General Discussions • History Of Cloning Technology
Greetings, fellow friend citizens!
Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to read through a number of editions of Paranoia. The first version I ever read (and the only one I have played to date) was the excellent Paranoia XP, in which (as I recall; it's been a while and my copy is in another state) clone backups are kept in a sort of stasis, activated only upon death of the original and primed with memories uploaded from the deceased. This carries through to the 2017 D6 system.
I had always assumed that this was simply how clone backups had always worked in Paranoia, but then I came across a reference to first edition casting the clone backups as all active at once, with those not on the mission waiting in the wings to be called into action, quite possibly working less dangerous jobs. I read through first edition, noted the (probably too complex to be practical for anything but a comparatively low-death continuing campaign) rules for differentiating clone backups, and immediately assumed it was instead a quirk unique to the first edition, left behind with things like "spy for another Alpha Complex" and skill trees.
So, then, I was quite surprised to see the differentiation rules dropped in second edition, but the core assumption (a family of clones going about their business in the background, called to action one at a time but living lives off-screen) remain the same. It left me wondering: where did the clones-as-extra-bodies idea come into play? I've only read the core rulebooks for first, second, XP, and the 2017 editions. Is it from some second edition supplement? Is it actually a rare holdover from fifth edition (not to insinuate that such a product exists)? Am I misremembering a decade down the line, and it actually originates as an option in XP?
I'm also curious about how everyone feels about the different systems for handling clone replacements. Personally, I'm a bit torn. I feel that, for purposes of simplicity of play, the one-mind-multiple-bodies concept is very tidy for the most part. Players don't have to bend their minds around what characters do or don't know, there's no enticement to differentiate new characters who may well end up dead within the hour anyways, and the process functions as it seems intended: new clones are "extra lives" of a sort, to keep the players in the game longer.
On the other hand, I'm a sucker for carrying everything to its logical conclusion and thinking through the repercussions of any little setting detail and on this level a vast number of questions are raised by this form of clone replacement, where the clone-families-as-actual-families side is clean, logical, and offers interesting roleplaying possibilities.
I suppose, ultimately, I feel that the family system fits straight games better and the alternative finds more of a home on the zappy end of the spectrum, with the middle ground working just about as well with either.
Statistics: Posted by Ben-U-WSL-1
— Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:38 am