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Notes from the Delta Green Gen Con Panel 2013

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#1 JoeViturbo

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:12 AM

So I wrote-up a long post (nearly 3000 words) on my web log about the DG panel at GenCon this year for everyone. But lest you think I'm just plugging my blog, I'll give you the TL; DR (too long; didn't read) version here.
 
Shane Ivey, Ken Hite, Adam Scott Glancy, Greg Stolze and Dennis Detwiller all spoke.
 
The new Delta Green will be two books, one for players and one for GM's (although GM's will want both anyway). The two books total a whopping 600 pages although it's not known (at least, not by me) if they are divided evenly.
 
They will be released in 2014 following a Kickstarter campaign.
 
Familial relationships will be emphasized as a way to manage the effects of San loss
 
It is written to take place in 2014
 
They want to do several supplements including ones on organizations (Pisces was mentioned) and time periods (WWII is definitely going to happen)
 
There will be rules to design your own cell. The size of your cell will influence its effectiveness and corruption. there are other variables as well. Official and unofficial cells can exist within the same setting.
 
Going off network , eschewing the use of cell phones and typing on typewriters will prevent the spread of knowledge of the mythos.
 
Certain Mythos entities, like Mi-go are no longer a focus but others, Like the Tsan-Chan will take center-stage .
 
They talked about the possibility of multiple A-cells ordering agents around and the ambiguity of which was the real A-cell.
 
Audio recording devices were present at the seminar so it's likely that the audio will be up shortly, possibly on RPPR or The Unspeakable Oath
Good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County, and State of New York, I order you to cease any, and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin, or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.


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#2 Lammomedes

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:46 AM

I talked to Greg later than evening, and he mentioned that there is also a 5 adventure set coming out, with each adventure helping to show to both players and Keeper how each aspect of how a Delta Green game should be run. I won't go into a bunch of details, but let's just say listen to Greg enthusiastically discuss what he was doing seemed to make sense and help lay the groundwork for both old players of DG and those new to the game to understand the idea of what the designers think a modern conspiracy DG game should be like.



#3 leetsepeak

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 04:26 AM

As someone who can't wait to break into Delta Green, this all sounds extremely exciting. I'm looking forward to these books coming out for the opportunity to run some DG stuff.



#4 synthboy

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 08:44 AM

Thanks the summary. It'll be interesting to see how it develops.

Also, does anyone else think that if MJ12=The Syndicate in The X-Files then does Tsan-Chan=The Observers from Fringe?

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#5 JoeViturbo

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:45 AM

@Lammomedes Please, go into more detail...all the detail you have


Good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County, and State of New York, I order you to cease any, and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin, or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.

#6 MrBlueSky

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:58 AM

Nice writeup,

I also did a recording. Once I'm back in Australia I'll edit it together.

Talking to Dennis the new system will also be much more about how you work as Delta Green outside the missions. If you're part of the sanctioned DG that'll be easier, but there should be some advice (and crunchy rules?) on how to hide that you're working for the conspiracy. The family side (ala connection from Eyes Only) was already mentioned and I'd expect to see that expanded. This is apparently the main focus in Dennis's games, one part mission to four parts fallout, consequences and covering it up.

With the added crunch to stating up your cell there's also the ability to run the cell as a character. That is, the cell might effectively have skills and that it would use against other cells (to avoid detection, etc.) This will allow players to have options where if they ask to call in an airstrike they might have a roll to actually get it (or the next best thing).

The 5 adventure set Lammomedes is talking about are some of the games they ran at GenCon and ones they'll be running at Necronomicon (Blacksat, Wormwood, maybe more). Talking to Greg each teaches a different system mechanic. One teaches skills, one sanity, one character gen, etc. I've got a few games in the new system at Necronomicon. I'll post up with more (plus hopefully some recordings) later.

#7 Lammomedes

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:55 PM

Mr. BluseSky pretty much sums up what I can sat about the adventures. Since they are running them at various cons, playtesting them, I don't want to say a lot more.

