(last updated 03-JUL-24)
got killed by being pushed down an incinerator chute. His replacement
turned up with no memory of what had happened. The mission continued.
The player later made
the rather unfortunate mistake of saying to a team-mate "Why should I trust
you? You pushed my last clone down the incinerator". A brief
discussion followed, where the clone was asked how he could possibly know
that. This was followed by accusations of mutation and a (brief)
The next clone turned
up a few minutes later. The player wasn't impressed.
During one memorable
firefight, a thrown grenade landed in the grenade box being carried by
a Troubleshooter. Everybody got out of there very quickly.
What they didn't know was the grenade was a dud. (Yes, GMs do sometimes
So everybody sat and
waited - no boom. After a while the owner of the box went to investigate.
It was at this point that one of his team-mates (who had telekinesis) decided
to pull the pin from another grenade in the box. There was certainly
a boom that time!
A very good "accidental
death" in my opinion.
There was this one
guy - everyone hated him, so he once went through two entire clone families,
and two bots, in one session (yep, that's right, four characters!).
The other players were placing bets on when he'd die next....
Not long after the
group had finished "The People's Glorious Revolutionary Adventure", they
soon found themselves in another mission - "More Songs About Food Vats",
if I recall correctly. The Troubleshooter team had been assembled
(some of whom were holdovers from the previous mission - I tend to keep
players alive a little longer) for their briefing.
After the mission
had been outlined, the group was "encouraged" to show its loyalty to the
Computer before departing for PLC. Everyone yelled out "Hail Friend
Computer!", except one player, who yelled out "Hail Tovarich Computer!"
Commie salute), and raised his left hand in salute.
The others were shocked
(including myself!), and, in response to the stares aimed at him, the player
asked, innocently, "We're in Russia, aren't we?". Shock and terror
soon set in, as our soon-to-be-executed Troubleshooter began to realize
that he had not grasped the idea that the team was no longer in Alpha State,
and they were no longer Commies....
In our group we had
a player who was completely new to roleplaying and Paranoia. Just
about 20% into the mission he was already onto his 5th clone, 2 of these
lost during the mission briefing. I won't go through how he lost
all of his clones but just 1 in particular. After his first 4 clones
had died most horribly his 5th one rejoined the mission:
SHOOTER: Right, now I'm angry because you lot have just killed
of all my clones and you lot are still on your first clones!
SHOOTER: How do you know that we killed all your clones?
SHOOTER: I don't know, I must have some sort of psychic connection
with them or something!
SHOOTER: Mutant! *ZAP ZAP*
SHOOTER: Frazzle frazzle *smell of fried trouble shooter*
Let that be a lesson
to all you new commers to Paranoia.
One of the players,
somewhat the junior member and unfamiliar with weapons of mass destruction,
inquired to the GM what napalm ammo was.
Quick as a flash the
GM said; "Its a type of jelly."
Oh, thought the player.
And then he decided it would be amusing to coat one of the other players
in jelly, kind of like a custard pie in the face but fired from a slugthrower.
Then, much to his
suprise, the jelly burst into flames (as napalm usually does) toasting
the other clone.
Naturally, he was
terminated for murder. Well, unprovoked murder :)
One character (who,
rather appropriately, adopted the name Stu-O-PID) was a member of
Leopard. His society instructions were to destroy as much equipment
as possible, but not to get caught.
Stu-O-PID took this
a little too literally, and figured that "don't get caught" meant he should
commit the act in front of an audience and then run like hell (thus avoiding
getting caught). Apparently the idea of not being implicated simply
hadn't occurred to him.
On this particular
mission, the team had a tracking device which they had to use to find a
Commie radio station. Stu-O-PID (who had the matter eater
mutation) decided it would be fun to eat the tracking device. Following
his swift termination, one of his colleagues discovered some bits of circuit
board amongst his remains (complete with incriminating teeth marks).
The debriefing for
this mission was pretty interesting, especially when the evidence was produced.
