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    Default [Paranoia] Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Friends, Playgrounders, Forumites, lend me your skillz!

    Ok, for those who weren't there, a few of us playgrounders started talking about how we could run a Portal RPG based on the Paranoia game system.

    We've already deemed 3d tiles a must have.

    We need skills. The skill levels suggested were (in descending order): TRIUMPH; Huge success; Satisfaction; Cake (Thanks, kyoryu!)

    Also, SpekterofDavid suggested System Shock.

    I would like to recruit playgrounders to assist in this EPIC undertaking. I've only played Paranoia in the distant past, and need some help with this. I'd like to get a complete product that will go down in Playground History as the most epic homebrew to ever come out of the Playground.
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2010-08-27 at 04:10 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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    Default Re: Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Well I don't know, just make the portal gun a magic item of some kind. Maybe it's got the at-will affects upon attack 'pass wall' (any material) when used fired once and 'dimension door at any range between two created barriers' when used twice.

    The spring boots are also a magic item (or they can be mundane if you want, but the cost would be pretty much the same unless you want to incorporate some sort of 'this setting has this technology and everything lower in technology is arbitrarily cheaper by X amount, modifiable by Y factor' into the game) - what do they do? Offer a bonus to jumps, and ability to jump higher without a running jump (include a static number of additional feet (ie. +6 vertical feet) but the character can hop to any surface of lower elevation at-will). Also reduces falling damage by Xd6 (which is actually better than the monk's slow fall; maybe the item takes damage when you sustain falling damage though, since the shocks can't handle that amount of pressure).

    In fact, I think this has already been done. Just that the items have been given a price, so what this thread could focus on is helping GMs design their own maps and campaigns with this focus.

    -----
    You could make it different by making the PCs all first level humanoids 'being tested', each with a portal gun and spring boots. You could make it sort of like EL 6 (except it's EL 1; players need to earn XP to purchase feats) and include action points for extreme circumstances.

    Creating the maps would be like creating obstacle courses and could be a lote easier and with a lot less detail then usual. From what I know of the game, most of it's just toilet white/teal bathroom/laboratory tile with odd platforms and obvious traps that are more 'you see the danger, now you must get past it! It cannot be disabled. You must find a way to move through it'. Good GMs would need to have a mind for puzzles.

    Also certain areas could be of a material called 'anti-portalium' meaning they cannot be targeted by the portal gun. Basically the same as whatever overrides the portal gun in the game (or maybe it's electromagnetic fields, can't remember the sci-fi really).
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-08-26 at 11:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    I think it'd be fun to combine the settings of Paranoia and Portal (Aperture Complex? Alpha Science?).

    The wackiness of portals combined with parties that are encouraged to off each other in violent, gory, and amusing ways? Sounds like a recipe for epic win, if you ask me.

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    Default Re: Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Well I don't know, just make the portal gun a magic item of some kind. Maybe it's got the at-will affects upon attack 'pass wall' (any material) when used fired once and 'dimension door at any range between two created barriers' when used twice.

    The spring boots are also a magic item (or they can be mundane if you want, but the cost would be pretty much the same unless you want to incorporate some sort of 'this setting has this technology and everything lower in technology is arbitrarily cheaper by X amount, modifiable by Y factor' into the game) - what do they do? Offer a bonus to jumps, and ability to jump higher without a running jump (include a static number of additional feet (ie. +6 vertical feet) but the character can hop to any surface of lower elevation at-will). Also reduces falling damage by Xd6 (which is actually better than the monk's slow fall; maybe the item takes damage when you sustain falling damage though, since the shocks can't handle that amount of pressure).

    In fact, I think this has already been done. Just that the items have been given a price, so what this thread could focus on is helping GMs design their own maps and campaigns with this focus.

    -----
    You could make it different by making the PCs all first level humanoids 'being tested', each with a portal gun and spring boots. You could make it sort of like EL 6 (except it's EL 1; players need to earn XP to purchase feats) and include action points for extreme circumstances.

    Creating the maps would be like creating obstacle courses and could be a lote easier and with a lot less detail then usual. From what I know of the game, most of it's just toilet white/teal bathroom/laboratory tile with odd platforms and obvious traps that are more 'you see the danger, now you must get past it! It cannot be disabled. You must find a way to move through it'. Good GMs would need to have a mind for puzzles.

