Things to make the players do

Paranoia is Fun. Other games are not Fun. Buy Paranoia.
eqd
Cub
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 8:37 pm

Things to make the players do

Postby eqd » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:45 am

I've run a lot of 2nd ed Paranoia having read only a fraction of the core book (it's great for lazy GM's) and have been trying to catch up with the book formerly known as XP.

Originally I was going to run it the same but seeing new words like tension levels frightened me, so I thought I'd do the unthinkable and actually read a whole RPG book. I'm only part way through and have a good graps of the rules so far, so much so I may run a game for my group tomorrow (if everyone dies in Call of Cthulhu, so probably).

Reading the GM section I was thrilled at the insane level of power suggested after WotC castrated the GM with "rules over GM" attitudes and White Wolf's "Don't his the player". Seeing the actualy encouragement of weird out-of-game tricks gave me a few ideas:

1) Our new member has no idea what Paranoia is. If I 'neglect' to tell her the others are also mutants and traitors, that could be fun at first.

Also a few physical tricks for one-off rulings such as:

2) Whoever is the last person whose forehead is touching the coffee table goes last in combat.

3) Whoever hops the highest gets extra perversity points.

and so on. Have GMs played any mean tricks on their group or made them do really dumb things for in-game benefits?

I'm looking for inspiration here, so fire away.

Charlie E/N
PaulB
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 8:26 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby PaulB » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:56 am

While I haven't done it in XP yet, I did once have all my players get into their hazard suits when an emergency arose - those hazard suits being nothing more than plastic garbage bags. You could have players do that, and the slowest - alas - suffers damage from the radioactive leak nearby.

However, really PARANOIA shouldn't be about amusing the Gamemaster and making the players in any way uncomfortable. Perversity Points should get handed out when the players roleplay well or they do something that makes everyone (or just the Gamesmaster) laugh. Reward comes from adding something to the game - rather than giving yourself a concussion on the gaming table! :wink:

Of course, each individual Gamemaster can do what he likes... but, if you abuse your players too much they might want to go back to getting their brains scrambled by Unspeakable Horrors Should Never Be rather than play in one of your PARANOIA sessions.
Marketeer and partner for the All Rolled Up gaming companion
Blogger on boreders
Author of numerous gaming supplements
lastbesthope
Executive Mongoose
Posts: 19697
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:27 pm
Location: Bristol, UK
Contact:

Postby lastbesthope » Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:33 am

I let my players bribe me with cookies, but then I believe that this practice is not confined to games of PAranoia!

:lol:

LBH
I'll live forever, heaven won't let me in and hell's afraid I'll take over!!!

Mongoose Accolades
lupus
Mongoose
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Chippenham
Contact:

Postby lupus » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:54 am

Loads of things we've shreded forms and made them stick them back together...

Made them where silly things because its funny...Run round the building, last person back goes last in combat...

The thing is you can do nearly anything you think will raise a laugh...I once got banned from a meeting because i was a commie who wouldn't be told what to do, in my absence they made me the Mission Leader and before i could give anyone any order's i had to do 5 press up's...
darth_azabrush
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:38 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby darth_azabrush » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:47 am

Classic example in the book when Ventriliquism fails make them shout their message! But the best tricks are ones handed out by notes to indivduals. Makes the others wonder what the hell is going on!
xombie
Stoat
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:13 am

Postby xombie » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:39 am

I'm hoping to run my first game this weekend and I've been having a great time planning on how to torment my players.
Paul B wrote:However, really PARANOIA shouldn't be about amusing the Gamemaster and making the players in any way uncomfortable.
I'm hoping to hit them so hard with the crazy stuff that they forget it's a game because they are having too much fun. I've been upset at how stuffy things have gotten in our DnD games. There's so much less acting out and everything seems like a routine. Move, Attack, XP, Treasure, rinse and repeat. It's time to make these guys act out a bit even if it kills them (and in this case it will clone after clone!) :D

To start I'm going to make use of the MBD exam.

Some other thoughts I've had:

* Any time a player has to reach under the table for a lost die or pencil I may declare his clone is too busy lacing his boots up to pay attention to any errant laser blasts.

* Random fitness bot excersises. I'll just stand up and start doing jumping jacks or something and any who don't follow suit find that the bot has reported them for lack of fitness interest and they are fined accordingly.

