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Paranoia (RPG Rulebook) [Paperback]

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Item description for Paranoia (RPG Rulebook) by Allen Varney...

YOU ARE IN ERROR. NO ONE IS SCREAMING. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION. The Computer is happy. The Computer is crazy. The Computer will help you become happy. This will drive you crazy. Being a citizen of Alpha Complex is fun. The Computer says so, and The Computer is your friend. Many traitors threaten Alpha Complex. Many happy citizens live in Alpha Complex. Most happy citizens are crazy. Which are more dangerous traitors or happy citizens? Rooting out traitors will make you happy. The Computer tells you so. If you are not happy, The Computer will use you as reactor shielding. Being a Troubleshooter is fun. The Computer tells you so. Do you doubt The Computer, citizen? Troubleshooters get shot at, stabbed, mangled, incinerated, poisoned, stapled, blown to bits and accidentally executed. This is so much fun many Troubleshooters go crazy. You work with many Troubleshooters. They all carry lasers. Aren t you glad you have a laser too? Won t this be fun? Stay alert! Trust no one! Keep your laser handy! When PARANOIA was first published almost 20 years ago, amid fears of nuclear war and job loss to those newfangled desktop PCs, it was instantly popular for its vision of a high-tech, post-holocaust, totalitarian future ruled by a deranged Computer. It won attention too for turning the basic paradigm of RPGs players cooperate on its head, making all players secret traitors who can only advance by uncovering treason. Happily, today those fears are obsolete. Instead, we have spam, viruses, trojans, malware, distributed denial of service attacks, the RIAA, cyberwarfare, identify theft, terrorists, the Patriot Act, terrifying new diseases, the threat of environmental catastrophe, the grey goo scenario, and weapons of mass destruction.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.8" Width: 8.5" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 3, 2004
Publisher   Mongoose Publishing
ISBN  1904854265  
ISBN13  9781904854265  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Role Playing & Fantasy > General
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Gaming

Reviews - What do customers think about Paranoia (RPG Rulebook)?

Great RPG for one shots  Apr 19, 2008
This is a very fun RPG game. Great for one shot sessions. Imagine Logans Run mixed with Monty Python. You play a Clone in Alpha complex. You have six clones. You will need them .The computer that runs the complex is insane. You go on troubleshooting missions for the computer and try to have traitors arrested or killed. You are a traitor, as is everyone else on your team. You just don't know it yet ! It pits the players against each other and the DM runs them through scenarios. Its really fun. And goofy.
The computer is your friend. Hail the computer. Remember happiness is mandatory. If your not happy report for termination.
Paranoia 3: Rise of the Machines  May 31, 2006
Paranoia XP is the newest and in my opinion best version of the Paranoia game line. Here are people who need not apply (just to get you guys on to games better suited for your playstyle):

Gamers who like heavy combat tactics needn't look into Paranoia XP. Most of the weapons will kill a clone in one shot.

Gamers who like strategy in character generation or advancement needn't look into Paranoia XP.

Gamers who tend toward heavier systems (D&D, Rifts, HERO, GURPS) probably should tread with caution, as Paranoia XP's system is one die roll-under for everything. The rules are simple: roll a d20, get under Skill. Then if the GM decides you succeed, you succeed.

Gamers intent on character growth and development can find some support for such here, but under Classic rules, characters die often and hilariously.

If you like intra-party harmony, a good idea for nearly all RPGs, shouldn't look here. Paranoia is about backstabbing your fellow Troubleshooter.

If you enjoy having larger than life heroes, don't look into Paranoia XP. Paranoia XP characters are incompetant, ignorant, and insane.

Well, if you're still here, you either don't care about the above, or you're still interested to hear about the game itself, well, here goes:

By the way, you might have noticed I'm not bothering with any "HAPPINESS IS MANDATORY!" or "NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR SECURITY CLEARANCE!" stuff, because I know it can be quite offputting to those looking into the game. It's an "in" joke, and using it against people who aren't "in" yet is a bit mean and/or foolish.

The game is about a complex, an underground post-modern utopia called the Alpha Complex, which is run by an AI called The Computer. Or it would be a utopia, if The Computer wasn't insane and paranoid, looking for commie mutant traitors. The Computer has security cameras everywhere, and regulates everything in the complex: air, food, plumbing, industry, economy, etc. Everything. But that's not the worst of it.

The mass of population is heavily medicated, usually happy in their existence mowing about the complex and doing their assigned duties. But not the player's characters! They have gotten the honor of being moved up in security clearance, from a lowly INFRARED to the slightly less lowly RED. Their job has been reassigned to Troubleshooter, and they get a laser gun! They go on fantastic suicidal/impossible missions for The Computer to root out commie mutant traitors, secret society members, and other sabateurs of The Computer. There's only one problem...