In the same mission
there was a second member of Death Leopard. Neither player
knew there was another DL member in the group. However, this player
was smarter than Stu-O-PID. He managed to be picked as team leader,
and was able to get other people to destroy Computer property for him.
For example: "Fellow team member, we need to get through this locked
door. Please blow it up with your cone rifle."
The team of Troubleshooters
were playing a mission that was published in "Polyhedron" Magazine (I forgot
the issue number, sorry). In this mission the Romantics had discovered
some Old Reckoning texts and had learned of an event called the "Hol-I-DAY".
They had reinstated this old tradition of Hol-I-DAY (obviously named after
some famous Old Reckoning citizen), during which citizens would give out
gifts that would not explode...for some reason.
were to deliver a gift to the nearest Computer node as a sign of their
loyalty (the gift ended up being argyle socks). Along the way, one of the
players had used a computer terminal to ask for information on this "Hol-I-DAY".
This information was classified, and when the player told the Computer
that he was only a Red, he was asked to go to the nearest termination center.
He did not do this, however.
Halfway through the
adventure, the character turned a corner and walked right into himself.
Literally. You see, the Computer had figured that he had killed himself
(as asked), and his other clone (#2) had been activated because of this.
So, clone #1 figures it's a mutant shapeshifter or something along those
lines, and a big firefight ensues. Eventually #1 was terminated because
he didn't report to the termination center as asked.
I was recently the
gamemaster for an Internet Relay Chat session of Paranoia. I was
playing directly out of Alpha Complexities, and when they
got to the other side of a large chasm, they discovered that the only door
there was of a higher clearance. Having had some interesting experiences
with clearances earlier (i.e. *ZAP!*), they turned to go back, and...oh,
dear, the planks have disappeared. The beams that they were on are
still there, though...
Two (yes, two) of
the Troubleshooters decided to slide down the beams. Twenty feet
down, the beam disappears...*SPLAT* Easy kill.
I invented a short
method of killing off Troubleshooters. A box, which contains a Cute Furry
Pizza Eating Hamster, also contains an object of some importance. The hamster
prevented the player from getting the object, since it would bite him or
otherwise hurt him. In another box there is a pizza.
Unbeknownst to the
player(s), this is actually a PizzaBomb, and the hamster contains a detonator.
When the player(s) gives the pizza to the hamster . . . . . nothing happens.
Nothing, that is, until the trouble shooter attempts to leave. Once he
gets more than 5 feet away from the hamster (after it has come into contact
with the pizza) the bomb goes off. The bomb, naturally, has a 10 foot blast
radius. I refer to this as the 'MatterANTITm Hamster' scenario.
In a recent session,
where I ran the game for two players, I had them pick up a "tactical situation
decision assessment device" from R&D, which for all intents and purposes
was a Magic 8-Ball. It supplied all the standard phrases ("Signs
point to Yes", "My sources say No", "Reply Hazy, Ask again Later", etc.)
as well as a number of unconventional ones ("My sources say Perhaps", "Signs
point to Maybe", "Fnord"). What was truly amazing about this device
was that the players LISTENED to it, and consulted it for practically EVERY
decision despite its obvious spuriousness. At one point, one of the
players asked the same question twice in a row, having received the reply
"Reply Hazy, ask again later" the first time. Her rationale: it was
later. The ball's reply: "That was rhetorical, you bitch."
The best part was
the fact that I managed to kill each of them TWICE with the same basic
trick. If you're unfamiliar with the old text-based game ZORK, it
featured these wonderful creatures called Grues
that only existed in the dark. You'd enter a dark area, it would
read "It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a Grue." and
if you didn't get some light, you got eaten. Well, while wandering
down some disused corridors, one of the players came to an unlit section.
She got eaten. Later, both characters, on the advice of the eight
ball, wander down another dark corridor. One gets eaten, the other
flees. Returning to the start of the corridor, she waits for the
next clone, consults the eight ball, and then both of them head right back
down the dark corridor and get eaten. FINALLY they looked at each
other and said, "You know, I don't think we should go that way."
