that has nothing to do with religion.

    Or Gregor finished his Ronnies entry at 3:16 AM and sent it in. Who knows.

    I guess we'll have to buy the game and see! =)
  • Who did the cover art? It's gorgeous.
  • Posted By: Gregor HuttonFeaturing a stunning cover by Paul Bourne (a|state, Cold City, Hot War)
  • Paul Bourne did Adam.
    It's written in the release statement ;)
  • Isn't it something like the 3rd Battalion of the 16th Division or something like that?

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
  • Congrats Gregor - I cannot wait to pick this one up and kill me some aliens in mass quantities.

    Paul's cover is awesome. You and Malcolm have been keeping him quite busy it seems : )
  • So... I've read the game (PDF) and it's bloody brilliant. As I told Gregor, it looks just like the kind of post-Agon dark space shooty game that I've been in the mood for recently. The style is basically equal parts Starship Troopers and, so I like to imagine, Gregor's childhood moving Warhammer 40K Space Marines around on a table amidst a dimly lit basement somewhere beneath the wild Scottish moors.
  • Jonathan,

    You just sold me on this game.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
  • I remember this back when it was just another entry in another rpg contest.

    Good work, man. You've earned this one.

  • 16th Brigade, 3rd Army, Terran Expeditionary Force

    So..."Terran 3:16 says eat hot plasma, bugs!"
  • It's like 618, but just over half as good.


    P.S. Good luck, it looks great.
  • Congratulations. It's a very nice looking game.
  • Thanks everybody!

    Well, I'd be lying if I said "3:16" was an accidental reference to the Bible, but it comes from three places really.

    (1) "Austin 3:16", from the wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. After beating the born-again gimmicked Jake Roberts to become King of the Ring he said: "You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!"

    (2) John 3:16, as mentioned: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16

    (3) Donald Knuth (who I knew from using TeX/LaTeX) published a book of 59 different 3:16s, that I found fascinating: http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/316.html

    In the game I made 3:16 mean the 16th Brigade of the 3rd Army, and there are other connections to those numbers in the text too (hexadecimal chapter numbers and so on). But it wasn't just a random number.

    The book doesn't mention religion at all, that's up to the players if they want, I guess. Though I do have five "hell"s in there and a lot more f-bombs.

    Thanks to all the folk that gave me feedback on the text and order of things (Ralph Mazza especially, for his detailed comments on the order of the book and its ease of use to him -- I'm convinced it is far easier to use thanks to Ralph's work).

    Also apologies to Joe Prince and Graham Walmsley, who had both asked me only a few months ago about when this would be out. I genuinely thought it wouldn't be done by GenCon, or this year at all, but the final piece fell into place unexpectedly. (Thanks to David Donachie's Solipsist and his elegant way of metering opposition to the PCs -- the solution was really staring me in the face but I hadn't seen it. How many aliens are on the planet? We don't know! You'll find out when you kill them. And there are more aliens to kill when you get better at killing. And a knife is as adept at ending a struggle as a rocket launcher is.)
  • Its just such a beautiful thing .... I must read and re-read it just to drool over the guns .... I mean the system! Yes the system!
  • Just got it. KICK ASS!

    Wow. People who got the free one online: if you liked that one, this is going to blow you away. Well worth the 10 bucks and well done!
  • Uh oh. My wish list just got a little longer.
  • I bought 3:16 on the basis of this thread alone, and after a read through it's going into my "WILL run" pile with Bliss Stage for Anime Weekend Atlanta and, very possibly, DragonCon before that, depending on how my panel scheduling goes. I absolutely adore the focused nature of the game and mechanics and have thought of at least seventy-billion uses for putting it to (Warhammer 40,000 was too obvious; Space Above and Beyond only requires adding a few new weapon descriptors to emphasize you're in a fighter not a uniform and possibly some rank-up vehicles of larger size; Aliens kind of goes without question; my buddy suggested Star Wars with the PCs as Stormtroopers).

    Most entirely excellent and I'm hungrily (HUNGRILY, I tell you!) looking forward to **Sik*.

