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Signs & Portents 88

There’s a new PARANOIA article in this month’s Signs & Portents magazine, covering the rather topical issue of passenger scanners at airports and intrusive searches. Oh, and rubber gloves.

(The Onion article referenced in the mission is here, by the way.)

Spy on your fellow citizens, win prizes

Citizen! Internal Security has volunteered you to monitor CCTV footage of your fellow citizens. Locate traitors and win big prizes! PARANOIA mission or real world scheme?


Thermal cameras + algorithms + cryptic displays=HAPPYLIFE.

Gamasutra on PARANOIA

An article on Gamasutra about what computer games can learn from other games has a nice write-up of PARANOIA, here.

Treason Point For…er, me

Loyal IntSec spies have reported that A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Termination Booth has been released by Mongoose Publishing. However, these same spies inform me that one key credit was left out at some point in the production schedule. Hero of Our Complex Andy Solberg was to have been saluted for his role in suggesting the plot of Episode Three (the bit where the Troubleshooters are miniaturised and injected into the bloodstream of a High Programmer). Commie Mutant Traitor saboteurs deleted this vital information, and for this we must apologise.

Citizen Andy Solberg! We have stolen the fruit of your brainmeat without due credit. In recompense, your oxygen ration will be increased by 30%. Respire with joy, citizen!

SAC Command Post film

From The Grauniad – a film made (but never released) to counter the negative impact of Dr. Strangelove. After all, it would be terrible if the apocalypse happened accidentally, instead of on purpose.

The film is available online, and is ideal PARANOIA fodder.

High Programmer Biographies

One chapter of the upcoming High Programmer rulebook discusses sample NPC High Programmers. These Heroes of Our Complex (or disgraced traitors, depending on which of them was the last to edit The Computer’s memory files) are for use both as non-player characters by GMs and as inspiring examples for the players.

We need a few more, though, so get writing! High Programmer biographies should be short, punchy and funny. We take no responsibilities for any terminations resulting from your involvement in this chapter.

Again, submit via comments to this post.


The cover art for the upcoming ULTRAVIOLET clearance rulebook may be foundat the Mongoose Publishing website – assuming, of course, you’ve got the security clearance to see it.


And it’s shiny.

INTSEC: Clone Budgets

One of the new concepts introduced in the upcoming INTSEC rulebook is the Clone Budget. As you know, Bob, all citizens in Alpha Complex are given six clone backups by The Computer, to provide instant replacement in the event of lethal accident, termination, equipment failure, terrorist attack or other.

For most citizens, six is more than enough. For IntSec Troopers, some days six clones don’t last until lunchtime. Troopers are sometimes – ok, regularly – assigned missions of staggering lethality. Therefore, in its electric wisdom, The Computer mandates a clone budget for each mission. Fallen Troopers get their clones from this budget, but once the clone budget is exhausted, Troopers must draw from their personal clone allocation.

For example, if a mission has a clone budget of THREE, then the first three deaths are paid for by The Computer. If Bob-B-3 dies, and his replacement clone is paid for out of the clone budget, then he’s still on his third personal clone.

It pays to read the small print, of course. The clone budget doesn’t apply, obviously, if the Trooper was terminated for treason. It also doesn’t apply if the death wasn’t ‘in the line of duty’.

Who decides whether or not a death counts for the clone budget? The Lead Trooper does. So, if you’re gunned down by a nest of Commie Mutant Machinegunners, then the Lead Trooper can decide you died heroically and deserve a free clone replacement… or he can decide that you were suffering from a pre-existing condition that you don’t deserve access to the clone budget.

INTSEC Clone Budgets, just one of the many teamwork enhancements coming soon to a mission near you.

INTSEC Community Mission: Miranda Warning

As I come to the end of development on INTSEC, I realise that the book really needs something that Troopers can shout at suspects.

There’s the US version: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?

Or the Canadian: “You are under arrest for _________ (charge), do you understand? You have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. We will provide you with a toll-free telephone lawyer referral service, if you do not have your own lawyer. Anything you say can be used in court as evidence. Do you understand? Would you like to speak to a lawyer?”

Or in the UK: “You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but I must warn you that if you fail to mention any fact which you rely on in your defence in court, your failure to take this opportunity to mention it may be treated in court as supporting any relevant evidence against you. If you do wish to say anything, what you say may be given in evidence.

What should they say in Alpha Complex?

PARANOIA in the Real World: Scientist Calculates Value Of Memories To Sell Blu-Ray

The story’s here. There’s also a link to a spreadsheet so you can calculate the cash value of your most cherished memories.

ObAC: Citizens! The Computer has generously allocated a memory budget to all citizens. Memories not covered by your budget will be chemically or mechanically erased from your brains. Please submit a full memory budget by 2400 or face summary full erasure.

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