[3:16] Terra 1 - Aliens 0

Started by Gethyn, July 30, 2008, 05:03:44 PM

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Inspired by Ron's recent AP post, I looked into Gregor Hutton's game '3:16', liked what I saw, got it, and now just completed my first session.

Players: Three of my sons, ages 11, 9 and 7. The older two are Inspectres veterans, but the youngest is entirely new to RPGs.

Characters: Sergeant "Loves Killin' " Dead Eye; Corporal "Brutal" Jamelbo; and Trooper "Driven Mad" Murtarg.

In a wonderful twist of game system, the Sergeant was played by our youngest player. Perfect! :)

All the characters were fresh out of Academy, green as grass and keen for action. Their Lieutenant briefed them on a mission to planet Reubens, a temperate world with no overt signs of alien habitation but a suspiciously high mortality rate (100%) amongst the reconnaissance teams. Their job was simply to establish a beachhead, find the aliens (they're down there somewhere, dammit) and kill them, ASAP.

Rules-wise this was a Sentient Planet with Swarm ability. I went with yer basic vegetation-comes-alive-and-eats-your-head approach.

In the end, there were four encounters.

The first was soon after landing - the knee-high grass suddenly took to wrapping around troopers' legs and dragging their bodies into the earth. 4 threat tokens.
Carnage ensued, particularly with the Swarm ability able to bring the characters to Close range at a moment's notice. The Corporal began by trying to communicate with the attacking undergrowth but discovered it to be futile. The Sergeant used a Strength to end the encounter before things got too terminal ("Chocolate Makes Me Strong").

As night fell, an NPC Trooper on guard duty was dragged away through the grass by forces unseen to a nearby wood. The platoon followed and joined battle with the wood itself as trees came to life and battered them from all angles. This was a 3 token threat and was dealt with in short order by some handy rolling.
A tunnel leading into the earth was discovered. All indications suggested that this was where victims were being dragged to by various roots and vines during battle.

At this point the Lieutenant radioed in for a status report, and asking for confirmation of reports that men were being dragged into the earth. "Nope, don't think so," says the (7 year old) Sergeant. "Nothing to worry about, everything under control." Fast learner! :)

So into the bowels of the planet they go. Pausing only to polish off a cavern full of sentient fungus ("Grenade!") they arrive at the Core.
A pulsating heart-brain awaits them, defended by vicious vines and deadly projectile-thorns. Just as battle is joined the Lieutenant calls to inform the Sergeant that casualites are way too high and he's going to nuke the place from orbit in 10 minutes. The players wonder if perhaps that little bit of insubordiation earlier had been misjudged.

This was a big 5 threat showdown. As Corporal Jamelbo and Trooper Murtarg pitched in guns blazing, Sergeant Dead Eye did his best to stall the Lieutenant over the radio into holding off the bombardment. The encounter ended in a climactic final roll where everyone failed except the Aliens and the Trooper, who tied. With every PC Crippled by thorns piercing their limbs and bodies, Trooper Murtarg hurls himself towards the brain and empties his Energy Rifle into it. 


The bombardment order is rescinded and as the planet tears itself apart with seismic shockwaves, the party return to the mothership bloodied but alive.

Despite using a Strength, Sergeant Dead Eye decided to forego a shot at promotion, far keener to get his greedy little mitts on a Rocketpod instead.
Corporal Jamelbo (highest kills) and Trooper Murtarg (highest roll) went up a level, and the Trooper is awarded the Crimson Sword for his act of heroic brain-blasting under enemy fire.
Although the Sergeant was arguably more heroic than Murtarg when he used his Strength at the start of the game, a quick NFA roll decided that his actions may have been worthy of  decoration, but in the heat of battle no-one actually noticed them.
The Corporal also got to add a Flamegun to his armoury and the Trooper was fitted for a shiny new Powerclaw.
Good times!

Overall, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, brought Terran hell to the alien scum of the universe and agreed that they'd definitely play again.

Gregor Hutton

Thanks for the AP, Gethyn.

I love the way that the Sergeant turns down promotion to stay with his men (I mean, get a Rocketpod!). And the PowerClaw is a favourite of mine too.

Oh, the "Chocolate" Flashback. What was the Flashback too?

I had one at GameWang where the PC was a pro-Golfer on Terra (!) before he signed up and when he flashed back to the present he clubbed a grenade with his rifle like a 6-iron into a group of dinosaurs.

I find that the PCs and Terra really gets created in these little moments.

One down, 19 to go!

Darren Hill

Great report. I love "Chocolate makes me Strong."


Quote from: Gregor Hutton on July 30, 2008, 06:24:28 PM
Oh, the "Chocolate" Flashback. What was the Flashback too?

It was basically a Flashback to a conversation with a mentor during training:
"Take it from me - if you're ever in trouble, there's only one thing will get you though. Chocolate."
And he's never been without a bar since.

In the scene, he stands tall amid the incoming grenades, calmly gunning down the aliens at close range with a pistol in one hand while taking a big old munch on a chocolate bar in the other.
He didn't specify, but it had to have been a Yorkie. ( http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1308/1387874423_5c139ef16a.jpg?v=0 )