    Also certain areas could be of a material called 'anti-portalium' meaning they cannot be targeted by the portal gun. Basically the same as whatever overrides the portal gun in the game (or maybe it's electromagnetic fields, can't remember the sci-fi really).
    We're using Paranoia 5th/xp as a base, not dnd/d20. So, EL and magic are pretty much right out.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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    Default Re: Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    The wackiness of portals combined with parties that are encouraged to off each other in violent, gory, and amusing ways? Sounds like a recipe for epic win, if you ask me.
    Actually, REMOVING the Player Vs Player aspect would be something I would very much try for. As in the NPC opponent(s) might encourage it, but the game design itself would encourage the players to NOT do so. Although there might be a "trust" mechanic that tracks a character's unwillingness to betray his friends. Sorta like the virtues in Vampire or Exalted, or the reversed version of Dark Side Points in any Star Wars game. A successful character would gain such points, an unsuccessful one would lose them... actually maybe it would track how much loyalty the character inspires in OTHER people to not stab him/her in the back, rather than how non-prone to backstabbing THEY are... or both could exist as separate stats (one working as a skill level, the other as a difficulty that other's skill level is rolled against).
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2010-08-27 at 09:25 AM.
    [Public Service Announcement]P.E.A.C.H stands for Please Examine And Critique Honestly[/Public Service Announcement]
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    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

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    Default Re: Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Actually, REMOVING the Player Vs Player aspect would be something I would very much try for. As in the NPC opponent(s) might encourage it, but the game design itself would encourage the players to NOT do so. Although there might be a "trust" mechanic that tracks a character's unwillingness to betray his friends. Sorta like the virtues in Vampire or Exalted, or the reversed version of Dark Side Points in any Star Wars game. A successful character would gain such points, an unsuccessful one would lose them... actually maybe it would track how much loyalty the character inspires in OTHER people to not stab him/her in the back, rather than how non-prone to backstabbing THEY are... or both could exist as separate stats (one working as a skill level, the other as a difficulty that other's skill level is rolled against).
    Nice. Sounds a little tricky, but I can see it as a positive/negative modifier on certain social skills. I'll see what I can do (Paranoia is not my area of expertise, but it seems the most suited to a Portal-type game, with The Computer already in existence and all, just a little re-fluffing of that part).

    EDIT: In order to pursue this mechanic, I may separate the portal gun into two...a Blue Portal Gun, and an Orange Portal Gun. Maybe Black Mesa instead of Aperture?
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2010-08-27 at 09:35 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

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    Default Re: [Paranoia] Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Incorporating this into regular D&D would be much easier than the system you're proposing guys.

    An EL 1 adventure means that EL is pretty much 'right out' as it stands - players don't gain hp without purchasing feats that allow them to do so, such as 'toughness'. You could also use a system I proposed called 'perks' which allows for the purchasing of abilities that could be greater or lesser than feats but at different XP costs per ability - the cost is increments of 500Xp; 500Xp per 'perk point' as the actual cost is listed in the form of perk points which are more or less inter-changeable with Xp (perk points makes it easier to read, but there's just one mechanic that differs them from Xp, in that they cannot be used to actually level up).

    The wackiness of portals combined with parties that are encouraged to off each other in violent, gory, and amusing ways? Sounds like a recipe for epic win, if you ask me.
    This could easily be ruined if the players have a gun that can take them literally anywhere. Players would probably prefer a relatively open world to explore and it'd be impossible to stop them without rail roading, giving them 'portal immune walls' nearly everywhere.

    I think it's scarier if there's simply traps everywhere.

    You could make 'GLADUS' a whole lot more intimidating and actually sinister/scary rather than just chemically/emotionally imbalanced. Or you could create another AI personality that is equally cold as her.

    It's just that the 'mystery' aspect that paranoia seems to propose feels reduced when players can explore everything.

    To keep up the horror element, it'd be good to just, no matter where the players go, perhaps impose very awkward highly impractical environments. At the beginning, ie., they appear to be in some sort of proportionately ordinary (albeit very large) corporate testing lab/complex. Later on, things get weirder and weirder as the players explore more and more rooms, until it feels like they are entering another universe. Perhaps they can't return to the same room (even through use of the gun), or they can only return entirely at random and not of their will (could be part of a greater puzzle that needs solving) - perhaps their portal gun appears to be malfunctioning by inverting reality whenever they travel through its reality altering holes. Perhaps the ordinary porcelain white/turquoise tile set begins turning into a cave like system or into a gurgling realm of writhing, slimey, pulsating, bloody biomass. Perhaps they begin encountering creatures that are 'slightly off' or incredibly, lovecraftian off or so mutated, cruel and deadly that they are not at all unlike actual demons from hell (perhaps the players have stepped into a realm of hell/the underworld ala Doom?).

    Also, real danger - the player creates a hole in one wall, suddenly inconcievably hot lava flows out in such a rush that the player is subsumed immediately and killed in micro seconds. The flow of lava is staunchly cut off so that it touches no other player (maybe some very resistant walls close in on the area) and/or solidifies rapidly (much more rapidly so than regular lava) in a massive ugly black mound where the victim used to be, barring off the wall again. Creating another hole simply causes more lava to flow there.
    ------

    Personally, I think forced insanity limits roleplaying.

