Lore and Legend Lore

•August 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

Can you believe is was almost a year ago now that Tomb of Horrors arrived in my mailbox? To date, we have finished the first chapter, had a joint campaign and started an online campaign (which is still stuck in the first dungeon). And now, as of a few weeks ago, we have started the second part.

This is slightly overwhelming as I was expecting to sit on part II for a little while longer. But as they seem to be eager there is no reason to disuade them. As of this post, they’re currently in the third dungeon, having gotten through the first dungeon in a single session.

But this is not a commentary on my game. Well, not all of it is. But as we’ve moved into part two of Tomb of Horrors it is appropriate to reminisce a little on what has gone before…

The Original

Why then the scenario in the first place? Thank Alan Lucien for conceiving of such a horrid little adventure. From his basis I developed the material that was to become the Tomb of Horrors, and I admit to chuckling evilly as I did so. There were several very expert players in my campaign, and this was meant as yet another challenge to their skill-and the persistance of their theretofore invincible characters. – Gary Gygax, Return to the Tomb of Horrors

I have to admit that I haven’t played the original, but I do have a lot of respect for the module and for it’s original purpose. Despite the misconceptions as a killer dungeon (which it totally is, but that’s beside the point), it is primarily a game for DMs to test the thinking and ingeunity of their players. Not just to get out of the various traps and hazards without dying, but to do so without preconceptions.

As well as remembering to ask the right questions and not just be lazy and accept what the DM is telling them at face value.

There’s a reason my favourite room in this module is the false tomb.

The Sequel

However, Tomb of Horrors was merely a module. Sure, it could fit into a campaign if you really wanted to but players who know they’ll face the Tomb of Horrors, their focus will definitely shift. It also seems rather mean to tell the players once they’ve started the campaign “Oh, by the way, you’ll be facing the Tomb of Horrors soon, just a friendly heads up.”

But Bruce R. Cordell’s Return to the Tomb of Horrors changed that. It puts the original module, nothing altered whatsoever, right in the middle of a compelling and challenging campaign. Cordell puts the Tomb itself and all the stories behind it firmly within the mythology of the Greyhawk campaign setting. And there’s more, as Cordell adds something that was rather lacking in the original module: plot.

The plot is expansive in terms of scope and distance, I counted at least four dungeons in may last read-though and Cordell delves into backstory. Not just Acererak’s backstory but that of the Tomb itself and the various adventurers who would…venture in their and get horrible killed, or worse.

And the campaign ends not in the Tomb, but elsewhere, with a final showdown with Acererak which leads us to the present day.

Part Three

I brought this all up for a reason, as the lore from Return has a lot to do with where our campaign is at the moment. They are currently in the third dungeon of the module (and there are more after this) where Return ended. And not just that, but the outcome of Return (which assumes 100% completion) determines the start of the third part.

And this is what the “transition session” in our campaign world city of Nia was centred on. From this point in time, it is assumed that not only the Tomb of Horrors once existed, but a group of adventurers went there and defeated Acererak for good. But what exactly happened remains to be seen, as it happened hundreds of years ago and no one is really talking about it.

I will say this to my players: you will find no answers in Return, though I will continue to scare you with stats from there as long as you are able to read them.

And to other DMs, I encourage you to look at the series holistically. As while there are many things that I admire in the third incarnation, it is merely the pieces of a campaign that a good DM needs to assemble with the input of their players.


Eating my words

•July 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well, it’s been a few weeks since gaming, with people not being able to show up and whatnot and a few of us were getting cabin fever. The worst part is that we have two games on hiatus, due to the fact that certain people need to be there in order for it to happen. So, in what you may call desperation, we had another Mutant City Blues session.

I fully expected not to run it again for a very long while. It is and always will be a backup system, due to it’s nature as it works best in small groups. Despite that, it does require a bit more thought and research, and the former counts for the players as well. And having too many people wasn’t a problem this time, as there were only three players besides myself who could make it. And I managed to run it without my fellow GM from last time.

I can’t take all the credit, and I don’t doubt things would have run smoother had she been there, and not just to act as the NPCS (and she’s better at it than me, to be honest) but those small things that I had to chase down from three different people in the end. There were facts about the case that I specifically did not know, and at times I asked them but I did know enough to give them enough to solve it.

