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Paranoia RPG Returns in New Edition 363

Posted by michael
from the i-speak-without-fear-of-contradiction dept.
Allen Varney writes "The classic tabletop roleplaying game PARANOIA, originally published by West End Games in the 1980s, returns in a new edition this August from Mongoose Publishing. PARANOIA, the game of a darkly humorous future, is set in an underground Alpha Complex ruled by an insane Computer. I am writing and (re)designing the main rulebook, under direction from original PARANOIA co-designer Greg Costikyan, with contributions from novelist and game designer Aaron Allston. I'd be happy to answer questions from Slashdot's gamers."
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Paranoia RPG Returns in New Edition

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  • ahh (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:01PM (#8330686) Homepage
    Mmm, hot fun.
    • Re:ahh (Score:3, Funny)

      by squidfood (149212)
      Mmm, hot fun.

      With or without hormone supressant therepy? Bzzt! Wrong answer, citizen! (*splat*).

      Long live Death Leopards!

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:01PM (#8330702) Homepage
    Is the computer still your friend in this edition?
  • by burgburgburg (574866) <`splisken06' `at' `email.com'> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:02PM (#8330704)
    Is there any other type?
  • One hasbro (Score:5, Funny)

    by musikit (716987) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:02PM (#8330707)
    i like this from their website. i found it quite humorous.

    One Hasbro(R) to rule them all

    One Hasbro(R) to find them.

    One Hasbro(R) to bring them all

    And in the darkness bind them

    Parker Brothers(R), Milton Bradley(R), Selchow & Richter(R), TSR(R), SPI(R), Avalon Hill(R), and Wizards of the Coast(R) are registered trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. Their use here is not to be construed as a challenge to their trademark status.
  • by phiwum (319633) <jesse@phiwumbda.org> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:02PM (#8330708) Homepage
    Paranoia! Late night playing sessions in the dormitory bathroom (helped the atmosphere of the game somehow). Jeez, what a game.

    Of all the old roleplaying games, the only one I still own and cart with me when I move is Paranoia. I'll probably never play it again, but I can't bear to get rid of such an entertaining rulebook.

    Good luck with the next edition. It will be hard to write a book that stands up well next to the original.
  • by xleeko (551231) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:04PM (#8330746)
    My previous clone tried to post in this thread, but my computer accused it of treason ...

    - Dave #2

  • by Tofino (628530) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:04PM (#8330748)
    Have you got your copy of the Paranoia RPG, citizen? What's that? The old version? SCRUBBERS!
  • so, uh.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fireduck (197000) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:04PM (#8330754)
    what color paper is the book going to be published on?
  • by Supp0rtLinux (594509) <Supp0rtLinux@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:05PM (#8330763)
    Its worth pointing out that the story/idea behind Paranoia was also the primary basis for Resident Evil. The original coders of Resident Evil had been playing Paranoia literally for weeks prior to writing the game. I know from personal experience. :)
    • by GothChip (123005) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:37PM (#8331276) Homepage
      I thought you were going to say it was the basis for the current US Government's homeland policies.
      • I thought you were going to say it was the basis for the current US Government's homeland policies.
        Stay in your home. Do not attempt to run. The nice men from the Heimatsicherheitsdienst will be along shortly to take you away where you can't reveal any more secrets about government policymaking.
  • SYB Notes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mwheeler01 (625017) <matthew.l.wheeler@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:05PM (#8330771)
    The most intriguing part of the game for me was the encouraged use of screw your buddy notes. AKA FYB notes, these were fun because you really did get the feeling that everyone was out to get you and this prompted you to scribble off another note the to GM to perfrom a preemptive strike on your team mate because he was obviously a communist.

    • Re:SYB Notes (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anil (7001) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:17PM (#8330977)
      I agree this was a great part of the game. It did make GMing a game more confusing than actually playing the game, though.

      I mean, you've got 4 or 5 people doing stuff and you are trying to direct them along while at the same time dealing with notes from all of them coming at you as fast as they can write them.

      Though, the fact that the game didn't really have any rules did compensate for the notes a bit. You didn't really have to roll dice if you didn't feel like it to determine outcomes.

      ahh, great game. I hadn't even realized it was out of print.

