My first game of Paranoia, and I'm the GM . . . . .


Hi everyone,

Well as part of my MI duties I will be running a demo of the Mr Bubbles scenario from the core book on Tuesday night in Travelling Man in Bristol.

I've read the players and GM sections, glossed over the sourcebook and now I just need to review the mission section.

Anyone have any useful hints tips or advice? If not please post/think nice thoughts to aid me in my endeavour :lol:

good luck, it can be tough with people not familar with what Paranoia is all about. That has been my biggest problem getting the feel of the game across to the players.
PARANOIA is actually quite easy to gamemaster compared to many other RPGs. Players aren't allowed to show knowledge of the rules; you can pretty much coerce the player characters to go wherever you want them to go; if you give them sufficient reasons to kill each other, they provide quite a lot of the evening's entertainment all by themselves.

I suggest paying particular attention to each player's secret society mission. The mission should give each player at least two likely targets of suspicion and/or assassination. Try to foment reasons for the assignee to resent his assigned target -- give him a higher clearance than the assignee (especially if you think he'll lord it over the other players); have an NPC fink on the assignee to the target player, so the target player tattles on him to The Computer; et cetera.

I added the "dark room" sequence to Dan Curtis Johnson's excellent manuscript. Dan later mentioned he thought I'd placed that sequence too early in the mission, and in retrospect I agree. You might delay putting all the PCs together in a dark room at least until they've developed a healthy animosity toward one another.

Good luck!
Just remember that the Computer wants everything done according to regulations, and that those regulations are so complex, so contrary, that nothing the players do can possibly be right.
Also remember to create the conflict between the players. They should be gunning for each other almost from the get-go. I've found that to be the most difficult part of the game for new players. They're all used to (non-fun) cooperative RPGs. Paranoia is more about "how do I screw him over before he screws me over?".

I always explain it to new groups thus: You live in a giant underground city called Alpha Complex. It is run by a Computer. The Computer wants you to root out Commie Mutant Traitors. Unfortunately, due to years of programming, running on its own, and sabotage, the Computer has made enough rules that basically *everyone* in Alpha complex is a traitor, including you. The best way to get ahead in Alpha complex is to uncover traitors...Good luck.

I also tend to explain a bit about clones, cause that's a main concern right at first (dying). Once they understand that they basically get 6 lives, they go to town (had one team throw their team leader out of a moving autocar and into traffic...heh). People tend to "get" it really fast.
Thanks for the advice guys.

I was wondering, is Mr. Buubles best run in Zap, Classic or straight?

Zap is probably best for the noobs but I'll run Classic if it suits better. Or there's always the Traitors Manual! Or S&P 14 (or 15, can't remember which Trouble at TSU is in).

"Mister Bubbles" is intended as a canonical Classic mission. But most players coming to PARANOIA for the first time start firing with random exuberance on the way to the briefing, so don't be surprised if your run takes on strong Zap elements.
Is just fun. Most of the time when I've run paranoia or played its because I wanted a break. Don't get me wrong I see great potential in Straight for an extended campaign(given 99% of the paranoia games I've played ended in every one being down to 1 or 2 clones left they don't lend well to repeat sessions) but one of the nice things about Paranoia is its easier then most games. Instead of having to get along with a bunch of other people your encouraged to shoot them, instead of having to GM in a very very kind way trying to avoid killing off players you are encouraged to off the occasional player especialy the truly satanic types like rules lawyers.
YEah, at one point I needed a 'comfort' break, I asked my 6 players "Who's dead at the moment?". 4 hands went up :twisted:

I like zap, and Paranoia i just so easy to adlib.