Author Topic: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!  (Read 38210 times)

clockworkjoe

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2016, 06:33:09 PM »
It's a good set up/intro to DG but I think it's too complex to be a single session. PCs have to unravel the murders of both cultists and dead DG agents, figure out what the cultists are up to and try to stop them. I think it could be 1 session if you reduced it to state or local investigator PCs called in on a loud noise complaint or feds investigating something unrelated to the cult and then have to pick sides during the inevitable DG team ambush of said cultists. If you don't mind multiple sessions, then it's fine as it is. You might read Cold Dead Hand from TUO for more ideas on Itahqua cult nastiness.

wilzuma

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2016, 07:46:17 PM »
It's a good set up/intro to DG but I think it's too complex to be a single session. PCs have to unravel the murders of both cultists and dead DG agents, figure out what the cultists are up to and try to stop them. I think it could be 1 session if you reduced it to state or local investigator PCs called in on a loud noise complaint or feds investigating something unrelated to the cult and then have to pick sides during the inevitable DG team ambush of said cultists. If you don't mind multiple sessions, then it's fine as it is. You might read Cold Dead Hand from TUO for more ideas on Itahqua cult nastiness.

I think i'm okay with it being more than one session. I try to plan out games as set-pieces, and try to make it one set-piece per session. The first set piece is obviously the crime scene and an action scene with one or two survivors of K-Cell. By the the end of the first session K-Cell will be all dead, and there will only be more questions. After that they have to try to put the clues together, before the Sorcerer and the Consort slip away in the night. The next set piece, or next session is a direct conflict with the cult's survivors, and a test of their resolve. They get away and come back in a later story, or the cult (at least this faction) are wiped out. The first session is the Question. The second session is The answer as it were.
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RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2016, 10:41:26 PM »
Idea for a scenario unapologetically ripping off The Teeth of God.

Thieves of Many Waters

The town of Olney, Oregon, is like many coastal towns in the Pacific Northwest - small, sleepy, past its prime, population barely peeking over 2,000. It was once a local centre for logging and fishery (for those brave enough to head out into the Graveyard of the Pacific) but now most jobs in the town come either from the local Big Box store, a smattering of a tourist industry or the bottling plant overlooking the ocean. The few kids that grow up in Olney rarely stay.

Some of Delta Green's files are integrated back into "legitimate" databases in the early 2000's and the conspiracy adapts to the new realities of computational policework at the speed of government. When a data management program is finally implemented in the early 2010's, it spits out an interesting factoid: a disproportionate numbers of violent crimes "of Programmatic interest" have been committed by people originating from Olney, including no fewer than five serial killers documented between the years of 1944 and 2012.

When local drug-dealer, Ethan Jacobs, is reported murdered in his Olney home, the case is immediately flagged as federal under the War on Drugs and the pretence of mapping out an Oregon drug-trafficking route through. Of course, the "joint agency task force" is actually Delta Green investigating why so many people from Olney wind up violent criminals and committing Mythos-related crimes. Jacobs was impaled with a pitchfork in his abdomen by a home intruder, who then carried on the assault by picking up some kind of folk art in Jacobs' possession and smashing it, using a shard to continue carrying out the brutal assault. Piecing together the "folk art" reveals it appears to be something Jacobs made himself - a monstrous thing that appears to be a mish-mash of sea creatures...

The source of the Mythos violence in Olney comes from a temple deep in the local cave system. The interior contains ancient cave art depicting men with spears wading out to sea in "whale-hunting" scenes and the floor is littered with interesting, sharp rocks. When kids get bored and need somewhere to get drunk, or where the occasional tourist passes through Olney to admire the nature, they almost invariably gravitate to the cave and pick up a "cool rock". The cave is, of course, a temple to Nodens. Those who spend a great amount of time in the cave, or who pick up one of the arrow/spear heads that line the cave floor like sand, receive Nodens' "blessing" and his mission. In this interpretation of Nodens, he is a "native" god to this world, as opposed to the many powers of the Mythos of extraterrestrial origin - and Nodens wants the aliens off his damn lawn. Piecing together the mythology of the cave stories will reveal many "thieves" being put to death by a giant chieftain and his spear-wielding tribe.

Those blessed by Nodens are compelled to hunt - anything extraterrestrial is their favoured prey, but the impulse is simply to hunt. The "serial killers" from Olney have been targeting, say, Cthulhu cults - Ethan Jacobs was a Cthulhu cultist, for example - or people who have been mind-altered by a Yithian, or possessed by a Shan. In ancient times, the natives of the region waged bloody war with the Deep Ones. But many of them are simply driven to madness by the newfound voice in their head filling them with the primal urge to stalk and kill prey. Ethan was murdered by the middle-aged waitress of the local diner, Meredith Shaw, who bought A Drugs from Ethan and used it in the cave to keep it secret from her husband. When she received Nodens' blessing, she sees Ethan as a monster and flees, later returning with the pitchfork to kill him. The final conflict involves her wading out into the Pacific to do battle with a Deep One that Ethan was communing with, who of course will kill her (and will attack the agents on seeing them).

