TL:DR;

Role Playing GM Asssitant - Paranoia XP compatible

Character Sheets? You wont be needing those anymore, we got this weird web thing instead! It might work.

Tested on Firefox, Chrome, Windows 7, Android 4, Android 2.3.6. Doesn't work in Internet Explorer, I don't care. Copyrights for all Paranoia related text and images goes to the Paranoia XP RPG owners.

This "application software" (AKA App, AKA a website) is meant to fix a lot of non-fun parts of a roleplaying game - the book keeping. Much more than a character sheet manager, this thing will handle: trading items, buying stuff, secret notes, secret rolls, descriptions, GM/Player/NPC interaction, tracking background info and handy GM reminder tips on actions as they happen. Hopefully saves a lot of time by redirecting certain kinds of interaction away from the GM; players can look at story info and interact with each other without GM oversight and still affect the game. Of the many zany ideas in Paranoia, most are a logistical nightmare and 90% of the game content is intentially unusable within one session. But now all sorts of game elements are easier to manage.

This project started small, originally it was going to be printed equipment cards (before Paranoia kickstarter existed) but I thought a webpage would handle it a bit better & I'd knock something up in a few weeks. Years later, overbudget and monolithically bigger than planned, I now have a project which is almost too big to finish.

Common issues in RPGs

  1. Ever waited for someone to write down equipment?
  2. Ever forgotten to subtract ammo? you have
  3. Ever forgotten the character sheets?! you blew it.
  4. Ever given an object or money to another character and forgot to remove it from your sheet? Sure you didn't...
  5. Ever wanted to buy stuff from an NPC, from a list, without grabbing books or distracting the GM?
  6. Ever carried more equipment than you should be able to without it being part of the story? Suddenly Joe is overburdened, much continuity!
  7. Ever argued about concealed or carried items? Of course I hid my shotgun! dur.
  8. Ever forgotten to use a story element triggered by use of an item? Oops, plot ruined.
  9. Ever not known things about party members which would be visibly obvious? Oh you're an obese midget carrying a bazoka?
  10. Ever modified your sheet in any way that you shouldn't really get away with? Of course I didn't forget to buy rations!
  11. Ever as GM wanted to move/steal/destroy and edit things between player's sheets without their involvement?
  12. Ever repeated area description or NPCs? Partially solved...
  13. Ever rolled dice before declaring your action or been asked to reroll? Throw away all your dice, sorry.
  14. Ever wanted to know where/when and from whom you aquired or did anything with an item/note/anything? Logs!!!
  15. Ever prep a ton of material and forget to use most of it? It might still happen, but might not!
  16. Ever seen a messy character sheet covered in scribble with important scraps of paper going missing? No more paper!
  17. Ever forgotten (or never known) what a skill/anything does? WTF does Moxie do exactly? Oh it's written right here, click to use it!.

Those are problems of the past! Now is the time for new problems - like just being a shit GM / player.

Examples of using this thing

Some situations might play out like the following: (IN THEORY!)

Combat

  1. GM: "Your turn, what do you do?"
  2. PLAYER: "I know, it buzzed me, I Shoot the goon"
  3. GM: "okay use your ammo."
  4. PLAYER scrolls to ammo, clicks it, confirms use of skill. - while adding a few words on who/how they're doing it (optional) and presses 'Done' which alerts the next player.
  5. GM: looks at screeen (or maybe not, with audio earbud), and says "Okay, Player X blasts a red laser beam at Goon and misses, the gun explodes because it was already out of ammo due to defective readout!. And Player Y zaps the goon immediately afterwards, what you doing Player Z?"

In the above example the player didn't need to record ammo, forgot about low ammo, doesn't need to work out which skill or success ratings, replaced rolling dice with clicking. Turns advance automatically, players can start taking their action without waiting. The GM doesn't need to think about math accuracy, sees a result on screen with some extra text that reminds them what to do when ammo is empty, which it is and which the player wouldn't have mentioned and which the GM doesn't even need to ask about. Clicking is slower than dice, but everything else should be faster.

Players trade gear. Click talk, click click, done. Old way, talk, check, talk, talk, write, talk, erase - possible mistakes.

Players want to know about party member gear, click, read, done - gain insight on party appearance too. Possibly still need to ask because some stuff is pocketed, not carried or small etc. Old way, talk, scan sheet, talk - learn nothing else except irrelevant waffle, but everyone does hear it (good/bad). Digital potentially loses some fun, but maybe fun to read out loud?.

Players want to know about area or NPC description again. Click, read, done - no talking. Old way, ask GM specifics, check sheets, talk talk, takes up everyone's time but at least everyone hears it.

Player wants to secretly do anything, click, type type, ???. This is hard to judge, but potentially better than the Old papery way.

GM wants to secretly hand out items, click click, done. Old way, reference and write or hand out prepped notes to specific person - unavoidably obvious, slow.

