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Thanks very much to Michael Kelly for creating the rulebook in PDF-format and the card-backsides!
Attention Citizens !
Intruder Alert ! Intruder Alert ! Intruder Alert !
We are under attack by a Horde of Mutant Commie Invaders from Sector Outside ! I repeat: We are under attack by a Horde of Mutant Commie Invaders from Sector Outside !
Special Troubleshooter Teams will be dispatched to deal with this menace, so please stand by and cooperate with the Security Forces. Internal Security Troopers are under strict order to terminate any Commies and Traitors on sight! Please Cooperate!
Have a nice Daycycle!
I guess quite a few of you will know the classic humorous role-playing game Paranoia - set in a dark future where mankind is living in a vast domed city and ruled by a paranoid computer which is running on U.S. defense guidelines from the 1950's.
A great war had forced mankind to populate this city, and over the centuries everything outside was totally forgotten. Only rumours of exist about Sector "Outdoors" - whatever this may mean for the population. The human population of the Alpha Complex does not reproduce naturally, but instead all people come from the clone banks. Usually the computer grants each personality a total of 6 clones - thus trying to increase the life-span of the inhabitants of Alpha Complex. However, due to the violent and dangerous nature of life in Alpha Complex, six clones can easily be lost in less then a weekcycle...
Also of great importance is the security level of each inhabitant of the Complex. The higher a clone's security level, the better is his equipment and his influence on the population of the Complex. The security level of each person can be seen by the colours he wears, ranking from Red (lowest) to Yellow to Green to Blue to Violet to White (highest).
Below, you will find my efforts on incorporating Paranoia into Talisman. Any Paranoia freaks might notice that I have tried to introduce as many elements from the RPG as possible, giving seasoned Talisman-Players a few new concepts to deal with. It took me quite a while to get all the graphics from the rulebooks and modules into a useful format. Everything was scanned in Black & White and then colorized. However, I think the whole expansion looks quite nice and will be well playable...
As always, I have to rely heavily on any comments you might have on the new expansion. I still lack the time and colour printer to playtest any of my expansions, so comments on playability will have to come from YOU!
But enough of the story - let's go for the rules...
Entry and Exit
A number of caves and tunnels all over the Talisman-world lead to the main gates of the Alpha Complex, so there are several places where the complex can be entered. Whenever a character enters one of the following places, he now may roll a dice in order to see whether he took a wrong turn and actually gets to the Alpha Complex instead of continuing on his intended way. A D6 needs to be rolled, and on a roll of 5-6 the character actually has found an entrance to the complex. Such an entrance can be found at the following places: Ruins space on mainboard, and the following cards: Dungeon Doorway, Cave, Magic Portal, Secret Door, Tomb, Secret Passage (Dungeon), Tunnel (Dungeon), Cave of Bones (Dragons), Great Portal (Dragons).
When exiting the Alpha Complex though the main exit, a D6 needs to be rolled as well, taking the character to one of the following places:
Citizens and Invaders
Basically, the characters which start the game in Alpha Complex will be qualified as "Citizens", whereas all other Talisman-characters which may enter the complex will be qualified by the Computer as being "Invaders". The status of a "Citizen" can be obtained by an "Invader", but it is not possible for a "Citizen" to become an "Invader" again. Each of these attributes has a number of advantages and disadvantages, so characters not starting in the Complex will need to chose whether they want to become a "Citizen".
Citizenship can be easily obtained by registering a character at one of the following locations on the Complex-board: Internal Security, Sector NCG. A character simply has to be at one of these two locations, and his player then just needs to declare that he gets his character registered. He then takes a "Red Security Level" Card, indicating that he now has obtained Citizenship of Alpha Complex.
