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Re: Alternate setting: Troubleshooters in Alpha Complex?

Started by memolith, December 14, 2006, 11:49:14 AM

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This thread is ancient, and I'm bumping it. So sue me.
Allow me to think out loud for a moment.

I play The Computer, it's peripherals, opposing Secret Societies, and your enemies. I play the World, you play your character.

Note: Usually when I say "I", I mean "The GM". By "you", I mean "the players or their characters".

Town Creation for the Complex. I need a sin heirarchy. Luckily Paranoia already has that, and it's even more detailed than the Dogs heirarchy. The sin progression = the treason chart. Some infractions are mere insubordination, while others are outright communist activities punishable by death.

So, the goal is to infest a particular area with some sort of situation rife with treason and send the Troubleshooters in to work things out. Unlike Dogs though, I feel free to throw curveballs, red herrings and obfuscate at will. I will bloody up my shiny truncheon.

Or not. It could just be a hopeless hose-job. There might be nothing to uncover. Troubleshooters don't seem to have any trouble creating their own conflicts.

Conflict Arenas... in Dogs, you have Just Talking (d4), Physical (d6), Fighting (d8), and Guns (d10).
In Paranoia, death is not as devastating, but turning The Computer on someone is the worst that can happen. Just Talking (d4), Physical (d6), Attempting to Cause Serious Harm or Death (d8), and Accusation (d10).

Then, escalation works the same. We decide what's at stake..."Do I get the JAM from Fugu-R-MUG?" Start out just talking, things get rough as I try to grab it from you; you escalate to trying to kill me, and I escalate to accusation. Of course, once we reach the accusation arena, things are dangerous for both of us, as a failure means summary execution, or even erasure!

The Fallout Chart.
Definitely needs to be scaled down to represent the relative non-value of humanity.

Rolling any 1's give you experience fallout, as usual.
7 or less: 1 Short Term fallout.
8-11: Minor Injury, 1 long term fallout
12+ : Major Injury, 2 long term fallout
12-16 : You will die without immediate, competent medical attention.
17-19: The Computer might be angry with you. (Insert some mechanical effect)
20: The Computer orders your immediate summary execution, or something worse?.

You'll notice that it's impossible to reach the top two tiers without rolling in the Accusation arena. So, there's the question of whether you should escalate or not. Maybe you should say that if someone invokes The Computer and It responds, all Fallout for the remainder of the conflict will be d10's, since It is watching. Maybe that should be a secret roll.

Secret Society, Mutation
Your secret society will probably have a low rating, which you can increase by completing your secret mission, thus earning their favor.
Your mutation rating will be determined by the GM whenever you choose to use it. I might even make the effects of your mutation unknown until you use it. Thus, you might have a wussy mutation, or one that might level half of the complex. You won't know until you try it, and then I'll hand you your dice to roll. It will probably be 1-4 dice, ranging from d4's to d20's, for extra craziness.
Hmmm. That brings up another issue. What should the Fallout dice be for using a mutation or secret society? Maybe it would depend on the goal of your action, and follow the standard chart. Maybe it should be d10's, d12's, or d20's. That's kinda wonky, though. Why would using my mutation on you cause you to take Fallout that might get you executed? Maybe there should be a risk involved for invoking one of these things...a Dirt stat or something. I might roll in secret to see if The Computer has witnessed your treason. Wait, that's awesome.

A new stat that I secretly track for each PC throughout the mission. It might work like hidden Fallout, and it's rolled at the end of the mission, to see if you get promoted, demoted, executed, fined, or rewarded. During debriefing, you would have the opportunity to clear your record, or pile more Fallout on the other players, via the standard private conferences or the usual paperwork.
Maybe throughout the mission, using the Accusation arena could add to PC's Commie Factor.

Good deeds done in plain sight of The Computer also have the chance of reducing your Commie Factor, maybe even to the degree of becoming a Loyal Citizen!

Hell, I might use that for standard Paranoia!

Relationships, Traits, and Belongings
Relationships would probably be limited more than in Dogs, since there's not many people you can trust in the Complex, outside your Secret Society.
Traits: could be pulled from the standard Paranoia list. You could have secret Traits too. Also, I'd allow Narrow Specialties, which would be left unassigned at character creation.
Belongings: Standard issue stuff, plus the secret things you bought illegally or stole.

You know, the similarities between the games are actually pretty striking.
I make a lame half-assed effort of creating a scenario, which is most often just a one-shot, then I toss you guys in and press "Puree". I sit back and watch as you tear each other apart over different issues.

I might restrict you character creation options, just to speed things up. Two of your traits would probably be assigned by me: Your Job, and Your Position on the Team (Team Leader, Equipment Guy, Happiness Officer, etc).

This isn't complete. I will need to digest it some more.

Is there anything huge that I'm missing here? Do you have any suggestions?

Andrew Cooper

I think one big thing you would have to do to make this play out in a manner that the Paranoia games I've been in played out is to rig the resolution so that it tends towards failure rather than success for the PC's.  DitV resolution normally works out in the players's favor.  Paranoia tended to work out to my detriment when I played.  Now some of that probably had to do with much of the resolution of things not covered in the rules relying on social resolution and the GM is *not* on your side in this game.


In many cases conflict would be PvP, not Players vs. GM. In PvP situations, it should probably be fairly balanced. Even in Dogs, the outome of Dog vs. Dog is uncertain.

Maybe something like Demonic Influence could stack things in the GM's favor. Except it would be called Tension, and would scale as high as necessary. If you're in a Central CompNode, the Tension could be as high as 10d10 bonus dice.

I think one of the primary features of Paranoia is GM Fiat. I think that's what makes the game flow, and helps to create the oppressive environment of the Complex.

Maybe even in PvP conflicts, the GM should still get his Tension dice. He sits there, outside of the normal resolution. No one can raise against him, but he represents the unlucky forces that plague Troubleshooters' lives. Then, when the opportunity strikes, he can use his dice to See or Raise directly or indirectly by providing bonus dice to one side or the other.

The thing I absolutely love about Dogs is the cinematic feel. You can say anything, make it colorful, and then back it up mechanically. In my Paranoia games, there was often the tendency to resort to simple, one line phrases like "I pull out my laser pistol and shoot him." It gets old after a while. If I could get a more cinematic Paranoia game that still felt like Paranoia...well, that would be amazing.


Quote from: memolith on December 14, 2006, 11:49:14 AM
This thread is ancient, and I'm bumping it. So sue me.

If you're looking for positive participation from me in this thread, that's not the way to get it. Instead you get my moderatorial participation, in the form of me splitting the thread, and this note:

In the future, please start new threads, don't resurrect old ones.