    IMO, I think insanity should just impose a few conditions that are both penalizing and beneficial (some of them would have ability score prerequisites; for example supernatural insanity could give you telepathy but at the same time force you to be overly attached to the emotions of others or develop OCD).

    Maybe players could take on a few abilities with certain insanity prerequisites. Say if the person is very depressed they can acquire an ability to allow them not to be affected by certain fear or demoralizing conditions.

    Not concerning Paranoia, Tabletopnuke imposed 'madness feats' on D&D, but they contradict the existing sanity system with something called 'madness score' - modifying the sanity system to accommodate the feats would work though.

    Also, some GMs probably allow players to have less than 99 sanity starting off. Also, I think some creatures, feats and templates should have above 99 max sanity - perhaps they just aren't as soft minded as regular humans. The same could apply for even LA 0 creatures such as orcs (orc social structure usually mandates a harsher lifestyle than humans despite whatever technology and standard of living they might have but their lower Wis score still means they may lose sanity faster).

    Although there might be a "trust" mechanic that tracks a character's unwillingness to betray his friends.
    No, just no. There shouldn't be a mechanic that requires a PC to behave a certain way. Maybe the conditions of insanity should just impose small penalties when a player attempts to behave a certain way - ie. being joyous and cheerful and hyper when depressed means they suffer a penalty to whatever paranoia considers 'charisma' and its related skills in the game as they begin to sound insincere; since they are forcing their minds to behave that way; or perhaps it might get more punishing when they have to save or get 'more depressed' as they behave opposite to the 'behavior patterns' that the insanity condition suggests.

    Insanity should be divided into general categories (from least to greatest) and each providing their way of a general approach to mechanics.

    Emotional insanity is usually quite minor - an 'un broken' or inexperienced character would suffer terribly, but others can live through it with only minor draw backs. Usually emotional sanity has 'behavioral patterns' which are a very general outline - shouldn't at all restrict roleplaying that much; Ie. depression might mean that the person is simply less excitable or humored and a bit more brooding, which shouldn't really change their character's personality all that much unless they are defined largely by their emotions (also a depressed teenager would change largely from a regular teenager due to lack of life experience or trauma, but stronger minded adult characters used to daily stress shouldn't change too much and soldiers used to intense stress and anguish hardly at all). Something as 'extreme' as post tramautic stress disorder can incubate as emotional insanity however it can develop into other insanities from other categories such as alterative insanity's sociopathy. It can also become 'stronger' in the actual condition shifting to the next category down (behavioral insanity) as they behave differently.
    ------

    Behavioral insanity might modify a character's personality somewhat if they choose so but really directly affects their behavior (again, it always depends on how strong minded they are, but this category is still pretty minor).

    For example, a psychosexual condition might mean they are aroused more often or develop a behavior that is difficult to notice unless they are outlandish about it (such as a fetish). Behavioral insanity is quite minor compared to others, but more extreme than emotional insanity (although even a weak willed character that is simply depressed could find themselves murdering everyone if they have that in conjunction to a perceptive insanity such as schizophrenia). Conditions a character is born with such as autism are also behavioral insanity (but in the game any sort of experience could suddenly give them something as outlandish and life changing as autism; their fear of others causes them to retract into their own world inside their heads and lose all merit to socialize and externalize ego). OCD is another example of behavioral insanity.

    Even something as 'extreme' as megalomania is behavioral insanity - megalomania won't cause someone to murder somebody else cold blooded, however it will potentially grow their ego exponentially, which could (again) affect personality.
    --------

    Perceptive insanity is the next category down. This includes the stereotypical things that any homeless man on the street babbles about. You can often develop these from taking hard drugs, or simply witnessing something that alters your state of mind. The general run-of-the-mill hallucinatory things of any sensation fall into this category. Again, any tenacious, very logical character can hide this and live normally or even function at maximum. Perceptive insanity can get so extreme, however, that a character may be affectively blind, deaf, etc. or feel as if they cannot even hear their own thoughts ('dem gubment's stealin' meh thoughts!').

    Other times it's as minor as dyslexia or ADD.
    -------

    Spontaneuity insanity, by itself, doesn't ever adjust anything about a character aside from one or a number of traits about them. Otherwise the character is the same in every way without it. Such could include such conditions as 'sudden accent syndrome' (character's accent shifts to one entirely unrelated to the region in which they were born/are currently living), which could be a rare substitute for a behavioral insanity such as PTSD. It can also include conditions such as psycho somatism causing a character's skin to turn jaundiced (yellow) or even green or purple. More extreme examples include a greater vulnerability to contagions and/or diseases or simply the catching of a single 'physical condition' as constant onset of dysentary. Can also include the almost super natural such as their limbs seemingly transforming into knotty, wooden branches - Note: this actually did occur in the real world as one recorded case (or more?) with a woman I believe.

