Sell me on 3:16

Extrakun

Tinker of Games
Validated User
#1
I have been coming across 3:16 mentioned on the forum.

What is it about? Where can I check it out? What's good about it?
 

Rain242

Refugee from Reality
Validated User
#2
The 3:16 Website said:
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.

To call it 'Starship Troopers in a nutshell' is to do it a disservice, but that essentially sums it up - The PCs travel the universe, killing everything they come across, in service of Terra.

I don't really have time to say much else right now as I'm actually leaving to run the game shortly (see my sig, which links to the Actual Play)

There's a review here, and the website's here.

That should pretty much cover it, to be honest... :)
 
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Benjamin Beard

A Dragon-Sized Thirst
Validated User
#3
What is it about?

The PCs play as a squad of soldiers in an army that was sent across the Cosmos to kill everything in it, in the event that any of the lifeforms there should one day be a threat to the people of your homeworld, Terra. It's really just about that, actually. The action of the game is entirely based on killing entire planets full of creatures and then leaving to do it again.

Where can I check it out?

The two FLGS in my area both carry it. If you don't have a store nearby that carries it you may be able to purchase it from IPR (that's a guess, I don't know) but I gather you want to browse it before you buy it. In that case, if an FLGS doesn't have it, you may be out of luck.

What's good about it?

What's refreshing to me about 3:16 is that it only gives you rules to the stuff it wants you to do in play. It's not an action-adventure RPG that includes rules for crafting and singing a song - it's a game about blowing up planets and so that's what it gives you rules for. The game seems deeply nihilistic if you view the PCs as protagonists but the point of the game is that, at some point far along the way, the PCs themselves begin to realize the horror of what they are doing. But you could just run it as straight up "blowing-crap-up". It has just a few charts and they are supplied as handy ways of coming up with unique planets and aliens week after week.

After reading the book the game would probably take all of five minutes to teach to other people and another five minutes for them to make their characters. Maybe add on another five to ten minutes for the GM to come up with the adventure...and then you go. That's perhaps it's biggest draw. This game, in a way few other games really are, is all about pick-up and play.
 

Gregor Hutton

Causing Carnage
#4
<a href="http://gregorhutton.com/boxninja/threesixteen/index.html" target="_blank">3:16 Carnage Amongst The Stars</a> is an SF role-playing game that taps the whole Starship Troopers (book and film), Aliens, Warhammer 40k, Old Man's War, Ender's Game vibe.

It's $20 in print, $10 in PDF and $25 if you want print and PDF.

The <a href="http://gregorhutton.com/boxninja/threesixteen/files/316sample.pdf" target="_blank">sample pages</a> give a good idea of the look and feel of the 8.5" x 5.5" (landscape) book. It's 96 pages long and won a High Ronny Award for its original 24-hour version. You can read the <a href="http://gregorhutton.com/roleplaying/3-16.pdf" target="_blank">24-hour version</a> for free, naturally. If you like that then you'll love the final version. Or so I am told.

It's reaaly easy to run and play, and will have you smoking aliens within minutes of starting from scratch. At its heart it is a game about stories, who are these people far from home and never to return? Most of all it's quick and fun.

If people who've played it would like to chime in then please do!

And the <a href="http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13991.phtml">RPGNet review</a> (4/4).

[Oh, and the guns tell you how many things you kill, not how much damage you do.]
 

Scott Dorward

Cow Pimp
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#6
Is combat the only action in game?
Nope, there's plenty of other stuff to do: you get a lot of interaction between the characters between missions.

I've only played it once, but we spent more time finding ways to try to increase our ranks, screw each other over and get up to general mischief than we actually did killing aliens. It was a hell of a lot of fun.

The combat was also much fun. I will be playing this game again as soon as possible.
 

Con man

Wushu Novice
Validated User
#7
Nope, there's plenty of other stuff to do: you get a lot of interaction between the characters between missions.

I've only played it once, but we spent more time finding ways to try to increase our ranks, screw each other over and get up to general mischief than we actually did killing aliens. It was a hell of a lot of fun.

The combat was also much fun. I will be playing this game again as soon as possible.
Scott I am running this at Dragonmeet this year and will probably do so at Concrete Cow in March as well.

Conrad.
 
#8
Gregor GM'd two games of 3:16 that I participated in, and I was sold on the game immediately.

Like the films it emulates, it's primarily a "shoot-some-aliens" action film sort of game. Don't expect deep characterization or serious theme out of the gate. The game allows players to push things in that direction if they so choose, but it's by no means a requirement. The game has growing room, but is at it's heart a fun beer and pretzels sort of game.

I never thought I'd call a game that is in some part a commentary on the Iraq War a "beer and pretzels" game, but that's exactly what it is.

Totally pick up and play, crazy fun, TPK and roll with it sort of game. Buy it, and enjoy plotting your superior officers' downfall so you can steal their rank and the weapons from their vaporized remains.
 

Paul B

Plain English or Death
Validated User
#9
One of my favorite descriptions of 3:16, insofar as it really spoke to me about what's fun about it, was "It's not about killing bugs, it's about the job of killing bugs."

There are a dozen subtle and not-so-subtle pressures built into the game to create PC-vs-PC tensions, and eventually the job of killing bugs takes a back seat to ambition, morality, and other "war is total bullshit" type themes.

p.
 

hairygumby

Spidergoat Aficionado
Validated User
#10
One of my favorite descriptions of 3:16, insofar as it really spoke to me about what's fun about it, was "It's not about killing bugs, it's about the job of killing bugs."

There are a dozen subtle and not-so-subtle pressures built into the game to create PC-vs-PC tensions, and eventually the job of killing bugs takes a back seat to ambition, morality, and other "war is total bullshit" type themes.

p.
Aaaargh! Now I'm getting sold on this game, and I still have stuff I haven't run yet. Oh well, off to purchase... :D
 
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