Villele, in his turn, was summoned to Paris. His boss asked him what he thought of the paratroops.

“There’s a lot of good and a lot of bad in them,” he replied. “They’re dangerous because they go to any lengths and nothing will hold them back … they’re beyond the … notion of good and evil.”

— Jean Lartéguy, The Centurions

In case you haven’t heard, the lovely folks at Studio Deadcrows are successfully crowdfunding a French translation of The Fall of DELTA GREEN. For good and sufficient world-building reasons, Arc Dream remain shy of creating a full-bore French government DG- or PISCES-equivalent unit, but every so often people at the fringes of power touch the edges of the Unnatural. And some of those people have machine guns.

Thus Organisation Claude, not a government outfit like GRU-SV8 or PISCES, or even a deniable program like DELTA GREEN. No, Organisation Claude runs as a straight-up illegal operation on a cell system, behind and sometimes against the walls of the bureaucracy. Now where have we seen that model before? Oh, yes, in the days of the Resistance. And thus Claude began, as a ring of the Resistance within the arch-Catholic Confrérie Notre-Dame network active in the north of France after the end of 1940. Its leader “Claude Griffon” was actually a shared nom du guerre for any cell to use for propaganda, which didn’t stop Claude Griffon from being wanted by the Gestapo … and becoming a DELTA GREEN “friendly.”

In 1942, Organisation Claude provided the Resistance fighters and escorts for the OSS DELTA GREEN operations LIFEGUARD in Cap de la Hague and UPROAR in Fécamp, and the survivors of those actions sniffed out and destroyed a few other Karotechia operations on French soil. They resolved that such sacrileges must be fought wherever they emerged. Despite Gestapo manhunts and the ongoing toll of partisan operations — and nameless horrors — enough of Claude survived the war that when Captain Hugues de Marigny (b. 1917) joined the 1er Régiment du Chasseurs Parachutistes in 1948, he could bring the hard core of the Organisation with him to Indochina. More horror awaited there, but de Marigny survived Dien Bien Phu and a Vietminh POW camp and returned to … Algeria.

          Not pictured: Claude Griffon

In 1956, Commandant de Marigny joined the 3e Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes (3e RHP), newly organized to put down the NLF colonial revolution in France’s keystone colony. He fought terrorists and revolutionaries and the Unnatural all over Algeria, eventually becoming Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the regiment. He seeded new OC cells, or “commandos,” within the Foreign Legion and other paratrooper regiments — his cousin Étienne-Laurent in America had served in the Legion with Randolph Carter in WWI and provided crucial contacts on the Quai d’Orsay and elsewhere. Following the Salan coup attempt in 1961, the 3e RHP is dissolved and de Marigny retires as a Colonel.

De Marigny won’t work with the Communists, as he believes they would consider the Unnatural just another technology or turn it over to Moscow or both, but he has few other scruples. OC commandos, four to six men or women strong (de Marigny knew far too many female fighters in the Resistance to let chivalry guide him here), stand ready not just within the Legion and the security services, but inside the SAC (the Gaullist party covert ops unit), the OAS terrorist organization, and the Marseille Milieu.

Communiques from de Marigny come with the griffon flash of the 3e RHP and the signature “Claude needs you.” Somehow a plane frees up, and “training orders” sometimes get cut. Every so often an arsenal is unguarded, or a pier unwatched. Someone higher up — possibly even de Gaulle himself, who famously keeps personal control of extraordinary units — must be greasing the wheels for OC, but they’re even more anonymous than de Marigny.

De Marigny takes that and all of Claude’s other secrets with him when he commits suicide by pistol on 21 May 1981, while watching the inauguration of President Mitterrand on television at his ancestral home in Normandy.

“What about orders?” an elderly captain inquired.

“No written orders. Do as you see fit. You’ll be covered by the general, you’ve got his word for this.”

— Jean Lartéguy, The Centurions

Regular DELTA GREEN Agents might run across OC commandos in France, or France’s former colonies in Africa, or even in Indochina or the South Pacific. Whether they consider them allies, stooges, or dangerous hyper-Catholic weirdos depends on the cell, and on the Handler’s approach. Only the oldest of OSS hands might remember the name “Claude Griffon,” but OC has an even more paranoid attitude toward security than DG does, so it’s unlikely to come up.

