Is Paranoia: Troubleshooters Fun?

Paranoia is Fun. Other games are not Fun. Buy Paranoia.
Thunderforge
Shrew
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:47 pm

Is Paranoia: Troubleshooters Fun?

Postby Thunderforge » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:57 pm

I've always loved the concept of Paranoia and it just makes me laugh. In particular, I love how the rulebooks are really fun to read (almost as fun as playing the game itself). I was excited about the new Paranoia: Troubleshooters and figured I'd finally buy a copy for myself rather than mooching off of a friend. I looked at the preview for the book and expected a quick laugh from reading it.

And I didn't laugh once. There weren't any good jokes in it. Just a bunch of rules and mechanical descriptions on how you play. The new art is less than inspiring (no pictures of traitors about to get zapped or anything, just traitors standing around), and it seemed to lack the charm that made me fall in love with Paranoia in the first place.

From what I've heard, Paranoia: Troubleshooters is shorter and condenses the chapters. Did they cut out all the good parts of the book? Based on what I've read, I feel like they did. What does everyone else think?
Allen Varney
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:45 am
Location: Ithaca, NY, USA
Contact:

Postby Allen Varney » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:38 pm

The official PARANOIA development blog lists, in its right sidebar, links to many online reviews of the entire Mongoose line, including a review just posted today of the Black Missions limited-edition version of Troubleshooters. These may help clarify your curiosity.

The new rulebook excises the service-firm writeups from the original 2004 rules, but otherwise retains much of that book's text. If you liked that one, you'll probably like this one too.
-- Allen Varney
PARANOIA (2004 edition) writer and designer
Bundle of Holding: http://bundleofholding.com
Danforth
Mongoose
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:33 am
Location: GBR Sector

Re: Is Paranoia: Troubleshooters Fun?

Postby Danforth » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:20 am

Thunderforge wrote:I've always loved the concept of Paranoia and it just makes me laugh. In particular, I love how the rulebooks are really fun to read (almost as fun as playing the game itself) [...]
I didn't laugh once. There weren't any good jokes in it. Just a bunch of rules and mechanical descriptions on how you play [...] it seemed to lack the charm that made me fall in love with Paranoia in the first place.
As a longtime fan I would say the in-text humour in the Mongoose era is a little drier than the West End Games one. It's still a blast to play, and that humour arises from the setting not the written word. There are still jokes in the text, but more of the humour is from setting up potentially funny situations and letting you, the putative gamesmaster, read it and go "hahaha that will be awesome in-game."

I remember the later WEG line, loaded with puns and asides directly to the reader... I also remember how dreary they were in play. Reading them could be more fun than the game, which to me felt like the text failed at its appointed task. Also: I look back and read them now, fifteen years on, and they're not so funny anymore. Everyone has different tastes, of course, as do individuals from one mood to another, but I'll take measured, witty prose which sets up laugh-out-loud moments, over in-text joking and chuckling which, even when it works, doesn't actually help run games, any day of the week.
Thunderforge wrote:From what I've heard, Paranoia: Troubleshooters is shorter and condenses the chapters. Did they cut out all the good parts of the book? Based on what I've read, I feel like they did. What does everyone else think?
Maybe the sample pages were the ones where the art had arrived early, or were typeset to test the stylesheet, or perhaps were selected to highlights specific similarities with / differences from the 2004 book. I dunno. I didn't laugh either, but it's only five pages out of 200.

They've cut: service firms (30 pages!), the missions are ten pages shorter, the Secret Society logos are smaller, and that's most of the dropped pagecount sorted for already. What you get with Black Missions / Troubleshooters is Gareth Hanrahan's edits of Allen Varney's original text - Gareth has a more compressed writing style, so the end result is shorter. I can assure you they didn't cut out all the good parts - it's just a little... leaner.

Also, for the record, Gareth puts more to-the-reader jokes in than Allen does (while still maintaining the funny-situation-development), so you might actually prefer the 2009 books to the 2004 one. Either way, you've no need to worry :)
Clones are People II

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest