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Author Topic: [3:16] Spades and Chalk on Planet Dürer  (Read 7078 times)
Gregor Hutton
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« on: August 06, 2008, 02:30:23 AM »

Planet preparation was...Planet Dürer, Electrical Storms, Sirens, End Encounter, Highest FA (which turned out to be 7).

Well, we had a fun game of 3:16 last night at my home, with Per and Pooka playing the Troopers and me GMing.

Per played Sergeant Spades and was 6/4 in favour of NFA. Pooka had Corporal Chalk and was 7/3 on FA. Chalk went with the E-cannon (shock!) and Spades took a Slug Rifle.

I had 10 Threat Tokens for the planet and we had scenes in between the encounters as well as role-playing during the encounters, so we finished play at 11pm having started at maybe 8.

I sketched out two Officers: Major Bell a bull of a man who liked the squad after the players both aced NFA tests to show how well turned out they were. Lt Hart was a snivelling wretch of a Lieutenant, a real desk jockey. I think a new Lt might be more positive.

Mission Briefing let them know that they'd received a MayDay signal from the SS Titan, which has crashed on the planet carrying Terran passengers (or so the message says). The electrical storms had ruined the ships systems and it has crash landed on the surface. The mission is to go down and get the passengers back alive. System scans have detected alien life on the planet and it is to be eradicated, before it gets to the passengers of course.

Chalk has a great idea to wear extra rubber insulation under the MandelBrite suits and the whole squad suits up again with the modified gear. The half-hour delay doesn't sit well with Hart but they are soon on their way planet-side. A landing party has established a safe landing zone and the PCs are soon there after a bumpy ride through the electrically charged atmosphere. "C'mon, Ladies, let's fuck them up!"

Turns out the landing party has been slain in the last half hour but Sgt Spades soon has the squad securing the perimeter. He also explains to the Lt that the landing party is dead, but doesn't pass on the Corporal's commenst. Ho ho ho. Oh, the squad has three new NPCs who are learning the ropes: Jackson, Snowball and Greenhorn.

The squad find a survivor, a passenger from the ship called Bianca, who the Sarge is soon flirting with in his own way. Chalk is chain-smoking cancer sticks and getting Greenhorn to carry his cannon's energy packs. They leave Bianca, Jackson and Snowball at the landing zone (they're most expendable!) and call in the Lt to have them picked up. The rest of the squad heads out to the ship following Bianca's directions.

In the first encounter the range is Far and the Sarge leaves the encounter after killing 4 enemies (his only kills all planet!). What a coward! The rest of the squad gets smoked as the enemy calls lightning down on them. Chalk ends up killing all the aliens with his E-cannon when he eventually gets to Near Range (and is Crippled with no Armour left too). Only Greenhorn survives of the NPCs.

Sarge gets a replacement squad, and Jackson and Snowball back, and they get to the crashed ship. Turns out the beautiful passengers are actually Sirens, whose real form is that of a large blag squid/slug. The new squad gets ambushed by them but Chalk's "Great Arm" (a flashback to his high school QB exploits) kills them all with precisely thrown grenades. The ship and its pilot (the only Terran on the planet) are rescued, along with its cargo of Starkiller missiles.

The Siren protecting the ship then gets punched to death by Chalk when it joins a squad (Sarge has everyone "in pairs of 3?!" so the group of 7 Troopers, one of whom is popular, stands out). The squad secure the ship and try to get it off the planet. This fails as they just don't have the NFA, despite jury-rigging up the propulsion/detonation unit of a Starkiller missile to the ship's engine (with the help of NPC Trooper "Brooke" Shields).

Oh, Sarge got punched out by Chalk so that he didn't get any heat from the brass in allowing his squad to tamper with the missile. When Spades comes to, he finds them disassembling the missile: "Let's do that then!" he exclaims. The missiles were made on "Moonbase Mars" and Per had the squad looking for the ship's black box recorder: made of "Titanium Black Steel". Great little scenes and they weren't encounters!

Unable to get the Lt on the comms they call in an E-vac to get off the planet (we had a lot of fun describing that actually). I still had 3 Threat left, but none was showing up on the planet. "Hey, Bianca got taken to the ship!"

As the squad gets on to the ship they find a scene of carnage in the landing bay. Bianca appears and tries to temp the squad and she has other Sirens lurking in the shadows. Chalk wittily tells her "It's over mutherfukker" as he guns them down. I "End Encounter" before Sarge gets to kill any and he was just about to too.