    Spontaneuity insanity can either be played for laughs with fictional conditions. Note however that they never modify actual decision making (alterative), personality or even behavior. It is more extreme a category than perceptive insanity because it can sometimes impair function through no control of the character.
    -----

    Functional insanity, while more 'extreme' than perceptive insanity is on par with alterative insanity. Although functional insanity doesn't always affect social perception (many such people are sometimes even thought to have no disorder at all) while alterative insanity has a very bad rap for including the infamous sociopathy in its domain. Functional insanity might include something as simple as lethargia and is often very closely related to emotional insanity. Unlike emotional insanity, functional insanity cannot be regulated without curing it entirely, however. It can be as little as a speech impediment or as extreme as psycho somatic full body paralysis, amnesia or going feral (which would actually be a combination of behavioral/functional in the very extreme range of sanity loss).
    ----

    Alterative insanity is among the more extreme of insanities that can occur. They alter a character's decision tendencies, their likes and dislikes in regards to new experiences, etc., but not necessarily their personality.

    Sociopathy is one example, and has varying strengths - only the strongest of individuals such as soldiers and long time adventurers can live life to the fullest and be equally loved with such a condition. Alterative insanity often relates to behavioral and perceptive insanity and is quite often mistaken for such, but is very much unique and by itself. The reason alterative insanity is of the more extreme of categories, even though a person may seem normal with it, is that it can often alter their beliefs, instincts and morals (which, under the D&D system could eventually lead to alignment change, etc.). Note that there should be no behavioral code that penalizes players under alterative insanity.
    -----

    Personality insanity alters a character's personality through no will of their own. This includes multiple personality disorder or a simple sudden shift. It is more extreme than alterative insanity in that it can lead to both an alteration of morals, beliefs, etc. and a change of personality or a lack of control over changes that occur at random.

    It can be as minor as a sudden preference for a different flavor of candy or as extreme as loss of all self control as some other force takes over mind and body.

    A personality alteration is just that, a change of personality. A character with a new personality must overhaul or provide a second personality with its own listed traits and description to the 'personality' section of their character sheet/bio. Personality alteration can often lead to a change of alignment.

    Personality insanity is even more extreme a category than alterative insanity because such characters, depending on their condition, may never be trusted and must make life solely on their own.
    -------

    Developmental insanity tends to result in many different disorders/insanities from many different categories. A character so traumatized might revert to the intelligence they were as a child, reversing their maturity, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, mental stability, etc. (just one example).

    Developmental insanity takes from several categories, such as functional, behavioral, emotional, etc. but often can do so by overhauling the entire mental scope of the character, all in one. Often, only the adventurers who have lived 'many life times' (are mighty enough to be distinguished among others of their trade and/or of nigh-supernatural will power) can function at maximum with these conditions, as they tend to sometimes impair all function - shifting even the natural tendencies that might apply to a member of their species.

    Sometimes developmental insanity offer benefits by themselves that are not reaped through effort of will of the character, but are handed out like suddenly acquired templates and also penalize as appropriate (often times more so than the benefits offered however).

    Down syndrome is one example of a developmental insanity - the character has lowered intelligence, social externality and cannot even live as long as other members of their species, although the disorder does come with physical impairments of its own as well (which make it more of a flaw/template with insanity prerequisites rather than an insanity).

    Developmental insanity is of such an extreme category (perhaps the most extreme in the range of 'mundane insanities') because there is virtually no limit to the extremity of conditions it can impose (there are a lot worse things out there than down syndrome; comparitively, such a disorder is just behavioral/functional).
    -------
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-08-30 at 09:34 PM.

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    Default Re: [Paranoia] Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Veritable Wall'O'Text
    Gimme some time to digest all of that, but, I think, what you're proposing (as much as I've read through of it, at any rate) sounds pretty good so far. I could definitely consider using d20 as a base after reading through Paranoia 5th over the weekend (complicated). I'm still hung up more on d20 Present/Future than DnD, though. Orcs really have no part in this. Just Humans and GLaDOS. Maybe various 'sub-races' of humans, but definitely no orcs, elves, and dwarves, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

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    Default Re: [Paranoia] Let's Homebrew: Portal the RPG! (Recruiting)

    Orcs really have no part in this.
    So? Say that players can only be human or walking turrets with childish voices.

    LotR and black mesa don't really tie together last I checked.

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