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Compact: Delta Green, "The Organization"

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  • Compact: Delta Green, "The Organization"

    I'm a massive Delta Green fan, and think that it may be one of the best-written gamelines in existence. It occupies a very special place in my heart, and immediately snapped into place the first time I read the Hunter corebook. There's been a fair deal of accidental bleedover; I've managed to convince myself that the Loyalists of Thule exist because of the karotechia, and regularly mix up Network Zero and Saucerwatch.

    Here, I've written up DG as a H:tV compact. This version is concise and scrubbed to fit the World of Darkness; no specific mention is made of the Mythos or any specific organizations. I've left out Majestic-12 entirely (though a similar write-up as a Conspiracy might not be out of the question in the near future), and as such, my Delta Green can be dropped into a chronicle with no modifications necessary. I would advise that if you use DG, you don't also use Task Force: VALKYRIE; two secret government anti-supernatural task forces (both responsible for the raid on Innsmouth!) is a bit much.

    Enjoy!

    DELTA GREEN: ‘THE ORGANIZATION’

    -Here’s where I’d put opening fiction if I wasn’t a piece of scum.-

    The United States government has knowledge of the supernatural, and has taken measures to combat it. Its agents can be drawn from any walk of life, so long as they are a federal employee; everything from the Postal Service to the NSA to the Marine Corps can be tapped. They are known by their security clearance: DELTA GREEN EYES ONLY, or simply Delta Green.
    Delta Green was organized as a result of the 1928 federal raid on the small fishing village of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. The inhabitants were hideous hybrids of human and something far worse, and they worshipped some ancient horror beneath the sea. Faced with blatant evidence of the supernatural, the Office of Naval Intelligence organized P Division to fight the occult.
    Following rumors that the Third Reich was trafficking in black magic and cutting deals with the same things that had been at Innsmouth, P Division was folded into the newly-formed Office of Strategic Services. Officially, P Division was tasked with exploring folklore and archaeology as tools for psychological warfare against the Nazis. Their actual mission was to stop the Germans from using the occult to win the war.

    They met with massive success, wiping out the majority of Nazi sorcerers in Europe and tracking the vast majority of the survivors into South America. They put an end to a dizzying number of cults and monstrous things across the globe. They keep the world safe from the things that go bump in the night, and keep the public innocent of their existence.
    Anyone can work for Delta Green, so long as they are a federal employee. Agents are organized into cells of three, with one cell for each letter of the alphabet. Only twenty-six cells are active at any time, with orders coming down from A Cell. Agents use code names (H Cell might have Agents HERBERT, HECTOR, and HARRIET) and are largely kept ignorant of the membership of other cells. The leader of each cell has a means of contacting A Cell, and the leaders of the cells immediately before and after theirs in the alphabet. Agents are always given a cover story, almost invariably as FBI special agents; the FBI’s purview is very wide.

    Delta Green also maintains a network of “friendlies,” useful civilians who may or may not know of the existence of the supernatural. Friendlies are widely seen as expendable, and will be disowned and scapegoated in the event that an operation goes tits up.

    The organization maintains a number of what they call Green Boxes. These are almost always storage boxes at public facilities, but may also be within someone’s home or even out in the wilderness. An agent can count on a Green Box to have firearms and emergency goods, and is also instructed to leave evidence that A Cell doesn’t want destroyed within one. Each cell will usually know of a Green Box within the area of an operation.

    The Lie
    Delta Green isn’t an official organization, not anymore. They were disbanded by the Pentagon after an unsanctioned 1969 op in Cambodia went catastrophically wrong. Almost everyone involved died, and it tipped off the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge to the imminent American invasion.

    For years, former operatives relished the lack of supervision. During this “cowboy era,” Delta Green adopted a scorched earth policies that lead to the destruction of countless artifacts and the deaths of numerous witnesses. It took the assassination of retired Major General Reginald Fairfield in 1994, a longtime big player in Delta Green, for the organization to wizen up. By that time, less than forty of Delta Green’s former membership were still alive.

    They adopted the current cell structure and demand greater secrecy during operations. Their goals – keep the world safe and the public ignorant – remain as they’ve always been, but now subtlety is the name of the game. Plausible deniability is key; there are those out there that know Delta Green still exists, and do not think kindly of their actions.

    The Enemy:
    Delta Green exists to oppose the supernatural in all its myriad forms, but tends to watch out for the larger-scale threats. A handful of vampires dealing smack and fucking addicts in the inner city are harmless compared to apocalyptic cults and gods that predate humanity. The common threats interest them less than the truly dangerous; things alien to our reality and realm of understanding.

