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I am planning on running a play-by-post (pbp) Paranoia Troubleshooters game. Due to the nature of a pbp, we may lose out on the dramatic tension of a proper Paranoia game.

What are ways to increase tension, inter-party distrust, and character information leakage (i.e. players trying to sneak a peek at the "secret" side of the character sheet, or trying to look at other player's notes to the gm) while retaining the asynchronous aspects of a pbp?

The play style is "Classic" (see page 194 of Paranoia: Troubleshooters).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you planning on it being "show up throughout the day and post whenever" or a thing where everyone is scheduled to be on at the same time and actively posting? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Dec 18 '20 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's more on the post whenever side of things. @BenBarden \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18 '20 at 14:55
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I have played many PbPs, including those with Paranoia.

One of the downsides with text form, especially with Paranoia, is it's harder to get away with spelling based gotchas.

However, it's fairly easy to run in a PbP, especially as a "play when ready" scenario.

Regarding your specific question, re "info leakage" you'll have to make the Sheets private, but encourage your players to perhaps "overshare" to compensate for this.

Don't forget, Friend Computer knows all and is an excellent storytelling device.

New Message from Friend Computer: Someone was seen wearing Commie iconography near where Player2 was last seen

Another easy way to allow this leakage is to create different "rooms" on your server for each area so players discussing something in the mess hall can be "reasonably" overheard by another player that happens to be there.

I would also recommend using Zap rather than Classic, as PbPs tend to be rather slow, even with interested parties present. Zap can mitigate this somewhat.

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I find that sending ominous private messages helps increase the tension. For example, during a play-by-post game in a separate system, I was a player and was sent an audio file for some horrific laughter. The other players were not aware of what the sound I heard was or if it was even real. Take advantage of whatever technology you're using to host your play-by-post game!

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