A clone gets trapped
in a large crate in the RAD Shipping area, when he finally escapes he finds
himself in a strangely colored room filled with bald men in white robes.
Where can I get one of those nifty robes?
Hey, what color is
CITIZEN, you are
in a restricted Area! This zone is class Ultraviolet!
Your presence in
this area constitutes Treason. Report to GOO sector for protein reprocessing!
to sweat profusely)
a high programmer is Treason!
Treason is punished
Warbots are being
deployed! Remain calm, the computer is your Friend.
Computer, I cannot
have possibly committed treason.
FACT I am security
That is correct citizen.
FACT, you just told
me that this was an ultraviolet clearance zone.
That is also correct
FACT, allowing a
person of red security clearance into a ultraviolet clearance zone is treasonous.
FACT, the computer is the supreme director of Alpha complex and the beloved
protector of all citizens THEREFORE responsible for keeping me from entering
area's outside my security clearance as well as protecting the security,
nay the very existence of Alpha Complex by protection the High programmers
by keeping intruders out of ultraviolet areas. the clone takes a huge breath
YOU guilty of treason?
The computer cannot
To doubt the computer
I agree, the computer
is the beloved defender of Alpha complex. The computer is my friend and
would never do anything that would cause me to commit treason, THEREFORE
I am not in an Ultraviolet zone.
Primary logic core
At my security clearance
am I allowed in this location?
is not available at your security clearance citizen.
Is dispensing information
about ultraviolet level security to a red clearance citizen treason?
(a trace of ozone flows from the terminal)
Secdary lgic cre
errr: n data fa:
So if the Computer
cannot commit treason and dispensing information about ultraviolet level
security to a red clearance citizen is treason as well as being in an ultraviolet
area is treason and this is an ultraviolet area then where am I and how
did I get here?
Secondary Logic Failure!
A General protection
fault has occurred in the module KERNEL.EXE
A blue screen appears
and the whole sector goes black.
Computer, What is
the security clearence of this area?
Well, this didn't
really happen like that in one game. I usually wind up the one running
the game and only rarely do I recieve the joy of a player that devious.
The general idea was kind of reconstructed from various incidents in games
I have run/played in. I actually only pulled this as a player once,
I managed to corral the computer into trying to resolve a logical paradox.
The GM ruled that it crashed the local node of the computer logic core
and the whole sector crashed. Including the primary power grid...
and the pumps to the reactor core two levels below the building was in...
and the transport tubes leading out...
Ga-R-LIC-1 was busily filling out an Equipment/Weapon/Vehicle Request Form
at PLC (ie: a copy of the form you get with the GM screen), and, in reading
the questions "Are you going to return this item undamaged?" and "Are you
going to return this item?" decided to be a little too honest in his answer.
Instead of just checking
off "Yes" or "No", our clever little Troubleshooter drew in a third box
for both questions, with the words "Don't Know", and checked it off.
When the angry PLC staffer asked him why he had vandalized valuable Computer
property, he merely replied, "I just thought I'd be honest."
As if that wasn't
bad enough for the Troubleshooter, he also wrote in the section on the
new Bouncy Bubble Beverage that he hadn't tried it because "It sucks".
Well, score 100% for honesty, at any rate....
I was running
a game once where one of the players asked for several tubes of some really
strong super glue. I let him have it and waited to see what he was
going to do. They were on a mission to fix some equipment that had
broken down, and which the bots didn't seem able to fix.
In the corridor of
the faulty equipment, everyone put down their toolboxes and began to get
to work. The guy that asked for the super glue, glued another troubleshooter's
toolbox to the floor. A cleaning bot would come through the tunnel
when a call button was pushed. Anything remaining in the tunnel was dissolved
when the cleaning solvent touched it. This person also knew about
the call button, which was right by the exit, and he pushed it.
Everyone but the guy
whose toolbox was attached to the floor got out. He knew that if
he left his toolbox there he would be terminated for losing his equipment.
