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Alternate setting: Troubleshooters in Alpha Complex?

Started by Falc, October 05, 2005, 05:56:22 PM

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Okay, I read the alternate settings listing and this just struck me. For those of you that don't get the reference... erm, well, you need to go play Paranoia 'cause there's no way I can explain it in brief.

But I have NO idea if it'd actually work within the DitV framework. I'm still only in the brainstorming part of writing this out, but I'd say most of it could be adapted. Of course, the biggest problem is the total lack of value placed in human lives in the Complex. You have 5 clones, you can get killed at the drop of a hat, and the worst part of that is that it's an integral part of the feel of the game. So fallout would basically have to go. No moral growth for players, besides, what would be the point if they have a life expectancy measured in hours?

Hmmm... That wouldn't have to mean that all of fallout needs to go, come to think of it. No, what needs to happen is that conflicts go faster. Deadlier too. Maybe roll fallout right away when you get it. Some way to get the feeling that you can die in the next 10 seconds, even if you're just standing around and enjoying your Bouncy Bubble Beverage. DitV conflict resolution takes quite a long time to actually get to the results and that would ruin the feel of it, I think.

So, as my initial brain rush seems to be subsiding, I think I'll just leave it to simmer a bit. Right now, I'm thinking it wouldn't really work. But maybe some of you have the flash of insight that could put it all together, so I'll go ahead and post this anyway.

Jonas Ferry

First of all, I want to play the game as it is a lot more before I try to adapt it to another setting. That said, I've thought about a DitV-Paranoia blend myself so here're some ideas.

In Paranoia XP there're three levels of seriousness: Straight, Classic and Zap. I think a TiAC game would benefit from being played Straight, if you want to keep some of the feel from DitV. In this kind of game there are real human beings living in the complex, making the best of their existence, and I can totally see how you can introduce "cut off the arm to save the life" situations.

If you want to keep it really close to DitV you can have the Troubleshooters be members of some suitable Secret Society, working in a remote sector (UTH sector?) where The Computer have few or no security cameras. The objective will be to travel to different parts of the sector and solve problems that could otherwise destroy the community by drawing attention to it from The Computer. The Troubleshooters are not sent by The Computer, but are instead members appointed by their Society to solve whatever's wrong the best they can. The Computer and non-members of the Secret Society (from EST sector) would be the Territorial Authority of the setting, representing a law that doesn't always have solutions to the problems the Society members face.

If you play a Straight game you don't really need to change the mechanics that much. The DitV ladder of general wrongness can be used as is, perhaps replacing demons with automated Alpha Complex systems that make life a lot easier or harder for people who are living in sin.

Or if you want to make it silly, the Romantics have found an ancient book with a description of how people lived in the good old days. Some of them are now living in "Towns" (it's very important to follow the Book when creating the town) that get visits from "Players" or "Characters" (they haven't really figured out if there's a difference, since there are pages missing) that come and judge people. Or rather, since the Book says that they should stand between "the best intentions of the week", they try to judge which of last weeks intentions in town were actually the best.
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Graham W

I just saw this. Personally, I think it could be interesting.

Setting-wise, you could have a sector where the inhabitants organise themselves into small shanty towns. They're probably Romantics and they probably grow their own food. So the medications have started to wear off and they've started having sex.

The Computer then sends roving bands of Troubleshooters to enforce Its will.

So the King of Life becomes the Computer; the Dogs become the Troubleshooters; and Sin becomes Treason.

But you'd have to get the tone right. I think you'd need to use comedy in the same way as tragedy is used in DitV.

So the Troubleshooters head into the Sector. They're faced with citizens coming up to them and saying "Mary's been shagging Paul behind the food vat! By the way, excuse me asking, but do I get a promotion for reporting this?".

Then the Troubleshooters go in with all guns blazing and kill everyone. And then people start saying: "Right, so you've shot holes in the food vat. So we can't eat now. Can I just check: is that the will of the Computer? I'm just wondering. Oh, thanks for protecting us, by the way."

I quite like it.