* Random corridor sanitation. As the players enter a corridor, I'll have the computer inform them they may want to hold their breath as this corridor will be locked down for sanitation. Of course this consists of a quick chemical spray and any player who can't hold their breath long enough will be snafued for a time after the chem spray ends.

How long you ask? Long enough for say a weapon to be discharged.[/quote]
-Xombie
Get your own Treason Free Speech Limiter here:
http://www.geocities.com/selfindulgencestudios
Allen Varney
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:45 am
Location: Ithaca, NY, USA
Contact:

Postby Allen Varney » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:37 am

I'm hoping to run my first game this weekend and I've been having a great time planning on how to torment my players.
Well, every PARANOIA Gamemaster is by definition right. But I think you're just asking for trouble.

The players are not your enemy. They are your entertainment. They're less entertaining just writhing under your various tortures than they are when they're actively conspiring against one another. The chief danger to a player in any PARANOIA mission should not come from the GM or the setting, but from the other players. You want to turn them against each other, not against you.

I think most of those techniques you list are likely to turn the players off the game. It behooves you to offer them new and enjoyable ways to bump off each other, not little torments.

But again, every GM is perforce right.
-- Allen Varney
PARANOIA (2004 edition) writer and designer
Bundle of Holding: http://bundleofholding.com
xombie
Stoat
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:13 am

Postby xombie » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:14 am

Allen Varney wrote:
I'm hoping to run my first game this weekend and I've been having a great time planning on how to torment my players.
Well, every PARANOIA Gamemaster is by definition right. But I think you're just asking for trouble.

The players are not your enemy. They are your entertainment. They're less entertaining just writhing under your various tortures than they are when they're actively conspiring against one another. The chief danger to a player in any PARANOIA mission should not come from the GM or the setting, but from the other players. You want to turn them against each other, not against you.

I think most of those techniques you list are likely to turn the players off the game. It behooves you to offer them new and enjoyable ways to bump off each other, not little torments.

But again, every GM is perforce right.
I can see where your points make sense in the right circumstances, but I've played with my group for a while and I've already seen that myself as GM and a couple of other players will lead the way for this game. They are all very excited to play but a couple of guys are usually rather quiet and reserved. However, I have in the past been quite adept at bringing them out of their shells and it will be no different here.

At first the more vocal players will play off of me and we'll draw the other few in with us. Then I'll kick back and let them play off of each other.

This works for my group and in the past has created some of our most memorable games. I've done similar things with All Flesh Must Be Eaten, and Godlike.

For example, in Godlike I'll usually start a session as a higher ranking officer and motivate them to take part. Then I'll give things over to the players by exiting my NPC. I find that this warm up of sorts really engages them and things tend to stay that way throughout the game.

All I'm trying to do is to get them into the spirit of acting out and being colorful. Once they are fully into the humor and fun then I'll stop with the GM driven craziness and move for the players to apply these types of antics to each other. Say for example, motivating the Happiness officer to actually incite sing-alongs.

Basically they've been dulled by the routine in our DnD games and I'm going to give them a little fuel and let them build the fire.

These players in the group that are quiet are also known for some of the best RP moments when motivated right. I make it a point to draw them out since once it happens things usually get rather interesting.
-Xombie
Get your own Treason Free Speech Limiter here:
http://www.geocities.com/selfindulgencestudios
MarkIV
Weasel
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:04 pm

Postby MarkIV » Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:42 pm

Good point. Lead by example. If you can communicate a clear tone and game atmosphere most players will follow. I'm a big believer in torturing and tormenting Paranoia players... but in a fun happy way. Don't ask your players to smash their heads on the table in front of them... make them think of it themselves!

Ultimately, I think Paranoia's dramatic tension comes from the futility of the Troubleshooter's situation. No matter how hard you try the bottom line is your character is a mutant traitorous secret society member with a secondary assignment to kill one or more of your fellow Troubleshooters, who, similarly, are out to kill you, and, oh by the way, you are all working together to survive a deadly mission, while simultaneously trying to promote the agenda of your separate service organizations.

