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[Roleplaying Games] Schrodinger's NPC



  • ZomroZomro Registered User regular
    In our Genesys campaign, after fighting for our lives against monstrous horrors in an abandoned town, we finally got back to the city and back to our FFF jobs. Our last session had us not just participate in two shows (over two weeks in game), but we got to book the shows. Our GM gave us a list of all the fighters and their recent win / loss records as well as a recap of some of the current "storylines" that have come up in the Federation and then let us discuss with each other what matches / promo segments to include in the two shows.

    We actually spent most of the session on the booking, and then we resolved the shows pretty quick (basically one roll per match / segment), and it was a lot of fun. I'm not really a fan of wrestling in real life (my GM is, which is where the idea for this campaign came from), but I do appreciate the thought that can go into putting on these shows and making them fun and engaging for the audience. I was happy to set up a first real loss of my minotaur, as he's been billed as this unstoppable force of nature. He's had a couple of losses, but they weren't necessarily satisfying for the audience (he's been billed as a heel because of his monstrous appearance), the first was in a battle royale match, where three competitors knocked him out of the ring, and the other was a loss on a technicality during a three way match, he bodied them both but one of them pinned the other. So it was enjoyable for me to help come up with a way for him to lose in a "believable" way. So now we're looking forward to an upcoming 4 way cage / ladder match for the championship belt to fill the spot held by the previous champ who recently retired from the Federation. And that match will involve my minotaur and the fighter who beat him recently, so there's an opening for him to get "revenge".

  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    edited November 5
    Dizzy D wrote: »
    Dizzy D wrote: »
    I'm organizing a second Paranoia one-shot for a group of friends/co-workers and I'm working on the main plot now.

    Now most of them (I have one new player, one player from the last session 2 years ago I lost contact with so he won't return) have played the game before, I've given them more freedom with creating their characters. They now get to pick their own secret society and specials skills.
    Mutant Powers are still semi-randomized.
    Mandatory Bonus Duties (their role within the team), they get to apply for whatever role he or she wants and I'll try to make things work for them. NPC will take the final duty that nobody wants.

    Main Plot (still working out the details):
    Our Troubleshooters are now more experienced; having survived multiple missions without losing a clone. Each of them are the sole survivor of their last missions, so they are now also more suspect. So they all get sent out on a good ol' suicide mission.

    The problem: Some sectors in Beta Complex (last session was in Alpha Complex, just changed the Complex so I'm not bound to any rules or decisions I've made up last time) are going dark. Not such a big deal, with this many crazy scientists, bureaucratic nightmare and trigger-happy security guards, a section or two exploding is common place, but this seems to be more structured. A squad of expendable experienced Troubleshooters are send in to investigate after previous attempts have all failed.

    The plan: The Team will make use of the newly designed Advanced Nuclear Trench-digger (The M.O.L.E.; in-joke is going to be that none of the acronyms will not make sense) to dig to the centre of the Earth and then up into the darkened sectors, the last place they are going to expect an attack from.
    Before the team is send off, the commanding officer will get a message that during a test the M.O.L.E. has melted, so new plan (working title "Dig Up Stupid") one Secret Society is working on a giant drill-bot (Secret Society in question depends on which Secret Society each of my player will join. Sierra Club is the default one for now). Infiltrate their base, hijack the Digger and make your way to the surface. From the surface, find hatch 47 and descend into the darkened sectors.

    The Surface: I'm stealing from Philip K. Dick here: Nobody has been to the surface in ages. Once there, there has been no nuclear war; the lower classes were driven underground with tales of impending nuclear war, while on the surface the rich live in giant mansions and off the productivity of the underground Complexes. The team ends up on a Golf Course, will track through a forest (encountering strange giant rats (deer) etc.) to hatch 47.

    The Darkened Sectors: Once inside the darkened sectors, everything looks like the regular Complex, but things are ... off. Welcome to Gamma Complex, the result of a High Programmer's meddling with a Backup&Restore Test of the Computer itself. Both Gamma and Beta think they are the original and are constantly expanding into each others territory. The team will run into a Troubleshooting squad based on their former characters and hopefully confronting the rogue High Programmer.

    So those are the main set pieces, I still need to work out some of the details.