Ideally, of course, at least one player gets Blessed. Mechanically, Nodens' blessing works as a "trade SAN for clues" mechanic - Nodens wants you to hunt and investigators are just a type of hunter, so investigators touched by his trident will receive clues that help them track their quarry or tell them how to kill it, or see who is being influenced by extraterrestrials, but are also bloody, horrific and unnatural visions that don't feel good inside your head.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 09:33:16 AM by RadioactiveBeer »

wilzuma

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2016, 09:55:23 AM »
Idea for a scenario unapologetically ripping off The Teeth of God.

Thieves of Many Waters

The town of Olney, Oregon, is like many coastal towns in the Pacific Northwest - small, sleepy, past its prime, population barely peeking over 2,000. It was once a local centre for logging and fishery (for those brave enough to head out into the Graveyard of the Pacific) but now most jobs in the town come either from the local Big Box store, a smattering of a tourist industry or the bottling plant overlooking the ocean. The few kids that grow up in Olney rarely stay.

Some of Delta Green's files are integrated back into "legitimate" databases in the early 2000's and the conspiracy adapts to the new realities of computational policework at the speed of government. When a data management program is finally implemented in the early 2010's, it spits out an interesting factoid: a disproportionate numbers of violent crimes "of Programmatic interest" have been committed by people originating from Olney, including no fewer than five serial killers documented between the years of 1944 and 2012.

When local drug-dealer, Ethan Jacobs, is reported murdered in his Olney home, the case is immediately flagged as federal under the War on Drugs and the pretence of mapping out an Oregon drug-trafficking route through. Of course, the "joint agency task force" is actually Delta Green investigating why so many people from Olney wind up violent criminals and committing Mythos-related crimes. Jacobs was impaled with a pitchfork in his abdomen by a home intruder, who then carried on the assault by picking up some kind of folk art in Jacobs' possession and smashing it, using a shard to continue carrying out the brutal assault. Piecing together the "folk art" reveals it appears to be something Jacobs made himself - a monstrous thing that appears to be a mish-mash of sea creatures...

The source of the Mythos violence in Olney comes from a temple deep in the local cave system. The interior contains ancient cave art depicting men with spears wading out to sea in "whale-hunting" scenes and the floor is littered with interesting, sharp rocks. When kids get bored and need somewhere to get drunk, or where the occasional tourist passes through Olney to admire the nature, they almost invariably gravitate to the cave and pick up a "cool rock". The cave is, of course, a temple to Nodens. Those who spend a great amount of time in the cave, or who pick up one of the arrow/spear heads that line the cave floor like sand, receive Nodens' "blessing" and his mission. In this interpretation of Nodens, he is a "native" god to this world, as opposed to the many powers of the Mythos of extraterrestrial origin - and Nodens wants the aliens off his damn lawn. Piecing together the mythology of the cave stories will reveal many "thieves" being put to death by a giant chieftain and his spear-wielding tribe.

Those blessed by Nodens are compelled to hunt - anything extraterrestrial is their favoured prey, but the impulse is simply to hunt. The "serial killers" from Olney have been targeting, say, Cthulhu cults - Ethan Jacobs was a Cthulhu cultist, for example - or people who have been mind-altered by a Yithian, or possessed by a Shan. In ancient times, the natives of the region waged bloody war with the Deep Ones. But many of them are simply driven to madness by the newfound voice in their head filling them with the primal urge to stalk and kill prey. Ethan was murdered by the middle-aged waitress of the local diner, Meredith Shaw, who bought A Drugs from Ethan and used it in the cave to keep it secret from her husband. When she received Nodens' blessing, she sees Ethan as a monster and flees, later returning with the pitchfork to kill him. The final conflict involves her wading out into the Pacific to do battle with a Deep One that Ethan was communing with, who of course will kill her (and will attack the agents on seeing them).

Ideally, of course, at least one player gets Blessed. Mechanically, Nodens' blessing works as a "trade SAN for clues" mechanic - Nodens wants you to hunt and investigators are just a type of hunter, so investigators touched by his trident will receive clues that help them track their quarry or tell them how to kill it, or see who is being influenced by extraterrestrials, but are also bloody, horrific and unnatural visions that don't feel good inside your head.

Thoughts?

I think that is a solid scenario. I like the interpretation of Nodens.  I like how it makes the favorable light Nodens often appears in is changed into more of a fascistic or hyperpatriarch who claims ownership  of everything, and only really cares about the rest of the mythos because they are on his lawn. Makes him much more jealous and monstrous.

