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So, some of you may or may not remember a previous question that I had asked on this site. Now I may be asking for the exact opposite. My group wasn't very impressed with the whole "we're playing against each other" concept of Paranoia, but they liked the universe / setting itself. So now I'm thinking the only thing I could do to really get them to play would be to make Paranoia a cooperative game. So, tl;dr:

How could I make Paranoia into a cooperative game? What house rules or rule adjustments (if any) would be necessary?

This might be asking a lot, but we'll see what happens. One thing I was thinking was making the group have attributes that are there, but hidden. (Collective perversity point pool with unknown amount, etc.) The story idea I have is something along the lines of "Ultra-Violet High Programmer is tired of your shit, Alpha Complex, and wants to end the reign of Friend Computer."

My goal is to stay true to the spirit / intent of the game. I want the players to feel the paranoia grip them and drive their decision making (which is to say: every decision is the worst decision, every action has terrible consequences, etc.) but I want them to be paranoid as a team as oppose to individuals.

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Are you still looking to have the same sensation of paranoia in Paranoia, just with players cooperating, or do you want the setting of Alpha Complex & Friend Computer, just with a more "friendly" atmosphere? –  Brian S Nov 20 '13 at 18:53
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I can imagine them either being a cell of a secret society or being a group of high-clearance citizens. I know there are newer Paranoia books that deal with high-clearance citizens, but I don't own them and I'm not sure if they fit this style. –  okeefe Nov 20 '13 at 19:24
    
There's an rpg called FreeMarket that shares a lot of Paranoia's tropes (scifi, reversible death, computer that runs the place, constrained space) with flipped cultural norms (cooperation, sharing, giving, helping), but it's not sufficiently Paranoia-like to be the answer to this question. –  okeefe Nov 20 '13 at 19:27
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Comments are not for chatting. Please integrate these into your question (or make answers) and flag for deletion. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 20 '13 at 23:42
    
My players sprung mutual co-operation on me when I was GMing Paranoia, once. Able to act without having to worry about attacks and accusations of treason from their fellow troubleshooters, they were much better positioned to deal with external threats, and quickly succeeded at several missions before I was able to adapt. Worse, since I'd become the source of all conflict in the campaign, I was soon overwhelmed by the effort required, and the campaign ended on an unsatisfactory note. (CONT) –  GMJoe Nov 21 '13 at 4:39
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1 Answer

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It doesn't need to be. Paranoia already has that play mode baked in.

Choose to play Paranoia (xp) "Straight / Dark" and make sure that they start with a higher security clearance, such that they're not the designated punching bags of the complex.

By taking inspiration from The Prisoner and playing the computer as competent and not at all slapstick, the game already provides this mode of cooperation. Specifically, by increasing the competence of the computer and the difficulty of flinging around charges of Treason, no "house-rules" need apply. Just, as the Computer, reward actions that you find appropriate.

It's a question of rewarding behavour. Paranoia is about betraying without being caught. Cooperation in "dark" is Easier. And it's always the players choice to not be caught. The game provides settings for manipulating rewards patterns, and they can be used to punish defection.

Paranoia is defined both by its setting (Alpha Complex), and the DM. As knowledge of the rules is, quite literally, Treason, all expectations for tone are from the DM. The crucial part here is to master behavioural training p50. Reward behaviours that you want to see. Therefore, cooperation between enemies is a behaviour you want to see. Therefore, set up the scenario as a normal dark scenario (tone down silly lethality, make people far more competent) and directly reward players when they lay long-term plans and cooperate. Establish expectations of a campaign, directly reward the behaviours you want to see, and when they betray each other casually, immediately punish betrayal. Look at page 54 for notes, but by making an external enemy a deadlier threat, despite internal enemies, then enemies must overcome their mutual distrust to survive.

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