3:16 Delivers the Goods YET AGAIN

edited May 2009 in Actual Play
Oh Gregor. You bastard. Your game is too good.

Let it be known henceforth: If you don't like 3:16 I pronounce you a space alien, for your value system makes no sense to me.

Last night we had us some Brennan Taylor, Gil, and a new guy named Craig (new to me at least). I stepped up to GM.

As I said to John beforehand: "I prepped, which means I printed out some character sheets and rolled a d20 a couple times."

I'm not sure anyone else had played before. Maybe Brennan, but neither Gil nor Craig, and I think the evening resulted in two future sales.

We did two planets and finished with not quite enough time to do a third but wishing we did. First was creatures made of rock with ambush. That was fun. Oh yeah. I gave them a mcguffin which was a rendezvous with an agent who was to deliver to them a mysterious object. Gil's character died. Gil could have used a strength or weakness but opted out.

Next world I rolled artificial life but described a different alien in the briefing, which turned out to be a harmless jellyfish-slug thing. Meanwhile they're sent yet again on a side quest to a mysterious pyramid structure. They can hear on their suit comms all the soldiers going "wtf these things are just lying there. Do I even need to use my rifle?" Then in the pyramid the real threat attacks. That worked out pretty good.

Stole the guys in black from John, the guys with no insignia. Someone at the table gave them a funny name: "games and theory division" or something.

The only thing I ran into as a GM that was a little tough was improvising more variety on the fly. I suppose that will take some more chops building. A few times I felt like I ran the risk of monotony. "Oh, uh, so they attack again. Neat."

We're most likely going to play it again next time we meet.

Comments

  • Posted By: Matt Wilson
    Let it be known henceforth: If you don't like 3:16 I pronounce you a space alien, for your value system makes no sense to me.
    What I think Matt is saying is if you don't like 3:16, then he's obliged to destroy you to protect Terra. Is that right, Sarge?

    "Per Mare, Per Terram, Per Caelum!"
  • edited May 2009
    Posted By: moleculoWhat I think Matt is saying is if you don't like 3:16, then he's obliged to destroy you to protect Terra. Is that right, Sarge?
    Bring it on, I can't stand the game.

    -Ash
  • ::takes Matt's head clean off with a coolly executed shot from his sidearm::

    As I was saying sir, the bugs are getting smarter. They're even starting to infiltrate our ranks. With the jingoistic noise they spout, you'd never be able to tell them from a kill-happy trooper up from dirtside on his first go out.

    It's the pop culture references that get them. Can you imagine, that guy thought he'd pass for human, but not recognize an obvious reference to the movie from which our mandate springs?
  • What pop culture reference did I miss? I started the thread. There was nothing to respond to.

    Please advise soonest. Head requires immediate medical attention.
  • Moorder is guud! Uh ... sarge ... Sarge!!! The flowering aliens is resurrecting! Btwaaa!

    Good report, Matt! Thanks for sharing!
  • I believe the "games and theory division" is a reference to Starship Troopers.
  • Posted By: JARI believe the "games and theory division" is a reference to Starship Troopers.
    I'm supposed to remember something from that shitty movie? I couldn't even finish watching it.
  • Posted By: Matt WilsonPosted By: JARI believe the "games and theory division" is a reference to Starship Troopers.
    I'm supposed to remember something from that shitty movie? I couldn't even finish watching it.
    It's a book originally (nothing like the movie except people fighting bugs in space). From what I understand 3:16 is actually more like the book than the movie.
  • Posted By: Matt Wilson... that shitty movie?
    Couldn't agree more! T'was like watching someone else playing a video-game; dead boring!
  • Ha! Thanks Matt.

    I still have fun with it every time (well, I wrote it for me -- so I'd hope that would still be true), but as Ash shows it's not for everyone.

    I think it can be like the movie or the book of ST.

    Has anyone tried to get their hands on a Nuclear Grenade yet? Why wait to get one through promotion when you can try and get one out of the GM.
  • Posted By: Gregor HuttonHa! Thanks Matt.