    So yesterday we played the above scenario, a couple of changes made from above
    - I let them all apply to the mandatory bonus duty they wanted: 3 of the 4 players wanted to be the Equipment guy. After a few minutes of thinking about, the conclusion was "this is perfect". So of our team we have 3 equipment guys (on the day itself, one cancelled though), 1 happiness officer (new player) and 2 NPCs (loyalty officer+hygiene officer).

    Dramatis Personae
    - Alan (equipment guy, trucker, needs to push every button he sees, Doom Magnet. Member of Death Leopards with a secret mission to destroy things on the surface, get others to destroy things on the Surface and take pictures of the destruction).
    - G.I. Dough (equipment guy, baker, very shy around people with rank blue, Pyrokinetic. Frankenstein Destroyer with the mission to destroy Probe Droids on the Surface).
    - Bert (equipment guy (cancelled due to ilness), also a trucker. Death Simulation. Member of the Illuminati. Tasked to retrieve a black box from one of the probe droids and also to discredit any reports of his fellow teammembers during briefing concerning the Surface).
    - Virdinant (happiness officer, media person. Talks to the (non-existent) camera. Bouncy mutant powers. Member of the Mystics and tasked to grab some unknown mushrooms on the Surface.)
    - Timmy (NPC, hygiene officer. Energy absorbent. Obsessed with cleanliness and wants to get the Annihilation Grenade to really clean things. Designed to be completely useless, but also handy tool for a GM to get things back on track). Timmy's tic is that he ignores everybody that asks him a question, but he does obey when he's ordered to do something.
    - Richmond (NPC, only one Rank Orange. Loyalty Officer. Got an experimental treatment that makes it impossible for him to commit treason. So far has died already 3 times just getting from the Conditioning Lab to the Briefing Room. point being: the Complex rules are so contradictory that it's impossible not to commit treason. He won't be here for long. (The loyalty officer is always basically the worst person in any Paranoia game, so I try to make them NPCs if I don't have enough players and kill them off quickly).

    Briefing and Gearing Up:
    - During the meeting we also get a few changes to the regular game: as the team will be leaving Beta Complex, they will no longer have the regular Computer-guided maps and location system. So last night, in their sleep, all of them got their eyes replaced with a Primary Linear Objective Trajectory- Device (aka The C.O.M.P.A.S.S., projects a red arrow at their current objective. I can recommend them to any GM). They also will be accompanied by 4 invisible clone-droids that uncloak, drop a clone and cloak again whenever one of them dies.
    - At R&D they got 5 grenades to test: 3 foam grenades (technically non-lethal, but encapsulates somebody in a sphere of gell where they probably will slowly suffocate), 1 positive charge grenade (makes somebody captured in the blast just feel jazzed about everything), 1 annihilation grenade (absolutely destroys anything in its radius, not even that nasty radiation or shockwave that a regular anti-matter grenade leaves. Downside is that the blast range is about 6 inches). Bouncing Betty (explosive, has a dial going from 1-10. Number determines how many bounces before it explodes), Gravity Grenade (it's a Katamari). They also get some Lead-pills (pills turn you into lead to protect you from radiation on the surface. Don't protect you from lead-poisoning.), a White Box from a High Programmer (to be taken to their target coordinates in the middle of the Blacked-Out sectors) and a Geiger Counter (actually functional, except it is cumulative, so it just counts out loud and continues from when it was activated the last time).
    - Just outside R&D they find a black market where they can buy replicas of surface guns (R&D only got names and pictures and tried to recreate the guns as well as possible). Their options: a musket (fires blood-draining mosquito bullets), a six-shooter (fights six bullets in different directions at once, but takes some time to auto-reload), a Colt (fires a cold-ray), a Mauser (fires mice), a Enfield (the most expensive, fires an N-field: a field of nano-droids that disintegrate the target), a Bren gun (has a decent chance to burn the target but also catching fire when being fired) and finally a Kalashnikov (sucker trap. pick this one and get executed as a communist). They picked a six-shooter, a Bren and the happiness officer was happy with his laser-gun.

