Our first story-game - 3:16 Actual Play

Started by RuneBR, March 10, 2009, 11:54:22 AM

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3:16 Actual Play

We played our first session of 3:16 a while back, so I thought I'd try my hand at writing a actual play-report. English is not my first language (I'm Norwegian), so I apologize for any language problems, but have tried to keep it as clean and concise as possible.

This was the first story-game we ever attempted playing, so a few of the concepts were pretty new to us and took a bit of time getting used to. I had done quite a lot research and prep by reading the game thoroughly, as well as looking at most of the actual play and discussion threads I could find on-line. The boxninja page, and all the great links found there was a invaluable resource for me when figuring out how to approach the game. In addition I listen to parts of the first "Hellworld Chronicles" podcast, and that helped as well.

I decided to prepare two planets in advance, and shamelessly stole everything cool I could find from actual play and example threads and combined it with my own ideas. I decided I wanted a darker and more cynical approach visually than many of the threads I had read, and wanted the aliens and planets to feel more «alien» and terrifying, and less like something from a sixties sci-fi movies (no monkeys in space-suits and so on). To anyone who recognizes some of their ideas used, I hope they are not offended, and I want to say a big thanks!

I also prepared for the first session by putting together a «soundtrack» consisting of different military marches and appropriate movie soundtracks, as well as a short list of npc descriptions I felt I could come in handy.

The group gathered to play the game consisted of me and 5 players, Torgrim, Ingvild, Sigurd, Jonny and Frank. Most of us are long-time role players and have a lot of experience as gm's as well (most of us have been playing and gm'ing 15-20 years or more). Only one of the players were relatively new to rpgs, and even she has been playing for a few years now if I remember correctly. Most of us game with each other regularly, and everyone in the group knew each other beforehand. As I mentioned above our experience is wholly with more traditional rpg's however.

I quickly described to the players that this was a story-game, where their input into the world and setting would be just as important as mine, and that I would be expecting them to handle part of the narration usually done by the GM.  Then I went on to talk briefly about the setting, describing the paradise that was Terra, and how people were virtually immortal if they wanted to. I described the 3:16 , and we had a short discussion on why people from a Utopian society would want to join the army, then I started the game.

Even if the game initially sets the player characters up as relatively fresh troopers they still have some experience before the first mission (represented by the kills they roll up based on their FA). I decided to disregard that however and decided to start playing even before we created characters.
So without giving the players any character sheets I started describing how they awoke in their cryo-containers in a large oblong room lined with the coffin-like containers, their bodies covered with some kind of bluish gel like substance which spilled onto the floor as the canopy of their "coffin" slid back. I then proceeded to describe how technicians clad in white suits led their aching bodies into sterile shower-like areas, where they were sprayed with some pinkish liquid that smelled a lot like strong alcohol. The players were taken a bit of guard by this (as I had planned), but soon started to ask and describe their actions. "I'm shielding my eyes from the liquid" " I look around at the other people in the room",  "What is the last thing I remember?". And i prompted them to make up stuff them selves "Well, what is the last thing you remember?" and so on.

I also described how they felt sluggish and their bodies were aching. Their head hurt and some felt sick to their stomachs. I mentioned how saw a few other recruits vomit in the showers, and one of the players added that there seemed to be no actual vomit though, just retching as there was nothing in their stomachs.

Then there were led into another locker room-like area and given simple light green overalls (made of some paper-like material) and some sandals to put on. I described every room as being light-cream colored with rounded corners and details in steel, very uniform and sterile. One of the players later described it as "being on the inside of a ipod". I hinted that their bodies felt weird and unfamiliar, yet stronger and more nimble than before, and a player stated that everyone else looked  "fit, and almost grossly muscular".

