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Gregor Hutton's 3:16


All over the shop
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If they're useful, I put together a bunch of cards for 3:16 for the equipment and each rank's standing orders here .

I also wrote a one-off for it for an RPG convention but never got to actually run it. The scenario is here and the pregen characters here. The scenario consists of two linked planets / missions with a mixture between battle scenes and more investigative/roleplaying ones. By having the two missions players get to try out the rules for receiving medals and promotion.

It's a really cool game - I was lucky enough to try out the fantasy version at a UK con where Gregor Hutton ran a beta version of, it's a shame it never came out. Broadly the same rules, but with some interesting new rules for taking cover/going into hiding during encounters.


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Regarding avoiding the generic battle-to-battle sequence, I think the mission briefing is an important part of every 3:16 session. It's a great opportunity to really drive home how disinterested the officers are and subtly prod players towards the Hatred for Home weakness. Useless (or fuzzy or upside down) maps displayed on old-school overhead projectors, flickering fluorescent lights, tiny community college-style desks, and hungover Lt. Goodman sitting at the front giving a woefully incomplete sitrep in either a monotone or a sarcastic voice. All of my briefings end with "Any questions?--SHUT THE FUCK UP!" which always catches the first-time players off-guard (it's always fun if someone has raised their hand) and makes the returning ones grin. Once I even gave them the exact same briefing from their LAST mission, and the dawning realization on my group's faces was priceless.

Another running gag I do every mission is have science department staff member Doc Spex (think Hans Moleman from The Simpsons) take a moment during the briefing to "debunk some rumors going around" about the PCs equipment while inadvertently confirming and demonstrating them. Maybe the combat drugs cause impotence or mood swings or narcolepsy, etc. I keep the actual missions gritty and violent, but 3:16 GMs can learn a lot from Paranoia for the briefings.
Those two are great suggestions!

I did a similar thing with a useless map. I basically did a coloured sphere and had the Lt. point to it and describing details on... a coloured sphere without details.


All over the shop
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Oh also, I had a house rule that everyone always enjoyed. Name every other member of the squad, maybe give them a personality. Now, If a PC ever gets to Crippled, also kill one of the NPC troopers... And make the player describe how they getting injured also got the trooper killed.

if you're interested in hacks and stuff...

Here's my optional Trooper specializtions. To give the rank and file a little more variety.
Trooper Specilizations

And here's a Sword and Sorcery hack I was working on
Roads of Blood and Carnage
Very nice! The trooper specialisations look like a very cool way of keeping the game fresh for players who've played the game a fair bit.


Go, Play; For Justice!
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In regards to Missions being combat-to-combat, I totally agree. While killing aliens is the POINT, it shouldn't always be the GOAL. Maybe the Jetpack-wearing Otter Aliens have some sort of super weapon the Brass wants, so you have to take the facility and hold until the Techs can disarm it and the weapon can be e-vacced. Maybe you have to set up signal boosters because the planet of the giant Lizards(including ones that bite their tails and roll at you at tremendous speeds) is difficult to scan from orbit. Maybe some Replicator Aliens(a la Stargate) have taken over one of the ships in the battlegroup and you need to go over there and set of the ship's self-destruct before they assimilate too much Terran tech. (Yes all of these are missions I have written and run)

Another thing, when it comes to Number of Aliens for the mission... I tend to increase it by at least 1/4. Death is actually very rare in my experience. there's so many ways to avoid it that I found the given number of Aliens to just not be much of a challenge. This also gives players a chance for more kills, and more kills is always better.

Also, an immediate Superior who hates them and that they hate can always be good for motivation. Mine was an insufferable Lieutenant in a uniform that fit him 50 pounds ago and a nasal voice who does nothing but look down on them. They eventually got him court-marshaled for Cowardice during an attack on the ship by metal-eating Space Sharks.


New member
Thanks for all the suggestions! Full disclosure, I've been playing RPGs for years but never GM'd. It seems like 3:16 (or a narrativist game like those under the Powered by the Apocalypse Umbrella) might be a good first choice for such a thing.


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definitely a good game from my reading of it, though it feels a little too light in parts for my tastes, but then I"m a fan of crunch

Angel of the Dawn

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So I see this game being discussed, and the premise is really interesting, and I might try to go get a copy of it.

But I've always wondered what it was up with the name. "3:16"? Is that a reference to the biblical verse? If so, how did they spend that? If not, what is the reference?

Sorry for such a dumb question. 🙂


Registered Yojimbo
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IIRC, the PCs are members of the 3rd Army, 16th Brigade Expeditionary Force.


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I believe I heard somewhere that it is in fact a biblical reference. Presumably to John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I would guess the connection to the game is in sons being sent as sacrifices.


Blogger and gamer
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Yeah, it's a pretty famous verse thanks to US evangelical culture, and I imagine it's used to evoke a quasi-religious aura of military worship within the game.
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