      • by sammy baby (14909) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:46PM (#8331449) Journal
        Clearly, if this was a problem for you, you weren't paying adequate attention to the GM's guidelines.

        The first guideline: KILL THE BASTARDS. (that is, the players). If you were overly swamped by notes from the players, the appropriate response would be to discourage further notes through the judicious application of death. Commies.
        • As a GM in some of these games. I completely agree. On several instances I (as the GM) accused a player that was contantly writing notes of too much knowledge. How did he know he was in a game and that I could control it. TOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE. Please report etc, etc......
      • Re:SYB Notes (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Creepy (93888)
        I always liked how there was a warning that reading the rulebook is treason (and then encourages reading it...) - we had a rules-lawyer who kept getting himself killed by telling the GM he was running the game wrong or using the wrong table or any number of stupid things...

        I went through clones fast sometimes, especially with kill happy GMs, but that guy lost all 6 in less than 20 minutes, and only about 3 of which he had a character in the game - with the most lenient GM I've ever had for Paranoia (heck,
    • by techno-vampire (666512) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:26PM (#8334913) Homepage
      My favorite note went like this: "When you read this, nod at me and smile."
  • by daemones (188271) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:06PM (#8330786) Homepage
    Anyone trolling this article must report to the nearest execution booth. Have a pleasant day, citizen.
  • by Cruciform (42896) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:06PM (#8330795) Homepage
    So tell us...

    Does the computer REALLY love us?
  • by dougermouse (581787) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:08PM (#8330810)
    As a long time Paranoia player (I love Randy the wonder lizard), is there going to be a beta testing program? Where can I sign up? And are the modules going to be updated as well? What mods to the tech trees are you going to add considering "pre-whoops!" developments like the Internet?
    • Thank you for your interest, Citizen! Here is your copy of the New Paranoia Mandatorily Happy Rule Book. Putting it down is treason. Removing it from its experiemental plasma-chamber suspensor is treason. Not knowing the rules is treason, and doubting what I say and looking it up in the book is also treason. In addition, wh^H^H if the plasma destablizes, surviving the explosion is something only a mutant could do, which would be treason. Have A Nice Day.
    • by Allen Varney (449382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:15PM (#8331954) Homepage
      Is there going to be a beta testing program? Where can I sign up? And are the modules going to be updated as well? What mods to the tech trees are you going to add considering "pre-whoops!" developments like the Internet?

      My, citizen, you certainly do have a lot of questions! Such inquisitiveness suggests that your creche's teacherbots have been remiss in conveying Alpha Complex etiquette.

      Mongoose will reissue a collection of classic Paranoia material, updated to match the new rules, within a few months after the main rulebook appears in August 2004.

      We will certainly need playtesters (as beta testers are quaintly called in the backward paper-game business). No sign-up information yet, but keep checking Greg Costikyan's Paranoia blog [costik.com] for updates.

      As for modifications to the "tech trees" -- that information is available only to Security Clearance ULTRAVIOLET. Thank you for your cooperation!

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby AT comcast DOT net> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:09PM (#8330834)
    Will the tinfoil for hats come in blue?
  • by Jedi Holocron (225191) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:11PM (#8330872) Homepage Journal
    Can I get Ultra-Violet clearance now?

    Oh wait, that's illegal...

    (enter clone #2)

    Can I get Ultra-Violet clerance now?

    (enter clone #3)

    (Happy Officer takes a core sample)

    (enter clone #4)
    Can I have a happy pill?
  • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@gmail.cUUUom minus threevowels> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:14PM (#8330911) Journal
    The Computer: You are mistaken, citizen. No Fifth Edition was published by West End Games in 1995, nor did West End show pages from a projected "Long Lost Third Edition" at GenCon in 1997. Note that there also has never been a Crash Course Manual, nor any "Secret Society Wars," "MegaWhoops," or "Reboot Camp" adventures. These products never existed. They are now un-products. Are you absolutely clear on this, citizen? Do you still doubt The Computer? Perhaps you need to visit the Bright Vision Re-Education Center.

    I think this is the only time I've ever seen a product-existance-denial actually be in-character.