Movement in the Complex
Movement through the Copmplex is determined by one of these old fashioned devices called "Dice" (or D6). The following rules need to be obeserved: A character must stop whenever he reaches one of the 7 major locations in Alpha Complex. He must then perform the actions prescribed for that location. Furthermore, there is no turning back in the corridors once a character has chosen a direction. The soonest possibility to go back through a corridor is once the next loaction was reached. Finally, an Alpha Complex Card is drawn whenever a character lands on a corridor-space. However, these cards do not remain on the space where they are encountered. They are always discarded.
Of special importance are the corridor spaces which have a small image of the Computer printed on them. These corridor spaces contain Security Checkpoints. A "citizen" may pass a Security Checkpoint freely, provided he has not accumulated 10 or more Treason Points (more on Treason later). An "Invader" however will be identified by the Computer to be a Danger to Alpha Complex, and thus the computer will try to get security forces to arrest the "Invader".
The Computer's defense systems will attack the "Invader" with a Strength of D6, and in addition the player will have to turn over the next two cards on the Alpha Complex Deck. Any cards with a strength rating will be added to the Computer's strength - all other cards will be ignored. If the "Invader" wins the combat, he may continue on his next turn. If he loses the combat, he will lose 1 Life and be arrested at the Internal Security location. Regardless of the outcome of the combat, all drawn cards will be re-shuffled into the Alpha Complex Deck after the Security Alert - they cannot be kept for gaining experience! (the whole card mechanism merely simulates the different Strength of the Computer's Defense Systems)
An "Invader" who is arrested at Internal Security will face a tough fate. On each subsequent turn the player may roll a D6 to determine the outcome of the "interrogation" by Internal Security Specialists. On a roll of 1-3 the "Invader" loses a life and the interrogation continues on the following turn, whereas a roll of 4-6 means that the Interrogation Officers have decided that the "Invader" is not dangerous to the Complex and thus may leave Internal Security. An "invader" who may leave may opt to obtain Citizenship (since he is at Internal Security right now). If he does not do this, the Security Checkpoints will still qualify him as being an "Invader", resulting in further security alerts.
However, even "Citizens" may have to fear to Security Checkpoints, and this is the case when they have accumulated a total of 10 or more Treason Points. (Running on old security guidelines, the Computer qualifies many kinds of behaviour as being treasonous. For each of these actions a player is assigned Treason Points.) The most common way to obtain Treason Points is when an Alpha Complex Card tells a player that he gets a Treason Point, but there are a few other instances when Treason Points may be gained as well.
Upon each entry to the Complex a player needs to roll a D6 for each of his objects which he has obtained outside the Complex. The player will receive 1 Treason Point for each object which did not originate from the Alpha Complex for which he rolls a 1-3. The only exception to this rule is when a player's "Mission" has instructed him to get this object from outside. In this case this object does not count as being treasonous.
Furthermore, the computer wants to prevent all kinds of combat between the inhabitants of the complex - Happyness is mandatory! Thus, whenever two "Citizens" (player characters) engange in combat within the Alpha Complex, each of these players receives 1 Treason Point.
Finally, a character who uses a spell within Alpha Complex will receive 1 Treason point for possessing illegal Mutant Powers.
If a character who has accumulated 10 or more Treason Points gets to a Security Checkpoint, the Computer qualifies this character as being a "Traitor". The Computer now will try to arrest the character and a security alert will be started. The Computer's defense systems will attack the "Traitor" with a Strength of D6, and in addition the player will have to turn over the next two cards on the Alpha Complex Deck. Any cards with a strength rating will be added to the Computer's strength - all other cards will be ignored. If the "Traitor" wins the combat, he may continue on his next turn. If he loses the combat, he will lose 1 Life and be arrested at the Internal Security location. Regardless of the outcome of the combat, all drawn cards will be re-shuffled into the Alpha Complex Deck after the Security Alert- they cannot be kept for gaining experience! (the whole card mechanism merely simulates the different Strength of the Computer's Defense Systems)
A "Traitor" who is arrested at Internal Security will face an interrogation. On each subsequent turn the player may roll a D6 to determine the outcome of the "interrogation". On a roll of 1-3 the "Traitor" loses a life and the interrogation continues on the following turn, whereas a roll of 4-6 means that the Interrogation Officers have decided that the "Traitor" has confessed all treasonous acts and now is free to leave Internal Security. Also, an additional D6 is rolled for each round of interrogation, and this amount of Treason Points may be discarded by the player. If a player who is released from interrogation still has 10 or more Treason Points, his Treason Points will be reduced to 8. Finally, a "Citizen" who is released from interrogation will need to roll a dice to see whether he is degraded. On a roll of 4-6 he keeps his Security Level, on a roll of 2-3 he loses one Security Level and on a roll of 1 he loses two Security Levels (Level "Red" is always lowest).
