Tabletop Spotlight: Paranoia Alpha Complex


The Computer is your friend…right? The classic RPG setting is back with a brand new starter set – It’s Paranoia: Alpha Complex!

Do you always feel like something is watching you? Well you should – it’s the Computer and the Computer is your friend. At least in Paranoia…

Our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy brought this one over for our Tabletop Spotlight and it’s a hoot! For those of you who might not have heard of Paranoia, it’s actually a pretty classic Dystopia Sci-fi setting. It’s had several editions released over the years with original game coming out back in 1984. But now Mongoose Publishing has put out a new version after a successful Kickstarter Campaign.

The basics are simple. You’re a Troubleshooter and you work for the computer. Your mission is to hunt down mutants, terrorists, traitors, secret societies, and pretty much anything the Computer deems a threat. Here’s the kicker – you’re a clone, one of 6 typically and you’re very, VERY expendable. Your mission will force you to work with other Troubleshooters to solve whatever zany antics the Computer (aka the Game Master) decides to throw you on. Oh, and did I mention that you might also be one of those mutants and/or traitors? Just like everyone else. I hope you have a good memory because you’re going to need it to survive in Paranoia…

Paranoia is really a playground for your gaming group. Because of the setting you can tell all types of stories! Do you want to have a super serious game? You can absolutely create a spy-thriller with this rule set. Do you want to create a wacky, almost slap-stick adventure? Well you should check out how the “Color Coded Clearance Levels” work. This game is ready for a dark and humorous look at a society surrounded by and watched over by your friend, the Computer.

The starter set is the perfect launching point into the world of Paranoia. It has a book for the players, the Game Master, and a missions book to get your started. One of the things I really like about Paranoia is that it’s not just your typical RPG. Players really have to commit to separating Player Knowledge from Character Knowledge. Arguing with GM about rules is actively discouraged – after all, the Computer is your friend and you trust your friend, right? As totalitarian as that might sound, if your group can “buy-in” to the world and let the GM do their thing it’s an RPG experience unlike any other. I’ve played in a campaign and it managed to be both hilarious and terrifying at the same time. But that’s kind of why it’s named Paranoia…

Paranoia Red Clearance Starter

Welcome to Alpha Complex! Welcome to the ranks of the Troubleshooters! Welcome to Paranoia!

As a Troubleshooter, you are a member of Alpha Complex’s most expendable elite force. Tasked with finding trouble and shooting it, you will be hunting mutants, terrorists, traitors, [CLASSIFIED], secret societies, renegade bots, and DAIVs, which are [REDACTED]. You’ll save Alpha Complex from its greatest threat, unless you accidentally become Alpha Complex’s greatest threat.

Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Paranoia is the classic RPG of a darkly humorous future, rebooted for a humorously dark present. All-new mechanics include a simple yet brilliant character-generation system, a bluffing-based card-driven combat system that encourages creativity, clever moves and lying, a special Computer Dice which means even the simplest interaction can become hilariously fatal, in-game XP point rewards, and more advice to GMs than you can shake a stick at. Three single-session adventures introduce you painlessly to the new mechanics and background, and are designed to be played straight out of the box.

Everything is the same but everything is different.

You look worried, citizen. Relax! It’s still Paranoia. The year is still 214. You still have six clones and a laser pistol. The Computer is still your friend.


“Fun” – it’s mandatory.

  • Thatroubleshootah

    This is a fun game. I will purchase this game.

  • Txabi Etxebarrieta

    I don’t care how much of the background they change. As long as my party and I can get three back to back total party kills during the first mission briefing, it’s Paranoia.

    • Thatroubleshootah

      Yes. My favorite aspect of the game is the low survivability of the mission briefing.