View Full Version : [3.5, but Paranoia knowledge also useful] Using the Perversity Points system in D&D?

2009-08-02, 04:48 PM
Well, as I said, could I use the perversity points system in 3.5 to encourage roleplaying and stuff?
Before someone points to action points, here's my list of differences.
Action points are spent between seeing the roll and hearing its result. Perversity is spent before rolling.
Action points are regained at levelup. Perversity is regained whenever the DM/GM feels like it.
Action points are +1d6. Perversity is a constant +1.
You can only spend 1 AP on a given roll. (I think?) You can spend a lot more than 1 perversity on a given roll. (You can spend as much as the DM/GM says, right?)
You can only spend AP on yourself. You can spend Perversity on any roll, including the DM/GMs. (And if that's wrong somehow, that's what I'm using it as.)
Lastly: AP always improves rolls. Perversity can increase or decrease it.

2009-08-03, 12:30 AM
You'll have to give more information about the Paranoia system; I know nothing about it beyond what little can be inferred from this post.

2009-08-03, 10:49 AM
From my understanding of Paranoia, having read only the player's section (Red security clearance): players (not characters, if relevant) gain perversity points based on two things.

1. Ticks they have, such as an odd or humorous behaviour that they can roleplay.

2. Roleplaying well and in a humorous fashion. ("Entertain or die!" being a quote from the 'rulebook'.)

Players start with between 25 and 35 Perversity. They gain perversity at the DM's leisure or, more standardized, at the end of a scene (a room in a dungeon, a battle, a RP event, whatever: DM's choice).
They spend perversity--allowed at DM's leisure or on any roll, not sure--to increase or decrease the roll.

In D&D terms, it's a free action that may be used on anyone's turn. The character does not spend perversity; the player does, so there's no in-game justification necessary or need for the character to know what's happening.

Some of this could be wrong, but I believe I have the gist of it.

Cristo Meyers
2009-08-03, 03:17 PM
Basic gist: you spend a perversity point to either increase or decrease the result of a die roll by 1/point. It doesn't matter who's roll it is (i.e. you can spend points to modify some else's roll for shooting at you)

2009-08-03, 04:20 PM
OP: Sure, why not? Sounds like great fun, tho if you didnt limit it, you could easily end up with a paranoiaesque situation where the party is actively trying to screw eachother over. Maybe you want that, maybe not... wouldnt be too conducive to a long DnD campaign, but it could be great fun anyhow =)

2009-08-03, 06:58 PM

I don't think it would work well. In Paranoia, the atmosphere is antagonistic and competitive. You spend perversity points mostly to make other players fail, hopefully putting them into a position where they can't retaliate to the same degree against you.

In D&D, the default style of play (and I'm not saying it's the only style) tends to be cooperative. Assuming you kept that same style, allowing the players to cooperatively boost each others rolls means you'll see PCs making DC 50 skill checks (and, I suppose, attack rolls) on really important rolls. I'm not saying that's really a bad thing, but it creates a situation where the DM might have to spend 4x to 5x as many points as the players to keep the encounters "reasonably challenging".

If the style of play changes to a more antagonistic PC-killing grudge-fest, then this completely ruins anything the DM wanted to do as far as backstory, plot, campaign development, etc. (Paranoia gets away with this because Alpha Complex is largely immune and/or constructed completely out of massive plot derailments.) It might still be fun, if that's the style of game most of the players enjoy, but I'm not sure such a campaign would last all that long.

2009-08-03, 07:31 PM
Some of this could be wrong, but I believe I have the gist of it.

That's the gist, but an important thing for D&D players to note is that perversity points flow fast and loose. Don't bother writing them down, use poker chips and throw them back and forth.

"You see the large subway car come slowly to a creaking halt. After a brief pause, the doors open."
"I walk through the door."
"Here's a perversity point for bravery".

People save up action points for when you really need them. In contrast, the Paranoia GM will sometimes say "For no apparent reason, does anyone want to spend perversity points?"

It would work just fine in D&D with a competitive or cooperative game, but the thing is that you just can't take them too seriously. Think of them like Mardi Gras beads: you buy some and you get thrown some, but if you end up with none then you probably had a good evening. Also, they both go better with beer.