Treason Points are not lost by leaving Alpha Complex. A character has to keep them. However, they can be reduced by several options within Alpha Complex, and furthermore a "Citizen" loses 5 Treason Points whenever he attacks an "Invader" (aka a "Non-Citizen" Player Character) within Alpha Complex (Winning this combat is not necessary. However, if the "Citizen" wins the "Invader" will be taken to Internal Security for Interrogation. See "Movement through the Complex" for details.).
Note again: Only a "Citizen" gets assigned Treason Points! Invaders ignore the rules for Treason.
Troubleshooter Missions and Security Levels
Excluding some of the Alpha Complex Player Characters, all other Player Characters who have the status of "Citizens" start with a Security Level of "Red". However, a player's Security Level may change during the course of the game.
Apart from a sudden Level change by an Alpha Complex Card, the most common way to raise a Security Level is by going on a "Troubleshooter Mission". A "Troubleshooter" belongs to the Computer's Elite and has the good will of the Computer behind him (not much, eh?), and he can be sure that the Computer will smile upon him if he should successfully complete the Mission. A "Citizen" may get such a mission by visiting the Briefing Room location, and there he may randomly draw one of the available Mission Cards. This card will demand of the player to perform a task, and if he returns to the Briefing Room location after successfully completing the task he may exchange his Security Level Card for a higher Level. Furthermore, he may draw a new Mission card if he desires to do so.
A player may also return to the Briefing Room without completing his Mission and draw another Mission Card, but he will receive 2 Treason Points for disappointing Friend Computer.
Notes: Quite often a Mission will require a player to retrieve some object from outside. If the character already has such an object when he receives the Mission he may not hand in this object to complete his Mission. He will have to leave the Complex and find another object instead. Please note also that a player may not keep the item which was his Mission objective. He has to hand it in in exchange for his promotion! Note further that you should not forget to get your free Device card at Research & Design! Finally, all players are allowed to keep their Mission cards secret!
As said, the completion of a Mission means that the character's Security Level will be raised upon his return to the Briefing Room. This means that a "Red" can be exchanged for a "Yellow", "Yellow" for "Green" and "Green" for "Blue". You may note that it is theoretically possible that a character could raise higher since even higher levels exist, but for reasons of playability I have decided to cap the possible promotions at the level "Blue" (and everybody who has ever played Paranoia will wholeheartedly agree that reaching even that level is highly theoretical in Alpha Complex).
The Security Level of a player is important at several locations and for some Alpha Complex Cards, but of most importance is its influence on a player's purchase allowance at the PLC location (Production, Logistics & Comissary). Here several items are for sale, and a character may only purchase items which correspond to their Security Level or are available to lower Security Levels. (Practical note on purchase currency: even in Alpha Complex gold is of value, so the general currency remains gold).
As indicated earlier, all Alpha Complex characters have a number of clones which can jump in when their sibling is killed. For this reason, all characters who have clones available must be keeping track of their number of clones with one of the included clone markers.
If a character dies, the Computer will initiate the sending of a replacement clone in order to take up the task which the character has died trying. In game terms, the player's character will be resurrected - but with several limitations:
The new clone which was delivered will face exactly the same problem as his predecessor. Adventure cards or other obstacles must be dealt with again by the new clone.