These action items might come up for DG overseas, or for a French-based OC campaign (for which, see the French-US 1960s agency equivalencies table below), or both:

  • France tests nuclear weapons at the In Ekker site (1961-1966) on the northwestern edge of the Hoggar (where “Medusa’s Coil” and “The Last Test” place Atlantean or even prehuman cities) in Algeria, then in convenient-to-R’lyeh Muroroa Atoll (1966-1970). Nukes plus hypergeometry, what could go wrong? Or is France trying to stop Something from coming out?
  • Jean-Luc Bruneau of the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique heads up a UFO investigation portfolio personally authorized by de Gaulle in 1967. Before that he or the OC might investigate the Valensole UFO incident (1 Jul 1965) or the Cussac close encounter (29 Aug 1967).
  • The OC goes in all-hands during the May 1968 Hastur outbreak.
  • Newly extended nickel mines in New Caledonia (1969) could open up Pnakotic shafts or release spectral polyps.

Handlers might also wonder what the heirs of the Comte d’Erlette are up to, or the various French cults from Dreamhounds of Paris thirty years later. A few of the old Surrealists remain alive and kicking in the 1960s, offering a chance to combine blasts of inspiration with blasts of gelignite.

 

French Agencies :: US Agencies Table

Commandos-Marine :: Special Forces (Sailor)

Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (CEA) :: AEC

Deuxième Bureau :: DIA or ONI

Direction Centrale Police Judiciare (DCPJ; after 1966) :: FBI or FBN

Direction Centrale Reseignements Généraux (DCRG) :: FBI or USAIC

Direction de la Surveillance Territoire (DST) :: FBI; add Cryptography 1 to Investigative options

Direction de la Securité Militaire (DSM) :: AFOSI but may also be Soldier, Marine, or Sailor; add Firearms 3 to General options

Gendarmerie Nationale :: Soldier + FBI Special Agent (without Accounting or Investigative options)

Régiment Ètranger de Parachutistes (REP) :: Special Forces (Soldier), Parachuting as mandatory Special Skill

Service de Action Civique (SAC) :: CIA (DPlans Operative, PAD), USAIC, or Gangster

Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionage (SDECE) :: CIA or DIA

SDECE Groupement des Communications Radioélectriques (GCR) :: NSA

SDECE Service Action :: CIA Special Operations Division

Sûreté Nationale (Police Nationale after 1966) :: FBI or US Marshals


The Fall of DELTA GREEN adapts DELTA GREEN: THE ROLE-PLAYING GAME to the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system, opening the files on a lost decade of anti-Mythos operations: the 1960s. Players take on the role of DELTA GREEN operatives, assets, and friendlies. Hunt Deep Ones beneath the Atlantic, shut down dangerous artists in San Francisco, and delve into the heart of Vietnam’s darkness. Purchase The Fall of DELTA GREEN in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

The sonofabitch is in here somewhere. I saw him — I’m gonna get him.” – The French Connection

In 1968, in response to sinister influences that threatened to corrupt America from within and without, the Federal Government established a new agency – one that quickly acquired a reputation for ambitious operations overseas, for covert action, and for doing what had to be done, no matter the cost.

This new agency was the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the BNDD.

And within it – the forces of DELTA GREEN.

Trail of the White Powder

Hunt the Unnatural across the world! From the opium fields of Laos to the skies above the Pacific, from Turkish smuggling routes to the secret heroin labs of Marseilles, follow the trade in misery and fight the horrors along the way. Expose the criminal underworld – and discover that it’s inextricably linked with other secret realms.

Eight Thrilling Operations!

Eight linked operations for The Fall of DELTA GREEN, each one playable as a standalone investigation or as part of an epic hunt for an infamous enemy! That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die…

JADE PHOENIX * ALONSO * HORUS HOURS

DE PROFUNDIS * SECOND LOOK

PURITAN * MISTRAL

NEPENTHE

Sinister Alchemy

Discover the essential truths of life and death. Face sorcerers with strange powers, or plunge through realms beyond comprehension. Choose your allies carefully, and trust no-one – not even yourself.

 “I say to you againe, doe not call up Any that you can not put downe; by the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. Ask of the Lesser, lest the Greater shall not wish to Answer, and shall commande more than you.”


Designed by Kenneth Hite, written by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, the team that brought you the ZALOZHNIY QUARTET and the DRACULA DOSSIER are called up again to create a tale of sordid intrigue, cosmic horror, and desperate action against the Mythos!

Only 100 copies of the faux-leatherbound limited edition The Fall of DELTA GREEN exist. 50 are available to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and 50 are available to customers outside the U.S. and Canada. The books are faux leather with gold foil, and each one includes a sticky-backed bookplate signed by Kenneth Hite which you can add to your book.

Limited edition with bookplate

It is the 1960s. The stars are coming right.

The United States declares war on poverty and sends half a million troops to Indochina; desegregates voting booths and shoots rockets at the moon. Everyone believes that if we put our mind to it and our backs into it, there’s nothing we can’t do to make the world better, for America and everyone else.