    That said, monsters are monsters. Rookies to the organization cut their teeth on smaller-scale threats that fall into the easily understandable categories; A Cell saves the things that shred sanity like tissue paper for the veterans of the group. Delta Green can’t be everywhere, but it wishes it could be; most of the agents want to save as many innocent people as they can.

    Bargaining isn't out of the question; if a coven of witches can give a cell the information it needs to stop something truly catastrophic, so be it. Minor artifacts rest in damn near every Green Box, and A Cell will reluctantly authorize trades for the greater good. Anything truly apocalyptic needs to be contained or destroyed whenever possible.

    Most of Delta Green’s archives were destroyed long ago, and the high turnover rate for agents means that most go in tragically uninformed. Few have anything better to go with than silenced pistols; most information comes from trial and error or the advice of veterans.



    Remi. she/her. game designer.

  • #2
    Hunters:
    • You were out in Afghanistan, following some pretty funky orders to go check out a target miles away from civilization. A freak storm hit, and some things crawled up out of the sand. They wiped out your squad, ate the flesh from their bones. You were sent home due to your ‘delusions’ and labeled a nutcase. Delta Green approached you; they knew you weren’t crazy.
    • You were an FBI agent, looking into a number of missing persons reports all in the same area. They all stumbled out of the woods a few days after you showed up in town, all with the same crazy story; alien abductions. You filed a bullshit report – mass delusion – but kept looking into things on your own. The organization tapped you, but you don’t care about their mission; you just want to know the truth.
    • You worked for the Center for Disease Control, and got called in to investigate a flu outbreak. What you saw was not the fucking flu. These people had tiny scars all over them, visible only by microscope, and most died of internal bleeding a few days after showing their first symptoms. The official story was avian flu; you’re working for the people that know better.
    • You worked for the NSA, doing counter-terrorism intelligence work. For every hundred radicalized Islamist cell or crazed militia group, there was one group that truly stuck out. These guys blew the Branch Davidians way out of the water, but your reports were laughed at. You tracked down the people who would listen and demanded to be let in.
    Stereotypes:
    • Network Zero: These idiots are our worst fucking nightmare. The last thing we need is some jackass telling the whole world that monsters are real via a shaky YouTube vid; problem is, if we show up in black suits and mirrorshades, they’re gonna be convinced that they’re right.
    • Loyalists of Thule: We fought the fucking Nazis back in the day, and these guys admit to being their kids. I don’t believe a word out of their fucking mouths; it’s all too easy for them to be a front for our old friends.
    • The Union: You want friendlies, there’s no better place to look. These guys will fight just as hard as we do to keep their homes safe, and most of them are smart enough to accept our help and not ask too many questions.
    • The Cheiron Group: There’s pretty consistent rumors that Big Pharma knows about the shit we deal with and exploits it for profit; hell, it’s to be expected in this day and age. It sounds like tinfoil hat shit, I know, but some stories are persistent for a reason. Keep an eye out.
    • The Lucifuge: I just don’t fucking know with these guys. They claim to fight for good, sure, and they’re usually fighting the monsters just as hard as we are, but I don’t trust tainted blood and demon summoning. It’s not fucking right.
    Philosophies:
    Delta Green is a large organization, with a varied membership and a checkered past. It has existed in its current incarnation for right around twenty years, and the future holds great potential for change.
    • The Status Quo thinks the current situation is the ideal; Delta Green rests in the shadows, using the federal government as its tool. There’s great freedom and little responsibility, which gives agents a great deal of autonomy.
    • The Cowboys couldn’t disagree more. They look to the wild days between ’69 and ’94 when Delta Green was free to act as it wished. Most of them think witnesses to the occult need to be shot in order to stay quiet, and adopt a “shoot first and ask questions never” attitude.
    • There exists a small but growing third faction within the organization. The Officials want Delta Green to be a fully-recognized government agency again. In order to keep the world safe, they need resources and manpower than an unofficial conspiracy just doesn’t have.
    Status:
    Delta Green has very literal sense of hierarchy; there are no ranks, and the only group with any greater power than your average agent is A Cell. That said, agents who prove themselves useful enough come to command greater respect and knowledge.
    • You’re an official member of Delta Green, rather than just a friendly. Your peers trust you not to panic under pressure or sell out The Group, but little beyond that. You’ve already seen things that would break lesser minds, and you know there’s no going back. You gain a free Skill Specialty in either Firearms or Subterfuge.
    • • • You’re in on the lie, but by this point the organization has enough dirt on you to ensure you never try to turn away. You’ve broken more laws than you can count and killed more than a handful of people. You’ve watched friends die, and probably had to put one or two of them down yourself. You gain the Contacts merit at two dots, with each one representing a different government agency or fringe group (UFO researchers, etc.)
    • • • • • You’ve lasted longer than the vast majority of Delta Green agents, and A Cell respects that. They’ll pull out all the stops for your operations, and foot the bill for whatever you need. You gain the Resources merit at two dots, but only on goods needed for an operation.
    Last edited by atamajakki; 11-13-2013, 11:43 PM. Reason: Formatting.


