Skip to main content

Paranoia RPG

We had whats called the GIAG this weekend, or the Give It A Go. In this case people were giving roleplaying games ago. I prepped and ran a game of Paranoia. I picked up a copy of Paranoia 1st ed of Ebay about a year ago and had been looking for an opportunity to inflict it on the unsuspecting ever since.

Welcome Trouble Shooter!

Your Loyal Service to Computer will be rewarded!

Remember Traitors are everywhere!

Paranoia is a comedic sci fi roleplaying game that puts the players in position of being police grunts in a cold war totalitarian society that lives in a huge underground complex governed by an insane computer.

Conceptually this is an easy game to run. Each player is a member of a secret society and a mutant, both of which are treasonous to Friend Computer (the GM). The players must work together to complete a mission, in this case restore power to the Marine Facility, whilst hunting for traitors (each other). What results is lots of, well paranoia, followed by mindless violence and lots of poor decision making.

I sent five trouble shooters to this place;

A map i drew in GIMP based on a tutorial on cartographers guild.


The Alpha Complex Marine facility. Each player randomly drew a pregen character sheet. They got to roll up stats and choose from a list of skills. but i had given them each a random mutation and secret society with its ulterior objective. Initially they were all very well behaved and sucked up to the Friend Computer, they didn't raid the security room (room 2) and take all the guns there in. They didn't lynch each other. Then two players murdered a technician npc they suspected of being a commie, another pc went exploring the flood facility by himself and lost his legs to a shark he tried to surf, and further pc fell afoul of a giant kraken.

30 minutes later im dealing with one player popping a grenade towards his 'comrades' before shutting a door. The blast took out the observation window glass flooding the room. All four players in the room failed their swim checks. Luckily all characters have clone replacements.




Two player characters ultimately survived. Only one of them wound up on the bottom of the ocean in a submarine he had no idea how to operate.

Paranoia is an excellent game concept. The rule book itself is rather a product of its age, and not entirely in a good way. The game ideas are good, but the rules detail is completely over the top for what is a comic game conducive to one shots. It uses two different dice systems for attribute and skill tests, look up tables cross referencing armour and weapons for attack damage, and a skill tree system with lots of maths for calculating skill levels. I take a fairly DIY approach to games so i stripped a lot of this crap out. I wonder whether the newer editions are an improvement, or whether they loose the flair of the original even if they sort the rules out. I probably won't find out either way, since I'll only play Paranoia on occasions and 1st ed fits the bill for that.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Play Thru: Washington's Crossing

Being a man who likes diversity I bought / pre-ordered 4 games for Christmas about dudes in flashy coats with muskets marching around road networks. I’ve already Quick looked at Nappys Nemesis 1813, Metz is yet to be released from P500, Autumn of Glory is on the shelf, so this weekend I have played Washington’s Crossing.




The Patriot opening more or less followed the script. Washington moved with his stack, crossed the Delaware with decent movement and ferry rolls and come morning was sat just outside Trenton next to Rall’s Hessian garrison. The American gets a rather scripted +5 to surprise rolls when attacking Trenton, plus it being dawn and a prepared attack gave Washington very favourable odds but the roll was terrible and Rall escaped with only 25% losses and a retreat.
Further south Greene collected a few detachments of militia and drove the other Hessian garrisons north.



The Hessians forced marched out wide forcing Washington to either hunt them down for a few extra vps, or look el…

Quick Looks; Red Star / White Eagle

I generally hate it when people describe designs or ideas in games as dated, because many of the most innovative games  are older than I am. Equally it implies there is something innately good about new designs, which I don't think there is.

Dune is arguably the best multiplayer 'war' boardgame and the 70s basic DnD is in my view still the best RPG. I wasn't born until the late 80s and didn't discover these things to the mid 2000s so this isn't nostalgia doing my thinking, its just that some old ideas are better than new ones, despite our apparent 'progress'.



But having said all this Red Star / White Eagle is a dated game design. And this matters if you are looking at popping £70 on a new reprint of it from Compass Games. I am a wary cheapskate so I picked up a second hand copy with a trashed box of ebay for £20. It was worth it, but only just.


Red Star / White Eagle is a GDW 1979 Hex and Counter wargame covering the 1920 Russo - Polish war. Everything …

Quick Looks: The Pacific War: From Pearl Harbour to the Philippines

Imported games have the allure of being foreign and expensive, they also often come with the glamorous trappings of bad rules translation. Pacific War is all of these things but first the good;
It’s short. I’m not being factious here, generally Pacific Theatre war games are long and complicated, which is fine but it leaves the shallow end of the dream pool rather empty. The Pacific War clocks in around 2-3 hours and feels engrossing for this life span.
You’ve got a point to point map, pretty and functional but no pageant winner, a deck of cards, and a load of counters representing ships that come in on a historical reinforcement schedule. Each year long turn you get a variable number of cards. Players take action rounds discarding a card to win the privilege of doing something and then either play an event card, or move some ships, or resupply some ships (so they can move again). Once out of cards they roll off for priority in taking more actions but if they roll doubles the year ends.