Then they were escorted into a classroom, with white plastic chairs and desks with steel-like tops seemingly formed up from the floor. I asked them what they were doing, and they all sat down on chairs. I had their full attention now. Up until now I had played some cold but unobtrusive synth music, but now I changed that to a march as I described a big muscular figure entering the room. He quickly introduced himself as drill sergeant Stone. I used my best "officer" voice and "welcomed" them to the 3:16 in pretty harsh words, doing my best to sound like a drill from those war-movies we all love and my own officers from my time in the army. Stone told them that they might feel a bit ill and run down, but that that was a common effect from all the drugs, muscle-stimulation and mental conditioning their bodies had gone through during their cryo-sleep, "but don't worry ladies, very few recruits die from it!"
I asked them to turn over the papers that were placed out on their desks (I had already placed the character-sheets on the table, face down, and told them "no peaking").

I than proceeded to go through character creation, staying as much in character as I could, answering questions as the sergeant, pressuring the players, saying stuff like: "You!, What is your name? Well, write it down then brainiac!", "Do you really think you can have a 1 in FA trooper, what use would you be to us then!", "Weapons, huh? Well we'll soon enough get to that Trooper"

What is interesting is that the players also went into "character" almost before they had created their character, and started talking like them, there was great amusement around the table when the bumbling and shy Ezekiel Butts was appointed sergeant (due to having the highest NFA), and similarly outcries of "typical!" when the macho and uncouth Kluttz became the Corporal. The players had not described their characters physical appearance in any way, but still I think we all could easily picture the situation and the character as they were created.

After character generation, I they were ordered to get to the armory to collect their weapons, armor and equipment. Well there they were greeted by Lt Halderman who unenthusiastically described their equipment, and its use. Then they had to choose weapons, and we went through bit were I described the Mandelbrite armor, and the players added stuff they liked to the description of the suits. They were also given small id-tags, sort of like dogtags. I described them as being made by some orange clear plastic-like material, about the size of a domino-piece, and that they functioned like id, keycard, storage device and so on. A player suggested that the Mandelbrites had a slot for the id-tags on the chest, and we decided that sounded reasonable. From that came the idea that one usually removed the tags from the suits of dead soldiers and brought them back if possible.

After that they were ordered to go find their barracks and settle in there.

Here I took the opportunity to just let the players describe what they saw of the inside of the ship on their way up to the barracks, as well as the look of their living-quarters. One of the players came up with an idea that there was colored lines on the walls and floor (just like in a hospital) to help navigate the white uniform halls and rooms of the ship ("red for the armory and related areas, blue for barracks/living quarters, green for the officers area/bridge, yellow for hangars and so on). I quickly added that there also was a black line to be seen in some parts of the ship, and that is marked restricted areas. The players then used some time to describe how their characters looked and acted, and how they settled in to their living quarters (including the look and equipment found there). So there was sort of a in-game introduction to the characters here.  

The finished characters were:

Sergeant Ezekiel Butts
FA 3 NFA 7, "a coward but hard to kill", Slug-rifle
Corporal Bernard Kluttz
FA 7 NFA 3 "close to no personal hygiene" Heavy-machinegun

Trooper Cassie Sands
FA 5 NFA 5, "Questions Authority, Headstrong", E-rifle

Trooper Barnaby Jones
FA 3  NFA 7 "Boring, Predictable and Pedantic", E-Rifle

Trooper Jim Raynor
FA 6  NFA 4 "Reckless", E-Rifle

When the characters had interacted for a while, and things seemed to be slowing down a bit I decided to start the first mission. Stg Butts were called into the office of Lt Clemente Dallas, a big fat and generally unpleasant guy. The Lt was briefed shortly on the upcoming mission. A group of scientist had descended to a planet  designated "Klimt" and the fleet had recently lost contact with the scientists, as well as the troopers who were assigned to guard them. The Lt nonchalantly explained that the loss of contact most likely were due to solar flares and atmospheric interference, but that Stg Butts platoon were to be sent down "just to make sure". Butts tried to get some more information but were told that it was all on a "need to know" basis, and that he had been told everything "they needed to know". He was then told to get his troopers down to hangar D-11, and quickly dismissed.