All the characters are mutants, and all belong to a Secret Society (perhaps even Communists). All the characters are traitors. And it's not like players don't know that everyone is a traitor. Instant mayhem, just add water and stir.

If this sort of game doesn't interest you, Paranoia XP is not for you.
You are in error. No one is screaming. Happiness is mandatory!  Feb 16, 2006
This is the single most entertaining RPG book on my shelf. As far as reading the material goes, it's a perfect example of what you can do by turning normally frowned on RPG behavior into a drop dead riot of a game. The emphasis here is on the drop dead part.

While the text of the game goes to great lengths in instilling in the reader a sense of how the game is supposed to be played, in the end there are only two rules that need following.

1. The GM is always right.
2. Happiness is mandatory!

It's that simple, and it couldn't be more fun to read this book. Once you understand that every bit of it is cleverly written to convey the theme of Paranoia to the reader, you don't feel like you are being lectured yet again on the proper application of an attack roll. Rather you are learning what it is to be a GM/Player of this great game.

I only hold one complaint which is so minor that it didn't even effect me giving this game a perfect score.

Normally I don't find it necessary to print two seperate books for the core of a game. I actually prefer many games where GM and player information can be easily included together in one well laid out tome. Basically I don't think it's normally necessary to have to have two or more books to play and run a game. However in this case I think I would've preferred a division of the book into a distinct Player's guide and a distinct GM's manual. I think this is truly one of those games where the player's are better served to discover the ins and outs through regular play. In the case of Paranoia, the fun is in the failure.


If you intend on playing this game, take the books advice and don't read the GM only section. Trust me when I say the tension caused by the unknown is the bread and butter of an enjoyable Paranoia session.

If you're the one buying the book for your group, gather the money together from fellow players and give this as a gift to your GM. He'll thank you, and any GM worth his weight will itch to run this game once he gets his hands on it. After all, what's the point of owning a book you are only supposed to read 48 pages of. PLAY THE GAME FIRST, AND THEN AFTER A WHILE BUY THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF. DON'T RUIN THE FUN BY READING TOO MUCH!

All in all, even if you do intend to ignore my advice and read it all, you'll have a blast doing so. I haven't had this much fun reading an RPG in a long time (with the possible exception of Godlike).

highly reccomend, very original RPG  Apr 29, 2005
This is one of the best RPG's I've come along in a long's extremely unique, fun, relevant to the times, and hillarious! Imagine a dark, dystopian, 1984-like future...except more comic, more insane, and more deadly. It's worth it to buy just to read the book, it's written very well with a dashing brand of twisted humor. My brother loved it too, and just *had* to borrow it once he had read through a bit.

The rules though, I have no idea about...whenever I GM an RPG, I just skip most of the rules and run things in a more story-based, freeform way. So that I can't vouch for...but even if they suck, the setting should make up for it :)
Good text, but the art needs work  Dec 13, 2004
The new Paranoia XP (PXP) is a refreshing breeze for the game. Well written, obviously very thought out, without the problems of 5th edition. It's hard to give a review without comparing it to older editions, of course. Suffice to say that this might be the edition that brings Paranoia out of gaming limbo.

Everything is well thought out, from mutations to secret societies to the history and functioning of Alpha Complex. The increased use of personal computers, PDAs and the Internet is now reflected in PXP. The humor is present, but in measured doses, and there was (thank goodness) no attempt to go "over the top" with things. No acronyms simply to make funny acronyms, for instance. Character creation is notably different from previous editions (no stats for Strength, Intelligence, etc.), but now characters can improve themselves. With the addition of three play styles - Zap, Classic, and Straight - they may actually live long enough to do so! ("Straight" Paranoia, for instance, presumes a dark, gritty, realistic game, while Classic is 1st/2nd edition style, and Zap is simply "everyone shoots everything and each other".)

The downside? Well, the index isn't as helpful as you might think, and it's hard to find the chapter breaks. Several times when I wanted to look up a specific table or information, I ended up leafing through the book to find what I wanted.

Also, a mention on the artwork. Jim Holloway was the original Paranoia artist in 1984. He's been tapped again for PXP, and it appears his style has not evolved or improved in 20 years. Paranoia purists might enjoy it, but I was hoping for something a little more updated, more in keeping with the times. No, that doesn't mean I wanted a "manga" look, but there have been other Paranoia artists (Greg Guler, Valerie Valusek, Brian Schomburg, Sonya Obrochta, etc.) who might have been used. I've played Paranoia since 1st edition, and Holloway's artwork has not aged well. Unfortunately, the official word is that Holloway's art will continue to appear in PXP products.

Art and index issues aside, this is a good return to the series' roots. Old-school Paranoia fans should be pleased. I hope PXP will bring new fans into the fold as well.

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