But starting with a body floating in the harbour  and ending with a cult of murderous “vampires”…yeah, that was me. And I was worried it was going to be too far-fetched. In hindsight, slightly quirky cases like this one may be better than ordinary ones dressed up with some anamorphic frills.

However, I cannot take credit for the ending as that was all the players. It was the same old problem: I didn’t know how to end it. But why do that myself when I know the players can come up with something much better than I ever could? Like a raid on a nightclub that was so good it should be in the movies. Yes, that is straight from the James Bond treatment, and it works.

So, it’s back to normal as of this weekend. We will have the final session of the Undermere campaign, after which 4E will be going on a much deserved hiatus. And then we tackle the larger issue of getting the people to bring Star Wars back as well as the 3.5 game that another player is running. But for now, it’s one catastrophe at a time.

Fonebooks and other fun things

•June 24, 2011 • 2 Comments

Gaming systems are like shoes, they come in many styles and fits but they are basically built around the same principles. New shoes have a novelty to them, but they’re not as nearly as comfortable as old ones and can chafe and give blisters. And, of course, people have the own opinions about which types are better…

Anyway, enough about shoes, as I think my point is basically made. And what I have to address this time is about new gaming systems. It’s been a while since I’ve run a new one, and coupled with this it’s a new style of game. Not adventure, investigative.

Add to that the following elements: it was a joint-session and we were dealing with real-world places and organisations. So we were in for a bit of a ride.

The System

The system is GUMSHOE but the game itself is Mutant City Blues, where the players portray mutant detectives that investigate crimes committed by mutants, or as they are called in the game “heightened individuals”. After I played it at Eyecon, I had to go out and get it. (Along with Rapture but that’s another story.) It’s very similar, and even strongly encouraged within the game itself, like an episode of Law & Order or CSI. Players need to find the clues to move onto the next scene and interpret the clues in order to solve the mystery.

The Setting

When I played it in Sydney, we were part of the NYPD and even had the Law & Order theme as an opening to the game. I wanted to go a bit more familiar, but not overly so as it’s my opinion game settings need to have an “other place” feel to them. And this is even though having it set locally would have made things easier, as one of the group is a member of the police here. I knew I wanted to run it, but with her as a player it could create problems. The major one, she would know more about how little things worked than me, who has been tainted by the American media.

So we set the game in Sydney, and as the game goes it’s ten years into the future. I had to do quite a bit of research into the NSW Police Force to see how the Heightened Crimes Unit, which the players are a member of, would actually be a part if it existed in real life. And this required a fair amount of guesswork, as NSW does have quite a bit more middling positions than here. This is tiresome in some respects but it meant that we could have one of the best NPCs in the game, Senior Sergeant Aaron Davey. And the players hate his guts.

There were disadvantages, I think there were only a handful of people at the table who had been to Sydney, let alone knew it well. We had an argument if it would take twenty minutes to drive from Hyde Park to Vaucluse at 11.30 on a saturday night (I found out later, this is right). But I swear next time we play, which won’t be for a while, I am letting the players have a map.

The Genre

Other than Hunters, which has investigative elements, this is the first game of an investigative nature that we have played. Sure, there have been plots when myself or another GM have deceived the players which spurred them on to find out what was really going on, but these were still about adventurers. And GUMSHOE as a system is specifically set around investigation.

It should come as no small surprise then when this is the area where we need the most work, as the players managed to catch us out in a major plothole that we were unable to rectify as the entire case more or less rested on it. Aside from that rather big gaping hole, the game moved logically if not exactly smoothly, as there were some elements that we simply did not anticipate and we were forced to improvise, without even communicating with each other so we wouldn’t give away the major plot elements. There was one time when I was out of the room for what could have been no more than about five minutes, and in this time a major plot detail had been revealed incorrectly. I had to apologise and say that this was a point we had specifically discussed that afternoon and had to be rectified.

The Players

Unlike other systems we run, where the size of the group really depends on whether the GM that night is willing to handle it, Mutant City Blues works best with small groups. I’d say four is a good size, we had six, though to be honest we were only expecting four or five. Fortunately, the story was shared around the players and they all had a turn at interviewing people. But, with so many people there, the game tended to dragon on more than it should and it took me longer than usual to get everyone to shut up and listen.