Butts quickly went back to the living quarters and summoned his men to him, briefing them on what little he knew about the mission they were about to undertake before ordering them to suit-up, and get ready to move down to the hangar. The players described how they scrambled to get into their Mandelbrites, and I took the opportunity to introduce some of the npc's I had prepared. Trooper Maria Sanches was a short and stocky but quite beautiful Latino girl that seemed to take a liking to Raynor, and Parker Passer was a overeager but inept guy who got the whole platoons attention when he accidentally discharged his Slug-rifle while putting on his Mandelbrite. This also started some tension in the group as Corp Kluttz instantly started hating the fumbling Passer, while other player characters, notably Trooper Sands became a bit protective. "Perfect" I thought to myself!

I then quickly described how the platoon (I had decided there were 30 soldiers initially) got into the lifts and made their way down to the hangars. The hangar were filled with ten or so dropships, which I described as looking like something like the ships from Aliens or Starship Troopers. The sergeant ordered his troopers to get strapped in, and I got them to roll NFA to see if they figured out how the mechanism worked. We decided it was something that came down over their heads and locked them down like on a roller-coaster ride. Most of them made their rolls, but corporal Kluttz needed several attempts to the amusement of the rest of the group. I described how Trooper Passer managed to get stuck with his hands folded across his chest, and unable to move or release the "harness".

The Pilot, a young blonde woman named Frost then announced that she'd "try to be gentle with them their first time as it was their first time", before it felt as the ground suddenly dropped from underneath them and they fell toward the planet surface. I made them roll NFA to see if they could manage not to vomit. And both Troopers Sands and Raynor lost their lunch, Corporal Buttz miraculously managed not to make a mess(even considering his low NFA), but one of the other players described how her character (Sands) flipped up the face-shield, leaned over and barfed all over the Corporals lap. I added to the excitement by describing how Passer vomited all over the insides of his helmet, but as he was stuck by the harness he could not open the helmet, and seemed to be suffocating. Trooper Jones asked if he could help out and I said that a NFA could allow him to help Passer out. He made the roll, and described how he struggled against the g-force to lean over and pop open the other troopers visor.

A red glow started to replace the blackness outside the small windows in the hull of the dropship, and they could barely make out a dark and inhospitable surface below, mostly obscured by smoke, but with enormous volcanoes spewing molten rock, and broad rivers of lava streaming across the surface. Then the ship came to a abrupt halt and the ramp lowered as the pilot shouted "this is your exit gentlemen" over the radio. The players described how their characters made their way down the ramp and down onto the black rock surface before the dropship shot of toward the sky again, blasting up sand and ashes around them.

I had written down a  description of the planet and aliens in advance, seeing as I was in a relatively
"traditional" rpg mindset I had of course planned to much stuff (as the players contributed more and more as the session progressed). Some info I just picked based on ideas I had, others I rolled on the tables in the book. I then wrote down some more detailed information on the planet and aliens. My  mission prep was in short:

Planet Name: Klimt
Basic Planet Description: Volcanically Active World
Basic Creature Form: Mineral-based forms
Alien Special Ability: Lasting Wounds
AA: 5 (Lowest NFA +2)

I described how the troopers were standing in what seemed to be a clearing in a forest made of large crystalline "trees" that forced their way up through the black hardened hardened lava forming the ground. Occasionally the ground shook under their feet as a volcano somewhere nearby had a particularly aggressive outburst. The trees were full of "leaves" of thin red glass that seemed to fall to the ground, covering the "forest floor" with shards of broken red glass. Visibility were low due to the smoke, fumes and dust that filled the air. Then I asked the players what their characters were doing.

The Sergeant ordered his men to start forming a perimeter, while Jones said he would try to use the sensors of his Mandelbrite to lock on to the scientist Dropship (another NFA for him there), and managed to lock on to the dropship beacon.  Corporal Kluttz were looking for stuff to shoot, while Trooper Raynor played up his "reckless" reputation, and said he would go down to the crystal forest to take a closer look. Sergeant Butts player immediately demanded a NFA to see if he noticed, but promptly failed. I decided another Trooper named McCall followed Raynor down to the trees to get a closer look at the strange glass-like forest.

