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official WEG Paranoia thread

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Removing the few most popular WEG games from consideration, an active poll in this forum is showing that the most popular "other" WEG game is Paranoia. I find this ironic for a couple reasons.

  1. WEG sold the rights to the game so another company (Mongoose) has a current edition available.
  2. There is not much talk about the game on this forum.

I thought that this forum should have a thread devoted to this game, so here it is! This game is historic because the 1st edition was WEG's first roleplaying game - their first leap from board wargames to RPGs.

 

I used to have WEG's 2nd edition Paranoia rules and several 1st and 2nd edition modules, but I only played the game a few times and got rid of it all many years ago. But I jumped on a good deal on eBay and won an auction for the 1st box set. It shipped from the UK and took 6 weeks to arrive, but it was a good deal because it only costs me under $20 American, and that's including shipping! There is just enough room in the box to add the main rulebook for the 2nd edition that I used to have in high school, so I'm gonna re-buy a cheap copy of that for nastalgic purposes.

 

So to all of you who voted for Paranoia in the poll and anyone else who didn't, please tell us about the game system, your experiences with this game, and what you like about it. What are the differences between the 3 WEG editions? If you own or have played the Mongoose version as well, please also tell us about any changes or comparisions you have to WEG's editions. Thanks.

 

STAY ALERT!

TRUST NO ONE!

KEEP YOUR LASER HANDY!

 

And remember, SERVE THE COMPUTER! THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND!

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The strength of paranoia was in its playing.

The book has a strong quirky narrative that can be fun to read but the game truly shines in its playing.

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I picked up this game when I was kid, and we played it as a side adventure for one session, but we had so much fun, we played it for quite a few sessions!

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If I could pick up a copy of the game (the old WEG version) would you say this would be worth picking up?

 

I would. it was fun. big time fun. I think I have a .pdf copy of it laying around somewhere that I bought...........

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I would. it was fun. big time fun. I think I have a .pdf copy of it laying around somewhere that I bought...........

 

The thing is that it was a 5th edition verison and I have heard (though I dont know for sure) that the newer editions are not as good.

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The fifth edition sucked! By that point, the editors in charge had no idea what it was that made Paranoia fun, they seemed to think that it was slapstick or SNL-style parody. If you're getting an old edition of Paranoia, get the 2nd edition, which has more refined rules than 1st edition, and is good for all the published WEG adventures.

 

I voted for Paranoia for favourite "other" WEG game, but I stayed away from discussing it because they don't own the rights anymore. The current publisher's version is very good, I wouldn't say better than WEG's 2nd edition, but more current in it's humour than the older edition, although there's something hilarious in playing villainous commies when no one has any idea what commies are. "The People's Glorious Revolutionary Adventure" was brilliant! Some of Paranoia's adventures were so funny that I would be reduced to giggles when re-reading them. I doubt I was able to fit 1/10th of the jokes into actual play.

 

Besides, playing comedy really depends on being able to tailor the material to fit your audience, so good Paranoia GMs are worth more than gold. When I played it, the earlier sessions didn't run nearly as smoothly as later ones, when my players got the idea and style and knew how to run away with the story (and as much R&D as they could carry.)

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Maybe this would be a good time to mention that there was no 3rd or 4th edition published by WEG. There was 1st, 2nd and 5th. I guess calling the 3rd edtion published the "5th" was an additional attempt at humor.

 

I voted for Paranoia for favourite "other" WEG game, but I stayed away from discussing it because they don't own the rights anymore.

 

We're just discussing Paranoia, not publishing anything or profiting from it. We have a whole forum devoted to Star Wars D6, but WEG does not hold the rights to that license anymore. Trust me, we're not vilolating any copyright laws here. Don't be so paranoid! (pun intended :cool:)

 

Besides, playing comedy really depends on being able to tailor the material to fit your audience, so good Paranoia GMs are worth more than gold. When I played it, the earlier sessions didn't run nearly as smoothly as later ones, when my players got the idea and style and knew how to run away with the story (and as much R&D as they could carry.)

 

I completely agree. GMs good at comedy games are gold. I gave Paranoia shot back in high school. We had fun and it was ok, but I definitely wasn't "gold" good. I had the 2nd edition rules and we played 1st and 2nd edition advetures a handful of times before moving on to other games that we wanted to play more. But maybe it was the whole group's preference (including me). Paranoia was fun, but we just wanted to play Star Wars more than comedy.

 

The fifth edition sucked! By that point, the editors in charge had no idea what it was that made Paranoia fun, they seemed to think that it was slapstick or SNL-style parody. If you're getting an old edition of Paranoia, get the 2nd edition, which has more refined rules than 1st edition, and is good for all the published WEG adventures.

 

...The current publisher's version is very good, I wouldn't say better than WEG's 2nd edition, but more current in it's humour than the older edition, although there's something hilarious in playing villainous commies when no one has any idea what commies are. "The People's Glorious Revolutionary Adventure" was brilliant! Some of Paranoia's adventures were so funny that I would be reduced to giggles when re-reading them. I doubt I was able to fit 1/10th of the jokes into actual play.

 

Thanks for your insights to the various editions. I've read that the 5th edition was poorly received, and that the new edition by Mongoose completely ignores everything added to the game by the 5th edition.

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The thing is that it was a 5th edition verison and I have heard (though I dont know for sure) that the newer editions are not as good.