There were memorable moments that made the game fun, and I can see us playing it again. One which I have to mention here, even though it’s pretty much a player’s solution to metagaming. The interviews were usually conducted by two players, but other players not there wanted to contribute in a benign way. Thus the Fonebook was born, a touchscreen tablet that allows the players to instant message each other, look up people on crime databases, view and analyse images and take and compare fingerprints. It was such a cool idea that we just had to go with it.

Even if there was a rather significant absence of bagels.

Plot, and how not to panic about it

•May 31, 2011 • 2 Comments

Browsing through Gnome Stew I found an article that really sympathised with my own knowledge of plot in a roleplaying game. And I found this particularly significant:

When you create a plot for your campaign though you must realize that as the GM you do not own the plot. You may give life to the plot, but it is the group that actually possesses the plot. The reason for this is because the GM and the players all influence the plot in some way. At some times a player will most likely have more control over the plot than the GM does. There is nothing wrong with this, and I for one prefer for players to have high control of the plot through their PC’s actions. – Gnome Stew Two Approaches To Creating Plots: Dominoes, and Water

I’ve said this before quite a few times. While the GM may be the storyteller for the game, the players are the characters are in the story. While a GM may want to tell a particular story, it is the desires and actions of the characters that need to drive it. Ask any writer, as a character in a story that they are not motivated to be in may end up wondering what they are doing there. Did they wander in from another story?

Of course, there needs to be some sort of middle between what the GM wishes to tell and what the players wish to possess. And when you have a campaign that satisfies both, there are fun times to be had.

But, this is not the point of my article today. What I’d like to explore is getting to this sort of plot, particularly from the perspective of new GMs.

Step 1 – The Genre

Even though I’m still a rather inexperience Level 1 GM, I’ve gotten to the stage in my D&D and my Star Wars Games where I can build my own plot and it can stand on it’s own, more or less. Of course, I’ve been able to do that with Star Wars for some time, but Star Wars was the system I started out with, so that’s to be expected.

Before you can even start to think about what sort of zany things you want your players to do, you need to work out whether it would be something your players are even willing to do. That means you need to assess the group, see the sorts of characters they create and what they do and what they find fun to do in the game. It was a very wise DM that once said that if you put hack and slash players into a “thinking person’s game” they will be unhappy. You might want to run a game of political intrigue, with very little combat, but if the players just wish to kill things you’ll just be playing with yourself.

If your willing, you can even ask the players what sort of game they want to play. While this might not be suitable for all game, it’s what I did with Star Wars. The players actually asked me if they could run a criminal organisation, so I threw out my original plans (and I can’t remember what they were, which proves how good they were) and made the game about that instead. It still meant I could control things, and the players had a much more sense of ownership of their own stories.

However, if you pitch a game like a module or a campaign you’ve had on ice and been waiting to run, this can be a little harder. This will require a little more negotiation, as I go into in the second part.

Step 2 – The Skeleton

Recently I lent the 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 to a fellow DM in the group. He runs the 3.5 campaign. These two facts might seem contradictory, if it wasn’t for the fact that this book is a goldmine for GMs who wish to improve their storytelling abilities. Hell, most of what I said above and about to say below is summarised in this paragraph:

You can run a thrilling D&D campaign that keeps your players coming back for more even if you don’t give a
single thought to story structure, character motivations, cooperative world building, or any of the other concepts
described in this chapter. Using these ideas makes you a better DM only if doing so enhances the collective fun
of a receptive group. Before introducing the cooperative techniques discussed in this chapter, poll your players and confirm that they are interested. – Dungeon Master’s Guide 2

A campaign’s story needs the same elements as a conventional story, it just needs them in different amounts and it needs them to be mailable. The DMG 2 acknowledges this, as a campaign with a story need not be a great big railroad.

However, whether characters or plot are put into consideration first needs to be assessed in relation to your game. If you pitch a game like I said above, a lot of the structure has been mapped out for you (though this depends on the designers and how much they have invested in story themselves) and you are merely required to bring the characters to it. This is a plot-first outlook, and the characters require some degree of shoehorning to get them into it. And there are players who have agreed to play the game but disagree with the premise of your plot, seemingly contradictory but it happens.