  • So folks who have seen this game, help me out here. I fucking *loved* Best Friends (in fact I'm playing it again tomorrow). And the cover of 3:16 is certainly evocative.

    But tell me what about this game excites you if you have read or played it. What makes it different than say Warhammer or Space Hulk or Starship Troopers?

    Is it the mechanics? The way the subject matter is dealt with? The way it plays at the table?
  • Yes. I am not, not, not buying another game just because it is shiny. Someone tell me about this game so I can pretend I did it for the system.
  • Posted By: Caesar_XSo folks who have seen this game, help me out here. I fucking loved Best Friends (in fact I'm playing it again tomorrow). And the cover of 3:16 is certainly evocative.

    But tell me what about this game excites you if you have read or played it. What makes it different than say Warhammer or Space Hulk or Starship Troopers?

    Is it the mechanics? The way the subject matter is dealt with? The way it plays at the table?

    In my case, it's the sheer focus of things. It's definitely not a miniatures wargame, despite the fact that the bulk of the mechanics seem to be about counting how many kills you've racked up and managing the threats the GM can throw at you. (In fact, it possibly stands in stark counter-argument to my thesis of "Whatever fills up most of the book will be what the players focus on." Well, that might not be true; shooting things really is what a lot of it's about, but I digress.) What makes 3:16 different is the degree at which abstraction in the mechanics manifest. "How many aliens are in this scene?" is not something decided a priori by the GM. Check your kill count at the end of it, that's how many there were. The GM is responsible for creating the structure and managing the abstract threat while the players have access to Flashbacks (Strengths and Weaknesses) which are essentially narrative interventions that trump the abstract combat to a desired end. By calling on one you can bail the whole team out with a success or get yourself out of it by calling out your weakness.

    I'm really looking forward to playing it with a semi-regular group, just so we can rotate GMing and I can both play and plan. The stories sort of write themselves as characters gain rank and new Orders and responsibilities, without demanding the story goes a certain way. Want a goofy group of misfits who get by on luck and cheese? Want grit and gloom where it's blood and tears and suffering? Sure thing!

    Most of all, though, it's a story-telling game about war stories that looks fun, and damnit, not enough games are fun anymore.

  • Thanks! I will need to snip these quotes for my web page. :-)

    For me, what's the difference between FFG's Dark Heresy, Leading Edge's Aliens, Mongoose's Starship Troopers, etc. and 3:16? Well, I have Dark Heresy and the Inquisitor's Handbook. They look awesome, and they are dripping with all that 40K stuff that I loved from playing in my basement under a Scottish moor (...they have all that great Inquisitor and Sister of Battle stuff that I dig too). But... there's a lot of reading in them, and rules, and skills, and, and, and .... and, dammit, I want to play a Space Marine already!

    3:16 cuts to the heart of the matter I think and is much quicker to get into play. I like to think it's easier on the GM too. As a player I just want to smoke 2d10 aliens, then 3d10 and after a couple of missions d100 per pop. And, yeah, they might smoke me up too. And if it's hand-to-hand, shit, I better get a PowerClaw soon and get upgrading it. And as GM I don't want to have to stat everything out any more, just let me play and have fun too. I've really tried to do that.

    It's also the polar opposite of Best Friends in theme (a fact that amuses Judd Karlman no end!) and content. But I love them both equally in different ways.
  • Posted By: Gregor HuttonBut... there's a lot of reading in them, and rules, and skills, and, and, and .... and, dammit, I want to play a Space Marine already!
    I am now double sold.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
    Adeptus Astartes
  • Also, the art and flavor text is perfect. Dark, inky, and grim, with just enough self-consciousness to know that this is all a bit ridiculous.

    Seth, we should totally throw down some Space Wolftastic carnage at GenCon. For Fenris!
  • So... what's the difference here between the old 3:16 and this new shiny version?

    I ask since I've got the old version, and I can't buy the new version until next year. However, I'm an old fan of 40k (still have my Rogue Trader and Ork books) and even though I tend to be more into the "Waaaaagh!" than "The Emperor's fury shall consume you!!!", I'd certainly be willing to pick this up next year with a good nudging...
  • I played this (with Gregor) last Sunday.

