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<   No. 5194   2024-05-16   >

Comic #5194

1 Lucas: It’s interesting that there’s reverse psychology, and reverse reverse psychology.
2 Lucas: But each level only reverses direction along the same axis.
3 Lucas: There should be some sort of orthogonal psychology that goes off in another dimension.
4 Mike: Now you’re not talking about D&D any more. That’s Paranoia.

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I mentioned the roleplaying game Paranoia briefly in the annotation of #4598, but only mentioning that it had a couple of unusual character attributes.

The game is unusual in being a deliberate comedy game. It's set in a dystopian future where humanity is subjugated to an all-powerful Computer. The Computer looks after all the people's needs and the general intelligence and initiative level of humans has fallen a bit. Also, the Computer is paranoid and incredibly bureaucratic.

Players play "Troubleshooters" - people sent by the Computer on missions. The missions are invariably extremely difficult to literally impossible, the PCs are issued with experimental equipment that is prone to catastrophic failure, membership in secret societies is considered subversive treason punishable by summary execution, every PC is secretly a member of a secret society, and if a mission goes wrong for any reason whatsoever the PCs are required to debrief and fill out explanation forms in triplicate or face the suspicion of the Computer.

It's way more fun than it sounds, provided you approach it in the correct slapstick comedy mindset.

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