Rutskarn’s RPG Tales: Paranoia (Full Session Recording)

By Rutskarn
on Aug 16, 2015
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Hey, everyone, it’s Rutskarn. I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with your farmer’s almanac, but the Time of Terror and Blood was recently upon us, and the Great Beast you know as Josh was briefly trapped inside the Southern California ley line. I took advantage of his psychic imprisonment to schedule an ad hoc game of Paranoia. Unfortunately for you, I recorded it.

Also starring: Josh’s brother Glitch, Glitch’s fiancee Madison.

Keep in mind that this session was planned, run, recorded, and in some capacity edited on the fly. I didn’t even know we’d be playing Paranoia when I arrived (I brought a suitcase and flash drive that contained about fifteen separate systems and let them decide). Despite that, we had a lot of fun, and hopefully you will too. I’ve cleaned the audio as best as I could and trimmed a few breaks, but I’ll warn you up front–it’s far from perfect. The Hellish winds that follow Josh like ashen cherubs have that effect on a recording suite.

(Note also that anyone who illustrates anything that happened in this session will earn my undying love.)

And below the fold, all notes and secret information that passed this session:


Josh had the mutant power to phase through solid objects when he gave a signal. He was part of a secret society that wanted to gain as much information as possible about the plant. They planted a camera for him in a can of Bouncy Bubble Beverage. Glitch had the mutant power to turn invisible. He was part of a secret society that suspected someone was trying to sabotage the plant. He’d know who the saboteur was because they were acting suspicious, wandering into restricted areas, and recovering classified information. Madison had the mutant power to read notes passed. She was part of a secret society that wanted her to become as irradiated as possible without actually dying. How irradiated is that? Left to her discretion.

And now, the notes. Highlight to declassify:

NOTE 1: MADISON, YOU ARE FIELD-PROMOTED TO LOYALTY OFFICER. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MUTANTS AND TRAITORS.

NOTE 2: JOSH, YOU FOUND YOUR CAMERA

NOTE 3: FROM JOSH TO RUTSKARN: I AM USING THE CAMERA CONSPICUOUSLY

NOTE 4: GLITCH, YOU HAVE TURNED INVISIBLE

NOTE 5: JOSH, YOU HAVE PHASED INTO THE BASEMENT.

NOTE 6: JOSH, YOU SEE A CONSOLE. YOU THINK YOU CAN SHUT DOWN THE MELTDOWN FROM HERE.

NOTE 7: FROM JOSH TO RUTSKARN: I TAKE PICTURES OF THE CONSOLE, THEN LEAVE.

NOTE 8: THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY MUTANTS.

NOTE ??? YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO READ THIS NOTE, CITIZEN. PLEASE REPORT TO NEAREST CONFESSION BOOTH TO PROVIDE A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF WHY YOU THOUGHT THIS INFORMATION WAS MISSION-CRITICAL BE PREPARED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF ULTRAVIOLET CLEARANCE (REQUIRED TO HIGHLIGHT WHITE TEXT).

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20201959 comments. It's getting crowded in here.

From the Archives:

  1. Grimwear says:

    Nothing like hopping onto the site before bed to check if anything has been posted only to find the recording that Rutskarn mentioned previously but that you had completely forgotten about. Then the feeling of resignation as you know sleep will be postponed for another hour. Can’t wait to get started let’s do this!

  2. Nimas says:

    Woo! Something to listen to as I do my boring dreary job. Huzzah!

    • Rutskarn says:

      Friend Computer has instructed us that our assigned labors are fun and rewarding. Do you think you don’t find your fun and rewarding because you’re a traitor or because you’re defective?

      • Majromax says:

        But everyone’s foremost labour is eternal vigilance and defense of Alpha Complex from traitors. Were everyone’s “boring dreary jobs” intellectually stimulating, then those routine tasks might interfere with that vigilance — or worse yet prompt treasonous, independent thought.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Troubleshooter Majromax-R says that being vigilant against treason would clash with feeling happy with fulfilling ones obligations assigned to them by the Friend Computer.Troubleshooter also goes on to say how Alpha Complex is full of traitors.And Majromax-R admits to be prone to having thoughts of treason.

  3. James says:

    Before i listen to the rest of the Paranoia EP
    Congrats to Glitch on getting engaged

  4. Ilseroth says:

    What a pleasant way to spend my morning, look forward to more of these hopefully.

    I find it interesting that Reginald, the one expected to fly off the handle, was probably the most calm and collected of the group. His deaths primarily came due to the actions of the other two and he only performed maybe a couple acts of wanton destruction.

    You said you literally had a briefcase full of those systems. Let’s be honest, when packing games you always have a few you hope are picked, which were those this time?

  5. Wide And Nerdy says:

    “Crazy Drunkard”

    Josh is the Nick Nolte of the group?

  6. Florian the Mediocre says:

    That was great. I hope you get a chance to do another session together.

