Paranoia is a dystopian science-fiction tabletop role-playing game originally designed and written by Greg Costikyan, Dan Gelber, and Eric Goldberg, and first published in 1984 by West End Games. Since 2004 the game has been published under license by Mongoose Publishing. The game won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1984 and was inducted into the Origins Awards Hall of Fame in 2007. Paranoia is notable among tabletop games for being more competitive than co-operative, with players encouraged to betray one another for their own interests, as well as for keeping a light-hearted, tongue in cheek tone despite its dystopian setting.
The game is set in a dystopian future city which is controlled by an artificial intelligence construct called The Computer (Also known as 'Friend Computer') (To call Friend Computer anything else than that name is treason, citizen.), and where information (including the game rules) are restricted by color-coded security clearance. Players are initially enforcers of The Computer's authority, (known as 'Troubleshooters', mainly for the fact that they shoot trouble.) and will be given missions to seek out and eliminate threats to Friend Computer's control (Of which there are none, as the computer is a perfect being that we should be glad to serve under). The players are also part of prohibited underground movements (which means that the players' characters are usually included among the aforementioned 'security threats'), and will have secret objectives including theft from and murder of other players.
Several editions of the game have been published since the original version, and the franchise has spawned several spin-offs, novels and comic books based on the game.
A crowdfunding at Kickstarter for a new edition was successfully funded. Delivery to backers began in March 2017.
Source: Wikipedia, "Paranoia (role-playing game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Paranoia is the RPG that turned RPGs on their head. Instead of co-operating, players actively try to betray, cheat and lie their way to the top of the heap.
There is an odd twist to the editions of Paranoia. There was a first edition, a second edition and a fifth edition. There was never a 3rd or 4th edition.
Given that it's a bit of a spoof on RPGs anyway, it does make sense!
Oh, and don't forget:
- The computer is your friend.
- Happiness is mandatory, citizen!
- Stay alert. Keep your laser handy.
- Your fellow troubleshooters are probably all commie mutant traitors, so be ready to turn them in or terminate them to be rewarded by your friend, The Computer.