Paranoia?

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I saw the post about the marketshare of different games on Roll20 and noticed Paranoia.

That is a game that I haven't thought about in a while. But I'm thinking about maybe digging around and running it.

So, anyone here run it recently? What's going on with it in terms of editions and material? Am I better off looking through my old stuff (circa Hill Sector Blues) or is there a more recent edition worth getting into?
 

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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I ran a one-off a few years ago...it was fun.

I don't think the system you use for Paranoia is important at all. I'd just stick with the old materials you have unless you are interested in the new versions to see whats been updated in the fluff.

Also, if you didn't know, there was a Paranoia videogame released recently. Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory. I haven't played it since its only on the PC but it looks fun.
 


Lem23

Adventurer
There was a new version out recently (well, in the last couple or so years), but I wasn't that impressed. I was always more in favour of the classic to straight type game, and the new version leans heavily into the zap style game. It also jettisons a lot of what made Paranoia, Paranoia (the angst about communists when the alpha complex itself is run along communist lines, etc - the new version has "terrorists" as the constant phantom enemy). My recommendation would be to stick to whichever older version you have and enjoyed playing. You can't go wrong that way.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There was a new version out recently (well, in the last couple or so years), but I wasn't that impressed. I was always more in favour of the classic to straight type game, and the new version leans heavily into the zap style game. It also jettisons a lot of what made Paranoia, Paranoia (the angst about communists when the alpha complex itself is run along communist lines, etc - the new version has "terrorists" as the constant phantom enemy). My recommendation would be to stick to whichever older version you have and enjoyed playing. You can't go wrong that way.

Well, that's disappointing if unsurprising. I was hoping that there was something good and modern to try.
 



Lem23

Adventurer
I do not understand the appeal of using cards in RPGs, at all, so that's a hard pass for me.

I don't mind them, depending on context. The original Deadlands had them for use by hexslingers - gambling cardsharps that use them to power their magic - and it worked really well there. I also used to enjoy Torg back in the day, because of the cards in that game too. In the main though, I'm not a fan myself either, and especially when you need to buy more decks to be able to play. I thik in the new version of Paranois, all the mutant powers, secret societies, mutations, and experimental gear are on cards, which I'm not a fan of.
 

the Jester

Legend
I do not understand the appeal of using cards in RPGs, at all, so that's a hard pass for me.

The only card mechanic I've really enjoyed in RPGs was when I briefly used a deck to build random encounters with. I'd roll 1d4 to see how many cards to draw, then see what evolved from the cards, some of which included groups of monsters. My idea was to build a deck for each wilderness area and possibly for dungeon levels, etc.
 


Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I also used to enjoy Torg back in the day, because of the cards in that game too.
The cardplay in Torg, especially requiring the use of teamwork and cardplay by the entire party to take down super tough boss fights is unequaled in any RPG I have played. When the PCs are fighting that dragon they have to live long enough, whittling away at it to build up a good set of cards, then when when they pile on and unleash them all to help Indiana Jones take that 1 in a million shot to the dragon's eye to bring it down you get real life cheers and high fives at the victory more than any other game i've every played.

Gamer Story In the High Lord of Earth adventure the party's catholic priest character had previously played the Nemesis campaign card. In the thrilling final battle the party was facing off against the insane Darkness Device and its champion. The Darkness Device was winning the long term battle with its infinite possibilities, but the players had build up a good stack of cards. The priest used the rare "Divine Intervention" rules to pray to God to banish the DD from the Earth. The difficulty was as high as you could get...a 60, which the priest was able to achieve with the avalanche of cardplay. It worked! The players cheered...and the insane Darkness Device found itself banished to the surface of the moon....and it had a new nemesis....the priest who had banished it.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
The cardplay in Torg, especially requiring the use of teamwork and cardplay by the entire party to take down super tough boss fights is unequaled in any RPG I have played. When the PCs are fighting that dragon they have to live long enough, whittling away at it to build up a good set of cards, then when when they pile on and unleash them all to help Indiana Jones take that 1 in a million shot to the dragon's eye to bring it down you get real life cheers and high fives at the victory more than any other game i've every played.

Was that in the first version of Torg? It's been so long, but I just can't recall it.