  • Excellent (Score:4, Informative)

    by swdunlop (103066) <(swdunlop) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:15PM (#8330925) Homepage

    I recently forked over $75 for a set of the original first edition Paranoia because our local gaming group was getting way too obsessed with their stats and game mechanics. The ensuing pandemonium and infighting didn't solve the problem, but at least it entertains the game master, which is the point of it all, right?



    I'm especially happy to hear that the new edition won't be using d20. I've been using Active Exploits [pigames.net], a free, diceless game system, and it has worked very well for keeping the game fast and simple -- an essential for Paranoia.



    There are also some excellent resources for individuals who want to play Paranoia online; Paranoia-RPG [paranoia-rpg.com] is probably the best place to start.



    And, finally, if Paranoia tickles your fancy and you want to try a different comic genre, check out Atlas Games' Over the Edge [atlas-games.com], a lightweight conspiracy game that makes Fox Mulders' wildest guesses seem tame.

    • Re:Excellent (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GMFTatsujin (239569)
      Second Edition Paranoia practically INVENTED D20.

      Each skill branch was a collection of skills based off of a stat (Dex, Agility, Moxie, whatever). Characters' skill ratings were based off of a value derived from their stats (basically the stat/4 -- a 20 stat would give you a base 5 in every related skill) plus however many skill points they invested in their trees as they advanced. Instead of rolling to meet a challenge rating, Paranoia players would try to roll under their combined skill rating.

      The only
  • My kind of MMORPG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by droleary (47999) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:18PM (#8330988) Homepage
    Now I know that the article is mainly about an update to the RPG rules themselves, but I can't help but think how awesome a computer game set in that universe would be. One of the great points of Paranoia is that you go in knowing you're probably going to die a number of times, so you get really attached not to the clones, but to the game play. There are levels of sorts, but not in such a way that the game is about leveling up, so it would still be fun for new players (and/or yourself when you've run through your clones). With the "unseen enemy" angle, you can constantly have the goals of a troubleshooter changing so it would never get stale. The article states rights have been sold for a text version, but if someone wants to make a killing they should snap up rights for a graphic version.
  • Minsky (Score:5, Funny)

    by lysander (31017) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:20PM (#8331024)
    As I recall from one of the source books, The Computer has the following displayed on one of its terminals:
    If only Marvin Minsky could see me now.
  • by Cruciform (42896) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:20PM (#8331027) Homepage
    This is going to be fun!

    Like Slashdot with dice!
  • by solios (53048) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:20PM (#8331031) Homepage
    I may have heard of Paranoia once or twice in the past, but this is the first real discussion I've read of it, and it sounds like something worth looking into.

    I used to be a hardcore tabletop gamer, but I stopped several years back for a whole heap of reasons. The only gaming supplies I still have are a set of stock DnD dice, a couple of first edition DnD books (my ex roommate needed money), the Lunch Money* CCG (best. CCG. EVAR.), and the HOL** manual and expansion.

    If the Paranoia rulebook is even HALF as entertaining as the HOL manual, I'm buying two- the article links paint the game up into a similar category, which is good- this is the first I've even thought about tabletop gaming in months.

    Good thing there's a gaming store about three blocks from work. :)

    * Lunch Money : You play a catholic schoolgirl on a playground. You beat the crap out of your opponent(s). Suggested to use consumable items such as M&Ms as life counters. You buy the deck and you get the whole game- none of this Endless Diarrhea of Expansions that other CCGs suffer. Also an excellent card based hand-to-hand combat system. :)

    ** Human Occupied Landfill. The most heinously WRONG gaming manual ever written.
    • by Ondo (187980) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:36PM (#8331274)
      Lunch Money : You play a catholic schoolgirl on a playground. You beat the crap out of your opponent(s). Suggested to use consumable items such as M&Ms as life counters. You buy the deck and you get the whole game- none of this Endless Diarrhea of Expansions that other CCGs suffer. Also an excellent card based hand-to-hand combat system. :)

      It's not a CCG, it's a card game. There's no "collectable". There will be expansions - Lunch Money: Sticks and Stones is coming out soon, and Beer Money (a seperate game that can be combined with Lunch Money) was just announced.
  • by cyranoVR (518628) <cyranoVR AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:21PM (#8331045) Homepage Journal
    The Paranoia rule book (2nd Edition) actively encouraged the gamemaster to ignore the rules. It was one of the few RPGs I played (AD&D, Mechwarrior, various GURPS) that emphasized having fun above all else. I hope the new edition stays true to this spirit!

