For your easiest introduction to the game's virtues, read some of the reviews online, starting with the RPG.net review by Evan Waters (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10725.phtml ). The sidebar of the PARANOIA development blog (http://www.costik.com/paranoia/ ) lists many more reviews of the rulebook and its supplements.
Then, if PARANOIA sounds like your kind of game, check the introductory articles on the leading fan site, Paranoia-Live.net (http://www.paranoia-live.net/content.php?article). One called "Beginner's Guide to Life as a Troubleshooter" is a good start (http://www.paranoia-live.net/content.php?article.6).
After you have a sense of the setting's rudiments, you can get a lot of the game's flavor from the postings on Bill O'Dea's fan site, FriendComputer.net (http://www.friendcomputer.net/ ). And don't forget the free .PDF downloads here on the Mongoose site, such as Gareth Hanrahan's "Social Clubs" chapter deleted for space from the PARANOIA supplement The Traitor's Manual (and then shoved into the later supplement Extreme PARANOIA).
We hope you enjoy your sojourn in Alpha Complex. Remember, citizen, the laser emplacements are for your own safety, and there are absolutely NO bioengineered mind-control microorganisms in the water supply no matter what anyone tells you. None at all.
Tut, tut, citizens. If a prospective player asks a reasonable question, it's impolite to resort to routine Alpha Complex info-denialspeak. The more sensible information you can convey in answering a sensible question, the likelier it is that the questioner will look into PARANOIA. And that's the goal, right?
It's possibly the only game (that I know of) that provides a range of game styles rather than backgrounds. You can find games that say you can use them for fantasy, science-fiction and modern horror (or whatever combination), but few systems offer the choice of serious and dark, backstabbing and fun, or hilarious and madcap. PARANOIA offers play options to suit your mood, both Gamemaster and players, rather than suiting your GMs urge to play a science-fiction campaign. That's why PARANOIA has acquired something of a reputation as a great game to slot between other games, because it provides a change of pace and mood, rather than just another alternate setting. With the new edition - simple, streamlined and packed with background detail - you also have the option to pursue the game as a long term effort as well as an occasional relief from overly serious and complicated roleplaying. I thoroughly recommend it.
Some other reasons why PARANOIA is a fantastic rpg, although I am biased:
1. It doesn't take itself seriously. This rpg isn't trying to enlighten players on the duality of good and evil (though it does happen) or trying to craft a truly authentic, consistent world full of Shakespearean-level drama. PARANOIA just wants to entertain people--and isn't that what a game should do?
2. You character dies and you can still play. Remember that time you took an hour to create a cool character, complete with a secret-ridden backstory and lots of nifty quirks and mannerisms, and then you were killed by a kobold and spent the rest of the night watching TV? Me too. In PARANOIA, dying is fun because you can come back and get revenge!
3. The game concentrates on fun, not record keeping. No one in PARANOIA worries about encumbrance modifiers or number of meters per minute a character could run--unless that would be entertaining for some odd reason. People do not bow down before the rulebook in PARANOIA--the rules are bent, broken or ignored if they would interfere with having fun.
4. Backstabbing is a good thing in this game. Ever play online deathmatches? Wasn't it fun to take out your buddy with a well-placed shot? Now you can do that in an RPG. Gone are the days when you are forced to play nicey-nice. Hell, PARANOIA actively encourages you to play dirty!
Do you see the emphasis above on the word 'fun'? PARANOIA is just plain fun to play. So I'd highly recommend giving it a try--at the very least, go to Paranoia-Live and download JParanoia, the java application that lets you play PARANOIA online. Best of all, you don't need to know any rules!
Because it's the only one my kids like to play. I just can't understand it, I'm really mean to them (in the game), and they just eat it up. Try being just a teensy weensy bit mean to them in real life and they call you a bad parent. That's why you should play Paranoia, so you can be a good parent.
Well I tend to reset clones if they're really needed or the players comend their past actions (accidentally more often than not) and in debriefing they have as many clones as they need until the very end. The record for UKC AGS is 27 clones in one mission!
Bear with me as this is coming from another person who is only thinking of picking up the game.
1. It is the only known game where stabbing other players in the back is not only good roleplaying, it is the ONLY way to roleplay!
2. It has several plot themes (dark, classic, and ZAP!) that you can play up or downplay as you wish.
3. If all else fails, it is a good resource for running your own game set in a giant underground (?) habitat. Even if that game has nothing to do with the Paranoia universe.
4. It has The Computer, need I say more on this amazingly insane character?
5. It is the only known RPG where "extra lives" are worked into the game mechanics.