    Fantastic session. The whole thing's superbly executed and just fucking works so damn well. Like the fact that the weapons don't so much have stats for how much damage they do, they have stats for how many aliens you kill with them each time you fire. Some truly wonderful character creation during play went on at the table, with the players discovering all kinds of things about their characters as the plot develops. This essentially develops the character's flashback-story as you play, rather than you creating a back-story before you start. And there's some serious gamist throwdown during fight scenes, with the players competing to one-up each other in terms of kills.

    Gregor, the whole thing reminded me a lot of Nemesis the Warlock, where we're playing the humans on their crusade to kill every motherfucker in the universe. Great stuff.

    "Come on boy-o, these alien scum aren't going to exterminate themselves, now are they?"
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: Filip Luszczyk
    Indeed. The shininess actually makes me approach a product very carefuly these days.
    So does premature overenthusiastic awesomnification in the community.

    Yes, Filip! Totally. I hope that people will play the damn game and put AP online to prove me right in my belief that this game will deliver solid campaign play. Until then I am happy with people holding off buying it.

    In a way winning a High Ronny for the original 24-hr version made my job way more difficult than I had with Best Friends (which was "Unbaked but tasty so far" in its 24-hr form). Even if that was only in my head.

    At times I was really stuck on bits of this game that meant it didn't think it would ever be published in a final form. I promised myself I would only release it if (a) it worked, (b) it was at least as good IMHO as Joe Prince's Contenders, and (c) I wanted to play it myself a lot. I was always confident I could make it look good, but I don't care for that. Anyway, I have released it, which means I'm confident on (a), (b) and (c) and I made a real effort to make it look the best I could (because I can).

    Christoper, the changes from the 24-hour version are...

    ...Setting: virtually none. It's the same world but I added more ranks and other colour. Apart from Tollman's Tale and the first bits about Terra all the colour text is new.
    ...Art: almost all new, only the logo and two other bits of art remain.
    ...Stats: still just FA and NFA, Alien Ability is now made up of equations based on the PC's stats. The GM just picks one a planet.
    ...Flashbacks: now more limited in number but the mechanic is still the same. Advice is added on these too.
    ...GM stuff: extensive text added here with techniques and advice. My aim is to aid someone if this was their first RPG.
    ...Player advice: I made it have advice for players too and how to Get Started from scratch.
    ...System: complete overhaul. It's now absolutely robust mechanically. The text leading you through an encounter, between encounters, through missions, between missions, replacing characters, and advancing in rank, weapons and level. It's all there. The adversity for the GM is there too. Also for the GM is all-new planet creation stuff: 20 planet types, 20 alien types, 20 alien Special Abilities as well as colour like 20 planet names and 40 Trooper names.
    ...Weapons and Gear: the old favourites are still there like the Energy Rifle and E-Cannon, but now you also get Flame-Guns, Rocketpods, PowerClaws and Shotguns. PK bombs are now TPK Bombs (localised nuclear grenades) while Lt Colonel's get Paradise Bombs (non-localised nuclear grenades) and they really could give you a TPK.
    ...There are also examples of play and I think it's pretty clear from the text how you run and play the game (thanks to all the pernickety feedback on my text).

    So, consider the original free version as somethingI did in 24 hours in October 2005 and consider the new version as something almost 3 years later that I nervously hope has realised that promise.

  • Gregor, I would like to thank you profusely for the Examples of Play in great profusion. One of the things that makes playing and running games go far more smoothly for me is a better sense of authorial intent, and Examples are the best way to achieve that. Plus, they're well-written. Though an Example of someone using Force Weakness might be nice. ;)

  • Yeah, as someone who bought the .pdf on the strength of the free 24 hour version: don't sell yourself short. Get the .pdf, it's freakin' awesome.
  • I'm considering running a 3:16 game via TalkShoe for my friends. Why TS, you ask? Because my idea would be to actually record the play live, then clean up the volume levels with some compression, etc, and have that be an Actual Play record. of the game run by a new GM for it and players wholly unexposed to it (though they have been exposed to my indie-centric, generally mechanic-minimalist tastes in things like Capes, so they're not wholly unprepared).

