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[3:16] Newbie questions

CapnHowdy

Retired User
Gonna run my first game tomorrow -- but I still have some questions:

1) Why do players start with kills? Do they have to?

2) How do grenades work?

3) Do weapons such as Powerclaw and Powerblade replace Hand-to-Hand?

4) Why is the last weakness "Hatred For Home"? The rulebook doesn't really explain this. Why do the Troopers end up hating home? I think I'm missing something.

5) And while we're on the topic of Weaknesses/Strengths, could you folks please give a couple of your favorite examples just to get my gears turning? I want to have many examples ready -- my group might stumble with these.

Please advise.
 
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Torquemada

Eternal Lurker
Validated User
1) Why do players start with kills? Do they have to?

2) How do grenades work?

3) Do weapons such as Powerclaw and Powerblade replace Hand-to-Hand?

4) Why is the last weakness "Hatred For Home"? The rulebook doesn't really explain this. Why do the Troopers end up hating home? I think I'm missing something.

5) And while we're on the topic of Weaknesses/Strengths, could you folks please give a couple of your favorite examples just to get my gears turning? I want to have many examples ready -- my group might stumble with these.
1) Jumpstarting the medal race? I don't think so.

2) Check out the example of combat on page 23. In CR2 the aliens fail their roll, as well as Sgt Alvida. Cpl Bam and Tpr Dog made their roll, and the latter is using grenades. In the example, Bam doesn't get a kill out of Dog using grenades because he made his roll. As Alvida failed her roll, she would have gotten a kill if she had been at close range.

3) Yes, if you so choose.

4) Read this.
 

Tancred

All over the shop
Validated User
Gonna run my first game tomorrow -- but I still have some questions:

1) Why do players start with kills? Do they have to?
The impression I have is yes, they do have to start with kills, cause then the character has already shed blood - no way of taking the moral high ground and playing the pacifist. Sure, they could try to change their ways, but everyone starts a bit tarnished.

4) Why is the last weakness "Hatred For Home"? The rulebook doesn't really explain this. Why do the Troopers end up hating home? I think I'm missing something.
Supplementary to Torquemada's link, they don't have to use the Hatred for Home weakness - but it does loom there, reinforcing the game's themes.
 

Rain242

Refugee from Reality
Validated User
1) Why do players start with kills? Do they have to?
Personally, I think it's to help start things in medias res. The troopers have been out in space for a while, they've already seen some combat and aren't inexperienced at this by any means.

I also think that, given the game's emphasis on killing as many aliens as possible, this could serve as a useful roleplaying aid, setting up rivalries (not to mention competitiveness) between the PCs even before things begin...
 

Upstart

Indie Hippy Gamer
Validated User
As I've yet to run my first 3:16 campaign, I might as well put my questions/complaints here.

Isn't fragging a little too easy way to go up in hierarchy? Can't you just kill your senior and get her place via field promotion if you're the best one after her?

Where are the pilots? Supply? Engineers? Tanks? Intelligence? Signals? Artillery? MP? Reconnaissaince? All staff officers the brigade has are a couple of colonels? From sergeant to lieutenant with zero training? I understand that you have to simplify/ignore this stuff, but right now 3:16 doesn't feel like an elite marine brigade in space, it's more like a prison gang with guns. My solution is probably to have all this machinery being subtle background stuff, to enhance the feeling of a massive, bureaucratic organization.

Isn't development roll easier after every mission, as you've gained more levels? This means you gain promotions in a progressively rapid manner as the campaign continues. Common sense says you actually get the first promotions quick as the field officers are in a position to die easily. Getting to the senior level should be the hardest feat.

Do the officer's orders/responsibilites have any mechanical effect? I think they should have, it seems a lt can tell a col to jack off and still get a promotion after the mission. It seems the ranks are a little pointless without the chain of command. Sure, you get bigger and bigger weapons of mass destruction, but that could even be a turf of some lucky forward observer cpt with a radio contact to some big-ass mothership.

But these minor quibbles are pretty much all that irritates/perplexes me, and ignoring the more complex stuff may be the only way to keep the game simple, stupid and enjoyable. I'm planning to do something as cosmetic as changing the field officer ranks to higher NCO ranks, senior officers as field officers, and brigade as a single company. It would probably work a lot better in my mind.
 
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Gregor Hutton

Causing Carnage
As I've yet to run my first 3:16 campaign, I might as well put my questions/complaints here.
Hey, I think you will find the game very different after you've played it. Honestly, everyone looks at it before they've played and jumps to conclusions on how it will go. And it never does go that way.

Grenades, by the way, are not going to frag anyone on your own side later in the campaign, which is why there are <b>nuclear grenades</b>.

Oh, and it's about making stories and developing characters, not about accurately representing a (fictional) space army in minute restrictive detail.

By the way, succeeding on a Development Roll <i>is</i> training. It's "between missions" and it can be days, months or years between planets.

Give it a spin and see how it plays out for you.
 

Gregor Hutton

Causing Carnage
Oh, you start with Kills because you start in media res and we know almost nothing about the PCs at the start of the game. Except that you're already in the army and have been killing.

It's up to you in play (and most probably through Flashbacks) to decide where the Kills came from, how they happened, and what your PC is like.
 

Upstart

Indie Hippy Gamer
Validated User
Hey, I think you will find the game very different after you've played it. Honestly, everyone looks at it before they've played and jumps to conclusions on how it will go. And it never does go that way.

Grenades, by the way, are not going to frag anyone on your own side later in the campaign, which is why there are <b>nuclear grenades</b>.

Oh, and it's about making stories and developing characters, not about accurately representing a (fictional) space army in minute restrictive detail.

By the way, succeeding on a Development Roll <i>is</i> training. It's "between missions" and it can be days, months or years between planets.

Give it a spin and see how it plays out for you.
Currently I'm only planning to change the scope of ranks and units (i.e. names), while still keeping the actual system intact. Cosmetic stuff, IMO.

Apparently the term is especially used with (fragmentation) grenades. My point was just that it seems to be easy to kill off the senior PC and get her rank via field promotion. You have less to lose than the other player, and your FA is probably higher too. If you're a competitive player, what's there to stop you?

I see that the development/training time can be very long, but I still maintain that the promotion curve looks wonky. After a certain point the promotions will become pretty automatic, which I just can't grasp, as in my mind it should be exactly reverse. I can see four options: a) it isn't wonky, my math sucks b) it's wonky and it's intentional c) it's wonky but it doesn't matter and d) I should just play the game, all the answers are there.
 

Cult Classic

A cautionary tale
Validated User
When I first picked up 3:16, there were a number of tiny details that nagged me.

Five minutes into my first real session, I couldn't even remember what they were anymore. It really is a game you have to see in action to "get."
 
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