GM wants to distribute gear and track every detail, done - GM can filter and see GM notes on everything. Old way, good luck remembering where, when all the assigned, missions, lent, defective, illegal gear, conditions, deadlines etc.

Player wants to negatively affect another player using Perversity Points. Private clicking, GM alerted, done. Old way, you get caught all the time so there's not much incentive.

Player wants some roleplaying tips or reminders or inspiration. Filter by mission/abilities, examine party etc, done. Old way, much paper, memorising, book reference, interrupting with questions.

GM sends out piles of distracting forms and the results actually affect the game. GM sends digital form to player, player fills out hilarious form, results are processed and GM sees only relevant text. Old way, form is ignored or takes up GM time.

And so on, see below for more details and imagine the possibilities!!

Paranoia XP RPG Specific features are:

  1. The Computer literally controls everything. Immersion factor 101%!
  2. Can play online or face to face (with network access). But probably works best face-to-face.
  3. Items/Players/NPCs have "clearance" levels marked, GM can easily see clearance violations in logs, players finding objects wont need to ask the GM/Computer what clearance it is. Players can fret more about using that pen because the GM might or might not take notice.
  4. Various "themed" text for mood enhancement.
  5. Filter jobs/missions/illegal/personal/powers/reprimands stuff, easy for GM to see what's still relevant in the game. Easy for player to remember what secret missions they were given.
  6. Links to text on relevant things, your MBD, Secret Society, Skills - all described right there in your face.
  7. Accuse a party member of Treason easily, without bugging the GM, there's a button for it with options! All accusations are saved for the debriefing, much easier for GM to handle.
  8. GM can reward Perversity Points instantly (with fun noise) and also automatically from certain actions, players can spend them privately with text notes to affect the next roll automatically. Easier than poker chips and more private.
  9. GM roll Access/Power for player, handy text feedback for GM, auto-subtract from pool after use.
  10. GM can privately hand out missions, player's can return them as if "completed", deadlines possible.
  11. Tension Level handled for all rolls automatically, with handy text.
  12. GM Lists of stuff, handy. Easy add a new Tic, mutation, secret society to some player - you don't even need to talk to them!
  13. Edit/remove anything about a player, narrow specialty, items, missions etc - you don't even need to talk to them! Handy for pick pockets.
  14. Create random characters/npcs with gear, skills, Tics, everything... Add an MBD. Done in seconds, not a pre-gen and you don't have to explain anything because it's all right in the players face - once you send them the login URL.
  15. Hand out digital Forms, auto-processed, GM summary of what to do based on scoring, GM can check on incompleted forms, forms can auto-feedback to the player. Saves a lot of time for the GM & keeps the forms relevant (assessing forms takes time, no time, no checking, no effort/fun filling it in). eg "You chose conflicting options so you need to stay put while a medicalbot comes to administer corrective pharmaceuticals, please disrobe now." (GM will see that too).
  16. Noise when a player rolls 20 or 1, otherwise generic for GM overrule etc
  17. If you want "random" events that are initiated by players, this system can do that - in total secrecy without any chance of other players suspecting a damn thing. You'd just have to write up some events, distribute them and wait for players to "return" them.
  18. There are certain items a player shouldn't trade - some can't be, but most are allowed, "The Computer" will notice when a player stupidly hands their "assigned" Nuke-Launcher off to someone else and then forgets to hand it in at the end of the mission, the GM has a shopping list of crimes ready to use - without the GM having to remember anything!
  19. GM can set up lots of stuff, players can see names and clearances and descriptions of items, locations, vehicles, bots, anything. Player immersion factor is near maximum while saving a lot of GM time during game.
  20. Tics slowly revealed once player has roleplayed them out. Player 'uses' it, Tic appears in party description. Less text overload at the start of the game, more fun to reveal as played. Auto-reward points, encourages roleplaying it out to get the points etc.
  21. Secret Skills, related to Secret Society. Uncommon, unhealthy, unlikely, with notes.
  22. Secret Agent, for Illuminati, Internal Security or 1 in 20 chance of being a spy as per rules. Gains extra skills when relevant and adds GM notes for sanity.

Common Features:

May be applicable to non-Paranoia games if you just use it for inventory and notes.