Your mission as GM is to keep the game from decending into a perpetual laser battle in which your players go through their entire six-pack of clones before you can yell "yo, toss me another brewski". Sure it's fun to fry a clone for saying "Computer" instead of "Friend Computer" ... once ... maybe even twice ... but even spontaneous terminations have a limited yucks factor (limited to six clones).
Steve Gilbert
Cerebellum Core Sample Facilitator/Happiness Officer
Mark Dunder
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:16 am
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Postby Mark Dunder » Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:14 pm

I personally like having the players do a secret ballot on which way to turn in the corridor (or any other multiple choice decision). Make sure the players have at least as many ways to choose as there are clones. Check their ballots carefully, and choose the one none of them voted on. Oh yeah, be sure you leave to go to the bathroom, so they have time to "collaborate." Har har!
The practical reason for continuing our system is the same as the practical reason for continuing anything: It works satisfactorily.
- Starship Troopers -
http://talent.myfastforum.org
GamerDude
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1638
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:36 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Postby GamerDude » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:15 am

I recently started up an irregular game of paranoia for some friends.

They love the idea of using perversity. I got them started by opening up the bidding on some task one player was going to do and went around the room. they got way into it.

It helped that they had only one chance to spend.. they really hosed the poor player, his character nearly died!

In the end that characer (Gary) and the person hosting (Joe) were going at it mano-a-mano. Gary had decided that, since he got caught hacking an orange termina, (he was RED), he was going to set off his two grenades and kill himself. Joe tried talking him down saying he wouldn't let IntSec take him and would protect him.

Gary asked like 5 or 10 times "You sure, you're gonna help me right?" and the answer was always "Yes, of course".

So gary gives up the grenades to joe, the pins go back in, Joe escorts gary outside and yells to the IntSec goons "It's ok, I've got the grenades... (points to gary) He's the traitor hacking the computer!"

Everyone just about hit the floor at the look on Gary's face... totally STUNNED. I thought Gary was going to dive over the table and kill joe right then and there.

They are now hooked on Paranoia!
Al B. [B-)
Say what's that, a new game? M-U-S-T   B-U-Y G-A-M-E!

Image
The first, Since 9/2008, MGT-Aids@yahoogroups.com
Mark Dunder
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:16 am
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Postby Mark Dunder » Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:27 pm

I recently started up an irregular game of paranoia for some friends.
Aren't all Paranoia sessions "irregular." Har!

I loved that story you just related, I have got to get a good group together, and try those Perversity points out. Bidding, huh? I need to read that chapter some more, I seem to be missing all the good parts.
The practical reason for continuing our system is the same as the practical reason for continuing anything: It works satisfactorily.
- Starship Troopers -
http://talent.myfastforum.org
darth_azabrush
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:38 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby darth_azabrush » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:51 pm

Yeah I've been trying to run regular sessions but it doesn't work!
Mark Dunder
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:16 am
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Postby Mark Dunder » Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:05 am

You know darth, I feel a little paranoid whenever I see your posts now. I feel like I'm being watched somehow. :D
The practical reason for continuing our system is the same as the practical reason for continuing anything: It works satisfactorily.
- Starship Troopers -
http://talent.myfastforum.org
tbug
Cub
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:54 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Re:

Postby tbug » Tue May 05, 2015 5:14 pm

MarkIV wrote:Ultimately, I think Paranoia's dramatic tension comes from the futility of the Troubleshooter's situation. No matter how hard you try the bottom line is your character is a mutant traitorous secret society member with a secondary assignment to kill one or more of your fellow Troubleshooters, who, similarly, are out to kill you, and, oh by the way, you are all working together to survive a deadly mission, while simultaneously trying to promote the agenda of your separate service organizations.
Should secret society missions be along the lines of "kill one ore more of your fellow Troubleshooters"? I only have the XP rulebook to go by, but the example secret missions are pretty benign (decide that someone is your sidekick and recruit them, observe other mutants to see how they spread their mutations, goad others into attacking the rogue bots that are slaughtering citizens, etc). I started the session by putting 20 perversity points in the middle of the table (we use Monopoly money) and saying it went to the first player who caused the death of another PC and it took three hours for anyone to get it. My players are too nice, and I'm trying how to get them into the Paranoia spirit.
Danforth
Mongoose
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:33 am
Location: GBR Sector

Re: Things to make the players do

Postby Danforth » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:24 am

Generally when I give new players their Secret Society missions, they're along the lines of "Kill another player but make it look like an accident". It winds up with them passing notes and being sneaky, which are great behaviours to encourage in the game, for the benefit of all :)
Clones are People II

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests