Paranoia: HAL - A 2001 Inspired Space Odyssey


So, I have run a few sessions of Paranoia now and I preparing to run one for our Christmas get together and this time I am going to write it myself.

The player are going to go into space on a large shuttle/ship/rocket to spread the influence of Friend Computer to an intelligent lifeform that has been detected somewhere near Jupiter. On board are three scientists, cryogenetically frozen until they reach their destination, and the players are the crew as well as shooting any commie mutant traitors that happen to have gotten themselves aboard.

I think I've been planning this ever since I decided I would use HAL as my inspiration for Friend Computer's voice. I plan on having the various crossed-orders that I love about Paranoia games, from secret societies and service service, as well as some surprises maybe like the actual one (the broken antenna) form the film.

Any comments? Suggestions? I'm getting some music as well for the lift off.


A Wicked Kendragon
Would our dear computer only send one ship? What if midway through the journey another suddenly docked with theirs? But then nothing else happened. And if they boarded the other they'd find signs of a massive battle. Yeah, I'm totally stealing parts from System Shock 2.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Any comments? Suggestions? I'm getting some music as well for the lift off.
Well, in bog-standard Paranoia, that there is even an "outside" is a high-clearance-only piece of data. To suggest that there was a region where Friend Computer didn't hold sway would be treason!

So, of course, those scientists may be high-enough clearance to know what's going on, but the troubleshooters? Not so much. Ignorance is bliss - and since happiness is mandatory. And in space, nobody can hear you commit treason...

No windows on that ship, and minimal instructions on what's actually happening. As far as they know, they're just in the belly of some big new (highly experimental) busbot.

By the way, unless the entire clone family is sent on the ship with them (also cryogenically frozen?), they aren't going to have their usual six-pack.


A Wicked Kendragon
And in space, nobody can hear you commit treason...
Not disagreeing with anything, but I always found the 'nobody can hear' line a bit odd. In vacuum, sure. But spaceships are noisy places. There's nowhere else for the sound to go to. All those quiet haunting scenes in movies never made any sense. There should be engine sounds everywhere, cooling systems, echoes of people.


Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!

Ages ago I wrote a Paranoia game entitled "Moonshot." I'm happy to attach it here if you want, so you can strip mine it for anything you like. Just let me know.


Mod Squad
Staff member
And then, have the hangar take off.

They'll think they never really left, but then find the hangar out in space. ;)
This would be appropriate. It would be just stellar to have someone think they made it out alive, and have their sixth clone sucked out into the vacuum of space. :devil:


The Capricorn One idea isn't bad, I'll just knock out the players and make it a final twist. But I still want vaccum outside and zero-gee, so I could do both.

The scientists (named Dave, Frank and Stanley U-KBK) are going to be high programmers and I'm just going to spring the mission on them in a press conference to boost complex morale (not that it ever flags) after their MBT. The High Programmers know about the mission goals, but it's above the players security level.

As for the clones, well there's a machine on board with their DNA.


Staff member
Man, I like this idea, and the Capricorn One tweak is a solid one.

But let me suggest a different path: The Computer in this campaign could be like a human brain...thousands of decentralized computing nodes connected wirelessly, including the one on the ship. Which works great pre-launch...

However, once the spaceship gets too far away, the connection is severed, and the long-dormant backup program reboots the ship's computer...thinking it is itself The Computer. And once it starts scanning the world with Its scanners, it notes that the world does not match it's last independent backup...and clearly, Ground Control has been compromised by Commies!

Hand of Evil

That's a great movie. But how would you make the story work in Paranoia when
clones are already part of Paranoia
? :)
What is your security level? You need to perform maintenance on the outside, do to your current security level being under review; no suit can be provided at this time, we hope to have this resolved in a timely manner; current processing of this request is 24 hours. Please move to the nearest air lock, thank you.

Players playing
the same character or prior crew being found or seen in a cloned ship in the distance


Okay, I'm running it saturday and I think I have managed to combine all the elements I want.

The mission: A year ago a cfrew of Alpha Complex citizens was sent on a space mission at the order of Friend Computer, they disappeared without a trace (probably due to actions of commie mutant traitors!) and recently Friend Computer has been able to locate them. In his omniscience, Friend Computer has dispatched a team of three Ultraviolet-level scientists to get to this ship, they will be kept in suspended animation until they reach their destination. Running the ship will be a team of troubleshooters, the last survivors of an exhaustive screening process. It is their job to make sure the scientists survive the voyage as well as shoot any commie mustant traitors who attempt any sabotage.

Now for the real story: On the original ship, Psion agents managed to smuggle an experiment chemical on board for testing purposes. The chemical (which I am just going to name "grey goo" but I'm welcome to more official suggestions) was developed by R&D to try and surpress mutant powers in the cloning process...but instead it resulted in anyone coming in contact with it losing control of their mutant powers.

I am planning on having Psion troubleshooters, as they want to see how successful the chemical was, as well as Anti-Mutant agents who want to put a stop to this.

I'm just having two settings, the player's ship and the lost ship. On the players ship there will be a few things going on, but I'm not sure if I am doing them all:

* There is a Psion stowaway on board who gives the player Psions orders as he's a Control, he's also a target for anyone who finds him, specifically Anti-Mutants.
* Players have conflicting orders about killing/protecting the scientists, but the scientists are going to be killed by Friend Computer anyway.
* A chance for some EV action with the broken antenna.

On the "Alien" ship, this is where the acxtion is going to be:

* Out of control mutants trying to kill the troubleshooters
* Grey good ungulfing them
* Broken Alpha Complex-style stuff on the ship, dodgy termination booths and computer terminals etc.

And then, when they have had enough they are told that the ship is leaving without them!

And finally, just as they are talking about what is going on, they are escorted off the ship by Internal Security and marched out of the airlock without space suits on...into a large hangar! The whole thing was actually some sort of simulation put on by Mystic infiltrators in Internal Security so nothing ever really happened at all and they stayed right inside Aplha Complex.

Writing it out like this has actually helped me.