Playtesy review: 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars

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I’ve been peripherally aware of this game for a little while now but had never had the chance to play. When I saw it on the list at this years Furnace I grabbed the chance to give it a go. My preconceptions were that the game was indie, it’s focus is on fighting as a space marine against a horde of aliens, that success is measured in kills, and that’s about it. Turns out I was right.
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Spiteful

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As mentioned elsewhere, I went on the spur of the moment to CONcrete Cow recently, a jolly little affair, which charges to cover costs of the room hire and has a couple of traders and three game slots. Typically the morning slot is oversubscribed, with diminishing returns as the day goes on. This one felt under-attended compared to the Spring version, but there were still happy faces about the place. I got there early and was able to sign up to a game of Spite. Nutters on the fringe of society bringing down renegade Angels who are judging people too early and occasionally annihilating entire US states on their way. Sounds down my alley.

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Pros & Cons: Dungeon Delve

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Dungeon DelveI’ve completed a micro sliced review of this over at RPGnet, but I thought it worth compiling my thoughts on the book as a whole.

Now, there’s not much of a tradition of RPGs putting together books of one shots. There are some, and they’ve always (by their very nature I suppose) been a mixed bag. This one is no exception, but it’s still a superb resource for the harried DM, and who isn’t one of those?

Under the hardback covers we get 190 pages and 30 small adventures, called delves, for D&D 4e. My copy cost me exactly the same as the WotC adventures already on the market such as Keep on the Shadowfell. That makes it a whole lot of adventure for your money in comparison.

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LemurCon: Legend of the Five Rings

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Image:Legend of the Five Rings Logo.jpg

Gaz ran Legend of the Five Rings for us at LemurCon this weekend. Here’s my comments, and for the purposes of this ‘blog, my thoughts on using Lo5R for one shots and Con games generally.

I’ve played Lo5R a few times now. Once at a Con actually, and I don’t remember much about it, but what I do remember wasn’t particularly noteworty. Gaz and Lemur are long-term fans, and I’ve always kept my ear to the ground about the game’s fortunes over the years. I actually bought 3rd edn last year just to try to get in on the action. Never really got much further than a decent skim of the text. I managed to snap up a copy of 1st edn on the lads’ recommendation recently (30p off ebay!) and I really liked what I saw. The art was great, the text accessible, a great example of a complete core book. I have to admit I’ve struggled with the setting before, my knowledge of feudal Japan is restricted to watching Shogun on TV years ago and reading the novel a while back. I’m more of a western fantasy kind of gamer to be honest.

All the above makes me what I’d consider to be a typical Con customer. Most players I’ve encountered tend to be interested, but not immersed in the game on offer. The real experts are in the minority and if anything, come from the GM’s home game and are there for moral support as much as anything else. How does the game fare then? I’m going to look at three aspects: the system, the setting, and finally the scenario, all from a one shot perspective.