The final encounter is with 1 Threat Token and I'm hoping to get an Ambush or set the Range at least. The PCs win the roll - damn! - and Ambush the aliens! Shit! They pick Near Range of course.

Turns out Jackson and Snowball aren't Jackson and Snowball at all. They're Sirens, the Sarge, Corporal and Greenhorn's desire to have them back in the squad has caused them to manifest as the rookies. NPC Troopers are arguing with Jackson and Snowball. Jackson blurts something out and the Corporal declares "that can't be Jackson and Snowball!". Move away, men! Chalk rolls highest and guns them down along with other infected Troopers. Yee-ha!

So, the mission ends and the Major is grateful, especially to Chalk who describes as a "sexual Tyrannosaurus" (can't beat Predator for quotes!).

Spades killed 4, got a Wound Badge and Campaign Medal.
Chalk killed 31, got a Crimson Sword and Bar, a Wound Badge and Campaign Medal.

They both levelled up and Spades upgraded his Slugger to d6s at all ranges. He missed his RocketPod by 1 on the Development Roll. Should have put the level into NFA! Chalk got a PowerClaw, and put his E-cannon up to 3d10 at Near (no surprise there). Chalk didn't try to get promoted, he's happy smokin' C-sticks and being the Corporal.

Pretty cool, a lot of fun and easy to play I think. Per had read the rules beforehand, Pooka just knew it was like Starship Troopers. Oh, we had a few beers (Root Beer in Pooka's case) during the game.
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Abkajud
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 03:09:44 PM »

I just read the 24-hour version of 3:16, and let me tell you - this is a no-nonsense, to-the-hilt design! I suppose Threat tokens came about in a later, more complete version of the game, but even so, there is some seriously balls-to-the-wall game design going on here. I rolled up a sample character, Lieutenant Sol Baton, in about thirty seconds.
Excellent!
And it sounds like you were able to have a great time with this run-through of the game, as well. The creation of a Strength for Chalk, especially the way in which you brought it up again and again, was well-done, I thought.
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Mask of the Emperor rules, admittedly a work in progress - http://abbysgamerbasement.blogspot.com/
Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 04:15:16 AM »

Thanks, Abkajud.

So, we had another session last night... Per and Pooka as before and Malcolm dropping in to play Trooper Strange.

Spades, Chalk and Strange on Planet Reubens

My notes for the aliens were as follows...
REUBENS, Amphibians (Space Toads!), Low Gravity world, Lasting Wounds, Highest FA (8!)

Per's Sergeant is told the ship is on RED alert while the troopers only think it's ORANGE. Malc fails an NFA check (to see if he knows it's actually Red) and thinks its YELLOW. Ho Ho Ho. Sgt Spades gets a secret briefing from Captain Hunt -- the enemy on planet Reubens has alll but destroyed the SS Goodwill. The ship has evacuated to the planet and the SS Amazon has to come to its rescue. The "bugs" are warlike Space Toads with weaponry and Tech Level similar to the 3:16. The planet is a war-ravaged mess and it's going to be tough.

We then had some roleplaying where Malcolm's Trooper Strange is a pacifist querying Sarge at every turn about what the enemy had ever done to them. He's told to button it and he'll soon see in the Mission Briefing. Cpl Chalk and the other Troopers are pointing out that Strange sounds scared of the enemy, etc.

Hunt briefs the men and says it's going to be tough but they can do it. The SS Goodwill was evacuated planet-side while its engines were being repaired. These Space Toads then attacked them and we are going to wipe them out. The briefing also features cartoons of Space Toads pissing on your mom's apple pie, which causes enragement in the troops! Strange thinks it's BS propaganda and debates the point with the squad. Everyone ends up taking apple pie dirtside with them, to prove the point that the Toads pissed in our pies!

The encounters were (smooth mechanically and role-playing wise) but were rough in the fiction, especially when they found out the wounds were lasting. The war was brutal - we had machineguns, poisoned pond knifes, panzer divisions, artillery, poisoned gas and so on. Oh, Troopers drowning in the muddle of an alien Puddle Grenade.

Per's Sarge was showing a good eye for sniping and was handily using his Slug Rifle to kill the enemy d6 at a time. Strange managed to spend his time rescuing injured soldiers while avoiding killing the enemy and also getting information (which only ended up in the hands of the brass using it to kill more of the enemy). Once Corporal Chalk got going he was frying the Toads in 3d10-loads with his E-cannon.

