Paranoia is a darkly humorous RPG that takes place in a dystopian future in which characters are typically tasked with hunting down mutants and secret society members, despite being ones themselves. The game borrows elements from works such as 1984, Brave New World, Logan's Run, and Brazil and the atmosphere is rife with black humor, more tongue-in-cheek than the dark works that it descends from. Originally published by West End Games, the rights have been passed to Mongoose Games.

The game's main setting is an immense and futuristic city called Alpha Complex, which is controlled by The Computer, a civil service AI construct. The Computer serves as the game's principal antagonist, and in typical Paranoia scenarios employs the PCs as Troubleshooters, i.e. they find the trouble, and shoot it.

The system is not the point of the game as much as the story, and the main tenets of the game reflect this.

  1. The Computer uses a system of "Treason points", wherein residents who perform too many treasonous actions are ordered to be summarily executed.
  2. Paranoia features a security clearance system based on colors of the visible spectrum which heavily restricts what the players can and cannot do; everything from corridors to food and equipment have security restrictions.
  3. Secret societies oppose the Troubleshooters, and these are loosely based on historical elements, incorporating spurious details to enhance the humor of the enemies of the state.

The wikipedia article is a source of much information on Paranoia, and a list of available products can be found on the official Mongoose product pages. Paranoia Live is an excellent resource for the game also.

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