    I think it'd be very, very interesting and a good warm-up for running the game at DC and AWA.

  • Actually, I'm a bit wary of "awesome" Actual Plays when they're written up by the author of a game. For me, it's hard to have the distance needed to be objective and so I take those APs (perhaps very unfairly!) with a pinch of salt.

    However, Joe Prince did write up the session from GameWang the weekend before last.
  • Just bought it and I like what I've read so far. I may try to get a game together at Mini GoPlay NW this weekend.
  • Thanks Ben. Let me know how it goes for you, I'm hopeful that it should be straightforward and fun!

    Oh, I put the Character Sheet and a larger Range Map on the website as downloads.

    For people interested in buying it I put the Index, some sample pages and two wallpapers there too.
  • Thanks for the reply.

    Another goofy question... how's it play with 1 player?

    These days, I've got a group that's not really willing to play anything besides d20 and WW looking games. Which means that anything other than that is basically a matter of me trying it out with my wife, who's usually willing to give it a shot. Bless her heart.
  • Oh, I just answered some one-player questions on the Collective Endeavour website. Good timing.

    With only 1 player you can still rotate the GM as an option ("Breaking The Carnage?") and have it as the two stories rather than one.

    But with one fixed GM and one player you'll end up with an accelerated campaign. The PC will be levelling up after every mission and I think you'd get two planets in per session too. Your PC will also be walking a tightrope as they'll have no one else to end an encounter if they run out of Flashbacks. (Though your Replacement character drops on to the planet refreshed and ready to mop up the bastards that did for your last PC!)

    For my preference it works best with 4 players and getting surviving characters emerging from that group. It works in a different way with only 1 player -- you'll end up with the player having lots of PCs throughout the game I think. That can be cool too though.
  • Any plans to have a PDF+Print combo at IPR? And if so, any chance to work out a pre-order deal? I'd love to be able to read the PDF right away while waiting for the printed copy.
  • Yes, I would love to have a PDF+Print combo..
  • Me too! I'll order today if you set one up.

  • Just finished reading the game in-depth and I can't wait to play.

    Looks like a great game for a night of drinking, goofing off, laughing, and being macho to the max. It's got a dark, serious, kick each other's ass feel to it too (the fact that the Trooper can bring another PCs weakness into play and make him fail is gold).

    The system is as light as can be, but very, very strong in encouraging a type of play that fits well with a Starship Troopers theme: holding the line against thousands of bugs, bringing orbital bombardment down on your position to save your ass (and wounding everyone in your group in the process--oh, and getting your ass potentially DE-moted for doing a boneheaded thing like that).

    The Agon type competition and the grunt/officer divide is pure gaming goodness.

    I remember seeing the Starship Troopers minis game in the hobby store and thinking, "OK, the combat would be cool, if a little repetitious...but how would you really make a game like that that would hold your interest?"

    3:16 is how!
  • Gregor I started another thread with rules questions:

  • I just finished my first read-through. Wonderful work, Gregor. It's the ultimate space marine game I have wanted for some time now. The tone of the text, the art, the system... all fantastic. I really can't get over how you manage to satirize and respect the source material at the same time.

    I can't wait to play!
  • Thanks John, I really appreciate it.

    The good news is that the books should be at IPR in about a week. I decided not to do a pre-order for Three Sixteen and there's not long until the books will be there now.

    I was also wondering whether anyone would want a bundle. I had decided not to do one, since the uptake on the bundle of Solipsist has been pretty low, but I'll now ask IPR to set one up. Thanks for the feedback.
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: John HarperI can't wait to play!
    Mini GoPlayNW! There will be xenocidal space marines...
  • edited July 2008
    Oh man, 3:16 is totally the game I've been waiting for. Gotta get me that print version!

    Gaw! I need this game now!

    3:16! Semper Fi, do or die! Hooah!

  • This game sounds pretty cool. I have one big question though. If I, the hypothetical owner of the book, am the only one familiar with it and I take it to my game group and drop it on the table some night, how long is it likely to take between the introduction and the time the first alien gets blasted into a fine gray mist?
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