    Infiltrating Sierra Club's Compound and stealing the DigDug:
    - Not much infiltration, they just immediately try to bullshit their way in. Fail, try to complain to the computer but get put through to HR and some ticket is filed so a security team will check things out in 48 hours. By now Richmond has lost his final clone and Alan has lost his first clone when he tried out the button on one of the Foam grenades. The team gets into a shoot-out with the security system (the bren catches fire but takes out half the security droids). The six-shooters work remarkably well, cause even some of the random direction bullets manage to hit something. A few clones are lost during the fire fight but nothing too worrying.
    The team gets into the DigDug and finds a giant console filled with buttons, levers and switches. Alan tries several buttons, but the first button he hits is the light switch (I had a list of 20 options ranging from starting the machine to turning on the radio to activating the ejector seats). A couple of tries and the machine starts (which draws attention from the Sierra Club, but the device is pretty bullet-proof.
    Looking inside they find some Hazmat suits (and most of them chose those over the lead-pills). They find a pic-a-nic basket with some jam-sandwiches. They also find the manual for the DigDug (as usual in paranoia, the manual is the worst thing ever written. I've made a list of made-up words and by rolling their vehicle or mechanics check and seeing by how much they exceed or fall short of the goal I determine how many of the words they don't know in that paragraph.) The manual is studied for a bit, but randomly pushing buttons is the wiser cause of action. At this point Timmy does what I needed a NPC to do. He pushes a button to get them off-course. By now they have decided not to touch any buttons as they are moving in roughly the right direction.

    (To be continued, we finished the game, but it's getting late here to type all of this up. So far the group has been rather kind to each other with few backstabbing and accusations of treason.)

    And Paranoia: Escape from Gamma Complex part 2:
    The Surface
    So the team has arrived on the surface and needs to get used to the colours (stepping on the large green area takes some time before they work up their nerve). The players pretty much imeddiately figure out what is going on (this is a golf course, those are trees etc.), but stay in character really well as a group of people who have never ever seen something which is not 90% artificial.
    I roll a d4 to determine which of the four immediately gets hay fever and it's our NPC Timmy, so he walks the surface in a hazmat suit.
    One of the others tries the lead pills. And another clone bites the dust.
    Discussion with the rich guy playing golf and his butler is pretty short. They are mostly confused by everything, but they have a P.L.O.T.-device guiding them in the right direction and by now all their bonus missions are coming into play: Alan gets a bonus point for some of the trees getting set on fire (even if he had absolutely no hand in it happening, G.I. Dough just wanted to bake some food). Virdinant manages to get his hands on some mushrooms and even eats on of them (roll d4: it's an edible one. Even tastes good). Virdinant also got his hand on the pick nick basket before and quite cleverly hides mushrooms in the sandwiches (something which I didn't have planned, but was a good move by him. So he receives bonus points).

    The team then spend quite a bit of time trying to destroy a little shed with golf carts, enough that I let the butler set the dogs on them. Virdinant tries to distract them, but jam sandwiches won't work right now. These dogs want meat. The dogs grab Alan, so he activates Doom Magnet. G.I. Dough tries to save him holding a large metal weapon. I roll on a random table of natural disasters and get "Lightning Storm". They are in on the surface and in the open, Dough holds a big metal object... The Dice Gods are wise and never wrong. Timmy and Virdinand run away from the smoking corpses of their teammates and the Clonebots (by now one has gone, but as they are always invisible, nobody notices) deposit 2 new clones.

    Taking a moment to rest (they have been walking for some distance, Virdinand feeds the other sandwiches to the rest. Dough gets a tasty mushroom, Alan a hallucinogenic, Timmy a lethal one. The hallucinogenics will take some time to set in. Rest of the team suspects that Timmy's death has to do with his allergies. Team sets out and meets the next set-piece: A large white wall. A bit of testing with chainsaw swords, it quickly is clear that it's cardboard and plaster and inside there is a dressing room and a script. (Idea was that this was the original place the Illuminati had planned the team/Sierra Club to show up so they get attacked by actors playing basically Mad Max type Raiders to convince the Beta Complex inhabitants that outside is a radioactive wasteland (some Raiders-Twix-Mars joke that they are too young to get and some Mad Max - Max Verstappen jokes I never used.)

