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Paranoia is a humorous role playing game set in a dystopian future. The tone of the game is light and tongue-in-cheek rather than dark and heavy. The game is set in Alpha Complex, a futuristic underground city controlled by The Computer, which employs teams of secret agents called "Troubleshooters" to root out traitors. Traitorous activities includes Communism, being a mutant, and being a member of a secret society. The players commonly portray Troubleshooters, but later game supplements offered other roles for player characters.
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In fact, all members of Alpha Complex's society are mutants who belong to secret societies. Therefore, Troubleshooter missions invariably turn into a constant comedy of errors as everyone on the team seeks to double-cross the others while keeping their own secrets.
Three editions of Paranoia exist. The first editon, (ISBN-1869893), by Greg Costikyan, Dan Gelber, and Eric Goldberg, was published in 1986 by West End Games. The second edition, by Greg Costikyan, Dan Gelber, Eric Goldberg, Ken Rolston, and Paul Murphy, was published in 1989 by West End Games. A third edition, called "Fifth Edition", was published in 1995 by West End Games.
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