On Friday evening I ran a one-shot game of Paranoia. I ran it mostly in Zap style, because I was aiming for it to be a single session and also because it’s much easier to be lazy about rules when everything is that zany.
On the whole it went quite well, the entire group barely even made it to the initial briefing room before exhausting their clone supply. They managed to get shot for treasonous talk, blow themselves up with a bomb, which a bad Mutant power roll turned into a plutonium enhanced dirty bomb. On the upside, they did clear the transbot station platform of all those pesky Infrared clearance citizens blocking their way. The transbot broke down, they lacked authorisation to fix it, tardiness is treason. More mutation powers later, someone had a ball of stone spikes in their bladder, a model assault rifle instead of a laser and several people had conspicuously burst into flames (providing a helpful light source in dark tunnels).
Eventually they reached the mission briefing room to find it dark, a single oil drum marked Cold Fun in the center. Some treasonous talk later and the Yellow clearance briefing officer hiding in the drum reprimanded them. They didn’t believe he was so he said he was so they shoved firecrackers into the drum and that ended that. A couple of blue officers punished then for treason from behind a two-way mirror in the wall and gave them a form to fill in for their Mandatory Bonus Duties. The form was made in Google docs and deliberately had mistakes in it. One player even admitted their secret society on it! Many died, some unfairly when a player faked another player vandalising the Official Use Only portions of their form.
Eventually they were assigned a mission, deliver this water sample across the hall to Analysis, return with the results. Most died before leaving the room due to treasonous acts, spontaneous combustion (from our pyro Mutant) or straight up murder.
With only 2 surviving team members, they delivered the sample, killed the infrared clerk because he didn’t want to process it without the requisite form, figured out how to operate the analysis and then made it back to the briefing room. Some more treason later, suicide bombing and general tomfoolery, only one player was left.
Congratulations! Mission complete! Unauthorised damages resulted in tens of thousands of credits in fines, resulting in demotion to Infrared. Not being authorised to be here due to the new security clearance, a fine red mist was the result.
The game was very silly, sillier than I usually go for in Paranoia, and the players tended towards constant accusations of treason, rather than calculated back stabbing and setups. But in a Zap game that’s fine, especially as no-one has really played before and it’s been a super long time since I ran one.
But it was a fun game. After all, fun is mandatory.