    Also: I would like to report to Friend Computer that citizen Shamus Young has, through deliberate choice of background color, jeopardized the notes’ security. I hope his treason will be punished appropriately.

    Long live Friend Computer!

  7. Grudgeal says:

    Perfect thing to listen to while delirious and in bed with this Commie Mutant Cold I have. Hail Friend Computer.

  8. Metal C0Mmander says:

    So wasn’t Madison in full right to try to kill glitch’s character in any way she saw fit since she had been field-promoted to loyalty officer?

  9. Glitch says:

    I love that we didn’t edit out dinner discussions.

    Bubba Gumps, anyone?

  10. Warclam says:

    These troubleshooters should improve their report-giving skills before their next deployment. On the accusation of resisting execution and thwarting execution of Blue clearance personnel, Poindexter neglected to report that upon becoming aware of these transgressions, he immediately took steps to execute the offender.

  11. batti says:

    Oi, you forgot the metadata, at least for the mp3

  12. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Someone told me to tell you that its a shame this game didn’t have a happiness officer. I don’t know who they were or what they were talking about.

  13. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Hmm… trying a repost again since it looks like the comment didn’t go through the first two times (and I don’t see it a awaiting moderation or anything?), maybe because of the number of links? Gonna try to post without the links. Actually, if it turns out the other two go through eventually maybe leave this one please as I give more details about the streamers here?

    I was in tears I laughed so hard at this one, oh I miss Aunty Paladin’s, too bad it didn’t even archive properly. You should really do regular roleplaying recordings.

    On that note, can someone recommend any good RPG recording groups? Either video or sound is fine, ideally something either concluded or ongoing (not dead mid-campaign) and with limited out-of-game drama. Obviously mileage may vary so a brief mention of what to expect would be welcome.

    Myself I had fun with LRR’s “Temple of the Lava Bears” (D&D concluded campaign by a professional comedy group, much fun was had) and I’m loosely keeping an eye on Missclicks and affiliated people (JP McDaniel and Neal Erickson). Be warned that Misslicks games, and those involving the Missclicks crew, tend to be more chaotic, as campaigns are more freeroaming and many of the players are on the inexperienced side (some just starting with roleplaying) and there were occasional bouts of out-of-game drama and clashing personalities* in the vids I’ve seen, though with decent damage control afterwards. I think Neal’s YouTube channel offers the greatest variety in terms of RPs out of the three.

    *I know in particular Geoff Robinson rubs some people the wrong way so if you know you have a dislike of the guy you may want to avoid some of the games.

    • TMC_Sherpa says:

      Shut Up and Sit Down recorded a couple but they are mostly a board game site so RPGs aren’t their focus.

      Fear The Boot is a RPG podcast but I don’t remember them recording any sessions.

      I realize this doesn’t help you specifically but if anyone is looking for more podcasts in their life I can recommend both of them.

    • Zak MacKracken says:

      Oh the LRR thing! I was pretty excited when they did this but the fact that they sit around a conference table in what looks like a conference room and all have microphones in their faces somehow impacts the atmosphere… a lot.
      based on the frequent roleplaying/MTG scenes in their sketches I expected a more relaxed setting…

    • Halfling says:

      The One Shot Podcast and its sister podcast Campaign are both ongoing and quite excellent.

      Both podcasts are put together by some improvisers and tend to be incredibly humorous.

      One Shot is of course about one shots like this Paranoia game, I am pretty sure they did Paranoia at one point.

      Campaign is a long form story using Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars RPG.

    • Eskel says:

      Titansgrave on Geek & Sundry was fun to watch. They just finished first season with second hopefully in the works.

    • Lilith Novale says:

      My favourite Actual Play podcasts are:

      * The Jankcast. My absolute favourite group. Their Apocalypse world game is particularly great.
      * RollPlay R&D. This one’s also pretty cool – they do short campaigns of various systems. Also, on the same channel, there’s a whole bunch of other campaigns of various games
      * Pretend Wizards. This is probably the best D&D game I’ve heard – usually I can’t stand D&D, but this game actually sounds fun.

  14. Paul Spooner says:

    Not exactly an illustration of “anything that happened”, but certainly inspired by listening to the podcast.
    http://www.tryop.com/MediaDocs/ParanoiaRutskarn/SleepModules.jpg
    More to come if there’s interest. I need to get a good “Troubleshooter” rig first.

  15. Cybron says:

    That was great.

    I am sad Madison missed the chance to claim she was merely returning the grenade to her equipment officer, as is any troubleshooter’s proper duty.

  16. River Birch says:

    My only sadness is that no muffins were harmed in the baking of the nuclear power plant.

  17. Varler says:

    Hey, it’s been a bit since this was posted, but it was a blast to listen to! Paranoia is my all time favorite table top rpg, and it was nice to hear a group doing it justice. :)

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