Another first-time GM post
So, I have a group I play (not DM) with that normally plays Pathfinder 2e - next week the DM is on holiday and won't have time to prep the session, and rather than skip a week, I said I'd run a one-shot of something different just to mix things up.
The group aren't particularly experienced roleplayers (this group is the first for three of them, I'm the fourth, and the DM is relatively new), so I wanted something relatively quick and easy to pick up, but a very different setting and tone from Pathfinder - Paranoia seemed a natural choice.
I've decided to go with a slightly modified version of Lasers and Treason
in lieu of a 'proper' version of Paranoia if for no other reason than they're not a particularly good group for out-of-session prep, and whilst knowing the rules is treason, there are still some basic mechanics it's good to know, and I don't trust them to do it in time for the session, which would eat into play time.
Essentially, they'll run the Lasers and Treason system for in-game actions, albeit with the added layer of an arbitrary 'luck' dice I'm going to ask them to roll from time to time if:
- They've had a run of bad luck/decisions that have resulted in them losing quite a few clones in quick succession and they're in danger of not having fun
- Things are going too well and I want to sow a little additional carnage
- There's a roll that doesn't quite seem to fit either 'Lasers' or 'Feelings'
- I feel like it.
The die won't actually have any mechanics beyond them telling me the roll, me going 'hmmm', and then saying whatever I think should happen - thankfully the over/under system means it's already nice and murky as to what's good and what's bad, unlike the d20 system in Pathfinder where higher number always = better outcome.
I've had a bit of a flick through a few old sourcebooks I borrowed from a friend and I'm looking at running a modified version of 'Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk' from Crash Priority. Whilst I was a bit worried about running a 'Zap!' mission, we're on a pretty tight time limit of a 4-hour session (including explanation time), and the nature of that mission means that I can pretty much choose to end it at any point by having someone accidentally shoot a crate with a TacNuke in it, or drag it out with the intrigue of how and why the team got assigned the mission if someone somehow blows everything up too quickly.
I've modified it by removing the three stooges references, tweaking the Secret Society missions (so only a couple of the PCs have the same keyword rather than all of them) and transplanting in four secret briefing cards - one for each player. I've also had some fun surgically crafting some rumours that will overlap nicely with the secret missions, for example:
- Player A is a member of the Death Leopards. His secret mission is to allow the warehouse full of guns and expired drugs to be used to host a bit of a party for the lads. Once the coast is clear and/or the other Troubleshooters have been convinced to let it slide, he's to send the signal for them to enter by setting off a smoke bomb.
- Player B has heard a rumour that there's a particularly vicious gang of Death Leopards in the area that are known to be hunting Troubleshooters. They shoot first, ask questions never - in fact, the only way most folks know they're there is their signature smoke canisters to start the raid...
I've also created a very quick and dirty 'Item generator' worksheet on Google Sheets that I can use to cook up a cool/silly sounding weapon or item on the fly if I need to, as I suspect that once they realise what's in the crates, they're going to start cracking them open with wild abandon, and I'm going to need a lot of inspiration (link here
if anyone's interested - it's very much designed to kickstart an idea rather than create something I'd literally take wholesale and drop into the game, and I threw it together in about an hour, so don't expect consistent quality!)
The big questions I have are more mechanical, particularly around combat and action order - I'm toying with ideas for establishing turn order and what constitutes a 'turn' in combat. My current thoughts are to roll D6 + your Lasers/Feelings score, and lowest score goes first - from then, we'd run turns similar to DnD in that everyone gets a reasonable amount of movement and a definitive 'action' each turn. Does anyone have any particular suggestions on that front?
Secondly, does anyone have good ideas or thoughts on how to track non-fatal damage? I don't want to go to the hassle of needing to track wounds or (god forbid) HP, but it would be nice to have some options for damage that impact the character that fall in between 'fine' and 'dead'.
It's looking like I'll probably use Roll20 to track visual goings on, as it's something the group are comfortable with using, and I'll only really need to create maps (any good resources?) and tokens, so it's pretty low-hassle. If there are better options (Tabletop simulator sadly not an option), I'm happy to consider.
Moreover, does anyone have any particularly strong suggestions/thoughts in general? I'm keen to try and strike a balance between 'last day of school' anarchic fun for the group to engage in shenanigans without going too far down the farcical route of constant, gratuitous carnage to the point where it becomes meaningless. I'm aware that Zap! seems like it's a gamemode that could be hilarious fun for the first 45 minutes and a bit of a slog for the following 3 hours, so I'm trying to play it down a touch - if anyone has any advice on that front, I'd be greatly appreciative.
submitted by /u/TeePee11 [link] [comments]