They sound pretty cool, and four of the five adventures are already written and have been playtested, and from the above, are slowly being introduced to the public in various guises.

 

All have a bit of a twist, and if I remember correctly, most characters aren't really going to survive them (think Convergence style twists) without some luck.

I didn't take notes as a few of us were sitting around bs'ing, drinking beer, and mostly listening to what Greg had in mind for these 5 adventures. Most are firmly placed in the post 9/11 universe envisioned by the DG crowd, which means no real Majestic-12, no Greys, etc. but instead all the parts of the modern anti-terrorism infrastructure that exists.

 

By the way, during the Q&A, Shane made it very clear that current events will drive most modern DG scenario design. For example, as Joe Viturbo hinted at, there is going to be a return to more 1950s/1960s spycraft by DG agents than 2014 spycraft, though you can still call in drones to nuke your target. But do you dare use your cell phone to contact A-Cell (actually which A-Cell is a good point too) when the NSA will listen in on whatever you might say.

 

I did get a bit of a Laundry vibe too, especially for the "official" Delta Green that will exist. Yes you fight the Mythos more openly, but those who survive may be buried a bit in paperwork. One of the reasons the old, "unofficial" Delta Green is still a viable campaign option.



#8 MrBlueSky

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:27 PM

I did get a bit of a Laundry vibe too, especially for the "official" Delta Green that will exist. Yes you fight the Mythos more openly, but those who survive may be buried a bit in paperwork. One of the reasons the old, "unofficial" Delta Green is still a viable campaign option.

 

Yeah definitely. The example from the panel that grabbed me was gate technology.

"Yeah, the boffins are pretty sure this'll work... Well no, we don't understand why or how it works... But hey, without it we're not going to be able to deal with that Afghanistan based terror cult, so suck it up, what's the worst that could happen ;)"



#9 A42

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:41 AM

I played in two of Arc Dream's DG games (Live Well, Eyes Down) at Gencon, but no new rules, changes, etc.

 

There's been plenty of talk over the years about what a post-9/11 Delta Green would be like. I'm not totally in love with the "DG is now official" path. I think it changes the flavor of the game too much (for me) if the players can requisition tech, call in a drone strike, etc. For me, part of the attraction of Delta Green is that you're on your own out there. As for the Laundry vibe -- no thanks. (Love the books, but don't want to play it. And if I did, there's already a game for that.)

 

While my games have gotten steadily less crunchy as the years go by, I do like the idea of a cell having attributes, skills, etc. I'm sure my players will like it as well, as A-cell's stock answer of late has been "If I'm going to be taking calls from you in the middle of the night and tracking things down for you... what exactly do I need you for?"

 

I find the "consequences and coverup" bit to be intriguing; I'm trying to think of ways to incorporate some of that into an upcoming campaign. It seems at first look to be made easier by a sanctioned Delta Green organization. It'll be somewhat more complicated if your agents are from different agencies and/or are geographically distributed.



#10 MrBlueSky

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:42 PM

I'm not totally in love with the "DG is now official" path.

As for the Laundry vibe -- no thanks. (Love the books, but don't want to play it. And if I did, there's already a game for that.)

 

Okay, I'm not doing a great job explaining. It wouldn't play like the Laundry. There wouldn't be any comedy, no Necronomiphone, magic wouldn't become warm and cuddly or commonplace. But, Delta Green might be forced to start using magic or tech because there's no other option. I picture the boffins as sort of a super green box. The guys would never make a Delta Green game that wasn't gritty.

Unofficial (literally old school) Delta Green will be a playable option. I get the impression that playing official DG won't be anything like all drone strikes and nice gear. The two will balance out. Old school has less toys, but more freedom. Official has more toys, but are far more constrained with their actions.