Anyway, more to follow including some PC versus PC stuff.
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Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 10:39:09 AM »

Oh, looking at my planets sheet... Durer must have been [High FA + Low NFA]/2 + 2 because that was crossed off and High FA only got crossed off last night.

The PC vs PC scene was where Chalk and Strange were alone in an alien command bunker. Strange was a Mess but Chalk was Crippled. The Corporal tried to bully the Trooper into leaving him alone, which he wouldn't do "It's for your own good Cpl. Never leave a man behind..."

So, Chalk ordered him out and the Trooper refused to go. It was on!

Strange won Dominance and set the range at Near so that Chalk couldn't strangle him! He described being across the other side of the room when they were jawing. Then they both tried NFA (Chalk couldn't bring himself to outright shoot Strange) -- Chalk failed and Strange succeeded. Would he cause the Corporal "E" damage -- riling him up? Yes, yes he would. Strange could see a promotion by sending Chalk mad and Pooka had to use a Weakness to get out of it.

Chalk had lost the rag. So he Flash-Backed to "Not like Daddy" (the 17-year old who promised to not end up like his old man, embittered by an insubordinate, had come true -- he was just like his dad. the very thought sent him mad). The squad stuck up for Strange and after that all ribbing of his actions stopped. Corporal didn't lose rank because of it (though at the end of the Mission Malcolm had the opportunity to report him). Though the NPCs were all more distant to the Corporal and muttered about him going "too far" behind his back. Very cool addition to the fiction and the Corp redeemed himself with his actions in play afterwards.

Really, spot on.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 10:45:33 AM »

Hi Gregor,

One thing I think I'm not seeing in a lot of play reports: player-character deaths. I know for sure that in my recent game, I under-shot the potential harm to player-characters by misusing or forgetting rules.

But hey, in this case, we had armored toads and lasting wounds ... nasty! And yet no one died?

Best, Ron
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Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 01:26:37 AM »

After the first encounter Corporal Chalk was Crippled (but with Armour available), Trooper Strange was A Mess (and with Armour available) and Sergeant Spades was unharmed (but had used his Armour). I rolled 1s and 2s as the GM. At least I got a few hits in, but not to everyone. A few 5s and 6s would have been better.

After that I rolled even worse. I wrote it down on my Index Card as it was so bad: 10, 9, 10!

When I eventually rolled something decent in the penultimate encounter (6) that would have killed Corporal Chalk he used Combat Drugs (he had rolled a 3) and then hit a 7 on the re-roll - this removing the final Threat Token before it could kill him. Very dramatic, but a case of fate intervening. Never mind, I will have other planets and I hope to roll better.

Flashback-wise...

Per's Sergeant levelled up and I think he has 2 Strengths and 2 Weaknesses now available (!). He also picked up a Shotgun.
Pooka's Corporal also levelled up and has 1 Strength and 1 Weakness available (but has spent one of each already so far). He didn't make his development roll. In fact he has missed it by 1 on the dice each time he's tried, but he keeps putting his FA up instead of his NFA.
Malcolm's Trooper didn't level up but did get promoted to Corporal. He's picked a Heavy MG.

The arc of PC death is as follows: in the first few missions it should be low (except for situations where they bring it on themselves) since they have the Strengths to avoid it if they wish, after 4 or 5 missions the Flashbacks should be running shorter and are more likely to be Weaknesses that only save the PC using it -- so PC death is more likely to happen (and more likely to be desirable, it is incentivized with handing back an available Strength). Later in the Campaign the curve comes back to the PC as they will have high stats and should be innoculated against the aliens. At this stage it will be PC vs PC/NPC things that are causing death/use of Flashbacks.

So far APs are showing early missions where Flashbacks are (relatively) in abundance.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 08:29:16 AM »

That's encouraging. I think our group had woefully too few Flashbacks in the session we played, but I think that was a function of my screwing up the rules and making things too easy.

Thanks Gregor!

Best, Ron
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Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 11:20:51 AM »

I think the killer one could be Ambush, using lots of low-Threat encounters. If you can cause anyone a Kill beyond the first Ambushed one then it will last between encounters -- and groups of these will stack. Even a 1-Threat Token encounter has a chance of killing before being killed -- and burning a Flashback to remove one Threat Token might encourage Weaknesses rather than Strengths to be used... I'm certainly aiming to use this ability to bleed some Flashbacks out of the squad next time we play.
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Darren Hill
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 11:34:55 AM »

In addition to Ambush, I'm looking forward to using Lasting Wounds, Suicide, Regeneration (if you have a large PC group), and possibly Exploding Bodies for trooper kill potential.
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