- 1 INTRODUCTION
- 2 THE GAME ATMOSPHERE
- 3 SETUP
- 4 CLEARANCE LEVELS
- 5 MISSION CARDS
- 6 GAMEPLAY AND OBJECT
- 7 DEATH IN ALPHA COMPLEX
- 8 TREASON IS TREASON
- 9 ONLY LIVING TROUBLESHOOTERS WIN
- 10 Some Notes on Atmosphere of Play...
- Welcome to Alpha Complex Citizen! Because you turned in your friend for Treason, The Computer has, in its omniscient wisdom, seen fit to grant you RED clearance and has given you the bonus duty of becoming a Troubleshooter. Your new job is to find Trouble and Shoot it. Be wary Citizen! There are many Commie Mutant Traitors seeking to undermine the utopia of Alpha Complex and The Computer. However, finding and executing these traitors will be easy, fun and safe. The Computer says so. Remember to always keep your laser handy, and Happiness is Mandatory!
THE GAME ATMOSPHERE
The world of PARANOIA is best described as a dystopian society contained in an underground complex about the size of Northern California that is run by a seriously deranged and Paranoid artificially intelligent computer. The computer's intact records of history consist heavily of 1950's war propaganda, so it is understandably concerned about the "communist threat". The Computer routinely employs teams of "Troubleshooters" to go root out the commies, mutants and Traitors that its paranoia insists must exist within its complex. The Truth is that EVERYONE in Alpha Complex is a commie mutant traitor to one degree or another. In this game, players will attempt to carry out a mission given by the Computer while attempting to deceive, betray, accuse, and summarily execute as many of the other players as possible.
This will be best if you have one nest of each of the following colors, per player; BLACK, RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, (light)BLUE, (dark blue)INDIGO and VIOLET. Even though I believe that this game could conceivably be played by up to 8 people, it's really only designed for 3-5 (6 max..).
- Give each player 1 large piece of each color that they will stack in front of them in the following order, starting with Red on bottom. Red, Orange, Yellow Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. (ROY-G-BIV).
- Also give each player one large and one medium Black pyramids. These will Function as each Troubleshooter's "backpack" in which they will hide thier contrab-- er, equipment
- Issue each player 6 markers that will represent his clone family. We will talk about the clones a bit later in the DEATH IN ALPHA COMPLEX Section.
- Shuffle all the Mission Cards and place them face down where all the players may reach them.
- Optional: Shuffle the Mutant Powers cards and deal one to each player. MUTANT POWERS ARE TREASONOUS! Do not reveal your Mutant Power card to any player. Unless you enjoy being summarily executed...
- Optional: Shuffle the Secret Society Cards and issue one to each player. SECRET SOCIETIES ARE TREASONOUS! Do not reveal your Secret Society to any player.
- You are now ready to experience your first mission! Congratulations Troubleshooter! You will have fun. The Computer says so...
Everything anyone might come into contact with in Alpha Complex has a Clearance Level scheme that indicates who is allowed to handle/know/access/etc whatever it is. This Clearance Scheme is color coded and based on the colors of the visible light spectrum. It starts with Black(aka Infrared, the lowest level), Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White (Aka Ultra-Violet the highest level). The Small and Medium sized pyramids that you put into the bag earlier represents the things that Troubleshooters must use or do to complete their missions such as Equipment, Files, Access to certain Areas, etc. Use the Shortcut ROY-G-BIV to make it easier to remember the color order. Players can also refer to the stacks of Large pyramids that were made during setup for a visual representation of this. The Higher up the color in the stack, the higher the Clearance Level.
Contraband: Contraband is basically any pyramid that is a "higher" color than the Troubleshooter's current Clearance Level. For Example: if Mary draws a Green pyramid from the bag on her turn, but she is only Orange Clearance, then it is Contraband. If another player discovers that Mary has contraband, they will probably seek to Terminate her for Treason (See the TREASON IS TREASON Section for what constitutes Treason.)
<//cc_truehack_mem^^^&$Pgold_Break_in//>: (TIPS FOR HIDING CONTRABAND): Alright, I'll make this quick Citizen. The Computer is nuts. It wants you to complete missions without violating your clearance level, but wont give you access to what you need to do it. Everything will either be a higher clearance level than you are, or somewhere you're not allowed to go, etc. So, you need to be slick about using the Contraband you get and Promote quickly so that you are cleared to handle more stuff safely. Make sure that none of your fellow Troubleshooters see your contraband or make sure that they can't do anything about it if they do. Make sure that you keep 'all' the pyramids you draw hidden from view. It's best to keep em all guessin! Now, the Really Important thing you need to know is, Never---<<System_AnomolyDetectProtcol22435667_***!!>> (THE "TIPS FOR HIDING CONTRABAND" TEXT HAS BEEN DELETED AND IS CONSIDERED "NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW" INFORMATION. PLEASE REPORT TO THE NEAREST TERMINATION BOOTH. HAVE A GREAT DAYCYCLE!)
