Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label Paranoia

Style as Story in CounterSpy

It's time to come clean: most of my recent electronic gaming selections have been inspired by genre discussion threads on the Something Awful forum , particularly explorations into the "Shoot 'em Up"( SHMUP ) and JRPG genres. There are plenty of holes in my experiences with the medium, and I always love to hear people talk about why something does (or doesn't) work for them... especially when their suggestions are already part of my gargantuan game backlog . The most recent one, though, was for a genre I was more familiar with: "Stealth Games." Regular readers shouldn't be surprised here - given how often I bring it up, it should be obvious that my all-time favorite series is Metal Gear , which has defined much of the "stealth" genre. Not only those games, though, but also Tenchu, Hitman, Assassins Creed, and Dishonored , all of which I've discussed before as part of the "assassination game" sub-genre, and well as those tha

Take Me Down to Parody City

The NSD Team are both 90s kids, and nerdy ones at that, so the recent passing of rapper Coolio hit us both because of his own work (near-inescapable for a period in our adolescence) and because of the odd relationship he had with "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of his biggest hit, " Gangsta's Paradise ," as " Amish Paradise ." Al had been given permission by Coolio's record label, but not Coolio himself, who had issues with his work being parodied. To my knowledge, this is the highest-profile of a parodee being upset about Al's version, and it's certainly the one time I was around to experience it. But what makes a parody stick with us just as long as the original, and, in some cases, even longer? What do we, as audiences, get from them and how should we approach them as creators, ourselves? "Weird Al" Yankovic,as I've written about before , played a vital role in my musical journey. He wasn't constrained by genre, so eac

Goooaaaal! Finding More Objectives

It's important  to set goals is in life. You may have a long-term goal that seems nearly impossible at first: moving to a certain city, buying a new car, etc.  Or your goal may be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning and making it through another day. Steps, or objectives, on the way to accomplishing these things could be hitting certain thresholds of savings, or making sure to brush your teeth whenever you go out. Even the simplest goals are still valid. More than likely, you'll have several objectives or goals on any given day. Some may be related or even seem contradictory, depending on how you're looking at them at any given moment. (Hopefully, you'll accomplish some of them. Let’s count reading this blog as one. Go you!)  Many tabletop game sessions are based around a single goal or objective: rescue the noble from the opposing forces, take the MacGuffin to the volcano and throw it in, or find a lost sword for the knight. Setting additional goals or objec

Remake/Rewind (A Side)

In the broad scope of media, sequels, prequels, and remakes are all often maligned. This might be less common in gaming, although we do see it there as well. Part of the issue could be the time between between releases, and all the changes that take place across the various industries during the interim. Complain though we might, audiences will still (usually) jump on board to at least get one more taste of a favorite media universe, even if they end up deciding they hate it afterwards. Here at Never Say Dice, we’re no different than any other media consumers - we still long to voyage into our favorite media worlds once again. For this post series, we’re going to venture off the beaten review and commentary path to talk about some sequel, prequel and remake ideas of various properties that we'd like to see... regardless of how likely any of them are happen. For this post, we’ll start off with a few games I'd like to see revisited. One classic video game I 'd like to see rem

Hooked with a Feeling: Reaching Prospective Players through Media

“Oh man, it was so cool when…” We’ve all heard it from our friends and the people around us when talking about the media they’re engaging with, whether it be movies, books, TV, comics... you name it. For those of us who run tabletop games, words like these tend to get our GM-senses tingling. But how do you go about “making the pitch” to get them interested in joining your game? How can you take the things you know people like and build interest through them, even if your game isn’t officially attached to that media property? After all, “I heard you like explosions…” only tends to work on other GMs! - B   A: You'll probably find that there's a decent system for whatever media you overhear someone showing an interest or appreciation in. Spy movies, action flicks, fantasy shows, space operas... they all have their own systems, sometimes multiple, and often even attached to the specific property they’re interested in. It won't necessarily be what you want to run a game in, tho

It's Dangerous to Go Alone... Take These.

