||Nothing happens. Roll again.|
||Sudden rush of bubbles to the surface of one of the vats.|
||Ominous low-pitched growling from a random vat.|
||Green tentacle whips out and submerges again.|
||Same as above, but it grabs random NPC and drags him into a vat.|
||A PC is grabbed. Make a 1/4 Strength check to resist, new clone otherwise.|
Once this has gone
on long enough, the Troubleshooters are then called to dinner. Now they
will actually have to eat the Stuff. Given their traumatic experiences,
they may not wish to, but a carefully applied truncheon from a mess warden
(skill 10, damage I8) should convince them that they are not getting all
of their essential nutrients. Those clones that eat the Stuff must make
a 1/2 Endurance roll or become violently ill, after which they will be
fined 100 credits for having a dirty uniform, plus an additional 85 credits
for getting sick while on duty, and an extra 30 credits for not eating.
Once the meal has ended to your satisfaction, the Troubleshooters are marched
back to their barracks.
What a nice idea, isn't it? Who would've thought that a whole six hourcycles
of rest would feel so good? So peaceful....
If your players aren't
making restful sounds, or sighing, give 'em all a few treason points. That'll
fix 'em! Then, when they're complacent, yell out:
"Awright, you lousy
scum!!!! Geddup!!!!! Geddup now before I'm forced to shoot all of you!!
We've got a big surprise for you lot, yes we do!! Before I tell you, though,
I want all of you on your Physical Training gear, all formed up nice an'
pretty outside the barracks - in two minutecycles!! Move!!!!"
Make the Troubleshooters
do Moxie checks (half Moxie checks for those who had to do remedial Physical
Training) to find their PT gear, only to discover that they were not issued
any. Gee, how inconvenient! Every other clone seems to have a set, so smart
players will mug someone else and steal their stuff, and then they will
only be two minutecycles late - just enough to be assigned 20 push-ups
each by Blood-R, and an extra shift of Kitchen Duty that eveningcycle.
Lucky for them, they will not be in the Armed Forces by that time (but
don't tell them that!). Should any player show up in their uniform, they
receive a 350 credit fine for being out of uniform, as well as a thrashing
from Blood-R's truncheon (skill 11, damage I8). Regardless of how things
turn out, read:
"Now that we're all nice 'n' ready," says Blood-R-GTS, "I can tell you chumps what we're doing todaycycle. We are doing the Confidence Course. Or, I should say you're doing it!! Let's go!"
And with that Blood-R-GTS
marches you all down the road to a waiting transbot, which whisks you 30
metres down the road with a bare minimum of jostling and crashing. Finally,
you are all forced out, and marched to a large open area, pockmarked with
craters. The clones in front of you plod ahead, towards an opened gate.
Just as you are about to enter that gate, you hear the sound of someone
politely clearing their throat...
The players should
be confused by now. Here they are, resigned to their fate, when all of
a sudden something comes in to change things. Ask them what they are going
to do, prod them if necessary. Those who turn around will see a tall High
Programmer smiling at them. If they know what's good for them they'll cower
in fear. Read:
You see before
you a tall, immaculately-dressed High Programmer, every centimetre of him
the personification of self-confidence, as though he knows that he is in
control of his destiny. He glances disdainfully at Blood-R-GTS, and motions
him away. Blood-R-GTS trembles and leaps to comply, ushering everyone away.
"Leave those Citizens here, Sergeant, I have business with them.", the
High Programmer says, pointing at you.
Citizens!," the High Programmer, whose nameplate reads Generalc-U-STR-3,
"is it not a fine time to serve the Computer?"
"Excellent! That's the spirit we like to see in the Troubleshooters! As you may guess, a clerical error occurred in the processing of your vacation time, which is why you have been sent to the Armed Forces instead. Rest assured the error has been terminated. As of this moment, you have all been reinstated into the Troubleshooters.
"This is fortunate,
because I have need of your services. You are required to carry out a mission
that will make the Computer very happy. You do wish to make the Computer
happy, don't you?"
Again, hearty agreement
will prolong the Troubleshooters' existence here. Generalc-U has a long
memory, and he will not forget anyone who displays less than maximum zeal.
Once the players quiet down, read:
"Excellent! You have already displayed your willingness to serve the Computer to the fullest extent! Obviously your training has not gone to waste. Well, here is what you must do: One of my esteemed associates, the great High Programmer Are-U-HPY-4, is being honoured by the Computer for his tireless service to Alpha Complex as a whole. You will ensure that nothing untoward happens to him. Or you will all die. Have a nice daycycle, Citizens! Report to DOA Sector PLC for outfitting."
With that Generalc-U-STR
turns away from you and enters a previously unnoticed Ultraviolet autocar,
which silently glides away into the distance.