You know that this is a lie. You are an Agent of DELTA GREEN, an authorized but unacknowledged black program of the United States national security establishment, tasked to hunt and destroy the Cthulhu Mythos. You know that plans and ideals, peace and love, matter less than a single atom drifting in the galaxy. All you can do is rage against doom, burn out your mind and body, and damn your nonexistent soul keeping your family, your country, your planet, ignorant and safe for one more day.

Written by ENnie Award-winning designer Kenneth Hite, The Fall of DELTA GREEN corebook adapts DELTA GREEN: THE ROLE-PLAYING GAME from Arc Dream Publishing to the award-winning GUMSHOE system. It opens the files on a lost decade of anti-Mythos operations both foreign and domestic, the last days of DELTA GREEN before the Joint Chiefs shut the program down in 1970.

Players take on the role of DELTA GREEN operatives, assets, and friendlies, in deadly one-shot adventures or a campaign spanning the years from hope to madness. Hunt Deep Ones beneath the Atlantic, shut down dangerous artists in San Francisco, and delve into the heart of Vietnam’s darkness.

The Fall of DELTA GREEN features:

  • Lethal combat and covert action in the 1960s, featuring assault rifles, flamethrowers, mortar shells, spy cameras, truth drugs, and getting rid of the bodies DELTA GREEN operations always seem to leave behind.
  • “Back in the World” vignettes that let you explore the human side of your Agent’s life—and often track their slow destruction by DELTA GREEN.
  • The rich world of the Delta Green Mythos, including a gazetteer of unnatural lands, the desperate truth of Hastur, and period takes on the top-secret MAJESTIC program, the Nazi Karotechia, the alien Greys, and the decadent Cult of Transcendence.
  • Detailed advice for making mysteries, magics, monsters, and DELTA GREEN operations.
  • Interoperability with Night’s Black AgentsTrail of Cthulhu, and The Esoterrorists: Use your favorite GUMSHOE rules to battle the unnatural in the 1960s!

The decade begins in sunny optimism, and ends in nighted disaster in the jungles of Indochina.

After the summer of the 1950s, now comes the fall—The Fall of DELTA GREEN.

Related Links

Stock #: PELGDG01L Author: Kenneth Hite
Artists: Jen McCleary, Gislaine Avila, Nyra Drakae, Kennedy C. Garza, Melissa Gay, Quintin Gleim, Jérôme Huguenin, David Lewis Johnson, Erika Leveque, Anthony Moravian, Ernanda Souza, and Karolina Węgrzyn Format: 368-page, full color, smythe-sewn hardback

Buy the limited edition

“Like all decadents he was exquisitely sensitive to the color and atmosphere and names of things …”

— H.P. Lovecraft, “Medusa’s Coil”

Much of the ironic entertainment of playing in Lovecraft’s universe comes from playing, well, in Lovecraft’s universe, or at least his Earth. Specifically, from playing with his names. And not just the Big Names like Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth, but the human-scale names in his world. Meeting a supporting character named Waite, spotting a gunshot-riddled sign for the turnoff to Dunwich, discovering a slim volume in violet buckram by Randolph Carter — these very specific joys come from the very specific associations we formed with those names as readers of Lovecraft’s fiction over years or decades. Crack open your copy of The Lovecraft Lexicon by Anthony Pearsall and salt your campaign with those joys to taste.

The downside is that in order to enjoy them, the players must recognize those names as fictions within your fiction, the equivalent of seeing the “clue glow” in a video game. This endangers immersion, and mitigates against suspension of disbelief. If, as Lovecraft wrote to Clark Ashton Smith, “no weird story can truly produce terror unless it is devised with all the care and verisimilitude of an actual hoax,” then you damage terror and verisimilitude by introducing people and place names taken straight from fiction, and from increasingly familiar fiction at that.

In a classic Call or Trail game set in the 1920s or 1930s, players tend to adopt an ironic detachment from the running boards and candlestick telephones of the setting even without guest appearances by glittery-eyed weirdos named Tillinghast or Curwen. The past is another country, one that might very well have a seaside town named Kingsport in it.

But in a 1960s Fall of DELTA GREEN game, and even moreso a Cthulhu adventure set in the present day, players’ sense of the game world begins to bleed into the “real” and away from the stage set of the past. Thus, the unreal breaks harder when it breaks: if you know in your heart that Googling “Henry Armitage” gets you a “Fictional Librarians” tag on Wikipedia, it’s harder to play along when your Investigator Googles “Henry Armitage” and gets “Head Librarian, Miskatonic University 1924-1936.” To say nothing of the knowledge that Miskatonic University itself is just a cooler Hogwarts with a slightly better Defense Against the Dark Arts program.