The mission cards contain some important information about what the Troubleshooters should be doing, how they might promote to higher security Clearances and how to complete the current Mission Phase. Following is a sample Mission Card. Even though most of the cards are pretty self-explanatory, I will break them down below...
Atmosphere text: This is just really giving everyone a basic idea of what the Troubleshooters are up to during this phase. It really doesn't have any impact on the game except to provide players some inspiration when making their accusations and so forth(see the Some notes on atmosphere of gameplay section below for more on this topic).
Promotion Requirement Text: During each phase, there is always a chance to advance your Troubleshooter a clearance level. This text describes what conditions must be met for Promotion to occur. Note: . When the text says "promote a troubleshooter who executes..." It is not referring to a single handed termination but merely participation in the execution.
Phase Requirement Box: This box shows which pyramids must be played onto the card in order to complete the phase and move on to the next mission phase.
Friend Computer Tension Level: If left to their own devices, a Troubleshooter team would spend all their time thinking of ways to do each other in instead of attempting to carry out the Mission. The Tension Level indicates how much patience The Computer has in relation to this phase of the mission. The number displayed is the maximum number of rounds that players have to resolve the phase before Friend Computer starts handing out Summary Executions. After the number of rounds have been exceeded, The Computer automatically Terminates every troubleshooter who has not played a phase requirement onto the mission card. After that, players have half (round up) the tension level to resolve the mission phase before the next round of executions begin and the second time will be ALL troubleshooters terminated. If a second round of terminations occur, the current mission phase is over. Draw a new mission phase card as normal.
GAMEPLAY AND OBJECT
One game of Paranoia is broken down into a number of Phases. Each Phase must be completed before Troubleshooters can move on to the next Phase and at least three must be completed (assuming that anyone can survive that long) before the game can end. Play progresses in rounds until the current phase is completed. The Object of Paranoia is to have fun, survive to the end, and gleefully betray, deceive, and summarily execute everyone else. Before they do it to you... See the ONLY LIVING TROUBLESHOOTERS WIN Section for more about winning conditions.
WHO GOES FIRST?
The Team Leader will start play. Choose the team leader by popular vote. If this results in a tie (or everyone voting for themselves), issue funball bats to everyone and settle things like true Troubleshooters. Alternatively, you can have everyone draw a pyramid from the bag. Whoever gets the highest color is the team leader.
The team leader will start the game by drawing and turning over a mission card. He/She will then take one of the TURN ACTIONS listed below. After the action has been resolved, play progresses to the right.
During play a Troubleshooter may take two different types of actions; Free Actions and Turn Actions. A Free Action is something a troubleshooter can do whether it is their turn or not. A Turn Action is something a troubleshooter can do only when it is his/her turn. Following is a list and description of each action.
- Speak Freely : This basically means that a player can talk to whoever he wants about whatever he wants.
- Pass Notes : This one is just like speak freely, but on a note. So that thimgs are all private-like.
- Participate in a Summary execution : When a summary execution is called for, this action allows you to add your firepower to the accuser's making it more likely that the accused dies. See the Summary execution action description below for more detail on how this works.
- Beg for your life : Pretty much what it sounds like... Usually happens during a summary execution.
- Use a Mutant Power : Just say "I use my Mutant Power!", do what your Mutant Power card says, and prepare for execution...Note: This is the only free action with a restriction. Using a Mutant power cannot be used during a players turn, only when it is NOT their turn.
- Get Promoted : Sometimes there might be conditions while playing the game that indicate a Troubleshooter should be Promoted. Upon the conditions being met, that Player may immediately promote to the next Clearance level.
- Redistribute contraband : This simply means that you can move your contraband from one black pyramid to another.
After a Player performs one of the actions below, their turn is over.
- Fill out Paperwork : This is essentially passing your turn (not recommended).
- Requisition/Turn in Equipment : This action allows a player to draw pyramids from the bag, or replace currently held pyramids with new ones. The player may draw/replace up to two pyramids from/to the bag.