    Has anyone tried to get their hands on a Nuclear Grenade yet? Why wait to get one through promotion when you can try and get one out of the GM.
    I had a great moment with nuclear grenades once. The players were raiding a bug infested ice casino (long story) and they had along this higher ranking NPC. Now this dude had nuclear grenades and was just slaughtering enemies with them, and the players got jealous. One used a strength to choke the superior officer to death with his baseball glove, and took his stuff. Unfortunately, they were with two other troopers, one of whom escaped to warn the main forces of the 3:16. The PCs then called in to try and cover up their mistake, but military command decided to detonate the nuclear grenades remotely to "destroy any bugs hiding in the walls". It was a great end to a session.
  • I've only played once, but in terms of source materials, it seemed to me that you could play it like starship troopers, haldeman's The Forever War, and/or Harrison's Bill the Galactic Hero- all worth a read.
  • Not to mention John Scalzi's Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony.
  • Armor is fantastic. One of the best of the military sci-fi genre.

    Also, if you don't like the Starship Troopers movie, you seriously missed the point, probably. Don't feel too bad, though. So did Roger Ebert.
  • Posted By: John HarperAlso, if you don't like the Starship Troopers movie, you seriously missedthe point, probably.
    I just kinda thought it was classless to take an author's work and turn it 180 degrees by making his words into a weak straw man you take jabs at because, and this is vital, you control what it says. I know I hold a minority opinion on the board in this respect, so I will fore-go that zen dampening and get to something more engaging to the 3:16 player:

    The marines had modern rifles and continued to close on the enemy and surround them in rings while using autofire. No trigger discipline, no fire zone discipline, no holding range over an advancing melee-based enemy. Just dumb tactics. The humans fought like they had only a rudimentary knowledge of what their weapon could do to the enemy (not to mention their fellow soldiers).
  • That's a totally fair assessment, Judd. I don't think Verhoeven was indicting Heinlein's book so much as satirizing miliarism and propaganda films. But I see how it looks that way and is unfair to the novel (which I like quite a bit).

    The marines in the ST movie do indeed act like morons. One of the better military consultants, Dale Dye, worked on the film (and is in the movie, too) so I'm pretty sure it's by design. So yeah... don't do that in 3:16!
  • I really liked them both, for entirely different reasons.

    The satire angle is one that can go float in the wind, for all I care.

    The movie was, in my view, about the human interactions. It was about learning to take responsibility for your actions, even when they may negatively impact others. It's about the stresses that distance can put on a relationship. It's about how you sometimes miss the good thing right under your nose, simply because it's always been there.

    The machismo was fun, the lack of anything resembling military tactics was an eye-roller that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the movie. I just read it, at the time, as a half-assed way of demonstrating that everything was chaotic and fucked up on Klendathu.

    Also, I could never read the movie as any sort of comment on the book as the only things they shared in common was a general theme (humans fighting alien bugs) and various character names, which frequently didn't even match the characters, (Dizzy was a dude who buys it in the first chapter!) let alone the characterizations. Since getting over my initial disgust that always crops up when a movie takes massive liberties with the story from the book it's supposedly based on, I simply enjoyed them as two separate things.

    Also, I occasionally wish that 3:16 had enough tactical depth to do really stupid shit like ring the enemy in and use autofire. But I accept it for what it is, with the tacit knowledge that I can hack it if I ever feel the need to do so.
  • This was my first time playing 3:16. One of the things I really enjoyed was narrating the effects of my rolls. We were ordered to entrench against an approaching enemy and I failed my NFA roll, so I said I was diligently digging whenever the sarge was looking my way, but slacking off and smoking when he was paying attention to another trooper.

    I also enjoyed blasting off my grenades with little regard to my comrades' health. That was a lot of fun. When I used my strength, I described the aliens piling on to me and I lit off an entire string of grenades under the pile.
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