Compare to the national name brand!

“The story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

Dragnet, opening narration

Alan Moore, as is his wont, has limned another approach, one that pays increasing dividends the closer your campaign gets to the present. Moore pointed the way out of this box in his comics series Providence (and before that, in The Courtyard and Neonomicon). Moore presents a Cthulhoid world with H.P. Lovecraft in it, a jetée we’ve danced before. Lovecraft’s stories, it transpires, actually happened in that world (which also has Chambers-style suicide temples in them as well) but Lovecraft, one assumes, changes the names, dates, and details when he fictionalizes them for his weird tales.

Elspeth Wade becomes Asenath Waite; the Boggs family of Salem becomes the Marsh family of Innsmouth; Ronald Underwood Pitman becomes Richard Upton Pickman. Moore interweaves real places and people as well: Manchester, New Hampshire becomes Arkham; the (historical) alchemist and Caliph’s son Khalid ibn Yazid becomes Abdul Alhazred (and also, as he did in actual early modern Latin manuscripts, “Hali”); the (historical) werewolf Jacques Roulet takes on a more important role than he did in Lovecraft’s “The Shunned House.” Moore’s “true names” (and lots of spoilers for the Moorecraftian tales) appear here, for the curious.

Presenting various names and places (especially real-world versions) as lightly coded (or de-coded, depending on which direction your epistemology polarizes) versions of Lovecraft’s names and places doesn’t break immersion because the players’ action of de-coding the game names mirrors their Investigators’ action of, well, investigating them. The player deduction that “Weldon Wycherley” is “actually” Wilbur Whateley reinforces and recuperates their character’s realization that the Weldon Wycherley in this picture seems awfully big for an eight-year-old boy. Players become alert for twins and mysterious hills and standing stones, mirroring their Investigator’s discovery of a hidden twin and a strange ruin on Sepulcher Hill. Thus, following Moore and making the various changes transparent ones helps the story and the drama along.

Or start with Earth, but even moreso! Real names and careers of Salem witches, for example, can provide an interesting warp for the Lovecraftian weft: did John Alden, Jr. traffick in other things than guns with the Abenaki? Did his ships bring in mummies and corpses? Or did the remarkably long-lived Jonathan Curwin escape accusation (unlike his mother-in-law) thanks not to his high position but to his necromantically-obtained blackmail material? With a little effort, I bet you can find real-life electrical experimenters and disgraced surgeons who died mysteriously somewhere in New England at some time between 1914 and 1922 — and if they didn’t die mysteriously, that’s where the coverup (or the weird effect of the Mythos on memory and testimony) comes in. Pick your favorite missing U-boat and say it’s the one from “The Temple.” Lovecraft already used real floods and storms for “The Whisperer in Darkness” and “The Haunter of the Dark,” and a real earthquake for the rising of R’lyeh; shift places and dates until something gameable clicks into being.

Use the same approach for real locations of Lovecraftian towns and hills: if your “Kingsport” is actually Marblehead, maybe the Old Pirate House is the house of the Terrible Old Man.  Feel free to scatter them around, too. Perhaps Lovecraft re-used Arkham to further snarl the trail: the meteorite fell near Oakham, Massachusetts; the witch Ann Foster hyperspatially disappeared from Salem rather than dying (as the records were altered to indicate); and the university with the arcane ambit is actually St. Anselm College in Manchester, or Brown University in Providence, or Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. If you can’t find a real legend or ghost or crime that fits Lovecraft’s story, make one up — and finding out who kept it out of the history books (and off Google) can be another layer of the onion for your Investigators to peel back.

 

 

Oh, great was the sin of my spirit,
And great is the reach of its doom;
Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it,
Nor can respite be found in the tomb:
Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

— H.P. Lovecraft, “Nemesis”

The ancient Greek goddess Nemesis existed to “give what is due” (nemein, in Greek) especially to those guilty of the sin of hubris: arrogance, specifically challenging the gods or shaming others for personal glory or gratification.

Nemesis, perhaps pointing out the Ridgway Report

Nemesis personifies not merely justice but payback, wielding a whip as well as holding the scales. In a fun mythic-Mythos crossover, Nemesis appears to have been the daughter of Night and Ocean, depending on which ancient source you read, possibly explaining her parentage of the Telchines, flippered “fish children” with the heads of dogs. (In another Lovecraftian touch avant la lettre, Nemesis was also known as Adrasteia, “the Inescapable.”) According to the lost epic poem Cypria, Nemesis’ daughter was Helen of Troy – who, of course, brought destruction on a powerful kingdom after a ten-year war.

All arrogance will reap a harvest rich in tears. God calls men to a heavy reckoning for overweening pride.

