I know that in principle as the GM I can run Alpha Complex any way I want. However, is there a canonical answer to whether or not Alpha Complex has a "night time?" There are plenty of quotes like "have a nice day-cycle" so there is a concept of one "day" (however long that might be). I don't recall any source materials referring to light dimming or night-shifts or night clubs or the like.


2 Answers 2


The lights go out. Sometimes it's even on purpose!

To minimize complaints, [Power Oscillation Professionals] kill power to offices closed during night, and to low complaint-potential areas like INFRARED barracks, treason holding cells, toxin containment units and the like - theoretically, just enough to provide power to fulfill their contracts. Theoretically.

-- Paranoia XP Service Pack 1, "Service Firms"

Clones still need (chemically-induced) sleep, and why spend power illuminating an area nobody needs to see when you could spend it fighting the omnipresent Communist menace? I mean, there's literally no limit to what kind of madness-inducing efficiency experiments somebody might be willing to run, but the default is that people lead the proscribed life of the 50s - get up, work all day, consume entertainment products after work, sleep at night:

Rise with hundreds of others in the barracks. Pop a couple of Wakey-Wakey pills. Wash and eat a leisurely breakfast. Go to work at a service firm. Have a leisurely lunch with coworkers. Work some more. Down a handful of Mellodaze caplets. Return to the barracks. Have a leisurely dinner. Attend a club meeting such as Botspotters, Volunteer Map Verifiers or the local subsector chapter of Keep Alpha Complex Totally Hygienic. Gather with friends in the communal view lounges to view Teela O’Malley adventures and game and reality vidshows. Chat. Relax. Turn in with hundreds of others. Drink a warm cup of SleepyTyme relaxant. Sleep soundly.

-- Paranoia XP Service Pack 1, "Life in the City"

And it's a sealed underground complex. "Lights off" is the default. Which Troubleshooters would never exploit for their own service group secret society hidden mutant agenda, ha ha, I don't know why I even said that.


Paranoia has whatever you, the GM, need it to have.

To the extent that Paranoia has canon, there's both a daycycle and a nightcycle.

An ARD Day's Night, Acute Paranoia (Paranoia 1e)

“And so, trusted Citizens, another busy daycycle draws once again to a close. The Computer congratulates you for your labor in its service. Please return to your sleeping cubicles promptly for a well-deserved nightcycle of rest. Remember, unauthorized violation of curfew is treason. Thank you for your cooperation, and rest well.”

In that particular mission, lights dim, night patrol bots wander the corridors, and citizens might be shoved into their creche and dosed with sleep gas.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It's treasonous to even mention it, but the Paranoia 5e “unedition” had a published mission book titled Creatures of the Nightcycle. Do not seek it out—it's awful. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Apr 22, 2019 at 13:14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In addition there are other supplements like the Acute Paranoia supplement adventure "Warriors of the Night Cycle", "Alpha Complex Nights" and "Alpha Complex Nights 2 - A Hard Day's Nightcycle". \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 22, 2019 at 23:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk I realized I miscited my source, now corrected! Are you looking at the newest Acute Paranoia? \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Apr 23, 2019 at 2:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I don’t consider edition to be relevant to a lore question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 23, 2019 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are even (shock horror) some campaigns that take the trouble shooters outside, depending on the situation that may involve going out under the sunlit day, a moon lit star filled night, finding out alpha complex is in the North Pole (that experimental swimwear very useful), or possibly in orbit round a supernova. \$\endgroup\$
    – Richard C
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:18

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