Today’s question is:
Weirdest Game You’ve Played
I genuinely don’t remember the mission. I know I GM’d the session, so I’m responsible for the situation as it unfolded.
PARANOIA. I definitely chose to ramp up the slapstick mode in this mission, and that seems the sole focus of my memory.
It would have been 1991 or 1992. I was at University in Huddersfield, and we had managed to swing a whole room to ourselves in a new annexe around the back of the campus. We must have numbered half-a-dozen players.
As I say, I don’t remember the mission at all. It must have been something to do with protecting the food vats. I never really collected any of the supplements or adventures at the time, so it could have been something from White Dwarf.
We all sat around a table, and I had all the Troubleshooters don protective gear to deal with the mission. This amounted to six people sitting around a table wearing black bin bags with holes cut through for their arms and head. They must have been black bin bags because I doubt I could have got hold of anything suitable for RED-Clearance.
So, six players are all wearing bin bags, and they’re dealing with some Communist infiltration of the food vats. At some point, they have to do a taste test to prove the vat content is just fine, at which point I pull out a pre-prepared bucket of cream rice lovingly coloured with a touch of food colouring (might have been green or blue) and start doling it out into paper bowls. Groans and laughs combine, as Vulture overseers demand that the Troubleshooters prove their vigilance in protecting the vats by consuming the vile-coloured concoction.
Only PARANOIA ever achieved this level of fun and weirdness, where people would happily sit around a table wearing bin bags and eating spoons of odd-coloured mush while imploring high-clearance overseers and guards to not summarily execute them.
Does that count? In truth, I’ve copied that story from 2014 when it was about the funniest game rather than the weirdest, but I think it still counts.
Honestly, if you haven’t given some form of PARANOIA a go at some time in your gaming career, you’re missing out. It doesn’t have to be weird or wacky. Ideally, it’s neither of those things. The ideal PARANOIA is the one that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable or ask questions about the basic concepts of human existence. But, weird is good, too.
Just don’t give in to the curse of comedy Troubleshooter names. Well… maybe just a little.
RPGaDay is a prompt-driven experience in tabletop roleplaying, initiated by Dave Chapman of Autocratik and powered by you and me.
The prompts for this year are as follows — and you can find out more on Dave’s website.