Raynor said he was prodding the trees with his weapon, and I described how the limbs he hit cracked and fell to the ground where they shattered into crystalline dust. Then he suddenly heard a scream from Trooper McCall. Raynor spun around and saw McCall standing clutching his hand that had a crystal spike through it. A creature looking vaguely like a locust made of pure crystal were crouched among the trees. Raynor stated that he would fire at it, and rolled a FA. He hit hit the bug, and it was pulverized into a cloud of crystal-dust by his E-rifle blast. I decided to give him a kill, even though it was outside of a encounter.

Here I could have started the first encounter, but I did have an idea that I would use this opportunity to showcase the alien-ability (lasting wounds) at this stage, before actually going into the first encounter. Raynor shouted "medic!" And the rest of the platoon that came running, having heard the  shot. Raynor said that he was going to try and pull the crystal spike from McCalls hand, but the spike pulverized when he grabbed it. The Sergeant called in the platoon medic, and we invented a new npc on the spot (Trooper "Doc" Katzumi, a young Asian woman). I then described how the medic started doing her job applying drugs to McCall who had collapsed on the ground, something seemed terribly wrong however, and he soon started writhing and screaming in pain. The characters could see how blood started to gush from his eyes, nose mouth and ears (and every other orifice), and he soon bled out while crying in agony. Both Jones and Sergeant Butts suspected some kind of poison, and told Trp Katzumi to take tests from the dead trooper body to analyze. At this point I interrupted the players and told them they heard rustling,  the crystal forest all around them seemed to come alive with crystal bugs. Time for the first encounter!

As I had 5 players I had 25 threat tokens to play with (number of player x 5), and had decided to run 4 encounters as advised in the rulebook. I also decided loosely how I would distribute tokens across those encounters. I had also planned on what the situation surrounding the encounters would be, as I felt a bit uncertain about the players ability to improvise. I would soon be proven wrong however.

My initial set-up were
1st encounter – 6 tokens (explore landing zone)
2nd encounter – 7 tokens (they find the scientists and guardians under attack)
3rd encounter – 5 tokens (fight their way to a crystal temple-like structure)
4th encounter -  7 tokens (encounter the hive-queen of the crystal insects inside)


Here I took the time to explain the combat-system briefly. Mentioning the use of flashbacks and how to use FA and NFA to kill stuff, move and change weapons.  The folks playing  troopers were given the opportunity to skim the Force Weakness rules, and the guy playing sergeant looked over the E-vac rules. Then we rolled for domination, which Jones won, and he decided to put them all in the "near" range (the players wanted to discuss where Jones-player should place them, but I said "no discussion, it's up to him"). I had told the players to bring some painted 40k minis, so we had a good selection to choose from to represent the characters. To use as threat tokens I found some poker-chips.

The players declared their default weapons (although I suspect this should have been done before rolling dominance?), and then we started the fists round of combat, Kluttz, Raynor and Sands decided to blast away with their weapons (using FA) while Butts and Jones wanted to know if they could use NFA for something else than moving/changing weapons. I seemed to remember from stuff I'd read that you could gain a FA bonus by using NFA, so I told them that if they succeeded on a NFA and in addition could come up with a cool description of how they aided their team-mates they could grant another player +1 to the FA in the next round. I later realized that this was only mentioned briefly in the rules, and seemed to be pertaining to the use of gear, and preparation (pg 87). But as this seemed to work great for us, and have resulted in great storytelling and player input on many occasions since, I have decided to keep it (and expand on it as the +1 bonus now can be given to both FA or NFA, and can be used by the player himself if accompanied by a appropriate description. I've even decided to hand out a +1 FA to all players for especially  inventive descriptions on occasion).

Well the encounter was short and brutal (for the aliens at least). I think I managed to get in one kill on two of the players (Sands and Raynor), and they both used their armor. But all in all I failed most of my rolls, and the players dice seemed to be on fire. In addition my newness to the game made me forget to move the players to another range those few times I could have done it, leaving them on "near" to get a butt load of kills.