Close to the start of the pandemic, we talked a little bit about playing RPGs alone . However, we all know that TTRPGs tend to be a team sport. It doesn’t matter if you like to meet in person, or at a virtual tabletop, this is typically a game played with friends. Where do you start though? If you’re a newcomer to the hobby, either as a player or someone interested in running games, the number of options can be overwhelming. What game do you start with? Who should you play it with and how do you find them? Do you need your own dice? What are you not even thinking of? Help! Hopefully we can answer a few of these questions and put you at ease, even if you’re only hopping out of your current familiar game genre and into a new one. So here are our tips for those of you just starting out, and for you veterans of the table who are trying something new.  - A A: Whatever your reason, you’ve decided to try your hand at a tabletop role playing game. Maybe you have a story you’re interested in te

Super Cereal

Hey, It’s-a me Never Say Dice! We’ve gathered here once again to celebrate the flimsy excuse of a corporate holiday: March 10, otherwise known as Mar10 (or Mario) Day. Last year, after making a few suggestions on how you might celebrate the holiday, we discussed how details can serve as the Power-Up Mushroom for Your Narrative . We talked about what a person’s intro to Mario might have been, the story behind the "original" Super Mario Bros. on the NES, and what it could mean to us in our tabletop stories and elsewhere. Certainly, your first experience with Mario may have been a media cash grab like the one linked above. You could also have come to meet Mario later in life as part of an Olympic, Kart racing game, party game, or any number of other titles Nintendo inserted the character into. ( Mario Tennis in 3D on the Virtual Boy , maybe? Anyone? Hopefully the first time you met Mario it was at least less headache inducing.) Perhaps your first introduction to the plumber in

You Cannot Fast Travel When Plot is Nearby

You’ve probably been there. Trying to get from one part of the map to another. A sound effect cuts through the overworld music , an animation comes up, and the music switches to something a little more adrenaline-pumping. The first time it happens in a game, maybe the first few dozen times, you’re probably pretty excited. What monsters will you face? Will there be materials to upgrade your weapons? Just a little much-needed currency and experience? A surprise treasure box ? Then you get to that fourth dozen time…fifth…sixth? Somewhere in there it becomes a boring monotonous grind just to get anywhere, or maybe to find the last component you need to upgrade your ranged weapon. At best, the ritual becomes a minor annoyance while you pass through as quickly as possible. Would it be better if you could just fast travel ? Zipping between two points without subjecting your character(s) (and yourself) to yet another pointless battle? This can work well in video games, but do you use it at you

Workin' d8+1 to d4+1

“Get a job!” It's a refrain we're always hearing, as well as the title of a doo-wop classic , but, as that song and anyone who has tried to join the workforce can tell you it’s rarely that easy . Tabletop roleplaying games, on the other hand, offer the freedom to give your characters any employment history you can think of (within the bounds of the setting and their character build), whether it’s the thing they did before answering the call of adventure, or what they’re still doing between your game sessions. This week, we’re going to talk about the ways characters’ former (or current) jobs can flesh out their background and present new roleplaying opportunities, no matter which side of the GM screen they're on. - B B: Of course, I start with the disclaimer that, in the game I run most ( Paranoia XP/25th Anniversary ), job assignment is part of the character creation process. Being Paranoia , of course, the player gets no say in this - it’s purely according to random chanc

The Mission Will Be Very Safe and Fun for Everyone: Some Thoughtcrimes on Running Paranoia

  I'm sorry citizen, but the question "why hasn't there been a Paranoia post in over fifteen months" cannot be processed. Records indicate that the previous post, " [Backstory Redacted] - Getting Ready to Run Paranoia " was activated in the Year 214 of the Computer, and, as this is currently Year 214 of the Computer, your internal chronometer must be malfunctioning. Rumors that is has always been Year 214 of the Computer are treason. Please report to Internal Security for cerebral re-adjustment. Have a nice daycycle. So, why hasn't there been a post about Paranoia in fifteen months, anyway? The previous two have been quite popular , and, as I'm fond of saying, I've put more thought into this game than nearly anything else in my life, formal education included. As time went on, I found myself procrastinating on the follow-up. I didn't have enough time to work out everything I'd want to cover, I'd tell myself, or that some other top