Over the years a few Computer Phreaks have posted illicit and unapproved PARANOIA .PDFs of varying quality. All the .PDFs in this offer were legitimate, high-quality image scans endorsed by the PARANOIA designers and Friend Computer. (These are image scans only, not OCRed; you can’t cut and paste the text. Sorry!)
In 1983 New York City gamemaster Dan Gelber created an RPG setting about a dystopic computer-controlled underground city he called “Alpha Complex.” Gelber’s friend Greg Costikyan and West End Games R&D Director Eric Goldberg approached Gelber about turning the setting into a professional product, which became the first edition of PARANOIA (1984). It was an instant hit. PARANOIA marked a radical departure for tabletop roleplaying. Instead of cooperating, players were expected to backstab, lie, cheat, and outright kill other players’ characters. PARANOIA also pioneered the idea of designing rules to create a particular psychological effect. Its darkly humorous take on science fiction dystopias has yet to be surpassed, and this RPG remains a classic over 30 years later. If you’ve ever heard gamers talk wistfully about laser pistols, docbots, how to find the briefing room, and something falling off, these classic adventures are what they were talking about.
In June 2014 we presented the 2004 Mongoose Publishing edition of PARANOIA and its support line from 2004-2006. In March 2016 we followed with this all-different Classic offer, featuring the original West End titles from 1984-89. This revived, freshly brainscrubbed PARANOIA Classic Bundle once again had everything you need to fight the Commie menace as Troubleshooters in the darkly humorous world of Alpha Complex. This collection included some of — actually, most of — the funniest writing in the history of roleplaying, illustrated by the One True PARANOIA Artist, the incomparable Jim Holloway.
There were six titles in this revived offer’s RED-Clearance Starter Collection (retail value $35) as DRM-free, freshly scanned .PDFs:
- PARANOIA First Edition (1984): The original three-book set, including the complete Player, Gamemaster, and Adventure Handbooks, about Troubleshooters in a future underground city in service to an insane Computer.
- Gamemaster Screen and Adventures for First Edition: The 16-page insert booklet includes the classic introductory adventures “Robot Imana 665-C,” “The Trouble with Cockroaches,” and “Das Bot.”
- Orcbusters (retail $6): Ken Rolston’s much-loved 1986 sendup of fantasy RPGs.
- Clones in Space: The late Erick Wujcik (Amber Diceless Roleplaying) wrote this space-operatic exercise in explosive decompression.
- Vapors Don’t Shoot Back: The first full-length PARANOIA mission (1985), written by Curtis Smith (with Geoff Valley), sends the Troubleshooters into a covert contest between rival High Programmers.
- Form Pack: Three forms (the Equipment Request Form, Equipment Complaint Form, and Form Request Form) and a three-page “Code 7” bureaucratic-runaround mini-adventure guaranteed to make new RED-Clearance Troubleshoooters use all the forms.
- PARANOIA Second Edition (1987): The complete 128-page rulebook and the 16-page supplement The Compleat Troubleshooter (the one with the Mandatory Bonus Duties).
- Acute Paranoia: The First-Edition rules supplement with longtime fans’ best-loved adventure, “Me and My Shadow Mark IV.” (“Something falls off.”)
- The YELLOW Clearance Black Box Blues: A virtuoso 1985 work by the late World Fantasy Award- winning author John M. “Mike” Ford. One of the most highly regarded scenarios in roleplaying history.
- Send in the Clones: The one with the Funbot.
- HIL Sector Blues: Ken Rolston’s sprawling high-clearance Internal Security campaign supplement/mission/thingy.
- The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Adventure: Comrades! Now to be visiting Comrade Edward Bolme’s Alpha State, glorious Communist Controlled Complex Population (CCCP) ruled by Tovarich Computer where every comrade is being RED Clearance. Is nyet true some comrades are more RED than others.
- Alpha Complexities: Edward Bolme’s 1988 extravaganza of invisible Commies, bloodthirsty scrubots, and the return of the Mark IV warbot.
- Excessory Pack: The Second Edition GM Screen plus forms, a character sheet, and Cardstock Commies.