I'm running the Paranoia RPG tomorrow night. I haven't given Paranoia much thought since the last time I ran it back in High School. That was in the early 90's.
The following is stuff I'm putting together and throwing at the wall to see what sticks. Even though Paranoia is perfectly serviceable straight out of the book, I just can't help tinkering...
By the way, I elected to go against the grain with this upcoming adventure. Rather than focus on slapstick, puns, and player vs player, I decided to go with a more subtle approach, favoring world building and exploration of the comically dystopian setting. Hopefully, the dark humor flows without my having to pour gasoline on the dynamite.
Alpha Complex (the place where everyone lives - according to The Computer) has a motto: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." This slogan can be found painted in several prominent locations throughout the many sections of Alpha Complex. Additionally, the phrase "Work makes freedom!" is embroidered onto the front of every state issued uniform.
Ironically, Alpha Complex is a communist regime. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the omnipotent, omniscent, and omni-benevolent Computer. However, the various color-coded system outlines specific duties that must be routinely performed.
Alpha Complex is one giant mega-city or subterranean state and while there are many common areas where anyone may go, quite a few sections are segregated based on security clearance.
Those with a lower security clearance are forbidden to enter or even loiter nearby, except with an authorized hall pass... or note from The Computer.
ROY Section is specifically for reds, oranges, and yellows.
The Green Room is a rather small, square section devoted to greens. The Green Room also houses a monitoring system feeding from every surveillance camera throughout Alpha Complex (aside from Ultraviolet Section).
BIV Section is specifically for blues, indigos, and violets.
BIV is luxurious. Everywhere you look, people are being fanned, fed individual hand-peeled grapes, and given sponge baths by nubile beauties. The closer one gets to violet, the more pampered and hedonistic citizens become.
The water in BIV Section is actually clear and the food tastes practically edible!
Ultraviolet Section is even deeper underground than the rest of Alpha Complex. No one knows (aside from the High Programmers who dwell there, of course) just how deep this section goes or how big it is.
Rather than one color being more or less better than another (security clearances and vague privileges), I wanted to give each color it's own special job or priority within Alpha Complex.
Infrared (Black) - The great unwashed masses who perform manual labor and are basically in charge of nothing. They have no special duties to perform aside from their assigned work detail.
Red - These are the troubleshooters, generally operating within Alpha Complex.
Orange - Field agent. These operatives have graduated to troubleshooting outside Alpha Complex.
Yellow - Internal security. They police Alpha Complex, guarding its citizens from possible terrorists. Yellows are responsible for watching the infrareds, reds, and oranges, as well as their fellow yellows.
Green - Middle management. Lower security clearances report to greens and greens answer to the higher security clearances (nobody above green reads the reports). All briefings, debriefings, filing of TPS reports, and special operation assignments go through green.
Blue - Blues plan the parties, organize social gatherings, procure the alcohol, and make sure there's enough chips and salsa to go around. Additionally, blues are in charge of research and development in Alpha Complex. If you want to try an experimental weapon, ask a blue! Chances are, he built it himself... regardless if he has any engineering experience.
Indigo - These are the philosophers, artists, poets, and entertainers.
Violet - These are the politicians who make all the rules, levying taxes and issuing edicts whenever it strikes their fancy.
High Programmer (White) - These individuals are granted assess to The Computer's software, circuitry, memory banks, and power source. Do they actually tell the computer what to do or are they merely the most privileged servants in Alpha Complex? It is rumored that only 7 High Programmers may hold the office at any one time.
Players should roll a 1d4, determining which secret society his character belongs to. Those with a result of "4" are not part of any secret society.
Those who rolled between 1 and 3 must now roll a d6. On a result of "1," the PC is a spy who has joined the secret society in order to reveal their secrets to The Computer.
1. Sanctuary - The members of this secret society are looking for a way out. They wish to escape Alpha Complex in order to make a new life for themselves in The Great Outdoors.
2. The Computer is God - Even though The Computer frowns upon excessive religiosity, the members of this secret society are convinced of The Computer's divinity. They worship The Computer as God. Whatever The Computer says, from simple orders to polite conversation, is taken as gospel. When the all-seeing eye in the monitor falls upon you, know that your eternal soul is being judged.
3. Revolutionaries (aka Humanity First) - The members of this secret society have had enough of The Computer and are no longer willing to put up with its cyber-bullshit. Revolutionaries are forming alliances throughout Alpha Complex to shut down The Computer so that men can decide for themselves how to live.
Thanks for reading/sharing. Let me know if you found any of this useful for your own Paranoia one-shot or campaign.
Authored by Venger Satanis