In 3:16 players will act as soldiers of the 16th Brigade of the Third Army with the mission of destroy preventively any alien life form that can be dangerous fior Terra during their voyage through cosmos (that is, all they can find).
The game in itself is heavy influenced, among others, by the British comic book magazine 2000 AD (official website and wikipedia article), the game Warhammer 40,000, Starship Troopers (book and film), film Aliens and comic book The Ballad of Halo Jones.
3:16 is characterized by a really easy basic game mechanism so characters that can be created only have two skills: Fighting Ability (FA) and Non-Fighting Ability (NFA), whose use is quite obvious, since the first covers combat actions and the second all other actions. Both abilities are graded from 1 to 10 and to succeed you need to get the same result or below the score with a 1D10 roll.
Combat can be carried out in an abstract manner using so it can be done with a Range Map at Close, Near or Far ranges and also with a certain degree of resource management because during the course of the missions of the military campaign in the planet the referee has Danger Chips (counters or tokens from ludo can be used for example) to represent the number of aliens to bring down and activate their special ability (see below) so in a way 3:16 may also be compared in part to a board game in the approach of the action.
Leaving aside rolls themselves characters also have the chance to alter the course of events on a limited basis (eg when the characters are about to die when attacked by aliens) by brief flashback scenes: Players can invent brief memories of his past life and that somehow can relate to the current situation in which the characters are involved, these memories may be presented as Strengths (positive) or Weaknesses (negative) and may eventually affect how characters rise levels the level, as they start as privates and eventually up the promotion ladder with following missions.
As for alien worlds that will be targeted to conquer and/or destroy by the 16th Brigade the game book provides referees a set of lists necessary to create them randomly or choosing directly the features that interest us or draw attention, so that we can choose traits such as its name (the author proposes a list of names of famous painters), type of planet, type of creatures that inhabit them or their special ability, which can affect some specific character actions (being able to ambush them, use powers against, etc..).
3:16 can be a nasty and dark humorous game if players are ready to adopt the proper mindset and not taking the situations arising too seriously (and seeing some of the sources that inspired the author it's no wonder to be so).
It also acknowledgeable that the game itself may be short after a few sessions, but that should not prevent you from creating new content or expansions, so here are some ideas:
- It's logical to think that a lot of psychopaths going from planet to planet causing death and destruction end up drawing attention, so the possibility of advanced enough aliens deciding the 16th Brigade, this can lead to space battles or the landing of reinforcements to help natives of the planet that characters are attacking.
- What if instead of interpreting the soldiers of the 16th Brigade players decide to join the natives?, surely it can be done using the rules of the game and with a few changes.
- You can also change the background of the game creating a new one or adapting it to your favorite universe, who will preclude you for it?. Given that the rules are extremely simple this should not be too difficult (imagine players as imperial troops in Star Wars for instance).
- If we talk about making changes you can also change genre and adapt the rules to other circumstances or times, such as any of the two world wars of the twentieth century (playing characters as soldiers of any contendent nation), hordes of orcs who serve the Dark Lord and live only to kill, burn and plunder (yes, I'm thinking of some types of players) or the series and movies about zombies (with the characters of the players locked in a shelter and having to withstand the assault of the living dead).
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