So he was killed anyway.
After the cleaning
bot left, the remaining troubleshooters went back in to continue fixing
the problem. He glued another toolbox to the floor and a repeat of
the above happened. Everyone started to get a lot more paranoid at
this time. When they went back in for the third time, he glued several
people's feet to the floor, but in his rush to kill the other commie, mutants
he got some on his hand too.
When he pushed the
button he was stuck to the wall and his clone was killed along with several
others. After that all I could do was laugh when all of the players
would request super glue AND super glue solvent at the beginning of any
They were paranoid
about that for a long, long time!
I was leading
the ICK sector mission I found on the web, and the troubleshooters was
taken to the sector in this really old elevator. After the first
couple of sessions, half the group was stuck in the elevator two feet above
floor level in ICK sector. The elevator doors were stuck half way open
when the floor in the elevator suddenly burst into flames (a mutant in
the corridor thought this was nice). The team had no way of getting
out of the elevator, and so one clever clone thougth of the foam grenades
they had been assigned. He popped a couple on the floor to extinguish the
fire, and wham, the clones were even more stuck in a block of concrete.
I decided to be nice, and so they were able to make air holes in the foam
right before it turned solid.
clone, associated with PURGE, and in possession of a tac nuce grenade found
the control room of ICK. He decided to blow it up. He pulled the
pin and bolted. Since they had not been able to open any of the steel doors
yet, the control room and corridor leading to the elevator shaft was an
enclosed space. Where would the explosion go? Well, there was a 2 feet
gap underneath the elevator, so the elevator was forced up by the exploding
in the corridor and control room were killed instantly by the blast, and
the poor clones in the elevator (now a solid block of concrete) were forced
up through the elevator shaft, through the roof of alfa complex. They got
a really nice overview of the outdoors through their air holes, before
crashing a couple of miles away...
a mission I did once where the troubleshooters were sent to the outdoors
to find evidence of a commie mutant uprising very near to Alpha Complex.
The mission leader decided that visual conformation wasn't enough so when
they ran into a tribe of aboriginal pacifists, he grabbed a small child
and stuffed it inside his backpack. The only problem, their mission was
to destroy the commie mutant menace. I had used an idea for a code 7 adventure
out of the Acute Paranoia book and typed up a mission alert where all the
letters typed were shifted on the keyboard one to the right (i.e. S was
a D, T was a Y , etc.). They had translated half of the mission alert when
he got impatient and told them all to get moving. Suffice to say he ended
up losing two clones, one for holding treasonous material (the kid) and
a second for killing other PC's for shooting the commie mutants (the IntSec
trooper told the debriefing officer that the mission leader was trying
to stop the mission from being completed and was helping the communist
cause). Needless to say after six missions as team leader and nearly getting
off scott free every time, (he has a knack for shifting blame) he no longer
wanted to be mission leader.
All names changed to protect the ignorant)
I was GMing a game
of Paranoia, and a player got miffed because he'd just been killed by another
player (again). The actual method of death had been forcible ejection from
an airborne vehicle, leading to roleplaying of falling 2 miles downwards
and scattering himself over a large area. Upon the receipt of his next
clone, he sent me a note, reading:
"I was pushed - by
Aaron being his name.
Naturally, as GM,
this is nothing to do with me. What do I care who pushed him? So, I did
the only logical thing - I routed the message to the loyalty officer. The
loyalty officer showed great interest in it. Firstly, how could the new
clone know? Secondly, how could this be proved? He went to the Communications
guy, who just handily had captured the whole event on tape. The new
clone was confronted by the Loyalty officer, and terminated for the crime
of knowing that his former clone had killed himself - obviously a secret
society spy in the group had informed him of this. Much rhetoric was spoken,
and the traitorous secret society member was identified and also terminated.
Sadly, the video evidence
- which never existed anyway - was wiped by the accidental detonation of
an EMP grenade by a clumsy troubleshooter, who was then terminated by the
loyalty officer. Who had detonated the EMP grenade with his telekinesis.