    That - and I loved the wry satirical and self-referencing tone in which 2nd Edition was written. Sometimes I would sit and just read the rulebook for fun! Reading it as a teenager, I learned a lot about both pop-culture and serious political thought ("Imagine a world designed by Orwell, Sartre, Kafka, Stalin and the Marx Brothers...")

    Basically, if The Onion did a sci-fi RPG, it would be Paranoia.

    Can't wait to see the new edition!

    and remember...THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND! ALL HAIL FRIEND COMPUTER!
  • by clamatius (78862) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:24PM (#8331095) Homepage
    Is there any point in asking questions?

    We all know we won't have a high enough security clearance for the answers.
  • From the article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Unknown Kadath (685094) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:24PM (#8331099)
    Player: Are you using the d20 rules system?

    The Computer: No. PARANOIA is fun. D20 games are not fun. The Computer says so.


    And we all know Friend Computer is always right.

    I was also wondering, what does the "XP" stand for? Though...with my clearance, I probably shouldn't even ask.

    -Car-O-LYN
    • Re:From the article (Score:5, Informative)

      by Allen Varney (449382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:30PM (#8332209) Homepage
      what does the "XP" stand for?

      It's a jab at Windows XP, but when Microsoft originally announced Windows XP, they explained that XP stood for "experience." This nod to roleplaying game terminology ("experience points") warmed my heart.

      In any case, PARANOIA XP may not be the final title. None of us could think of anything better. We're certainly open to better ideas.

  • Character Generation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Papa Legba (192550) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:30PM (#8331197)
    Long live Pax Computer!

    That said one of the things I most enjoyed about playing paranoia was the lack of character generation. You could generate a chracter if you wanted, but what was the point? It was going to be dead soon. This got rid of the four hour character generation marathons caused by people taking 20 minutes to decide if they wanted to buy an extra flask of oil or a ten foot pole with the last of there money. More games ended before they started due to the fact that character generation bogged the night down so bad the adventure never got started and no one was hooked to come back the next night. Paranoia was great, people got together, you handed them a character, they read it for ten minutes and bam you were playing and having a good time.

    So I guess the question inherent in this babbling is. Are you going to keep the preferences for pre-generated characters in the new edition?

    • by Allen Varney (449382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:33PM (#8332257) Homepage
      Are you going to keep the preferences for pre-generated characters in the new edition?

      Yes, very strongly so. I personally favor giving GMs pregenerated "six-packs" of Troubleshooters, all with ready-made reasons to kill one another.

      There will be a character generation system for those times when you run out of clones and can't afford new ones. (In PARANOIA XP you'll be able to buy indefinite numbers of clones to fill out a depleted clone family.) Ideally I'd like to keep the character generation process under four minutes, plus whatever time the GM requires to explain all the reasons you want to kill the other Troubleshooters.

  • XP? (Score:3, Funny)

    by shut_up_man (450725) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:31PM (#8331204) Homepage
    They're calling it "Paranoia XP", which I hope is a thinly-veiled dig at Windows XP. I hope the new game comes with a shrink-wrapped license and pages of bilious marketing screed, detailing just how much better Paranoia XP is over Paranoia 3.1 or even Paranoia 95. It won't mention Paranoia Me though - I hear it was a complete disaster.
  • by mikeophile (647318) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:38PM (#8331304)
    That was printed on the GM side of the screen just to remind me who was boss in the game.

    My poor players never knew what they were in for when I ran that game. Hot fun and happy pills!

    I always broke out Paranoia when my CoC or Champions players started getting a little too big for their britches with five hour character generations and rules lawyering.

    This game was truly a masterpiece of catharsis for overworked gamemasters. I am so glad it's getting a rework, I could just implode with delight.

    Thank you Greg! The computer is the bomb!

    No wait! It's just an expression! I didn't really mean bomb! I just...ZZZZZZZZZZZZAAAAAPPP!