If they try to leave the Fort, they will be stopped on the way by an Armed Forces patrol, demanding that they first return all the gear issued to them. They also give each Troubleshooter a fine of 80 credits for attempting to steal Armed Forces property, and the Computer will give them each two treason points once the news is reported. It will take several hourcycles to return all the gear, unless the Troubleshooters intimidate their way to the front of the lineup at the Quartermaster's. Should the Troubleshooters try to return their Armed Forces gear before they leave, they will find the Quartermaster's offices to be closed.
Once their gear has been returned, they may leave the Fort, but not before paying a fee of 15 credits each for consumption of Fort materials. Those who cannot pay are reported to the Computer for insolvency, and are fined a further 350 credits. Those that refuse to pay must face the wrath of four Green clearance Armed Forces goons, armed with automatic slugthrowers loaded with Dum-Dum slugs (skill 11, damage P9). Once the bills are settled, the Troubleshooters are shoved through the gate, to a large, empty lot, where one battered autocar idles.
The autocar will take
them to DOA Sector PLC, but not before a sum of 60 credits is paid to cover
a damage deposit. The autocar's bot brain may be slow, but it knows Troubleshooters
when it sees them. Unfortunately for it, the sum it is asking is far too
low, and some careless clone left an Alpha Xpress Card lying in the back
of the vehicle (normal Moxie roll to spot it). The card just happens to
have 60 credits left on it. Too bad. Once the Troubleshooters board the
autocar they are ready for PLC!
You should be hearing
declarations of patriotic fervour from your players about now. If not,
give 'em some treason points. Once they have quieted down, read:
Of course, you'll
all have a lot of opportunities to mull over the importance of PLC, because
there's a lineup about half a kilometre long stretching from the front
If the players do nothing, their wait will last 1D8 hourcycles, after which they will finally reach the service counter. By this time they will be treasonously late for their mission, and an announcement will be made on the public address system, calling for the execution of a group of Troubleshooters matching the description of these clones. Game over. Insert new coin.
Inventive players may try to intimidate their way to the front of the line, but you, Mr. GM, should halve their skills should they do so - everyone else in line is pretty ticked off, and there are a lot of itchy trigger fingers, too. Should they blow their rolls, and should a firefight ensue (hint hint), the players could use the confusion to make their way to the counter, where a heavily-armoured Red PLC staffer, named Fill-R-FRM-2, awaits customers.
Fill-R-FRM-2, "You don't have properly filled and stamped FRFs? Well, you
won't be getting your ERFs unless you fill out some FRFs at the PLCFRFAFBD!!
Now go get some and fill them out, and don't come back until you do!!!"
For your own information, FRFs are Form Request Forms, ERFs are Equipment Request Forms, and the PLCFRFAFBD is the Production, Logistics, and Commissary Form Request Form and Autogyro Foot Bath Dispensary. Needless to say, the PLC warehouse is a maze of crates, corridors, cubicle mazes, and dead ends. The Troubleshooters will never be able to find the PLCFRFAFBD on their own, and so will have to find a way to get Fill-R to show them, since no one else is around. The players could try bootlicking (which will work on a successful normal roll), or bribery (the players must offer at least 50 credits, or Fill-R won't talk). Intimidation will not work, because Fill-R knows that the Troubleshooters' mission, and their lives, depend upon his co-operation.
Eventually, the players
should be able to get the information, which directs them along many twisting
corridors. Once they arrive at their destination, read:
have led you through many bureaucratic obstacles and false leads, only
to land you here, wherever that is. You find yourselves in a tiny, bare
Red room, barely large enough to hold the forty clones lined up in front
of you. The one in front of you appears very stiff, as though he has been
standing here for a long time.
The clone in front of them died of natural causes some time ago, and if the players touch him, his withered body falls to the side, bones exposed to the fluorescent lighting. Should they wait, the Troubleshooters will once again be treasonously late, as described above (they will spend 1D10 hourcycles in line). Should they intimidate their way to the front, they will face similar problems as above, but should they succeed they will have Boss-Y-GUY-3 to contend with.
Boss-Y knows that the Troubleshooters will not be able to get anywhere without the Form Request Form. This, and the fact that he outranks them, will make his daycycle that much more enjoyable. The Troubleshooters will have to bootlick and bribe (minimum 150 credits, or enough equipment to equal that amount) in order to get what they need. Eventually, Boss-Y will give each Troubleshooter a much-vaunted Form Request Form, stamp them once they have been filled out, and order them out of his sight.
Once the Troubleshooters
make it back to the main counter (with a waiting time of 1D4 hours unless
the Troubleshooters do something like intimidate their way to front again),
Fill-R will only be too happy to give the Troubleshooters their Equipment
Request Forms, after having gone over each Form Request Form carefully.