What is interesting is that during the first encounter the players started to add more detail to the world and aliens in their descriptions, and encouraged by them I went outside my prepared stuff without hesitation. They described big mosquito-like flying crystal insects that were made of bright glass, and Raynor told of how his character was almost crushed by a beetle-like alien the size of a car when he failed his FA and took a kill. The player portraying  Jones added that the small, fast bugs were of thin, almost see through glass, while the larger ones were made of a darker more solid mineral. We all had a few eye-openers during the first encounter, and a few of the players seemed to realize that they could have taken their descriptions further and added more stuff when listening to the others. Both me and the players were still working our way out of the "the gm describes the world" mindset, and I often had to stop myself from describing stuff that the players very well could have taken care of themselves. After the combat I had "Doc" Mizuki talk to the Sergeant about how she and Jones had analyzed the tests from McCall, and found that the "crystalline dust" had entered his bloodstream and cut him up from inside causing the bleeding. She had since been able to mix up a "cocktail" of drugs from their first aid kits that would stop the bleeding if anyone should become wounded by the bugs, but they would not be able to use the kits for healing as usual (my explanation for Lasting Wounds). This information were then given to the whole platoon.

After the first encounter things really picked up as Jones (who now had acquired the nickname "Brains") reminded the sergeant that he had picked up the signal from the lost dropship, and they decided to head out in that direction. I started to ask the players what they saw, and they happily described most of the journey to the ship themselves, including crossing a lava river that barred their way. I had an idea of them finding the scientists and their guards under attack, but when one of the players said he saw the shape of the dropship in the distance, and that it seemed abandoned I decided to go run with it.

They carefully approved the site, and found  the dropship seemingly abandoned, and the scientist nowhere to be found. Sands found some large empty crates that seemed to have contained scientific equipment. And Raynor once again ventured out of the perimeter to look around. There he described finding a group of dead soldiers in Mandelbrites, all of them seemed to have bled out like poor McCall. Corporal Kluttz joined him and they lighted a few flares and scouted the area. There they found tracks leading toward a big volcano in the distance.

Meanwhile the platoon had gathered around the dropship and Jones had entered to try to get it back "online". He succeeded his NFA and described how the dropship powered up, and he searched the logs in the on-board computer.  I asked him what he found, and he said that mission information seemed to be classified, but that the crates seemed to have contained sensors and equipment for analysing ans searching the atmosphere and planetary surface for some very specific substances. Sergeant Butts contacted the fleet, and Lt Dallas obese face appeared on his HUD wanting some info on the mission status. Dallas explained in his annoying nasal voice that he expected the platoon to retrieve the equipment (and the scientist if possible), before ending the transmission.

I now decided that they had caused enough commotion to get noticed (powering up the dropship, searching the perimeter using flares aso) and added a new lot of threat tokens to the "Alien Threat Token" box, starting the second encounter. Dominance was rolled, and once again a player won and range was set to "near". A  great many crystal insects of all sizes and shapes started to emerge from the surrounding glass-forest. Jones wanted to use NFA to start the dropship, and I told him he could try, but that a failure might damage some of his platoon, who was positioned all the way around the ship. He succeeded his roll however and described how he fired up the thrusters, blowing the bugs back, and allowing the soldiers on the ground to concentrate their fire in one direction. The Sergeant also used NFA to make sure no troopers were burned by the dropship thrusters, he seemed determined to follow Order 4 (Protect your squad of Troopers). The other characters started firing into the advancing horde of bugs. Once again I failed most of my AA-rolls, only managing a couple of kills during the encounter. The players kept at "near" range and some of them racked up a whole lot of kills  (Corp Kluttz leading with his Heavy-machinegun). Again we had a lot of really cool descriptions of killing bugs and aiding each other. Highlights were Raynor on top of the hovering dropship blasting glass mosquitoes from the sky, and Kluttz fighting his way out from under a mass of crystal "ants" the size of large dogs (taking a kill in the process). The players also started to get into the routine of rolling kills directly after a successful FA, so they could add the number of kills into their description.

