I have stumbled across a new table-top, pen and paper RPG that goes by the name of Paranoia. A quote from the Wikipedia entry:
The game is set in Alpha Complex, an immense and futuristic domed or underground city controlled by The Computer, a schizophrenic civil service AI construct. The Computer has made happiness mandatory. Failure to be happy is punishable by summary execution. […] To deal with [threats], The Computer employs Troubleshooters, whose job is to solve problems: they go out, find trouble and shoot it. […] In most scenarios, each player character is in fact a mutant, commie and/or secret society member, and is given a hidden agenda separate from the group’s goals, often involving swindling or killing teammates – hence the name Paranoia. Therefore, Troubleshooter missions invariably turn into a constant comedy of errors as everyone on the team seeks to double-cross everyone else while keeping their own secrets. The game encourages an air of suspicion between the players, offering several tips on how to make Paranoia as paranoid an experience as possible.
I had not read more than this before I went over to RPGShop.com and bought the latest core rule book. I wish I could make this post longer by saying more but I honestly know next to nothing about the game and it’s rules. Since I am so obviously enthralled before even setting eyes on any of the actual rules let us tally up the score, shall we?
The primary NPC is called “The Computer”
The PCs are constantly looking for ways to screw each other
Troubleshooters go out and shoot trouble
I am a sucker for sci-fi and post-apocalyptic themed fiction
There is even a fan-created online server/client Java-based application that allows people to play over the ‘net called JParanoia!
I am so there.
Trust The Computer. The Computer is Your Friend.
After some research I have discovered there is no good way to run an Unknown Armies game online. This brings me to my next thought:
What would I include if I were to make my own “Unknown Armies Online” system?
Obvious stuff includes character sheets, dice rolling, a chat system– both PC-to-PC/GM and public– and a map. I imagine it being a web-based, AJAX application. This way the platform is already deployed (virtually everyone already has it) and is low bandwidth.
I am not saying I am going to make my own but it is tempting.
I just had a fellow ask me if I needed any help with this project. I am not sure how he/she found out about my blog but I am happy he/she did. There may be interest in this out there after all.
For anyone wondering I responded with a “I would like this to be a personal project”.
I will once again be GM’ing another Unknown Armies game. This time at Parallax LAN Center in Mineola. We played a (very) short game last night and everyone really enjoyed it so we are attempting to setup a weekly thing. As much as I love my Dungeons and Dragons group the game is way to complex for its own good. Unknown Armies gives you all the tools you need to create an alive, often crafty world without the weight of adding 16 different kinds of modifiers to each roll (unless you want to, of course).
I am still not sure if I want to create a new scenario or go with one of my existing ones. Normally I would create a new one for each group but none of my other ones got very far and I want to see where they can go. I could wing it like I have done with a number of one-shots– not sure how well that would work out in the long run not to mention the coolest of recurring themes almost out of the picture due to my horrible memory. There is the All Alone-themed one I modeled after System Shock 2 complete with Shodan-esk final boss battle and mutilated monkeys. I have my Stuck-in-an-Evil-Mob-Boss-Controlled Town game where players walk a thin line between carrying out orders or being killed. Also a few I have not put much work into but the general idea is there.
What to do what to do? Either way I will be meeting with the owner of Parallax to discuss how this is going to work. I hope to see continued interest as I love doing this.