I recently found a collection of several Classic Paranoia (i.e. 1st and 2nd Edition) scenarios online. They look interesting, but I'm wondering if they are compatible at all with the more recent versions published by Mongoose Publishing. Are they compatible? If so, are there any changes that I need to make to ensure maximum fun?

To be clear, I'm asking about rules compatibility in the least-treasonous way possible! I just want to make sure that Friend Computer doesn't have to spend extra processing cycles computing instructions that were sent to it decades ago and putting them into a modern format. I am also not a commie mutant sympathizer, but I suspect one of my teammates is. All hail Friend Computer!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 seeking compatibility -1 attempting to deny treason +1 considering Friend Computer's needs -1 not confirming teammate's communism +1 hailing friend computer \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


In practice, so little of Paranoia actually involves the players using the rules to great effect that you can probably just wing it.

Paranoia 2nd Edition

Using First Edition Adventures with Second Edition Rules

[M]ost of our adventures provide lots of “Catch-22” situations from which there's no hope of escaping, lots of equipment which malfunctions in weird ways, lots of deranged non-player characters, and bizarre plots. We keep the mechanics to a minimum.

That's why you can use adventures originally designed for use with the 1st edition even if you're using the 2nd edition. Since rules-type stuff isn't mentioned much in our adventures, the changes in the rules don't require that many changes in the adventures.

Mongoose Publishing's Flashbacks added Paranoia XP-specific information, changed the names to not be silly puns, and slapped a new cover on it. The main feature was that the then out-of-print adventures were consolidated into one book. In short, there are conversions but you're fine ignoring them. Or use the 2e rules, which are simpler.


If (and only if) the differences are on par with the differences between 1st Ed and 2nd Ed, you should be able to play them pretty much unmodified (I've refereed both 1st Ed and 2nd Ed, see 3rd para; I think I have read the Paranoia XP rules).

If names of weapons have changed, pick something that sounds fun. There's almost no specific skills mentioned, nor specific resistance values. You may have slight problem with secret society names, but most should be unchanged and for the ones who are, pick one that sounds vaguely appropriate (or inappropriate, for comedy value). Service groups are probably mostly the same, but the same hold for that (pick one that sounds right, or fun, or both).

The main differences between 1st Ed and 2nd Ed is "completely different resolution mechanics", "completely different skill system" and possibly a few more things I've forgotten. Mechanically, they're very different games. Looking at the cover image, I am about 75% sure I own Paranoia XP, but I've never refereed it. Service groups, secret societies and mutations should be relatively straightforward ("use something with the same name, or go for hilarity"). There should be very very few cases where there's actual opposed rolls. If they're for stats, the same range should apply (~3D6). If they're skills, 1E is percentile, 2E is D20 (1 is bad, 20 is good).

  • \$\begingroup\$ "If (and only if) the differences are on par with the differences between 1st Ed and 2nd Ed," — Isn't that what the question is asking? \$\endgroup\$
    – Quentin
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ In some ways, I agree. However, let me expand my answer... \$\endgroup\$
    – Vatine
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:53

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