#11 A42

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:14 PM

Okay, I'm not doing a great job explaining. It wouldn't play like the Laundry. There wouldn't be any comedy, no Necronomiphone, magic wouldn't become warm and cuddly or commonplace. But, Delta Green might be forced to start using magic or tech because there's no other option. I picture the boffins as sort of a super green box. The guys would never make a Delta Green game that wasn't gritty.

Unofficial (literally old school) Delta Green will be a playable option. I get the impression that playing official DG won't be anything like all drone strikes and nice gear. The two will balance out. Old school has less toys, but more freedom. Official has more toys, but are far more constrained with their actions.

 

Fair enough. I have no doubt that whatever they come up will be interesting and awesome. I just don't know how and what parts of it I'll want to use.



#12 Gunrayslawyer

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:48 PM

While I look forward to it, I wonder if it will catch the zeitgeist... the tone of the era as well as the original caught the tone of the 1990s.  Though, the reversion to pre-silicon chip spycraft as a way to control information flow is a brilliant start.

 

BTW, the original poster's weblog is a great read.



#13 Dreadwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:43 AM

This time around can we please have a Cthulhu sourcebook supplement that is a sourcebook rather than an ongoing narrative masquerading as one?

If the investigators are playing researchers at Area 51 let's have maps of facilities, staff rotas, stats, resources, defensive measures. If the investigators are exploring Club Apocalypse let's see the whole of Club Apocalypse including the lower levels and what's down there not just bog standard generic night club floor plans. If the investigators are trying to flush out Pisces let’s have maps and stats for the Temple ship, Severn Aerospace, the town of Birchester etc, etc. I’m sure you understand what I’m getting at. In short in the new edition I’d like to see Delta Green locales handled much more like Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting sourcebooks.

Call of Cthulhu isn't supposed to be a combat focused experience but inevitably investigators always want to invest in combat skills and load up on combat gear despite protestations of the futility of such things from embittered keepers, particularly as far as Delta Green is concerned this choice becomes more significant.

Now that the game system is in house can we have a more interesting and varied combat system, roll under a percentage to successfully attack round after round becomes boring very fast and also means I have the same chance to hit the broad side of barn as I do a gnat's eye. Exaggeration of course but you get the point, I think the D20 version of Cthulhu while not perfect and tending to make character progression out of synch with the typical Lovecraftian protagonist did at least open up new options for characters to employ.

Whoever said it I’m in agreement let’s not go to the Laundry, for ‘tis a silly place. I don’t think that kind of background fits for the development of Delta Green assuming minus the comedy aspect. Although some spin on an illegal secret conspiracy within an official secret conspiracy could work now the time line has moved on as opposed to the illegal secret conspiracy within government of the 90’s Delta Green.



#14 ElijahWhateley

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:16 AM

I'm not sure I want to see various organization headquarters where investigators should never wind up laid out like D&D dungeons. However, I would like to see a lot less emphasis on those headquarters, and more on the weak points of those organizations where the investigators will be going, plus more information on how to run DG in practice. Like you say, Dreadwatcher, DG now is in some ways a narrative masquerading as a setting, and it's an interesting narrative, but I'd also like a campaign I can run for my players.


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#15 Dreadwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:02 PM

 However, I would like to see a lot less emphasis on those headquarters, and more on the weak points of those organizations where the investigators will be going.

 

A good example of that is the Cult of Transendence in Targets of Oppotunity, possible methods of attack and likely responses were given for various fonts of each of the Sees and still doesn't a campaign make. I look at it this way, if you're going to provide the stats for all of the major players then is it too much of a stretch to give us the layout of Vagnoptus Manor? Fatal Experiments 'The Lurker in the Crypt' read quite well in this regard.     



#16 The_Tatterdemalion_King

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:00 PM

I’d like to see Delta Green locales handled much more like Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting sourcebooks.

 
We already have that.
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#17 Aklo

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:35 PM

Kickstarter is starting to seem like the best thing to happen to Mythos RPing, I can't wait!