I've had an idea for a Nodens cult somewhat similar. I wanted it to tie into more fascistic tendencies. Still has that hunting notion, and hunting the mythos, the cults of Nyarlathotep in particular, which he perceives as primitives, animals for him to hang on his walls as trophies. But his cults soon gravitate towards seeing EVERYTHING not like themselves as animals. He's the ultimate form of Racism and Tribalism. They attack that which is Other to them. This is why I make a lot of Nodens cults white supremacists. He attracts that kind of cultist and ultimately re-enforces their world view. Over time though his cults tear each other apart as they come to only view the self to be truly human and any slight human difference cause for murdering and skinning any abhorrent Other. In the end they are alone, paranoid, and cruel. More animal and monstrous than the Other they hunted. these truest of his devotees are carried of by nightgaunts when they are killed, like valkeries come to take them to valhalla, but they are taken to nodens lands and hunted by him and his dogs for sport.
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trinite

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2016, 09:31:08 PM »
Yay, more evil Nodens takes. I like it. I've used Nodens in a Civil War scenario. He's got a cult that looks plenty weird, inhuman and fanatical, but happens to be pointed at something even worse, namely an avatar of Nyarlathotep. My take is that Nodens doesn't care about humans any more than any other Great Old One. He just treats them like bullets rather than snacks.
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RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2016, 10:37:26 PM »
Yeah, I always thought that the Derlethian interpretation of "there's good Mythos too!" kind of missed the point and always try to hammer home that ANYTHING supernatural in a Call of Cthulhu scenario should be a source of SAN loss. The idea behind Nodens telling you "KILL THE WHORES" and spiking your brain with a vision of you eviscerating a man on the step of town hall as his clue that someone in the government is a Cthulhu cultist, much like the primal imagery Caleb uses for Bast, is that the "patron" power is still a monstrous, awful thing and it's not pro-human - it just happens to be anti- the thing you're up against right now.

Been riffing off of the Olney idea and Final Revelation, toying with a frame narrative about civilians piecing through the aftermath of a wildfire that gutted several northern American towns, when they come across a bunker that used to house a Green Box and has signs that someone lived there. As they search for the resident amid the underground complex, they encounter research notes, after-action reports and case files that all link together; as with Fiinal Revelation, reading the case files triggers a one-shot about that case. It provides them a clue that might unlock a door in the bunker, or lead them out to a possible refuge the resident might have fled to escape the fire. Eventually they uncover a family tree document laid out by the resident of the bunker, Agent Olmstead, who comes to believe that the lineage is cursed or evil (due to the connections it has with all the cases) - and probably one or more of the party will recognise relatives on the tree. He's set out to assassinate a politician visiting the site of the wildfire for publicity (as he believes the politician is part of the bloodline) which forms the dramatic race-against-time finale and of course the potential for stand-off's, Mexican and otherwise, as dramatic debates unfold over whether the politician is a Mythos agent or not, if Olmstead is just insane...

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Watcha gonna do? Delta Green: Agent's Handbook is coming for you!
« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2016, 12:53:04 AM »
Double-posting months apart, but recently I listened to the People's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos do a dramatic reading of The Strange High House in the Mist and discovered I may have accidentally been making a really good allusion in my notes for Thieves of Many Waters?

I kind of drew Olney from the aether, the sort of quaint collaboration of syllables that seemed plausible for 'small fishing town' to my ears. It turns out that the protagonist of Strange High House is Thomas Olney and in the course of the story Olney meets Nodens in the titular house and the experience changes him deeply; after meeting Nodens, Olney moves his family out of Kingsport. In the course of the story, Olney goes from a rational philosopher with a well-disciplined mind but who despairs at the mundanity of his life to one who "never fails to smile correctly with pride when the occasion calls for it. In his glance there is not any restless light, and if he ever listens for solemn bells or far elfin horns it is only at night when old dreams are wandering." Which struck me as a strange description, as if he was mentally unsettled quite profoundly encounter. Like meeting Nodens changed him fundamentally somehow and that he left Kingsport with a new and terrible lease on life..

I must have read Strange High House properly years ago - during the Lovecraft phase a lot of 17 year old nerds go through, I expect - but didn't re-read it, so I wonder if this is just luck or the machinations of the subconscious (or something else?) Either way, it kind of fleshes out backstory for me - Thomas moves west from Kingsport to the Pacific, his contact with Nodens giving him a new terrible clarity and purpose. Perhaps HE writes Strange High House as a coping mechanism for the true traumatic contact with the divine power of Nodens - the house as a metaphor for an alcove, perhaps, that houses a similar temple to the one below the Oregon town. I think it also makes it a really fitting DG scenario by connecting it to a primary Lovecraft source (as opposed to secondary mythos writers or inventing something all my own) and one that isn't as widely known, making it a better twist.

I really need to run this scenario to see if it makes any more sense to people who aren't inside my head.