    Mike-O-Phile2...you are lucky enough to have been activated for duty in service of the Great and Benevolent Computer! You are to report to Mission Room 5 in Slashdot Sector immediately for briefing.

  • by gmcraff (61718) <gmcraff@NOsPAM.yahoo.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:43PM (#8331387)
    In high school, my friends and I would play all sorts of things. I ran a Shadowrun campaign, another ran a Star Trek RPG, another ran a Rifts campaign, etc. We'd switch it up pretty regularly, keeping it all fresh.

    One of the guys decided to do a one-off Paranoia game. Here's how it started:

    COMPUTER: Troubleshooters! Report to briefing room B-X-37-Y for your mission briefing!

    ME: Friend computer, where might one find riefing room B-X-37-Y?

    COMPUTER: What is your clearance?

    ME: Red, friend computer.

    COMPUTER: You are not cleared for that information.

    Analiese: [sarcastically, momentarily channeling her D&D character] Well, I cast a spell to locate the briefing room.

    ME: Argh! Mutant powers! Shoot her shoot her shoot her!

    [Much expendature of Red lasers into Analiese.]

    Analiese Clone #2: [arriving] You guys all suck.

    ME: Argh! Questioning the wisdom of Friend Computer! Commie traitor! Shoot her shoot her shoot her!

    [Much expendature of Red lasers into Analiese's second clone.]

    COMPUTER: Well done, citizen! You are now cleared for Orange access.

    And things degenerated from there. I don't think we made it out of the briefing room.
  • first time players (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sckeener (137243) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:44PM (#8331398)
    Paranoia is one of the few RPG games that new players do the best.

    If you are a regular player, you care about your character. Newbies go for broke.

    I once knew a cop that attended a Nancon convention here in Houston (back in the day) who had never played Paranoia, but threw himself into the role and won the tournament.

    I always wondered if being a cop gave him an edge in that game....i.e. maybe he is a professional Paranoia player...
  • by ChaosDiscord (4913) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:04PM (#8331767) Homepage Journal

    I like Paranoia, but I like it in much the same way I like HOL [rpg.net] or Orkworld [rpg.net]. Great read, fascinating ideas, but is it actually playable? The best summary of Paranoia's problems I've seen amounted to basically, "Paranoia feels too much like a private joke between the author of a given adventure and the gamemaster." To players things (notably death) seems a bit arbitrary. The jokes often aren't comprehensible if you don't have context that only the GM has. (The "disco" scene in Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues comes to mind).

    If Paranoia is just social commentary and satire, well, that's and interesting read, but it's a basis for a game I play more than once. If it's about humor than the jokes need to be visible to everyone; I'm not going to play a game to amuse my GM. I think that the core game play of Paranoia is supposed to be about the struggle to survive in a bureaucratic nightmare, but that's not the feeling I've gotten from the games I've played. It's unfortunate, because it's such an appealing premise.

    I see a lot of potential, but I've never seen it pay off in actual game play. Maybe I've just been unlucky and didn't have GMs up to the task (I've been in love with Shadowrun since the second edition, but only recently actually played in a game I enjoyed), but Paranoia seems like a fundamentally difficult game to get right. The only "famous" module I've played was YCBBB. YCBBB is is generally held to be one of the best modules for the game. What I saw wasn't terribly impressive and appeared to have a strong "private joke between the author and the GM" element. (To be fair, given that the players weren't haven't alot of fun, we stopped playing after only a few sessions.)

    So, is the accusation that Paranoia is a private job between the creators and the GM fair? Is there any truth too it? Is Paranoia fundamentally an extremely difficult game to run? Are you changing anything to address these concerns (including possibly working to clarify incorrect perceptions)? What do you feel is the key attraction to playing for players?

    • by Allen Varney (449382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @05:16PM (#8332808) Homepage
      Is the accusation that Paranoia is a private job between the creators and the GM fair? Is there any truth to it?

      Yes, historically. Too many adventures were written solely to be fun to read, as opposed to fun to play.

      Is Paranoia fundamentally an extremely difficult game to run?

      No. PARANOIA is generally an extremely easy game to run. Players aren't allowed to demonstrate knowledge of the rules (no rules-lawyer arguments). The Gamemaster has absolute and unquestioned authority. Players generally entertain themselves by busily plotting against one another.