One note, badly written,
caused much mayhem.
As an aside, the very
same guy that "pushed himself out of the transport" had to have a new character
generated halfway through the game, as he ran out of clones. The more amusing
deaths he suffered were at the hands of an ejector seat as it roared upwards
from the vehicle (A helicopter - sliced troubleshooter anyone?), and explosive
decompression after he chose to hit the BIG RED BUTTON UNDER THE LOCKED
PLASTIGLASS PROTECTIVE COVER. Apparently he thought it was a cunning bluff.
He was also executed for killing the rest of his team after he opened fire
the enemy when attacked. Sadly, he neglected to remember that his team
was in a very thin corridor, and he was at the back of the column they
formed. Still, the experimental fully-automatic napalm cannon worked like
a dream, so I posthumously assigned him two loyalty points for doing his
Strangely, Aaron seemed
to like being killed this frequently. I had no problem with this - I like
it when I can make someone happy without doing much work... ;-)
a simple scenario I decided to try out the better living through chemistry
ideas, and issued each of the red troubleshooters with bottles of coloured
pills. Each character received red pills except for one, who the computer
generously gave little green pills. The player, who was only just getting
to grips with paranoia, decided to make a big show of how he was obeying
the computer by being very flamboyant about taking the pills. he was subsequently
shot for having pills above his security clearance. Unfortunately he was
on his sixth and final clone at a critical point in the proceedings. So
to speed thing up he simply changed the name on the character sheet and
his "New" clone strolls up to the party. Whereupon another player remarks
how much this new clone looks like a previous commie pill stealing traitor.
To which the new clone replies "I'm his brother"..*zap*.
I was running
a mission with a troubleshooter who had the electroshock mutation. Throughout
the first half of the game, he had become pretty adept at using it. He'd
casually put his hand on the shoulder of a fellow troubleshooter and, after
rolling, would incapacitate him.
Of course, things
got ugly later in the game. In the heat of one combat situation, the troubleshooter
would grab one player in particular -- his secret society rival -- and
indicate to me he wanted to shock him. I'd tell him to roll, and he'd get
a 20. His power backfired, and knocked his smouldering body to the floor,
unconcsious and incapacitated. When he was revived, he went right for his
rival again, and did the same thing: grabbed him on the shoulders and rolled.
He got a 20 again. Same results. After the THIRD time this happened, the
rest of the team determined the RIVAL was a mutant with electroshock power,
rather than the first troubleshooter who REALLY had the ability. Sadly,
that didn't matter to the first troubleshooter because the third time his
power backfired ultimately killed him.
I was running
"The Iceman Returneth" for a group of four players. It was late in the
game, and each of the players' secret societies had contacted them with
URGENT orders to apprehend the high programmer they had thawed out AND,
most importantly, a box of computer discs he had with him. They were told
above all to get the discs at all costs. So, after staring at each other
for a few seconds they each, as casually as possible, tried to get the
discs from the programmer. Player 1, a polymorph, was successful by just
knocking the programmer to the floor and grabbing the discs from him. Player
2, the team leader, had a good idea of what just happened, drew his
laser and ordered Player 1 to "hand them over."
"Hand WHAT over,"
Player 1 asked.
your back," Player 2 said.
"I don't have anything
By this time, Player
3 stood alongside Player 1, while Player 4 was with Player 2. Neither had
drawn their lasers. However, Player 3 had replaced his RED laser barrel
with an ULTRAVIOLET laser barrel, spraypainted red.
"Let me see your hands,"
Player 2 ordered. Player 1, smiling large, brought his right hand around
from behind his back, palm open. His left remained behind his back, holding
the discs. "Let me see the other hand, too," Player 2 said, growing ever
more frustrated. Player 1 put his right behind his back and brought the
left around, palm open. "LET ME SEE THEM BOTH," Player 2 said. At this
point, Player One used his power, created a pouch on his back and dropped
the box in there. Player 2 was dumbstruck.
