Paranoia Conversion to Basic Roleplaying – Mutant Powers

Converting the Mutant Powers from Paranoia has been more difficult and time-consuming than I anticipated. I’ve decided to use the psychic powers from Basic Roleplaying, with a few changes of course.

There are several benefits to this approach, the powers fit the system and there are twenty if you take out Divination. You can have the players roll on the following table and use the power almost as written in Basic Roleplaying:

Roll Power
1 Astral Projection
2 Aura Detection
3 Clairvoyance
4 Cryokinesis
5 Danger Sense
6 Dead Calm
7 Eidetic Memory
8 Emotion Control
9 Empathy
10 Intuition
11 Levitation
12 Mind Blast
13 Mind Control
14 Mind Shield
15 Precognition
16 Psychometry
17 Pyrokinesis
18 Sensitivity
19 Telekinesis
20 Telepathy

We still need to deviate from the rules slightly to get that ‘good old’ Paranoia feeling:

  • Each character would still ‘only’ get one power as rolled, and would not be able to learn others during the course of the game.
  • Swap one of the powers in the list for Machine Empathy if you want it. Hey Kids! It’s just like regular Empathy, but for Robots! (And computers.) This highly treasonous power was left off the list because I don’t like it, but feel free to include it in your own game.
  • Powers in Paranoia backfire, often, and more spectacularly than your standard fumbles. Power rolls will always fumble on a roll of 96 or higher. The exact effect of the fumble should depend on the power used and be up to the gamemaster, however they should rebound and temporarily incapacitate the character as often as possible. The chances for critical and special successes is unchanged.
  • Characters in Paranoia don’t really understand their powers, they’re untrained, don’t really know what they are doing, and cannot use them efficiently. All power point costs for using powers are doubled.
So that’s the powers done. To be honest most of the time spent was deciding between using Psychic Powers, Super Powers, Spells, or a mixture of the three. I decided on Psychic powers because they’re not so over the top and I didn’t want the powers to be central to the adventures, they should be used sparingly.

Next Steps…

So that leaves Equipment and a few odd and sods to go. You know, status and how you advance, and also treason and why it’s bad for you. I’ll also be taking away the Fate Point house rule I use in most games.



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