    Remi. she/her. game designer.

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    • #3
      I'm considering doing write-ups of the other DG organizations: Majestic-12, Saucerwatch, the Cult of the Third Eye, Phenom X, PISCES, the Karotechia...


      Remi. she/her. game designer.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Delta Green would be a lot more aggressive towards Cheiron, considering the fiction. Delta Green routinely goes after folks who use the weird for profit, though in their world it has a more obviously corrupting influence. That said, I like it.

        Definitely looking forward to more, though I think some of those would be really hard to justify as Hunter compacts. Some might be more fitting as cults. I suppose the write-up would be in a similar format either way.

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        • #5
          A fine adaptation of Delta Green. You capture the mood very well.


          Comment


          • #6
            This is a good one.

            But honestly I don't see why they can't exist with TFV? They are a much smaller group then TFV, and I would imagine even without them TFV are not the only Military/Gov secret group, probably quite a few self interest ones to be honest.


            It is a time for great deeds!

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            • #7
              Love it, big DG fan.

              I will echo the though on Cheiron. I would imagine DG would be out for blood in regards to these guys. They're worse than Network Zero because they're trying to harnass something that can't be harnessed.

              To be honest, I really see them as a compact that bridges and corrindates with/between VASC and TFV. VASC and TFV do their own thing but sometimes they get an email or a call inviting them to a 'night at the opera' and they off to meet up with 'those guys' to tackle something.

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              • #8
                You guys are right on thinking they'd abhor Cheiron; that makes a lot of sense.

                As for VASCU and TF:V still existing, I'm not so sold. I don't like having a fistful of government supernatural hunters, and prefer the "we're just normal dudes" vibe. I'm not gonna say you can't have it, though.

                I think I'll do a writeup of The Fate sometime soon.


                Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                • #9
                  Nicely done .. Reminds me of Charles Stross's Laundry Files ... also a great idea for Conspiracy in Hunter.

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                  • #10
                    Okay, how about blackfire from dogs of war? A force of 1500 mercenaries protecting uncle sam's interests against the supernatural all across the world? How do you see Delta Green interacting with them?

                    Company zero, the military's league of monsters might make a good antagonist for Delta Green. I can't imagine any way they'd think that's okay.

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                    • #11
                      I love your philosophies examples, by the way. I'd use them even in a straight up plain old BRP Delta Green campaign. I'd like to add that I would imagine that Cheiron Group and Majestic 12 might have connections with each other as well. Perhaps Majestic 12 want to try out some odd organ transplants and use their Big Pharma front to get this done....


                      My horror roleplaying blog with a strong focus on World of Darkness and Call of Cthulhu can be found here: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com.au/

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                      • #12
                        I like it, it's similar to what I wrote when Outsider was still active. I say write up the other groups, there's clear differences between these and the core six groups.

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                        • #13
                          I'm going to do write-ups for The Fate, the Karotechia, and Phenom-X. MJ-12 and Saucerwatch are more reliant on there being aliens in the WoD, and the rest are dependent on actually bringing in the Mythos.


                          Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                          • #14
                            Throwing out a bump for this old thread, as they're a major player in my Arkham Lost project. Given the rumors of canon changes coming in the new edition of Delta Green (a faction of DG gets government sanction again, but now has to begrudgingly work alongside Majestic-12), I may have to do a Conspiracy version of these guys very soon.


                            Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                            • #15
                              News from Gen Con confirms some ideas I've heard tossed around for a long while; DG is in for a big shakeup. There's a divide between the Officials (who have rejoined the government in a sanctioned context and merged with a MAJESTIC-12 that no longer has contact with aliens) and the Cowboys/Status Quo (who are carrying on like they always did). I might need to write up a "Delta Green as Conspiracy" here soon.


                              Remi. she/her. game designer.

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