After the smoke had cleared and Jones landed the dropship they debated how to go on, initially they wanted to use the ship, but Sands mentioned that most of the surface seemed to be covered by the large crystal trees, and that they might find it difficult to land anywhere. Raynor then remembered the tracks he and Kluttz had found, and they agreed it would be impossible to follow them by air. The Sergeant ordered the platoon to set out following the tracks, and the group described how the trees seemed to become sturdier and larger as they approached the dormant volcano.

I had initially written up a short text describing a sort of temple-like structure that would house the bug-queen, but now decided to abandon it all, and see where my players took the story.

Raynor who walked in front said he saw some tunnels leading underground, and the tracks seemed to go down there, so the soldiers followed. They soon found themselves in a maze of tunnels and caverns. Water was dripping from the ceiling and running along the walls, and strange minerals of different colours were embedded in the cave walls. I described how they could sense more than see creatures moving in the tunnels and darting past the entrances.

I pushed 5 chips into the Alien Threat Token box and declared the third encounter. Once again I lost the domination roll, and the players could once again start combat at near. It looked unlikely to ever get an ambush with 5 players in the group. This time it panned out a bit differently due to me rolling mostly successes on my AA-rolls, and a the players being more unlucky with their FA's. The players described how they were swarmed by large crystal centipedes and millipedes crawling across the walls and ceiling of the tunnels. The group were taking some kills, and Kluttz decided to use a Strength to end the encounter. He described a quick flashback remembering how he loved playing "king of the hill" as a kid, pushing the other kids out of his way. Back in "reality" he forced his way through the mass of bugs and collapsed the tunnel ceiling on the seething mass using a grenade.

The group described how they crushed the few remaining bugs who were stuck under the debris before moving on using another and narrower tunnel. Jones used his suit sensors to lead the rest toward the centre of the volcano (NFA). I told them that the tunnel seemed to widen out into something bigger, and the players described a enormous cavern opening up before them, light shining from big crystals embedded in the walls. I then told them that the ceiling of the cavern seemed to be some gigantic crystalline net crawling with bugs. Stg Butts told his men to move out into the cavern carefully, and Jones suddenly noticed a large group of human-sized mantis-like bugs in the centre of the cavern. They seemed to be made of flawless crystal, and had bright golden light shining within their bodies. They were wielding some strange technology, apparently to analyse the scientific equipment from the dropship. And I added that the strange tech seemed advanced and alien, even  to these seemingly more intelligent bugs (an idea for some recurring story element hit me at this point).

Sergeant Butts player described how the platoon fanned out, and I decided it was time to start the final encounter. Placing my final 7 tokens I asked for NFA-rolls for the final encounter.
It came as no surprise that the players won again, and the range was as usual set to "near". In this final encounter my bad luck on AA-rolls returned in full, and I don't know if I managed to inflict a single kill on the characters. The players however had a great time, and described with great enthusiasm how their characters blasted bug after bug to dust.  Butts used NFA to direct the fire of the rest of the platoon, and Jones said he wanted to use the speakers of his suit to create a sound that would crack all that crystal. As it was such a cool idea i decided to grant the whole group a +1 if he made his NFA-roll (which he did). Together we described how the gigantic net started cracking and falling apart, showering the troopers with glass and crystal spiders.

Trooper Raynor got the FA-roll that removed the final threat token, and described how he blasted away the last few mantis-like aliens and retrieved the scientific equipment as well as some of the strange tech the aliens were wielding. The whole platoon then ran for their lives as the whole crystal-net collapsed from the high frequency sounds coming from all the suits now. I told them that as they looked back they could see some gigantic creature falling from the net and shattering on the cavern floor (my homage to my initial hive-queen idea :D).