He will then watch the Troubleshooters like a hawk as they fill out their
Equipment Request Forms, and, once they are passed to him, refuse to give
them their equipment. After the Troubleshooters ask why, read:
"Well, it's quality
control, you see. Think about it: What would happen if we just gave out
the equipment that clones requested after they filled out their forms?
Why, there would be absolute chaos, I tell you, and we'd have nothing in
stock!! No, PLC can't allow just anyclone to get their grubby hands on
Computer property! That would never do!! You'll have to get these ERFs
stamped and approved at the PLC Bureau of Approval and Stamp Application
Centre - just down the hall to the right, fourth door on your left. Have
a nice daycycle. Next!"
If the players follow the directions, they will find themselves in a broom closet, empty except for a rusting scrubot. If they search the closet thoroughly (a successful Moxie roll will do here), they will notice an air vent near the ceiling, about two feet square, from which sounds of voices come. Anyclone can make an easy Strength roll to open the vent, and a normal Agility roll to crawl in. The ductwork beyond the vent is a veritable maze, but it is easy to determine where the voices come from. Each Troubleshooter must make three successful Agility checks while in the ductwork in order to make it to the source of the voices without getting stuck. Troubleshooters who get stuck may find themselves blasted away by desperate teammates... Eventually, the Troubleshooters should be able to make it through, and once again enter a lineup. Read:
After what seems like an eternity of pushing and shoving through air ducts, you find an open air vent. Not wasting any time, you all file into the room. The Red walls are shabby looking, with peeling paint and rust all over their metal surfaces. There is nothing in this room except a battered service counter at one end, from which a long line snakes out to where you are now.
The same drill as before applies here, with a 1D6 hourcycle wait unless the Troubleshooters muscle their way to the front. When the Troubleshooters finally make it to the front, they will see none other than Fill-R behind the counter!! He will claim to have never seen the Troubleshooters before, and will suspect them of being traitors if they persist in claiming to have already met him, and will not hesitate to call the Computer to report these "obvious Commie Mutant spies". Should this happen, resume the encounter once the replacement clones arrive at the scene.
After looking over
their Equipment Request Forms for one millisecond, Fill-R will stamp them
all and tell the Troubleshooters to be on their way. More than likely,
they will walk towards the air vent from whence they came. Fill-R will
notice this and yell:
"No, you fools!",
shouts Fill-R-FRM behind you, "Use the door like everyclone else!!" Fill-R-FRM
then points to a tiny Red door in one of the corners of the room, a corner
so dark you could have sworn it was not there before.
The door leads back
into the main service area of the PLC warehouse, where the Troubleshooters
started oh-so-long-ago. This time, the line is very quick, and in 1D20
minutecycles the Troubleshooters will be in front of Fill-R once again.
He will give them the equipment they want, and when the Troubleshooters
have collected their last item, read:
Finally, you stash your last piece of equipment for your mission. Suddenly, a loud crash sounds from outside! A squad of burly, Blue clearance Vulture Warriors storms into the room, and the largest among them shouts:
are those lousy Troubleshooters?!? Where are they?!? They're supposed to
be at R&D right now!!! I'm counting to three, and if I don't see 'em,
I'll get ANGRY!!! One. Two."
If the players don't tell you they are jumping up right away, the Vulture squad opens fire, killing 1D20 random clones each round. There is also a 45% chance per round that the Troubleshooters will be hit by various weapons of mass destruction. You should roll for each Troubleshooter each round to see if they are hit. Each Vulture warrior is armed with a cone rifle (skill 12), and they are firing off solid slugs (damage P13). The players decide to make themselves known to the Vultures, they will be ordered to follow them to R&D, under pain of death should they fail to comply.
You are marching
towards a very tall building, bearing the sign, "DOA Sector Research and
Design" over the main entrance. Surprisingly, the building seems quiet.
Before you can dwell on this, however, you are rushed past the Orange security
guards at the entrance, and, after passing a radiation check, you are admitted
to the inner workings of R&D. You are suddenly greeted by a profusion
on bizarre contraptions, their purposes unknown, as they are dragged, wheeled,
flown, driven, or bounced on their way to destinations beyond your security
clearance. Also milling about is a veritable horde of high-clearance R&D
techs, their labcoats flying about them as they rush around, seemingly
oblivious to everything but their work. One such tech, a tall thin clone
in a burnt Violet labcoat, approaches you - accompanied by four mean-looking
Green Vulture Warriors.
The Troubleshooters will likely caper about and otherwise be annoyingly subservient to En-V-USS-4, if they know what's good for them and they have played Paranoia before. This is because, in many cases, R&D techs hold the power of life and death over the players, for they could issue the team dangerous (at least, more dangerous than normal - a scary thought!) R&D equipment for them to test out on their mission, should the Troubleshooters annoy them.