      That said, good gamemastering does call for a sharp sense of humor and a willingness to improvise. This can alienate certain prospective Gamemasters.

      Are you changing anything to address these concerns (including possibly working to clarify incorrect perceptions?

      The PARANOIA supplement line will have to do this. I'm just writing (most of) the basic rulebook. I hope the Mongoose line editor will avoid the trap of PARANOIA's adventures from the latter 1980s and early 1990s, which had The Computer deliberately setting up traps to kill its Troubleshooters. This is all wrong. The Computer means well; it wants loyal Troubleshooters to survive and thrive in its service. The problem is that The Computer is totally nuts and inevitably finds treason even where none exists.

      I will certainly include campaign advice along this line in the rulebook, which may help Gamemasters detect and correct errant supplements.

      What do you feel is the key attraction to playing for players?

      In every other RPG on the market, you're supposed to cooperate with everybody, be a team player, know the rules, and generally behave. In PARANOIA you are specifically enjoined against any of this. You aren't allowed to behave. For players this can be an exhilarating and genuinely liberating experience.

  • by Hobart (32767) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:19PM (#8332036) Homepage Journal
    There was a fantastically fun game based on Paranoia called InFiNiTy CoMpLeX ... I think it could best be described as sixteen player text-based Quake Deathmatch...


    It was largely based on Paranoia, there were up to twenty-six "Commies" running around the complex who would occasionally take potshots at characters, or group together and start behaving silly (if three or four of them grouped together, they would start singing "Twist and shout", etc).

    The game had one of the more innovative solutions to handle players quitting the game that I've seen -- if you quit, outside of the allowed "savepoint" type room, you became an NPC and the computer would make you behave like a commie...

    You could build up your own 3-dimensional structures by blowing holes in walls, fling grenades into roomfuls of people and then slam the door and glue it shut, etc... All back in the 1200/2400 baud modem era...

    A quick skim of Google / Google Groups [google.com] shows that the game's been being saught after for quite some time...

    Ah, looks like at least a few telnettable majorBBS' have it! telnet://grnet.com [grnet.com] and telnet://onix.com [onix.com]

    Y'all kids owe it to yourselves to check it out. :)
    You're in Briefing Room 34, which resembles nothing so much as an employment office. The walls are covered with recruiting posters which state with much authority that "MASTER CONTROL wants YOU!.
    Exits: North, south, and west
    Eternalloy walls: East, ceiling, and floor
    A ladder joins the ceiling and floor.
    North : Damaged wall. Hole.
    South : Hole.
    West : Hole.
    On the floor are:
    0: M2 laser 1: M1 laser 2: nothing
    3: nothing 4: nothing 5: nothing
    There are no other people in sight
    -
  • Extreme Paranoia (Score:4, Informative)

    by Captain Chad (102831) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:20PM (#8332055) Homepage
    In 1991 West End published a book named Extreme Paranoia: Nobody Knows the Trouble Ive Shot [amazon.com] that is set in the Paranoia universe. It is hilarious, and I highly recommend it.
    • Re:Extreme Paranoia (Score:4, Informative)

      by Allen Varney (449382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @05:20PM (#8332861) Homepage
      In 1991 West End published a book named Extreme Paranoia: Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Shot, that is set in the Paranoia universe.

      The novel was written by Ken Rolston, PARANOIA's original line editor at West End during the game's golden period. Ken later went on to design the Morrowind computer game and is still involved with the expansions and future games in the series. Ken has provisionally agreed to contribute new material to PARANOIA XP, time permitting.

    • Re:Extreme Paranoia (Score:3, Informative)

      by lysander (31017)
      There is also a paranoia novel titled Title Deleted for Security Reasons [amazon.com], about the adventures of James-B-OND-1. It's also quite good, and very entertaining.
  • by OrbNobz (2505) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @05:27PM (#8332941) Homepage
    As the only white clearance troubleshooter of the bunch, you are all in direct violation of your security clearance by reading this white backgrounded forum!
    Computer, I request immediate authority for summary execution of all fellow forum readers! I'll fill out the termination vouchers in triplicate later.