In a perfect world, I like to meet (or at least correspond with) player before the game begins. They tell me about their character concept, and I try and help them fit in with as much plot and background I am willing to reveal. Yet this rarely happens, more than often I get a swathe of backstory from the player that is so fully-formed that’s it’s impossible to engage with (like fitting in an extra bed into a furnished bedroom), or the players are dropped in to the story more or less naked and we make up motivations as we go.

The compromise is to grab one player I know I can trust with plot and make them either the quest-giver or the lynchpin that holds the party together. But given the nature of characters, that’s not always possible.

If you approach it from the other way, from the motivations of the characters themselves, you need to keep your ears well and truly open. This is why I liked the part about interrelationships DMG2 describes, as it not only gives some cohesion to the players that they are a party before the game begins, it’s a great starting point for a DM who’s unsure where to go with a group. Even if the first quest is just to kill some kobolds that had been plaguing the village of Clodhump, what the players tell you in this does give you some indication of where they want to go next.

And this brings me to the third and final point, also described in DMG2.

Step 3 – Where it Goes

Satisfying D&D stories differ from other narrative forms in one major way: D&D stories don’t follow a single predetermined storyline through a series of turning points. Instead, each turning point presents the opportunity for the story to branch in an unexpected direction. By anticipating branches, you can ensure that the story keeps moving in an exciting and
A strong branch point engages players and can move the story in two or more directions. – Dungeon Master’s Guide 2

Plot can be defined in its simplest terms as “what happens next”, and sometimes that’s all you can determine. It’s generally not a good idea to clarify plot too far into the game, as by the time you get to that point things may have changed. The players may have taken an unexpected turn before then, which makes what you planned either irrelevant or a ripe target to build a railroad to.

Instead, try and look at the plot as a series of events, that may or may not happen and may also have more than one outcome. Allow me to elaborate with an analogy.

Players are asked by Ham the innkeeper to clear the rats from his basement, and in the process they find a few religious books which betrays Ham’s membership into a heretic sect of demon worshipers. Now, the logical thing to do would be to turn Ham the innkeeper to the local authorities. Problem is, you made him into a likable character. He gives the players free drinks, he has a hot barmaid. So they instead manage to convince him to change his ways, with quite a number of high Diplomacy checks, and you have no choice but to let them succeed.

The scene turns out different than expected, but if you are thinking of railroading the outcome you misunderstand the real issue. Ham the innkeeper was the vehicle for the players to learn about the plot, and possibly was some sort of dilemma when the players encounter him in a fight later on and have to choose whether to kill him or not. But there is no reason for him to stay that way. This happens in fiction as well, the plot can get away under the motivation of a character and has to be brought back to an outcome that can be seen, even if it’s glimpsed distantly on the horizon.

Instead of scripting the story, think in terms of events, people and locations. And events can mean combat encounters, remember. Get their purpose, the information they are meant to convey, and several notes on what possible outcomes will mean for these. The latter will start you thinking, at the very least, of the mentality of your vehicle, as I have found it is stupid beyond belief to assume the players will do as you expect them to.

And honestly, that’s the best part.

Gaming with gadgets

•May 22, 2011 • Comments Off on Gaming with gadgets

Okay, I may as well come clean on this: I’m a Luddite as far as gaming gadgets go and my group has similar views on this. I much prefer an actual book to serve as the reference material when I am playing or running a game as it’s easier to refer to. But of late, we as a group seem to be breaking this as more and more often laptops are coming to the table out of necessity.

Take the last two sessions that we had, for example. Both of them included using laptops during the game session, something which I have been very strictly against until rather recently. We currently have a lot of gaming pdfs that would be very difficult, and almost downright impossible for some, to get in physical form. And when you want to play those games, out comes the laptop.

And this is what happened in the last session I ran two weeks ago. I have to admit, that I didn’t “run the game” from the laptop as I had the books in front of me. But I did need to access the riddles document that came with the bundle of pdfs, and so I used my laptop in a game as a GM for the first time ever.

The second time was the very next week. I had to transfer my 3.5 character sheet from the laptop to paper, another player had to do this as well and the DM was going to use the 3.5 books on there to run the game, but in the end he ran it from the cards that came with various miniatures I had acquired.

The good news is someone has managed to source actual physical copies of the books and will arrive in six or more weeks.

But I don’t think the problem is going to entirely go away, as there are a few cases where I have entire systems in pdf format, and these are games that I actually want to run or play. But printing is not just expensive, but cumbersome to carry around. And it’s just impractical to print them all, to be honest.