En-V-USS is actually a very nice clone, who will always take the time to listen to everyone, no matter what their clearance might be. He is always smiling, and speaks in a gentle tone. This should scare the players half to death. The four Vulture Warriors will take them the rest of the way, given half a chance. They all carry laser pistols with Green barrels (skill 10, damage L8), and do not make any effort to talk to the Troubleshooters, nor do they do much of anything except glare at them, and finger their weapons meaningfully. If the Troubleshooters do nothing stupid (ie: they do nothing at all), they might just make it out alive. In any case, En-V will address the Troubleshooters as follows:
"Oh, at last, at
last! You see, gentleclones," the Violet tech addresses his guards, "our
trusted associates at Troubleshooting HQ did come through for us after
all!! Come here, and serve the Computer, my friends!!", says the tech,
eagerly beckoning to you.
Although En-V is a
pussycat, the guards are not. If the Troubleshooters hesitate in obeying
for even the slightest instant, they will be shot at. This reaction to
Troubleshooter reticence will occur throughout this section, in response
to En-V's questions. If the Troubleshooters are too slow in answering questions
- ZAP! If they don't sound enthusiastic enough - ZAP! You get the picture.
Of course, they will not try to kill the Troubleshooters, just maim them.
After each sentence in the section below, zap and assign treason points
to those Troubleshooters who show insufficient zeal. Read:
"Now I suppose
you're all very eager to find out why you have been ordered here, aren't
you? Well, you are going to test our latest innovations!! Won't that be
fun, Citizens? Please step this way..."
En-V will not really
listen to a word the Troubleshooters say, one way or another. He will just
cheerfully spout a "That's nice, Citizen!" to whatever they say. He will
lead them down a hallway, past some melted steel and piles of ash, and
into a large room. Read:
You have been led down a long corridor, past piles of melted steel and what looked like clone-shaped piles of ash, into this room. It is large. Very large. Your echos get lost in the void whenever you speak. You cannot even see the ceiling. The only adornment in this huge room is a long stainless stell table, about 5 metres long and one metre wide, lit by a great spotlight high above. The table is covered by a Blue sheet.
the Violet tech, "I proudly present to you your mission equipment, courtesy
of R&D!!" With that he whips off the Blue sheet, revealing an assortment
of wonderful equipment!
Well, the equipment isn't that wonderful - this is R&D. En-V encourages (so do the guards) the Troubleshooters' enthusiasm over this gear. Clones who are not sufficiently amazed at what they see before them will find their existences remarkably shortened. The equipment is as follows:
R&D Equipment: Portable Laser Cannon:
This is an interesting piece of work. R&D decided that the average Troubleshooter needs more firepower in their missions, and the obvious solution was to make the laser cannon portable. This weapon consists of a laser rifle with an extra large cone-shaped laser barrel welded onto its muzzle, connected by a cable to a portable power supply. The power supply is an actual laser cannon generator, with a handle welded onto the top so it can be carried. Unfortunately, the generator weighs approximately 30 kg alone, and combined with the weapon, the unfortunate clone to takes this thing will be adding almost 40 kg to his or her carrying capacity. There is a version with a wheeled generator, but if the Troubleshooters think to ask about it, they will be informed that it is classified as Blue security clearance. Too bad.
This weapon does L13 damage, and has a range of 200 metres (same as a laser cannon III). Its generator also enables it to fire every round. Unfortunately, every round this weapon is fired, there is a chance that the generator may overheat and explode. This happens on a natural 20, but goes down by one each time it is fired. Needless to say, this will never happen if the weapon is tested at R&D. Should the generator explode, all clones within 15 metres of the generator itself will take F12 damage.
RoboGear Mark 2.2:
The clone who signs for this is placed into this armoured suit by three Orange techs, and once inside cannot remove it without the assistance of at least two clones who make a successful electrical engineering roll. The suit itself is dull grey in colour, with wires, cables, and odd projections sticking out at odd angles. The wearer's weapon hand is covered by a metal sheath, upon which are mounted various gears, doodads, and other mechanical parts that have no purpose whatsoever, except to move about and make whirring and beeping noises at odd moments. One of the wearer's eyes is also covered by what appears to be an opaque multicorder lens, connected to a box (mounted on the wearer's head).
This suit makes the wearer resemble a cyborg-like being introduced on a popular American science fiction TV show that cannot be named for obvious reasons. The suit makes the wearer move about in a slightly jerky fashion (he or she cannot run), and because the wearer's weapon hand is conveniently covered, laser pistols must be used in the off-hand (a penalty of -2 to -4 would be appropriate). The gears and doodads are sharp in some places, such that they can be used as a sort of knife (I5 damage), should the wearer hit an opponent with an unarmed roll. The suit itself offers ALL2 protection. The multicorder lens and box do in fact serve a purpose - this is a revolutionary, lightweight multicorder that will record whatever the wearer sees. It is also indestructible, and will survive the mission to be used in the debriefing, unless it is lost.