    Damn I love Paranoia!
    - OrbNobz
  • by ArmorFiend (151674) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @05:42PM (#8333098) Homepage Journal
    It seems all the paranoia games I've played in have lead to charges of treason even before getting to the mission briefing. Its a gag game, and as long as you take down your fellow citizen, who cares if you get vaporized as well? Is there going to be an attempt to address this problem, or are the people we play with just curs?
    • by Allen Varney (449382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @06:37PM (#8333784) Homepage
      It's a gag game, and as long as you take down your fellow citizen, who cares if you get vaporized as well? Is there going to be an attempt to address this problem, or are the people we play with just curs?

      First, it's not a problem if the players are having fun. Second, the frenzy you describe, recognized among experienced PARANOIA GMs as "Phase 1" play, usually subsides after players play a few (or many) sessions. "Phase 2" play sees players get more into the spirit of the setting, though they die almost as often. By "Phase 3" you see canny political skills emerge. These players somehow manage to wriggle through every deathtrap and succeed in the mission, while disposing of all opposition and ending with commendations and a promotion. They're really something to see, those Phase 3 players.

  • by severed (82501) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @06:14PM (#8333496) Homepage
    Always invite someone someone "inferior" to the session, and make them mission leader.

    For example, if you are a group of high school seniors, invite a freshman kid over to play. He will try way too hard, and will be way gullible. If he's not, then congratulations, you actually found one worth keeping.

    Always make sure that nobody knows more than one other person present (excluding gamemaster).

    It's a lot easier to fear the unknown.

    Always take each individual aside and assure them that you are on THEIR side against everyone else.

    Everyone wants to feel special

    ABOVE ALL ELSE: Don't forget the tactical nuclear hand greandes.

    Boom ---- Yeah, way cool about the continuation of this game. This literally made growing up bearable. Reading and grocking paranoia makes it a lot easier to understand the world, and try to keep going. BTW, anyone ever read the six part comic series? Beautiful work, I miss my copies.

  • by gumpish (682245) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:05PM (#8334656) Journal
    Just thought I would bring something to the attention of anyone interested in playing Paranoia over the net.

    Paranoia-Live [paranoia-live.net] is a site dedicated to organizing and carrying out games of Paranoia over the internet, using a neat li'l Java app known amazingly enough as JParanoia.
  • by slaker (53818) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @08:41PM (#8335061)
    1. One of my players realizing the full, evil power of his role as Hygene Officer, in a roomfull of "Real Role Players". He brought along some old bottles of cologne, Listerine, and, soap for the washing of commie, mutant traitors. The poor bastards even went along with it.

    2. A paranoia mission known as "Whitewash", wherein players were tasked with painting an Ultraviolet-clearance hallway Black. A Code-7 masterpiece, it was fully capable of killing dozens of clones with literally no prompting on the part of the GM.
    Experienced players don't even bother with that one.

    3. Telescopalmine. Visomorpain. Rolactin. ...and the side-effects that happen when you take 'em all at the same time.

    4. Invisible Commies, sub-bots and Plaid-clearance rooms in "Alpha Complexities".

    5. The sheer, character destroying joy of "Me and My Shadow", in which characters are tasked with guarding a Mark IV Continental Siege machine.
    Anyone remember the simple joy of "A Piece Falls Off"?

  • by david.given (6740) <dg@NOsPaM.cowlark.com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:58AM (#8338030) Homepage Journal
    Available here. [mit.edu]

    The game dates from far back in the mists of time; it was originally adapted from a CYOA published in a magazine in 1977. It's a suprising amount of fun for something so small.

    I use this to test new compilers and the such; it's a much more interesting variant on 'Hello, world!' (and not a lot more complicated).

    File header follows:

    /* This is a solo paranoia game taken from the Jan/Feb issue (No 77) of
    * "SpaceGamer/FantasyGamer" magazine.
    *
    * Article by Sam Shirley.
    * Implemented in C on Vax 11/780 under UNIX by Tim Lister
    *
    * This is a public domain adventure and may not be sold for profit
    *
    * $Source: /mit/softbone/source/src/paranoia/RCS/paranoia.c,v $
    * $Author: tjcoppet $
    *
    */

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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