For the Paranoia RPG:
This post is for all those Paranoia RPG lovers out there. This Speculative Object exists in the fictional setting of Paranoia.
The Experimental Screwdriver
Any veteran Paranoia player knows that there is nothing more dangerous than experimental equipment. If it doesn’t create a giant explosion, it always jams in the middle of battle. After awhile though, paranoia players get too used to the idea. My solution for this problem is the experimental screwdriver. The experimental screwdriver is made of titanium alloy and employs special polymer grip technology so that the screwdriver never slips from your hands. It has a compartment containing so many variant extensions that it can unscrew anything in Alpha Complex.
Of course like all things in the Paranoia RPG, this design just seems to be too good to be true. Well it is true except: if any member of Green security clearance or higher sees it, they will use their superior clearance to steal it. Among high security clearances citizens in Alpha Complex rumors about this screwdriver abound and they all want it for themselves. Any attempt to recover the screwdriver from the higher clearance thief is accused of being a traitor. Now for the finisher.
The experimental screwdriver has a homing beacon. Despite being constantly stolen it always seems to return to the party in the most unexpected ways. But why would R and D would offer this object to Red Trouble shooters? What are the true motives of these misfits, the apparently least successful bureaucracy in all of the Paranoia RPG? Look at the facts. Red troubleshooters always get experimental weapons that spell disaster Why are experimental weapons with large explosive power are given to such nubes?
Perhaps R and D gives disaster prone devices to Reds because they have such strict deadlines. Maybe they want to hide their true purpose, which is supplying innovative equipment to Blue clearance levels or higher (a Blue Killbot’s weapon systems never malfunction). It could be the case the R and D is sadistic. Or perhaps the oranges and yellows, its rank and file, know what every self respecting paranoia player knows: the best way to the top is to terminate your competition.
So, given these conspiracy theories, I will ask my question again. Why give such an expensive prototype to the red players of Paranoia? R and D is merely testing the homing beacon. The Violets and Ultraviolets that will receive this screwdriver want to make sure it never gets lost, and who better to test a homing beacon then Red Troubleshooters? Meanwhile, the players will go crazy trying to find this damn screwdriver, which is worth more than their life and all their clones.
The experimental screwdriver is to keep your players off guard. While I’ve seen the great fun that can derive from characters arguing amongst themselves, from explosions from experimental equipment, from equipment guys that ruin equipment by “testing” it, etc. I think the most humorous cases arise from when characters are put on the spot or from deaths that were completely unexpected. COULD YOU GIVE ME A REPORT ON YOUR EXPERIMENTAL SCREWDRIVER, CITIZEN?