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by Moto42 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:02 am

So, my fellow GMs, how often have you had teams of otherwise backstabbing players pull together and get the job done with flying colors over utterly pointless missions? (And players that have been one such teams might as well chime in as well.)

For my tale, the mission was simple...

The Briefing Officer wrote:Carry this drinking water sample across the hallway and have Frank-G-OKM test it's sulfide content. Then bring back the printout of his findings. No it's not a big secret or anything, we're just trying to figure out why the water smells like rotten eggs lately."


I spent the next half hour, of a 90 minute game improvising as the team found an excuse to postpone the mission, go out, and get loaded for bear. Apparently they thought they were going to be walking into a deathtrap and had decided that the best way to deal with it was with guns, lots of guns.

The prepwork for this mission was epic.

Everyone pulled their Secret Society contacts for information. None of their contacts had even heard of the service firm the mission was for, or their mission. (Except the Illuminati, they knew of the firm and the mission and could absolutely, positively 100% guarentee that it was exactly what it appeared to be and was of no interest to anyone that could pose a threat) This shot the player's paranoia even higher.

The Computer Phreak set to work on the local traffic routing systems. Arranging for all traffic to be detoured around the area they were going to be working in.

I had a pair of Psion and Anti-mutant members who had found each other out step aside for a secret discussion. They came to the conclusion that "the situation seems grim enough that we should set aside our differences for the moment." and promptly team up on the PLC desk-clerks. The Psion used his mind reading abilities to keep the clerks honest while playing good-cop and the Anti-mutant played bad-cop. They got their weapons and armor requests filled in minutes.

The team's IntSec goon spent the whole time surveying the area, arranging for access to security cameras and developing a travel and battle-plan.

They returned to the service firm to begin their mission, each player with a laser pistol, 2 extra barrels and full reflec armor with helmets. Two of them sported laser-rifles, one had a cone-rifle packing HEAT and they had even scrounged up a heavy-duty riot shield for the guy carrying the sample to use. Oh, and a small thermos to carry the sample, none of this "simple plastic cup" stuff for them!

Before accepting the sample, they posted guards outside and asked for the game to go into combat-rounds. Sure, why not!
They accepted the water sample, transferred it to the thermos and spent the next 5 minutes crossing the street in agonizing detail of whos-guarding-what-angle-with-what and whos-moving-forward and whos-leapfroging-to-what-position. About 3/4 the way across I had a random transbot come trundling down the road, only to be wiped out in very well coordinated panic-fire from everybody.

Eventually they make it across the street and deliver the sample to a very nervous lab tech. Imagine this...

You are a lab tech who tests water samples to ensure their quality for drinking. You work in a lab that is in front of a very busy street and are used to having samples delivered by very bored citizens doing a very dry bit of courier work.
Today though, the street outside is almost abandoned, the area seems deathly quiet without the traffic and hardly any samples have come in for prossessing. Then a group of heavily armed clones begins making it's way in a very coordinated manner from accross the street to your lab. Suddenly they open fire on something outside, you hear an explosion, and they come crashing through your door! They put guns in your face! The demand to see your ID! They....

...hand you a water sample and ask you to do the same test you do 300 times a day.

He performed the test, under the watchful eye of 2 very suspicious troubleshooters with guns, and gave them the results.

The team uses the same plan to get back across the street, but are interupted by IntSec (who came to investigate the demise of Cold-Fun shipment #82952) A short firefight ensues as the team retreats to the office and delivers the results. The thank the team and nervously inform them that they can be debriefed and finish the mission about two blocks down the road.

Intsec reinforcements arrive just as they are exiting and the troubleshooters engage in a fighting retreat to the debriefing center, where they expect to be able to drum up support against 'this commie mutant assault'. They take 2 casualties on the way there, and are suprized to find that their fellow troubleshooters are very eager to fill them with lasers when they reach the briefing center.

While in debriefing, they finally realize that the mission really was exactly what it appeared to be, and blamed me for this debacle.

All in all, I hardly got to use any of the mission-related stuff I had planned (none of it actually) and the mission was still a complete success in my opinion.

Wow, this post ran long... sorry.
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"mutant" power: Can 'speak' by telekineticly vibrating nearby surfaces.
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by Homepie » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:45 pm

But getting to the point, just how sulfurous was the water?
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by Silent » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:58 pm

All in all, I hardly got to use any of the mission-related stuff I had planned (none of it actually) and the mission was still a complete success in my opinion.


What were you planning anyway?

And I would like to know the transcript between the Anti-Mutant and the Psion. Has HEL Sector froze over during that time?

EDIT: As for that, during a ZAP mission of Logan's Run, I tag-teamed with another Troubleshooter in order to kill the person we are supposed to be protecting, the UV. The reason being that the UV was committing treason left and right, and we assumed that if we didn't get rid of the UV, we would be erased, which is not good for us.

The tag-team failed, and the UV ended up distrusting the rest of his Troubleshooting squad. I got killed twice.
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by Elm-R-FUD » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:39 am

Wow. These guys must have been rolling some hot dice if they were so successful in rerouting Alpha Complex around their mission.

Still, sounds like a hoot!
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by Phial » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:41 am

I was delighted to see that the 'team' had a Paranoia 'spike' when told by the Illuminati that there were no additional facets.

This enters the realm of meta-paranoia and it was especially refreshing to see that team cohesion only led to a different diameter pipe on the hose job. Definitely worth pursuing this line of product.
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by Moto42 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:53 am

The sulfur content of the water was 30% higher than allowed in that sector.

The original plan was for them to run a gauntlet of near-misses crossing the street, almost-but-not-quite losing the sample time after time, then when they reach the other side have it snatched away by a thirsty, higher-ranking citizen. Who would then fine someone for giving him nasty sulfur-water to drink.

They would then be responsible for obtaining a new sample from where the original was obtained. The bulk of the mission was going to be encounters and misadventures of getting to the sample-site (a drinking fountain in an obviously volcanic area, some kind of mining operation).

I've never seen players RP that hard to pull favors and burn bridges for something so simple before. It wasn't even a real hose-job to begin with.
If the purpose of the experiment is to see what will happen, then the experiment will be a success no matter what happens!

IC Notes:
"mutant" power: Can 'speak' by telekineticly vibrating nearby surfaces.
Currently In HPD&MC
Stomping about in the Battle Bowl; A four-foot tall, bipedal bot with a laser barrel on it's right arm and whose headless body wraps partially around a large jar of violet fluid; containing a clonal brain.
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by Adam-R-LON-1 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:35 pm

This is one of the funniest PARANOIA stories I've read in a while. I was cracking up throughout the entire post.
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by Homepie » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:48 pm

Obviously the work of CMTs.

This really is a great story. It seems you underestimated the average Paranoia player - if a mission is supposed to be "simple", they think that's a code word for "twice as lethal as a normal mission".
Last edited by Homepie on Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by Rickton » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:45 am

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why PARANOIA GMs don't really need to plan anything ever.
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by Phial » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:50 pm

Rickton wrote:And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why PARANOIA GMs shouldn't plan anything ever.
Fixed :)
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by Allandaros » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:54 am

Well played, sir. Well played.
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by Citron-R » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:35 am

This sounds like almost every mission I ever run for my regular group. It's actually kind of fun to see their response to the word 'simple' or 'straightforward.'
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by Rickton » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:50 am

Citron-R wrote:This sounds like almost every mission I ever run for my regular group. It's actually kind of fun to see their response to the word 'simple' or 'straightforward.'

It's almost as fun as Troubleshooters' response to the word "stealth."
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