    Again, unplanned things happened, because Virdinand immediately decides that he wants to be the star of the movie and drops everything to sabotage the lead actor. Timmy dies again as he's erroneously identified as a special effects guy (it's the hazmat suit, the rest have disguised themselves in the dressing room) and Dough convinces him to blow up one of the Probe Droids that have been used as target practice by the bored actors (the Bouncing Betty is used and bounces of the droid and hits Timmy himself). Everybody is distracted by the carnage, so Virdinand hits Lead Actor Max with a Foam Grenade in which he slowly suffocates. Nobody notices and thinks the big foam ball is a prop for a later scene. Director orders the understudy to get dressed. Virdinand plots to murder the understudy (GM-note: he's never going to get this role. He's, as far as everybody in this movie is concerned, an unknown extra with no lines.) The others go to the Probe Droids to deal with their own bonus missions, while Virdinand rolls well on his sneaking mission and kills the understudy, but botches his oratory skill as he despairs over the dead body. All actors roll their eyes at him and he gives up.
    Meanwhile Alan and Timmy move onward, while Dough starts murdering Probe Droids for bonus points. Also rolling terribly that he needs to shoot them several times each.

    The team finds a hatch to the blacked-out sectors of Beta Complex and run into another team of Troubleshooters and discovered that they think this is Gamma Sector. Troubleshooter vs Troubleshooter fight starts (as extra joke, the other team is based on their characters from our previous Paranoia one-shot). Timmy has the Gravity Grenade which he deploys and takes out some of the team. The fight is pretty close: Only one troubleshooter from our current team is left standing. They move forward to meet the High Programmer of Gamma Complex and deliver the white box to him as he asks. The box is opened and contains a message: B7-B6. Their mission done, the High Programer prepares to kill them, but the Gravity Grenade comes crashing through the wall (This was planned: if the Gravity Grenade was never used or used on the surface, then there would be another big fight, but if the Gravity Grenade was deployed, a giant Katamari would crash through the wall and the final scene would be running from a giant Doom-ball Indiana Jones style.)

    Escaping the Doomball is not very interesting so the team finds a rocket cart and returns to Beta Complex. Debriefing is short; the team gets to rate all the grenades, nobody has enough traitor points to get their (for several final) clone killed and they all get some money and a promotion.
    Out of character review: they all figured out most of the others Tics (except for Timmy, though they got close to his tic or to Dough who missed his tic in Beta Complex and didn't get a chance to use it afterwards). Secret missions weren't noticed by the others (the others even believed that Dough was friendly to the probe droids and tried to save them, while he was executing them behind their backs). Mutant powers were hardly used.

    Dizzy D on
    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    and some Mad Max - Max Verstappen jokes I never used

    Okay, no, you're not allowed to tease bad jokes and not drop them in here like ticking time-bombs!

    The F1 fan in me desires to know!

  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    Nips wrote: »
    and some Mad Max - Max Verstappen jokes I never used

    Okay, no, you're not allowed to tease bad jokes and not drop them in here like ticking time-bombs!

    The F1 fan in me desires to know!

    Sorry,never wrote them to down, mostly just some things I had in the back of my mind to play off if they ever got in a conversation with them, but Happiness Officer assassinated him with a well-aimed foam grenade before they could talk.

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
  • Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Registered User regular
    edited November 19
    new year new campaign

    as my D&D rolls towards its inevitable 20th level conclusion i decided to run (what i thought was) a one-shot where my players are playing normal-ass normal people in a quiet japanese city Fate accelerated

    they're going around doing normal ass people things and having messy relationship drama at the workplace (in this case, a high school, with some players as faculty) and BAM

    one of the players stumbles on a monster attack and a magical girl and WOOSH now they're all inside the secret magical girl conspiracy

    i didn't tell them what the twist was at the start so the characters I got are _not_ what you'd associate with magical girl normal identities so that made it all the sweeter

    (before anyone accuses me of pulling a bait and switch i opened the game saying to trust me and to "drive their characters like stolen ferraris" to quote apocalypse world)

    and now i think this might go from a now-four-shot to a mini campaign

    Oh ho ho ho ho

    If only you knew

    So this campaign led directly into me coming out, oops

    It ended up running 6 sessions in total and made me basically rethink my entire life so... hooray!

    Never underestimate the transformative power of gaming! Sometimes it ends up happening *quite literally*

    Super Namicchi on
    NipsDizzy DElvenshaecrimsoncoyotemrpakuCalicadiscriderRhesus Positiveironsizidemildlymorbid
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