Black Missions is a limited-run special edition of the newest base Paranoia game core rules (the “Paranoia Troubleshooters” edition). It’s extremely close to the previous “Paranoia XP” ruleset – the rules have been polished a bit, and the “classic” play style is now the only one covered by the main rules – the “Zap” and “Straight” styles have been moved to appendix options in the back of the book. While I don’t miss Zap, I really liked Straight so I think this is a bit of a pity… but on the other hand, the rules tweaks still exist (in the appendix) and the Classic mode is, of course, the most popular one. In any case, this is just a small revision of the rules; if you already own the previous version, you don’t really need this “Paranoia Troubleshooters” version.
…except that this edition contains an very cool extra, a CD-ROM containing a ton of stuff:
- Paranoia sound effects (laser zaps, warning sirens, etc)
- Various sound clips from the Computer, in both male and female voices.
- A Paranoia screen saver. Very amusing, I have it running on my netbook.
- Short video clip interviews with some of the designers.
- Almost the entire 2004- 2008 Paranoia XP support line, as PDFs. Missing are the reprint mission collections “Flashbacks” & “Flashbacks 2”, the equipment books “STUFF” and “STUFF 2”, and “The Little RED Book”, but otherwise you get pretty much the entire game line in PDF form. This is an awesome value, we’re talking well over 10 books here (don’t remember the exact count). Buying them separately would cost a lot.
So… should you get this? If you already have the previous version and don’t feel like the CD has stuff that interests you too much, there’s little reason to. However, if you don’t have the new Paranoia edition and are interested in it, this book gives you the latest core ruleset plus almost the whole earlier game line in PDF form; this is probably the best Paranoia core rules edition to pick up in that case.
Also, if you’re like me and have most of the earlier game line already, but still want the extra CD-ROM goodies: off to the game store you go. It’s Mandatory Bonus Fun Duty. This limited edition may be a bit tricky to get hold off nowadays, but some quality game stores (Fantasiapelit Helsinki, for example) still have copies available.
I personally think the CD-ROM is almost worth the price by itself. Having (almost) all the books in PDF form is fantastic, makes it easy to print out player handouts etc if needed.