— Aeschylus, The Persians (underlined by Robert F. Kennedy in his copy of Edith Hamilton’s The Greek Way)

In the Sixties, hubris characterized both the counter-culture, which attempted to throw aside laws and morals (to coin a phrase), and even moreso the United States government and its belief that a planning document and a billion dollars could solve any problem — when guided by the golden hand of the elect(ed) of course. Kennedy and Johnson tried to simultaneously fight a war on poverty and on the Viet Cong, with very little understanding of either opponent, and with even less humility. Time and again, federal agencies confidently planned the end of one problem and spawned ten worse ones. One might also cast all manner of “tampering with the natural order” from Agent Orange to the CIA’s weather-controlling Operation POPEYE — even firing rockets at the face of the Moon — as hubristic, if one were in the mood to do so.

Thus, I incorporated hubris into The Fall of DELTA GREEN as a leitmotif and occasional theme. The clearest example is that of the DELTA GREEN program itself, which comes to believe that it can harness the unnatural to fight the unnatural and pays the ultimate price in Cambodia. The original Delta Green source material hinted at the horrid blowback against the reckless “cowboy” operation OBSIDIAN; later works revealed that the rot had set in earlier thanks to careless overconfidence. In my redaction, the disaster of OBSIDIAN springs from Col. Satchel Wade’s ambition, Robert McNamara’s reorganization, and even from the program’s “destroy the town to save us” tradition going back to Innsmouth – it’s hubris all the way down, in other words. But throughout the book other examples surface, not least DELTA GREEN’s polarized opposite, MAJESTIC – by 1970 not yet fallen, but clearly reaching farther than the gods or Nemesis allow.

The Handler can leave Nemesis in the background, of course, trusting to the players’ sense of historical irony to notice the parallels between fighting the Deep Ones and fighting Ho Chi Minh. Or she can translate it from theme to plot, hand-crafting the Agents’ fate just like Nemesis herself might have, with the occasional special squeeze from the mechanics. The Agents’ final fate depends on the Agents’ specific style of hubris.

Just a Lot of Talk and a Badge

The Agents surely aren’t the first or last law enforcement officers to succumb to the heady brew of legal cover for their outrageous actions. Players who rely on flashing a badge (or delivering an extra-judicial beating) to steamroll the opposition set themselves up not just for Internal Affairs investigations but for the poetic justice of an MJ-3 NRO DELTA team doing the same (or worse) to them. More subtly, they earn the contempt of those they claim to be protecting: one illegal search or unlawful beating looks like all the other ones, even if the perp in this case was harboring a necromancer. Perhaps they shed Bond points with other decent cops, or have to spend points for Reassurance responses they used to get for free. Even worse, they find themselves praised and “assisted” by corrupt and brutal Feds and cops – and maybe get invited to join the “Friends of Dom” (FoDG, p. 300).

The Sin of Faust

The classic fate of Cthulhu’s querents since time immemorial has been to destroy themselves with the knowledge they sought. When Agents feel confident that they know a Deep One from a shoggoth, it’s time to pull back a little and show more of the “skull beneath the skin.” The Handler can shuffle the signifiers around as the book suggests, introduce an educationally toxic contradiction, or just feed the Agents more tomes and bas-reliefs to batten upon. (Ritual Addiction (FoDG, p. 201) exemplifies the opportunity here perfectly.) Simply learning the truth about the universe’s malign un-nature corrodes Stability and Sanity, and in The Fall of DELTA GREEN your quest also ablates away those you most care about as Bonds break and burn. With the tight Stability economy of the game (which starts out generous but turns mean, speaking of policy echoes) the mechanics already drive home this punishment.

Literally, Overkill

It’s very possible that DELTA GREEN Agents can “summon fire from the sky” in the words of Colonel Kurtz, calling in B-52 airstrikes on targets in Indochina (and lesser strikes outside overt war zones). The Bureaucracy test Difficulty for an ARC LIGHT (or BARREL ROLL in Laos or Cambodia) mission might be as low as 3 if the Agents have a legitimate tasking for heavy air support, or as high as 7 if they have to pull some strings. That’s not actually very hard. But as Lovecraft might have pointed out, “there’s always a bigger fish.” Perhaps someone, or Something, in that jungle can call in their own apocalypse now, and has no incentive to hold back.

With The Fall of Delta Green having psychedelically burst onto the shelves of finer game stores everywhere and indeed of this very site, this column keeps on bursting the covers of that already overfull tome. This time, rather than throw more weird story meat out there for the Handler, it’s time to give the players some love. And what better form can love take than a steady government paycheck? No better form, in the 1960s or now, surely. So here are a few more Departments where Agents can hang their hats while they’re out hatlessly hunting the unnatural. All these appear in the same format as those in the core book; and as always, yes, some of these Departments are actually just agencies, offices, bureaus, commands, and so forth.

