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Paranoia (2nd Edition) by Greg Costikyan
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I've always enjoyed my science fiction steeped in dark humor and satire, so it's no wonder that Paranoia was the first role-playing game I really got into. Set in a dystopian future in which vast underground complexes are run by an insane computer, Paranoia satirizes not only the "Big Brother" totalitarian element of the science fiction genre, but also the communal team building element of role-playing games as a whole.

As most RPG gamers know too well, playing immersive fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons or Top Secret (showing my age here) with a large group of people will more often than not result in personality clashes within the game itself, often leading to backstabbing and bitter rivalries. Paranoia takes the extra step towards chaos by not just embracing the backstabbing and bitter rivalries, but making them an integral part of the game.

As Troubleshooters (they, you know, shoot trouble), player characters are dedicated to fighting underground elements that threaten the integrity of The Computer's rule, such as citizens with mutant abilities and members of secret societies. Needless to say, all Troubleshooter player characters have mutant abilities and belong to secret societies. The web of lies, deceptions, alternate mission goals, and dual allegiances adds countless conflicts adds to the dangers already inherent in an environment rife with incompetence, madness, and... you guessed it, paranoia. In fact, life is so perilous as a Troubleshooter in Alpha Complex that players start every game with six clones of their character just so they have a chance at surviving until the end of the game. It isn't uncommon for a player to lose one or two clones to misfortune - either deliberate or accidental - before their mission even begins. Actually, it's very common.

Paranoia is the ideal game for role-players who enjoy a little self-aware humor and chaotic mischief in their dungeon (complex) crawls. Just remember. The Computer is your friend. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Apr 16, 2019 |
Serve the computer, the computer is your Friend!

Trust no-one, keep your laser handy. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Apr 29, 2006 |
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This is the 2nd edition of Paranoia, comprising both the boxed set and the standalone book versions.
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