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#18 Dreadwatcher

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 08:16 AM

Having the chance to review the audio I’d like to provide a few opinions.

MJ12 liquidating and various technologies being suborned in to private companies after 9/11: Like.
I imagine similar to what occurred with PharMethuselah in Targets of Opportunity was The Accord absolved after the events of 9/11?

Similarly the Greys vanishing in a puff of smoke alongside their Mi Go puppet masters: Like.
Providing this is explained and a rational reason provided, I haven't read 'Through a glass...' but from the preview and what I've heard about it, it sounds a bit over the top for my tastes. I am unaware if that novel provides the reasoning behind this turn of events unless there's some in world reason for it I doubt the Mi Go would have just up sticks and leave, discarding their humanity manipulating ways.

Lliogor and Tsan Chan: Like.
The Lliogor have always been a little used and under developed greater independent race, although the original Delta Green suggests they are a less numerous and fading species I think it would be interesting to explore in some detail, plus something about bloodlines was mentioned which could be intriguing. Tsan Chan has been detailed in a Cthulhu monograph so I’m less excited about this but potentially could be extremely good given the fact it’s written by the D.G crowd.

50 Fifty Shades of Green: Like.
This could be very interesting if done right, I like the idea of having an official and unofficial conspiracy and how these two groups interact or don’t interact would make interesting reading material, the unofficial conspiracy using cold war era spying techniques makes perfect sense in the current political climate, though there should be some in game reason why the unofficial conspiracy won’t work within the system.

Build your own cell like a boss: Like.
This is a really good idea the ability to create and develop your own cell through play just like a character is a nifty idea my green box is on my equipment list next to my acquire human resources percentile skill. Barring a T.P.K (and even then) this is a good way to demonstrate how the campaign continues after suffering setbacks.

Close encounters of the personal kind: Indifferent.
This information was presented in Targets of Opportunity as a means to regain San, if it’s further expanded in the new sourcebook all well and good personally I’m not bothered either way.

Hogwarts School of Delta Green Witchcraft and Wizardry: Dislike.
Boffins in lab coats creating gates to Afghanistan using cyber spells is not to my tastes even with the ye liveliest awfulness it comes over a lot naff. Also where did all these magical tech guys come from did they just appear one day?

Now if it’s the case that Delta Green inherited MJ 12 (technology/infrastructure/personnel?) with the serial numbers filed off I think that would be a better story fit providing it’s grounded on the premise of technical miracles (the way research in to quantum physics is going we’ll probably be doing something like magic give or take 100 years I.R.L) and would also explain why there’s some dissention in the ranks from the old timers who generally have more of an idea that if it even smells like mythos (in this case Mi Go tech/magic) it’s akin to shark baiting.

Goodbye Cult of Transcendence we hardly met: Optimistic.
Considering the fact the cult has only been a presence in its modern day format since the start of the 20th Century, considering the Bishops and Acolytes absolutely will not pass up any means to subtly back stab one another every opportunity they get.

With the cult disintegrating and the See’s engaged in internecine warfare the fonts are likewise set at each other’s throats it’s almost as if it was all built to fail which may have been Nyarlathotep’s design from the beginning. Pluck the dandelion plant in bloom and blow, watch as the seeds fly faster and far longer. As the hierarchical structure of the organization is broken and blown to pieces where will these offshoots find fertile soil?

This could make great new Delta Green material, not only would these sorts of investigations have a legacy, cell members may find themselves caught between newly reorganized, warring factions. Watch The Exalted Circle go to war on Dorian Grey as Lamplighter sorcerers make assassination attempts against Interlife in the Dreamlands, and so forth.

#19 mojojojo

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 05:52 PM

Have these books been published yet? Where can I get them?



#20 The_Tatterdemalion_King

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:50 PM

Have these books been published yet? Where can I get them?


The Agent's Handbook has been published in PDF and print. The Delta Green Roleplaying Game is still in production.


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