Daily Illuminator

December 1, 2014: Procrastination, Paranoia, And Railroads

These things are related, but not the way you think. The Computer knows what you're thinking, and this is not it. But I digress.

I'm a procrastinator. You think I have admitted my flaw there, but trust me . . . I have more.

In particular, I put off writing. Sometimes I think the only way that I get anything written at all is to write something instead of what I'm supposed to be writing. During November, which has just ended, I was supposed to write a couple of Illuminators that I did not, in fact, get written in November. This is both of them. Thus the title.

Paranoia. You know what that is, right? That's when you think that the railroads are out to get you because you put things off.

Well, actually, no. Paranoia is a game in which you get railroaded. Okay, no, that's not where I was going either. I am trying to get to the point, but I keep putting it off.

The point is that Paranoia, which is one of my very favorite RPGs, is going into a new and improved edition. Of COURSE it is improved. The Computer is always right. The progress of The Computer is always forward. The Kickstarter is going into its final couple of days, and it is massively oversupported already, but you want to support it anyway, right now. Trust me, you do. The Computer is watching, and it knows who's sending money and who is just standing around, procrastinating, until it's over.

The lead designer is the disturbingly brilliant James Wallis, whom we have to thank for, among other things, Once Upon a Time and The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He will be assisted by the creators of Paranoia, Eric Goldberg and Greg Costikyan. The new edition has hit all kinds of stretch goals and will include all kinds of Stuff, which as loyal servants of The Computer you will need in order to battle against the terrorists that are everywhere, threatening our lives, our homes, our very way of life, insidiously working themselves into the fabric of our society in order to destroy it from within. The traitors! Also, there are mutants! MUTANTS! Aaaaaaaaah! Mutant terrorists! Mutant Commie terrorists! Everywhere!

Citizen, if you find yourself manifesting a mutation of any variety, it is your duty to immediately submit Form 0000000001, Confession. Remember to fully implicate any other mutants you may know or suspect. Be sure to complete Attachment A, naming all terrorists, Commies, and other varieties of traitor with whom you may be acquainted. Feel free to accuse pretty much anyone who has annoyed you, because they are almost certainly guilty of something, and The Computer will find out what.

And go support that Kickstarter now. Do not procrastinate.

So what's all this about railroads, then? Simple. November was National Model Railroad Month. Model railroads are excellent things. (They're simulations, after all.) And Lego model railroads are, not to put too fine a point on it, AWESOME. So, had I gotten this written any time during November, I would have mentioned the National Model Railroad Association, as well as Railbricks, the forum and magazine for Lego model railroaders. And I would have put in a plug for my own club, the Texas Brick Railroad, just in case any of you out there are closet Lego RR fans who happen to live in Texas. You never know!

Alas, I didn't write that. In my heart, of course, every month is Model Railroad Month. But, even if we stick to the calendar, another November will come around.

So get those trains ready. November will be here before you know it. Don't procrastinate!

-- Steve Jackson

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