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MInireview: The Thin Green Line (Paranoia)

While the base Troubleshooters book covers the happy and carefree life of an Alpha Complex Troubleshooter, Internal Security covers the sort-of police force, and High Programmers covers the life of the elite, to date there hasn’t been all that much coverage for the armed forces. Enter The Thin Green Line, a quick overview of the military side. Unfortunately it’s a bit lightweight, clocking in at 64 pages, but it does provide some help for GMs who want to help their PCs volunteer for a stint in the glorious infantry. Volunteering for the army is strictly voluntary, of course. Every citizen is quite free to say no (and so prove their traitorous tendencies, of course).

We get some bits and pieces about the Book Camp process, but unfortunately it’s quite high-level and most of the content is reduced to a table or two about the results of said Boot Camp. I would have liked to see an actual playable Boot Camp section, but no such luck (due to page count limits, probably). So, GMs who want to subject their victi… err, players to some good old fashioned drill sergeant abuse will just have to watch Full Metal Jacket a few extra times and improvise. After Boot Camp, recruits are sent to the various branches of the army, which could be anything from a low-level grunt to a glorious Vulture Warrior… and of course, the selection process is completely fair, scientific and methodical.

After that we’re given a list of various Big Guns and assorted mayhem. The PCs get to shoot Really Big Weapons here, at least in theory, and of course this translates to various versions of: “you blew up what?!? On whose orders!?!”. And of course, Alpha Complex shares that eternal military curse: the weapons are made by the lowest bidder.

The included adventure is quite hilarious. It sends the PCs off to the Outside to investigate a military outpost which reported a full-scale attack by the Enemy, and then went silent. Lots of possibilities for mayhem here, and ample room for the PCs to totally screw up. The only minus point is a missing map; the text refers to a map of said outpost on page so-and-so, but that page (or any other page, for that matter) is totally missing any sort of map. While quite illustrative of yet another military snafu, your average GM would actually like that map, thanyouverymuch. Anyway, the adventure is fun and it’s not that hard to improvise some sort of map on your own.

A decent supplement for anyone wanting to add some military “fun” to a Paranoia game. While I would have liked to see some more pages on the subject, especially on the Boot Camp side, I’ll take what I can get.

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