This article of clothing is Red in colour, and is made out of a fabric that stretches when under stress, such that it is always form-fitting, no matter who wears it on their head. The cap feels rough to the touch, and the clone who signs for it will feel quite warm when he or she puts it on.
The ThermaCap is actually a woolen toque, which some R&D member of the Romantics managed to have issued to the Troubleshooters in order to see whether or not it actually keeps one's head warm. Needless to say, it provides no protection against any form of attacks.
This weapon is about the size of a slugthrower, and is obviously a projectile weapon, due to the fact that is has a very long belt of ammunition coming out of the side, just above the pistol-like grip for the trigger hand. There is a rather large barrel at the tip, which can rotate and has what appears to be three bore-holes at the end. This little number is the result of an all-night planning session, during which it was determined by R&D that Troubleshooters needed to be able to fire off more ammunition, rather than improve their marksmanship, in order to destroy the enemies of Alpha Complex. The Rapid Coiler (also called the Zippygun) has the fastest rate of fire of any weapon yet designed in Alpha Complex.
In combat, this gun fires twelve shots per round, the ammunition belt streaks through with amazing speed, and the three barrels at the front rotate so quickly that they cannot be seen (there is a cowling on the outside that hides the fact that there are, in fact, three barrels - hence the extra-wide barrel look). Each shot does 8P damage, but a minimum of twelve shots are fired off each round. This is because the trigger is so sensitive that merely brushing it has a 50% chance of causing the weapon to fire once - one good pull shoots of twelve. The ammunition belt holds 60 rounds of ammunition, which is not much given the Rapid Coil's rate of fire. Also, the rounds are fired off so fast that the firer will not be able to spray at a bunch of targets with one trigger pull - at most he or she has a radius of 5 metres at the very edge of the weapon's 50 metre range. With such a high rate of fire, the Rapid Coiler jams on a roll of 16-20.
Jet Suit Mark 3.5:
This outfit was designed to allow the wearer to fly and otherwise move very quickly. The are about 100 tiny jet engines mounted all over the Jet Suit, which, according to R&D, is made out of fireproof materials and is reinforced to absorb the jolts produced by the engines. The wearer controls his or her movement through the use of a control pad embedded in the palm of the right glove, which is activated and operated through specific hand movements. When in use, the Jet Suit allows the wearer to move in any way desired on an x,y,z matrix - basically the clone is supposed to have the manoeuvrability of a hummingbird.
In practical terms, the Jet Suit Mark 3.5 is a death trap. The control panel is so sensitive that even the slightest twitch from the wearer's right hand will activate the system, and potentially cause the unfortunate clone to rocket away at 250 kph. That's another problem, there's no speed control; it's either 0 kph or 250 kph - tough luck. Another problem is that while in flight, the clone is simply moving too fast to be able to manoeuvre with any degree of skill - things like walls, floors, and other hard surfaces soon become real hazards. Another hazard is the fuel itself; there is only enough fuel in the suit for about six rounds' worth of flying (any more would have made the suit too bulky, reasoned R&D), and any laser, projectile, or flame that hits the clone has a 50% chance of setting off the remaining fuel, creating a personal fireball that does F15 damage to the Jet Suit wearer.
Another innovation from R&D, this device is modelled after primitive-looking pedestals used during the Old Reckoning to ride water, and also snow. To improve on this basic design, R&D attached a prototype antigravity device on the bottom. When activated by a button near the tip of the Hoverboard, both board and rider will rise to a height of roughly one metre, and stay there. Then by focusing the antigravity beam from the device by putting weight on certain parts of the Hoverboard, movement can be achieved.
This would not be
a bad device, if the activiation button were placed somewhere else, or
if it were smaller. The button is, in fact, about the size of the average
clone's foot, which means that, while the Hoverboard is in use, the button
may accidentally be pressed again, which would deactiviate the antigravity
device and cause the board to fall, and none too gently (column 2 damage).
Steering the Hoverboard is also difficult - the clone using it must make
two Agility rolls every time he or she wishes to steer in a different direction,
once to see if the board changes direction, and the other to see if the
clone remains on the board (falling off does column 2 damage). The speed
of the Hoverboard depends on the angle at which it is tilted; the greater
the tilt, the faster it goes in the direction in which it is leaning. The
fastest speed that the Hoverboard can travel is roughly equivalent to a
Of course, the Troubleshooters
will be encouraged to test out the equipment in this large room. Make sure
that nothing untoward happens while they are here - that the Law of R&D
holds true (all R&D equipment works while in an R&D facility).
For the Troubleshooter who signed for the Robogear Mark 2.2, have the techs
who helped put the suit on suddenly vanish - you get the picture. Once
this goes on long enough, read:
TEAM 237-GH/THX-1138! REPORT IMMEDIATELY TO HANGAR 157 IN DOA SECTOR!"
You are immediately
overwhelmed by the sheer size of this hangar. Stainless steel walls stretch
up into blackness high overhead, and a pitted and scarred floor stretches
out in all directions. Almost lost in the glare of flourescent light emanating
high above you, you see several figures dressed in White. They appear ot
be waving at you...
This group is in fact a gathering of High Programmers. They have been waiting for the Troubleshooters to finish up at R&D and meet them here, so they can impart what they wish to share about the upcoming mission. Needless to say, the Troubleshooters should rush to meet the High Programmers. Unfortunately, this hangar is very big (roughly 2 kilometres wide), and the High Programmers are roughly 1.6 kilometres away. Roll two 1/2 Endurance checks for each Troubleshooter, with success in both checks meaning that clone successfully runs the entire distance. If both checks for a particular clone were rolled really well (say,a natural 1 or 2 for both checks), then not only did that clone make it across first; he or she did not even break into a sweat. Should this happen, every other clone will be fined 100 credits each by the High Programmers for being late, and for being out of shape. Should any clone fail either of the 1/2 Endurance checks, he or she will collapse from exhaustion, which will make the High Programmers very displeased. Nothing untoward will happen, though by all means have your players think something horrible will happen to them.
Once the Troubleshooters
are all across, read (and remember, assign appropriate penalties for less
than optimum zeal on the part of the Troubleshooters):
You see before you twelve stern-looking High Programmers. One of them comes forward to address you:
Citizens! Is it not a wonderful mission you are on? Ah, good! That's what
we like to see, happy Troubleshooters on fun missions! Well, I suppose
you are all eager to get started on your mission of utmost importance,
so I will not detain you long. As you no doubt know, the honoured High
Programmer Are-U-HPY-4 is being honoured for his tireless service to the
Computer and the Alpha Complex as a whole. The ceremony is to take place
in this hangar tomorrowcycle, and you are to stand guard outside his personal
quarters to ensure that nothing untoward happens to him. You will also
escort him to this hangar, where he will receive his award. Your duty commences
immediately, and will end tomorrowcycle. Under no circumstances will Are-U-HPY-4
come to any harm, and under no circumstances will you disturb him. Do I
make myself clear?"
Smart Troubleshooters will fervently agree with this High Programmer, and will promise to do their utmost to fulfill this mission's requirements. As a note to you, the GM, none of these High Programmers are wearing nameplates, and none of the Troubleshooters will have seen these clones before. In any case, once the Troubleshooters have finished capering about and grovelling, the High Programmers will give them each an authorization form that gives them permission to be in the corridor outside Are-U's quarters. These forms are valid until the time of the ceremony, and are only appliccable to that one corridor.
Once this is done,
the Troubleshooters are directed to the corridor in question, and told
to make their way to the location as soon as possible.
You have finally made your way along the Ultraviolet corridor, to find yourselves in front of a steel door, with the name "Are-U-HPY-4" embossed on its shiny surface. Directly in front of the door, on the pristine White floor of this corridor, is a Red carpet, measuring roughly three metres square. The hall is deathly silent; the usual commotion and hubbub that you are all used to is absent here, save for the occasional clanking noise of a bot wandering somewhere on an errand. Noises seem to carry farther here. The lights dim slightly as eveningcycle approaches, and the soft voice of the Computer declares in the distance "Curfew in three hourcycles".
This section of the mission is very simple. Whenever you feel like it, just roll on the table below to determine what the Troubleshooters encounter while they are guarding Are-U's residence.
||A scrubot comes by, cleaning the corridor.|
||Same as above, but the scrubot is a Corpore Metal member, and attacks the PCs with scrub brushes (skill 5, I7 damage). It has L2 armour.|
||Commie posing as technician comes by and asks to enter Are-U's quarters to do some repairs. If the PCs let him in, Are-U is found dead the next morningcycle. The End. The PCs must find a way to stop him, but the Commie's documents are well-forged (1/2 Forgery check to detect the forgeries). He has a laser pistol with a Yellow barrel (skill 12, damage L8).|
||Five Death Leopard punks pass by, defacing the corridor walls. They are armed with slugthrowers loaded with solid slugs (skill 11, damage P7). Any attempt to stop them will result in a firefight, though any PC members of Death Leopard will be secretly signalled to help them out.|
||Footsteps are heard, the noise building to a crescendo, but nothing is seen...|
||Four unregistered mutants (Mental Blast, Pyrokinesis, Electroblast, Telekinesis) amble down the corridor, using their powers on random objects. PCs should blast them for being the traitorous scum that they are - otherwise the Computer assigns each Troubleshooter 5 treason points for collaborating with the enemy (there are security cameras here). The mutants will use their powers to protect themselves.|
||A slimy tentacle (ALL3 armour due to slime) whips out of a nearby air vent and grabs a random PC (doing I2 damage each round unless the PC makes a successful 1/2 Strength check to break free). If the PC does not escape within four rounds, he or she is dragged into the vent, and the other PCs have two more rounds to act before their companion is eaten.|
||Six Commies (L4P3 armour), carrying slugthrowers loaded with solid slugs (skill 10, damage P7) charge into the corridor, screaming Communist propaganda (skill 2). Any PC who does not fight gets blasted at the debriefing for not being loyal in the face of Commie aggression.|
As GM, you are free to run these encounters as many times as you want (in fact, I strongly encourage you to run the last one several times). After enough time has gone by, and the Troubleshooters start getting penalties for being tired (stage some battles when they are tired, the extra penalties should make life interesting for them...), Are-U emerges from his quarters, and immediately berates the Troubleshooters for being too noisy during the nightcycle (even if they were quiet), and then he reports their gross incompetence to the Computer. Nothing bad comes out of this, of course, but it should serve to keep the players on edge.
Once the Troubleshooters
are suitably paranoid, Are-U orders them to escort him to Hangar 157 for
his ceremony. The walk to the hangar is quite brisk, read:
Finally, your ordeal
is over! Before you, as you emerge from the corridor, you see the hangar
looming all around you - so brightly lit and festooned with ribbons and
streamers way above your security clearance! Citizens of all clearances
are gathered here, their cheering voices drowning out everything else in
the hangar. Suddenly, booming martial music fills the hangar - the DOA
Sector Armed Forces Band is here! It fills you with such partiotism to
be here - why, it even makes Are-U-HPY-4 sing the Alpha Complex Battle
Hymn. He looks at you meaningfully as he begins...
This is a not-so-subtle cue for the Troubleshooters to sing, too. If you have the Paranoia gamemaster's screen, the lyrics are available. Make your players sing along, too. Won't this be fun? If you do not have the GM's screen, shame on you! Put down this adventure and go buy it right away! I'll wait for you to return. Have you got it now? Good, let's continue...
Every player who stands
up and enthusiastically sings the Alpha Complex Battle Hymn should
have their treason point total reduced by three points. Those who do not
should gain an extra three. Patriotism pays. Once you are done, read:
Ahhh, the pageantry!
Doesn't it make you feel so happy? Finally, you finish marching your charge
up to the great dais that has been set up for the occasion. A nearby Vulture
Warrior instructs you to stand behind Are-U-HPY.
should comply quickly. Failure to do so will land them in deep trouble
at the debriefing.
"Fellow Citizens," says a High Programmer at the front of the dais, "we are gathered here on this daycycle, in Year 214 of the Computer, to commemorate the dutiful and tireless service of a respected Citizen. He has selflessly increased his workdaycycle to an unbelievable three hourcycles; he has cut his financial incentives to a mere 70,000 credits per weekcycle; and he has personally decreased food consumption in DOA Sector by 47% through the now-popular Manditory Recreational Euthanasia Program, thus increasing food stocks in DOA Sector by an unprecedented 450%!!" The crowd erupts in jubilation at the news of Are-U-HPY's accomplishments.
The High Programmer continues, "I know that we would all like to thank Are-U-HPY in our own way, but our friend the Computer has a much better idea! The Computer, in Its infinite wisdom, has decided that Are-U-HPY will receive the never-before-awarded Really Meritorious Service Medallion, 1st Class! Yes, Citizen Are-U-HPY-4, this is your reward for your selfless deeds and your impeccable service! And now, is there anything you want to say to the Citizens assembled here todaycycle?"
Are-U-HPY walks away from you and towards to other High Programmer, takes his award, and steps up to the microphone. Though you cannot see the expression on his face, he must surely be overcome with emotion. You hear him clear his throat, and you hear:
"Death to the imperialist
Computer, and its filthy capitalist lackeys!! Glory to the Infrared masses!!
Smash the Complex!!"
No, Are-U did not say those words; a Commie traitor in the audience did. Even so, the Troubleshooters might think he did, if only because they cannot see his face from where they are standing (behind him). If the Troubleshooters do decide to waste Are-U, they will not live long enough to enjoy their deed - there are 12 Vulture Warriors up on the dais with them, all of whom have semi-automatic slugthrowers loaded with dum-dum slugs (skill 14, damage P9). We'll see if they can outlast the firepower of angry Green Vulture Warriors - serves 'em right for being trigger happy. Resume the action when the clone replacements arrive.
This is the final battle of the adventure, by the way. Make it big. Make it exciting. You know - cast of thousands sort of thing. Have Mark IV make a cameo appearance, bring in the Giant Cockroaches from Outdoors - you name it! As soon as those words are uttered by the unknown traitor, 12 Commies hidden in the audience will begin to fire upon the High Programmers on the dais with cone rifles, slugthrowers, grenades, and laser rifles (skill 10 in each, damage L8 for laser rifle, P8 for grenades, you choose the slugs and shells for the cone rifles and slugthrowers - napalm is nice). Since the Troubleshooters happen to be near the High Programmers, they will be shot at, too. The Vulture Warriors will shoot back, but as is standard in any adventure, they will not hit any of the enemies - just innocent bystanders. The Commies heard about the ceremony, and sent a crack assault squad in to assassinate some top Citizens, in order to demoralize Alpha Complex. So many High Programmers bunched together is irresistible to them.
The Troubleshooters should be trying to protect Are-U from the assault. If they do not, he will be killed in the first round or two, frozen with fright. Even if you decide to roll for each attack, with 12 assailants his death is almost a certainty. So will the Troubleshooters' if this comes to pass. A successful Moxie roll will allow the Troubleshooters to locate the source of the shots, and good hit rolls should be able to peg off the Commies (if they miss, roll on the Random Victim Table in the DOA Sector Travelogue rules supplement, if you have a copy - otherwise use your imagination).
Allow the battle to
continue as long as you want, but before too many rounds pass (say, five
or six), the surviving Commies leap out of the crowds and storm the dais,
guns blazing. This is where the Troubleshooters get to martyr themselves.
Any Commies in the Troubleshooter team should take this opportunity to
blast their teammates, Are-U, and any other High Programmers who happen
to be nearby. If the Troubleshooters get killed, any surviving Commies
(including Commie Troubleshooters - they will be urged to follow) will
run down a side corridor, never to be seen again. If the Troubleshooters
manage to kill off the Commies, give them about two rounds to get their
bearings before reading the following:
TEAM 237-GH/THX-1138! REPORT IMMEDIATELY TO DEBRIEFING ROOM 26786.4B, NEXT
TO DIP SECTOR REACTOR CORE #45!"
Once inside the shabby
Red debriefing room, they will be greeted by a Green debriefing officer,
by the name Vicious-G-UYY-5. He is very brisk in manner, and will never
seem to be interested in what the Troubleshooters have to say. This is
because he has better things to do than listen to a bunch of Reds whine
about their mission. Read:
You find yourselves in a shabby Red room, no more than 4 metres square. At one end of the bare room is a battered Green chair and desk, behind which sits a bedraggled and sour-looking Green Citizen. At the other end is a rusty Red bench.
"Alright, you lot,
sit down and don't make any fuss!", says the Green Citizen, whose shiny
nameplate reads 'Vicious-G-UYY-5'. "So," he asks, "tell me what you've
Let the players express themselves any way they want. Let them accuse each other of treason, let them inflate their own roles in the mission, let them say anything they want. Heck, you can even let them shoot each other (Vicious-G has a blast shield built into the desk). Why? Simply because it doesn't matter what they say, the Computer's omnipresent security cameras recorded everything. Even if the cameras were destroyed, the clone who was issued the RoboGear has an indestructible multicorder built into the headgear (which is taken, as soon as the clone in question sits down on the bench, by a Yellow R&D tech who pops out of a previously unseen hatchway - and then vanishes into it again).
Once the players have finished bloodletting, have Vicious-G clear his throat, calmly pull out a portable vidscreen from behind the desk, and set it on its surface. He then pulls out a tape, inserts it into a slot on the screen, and presses a tiny button. This tape, by the way, was just manufactured by R&D, using collected footage from security cameras and the multicorder in the RoboGear, and delivered through a hidden chute behind Vicious-G - isn't science wonderful? The vidscreen then lights up and shows the Troubleshooters over the course of their mission, doing any of the treasonous things you noticed, such as:
Vicious-G will also ask the Troubleshooters to report on their R&D equipment (pass out R&D Experimental Equipment Testing Report Forms if you have them). If any equipment is damaged in any way, and the Troubleshooter in question is proven to be at fault (quite likely), then Vicious-G will assign an appropriate fine (anywhere from 500-3000 credits - your discretion, as always).
Once all this is done, tally up every Troubleshooter's treason point total, and execute the buggers who have more than 20. You should also count up commendations and other bonuses to see who gets rewarded, or even promoted, as the case may be.
Once all this is dealt
with, send the poor sods back to their barracks at Troubleshooter HQ. Let
them go back to their lounge, and have them resume what they were doing.
Ah, such is life.
THE END - FIN - ENDE