Before we do anything else, let’s take a look at the rest of that cover shall we.
Anyway, what’s this game about? Pen and paper RPGs you may have played before tend to have a few things in commmon:
- You need to use teamwork to achieve your goals
- The GM is a fair and impartial person who runs the game for the enjoyment of the players
- Advancement is measured in loot and gaining abilities.
- You know the rules
None of these things apply to Paranoia.
Paranoia is a dark comedy, set in the self-contained Alpha Complex, which is overseen by The Computer. You have been grown in a vat, and lived as a grade infra-red worker. Everything you are allowed to touch is black, other colours are out of your clearance. Then one day you turn in a co-worker for being a traitor.
Now you are a level Red troubleshooter in service to The Computer. Your job (and the job of your fellow troubleshooters) is to root out and execute traitors. Traitors include mutants and people in secret societies.
Also, you are a mutant and in a secret society.
The object of the game is to complete your mission from Friend Computer, your mission from your secret society, and not get killed. Your secret society mission may well contradict your mission from Friend Computer, and will almost certainly contradict your fellow troubleshooter’s secret society missions.
The GM (or Friend Computer) makes all rolls in secret, and is actively encouraged to fudge or entirely ignore the result in favour of what they find entertaining.
Knowledge of the rules is above your clearance level, and demonstrating knowledge of them is treason.
It’s utterly mad, and it’s fantastic fun.
Generally speaking, you’ll be rolling a D20 and trying to roll under a number that represents the difficulty of what you are trying to do.
In conclusion, if you are tired of having to get along with your friends, or your party frequently finds themselves at odds with each other. Paranoia is perfect for blowing off some steam and getting it all out of your systems. Either as a one-off for an evening, or a long campaign, Paranoia guarantees to be a totally different experience to your standard adventure.
If all this sounds interesting to you, Mongoose recently funded a new version of Paranoia on Kickstarter, so watch that space!