[MUD-Dev] Paranoia

Ragnar Lonn prl at gatorhole.se
Sat Apr 10 14:06:49 CEST 2004

On Fri, 9 Apr 2004, Christopher Allen wrote:

>   - Paranoia, licensed from Greg Costikyan and Eric Goldberg
>   (roleplaying in a cruelly humorous dark future)

I would definitely try that one out. Me and a friend once started
working on a Paranoia MUD (using an LP gamedriver, I think it was an
early DGD version) but didn't get very far. Paranoia is a really
cool RPG but it is probably a challenge to make equally fun as a
computer game because the game master's role is crucial. S/he has to
improvise a LOT and the orders from the game manual basically says
to improvise so that fun things happen, not to be realistic or
follow any set rules. That's why, e.g. if I as a player in a
Paranoia game want to run across a minefield, dodging a horde of
lethal warbots, just to secretly place a grenade into my fellow
players' backpack, my chances of actually getting there and getting
away with it all will increase tenfold if the action counts as "fun"
by the game master. From a players point of view, the game revolves
a lot around capturing the attention of the game master by doing
something fun and doing it before someone else does...

To capture some of that spirit in a computer game I think there has
to be some human game masters present. Of course, an alternative is
to just use the atmosphere and setting and create a more ordinary
text adventure game. It can still be fun because the setting is very

The ideal thing would be to create a system where a small number of
human game masters could have full control over everything and
initiate quests etc for players that would force said players to
delegate tasks to other players. E.g. a human game master sets up a
goal for a high-level (indigo) troubleshooter team who then has to
recruit others to perform sub-tasks of that larger goal. Careful
design might make it possible to do something like that and have a
single "quest" filter down to a large number of players who will get
involved in it. The lowest level will of course know little or
nothing about the larger goal.

Well, sorry. Just rambling. Paranoia is a really interesting
challenge, gamedesign-wise, I think.


MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the mud-dev-archive mailing list