Even an "Invader" might get a Clone! Citizenship is not necessary for obtaining a clone! However, the replacement clone automatically will be registered for Citizenship.
The final Goal within Alpha Complex
All "Citizen" characters have a common goal within Alpha Complex: they want to be promoted to Security Level "Blue" and thus become an Internal Security Agent. A "Citizen" will only be admitted to CPU Core when he has been promoted to a Security Level of "Blue". Until then, the floor leading from the Internal Security Location to the CPU Core location will be impassable for any character. However, "Blue Citizens" aim should be to visit the Computer at the CPU Core. Being an Internal Security Agent, the "Blue Citizen" can be sure to receive some essential help from the Computer.
An "Invader" on the other hand will never be admitted to the CPU core, so this kind of character will never receive the assistance the Computer offers to his high-ranking "Citizens". However, staying within Alpha Complex can be quite entertaining for "Invaders" as well. Some Alpha Complex cards correspond well with "Invaders", and an "Invader" may also use some of the locations (although in a different manner than "Citizens"). Overall, being a "Citizen" might be a bit more advantageous, but it may backfire in quite hard ways... (see Treason).
A total of 7 locations can be found on the Alpha Complex board. You will find the description of each location below. However, please note that "Citizens" and "Invaders" are treated differently at most locations.
The use of this location is restricted to "Citizens" - an "Invader" simply draws an Alpha Complex Card. A "Citizen" may decide to board one of the Tubecars leading to some different locations. Please roll a dice to see where the Tubecar takes the character:
A "Citizen" who visits the Briefing Room may draw a Mission Card, whereas an "Invader" who enters the Briefing Room may bribe the Mission Instructor for 1 Gold. This allows the "Invader" to exchange the current Mission Card of a Citizen by another randomly drawn Mission card.
Both "Citizens" and "Invaders" have to roll a dice here...
Note: An "Invader" can register for Citizenship here!
Production, Logistics & Comissary (PLC)
A "Citizen" may purchase equipment here. However, he may not purchase any items restricted to a higher security level.
An "Invader" may spend 1 Gold to bribe the PLC-Clerk. On a roll of 1-2 the Clerk takes the gold and smiles, on 3 a "Red" item may be purchased, on 4 a "Yellow" item may be purchased, on 5 a "Green" item may be purchased and on 6 a "Blue" item may be purchased.
Research & Development
This is the place where the "Device" cards can be drawn. Please note that a character may only possess one Device card at a time. If he is instructed to draw a new device, he must reshuffle he current Device card into the deck of Device cards once he has drawn a new Device. Please note: a Device may not be discarded voluntarily.
Note: Any "Citizen" who has just drawn a Mission Card and comes here on the direct way may draw one free Device Card. There is not need for this character to roll on the tables below.
Otherwise, both "Citizens" and "Invaders" have to roll a dice here...
This is the place where an Interrogation takes place. This procedures are explained in the rules section.
Otherwise, characters are not admitted to enter the Internal Security building. Just an Alpha Complex Card will be drawn here by players who cannot enter the building.
Note: An "Invader" can register for Citizenship here!
CPU Core Unit
As outlined in the rules, only a "Blue Citizen" can enter the CPU Core. For all other characters the corridor leadin here is off limits!
A "Blue Citizen" who has succeeded in getting here may plead with the Computer to receive some essential assistance. He may roll a dice on the following table. However, a character may only do so once per game! (even if the results are bad)
Well, now that you know the rules, pass the Blast Doors and find out about life in Alpha Complex yourselves. But beware - there is a brave new world in there!
Link to Map Part 1 and Map Part 2!
(Print this row above twice!)
(Note: the three Armed Forces Cards above are not mixed in the deck!)
(Print these cards as often as needed)
(Print these cards as often as needed)
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Copyright © 2003 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany