Thursday, 31 July 2014

All Hail Central Computer.

There was a brief reminiscence, at least for me, last week during a brief discussion of the RPG Paranoia.
I remember the first time I played. It was a one off game and no one was any wiser regarding this game than any other, although the GM was behaving in a bit of an odd way. Our mission was simply to guard a tank bot and ensure that it was protected from communists for the duration of our shift. Simple enough, a job for the boys.
However the penny started to drop when the bot decided it was very bored and began various self tests culminating in its deploying several dozen sheepish proximity mines that wandered around aimlessly by themselves.
Having spent 20 minutes just trying to stay alive, it became apparent that this was simply not a plausible strategy. After the first grenade went off in someone's pocket, replacement clones were rushed into the scenario like chicken wings at lunchtime. It was immense fun and I'm happy to say we learnt absolutely nothing.
Here are a few comments from club comms for anyone curious about the game.
All comments are treasonous and have been emailed to Central Computer.
Remember: happiness is mandatory.

Never run it but I've played it, it's an old classic by West End Games. I think Mongoose are still doing Paranoia since WEG vanished but WEG had a few great games under its belt.
 It's good for short adventures and one-offs and its slapstick comedy is good for more laid-back sessions.
being a mutant always appeals, though in my case it's hardly 'roleplay'.:)
With the right GM, it's a lot of fun.
(I have very clear memories of having to stand in a briefing room because the seats were the wrong colour and making use of a dog vendor near the escalators - "dogs must be carried").
Yes, I have been reading about it and sounds fun. Anyway, it's a suggestion. The good thing is it does not have to last for many sessions.
Read about someone who got a bowl of M&M's to the table and zapped anyone who ate one above their colour clearance.
Its genius. Excellent for a one session filler.
Think 1984 crossed with the marx brothers.
Grenades with a throw distance of 20 feet and an explosion radius of 50 feet.
All hail central computer!
I have been reading Paranoia supplements for years and always wanted to play!
The latest edition of the game I have (Paranoia XP), offers three different modes of play, ranging from the notorious "zap" style where everyone dies before they even get to the briefing room, through to the more longterm "straight" mode which is supposed to play more like Orwell's 1984 than Looney Toons; so it is possible to find the right balance for different players.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The other way.

Well, it appears that we went up when we should have gone down.
Still, we have a new hostage to rescue and a different crew of bandits to hack and slay. I never quite know how much wiggle room a Knight has in negotiations but I decided that 'none at all' was close to the mark and we seem to be most of the way trough our 'dialogue' with just a few scars so far.
At the end of the day everyone deserves a second chance, chaos or not, but if they are determined not to do exactly what I say then they have to be cut up into little pieces and fed to the rats. Just an opinion.
I have also heard that the Ice and Fire Game is approaching its conclusion and it would appear that the characters still have all their collective heads attached to their respective bodies after a life or death trial. As proud and relieved as they all seemed after walking out of their last game I would always advise caution in medieval intrigues. Just saying.
The use of technology in RPGs also continues to interest me - often its a race between the pressing of an button and the rolling of the die. There is a charm both in the materials and a lot left tot he imagination when using the native resources but that's what they said about stone tablets I suppose. I'm a traditionalist myself but Chris, our resident gadget guru, is pictured here with his more up to date tablet.
Obviously when he feels he has mastered the basics he will turn it over and use the correct side.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Last week saw us proceed deeper into trouble in search of a missing village shaman. The cave complex we are in seems to have given way to architecture; apparently an ancient tower now embedded into a mountain. Normally at this point its a matter of either the left hand rule or the right hand rule, someone expendable on point and look behind you every 3.4 minutes. Given that, traditionally, towers follow an up/down sort of direction, we spent some time looking for the staircase of course. It seems however that traditional tower traversal here is in fact done by drinking from a magical fountain and then disappearing. Well, at least we left the game with the last of us having just dematerialised - it is a slight concern naturally that we may have inadvertently finished the game early but we maintain a high degree of confidence in our unshakable belief that we are not all suddenly dead. Our confidence clearly stems from the clues below, etched into the tower walls:
Now we are also of the presumption that our GM can in fact read and write perfectly well and hasn't just scrawled something akin to severe dyslexia that he thinks is perfectly legible. No, I am going with the cryptic clue interpretation as there is something in the name of the RPG that makes me think these aren't just the scribblings of a madman...

I can also assure everyone that GM Rob's attention to detail is quite authentic as he is pictured here with a particularly sharp pencil.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Broo Beer

Somewhat of a tradition for anyone on the roleplaying scene are the necessary supplies for surviving the game itself. I have been in many discussions regarding the optimum configuration of rations that a character should have but what of the players? Is there a market for Paladin Popcorn, Ranger Rolls or Cleric Crisps ? Either way, more market research needs to be done.
Our Runequest has started in style with us on the track of marauders who have recently departed a small burning village with most of its population; its a good way to get the moral lines drawn early and assess the characters abilities. Seems we are all on side at present but it may depend on how much the slaves are worth...
Here is our hand model Chris stylishly demonstrating the usefulness of his new dice rolling app; in this picture he has just rolled on the region of 2000 that crashed his phone for a while. I think we can agree on exactly how useful this will turn out to be.
The report on the Ice and Fire game from GM Bill read one word: 'Torture'. Think I'll fill in the details after I've had my Kender Kit Kat.