- Snoop/Surveillance : This action allows you to look under the medium black pyramid of any other player to see if that player has contraband. You must not allow any other player to see the hidden pyramid, but you may say anything you want about it.
- Frame : use this action to put a piece of your contraband into the backpack of any other player. The receiving player may not stop this action.
- Pat Down Search : With the Team Leader's permission, you may perform a pat down search of any player, which allows you to remove his large black pyramid to reveal what's underneath. If there is no contraband when the pyramid is removed, then both the searching player and the team leader are immediately demoted one clearance level with all the consequences that demotion implies(if a player is RED clearance this means summary execution by The Computer...) Note: If the Team Leader denies this request, the player's turn is still over.
- Play a Phase Requirement : This means you will play one of your hidden pieces onto the current mission card in order to satisfy a requirement of that card. NOTE: A troubleshooter who plays a piece of contraband for this reason shall suffer no punishments, cannot be executed or demoted, for having the contraband. Friend Computer likes it when things get done!
- Request a Summary Execution: When a Troubleshooter suspects that a player is guilty of Treason, he/she may request that the guilty Troubleshooter be Summarily Executed. This is another event that must be approved by the Team Leader. If the Team Leader approves, then the accuser and anyone else who wants to participate may Terminate the traitor. Anyone who wishes to terminate the traitor should form their hand into a gun and point it at the victim. If there are enough participants, the Troubleshooter is Terminated and loses a clone. (See the DEATH IN ALPHA COMPLEX section for details.)
- '(Optional)' Start a Firefight: If a Troubleshooter wishes to Summarily Execute a Troubleshooter without going through the hassle of getting the Team Leader's permission, he or she can Start a Firefight. Simply announce that you are starting a firefight, and point at the victim much like in a summary execution. At this point and by turns, any player may participate in the firefight by pointing at any other player. If a player does not choose to participate in the firefight, he is said to be taking cover. Any players taking cover before they are pointed at should cover their head with their arms and cannot be hit in the firefight due to their cowardice. If a Player has been pointed at before it is their turn in the Firefight, then they cannot hide and will suffer damage as usual, but may return fire or shoot at anyone else not taking cover. Damage is recorded as usual against any player who is being pointed at.
- If the initiating Player survives the firefight, He/She should explain why the firefight started. ("Well, Esteemed Team Leader, that Traitor has a piece of blue Contraband in his small backpack!") At that time the Team Leader should reveal what is under the victim's stated piece. If there is what the initiating player claims there is, then nothing happens. If there isn't, then the Initiating player loses a clone immediately and is demoted one clearance level.
DEATH IN ALPHA COMPLEX
Although all missions assigned by Friend Computer are fun and safe, sometimes certain environmental factors (i.e. Other Troubleshooters) can create situations that may result in the untimely demise of loyal citizens. Because of this, The Computer, in it's great generosity, has granted each citizen in Alpha Complex with 6 copies of himself. These Clones are held in stasis until such time as the initial (or Prime) clone has been killed. Upon death, the memories and experiences of the now dead clone are transferred to the next and the Troubleshooter may continue on the mission at hand in a fresh body.
HOW A TROUBLESHOOTER MIGHT DIE
Generally speaking, Troubleshooters are killed by other Troubleshooters, but there are other things that can end them as well. Here is a list of the ways in which Clones can die.
- Summarily Executed by Troubleshooters
- Summary Execution by the Computer. Sometimes the Mission Card may call for Execution if certain conditions are (or are not) met. Those details will be listed in the Card description itself.
- Death by Mutant Power. Again, the Mutant Power Card in question will describe how this is to occur.
DEATH AND DAMAGE
- Summary Executions/Firefights: For every Troubleshooter that points at a player, lower the victim's clearance level by one color. If the Clearance level drops below RED, then the victim is dead and loses a Clone. Also, the killed player is demoted one clearance level from what he/she was prior to execution, unless he/she was already RED clearance.
- NOTE: If a Summary Execution takes place but there are not enough players to kill the Traitor, then the victim may choose to die anyway (and therefore only suffer a demotion of one level) or he/she may choose to live. If the victim chooses life, then he/she will remain at whatever clearance level the attack left him/her at.
- EXAMPLE: Mike-I-LKS-1 experiences a Summary execution by his team for Treason. Three of his Team mates have opted to Terminate him. This would not be enough to kill him, and would only drop him to YELLOW clearance. However, Since he is quite high on the Clearance scale, (INDIGO clearance) he instead decides to allow the Termination to be successful which will result in the loss of a clone, but will only drop him to BLUE Clearance (still quite high). Now he is still in a good position to claim his revenge...