Now that I think back, I think I remember cards in ... I want to say Ghostbusters? That seemed fine. It's still more in "bug, not feature" category for me.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The use of cards in Castle Falkenstein is actually quite well done. They added a small hand of cards to turn the randomization into a tactical spent resource, which I thought was pretty nifty.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Was that in the first version of Torg? It's been so long, but I just can't recall it.

Now that I think back, I think I remember cards in ... I want to say Ghostbusters? That seemed fine. It's still more in "bug, not feature" category for me.
The cards in Torg do multiple things....

1. They show which side goes first in each round of combat and if something "odd" happened that round for one side or the other like being fatigued or setback. There are Standard and Dramatic combats and the bad guys have an easier time on the Dramatic Encounter lines.

2. They tell the PCs which types of actions are "Approved" which means if they succeed at them they get an extra card from the pile. This encourages them to do things other than just attack every round.

3. There is a mechanic in Torg for when you want to have a timed 4-step thing happen in an encounter (Say defuse a bomb by making 4 different types of skill checks). The 4 steps (and setbacks and other things) can only be taken in order, and if the corresponding step shows up on whatever card you are using for step 1.

4. The card has some sort of ability the PC can use when it's played from their hand or card pool to enhance their abilities for the round.

In OG Torg all of this was on a single B&W no artwork card

TC2.JPG


In Torg:Eternity (new Torg) the cards became full color with artwork and were divided into two decks. 1-3 is on the "GM" deck of cards and 4 are separated out into a separate player deck. They also added in region specific cards for each of the "realities" so that the battles have different feels when you are in primitive dinosaur land versus corporate intrigue land.
TC3.png

TC4.png
 

Nytmare

David Jose
I actually really enjoyed the new Paranoia. More than anything, it made me realize how dated the science fiction vision of the original had been, being written in a world that hadn't yet discovered the beauty of <blink> tags and Flappy Bird.

As for the communist/terrorist swap: the commies are still there, they're just one flavor of terrorist. The "inherent threat" of communism isn't as noticeable as the tongue in cheek bad guy as the more broadly understood concept of terrorism is/was in the early aughts when Paranoia was reborn. You really need to have grown up in the 70s and 80s to appreciate that "communism was a red herring", and that ain't the target audience.

I think that the thing that I liked the most about Paranoia's card based system (that I'm know other systems have had, but I didn't really notice it till I played Paranoia) was that the cards stopped you from having to constantly go to the book to see how powers and abilities worked and interacted. Pretty much everything you need is written there on the card.

I was also a fan of how the game allows you to adjust how much of the card system bleeds into the game. We only used the full system, so I don't actually know how well the half measures played out, but I appreciate the effort.

As for not wanting to get into a game where you need to buy more of something to keep playing. You only need to buy new cards as much as you need to buy new books. New shiny toys are a pitfall of pretty much every aspect of our hobby.

The appeal of card based systems are varied, but at least mechanically, you have to factor in that you are affected by different kinds of randomization when playing poker with a deck of cards vs playing it with dice. In a game built around and on top of bluffing, and lying, and paranoia, and not knowing what the other guy has up their sleeve, I think that a card based system is a smart choice.
 

ErisIndomina

Villager
Haven't played Paranoia in years, but it was actually the first RPG I ever played, and I remember it fondly. We kept track of the most impressive/amusing ways we died.
My own personal favorite deaths were my germaphobe character getting dissolved in a vat of industrial cleaning fluids, and a later clone of him hitting electrified train tracks at 90 miles per hour, cooking as he skidded down the tracks.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
The new version is okay, if only for zap style games.

That being said I also don't particularly care for the whole post9/11 surveillance state terrorist thing either versus the paranoid communist stuff.

I'm partial to the second edition, myself.
 

I ran a one-off a few years ago...it was fun.

I don't think the system you use for Paranoia is important at all. I'd just stick with the old materials you have unless you are interested in the new versions to see whats been updated in the fluff.

Also, if you didn't know, there was a Paranoia videogame released recently. Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory. I haven't played it since its only on the PC but it looks fun.
I will need to look for that

EDIT:
Appatently it's realtime with pause. No thank you.
 
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