The soldiers made their way out, where they were greeted by the sight of several highly armed dropships massacring the remaining crystal-bugs left outside. The aliens seemed to have lost all ability to work together, and ran harmlessly around being picked off by the ships.
The players were then retrieved by a dropship, and brought back to their battle-cruiser "The Sword of Retribution".

We then ran trough the "Between Missions" stuff. First they had to sit through a long and boring ceremony where among others Lt Dallas were promoted to Captain for the "excellent work he had done on Klimt". I played some really pompous heroic music in the background as I described how officer after officer went up to the podium and was awarded ranks and medals.

Then they were ordered to go down to the mess for the Trooper "award ceremony". The troopers were lining up behind some machines (I described them as looking like old outdated slot-machines) outside the mess hall,  they had to put their hand on the machine and salute (I made the players actually get up and do this).  I had found some really bad sounding and ridiculous march music on youtube and played that as they saluted before their medals fell down and could be collected from a plastic drawer.

Corp Kluttz managed to succeed on his NFA and was promoted to Sergeant, and also had the most kills (45 kills) and thus gained a level. Trooper Sands won the roll-off and gained a level as well.  Strangely enough both Butts and Jones failed their development rolls (both having the highest NFA of the group), while Raynor requisitioned a Rocketpod and Sands a Flame-gun. Then they all used their free weapon upgrades.

Final notes
Well we have since played two more sessions of 3:16 (I'll try to post if there is any interest in reading them), and we're having a blast playing the game.
I realise we did some initial mistakes (Jones should have been the corporal for one having the same NFA as Butts), but it all worked out great, and Kluttz became the corporal everyone loves to hate.

This first session saw little real internal conflict, but some seeds appeared that have started to blossom in later missions. The players have a hard time breaking the old rpg mould where they  cooperate in combat, so sabotaging each other to deny kills aso did not occur at all.
I also had planned on using an idea I found somewhere that every time a character became crippled he would have to describe the death of a npc-trooper. Since that did not happen the platoon lost only one man. Something Stg Butts was very satisfied with. Also my willingness to let players use NFA to give bonuses to others resulted in Jones and Butts both having 0 kills at the end of the mission. But still I felt it added something good to the game, so I have kept the option for later missions (and expanded on it as I mentioned somewhere).

So there it is, our first meeting with a story-game. Thanks to anyone with the patience to read all the way through this, and I'll gladly answer any question anyone might have.



Sounds like you had a great game.  I love the attention to detail you presented while staying in character as GM.  I bet the 3:16 and their Troopers lives felt very real for your players.

Also, your English is excellent so no worries there.
You can call me Charles

Lance D. Allen

The LT in my sporadic 3:16 game does much the same thing. He was the SGT in the original squad, and has managed to hang on to his leadership position largely by not pissing off his TPRs too much, (despite having shot his own on.. three separate occasions?) His kill count is far-and-away the lowest, especially considering that when he does use FA, he's usually using his pistol at Close range. When he's got TPRs in the fight, he frequently uses NFA to improve their circumstances, as well as his own.

Your game sounds awesome. I've kind of fallen into the trap of glossing over the fictional elements in favor of the mechanical, and your description (especially the character generation) has given me a new resolve to fix myself.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls


Awesome write-up, sounds like the game was an absolute blast. Plus your write-up is proving very helpful for me for when our group plays 3:16 and how to make things work, so a personal thanks for taking the time. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your sessions! (Also, your English is just fine. No worries.)
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio


Thanks for those replies folks, I'm in the process of writing up our second session (Planet Caravaggio) now, where some internal conflict already is rearing it's ugly head. Hope to have it up within a day or two.


charles ferguson


Great writeup. I'm planning to run my first session of 3:16 in the next few weeks. This post really helped!


Gregor Hutton

Thanks for posting Rune. I'm glad you had a good time playing.

Lasting Wounds is a good Ability to put up a tough planet (though any planet needs good rolls for the GM to be really tough). In some ways, though, meeting it earlier in a campaign is a good turn for the players. Later on a campaign it can be a deadly ability, especially if the PCs are short of Flashbacks and there are more than 4 encounters on the planet.