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Monday 29 November 2021
In November 2021 we re-cloned two offers featuring the darkly satirical SFRPG Paranoia. The Paranoia Red Clearance Edition Bundle from June 2019 once again presented the current (2016) Mongoose edition. And its not-necessarily-disloyal companion offer, PARANOIA 2004, originally presented in June 2014 and revived in December 2014, had the 2004 Mongoose edition.

PARANOIA has returned to the Bundle of HoldingIn the future underground city of Alpha Complex, Troubleshooters in service to The Computer search for and terminate traitors, including mutants, terrorists, [CLASSIFIED], secret societies, renegade bots, and DAIVs, which are [REDACTED]. You and your fellow Troubleshooters save Alpha Complex from its greatest threats, unless they accidentally become its greatest threats. You and your fellow Troubleshooters get shot at, stabbed, mangled, incinerated, poisoned, stapled, blown to bits and accidentally executed. This is so much fun many Troubleshooters go crazy. Your fellow Troubleshooters all carry lasers. Aren’t you glad you have a laser too?

By far the most popular comedic RPG in tabletop gaming for 35 years, Paranoia inverts many roleplaying tropes: Players compete instead of cooperating; they can’t know the rules, and rules lawyers are aggressively curtailed; the Gamemaster really is out to get you, and your character will die repeatedly. Paranoia is unique in awarding supreme, insuperable, unquestionable authority to the GM, who dances the players like puppets for entertainment. It’s less a roleplaying game than a psychological exercise. Yet it works. In the authoritative Game Index of more than 20,800 games, Paranoia ranks #18.

[from June 2019]

In 2014 Mongoose ran a spectacularly successful Paranoia Red Clearance Edition Kickstarter campaign that raised £217,517 from 4,380 patrons for the current (2016) card-based edition. The revamped Paranoia Red Clearance Edition has all-new rules, many devious setting updates, and enhanced backstabbing techniques to test on your fellow Troubleshooters. Everything is different, but everything is still perfect. Your friend The Computer says so. This revived Paranoia Red Clearance Edition Bundle once again presented the new, streamlined Red Clearance Edition rulebooks, forms, play aids, and several adventures, including the updated YELLOW Clearance Black Box Blues, widely considered the funniest RPG scenario ever.

There were three titles in this revived offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $51) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete RCE rules set (with its Players Guide, Gamemasters Guide, and Mission Book, plus print-and-cut cards), the 2016 Forms Pack, and the Interactive GM Screen.

Loyal citizens who paid more than this revival’s threshold (average) price were also cleared to own this offer’s entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $67, including the introductory Guide to Alpha Complex, Gareth Hanrahan’s full-length mission Implausible Deniability, Martin Dougherty’s mission Robots of Unusual Size, and John M. Ford’s updated adventure classic The YELLOW Clearance Black Box Blues (Remastered).  

2. PARANOIA 2004 [from June 2014]

This PARANOIA 2004 revival featured the 2004 Mongoose Publishing edition designed by Bundle of Holding operator Allen Varney and illustrated by The One True PARANOIA Artist, the incomparable Jim Holloway. (The game was released with an “XP” suffix until Microsoft forced Mongoose to remove it.)

There were five titles in this re-cloned offer’s RED Starter Collection (retail value $51), including the 2004 PARANOIA core rulebook (“Service Pack 1,” with errata corrected) and four supplements: the character-creation rules expansion Criminal Histories; the service-group sourcebook Service, Service!; the STUFF equipment book; and the GM Screen and Mission Blender.

The Flashbacks mission collection is part of the PARANOIA Bundle of HoldingThis offer’s ULTRAVIOLET Bonus Collection added seven more titles worth an additional $40, including the 256-page mission collection Flashbacks and six more supplements: Extreme PARANOIA, The Traitor’s Manual, Crash Priority, The Mutant Experience, WMD, and STUFF 2 – The Gray Subnets.  

By mandate from The Computer’s loyal servants in Central Processing Unit, ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) was donated to these two PARANOIA revivals’ pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief sends protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and Canada and to regional response agencies around the world. Learn from their example the importance of good hygiene!

PARANOIA ® & Copyright © 1984, 2016, 2021 Eric Goldberg & Greg Costikyan. All Rights Reserved. Mongoose Publishing, Ltd., Authorised User.