Ability ratings with asterisks add to the rating already in the template, if you pick that ability for your Agent.

Army Security Agency

Technically under the wing of the NSA, but commanded by a U.S. Army general, the ASA protects electronic transmissions by the U.S. Army and attempts to intercept enemy and hostile communications both in the field and from listening stations, satellites, and other technical means. The ASA also has responsibility for electronic countermeasures and electronic warfighting if needed.

Semper Vigile

In Vietnam, the ASA operates as the 3rd Radio Research Unit (509th Radio Research Group after 1965) out of Tan Son Nhut in Saigon, accompanying Special Forces and MACV-SOG units and providing ELINT to regular U.S. forces in country. ASA pilots fly Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) over the jungles, locating and targeting Viet Cong and NVA transmissions … and perhaps other phenomena.

ASA Officer

Prerequisite: Begin by building your Agent using the Soldier template (FoDG, p. 028). You may be Active Duty.

Points: 9 Investigative, 12 General

Foreign Language 1, HUMINT 1, Military Science 1, SIGINT 2, Traffic Analysis 1

Bureaucracy 2, Mechanics 2

Pick Three Investigative: Anthropology 1, Cryptography 1, Data Retrieval 1, Foreign Language 1*, Interrogation 1, Photography 1

Pick Two General: Athletics 4, Mechanics 4*, Pilot 4, Sense Trouble 4, Stealth 4

Bureau of Customs

The U.S. Bureau of Customs doesn’t just collect tariffs and man airport checkpoints (or the other 300 points of entry into the United States) looking for undeclared bottles of wine. Its Office of Investigations combats art and antiquities smuggling, human and narcotics trafficking, and illegal weapons sales both at home and overseas; in 1969 it gets an Air Interdiction Unit. The Customs Bureau also maintains and secures bonded warehouses in ports and airports where almost anything might be stashed away by someone.

Customs Investigator

Points: 11 Investigative, 23 General

Accounting 1, Law 2, Cop Talk 1, Notice 1, Streetwise 1

Bureaucracy 2, Conceal 2, Drive 3

Pick Five Investigative: Accounting 1*, Archaeology 1, Art 1, Cop Talk 1*, Criminology 1, Foreign Language 1, HUMINT 1, Interrogation 1, Law 1*, Notice 1*, Streetwise 1*

Pick Four General: Athletics 4, Conceal 4*, Health 4, Pilot 4, Preparedness 4, Sense Trouble 4, Stability 4, Stealth 4

Central Intelligence Agency

Division D Intercept Specialist

Within the CIA’s Directorate of Plans, Division D handles the collection of electronic and signals intelligence, sometimes in partnership with the Office of Research and Development. The Division’s work happens overseas, in embassies and foreign listening stations such as Kagnew in Ethiopia and Teufelsberg in West Berlin. “The Shop” (FoDG, p. 033) most likely operates under Division D, which does not scruple to access foreign transmitters as well as passively intercept foreign signals. In 1978, Division D folds into the Special Collection Service (SCS), a joint NSA-CIA program.

Points: 14 Investigative, 25 General

Agency 2, Architecture 1, Cryptography 1, Data Retrieval 1, Foreign Language 1, HUMINT 1, Notice 1, SIGINT 2, Tradecraft 1

Bureaucracy 3, Firearms 1, Mechanics 5, Stealth 3, Unarmed Combat 1

Pick Three Investigative: Architecture 1*, Cryptography 1*, Foreign Language 1*, Photography 1, Reassurance 1, SIGINT 1*, Streetwise 1, Tradecraft 1*, Traffic Analysis 1

Pick Three General: Conceal 4, Disguise 4, Filch 4, Mechanics 4*, Preparedness 4, Stealth 4*

Office of Scientific Intelligence Analyst

Tasked with collecting information about scientific developments that could affect national security, the OSI remains something of an odd man out within the CIA. It supports U-2 flights and (until 1965) analyzes Soviet rocket launches, it monitors nuclear tests and provides grants to cooperative universities. In 1963 it moves from the Directorate of Intelligence to the DDS&T; in the confusion and bureaucratic infighting that follow, DELTA GREEN uses OSI as a seine for any hint of hypergeometric research overseas or inside MAJESTIC.

Points: 13 Investigative, 20 General

Data Retrieval 1, Fringe Science 1, Military Science 1, Notice 1, Physics 1

Add One Scientific Specialty: Astronomy 2, Biology 2, Chemistry 2, Physics 2*

Bureaucracy 3, Firearms 1, Mechanics 4, Sense Trouble 1, Unarmed Combat 1

Pick Three Investigative: Agency 2, Data Retrieval 2*, Foreign Language 2, Fringe Science 2*, SIGINT 2, Traffic Analysis 2

Pick Two General: Bureaucracy 5*, Network 5, Preparedness 5, Sanity 5, Stability 5

National Underwater Reconnaissance Office

Established in 1968 to take advantage of the sinking of the Soviet submarine K-129, NURO remains entirely classified for thirty years. Staffed by CIA and ONI personnel, NURO uses mini-subs and “special project submarines” like USS Halibut and USS Seawolf to carry out undersea operations against signal targets such as undersea cables and to penetrate both enemy and neutral waters for intelligence gathering. Prior to 1968 the ONI has a handful of officers tasked with undersea intelligence, but no dedicated program as such; the Navy has the “Oceanographic Systems” Commands (COMOCEANSYS) that operate the SOSUS deep-water sonar array.

The amount of intelligence product on Deep Ones alone that floods into DELTA GREEN with the establishment of NURO nearly drowns the program. Much of the planning of the abortive Operation POMPEY (FoDG, p. 185) comes from NURO sources. Meanwhile, program investigators backtrack the opposition to NURO to pressure from Exalted Circle-connected admirals and bureaucrats; another promising lead the dismantling of DELTA GREEN shuts off.

NURO Analyst

For COMOCEANSYS operators and officers, the Sailor template (FoDG, p. 027) is a prerequisite for your Military Service. Both COMOCEANSYS and NURO personnel may be Active Duty.

Points: 11 Investigative, 13 General

Cryptography 1, Military Science 2, Notice 1, SIGINT 1

Add 3 to any two of these: Bureaucracy 2, Drive 1, Heavy Weapons 1, Mechanics 2, Pilot 1

Pick Three Investigative: Agency 2, Cryptography 2*, Data Retrieval 2, Foreign Language 2, Physics 2, SIGINT 2*, Traffic Analysis 2

NURO Frogman

If your game uses Special Training skills, NURO frogmen should take SCUBA.

Prerequisite: Sailor template (FoDG, p. 027) for your Military Service. You are on Active Duty.

Points: 8 Investigative, 22 General

Add 1 to any two of these: Astronomy 1, Foreign Language 1, Inspiration 1, Interrogation 1, Notice 1, SIGINT 1

Athletics 4, Demolitions 3, Mechanics 2, Preparedness 3, Stealth 4

Pick Two General: Demolitions 3*, Firearms 3, First Aid 3, Heavy Weapons 3, Mechanics 3, Pilot 3, Stealth 3, Unarmed Combat 3

 

 

Limited edition with bookplate

Night’s Black Agents won two silver ENnie awards for Best Game and Best Writing, and was nominated for Best Rules, Best Interior Art and Product of the Year. Find out why with the limited edition!

Only 100 copies of the faux-leatherbound limited edition Night’s Black Agents exist. 50 are available to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and 50 are available to customers outside the U.S. and Canada. The books are faux leather with silver foil, and each one includes a sticky-backed book plate signed by Kenneth Hite, which you can add to your book.

Night’s Black Agents puts you in the role of a deadly secret agent, taking down the forces of darkness.

Bring your favorite high-octane spy thrillers to the table with Night’s Black Agents from legendary designer Kenneth Hite (Trail of Cthulhu). Have friends who love console shooters? This is the tabletop RPG for them! Access the eyes-only Resources page for blank agent dossiers, quick-reference sheets, a 20-minute demo and more — but sweep for tracking devices first.

 

Buy the limited edition

The Cold War is over. Bush’s War is winding down.

You were a shadowy soldier in those fights, trained to move through the secret world: deniable and deadly.

Then you got out, or you got shut out, or you got burned out. You didn’t come in from the cold. Instead, you found your own entrances into Europe’s clandestine networks of power and crime. You did a few ops, and you asked even fewer questions. Who gave you that job in Prague? Who paid for your silence in that Swiss account? You told yourself it didn’t matter.

It turned out to matter a lot. Because it turned out you were working for vampires.

Vampires exist. What can they do? Who do they own? Where is safe? You don’t know those answers yet. So you’d better start asking questions. You have to trace the bloodsuckers’ operations, penetrate their networks, follow their trail, and target their weak points. Because if you don’t hunt them, they will hunt you. And they will kill you.

Or worse.

Night’s Black Agents brings the GUMSHOE engine to the spy thriller genre, combining the propulsive paranoia of movies like Ronin and The Bourne Identity with supernatural horror straight out of Bram Stoker. Investigation is crucial, but it never slows down the action, which explodes with expanded options for bone-crunching combat, high-tech tradecraft, and adrenaline-fueled chases.