 

I agree with Catstacker. If you are going to pick up a WEG version, get 2nd edition, the rule book I used when I was a kid (but got rid of long ago). I did order a new copy of the 2nd edition rulebook (all rules needed to play are in one book, unlike the 1st edtion). The 2E book fits in my 1E game box.

 

I found my new copy of the 2E rulebook in very good condition on Amazon for only $0.49 plus $2.98 shipping! Score!

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In the school of roleplaying games, Paranoia is recess. If you've been playing a gritty, rules-heavy RPG for a while, Paranoia can be an interlude of carefree mayhem. It's easy to play the characters because they're all trying to hide their personalities (which are undoubtedly traitorous,) you don't need to know the rules (roll d20 when the GM tells you to,) and you're going to die anyway no matter what you do (but there's always another clone or character to play next time.) Just talking about it makes me want to play.

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I agree with Catstacker. If you are going to pick up a WEG version, get 2nd edition, the rule book I used when I was a kid (but got rid of long ago). I did order a new copy of the 2nd edition rulebook (all rules needed to play are in one book, unlike the 1st edtion). The 2E book fits in my 1E game box.

 

I found my new copy of the 2E rulebook in very good condition on Amazon for only $0.49 plus $2.98 shipping! Score!

 

Well since Eric only has a certain stock I guess I will need to check Ebay to see if I can find a copy.

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No, the folks at Mongoose think that the current edition is the best. It's pretty good, but the 2nd edition rules are good enough, so if you can get a deal on a used copy, go for it.

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No, the folks at Mongoose think that the current edition is the best. It's pretty good, but the 2nd edition rules are good enough, so if you can get a deal on a used copy, go for it.

 

How different are the rules in the Mongoose version from the WEG version?

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One of the biggest differences in the Mongoose version is the concept of Perversity Points. They are basically a pool of points that you can add to your own dice rolls to improve your chance of success, or give to somebody else to alter their chances. It's fun to see the bidding wars erupt when the team is divided on whether or not they want an action to succeed.

 

Also, the Mongoose version has three different play styles to choose from: Straight, Classic, or "silly" (I can't remember what they called it). Classic is golden age Paranoia, the age of "Send in the Clones" and "HIL Sector Blues". Straight is much more serious and dystopian - think 1984 meets Brazil. It's still quirky and tongue-in-cheek, but more serious, and, oddly enough, makes for a great long-term campaign because not every mission turns into a firefight just because the lights in the room went out. The "silly" style is much more of the late WEG style of 5th edition, where the game is likely to be over before it begins because the entire party wipes themselves out (6 times!) before the mission briefing starts. I tend to favor Classic games with just enough Straight in them to allow for some level of continuity and characer development. I like that you can now actually run a decent campaign rather than a never-ending series of one-offs.

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Traitor! The Mongoose version is at your FLGS. The Computer commands you to get a WEG version!

 

OK, just kidding! But I bought the WEG 2nd edition rule book in great condition for $0.49 plus $2.98 shipping on Amazon. If you do buy the Mongoose version at your FLGS, you'll be buying it at their full retail price. It's up to you, but I bet you could find the WEG version for almost as cheap as me.

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Traitor! The Mongoose version is at your FLGS. The Computer commands you to get a WEG version!

 

Sure, because it is a sin to play anything other then WEG (though currently, both games I am playing in are WEG.

 

OK, just kidding! But I bought the WEG 2nd edition rule book in great condition for $0.49 plus $2.98 shipping on Amazon. If you do buy the Mongoose version at your FLGS, you'll be buying it at their full retail price. It's up to you, but I bet you could find the WEG version for almost as cheap as me.

 

If I can find a copy I sure will

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I picked up the 1st ed when it came out and frankly didn't know what to do with it. I took it too seriously, as did my players. Years later I picked up 2nd ed and began a virtual career of running it at Archon (a local SF con). My midnight games became legendary. I also ran "The Iceman Returneth" at CommandCon one year, and I did ALL the little gimmicks; seating the players as they would be in the shuttle and enacting the wild ride, having them carry an actual trashbag of commie leaflets around for half the adventure, subsequently taping said commie leaflets to their clothes when the bag was destroyed, the whole bit. I was an enormous hit. One of my later home brewed adventures, "The Call of Cthul-U" ran at midnight with 16 players. I handed out actual toy pistols during the R&D briefing and things got very wild. I not longer have my 1st ed stuff, but still have 2nd, 5th and XP. I hope someday I can find a group that will appreciate this game.

Edited by groovydave

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I ran 2nd ed and had LOADS of fun! Currently about once or twice a year I run 5th Ed. I don't mind the 5th "system" I hate the art work in the book, too cartoony. I really like the bleak dark humour style of 2nd ed.

 

We all got frustrated with 2nd eds D20 system of either succeed at something or don't (maybe I read the rules wrong) The whole role the D20 and as longs you match or roll under your skill level you do it. When many characters only had 5 in a skill it was really hard to get anything done, and the constant failures which at first were funny got old real quick. (Again it has been years since I ran 2nd ed system so I may have read it wrong all those years ago)

 

The check chart of 5th ed makes more sense IMO. Other than that chart I ignore a lot of the other stuff 5th ed added or watered down. All my other books are 2nd ed.

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I haven't looked at the 2nd ed rules for years, but wasn't there something about difficulty levels multiplying the skill level? Like an Average roll would be SkillX2, Hard=SkillX1, Impossible SkillX.5 ? Easy maybe at X4. That would make skills of 5 make sense. An Average task would give a 50/50 chance. If that's not how it worked it's how I would have run it. Always hated referencing charts and tables.

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