On the flip side, while a pdf is great for grabbing things to add to a campaign via screen captures, it’s no substitute for having the physical book on the table. And I don’t think I have to go into the obvious advantages there.

Despite this, the possibility is there that myself or one of the other players running a game entirely from a laptop is more than a remote possibility.

But I have to confess, I did see some amazing things with iPads and gaming at Eyecon.

Of course we had fun

•May 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I took Paranoia to Eyecon because it was a game that I was confident I could run; even though it’s the newest system that I run. It was also portable, as Paranoia requires only many, many pieces of paper.I actually brought too many bits of paper, but at least there was room in my suitcase for the books, games and chocolate I had acquired over the course of the long weekend.

I never though I would say this but I will now: Paranoia is a great game to take to a con not just for the advantages above, but for the nature of the game itself. Even after running the same mission again got old, I was still motivated by my curiosity of what my players would do next. And I was not disappointed in the least.

And this has convinced me further to take it to Sydcon, if I get there that is. Plans are in the works but anything could happen.

Even though I knew that everyone had enjoyed it, in fact people kept on telling me that they wanted to play but couldn’t manage to get in, it was a nice surprise to have a big cheer when I went up to present my trophies.

My players have been warned, though, they need to give me a new version of those famous Alpha Complex songs “We Love Friend Computer” and “Stab, Stab, Stab the Commies” next time I run it.

Which won’t be for a while.

Eyecon 2011: A Retrospective

•May 1, 2011 • 4 Comments

Well, I survived. I wasn’t as tired by the end as I thought I would be, and my voice managed to survive intact to the last session of Paranoia. I managed to watch away with a few goodies, so lets take a look how the very long weekend went…

Day One

Well, it took a little doing but I managed to get out there. The bus wasn’t that hard to find, and I wasn’t the only one on that bus going to the con, so it was no problem knowing when to get off. (Until the next day, as I wasn’t paying attention so I didn’t know where to get off the bus.)

The venue, St Scholastica’s, was great but the school is so much like a maze that you’d need Dungeoneering checks to navigate it. However, I was the very first to be registered. Despite this I made an epic fail in that I did not bring my dice with me. I brought them up from Tasmania, but they were still in my suitcase at my grandmothers, where I was staying. Not a bad start, you could say.

The shop wasn’t set up yet, so myself and two other players (also without dice) had to share the GMs dice for the first session Rapture. Even if the GM hadn’t given us a discount for his system (though I am plugging it off my own back, seriously try it if you like Hunters) I’d still be getting it as it’s rather interesting and I’ll be passing it on to a particular player who is making a d10 based system. I might even give it a review after closer inspection.

Though I think in our play we forgot about the story and just worried about killing each other. And speaking of that…

Yes, I did take Paranoia to the convention. Yes, I did run four games there that were fully-booked. And yes, I did manage to run the same module for four days in a row without losing my voice or my mind. Though I was really motivated by curiosity, curiosity at what the next lot of players would do. I’ll take a look at running my game in more detail at another post, as I think it deserves it and here I’d rather look at the systems that I tried.

It was on the first day that I met the guys from Saga Cast and did the interview that should be up on their site soon. I guess the fact that I was wearing a Celebration IV t-shirt that kind of gave the game away.

Well, as second session every day was my game, third session on day one was ODAD, which I think it the other name for 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons. We played gamers going to Gen Con in 1976 that didn’t end up playing any games. I played a tech from ILM taking an illict vacation that George wouldn’t notice along with other sterotypical characters like a punk, a geeky kid, a jock and an academic. The plot involved Gary Gygax being kidnapped, a kid’s blanky, a visit to the Playboy Club with Fritz Leiber, a robo Hugh Hefner and the entire plot was manipulated by William Shatner. We managed to save ourselves from being fed to Shatner’s crocodiles by disturbing his rug when the jock threw a football at it, but none of us wanted to kill Shatner.

