# Can I choose a skill that the person on my left already has, during character creation in Paranoia Red Clearance Edition?

In 2016 Paranoia during character creation player on my left gets the exact opposite of what I choose. If I write +4 in Throw, she gets -4.

I cannot choose a skill I got negative modifier previously to get positive modifier. So if the player on my right got guns for +2, I'm stuck at -2. But what happens in the opposite situation? What if the player on my left has +2 in guns and it is my turn, and I want to get +4 in guns?

1. She gets -4 to guns, leaving her at -2?
2. I simply cannot choose guns?
3. Something else?
• I'm fairly sure this question is treason. ...WRT Paranoia, that is a valid response. – Narf the Mouse Oct 18 '18 at 0:27

There is no rule or errata that I could find and the author has been suspiciously silent when he was asked the question on a forum. If you read the whole thread, you'll find that he answered on some other stuff but not this. The issue was apparently raised during the kickstarter but left unresolved, so it's either a major oversight or by design.

The rule is quite clear on one point though: everyone must have five negative skills and five positive skills at the end of character creation, ranging from -1 to -5 and +1 to +5 respectively. So that -4 has to go somewhere.

To sum it up, the solutions are:

• Replace the score: +2 becomes -4, then, at the end of this part of character creation, have the +2 put elsewhere, either by the player or the GM,
• You cannot put points in guns and need to select another skill, one that the person to your left has not chosen previously,
• Move the -4 to another skill of the player to your left, either a skill that you choose or the GM chooses.

This was left ambiguous in the rules, possibly by design. Generally, Paranoia leaves a lot up to the GM and welcomes this sort of GM creativity.

I've tried the following:

1. Player can't choose that skill. This slows things down because now it involves a back-and-forth interaction with the left player.
2. GM clobbers a different skill on the left player's sheet. This slows things down, but not as badly as 1.
3. Similar to 2, but the active player chooses the skill on the left player's sheet. This is about as quick as 2. The point here is that the left player has all the more reason to hate the active player.

In practice, I stuck with using 2 for expediency.

• If it is explicitly ambiguous its probably worth including whatever quote makes it explicit - it would seem to be relevant... – Chris Oct 18 '18 at 21:03
• @Chris My read of "explicitly" is that the rules don't cover it. That might not be everyone else's read of it, so I removed that word. – okeefe Oct 18 '18 at 21:53

To resolve this as fast as possible we do the following:

The Clobbering takes precedence. So, if I force the player to my left to set a skill to -2 and he already had a +3 there, the -2 stands. Then, at the end of skill selection, anyone that does not fulfill the main rule that everyone must have five negative skills and five positive skills gets to assign the missing positives.

They have to pick skills that have no score yet, so at the end they have their 10 skills.

This means they might not have the positive skills they originally wanted, but at least they picked them all themselves.