Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Joys of Paranoia RPG

Paranoia is an amazing game especially for One-shots at game conventions. Players aren't supposed to know the rules, the game itself runs best when it's off the cuff, a basic outline of some ideas is really all you really need, besides some handouts, players need to know what secret society they belong to, what their mutant power is (not how it works), and during the course of the game you give out the mission for the Computer (or a high programmer's secret agenda), plus the secret society missions.

There are so many variations of fun things to do in Paranoia, perhaps all the characters are actually Internal Security secret agents. Perhaps the Team Leader is torn between completing the mission and fulfilling his Death Leopard mission of ensuring the Computer's mission is a failure.

The secret to a good Paranoia game is plenty of conflict. Conflicting orders, conflicting secret society missions, conflicting information about the mission....

I just recently had an idea of the puzzle mission. The characters are sent on a top secret mission, they will receive orders on their Series 1300 PDC. Unfortunately when they receive their orders, they each only receive a portion of the orders. Hilarity ensues as the players scramble to figure out if they're going to the right locations, in the right order. Does it matter if they're really going to the correct location? Nope, not really, the GM in Paranoia is really just someone to pass notes to, and try to control the chaos that ensues, oh and occasionally throw an arbitrary die.

The second most important thing to do in Paranoia is provide opportunity. If there are opportunities, the players will generally know how to exploit them, one of my favorites is the dark elevator, or TransBot.

If you have at least 4 people to play your game this is really one of the most amazing games to run. If you want to run a long term campaign, then you employ the 'dark' setting of the rules, different from Zap and Classic, this type of play focuses more on subverting the computer rather than back-stabbing your buddy. Make the players all part of the same secret society, or service group, focus on the darker aspects of the world, change it up a bit, perhaps more like Logan's Run. Instead of a sexless world where hormones are tightly suppresed, it becomes a decadent world where recreational drugs and sex become the way to escape the harsh realities of Alpha Complex. Make the 'plex at war with another Alpha Complex, a secret war that the Infrareds know nothing about. They think it's all a 'commie' plot.

Paranoia is endless in fun and possibilities.

Any version will do, as the rules don't really matter as much as the setting, I like a combination of the Mongoose versions, I like that Paranoia "Troubleshooters" brought treason points back, but I like Paranoia Service Pack 1 because the artwork is the original artwork and the version is really tight.

Paranoia Troubleshooters PDF $23.98
Paranoia Service Pack 1 PDF $23.98
Also, I'm running Paranoia at Gam3rCon Gam3day this Saturday (unless I don't recover my voice...) provided I have enough players, if not, I might run a Traveller: Judge Dredd Eagle Day run for 1 or 2 players.