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[GM On!] Paranoia: Happiness is Manditory

GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
edited November 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Many years ago I was told about an RPG called Paranoia. I started thinking about it again lately and managed to track down a first edition box set from a coworker. It seems like it could be tons and tons of fun, but there's only one problem. I've never played any sort of pen and paper/table top RPG before, let alone GM one. I'd like to get some friends together and try to play it, but I know it's going to be a tough sell to get them to play and if I can rope them into it, I want to make sure it is a fun experience.

Does anyone have any advice for a first time GM/RPG noob running a game of Paranoia? There are many editions but from what I can tell, the 2nd edition is a streamlined version of the first, Paranoia XP is the latest, and anything between was garbage. I'm going to try to hunt down XP, but I've also heard that most Paranoia games end up throwing out most of the rules in favor of drama anyway, so I don't know how critical it is that I get updated rule books.

Thanks PA!

EDIT: Should this be in a different subforum?

Gihgehls on
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Posts

  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    God, Paranoia. I loved it and loathed it. It's hilariously fun, but frustrating as hell for a player if you're used to more "co-operative" settings.

    If you can, see if you can get some of the starting modules. They should have all the info you'd need to start with, and should give your players a good sense of how things work in the game.

    BNsig.jpg
  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Paranoia is way more fun when all of your PCs are plotting each other's demise.

    Steam & GT
    Spoiler:
  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Paranoia is way more fun when all of your PCs are plotting each other's demise.

    From what I understand, the GM can give the players secret missions via their secret society contacts. Such missions might be like "player 2 is a spy for Internal Security, kill him" or another one I saw was "there is a pen on a counter in R&D, take the cap and put drop it down garbage chute 7 without anyone seeing you."

    I guess I'm sorta looking on general advice for a first time GM, and how to get first time RPG players to have non-frustrating fun.

    PA-gihgehls-sig.jpg
  • mspencermspencer Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I think the best good-attitude-preparation is to make sure your players understand:
    The players are here for LULZ. Set up ridiculous situations, backstab, teamkill, give hilarious and implausible reasons for both, and generally try to keep the table entertained, in self-sacrificing ways if possible.
    The characters are understandably scared of their inevitable deaths and seriously want to do whatever they can, morals be damned, to keep themselves alive and keep their secrets safe.

    Run combats fast, don't care so much about the rules. I recommend running some plain by-the-numbers combats by yourself with made-up characters, so you get a feel for what statistics can do what. Unless you're playing with . . . I forget the term, perversity points? In which case, the die rolls directly affected by perversity points of course are done out in full view.

    Overall you aren't a GM, you're a deathmatch map. You set up the context and motivations for interesting events, and your players make these things happen. Be prepared for your players to spend the entire session doing everything except advancing in your mission. In this case the fancy module isn't the framework, your understanding of Alpha Complex life and society and management structure is the framework.

    Have a strategy for handling note passing. Picture what it'll be like to have as many notes pending as you have players, and then some guy wants to change his mind and take back his note and give you another one. Note passing can be stressful and it's easy to let the game get bogged down, but players hate it if you fail to understand their notes.

    (The line in my sig was added by a forum mod who is also a Paranoia GM -- I didn't add that myself.)

    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
    XBL Michael Spencer || Wii 6007 6812 1605 7315 || PSN MichaelSpencerJr || Steam Michael_Spencer || Ham NOØK
    QRZ || My last known GPS coordinates: FindU or APRS.fi (Car antenna feed line busted -- no ham radio for me X__X )
  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    mspencer - I think you got that sig added shortly after your several awesome JParanoia sessions.

    Those were epic.

  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The link in your sig just takes me back to the forum index?

    PA-gihgehls-sig.jpg
  • Pure DinPure Din Rhode Island Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I love love love Paranoia XP. Unfortunately I recently moved away from my friends who own the book, and cannot find it for sale anywhere. So if you find a site that sells it, please link to me.

  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I've just been looking at Amazon and eBay.

    PA-gihgehls-sig.jpg
  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    This thread caused me to search out a rulebook on ebay and ended up buying one of the new 25th anniversary editions off this guy.

    I think it came to around $50 inc. Shipping.

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