I should be sleeping like a log…
If you really want me to be honest about my choice of Paranoia mission for Sydcon, it was the title that most attracted me to this. Yes, I am a Beatles fan and the last four CDs I bought were all Beatles albums. But despite its name, I had to put all the references in there myself as I know players would more or less expect them.
Back in April at Eyecon people were asking me if I was going to be running Paranoia again at Sydcon. Back then I said yes but wasn’t completely sure what mission. I think I was choosing between Heroes of Our Complex (the Bob-Y mission) and Treason in Word and Deed. But it was when I picked up Flashbacks, with its oodles of missions and other wonderful stuff for GMs, that convinced me to run one of the N7 missions, An ARD Days Night.
There are plenty of missions to choose from in there that I’d like to run at a later stage. Classics like Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues and others like Orcbusters and My First Treason that I may run at future cons in a condensed format, as they are rather long. I recommend any Paranoia GM to get Flashbacks not just for the missions, but what could be termed “random encounters” which are essential to a Paranoia game.
And I had to use them as An ARD Day’s Night was basically as skeleton. Other than the Beatles references (which involved being chased down a corridor by rabid fans, then playing in a concert and being chased by more rabid fans off the stage and into a trash compactor) I put in four more corridor encounters (one group didn’t get all of them as we were a little pressed for time) that really had very little to do with the main story.
I also put in two experimental devices from R&D that I was sure would please everyone. Namely a Portal gun and a TARDIS in a tent. Though only one Troubleshooting team used one on the other and created a singularity…and then created another towards the end of the session
But hey, that’s Paranoia. In Paranoia the story is something the GM talks about when the players aren’t shooting each other.
When I started, I didn’t think that the game held together very well which may have been because I didn’t think the play test at my last gaming session in Tassie went very well. Now that I think about it the session could have gone better, but it wasn’t that bad. I define success in a Paranoia game when it becomes more or less self-sustaining and I don’t really have to do anything at all.
I’ve said in the past that Paranoia is good to run at conventions because the game is rather short, but there’s another reason purely due to how people get at cons. Which is tired from lack of sleep, mainly due to the after-con events which had me getting home around 11-12 at night and getting up around 6am the next morning. Paranoia is not a game that requires a lot of thinking or calculating, unlike other games I have run.
There’s also the fact that even though I am running the same game over and over the novelty lies in what the next group of players will do differently. And so I look forward to the next Paranoia game I run at a con, which may be sooner than I first thought.