Help the newbie


I have both 1E and 2E Paranoia (but haven't done more than skim them a bit) and a friend of mine is planning to run some sessions of XP. He's a somewhat inexperienced GM but really loves the game.

One difficulty is that he waits until the last minute and then gets annoyed when the rest of us don't know what is going on. His idea is that if we know nothing about the mutations and secret societies then we can be surprised when stuff pops up that we don't know anything about. Because of his desire to surprise us, I have promised him that I would not read my rulebooks until his campaign has finished.

My biggest frustration is that he isn't telling us anything about how the game works. (Character generation, etc.) He quickly listed off the stats and they don't sound familiar, so I have to assume that some big changes occured in the XP revision. I've been trying to prep my children (ages 10 and 13) because they really want to play in this campaign, but things are too different and I don't know enough to help them out. My GM just doesn't seem to "get it" that my kids will be twice as frustrated as I am if they are too confused.

What I'm asking is this: Does anyone know of a link that would give general information about character generation without giving away all of the secret stuff? I thought I saw that someone wrote up a "how to play Conan" and I would be interested in something like a "how to play Paranoia XP".

Will anyone help me out?
Hi, Finarvyn! First, to answer your question, I don't know of an ideal introduction of the kind you're seeking, though this review on by Evan Waters may help somewhat:

That said, I recommend you read whatever looks interesting in your second-edition PARANOIA rulebook, and then keep quiet about it to your GM. You incur penalties for showing knowledge of the rules during play, not for keeping the information tactfully concealed in the inner recesses of your mind. Being sneaky will also help you immeasurably in getting into the spirit of the game.

Good luck!
Yes, you must be sneaky to be a sucessful troubleshooter! You're already a traitor! :lol:
Thanks for the link. I'm not usually the kind of gamer to try to go "behind the back" of the GM, and am a little surprised to find that others would suggest such an action, but after all this is Paranoia so maybe getting secret information is in the spirit of the game. :wink:

I shall have to pursue this.
Not just the is the game...
Welcome to ALpha Complex, citizen, please enjoy your stay. Report for termination immediately, thank you.
lupus said:
Also being nice to the Gamesmaster is a good idea..... :wink:
Well, the tricky thing here is that I've been a GM for about 30 years and he's been a GM .... twice, I think.

I really do want his game to go well and I don't really want to know any "secret things" that will ruin his fun. (I have been very patient with a older copy of Paranoia on my shelf pretty much unread for many months while he prepares to run his game.)

I think that the best way to be nice to him is to actually know something about the game system so that I can help out if needed.
I think that the best way to be nice to him is to actually know something about the game system so that I can help out if needed.
This is antithetical to the PARANOIA spirit. You can't reveal you know anything.

I wouldn't worry about your novice GM; PARANOIA is quite easy to Gamemaster, if he can improvise humorously. Players aren't allowed to argue over rules. The GM is always right. The GM can change everything about the system or about the die rolls on the spot. All of this makes it easy to GM, even for newbies.

It's far closer to the PARANOIA spirit to learn about the mutations and secret societies, not to prompt the GM when he forgets something, but to further your character's goals. If you use that knowledge to do fun things in the situations the GM presents, that can both make your GM's job easier and help you get ahead. Don't try to help with rules; aim to be entertaining.
Think yourself lucky. I refuse to let my players even pick their characters let alone generate them. I also have a habit of playing sadist dice version where the GM makes all the rolls! :twisted: