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Tenorio

Stephen King's books and The Fall of Delta Green

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Tenorio

Incredible as it may seem, I only recently started reading Stephen King's books. Despite having seen the movies, I just read The Shinning and started IT.

 

As I read, I was thinking that the Ovelook Hotel and Pennywise could be good opponents for Delta Green agents.

 

What do you think? Would it be nice to mix Stephen King's texts with the GUMSHOE system? Would you play?

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Travern

Early Stephen King definitely has potential for FoDG scenarios.  His emphasis on verisimilitude and mundane details would complement Delta Green's gritty realism, and since King is an avowed devotee of HPL, there's more than enough Lovecraftian material in his work.

 

Although The Shining is very much a family tragedy at heart, its setting easily lends itself to Delta Green investigation.  The Overlook Hotel's links to organized crime and political corruption could put on the radar of federal law enforcement, which could in turn bring in Delta Green when clues to the Unnatural are uncovered, e.g. ghost visions, psychic possessions, etc.  If you need a Mythos monster, the lloigor (reskinned as the xin in the FoDG rulebook) could be substituted for the malevolent psychic field behind the hotel.

 

His first short collection, Night Shift, has a wealth of investigation-friendly plots and scenario seeds, e.g. "Graveyard Shift", "I Am the Doorway", "Gray Matter", "Children of the Corn", and "One for the Road".  Any of these stories could attract government attention, from the FBI in general to the CDC, FDA, USDA, and NASA, and then to Delta Green.

 

Spoiler

If you're looking for a campaign frame with a Stephen King element, then look no further than his shadowy government agency, The Department of Scientific Intelligence, a.ka. "The Shop".  They could be set up as a rival agency, like MAJESTIC, except they specialize in psychic experiments (Firestarter) and interdimensional travel (The Mist) in addition to investigating extraterrestrial activitiy (The Tommyknockers).

 

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Tenorio

Perfect!

 

Travern,  thanks for the recommendations.

 

I had thought of the Overlook Hotel as some sort of Haunted Mansion. Using lloigor may give a better result.

 

I will finish reading IT (which should happen throughout the month of August) and look for the books you have indicated.

 

I'm very excited about The Fall of Delta Green. Undoubtedly, one of the best titles for Trail of Cthulhu (and GUMSHOE).

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Travern

You're welcome.  I'd consider adding The Dead Zone to the list for its emotional content since the protagonist is worn down and alienated by his exposure to the paranormal, even if the plot doesn't really lend itself to Delta Green.

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brehaut

For more recent King, Revival has a very Lovecraft vibe with a more modern Americana take. 

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rylehNC
15 hours ago, Travern said:

His first short collection, Night Shift, has a wealth of investigation-friendly plots and scenario seeds, e.g. "Graveyard Shift", "I Am the Doorway", "Gray Matter", "Children of the Corn", and "One for the Road".  Any of these stories could attract government attention, from the FBI in general to the CDC, FDA, USDA, and NASA, and then to Delta Green.

 

Not to mention the stories "Jerusalem's Lot" and "I Know What You Need" in it, which name drop De Vermis Mysteriis and the Necronomicon themselves! King is a Mythos author without question.

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Dante7
4 hours ago, rylehNC said:

Not to mention the stories "Jerusalem's Lot" and "I Know What You Need" in it, which name drop De Vermis Mysteriis and the Necronomicon themselves! King is a Mythos author without question.

 

Crouch End in particular.  And let's not forget Flagg using the name Nyarlathotep (I prefer to think that he's just stealing the name for the reputation, rather than as him actually being the deity, especially given what goes down with him and Mordred)

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yronimoswhateley

The YSDC wiki has a few entries for "Stephen King Country" (Stephen King's Lovecraftian Maine), if your interested - I plan to add more in the future:

  • Jerusalem's Lot
  • Derry
  • Collinsport (the setting for Dark Shadows, a non-King gothic horror soap-opera TV series with Lovecraftian and Stephen King style overtones and storylines about vampires, deep ones, etc. - Collinsport would be located a short distance from Jerusalem's Lot in Stephen King Country)
  • Leviathans (a race of Serpent People/Deep One-like Lovecraftian cultist-monsters from Dark Shadows)
  • De Vermis Mysteriis (a Robert Bloch creation borrowed by Stephen King in his "Salem's Lot" stories)
  • Mordiggian (called "The Worm that Doth Corrupt" in the "Salem's Lot" stories)
  • ...see also what links to Stephen King for a few descriptions of"Lovecraftian" Stephen King movies that may include suggestions for adaptation into CoC or DG scenarios

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Dante7
10 minutes ago, yronimoswhateley said:

Collinsport (the setting for Dark Shadows, a non-King gothic horror soap-opera TV series with Lovecraftian and Stephen King style overtones and storylines about vampires, deep ones, etc. - Collinsport would be located a short distance from Jerusalem's Lot in Stephen King Country)

 

And of course Lurking Fears gives us vampire master villain Desmond Collins- coincidence?  I think not!  ;) 

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Travern
26 minutes ago, yronimoswhateley said:

Collinsport (the setting for Dark Shadows, a non-King gothic horror soap-opera TV series with Lovecraftian and Stephen King style overtones and storylines about vampires, deep ones, etc. - Collinsport would be located a short distance from Jerusalem's Lot in Stephen King Country)

 

Perhaps a short distance geographically, but miles away thematically.  The Gothic soap opera/kitchen-sink supernatural world of Dark Shadows is better suited to Fear Itself, or maybe Trail of Cthulhu, than Delta Green. (Its conventional ghosts, witches, and warlocks are rooted in conventional magic, and converting them into hypergeometrical versions would take some effort.)  At a stretch, maybe the 1970 film House of Dark Shadows could work, but while its treatment of vampirism has a scientific element, its plot doesn't leave much room for government-affiliated agents to purchase a toehold.

 

For suitable TV inspiration, the Stephen King-inspired Stranger Things, set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, offers plenty of potential for Delta Green agents to show up.  On one hand, there's intrusions of The Unnatural into a nostalgically mundane setting, and on the other, government conspiracy and mad science at the edges and/or behind the scenes.

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yronimoswhateley

I wouldn't write it off that easily.  Stephen King wasn't and isn't beyond getting involved in the Gothic soap opera kitchen sink himself, either, with ghosts, vampires, and Lovecraftian monsters appearing virtually side-by-side in "Jerusalem's Lot" alone, and that's before getting into whatever his soap opera "Kingdom Hospital" was about, or the assumed shared universe that all of Stephen King's stories seem to take place in, whether their particular horror subgenres have anything in common with each other or not.... 

 

I could easily see some of the old Dark Shadows plots fitting in alongside the likes of "Jerusalem's Lot" in a Gaslight shared universe. 

 

Of course, Delta Green and Gaslight are very different styles of horror, and that's fair enough, though I could still think of some ways to use Gaslight/Gothic cross-over material as background material for a Stephen King-inspired Delta Green scenario.  (The "Leviathans" material, for example, would fit right in alongside both Delta Green and the likes of "The Tommyknockers", and more than one "X-Files" story....)  And I, for one, would jump at a chance to find a way to make use of storylines involving time-traveling witches, small-town vampire aristocracies, isolated haunted hotels, secret government psychic programs, and interdimensional Lovecraftian clown-monsters in the same post-modern conspiracy-horror setting....  It might not be for everyone, but for the right group, it could at least be an interesting failure!  (Surely I'm not the only one who thinks so? :) )

 

Still, I'm totally agreed that something inspired by a mashup of "Stranger Things" and King's '80s-style horror would go together nicely, for either Delta Green or classic CoC Modern, with minimal work - that combination was virtually made to go together. 

 

 

 

Edit to Add:  Another "Yronimos special" high-concept mashup nobody else would want to touch with a ten-foot pole would be to kit-bash the settings for "The Talisman" or "The Gunslinger" together with the Dreamlands rules, starting with Lovecraft's "The Thing in the Moonlight" as a model.  (It would be tough to accuse a Gunslinger-based Dreamlands setting of being "a watered-down D&D clone"....)

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Dante7
1 hour ago, yronimoswhateley said:

e getting into whatever his soap opera "Kingdom Hospital" was

 

That wasn't King original though, that was his adapting Lars von Trier's "The Kingdom" for American audiences.

 

1 hour ago, yronimoswhateley said:

high-concept mashup nobody else would want to touch with a ten-foot pole would be to kit-bash the settings for "The Talisman" or "The Gunslinger" together with the Dreamlands rules, starting with Lovecraft's "The Thing in the Moonlight" as a model.

 

Talisman more for Dreamlands, Gunslinger if you want a way to link even more alternate planes in to the setting.

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Tenorio

My thanks to everyone who participated in the topic. I took all the advice and started with my homework.

 

I read Cycle of the Werewolf (fun) and The Shining (sensational, although I prefer the ending presented in the movie).

 

I'm reading Salem and IT is next in line, followed by Pet Sematary and Doctor Sleep. They are on my list The Dead Zone, The Tommyknockers and 11/22/63.

 

From everything I read, it is possible to create a universe shared with the elements of all these works. Delta Green (or an agency similar to the X-Files) would have a great challenge to face it all.

 

20180805_120948.jpg

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Hammer

I spun Dead Zone as backstory for a ToC investigation once, with players finding this growing pool of psychic evidence that a man would doom the world unless killed. Leaving players with the choice of delving into the taint of the Unnatural to get "straight" answers, or at least first hand weird evidence, or just trusting the bread crumbs and killing the guy.

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Tenorio

The Shining is one of the most striking books in Stephen King's work and a reference in horror literature. Adapted for theaters, in a controversial version of director Stanley Kubrick, it deserves to be seen and reviewed. We have made an assessment of the two classic contents and convert them into a threat investigators and agents of Trail of Cthulhu and The Fall of Delta Green. Good reading!

(text in portuguese, translate button at the sidebar)

 

https://donjonmaster.blogspot.com/2018/08/donjon-indica-o-iluminado-de-stephen_27.html

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Travern

Congratulations, Tenorio! Kenneth Hite just tweeted his seal of approval for your write-up of the Shining:

 

 

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Tenorio

Travern,

Made my day!

Getting a compliment from my favorite author is something sensational!

I want to thank all of you for taking the post and helping me think about how to adapt the Overlook Hotel to the Cthulhu Mythos

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Dante7
On 05/08/2018 at 05:36, yronimoswhateley said:

Another "Yronimos special" high-concept mashup nobody else would want to touch with a ten-foot pole would be to kit-bash the settings for "The Talisman" or "The Gunslinger" together with the Dreamlands rules, starting with Lovecraft's "The Thing in the Moonlight" as a model.  (It would be tough to accuse a Gunslinger-based Dreamlands setting of being "a watered-down D&D clone"....)

 

Umm...I did Talisman and Dreamlands ages ago. ;)

 

Let me also add that King's The Shop is totally MJ12

 

and, re: Dark Shadows- vamps and ghosts have appeared in the CoC rules since the earliest editions, we even had a threat on this site about vamps in CoC, and how frequently they crop up.  And the witches can easily lend themselves to adaptation to Arkham-style witches. 

 

and tell me that Jeb Hawkes doesn't owe a bit to Wilbur Whateley...

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Travern
3 hours ago, Tenorio said:

I want to thank all of you for taking the post and helping me think about how to adapt the Overlook Hotel to the Cthulhu Mythos

 

You're most welcome—YSDC's community is terrific for pooling information and brainstorming ideas.  Your scenario treatment of the Overlook is a great adaptation of King's setting.  Please let us know how running it with your group goes.   (Incidentally, it occurred to me just now that the animated topiary animals from the Overlook's garden could be a substitute for the Lloigor's dragon form.)

 

In general, I'm now wondering if the Lloigor could make an all-purpose Unnatural antagonist for haunted house scenarios, which I've always found to be a poor fit as a traditional genre in CoC.  I'm going to re-read Colin Wilson's "The Return of the Lloigor" with this angle in mind.  Maybe I can at last crack how to adapt Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, which is a favorite of King's.

 

2 hours ago, Dante7 said:

Let me also add that King's The Shop is totally MJ12

 

Absolutely—virtually any Stephen King story in which "the Shop" (a.k.a. The Department of Scientific Intelligence) features is ripe for a Delta Green adaptation, particularly Firestarter and The Mist.

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Tenorio

I just finished reading Salem 'Lot this weekend.

 

What a book, gentlemen! King takes 100 pages filling the spaces, giving no clue about the evil that lurks in the city. But then, it's like we're on a roller coaster. I want to see soon how things are going to end.

 

Then I should go to Pet Cemetary or November 63'

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Fireinthedust

"Pet Sematary" is muuuuuuch slower than Salem's Lot. There are great spooky bits, but it took me a year of forced reading out of stubborn determination. The Sematary seems to hint at Ithaqqua, albeit a very different version of the wendigo than, say, Until Dawn or HPL. But the pacing, oh my, the pacing was painful for my ADHD. I liked it but wow it was slow.

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Dante7
27 minutes ago, Fireinthedust said:

"Pet Sematary" is muuuuuuch slower than Salem's Lot. There are great spooky bits, but it took me a year of forced reading out of stubborn determination. The Sematary seems to hint at Ithaqqua, albeit a very different version of the wendigo than, say, Until Dawn or HPL. But the pacing, oh my, the pacing was painful for my ADHD. I liked it but wow it was slow.

 

I seriously believe that King over-writes.  Honestly, Tommyknockers could have been half the length and still told the same story. 

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Pigeon
18 hours ago, Dante7 said:

Honestly, Tommyknockers could have been half the length and still told the same story. 

 

In fairness, he was doing so much Cocaine at the time, he had to stuff his nose with cotton to stop from bleeding onto his typewriter. Even he thinks it was an awful book. 

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