  1. it's all mobile compatible, intended for touch screens, fine on computers, a keyboard is handy. Runs very efficiently, fine on old slow tablets and phones.
  2. characters, gm, npcs can be quickly created by GM with various default & random gear/skills/etc, login via URL, easy share URL via email/sms
  3. items, skills, traits, notes, powers, affiliations etc use the same system. only the GM can do certain things such as editing abilities, reprimands etc.
  4. general inventory management can be handled by either the player or GM as if they were the player e.g. destroying your own items etc.
  5. Players can give/lend/return/etc gear & cash/credit with anyone, npc and GM. Cannot do certain actions with objects where it wouldn't make sense -ie giving away a mutation (but the GM can do anything).
  6. notes are the only thing a player can create out of thin air, they can send them to anyone. "Accidental" cheating is solved!
  7. most trades alert the receiver, the GM can see live logs of everything
  8. players can add/edit notes on any of their items(everything).
  9. some things have counters for easy ammo tracking, accounting and money spending.
  10. things can have a picture & URL for more info
  11. things can have weight, which is automatically tracked if the thing is "carried/concealed", burden status becomes part of character summary
  12. things can have price and stock count, for NPCs/objects/internet to sell. GM easily create simple shops in "locations" that show up to players and it handles all non-haggling transactions without bookkeeping, referencing or game-slowing mundane dialogue. Bought items from "online" become "remote storage" in case GM needs to delay delivery :p
  13. everything can be 'used' & descriptive text can be added by player during "use" so that the GM knows the player is trying to do something in particular with an object/skill/personality trait/cash/ability etc
  14. use, move, manage, edit multiple items at once. Not exactly what you're imagining, but still something.
  15. using certain types of items/skills will auto-roll dice, for GM eyes only. e.g. "Using" Laser Barrel will roll skill "Energy Weapons", reduce ammo count and show only the GM the results.
  16. relevant objects can have a "location", be it carried, concealed, at base, etc. Descriptions take this into account, so you can have concealed gear
  17. everything is logged, editing, trading, die rolls, using ammo etc. the GM sees extra details in logs and sometimes sees reminders and tips on attached to certain objects for triggering story events. eg "this object is cursed" might show up when a player "uses" the object. or "explodes when Ammo = zero" will show up when Player is "using" their gun for skill rolls.
  18. some objects can be handed out as "temporary assigned gear" which needs to be returned later, this is easy for the GM to see and punish accordingly
  19. cash/credit has it's own special log that shows where the money went and why, eg "you lent $100 to bob", player can edit this log, money can have weight per unit and create different kinds of currency only accepted by certain NPC/vendor
  20. objects can be owned but hidden from a player, visible to GM for various sneaky reasons
  21. lots of filters for objects to easily view your personal items, cash, missions, skills, illegal items etc
  22. Party/Character/NPC/Area descriptions are automatically generated from your carried & worn gear + character bio + treason codes + conditions + hidden descriptive items added by GM. Even personality traits enter the description AFTER they'd been used & with automatic reward points.
  23. the GM can hand out cash and other kinds of rewards, these are linked to sound effects for silly fun, Cha Ching!
  24. dice can be rolled, skills can be 'used' to cause a die roll, sound effects happen etc but the player's only get a general idea of their result because this is PARANOIA
  25. GM can make players & NPCs be in various "locations" so that each player sees a different list of NPCs to interact with depending on player "location"
  26. Players can read their sheet between games, things can happen between games, the GM can still check logs to police it.
  27. re-arrange inventory list, put you're favourite stuff near the top (doesn't work for some types of things), new trades always at top so you don't miss new items/missions/notes.
  28. Text-To-Speech for GM logs. Why read? You can have an earbud feeding you instant updates on Player actions! eg. the GM is busy with a player, another player clicks some stuff, earpiece tells the GM the player name, item/skill used, the roll, failure status, failed tension level, extra text the player supplied etc. The GM can space out for a second and then bust out some witty storytelling like an all-seeing god! "Suddenly you realise that your wrench is missing!" (because another player stole it)
  29. Semi-random words accompany some "used" things to help GM colourfully describe actions.
  30. Game Time and Real Time are logged with everything, Game Time can pause or change. Turn Tracker automatically advances Game Time by X each round.
  31. Deadlines can exist, GM can see items with due & expired deadlines, Deadline could even be used to track a condition like poison to inform the GM or player when it will wear off; in or out of combat.
  32. Turn & Wound tracker, buzzes/alerts your device when it is your turn. Tracks turns, rounds, lingering effects etc. Lock down non-essential stuff so you can pay attention! Uses location to avoid having a turn when you're not present.
  33. Automatic music play. Set the GM Note as autoplay and assign a .mp3 to the URL

The player and object user interface is minimal enough that you can customise easily, not many "labels" in the UI. Add a "player" to the party but name it "Vehicle" or "Base" and the party can interact with it to store gear in it or read the summary of gear in it, getting gear back is up to the GM though. NPCs can be vending machines, online stores etc.

Features from the future!

  1. GM Send a picture or text chunk to everyone in a location. This is sort of possible already via the "Examine Area" button but not idiot-proof.

Concepts avoided

  1. Credit licenses and cash hackers: Not a good idea, impractical, silly in an RPG (IMHO)
  2. Propaganda skill: not worth it? maybe.
  3. Service Firm groups: maybe later, just text appended to Service Firm card and maybe list of silly missions.
  4. Secret Society "A,B,C" ratings: changed to just Violet, Indigo, UV. Illuminati is UV too, GM needs to just ignore SS Class or remember the SS Class roughly matches Clearance