Looking for some input on a new pyramid game: PARANOIA!

Hello everyone!

Just thought if drop a request in here for input on my new pyramid game, "PARANOIA"! For those of you who don't know what PARANOIA is, read the next paragraph. If you are already familiar with it, feel free to skip down to the third paragraph.

The world of PARANOIA is best described as a dystopian society contained in an underground complex about the size of Northern California that is run by a seriously deranged and Paranoid artificially intelligent computer. The computer's intact records of history consist heavily of 1950's war propaganda, so it is understandably concerned about the "communist threat". The Computer routinely employs teams of "Troubleshooters" to go root out the commies, mutants and Traitors that its paranoia insists must exist within its complex. The Truth is that EVERYONE in Alpha Complex is a commie mutant traitor to one degree or another.

In true paranoia form, players will attempt to carry out a mission given by The Computer while attempting to deceive, betray, accuse, and summarily execute as many of the other players as possible.

Paranoia the Role Playing Game has been around for many years and is a super fun game to play when you want a break from all the other "not-fun", serious RPG's. But I found myself In a dilemma where I don't really have anyone around that plays RPGs, don't have the hours to devote to a decent gaming session, but I wanted to play Paranoia. So, I was sitting around one day, bored and playing with pyramids, when I started daydreaming about past Paranoia gaming sessions and a Paranoia story I've been writing. When I noticed that I had absentmindedly built a little tower of large pyramids in the ROY-G-BIV scheme, it struck me that the pyramids might be great for a making a board game version of the game. The idea was to create a game themed after the paranoia universe that was simpler than the RPG, took less time to play, but still gave you that lovely PARANOIA feel. I think I have been able to accomplish this.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what y'all think of it. Check out the (mostly completed) game rules at http://www.icehousegames.org/wiki/index.php?title=PARANOIA

Thanks everyone!

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Replies to This Discussion


My very-fast two cents -- I'd go with a theme that is totally removed from any historical reality. I'd give this game a pass because it seems to imply, yet again, that Left Wing equals good and Right Wing equals bad, and I lost my patience with that BS a couple decades ago. In this particular instance, the Communist Threat was very real, and many of the people Hollywierd's continually presenting as innocent absolutely were not. (Start here in your research of opinions not approved of by the celebrity marketing machine: http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-McCarthy-Reexamining-Americas-Senator/...

Short version: do you really want to go there?

Short answer: yes. Following is why.

#1. It's not really MY idea to start with. The Paranoia game has actually been around for over twenty years and it was pretty well received by the gaming community at large.

#2. It really doesn't have anything at all to do with politics. But I can definitely see where you might think this eapecially if youre not familiar with the game... In Alpha Complex The Computer is basically a ruthless, (but well meaning) tyrant that has very little idea of what Communism ACTUALLY is. And since Friend Computer doesn't really know what it is, neither does anyone else living in the Complex. It's the irony that makes it funny. The Computer would agree with you Citizen! The Communist Threat is very real. It just thinks that communists run around in furry hats, speaking in Russian accents while saying things that are (in the computer's opinion) subversive. (Oh by the way, speaking about Democracy or leaving the complex is subversive! Sounds a little like the iron curtain, Da?).

#3. It's a game that is meant to be silly and fun. Not serious at all. Check out the following link for a better idea of What Paranoia is truly like.

Having said all that, I'm not adverse to the idea of a new backdrop, I just really liked the PARANOIA setting. So, maybe just look at the game's mechanics and let me know what you think about just them.

Yes, my limited experience with Paranoia (the RPG) back in the day (read the rules, played an online campaign) was that it was a quite silly and quite non-politically specific parody of the paranoia of living in a totalitarian society, but the totalitarian society's actual political structure ("left" or "right", as if politics is a simplistic 1-dimensional spectrum to begin with... but that's a tangent) was quite undefined and unimportant... and could be left to the imagination of the players as desired. Which if viewed through a specific lens can apparently invite projection of one's own political hot button issues: the rules to your Paranoia pyramid game prompting Kell to a vigorous defense of Joseph McCarthy's activities and insistence on the real dangers of the Communist Threat was... rather surprising to me. :)



The game rules you linked to are rather verbose with flavor text, a turn off for me, and the game doesn't appear to be my sort of "pyramid game" (what with the diplomacy/role-playing and need for creating custom cards, etc - it seems more of a boardgame version of Paranoia which just incidentally happens to use pyramids). I'm more into the abstract strategy type pyramid games mostly, so I am probably not in the target audience, alas! Good luck with it, in any case!

Yeah, I know that this game is not really a "full" pyramid game. Honestly, I could have done the whole thing with cards only, but the pyramids seemed more fun and easier since they come in colors and have opaque pieces. I felt that it would be a fun tribute to Mongoose and Looney Labs (which sounds suspiciously like an Alpha Complex Service Firm, LOL.)

I thought people might like the way that it encourages story-like thinking, diplomacy, team-work (sort of) and ridiculous back stabbing!

It won't be everyone's cup of tea, that's for sure. I just thought SOMEONE might appreciate it. I'll let you all know how the first few test games go..



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