On another thread a couple people expressed a fondness for Paranoia. I’m intrigued about it, so I went to a couple serch engines and found a site that seems to be wanting to start playing it on the net. Not having any experience playing it (and not being able to find the books), I was wondering if these guys know what they’re talking about. Does this group have a good handle on how Paranoia’s actually played, or am I out of luck?
It depends a lot on your GM and which aspects of the world he wants to emphasize.
There are GM’s who basically consider it a dark angstfilled world, where you are bascially screwed, and the idea is to find out how long you can survive the GM and your fellow players attempts to kill you. In these games, the humor is in the fact that if you try something original and humorous, you get screwed even faster (Humor not fitting in with dark angst filled worlds you see, these GM’s don’t comprehend works like Catch-22 )These GM’s are the ones who are now playing Vampire LARPs.
There are GM’s who try to emphasize the fact that this is supposed to be where Orwell meets Marx…as in Groucho or Harpo. Yes, you are still screwed, but here the idea is that the more creative you are, the more likely that you will enjoy being screwed and want a ciggy afterwards (Though considering that often all that is left of your character is a pair of smoking boots, the ciggy is optional.) In these sorts of games, the more outrageous the act, the more likely you will succeed, the matter eater opening his mouth wide as the tank shoots at him, for instance…‘Now That’s a spicy meatball!!’ He’ll probably die from the six or seven other shells, but at least he had a good meal first. These GM’s go on to be Animators in Toon games, and similar.
Most GM’s are a bit between the two, but I’ll always take a toon oriented GM over a angst oriented one, because I always prefer a playfull foreplay to BDSM.