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I have now run a game of Paranoia with my players, and they really enjoyed it. In particular they loved that for once they could turn on each other, they really enjoyed passing me secret notes, getting secret assignments and throwing each other under the bus (at one point literally).

One of the players suggested introducing some of this to our D&D game, bringing a bit of tension and discord into the group. Our normal DM is open to the idea and enjoyed playing Paranoia but has asked me to sit down with him to flesh out the best way to bring Paranoia and D&D together.

Our goal for this is: we want to keep D&D Straight but get the in-team politics more combative, so as to allow for friction within the group instead of everyone just working together. However, we don't want to descend to the point where we end up wiping our characters out. We have also discussed applying the more relaxed storyplaying approach to the rules, our DM is thinking about taking a more relaxed approach to combat, etc, so it all flows a lot faster and saves the detail for the big basses, etc. As players we prefer more roleplaying rather then mechanics play anyway.

Has anybody had any experience of trying to meld the craziness of Paranoia in other roleplay systems? We don’t want a straight swap, this isn’t Paranoia in fantasy land. But we want to bring in more opportunities for the players to act against one another without causing real issues in the group as one player decides to just kill another’s character. Any hints and tips I can take to out D&D GM greatly appreciated.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear to me exactly what you're looking for here. Are you looking for general "craziness" (which, in the context of Paranoia, I read as "dystopian black humor mixed with slapstick comedy") or for "opportunities for the players to act against one" (which I read as "character-vs-character conflict and, potentially, hostility")? You can easily have either of those things without also introducing the other. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Sherohman Jan 15 '18 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is about adding the character vs character conflict and potential of Hostility to a game where (in my experience at least) the emphasis is working as a unit and attempting to complete the adventure together as a unit. The concern is that in 1 session we could find our players have killed off each others characters that they have spent time and effort levelling up and developing. \$\endgroup\$ – Richard C Jan 15 '18 at 13:25
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Introduce little side quests with conflicting aims

Now, that's an interesting question! I have some experience as a DM for both Paranoia and D&D but never thought about merging the two. However, since you focus on conflicts within the group, I recommend to use the PCs factions or bonds to hand out side quests with conflicting aims. This way they act as the secret organizations in Paranoia. Reward the players with little treats if a side quest is completed - magic items, potions, better armor or even extra XP. But it should be small enough so that nobody is tempted to kill a fellow PC to get the treat.

Example:

Harper, recruit the king's adviser to our cause. If you manage to do this you will climb our ranks and get a ring of protection as sign of our respect.

Zhentarim, we have learned that the harpers try to recruit spies among the king's loyalists. Prevent this and you will be rewarded generously.

Full Paranoia

If you really want to go full Paranoia (OP doesn't want to but for completeness):

  • A Staff of resurrection with 5 charges for everyone (clones)
  • Borderline dangerous magic artifacts (guns from R&D)
  • A very powerful being called "Fiend Kompu'tah"
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