Yeah, it was a bit odd that game but we got a good reward out of it, at least in-character: Gary took us back to his house and ran a game for us. If only that last part were real…

Day Two

Well, even though I was getting better at navigating my way to the con by the second day (get off the bus at the Downing Centre, walk around to George Street to get the 431), I slept late. I intentionally kept that session free as I talked with the organisers beforehand that I could run a fifth session of Paranoia if there was demand. Well, there was demand that night as people kept telling me they wanted to play but couldn’t get in. And I don’t doubt that if they had written on the whiteboard at registration that there was another Paranoia session running the next day it would have filled up. But they didn’t and there wasn’t, so I got to sleep in on Saturday and keep another set of character sheets to throw in the trash when I was packing Tuesday morning.

I had plenty of time to arrange my stuff in my room and just left it all there so I could wander up at one o’clock. That night we had what could have been one of the best games at the con I played, the Law & Order game where we played cops who happened to have mutant powers. I love Law & Order, I have the computer games so I can listen to the dulcet tones of the late and grate Jerry Obach whenever I feel like it. It was done using the Mutant City Blues game from the GUMSHOE System, d6 based and another rules set I’ll have to get as I was very very impressed with how it was run.

What I was not impressed with were the actions of my fellow roleplayers that ended up with our case getting thrown out of court. My character, she had psychic and mind trick abilities that I never used, was chasing the “episode’s” red-herring. So I was not able to prevent another character breaking into a car to rearrange evidence so she could photograph it. I told her that what she was going to do would have consequences, that anything she found as a result of her actions would be inadmissable in court but she went along with anyway. Our case ended up resting on the evidence that she broke into the car to get, the criminal wasn’t convicted (though she did get locked up for having a non-registered dangerous mutant power) and her character was reduced back to uniform with six months on half-pay. With of course, me saying “I told you so”.

Day Three

Day Three was my 4th Edition RPGA Living Forgotten Realms game. They were also running Pathfinder in the main hall and were rather loud, so we went up to my Paranoia room as that was only going to be used from one until four that afternoon. Now, I like 4th Edition, all but converted this blog over to it, but I don’t think it’s the best game at the con to run sessions. At least, not the ones that have quite an emphasis on story. 4E is very combat-centric, even from the story-heavy games that I play, all you have to do to look at the modules made for the game. But we were supposed to do three encounters, we only got to do two because of time pressures and those weren’t even completed.

This has made me reconsider taking 4E to a con myself, to be honest. But I haven’t made a decision.

After my Paranoia game, I had 3.5 and managed to get a lift back to where I was staying. Now, I’ve heard all sorts of stories how 3.5 isn’t combat-centric: this was. All we pretty much did was fight monsters, a dinosaur and a bullete. It wasn’t bad and I had fun, but I couldn’t stand to sit there and do nothing else all day for all of the con like those guys were. And when I told my players about it, more than one was interested.

It was also this day that I learned that as a GM I’d be giving out trophies on the last day. Way to tell me, guys. It’s a good thing I had the GM’s list from the organisers, as well of my lists of which player had played which character or I would have been lost.

Day Four

Last day of the con, and also ANZAC Day. I don’t mean disrespect for anyone or anything, but it was a drag trying to get out there. I had to get off my bus on the other side of Hyde Park and walk down to George Street where I usually got the bus, only it was nowhere to be found. In the end, I got on the light rail and walked up from there. Did I mention it was raining? And did I mention that I had left my umbrella on the bus the previous day? It was a wonder I didn’t come down with something.

That morning I had Mass Effect, which was played with Gamma World. We had a choice of missions and we chose to save the passengers of a cruise ship…and more or less had disregard for the minions we were supposed to save. I really should dtop being in charge, as I was the officer and I let quite a few people die as we decided to storm the bridge. What was also interesting was how he had modified Star Wars minatures for Mass Effect. I kept on picking them up and seeing what they really were as it was rather impressive.

And then, after my last Paranoia game was the prize giving. Some of the work I had done the night before, but my final list was done while waiting for my turn. I’ll have more details in the Paranoia post itself, but I have to say that I got a big cheer when I came up to present them. I did manage to pick up a few goodies, got a trophy from the Mass Effect game and a book voucher from the ODAD game, the latter I’ll have to go out to Parramatta to spend.

Summing up the convention, they’ve got me convinced. I am definitely going back next year and quite a few of my players have expressed interest in joining me. I’m not sure about Sydcon in October though, but I was asked a few times If I could run Paranoia then as well. If I do decide to go, I will be running Paranoia again as that game is so much fun to take to a convention.