Latest Update: Vapor Complex, added April 14th 2019
Previous Update: Cold War Complex, added January 6th 2019
After World War 3, the Polity computer network was established, an inter-locking network of Computers and Alpha Complexes that govern all of society in the hopes of preventing a Fourth World War. It was the first effective world government, and it paved the way for colonization on other planets and in deep space. However, one day that prosperity collapsed, and a global die-off ensured. Nobody really knows why, though the common rumor is that Earth itself was hit by an asteroid the size of Sheboygan. The Complexes themselves survived the die-off, but each reacted differently: some remaining sane, most blaming some bogeyman such as "Communists". All of the Complexes grew increasingly paranoid of each other, and cut themselves out of the Polity network. These Complexes became isolationist, only caring about their corner of their world, but they cannot ignore those other treasonous complexes forever.
Note however that "alternate Alpha Complex" is NOT necessarily an alternate PARANOIA setting. From "What is an Alternate Paranoia Setting?", Aratos draws the distinction between the two concepts: "Alphacology is an alternative Alpha Complex. It's an underground complex ruled by an insane computer, which sends spies to Alpha Complex. It was the main conspiracy behind a straight campaign I ran. You can find the pfd in the GM forum somewhere iirc.
Alphacology is not an alternative Paranoia setting. The two suggestions I've made in this forum [Student Council and Medical Orderlies] are. They've got very little in common with Alpha Complex, but what they do share is a particular atmosphere and basic framework." You can find other various examples of alternate PARANOIA settings in the forum Mandatory Community Mission #3 and the topic Brave New Complexes: Players' Turn. Brave New Complexes, if it ever will be released, will likely provide a mix between alternate Alpha Complexes (Allen Varney describes one where mutants take over) and alternate PARANOIA Settings that cannot reasonably be called Alpha Complexes (Costin-U-MOR discusses one such setting, the Avignon Papacy).
An alternate Alpha Complex may serve as a setting for a "PARANOIA" game. You could play in the Alphacology setting as Troubleshooters upholding the will of Alphacology's Computer. But it could also serve as a plotpoint for an existing "PARANOIA" game, as a potential threat the players (and The Computer) must take into account.
Alternate Alpha Complexes can be used in a regular Paranoia game as:
- The Official Enemy, which justifies your Alpha Complex's existence and paranoia. Players, whether RED Troubleshooters, BLUE IntSec goons, or ULTRAVIOLET High Programmers, are constantly sent on missions to destroy this Enemy once and for all (either launching attacks on the Complex or just rooting out spies from said Complex).
- The Official Ally, which justifies your Alpha Complex's claim to being sane (look, someone else agrees with us!). Players, whether RED Troubleshooters, BLUE IntSec goons, or ULTRAVIOLET High Programmers, may sometimes be sent to help this Ally out. Localized trade between the two Complexes may also be lucrative for both sides. (But paranoia still reigns: Alpha Complex often send spies to monitor the behavior of the Official Ally, to report if the Official Ally is planning a betrayal or not, and to find new Allies to use against the original Official Ally. The line between Official Ally and Official Enemy are often times blurred.)
- A potential tool for ambitious individuals (usually ULTRAVIOLETs), who may want to establish treasonous connections with these other Complexes abroad in hopes of achieving political power at home.
- The background for the mysterious "Spy for another Alpha Complex" secret society: different Alpha Complexes have different goals and objectives (some of them not even pertaining to the Complex they're spying on), and may utilize their spies differently in pursuit of those goals.
The goal of this website is to act as a non-exhaustive database of all alternate Alpha Complexes (whether they were independently developed by fans or created by Famous Game Designers for use in published missions and supplements), with an emphasis on providing proposed secret society missions for "Spy for another Alpha Complex". A GM may use these alternate Alpha Complexes whole-scale, or just mine this website for ideas.
PARANOIA is a trademark jointly held by Eric Goldberg and Greg Costikyan and used under exclusive license by Mongoose Publishing. All trademarks are © their respective owners, If you wish to have your material removed, receive credit for an idea on this website, to contribute your own Alternate Alpha Complex to this database, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .