On The Air
What follows is a
mission outline. Unlike the missions you will find in books by West
End Games, this is purely an outline. Add whatever ingredients
you like to turn it into a fully-rounded mission.
This mission is best
suited to players who like drawing maps and a bit of puzzle solving.
There are still plenty of opportunities for them to shoot at each other.
This mission makes
use of Dynamic Environment Mapping.
If you want to run this mission, you are advised to read that section first.
This is a mission
which features the activities of Communists. Since one of the features
of Paranoia is the fight against Communism, it seemed like a good
idea to give the Troubleshooters some Commies to persue.
The Communists of
Sector have decided it is time to educate the citizens of Alpha Complex.
They have set up a radio station which is broadcasting Communist Propaganda.
The Computer has swiftly retaliated by ordering a nearby communications
station to broadcast a jamming signal on the same frequency. As far
as The Computer is concerned, the problem is now solved. All
that remains to be done is for the Troubleshooters to track down the Commie
radio station and shut it down.
The mission seems
pretty straightforward. The Troubleshooters will be issued with a
signal strength meter by R&D. They go into RAD Sector
and use the meter to track down the station and then shut it down.
(Read: blow it up).
Of course, things
are never quite that easy. This mission has a couple of problems
associated with it.
Firstly, the jamming
station isn't jamming the entire signal. While most of the sector
can no longer hear the radio station, areas near the radio transmitter
can still hear it. Because of this, the signal strength meter has
no audio output (so that the Troubleshooters won't be exposed to dangerous
Secondly, the Troubleshooters
won't actually be told about the jamming station. The Computer
doesn't want to appear totalitarian, so it doesn't tell anybody that the
radio station is being jammed. This means that the Troubleshooters
will undoubtedly track down the wrong signal and shut down the wrong transmitter.
R&D Signal Strength
The meter issued
by R&D is a rare thing indeed - it actually works properly. R&D
have preset the frequency so the Troubleshooters don't need to worry about
that. All they have to do is look at the lights to see how close
they are to the target.
The meter is very
simple to use. There are six lights on it, which light up to indicate
signal strength. The closer you get, the more lights you get.
The only (minor) drawback is that the scale isn't linear.
R&D know that
the Troubleshooters will be issued an autocar for this mission, so they
have fitted the unit into an autocar for them. The unit is fitted
in front of the front passenger.
The map below shows
the location of the two transmitters, and the associated signal strengths.
The Troubleshooters enter on the left-hand side of the sector, where the
blue line is, and the other blue lines are other exits from the sector.
The squares represent
buildings, and the lines represent where the roads may be. Use Dynamic
Environment Mapping to map out the roads in the sector as the Troubleshooters
explore it. The rings show the signal strengths the Troubleshooters
encounter as they close in on the target. The only time they will
get a signal strength of 6 is when they are halfway between intersections
and right next to the building housing the transmitter. All they
have to do then is figure out which side of the road the signal is coming
The grey and white
colours are purely to help you to determine the signal strength.
They don't signify anything other than that.
As the team drive
around, let them argue as much as they like over which way to go.
The final decision should always be made by the driver - since he's the
one controlling the autocar.
Feel free to add whatever
random encounters you want.
There are several
The Troubleshooters figure
out they have two targets. If this happens, it is left to the GM
to decide whether they manage to pick the correct target.
The Troubleshooters destroy
the wrong target. If this happens, you can let the Troubleshooters
go back for their debriefing - only to be sent straight back out to disable
the right target. Alternatively, you can let the Troubleshooters
notice the Signal Strength Meter is still showing a reading after they
have destroyed the first target.
The Troubleshooters somehow
drive around the wrong target and turn up at the right target without realising
what they've done. If this happens, you can simply swap the targets
over. If the Troubleshooters don't know there's another target, they
won't know if you swap them over.
Once the Troubleshooters
have disabled one transmitter, don't forget to ignore the effects of that
when they use the Signal Strength Meter subsequently.
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Authors of submitted items are indicated where appropriate
All other text and graphics by Steve