"Can he do that,"
he wrote in a note to me. I just nodded.
Player 3 then reached
over and patted Player 1 on the back, only to discover the pouch. His eyes
went wide and then he smiled big as well, realizing what was going on.
He drew his laser and pointed it at Player 2. Player 4, the loyalty officer,
drew his laser as well and pointed it at Player 3, in an effort to protect
the team leader. Alliances had been formed.
Player 2, being smart,
turned to the programmer and asked if he was missing anything. The programmer
confirmed he was in fact missing a small box.
"Give me the box you
took from him," Player 2 told Player 1.
Now, this is where
it gets dicey. Player 1 reached behind his back and made ANOTHER power
roll in an attempt to shape his hand into a replica of the box that could
be detached. I explained to him that he could on two conditions:
He rolled a one.
That he needs to get
the "box" back quickly after detaching it or he will be without a hand
for the rest of his clone life.
That he absolutely needed
to roll a one to do it.
And then he GLADLY
handed the "box" over to Player 2 and Player 4. The duo ran off quickly,
and once out of sight of their rivals, Player 2 shot Player 4 square in
the head and killed him. So much for alliances.
And then the box turned
back into a hand. Player 2 failed his subsequent sanity check (after all
he was holding a box that just turned into a hand that was wiggling around
like crazy) and Player 1 came around the corner, quickly retrieving his
hand. Player 3 quickly dispatched of the now-insane Player 2. For his loyalty,
Player 1 dismembered Player 3 with a force sword and got the discs to his
I GM'ed "Vapours
Don't Shoot Back" with some guys at college. One of the players had
been informed by his secret society (PSION) that the group contained another
PSION. This player was a bit trusting and passed a note to another
player with the, rather straight talking if somewhatdumb, question " Are
you my Psion friend?" The recieving player was 100% more nefarious,
and replied on the same sheet of paper "Yes". First player took this at
face value and was shocked, angry and confused as to who ratted on him
to the Computer.
Vapours don't shoot
the Computer generously handed out a 6 pack of BBB. Now I have the Compleat
Troubleshooter, and I made sure everyone read their MBD description.
Guy was tired of the Hygene officer offing him, or trying to perform an
SCS on him, so he insisted on "Checking" his BBB can for an EEC (Emergency
Equipment Check). Shook it real good to "check" it. So he hands it back
to the Hygene Officer, who turns to the Team Leader and offers to give
him his BBB. The Leader said "Sure!" He wasn't paying attention. So the
can went 'Bwoosh' all over him, the Hygene Officer terminated him for being
covered in BBB, the Team Leader dropped his can, GM rolled a 20.
So it exploded on
the Loyalty officer. Who was promptly terminated by the Equipment Guy,
for misuse of equipment. Who fell on the Equipment Guy. Who promptly terminated
the Hygene officer before he finished the "SC... zap!" So the Equipment
Guy whips out his Hygene kit, before the HO could show back up.
So that a 3 body
count, over two cans of BBB.
in '85 I was GM-ing a group of friends on their first mission. They
were all D&D veterans, so they got right into it once the game started.
At one point, two of my players accidentally locked themselves inside an
immobile hovercar. Realizing that they couldn't open the doors to
get out, one of them decided to blast the doors open with a grenade.
No sooner were the words out of his mouth when he realized the sheer stupidity
of such an action, as did his cohort who shrieked, "You're going to blow
us both up!". The other player begged for me to let him throw the
'stupid' player on top of the grenade, hoping to somehow shield the effects
of the blast. I let him roll for it.
Suffice it to say,
they were both incinerated.
On a positive note,
the 'stupid' player had a Secret Society mission to kill the other player,
so, in a roundabout way, he made the ultimate sacrifice and accomplished
the task. I awarded him accordingly...
and The Computer logo are registered trademarks of West
Authors of submitted items are indicated where appropriate
All other text and graphics by Steve