- Summary Execution by The Computer: No need to track Clearance levels and so on. If the Computer performs an Execution, you automatically lose a clone and demote.
- Death by Mutant Power: The Card will contain the details of how the power kills a clone, but the killed player does not demote.
ALRIGHT, I'M DEAD. NOW WHAT?
- . Learn your lesson. Realize that your treason got you killed last time, so you're gonna have to be sneaker this time.
- . Lose a turn. Play continues when you die, then passes you. Players who are dead and waiting for thier clone replacement should not take 'ANY' actions free or otherwise until they have been skipped. After play has skipped you once, do the following things.
- Demote to the clearance level below what you were previous to execution.
- Remove one of your clone markers.
- Return all your pyramids to the bag and replace them with new ones.
- Return your Mutant Power card to the deck and draw a new one.
TREASON IS TREASON
So, now that you know HOW to go about Happily Terminating each other, we should probably talk about WHY we might Terminate someclone. Some of these "why's" may seem pretty self-explanatory and obvious, but others might not. Typically, anything that Friend Computer thinks is a danger or threat to the good working order of Alpha Complex or it's people is considered Treason. But for the Purposes of this game, there are some key concepts that It finds to be Treasonous.
- Possessing Contraband (See the CLEARANCE section above for details)is TREASON.
- Possessing or Using an Un-Registered Mutant Power is TREASON.
- Killing Troubleshooters without Evidence of Treason is TREASON.
- Conducting Pat Down Searches on Innocent Citizens is TREASON.
- Failing to complete Mission Objectives is TREASON.
- Cheating is TREASON (and also very Un-Cool. Really. There are plenty of ways to kill the other players. Don't look under their pyramids when they are going to the bathroom. That's just really stupid.)
ONLY LIVING TROUBLESHOOTERS WIN
There are two ways to determine the "Winner".
- The player(s) who has clones remaining after three mission phases have been completed "win".
- The Player who had the most mandatory fun wins.
OPTIONAL: After playing through three phases, move into the Final Phase... THE DEBRIEFING.
- Since the Troubleshooters have almost assuredly hosed the Mission, Friend Computer often likes to Debrief the Troubleshooters to find out what went wrong. To reflect the usual nature of this event, deduct one clone from each player equal to the number of remaining players -1. For example, if three players remain after three mission phases, then every player will lose an additional two clones. Anyone alive still after THAT is now the winner(s).
So what happens if no-one survives? Refer to the Title of this section... Why do I have to explain this Citizen?
Some Notes on Atmosphere of Play...
This game is the funnest when players role-play their actions a little bit. When you do this, its easier for everyone to get into the spirit of the game. A big step towards accomplishing this is to try and avoid referring to the pyramids themselves and try to remember that they actually represent many different possibilities. Here is a couple of examples:
The "Let's play a Board Game" Session
It's Jonathan's turn, and he decides that he would like to Terminate Hailey for Treason because on his last turn, he Snooped and saw that she has contraband.
"Okay, since it's my turn, and I know that Hailey has a Green Pyramid under her Large Black Pyramid, I am asking the Team Leader for permission to Summarily Execute her." Jonathan says.
The Team Leader replies, "Okay. Go ahead."
This is a boring recitation of rules instead of the Mandatory Fun that the Computer says you should be experiencing.
The MANDATORY FUN Session
Let's say it's the same situation. It's Jonathan's turn and he knows that Hailey has a Green Pyramid under her Large Black Pyramid and that for her, it's Contraband. He wishes to Terminate her for Treason.
Jonathan sits up straight in his chair, nose lifted importantly, and says dramatically "Officious and Esteemed Team Leader. It has come to my attention that Hailey is a TRAITOR!" with this last word he points accusingly at Hailey (who is attempting to appear shocked and outraged.)
"That is a serious charge Citizen." The Team Leader objectively replies. "What makes you believe so?"
"Earlier in the daycycle, O Marvelous leader, I saw, with my own eyes, Hailey unlawfully access Green Clearance files and download them to her Personal Digital Companion."
All The players' hands start forming into pistols, and the Team Leader slowly turns a look of regretful reproach onto Hailey (Who is now guiltily shrinking down in her chair.) "Is that so, Citizen Hailey?" He asks unneccesarily. Seeing her guilty look and ignoring her Pleas of innocence He says, "Very well Jonathan. We shall Terminate this Traitor Immediately."
All players point at Hailey with their guns and make laser noises.