Updating classic Gothic terrors for the postmodern age, Night’s Black Agents presents thoroughly modular monstrosity: GMs can build their own vampires, mashup their own minions, kitbash their own conspiracies to suit their personal sense of style and story. Rules options let you set the level of betrayal, grit, and action in your game. Riff from the worked examples or mix and match vampiric abilities, agendas, and assets for a completely custom sanguinary spy saga.

The included hook adventure gets the campaign going; the included city setting shows you what might be clotting in Marseilles’ veins even now. Rack silver bullets in your Glock, twist a UV bulb into your Maglite, and keep watching the mirrors … and pray you’ve got your vampire stories straight.

Designer’s blog entries

An interview with the publisher

Free downloads and resources for Night’s Black Agents

Listen to Ken Hite talk about Night’s Black Agents on the Fear the Boot podcast

 

 

Review Highlights

Read all the reviews here.

As good as the toolkits that Night’s Black Agents provides are, the rules and advice deliver on the game and genre that they promise. Whether it is blood pumping action or heart stopping shocks, Night’s Black Agents is probably best shaken, and definitely has the “Vampire Spy Thriller” staked. – Matthew Pook

Vampires and spies – once you’re past the initial surprise, you’ll see that they work tremendously well in tandem. Well, I think they do, and I think the book’s an absolute knockout. – Sidney Roundwood

 

Limited edition with bookplate

A Secret History Unearthed. A Legendary Horror Walks Again.

Only 100 copies of the limited edition exist. 50 are available to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and 50 are available to customers outside the U.S. and Canada. The limited edition books are faux-leatherbound with foil, and each one includes a sticky-backed bookplate signed by Kenneth Hite and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, which you can add to your book.

Presenting an epic improvised campaign for Night’s Black Agents Roleplaying Game. Do your Agents have what it takes to face the Lord of the Undead himself?

The Dracula Dossier follows in the fully improvisational path of the award-winning Armitage Files campaign. Players follow up leads in the margins of Dracula Unredacted, a rare edition of Bram Stoker’s masterpiece that reveals the terrifying truth behind the fiction. They’ll chase down the real characters from Stoker’s novel, their descendants in the present, and the British agents caught in the backblast.

Dracula's Castle_350Directors combine these leads and notes with pre-prepared elements in the Director’s Handbook, including:

  • Conspiracy nodes, eerie locations and vampiric beasts
  • More than 60 supporting characters in vampiric, heroic, or in-between versions
  • Different versions of the real Mina Harker, Abraham van Helsing, and the other stars of Stoker’s novel — and their modern-day successors, descendants, and survivors — who can drive the story in any direction the players look.

ZZ_Spread pages 186_187 (Carfax)

Players choose which leads to track, which scarlet trail to follow. The Director, using the clear step-by-step techniques in this book, improvises a suitably blood-soaked thriller in response to their choices. Clear advice to players and Directors on improvisation, with extensive examples and guidelines, helps you set the scene. Together, you will read and write your own unique version of the Dracula Dossier.

Follow the clues to end the story once and for all, and close Project EDOM forever. You will find, hunt, and kill Dracula, the king of the vampires.

If you survive.

 

Buy the limited edition

Authors: Kenneth Hite, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan Stock #: PELGN05L
Artists: Stefano Azzalin, Francesca Baerald, Gennifer Bone, Jeff Brown, Tyler Clark, Dennis Detwiller, Nyra Drakae, Dean Engelhardt, Melissa Gay, Brittany Heiner, Jérôme Huguenin, Chris Huth, Christian Knutsson, Anna Kryczkowska, Erica Leveque, David Lewis Johnson, Pat Loboyko, Rich Longmore, Amanda Makepeace, Juha Makkonen, Angelus Nex (Tina X Filic), Olivia Ongai, Margaret Organ-Kean, Nathan Paoletta, Jen Estirdalin Pattison, Brittany Pezzillo, Jeff Porter, Danielle Sands, Biddy Seiveno, Patricia Smith, Ernanda Souza, Marc Steinmann, Ashley Vanchu, Alicia Vogel, Britney Winthrope Contributors: Heather Albano, Paul Baldowski, Kennon Bauman, Walt Ciechenowski, Justin Farquhar, Elsa S. Henry, Carol Johnson, Marissa Kelly, Shoshana Kessock, Shawn Merwin, James Palmer, Nathan Paoletta, Will Plant, Wes Schneider, Christopher Sniezak, Phil Vecchione
Cartographers: Olivia Catroppa, Chris Huth, Will Jobst, Gill Pearce, Joachim de Ravenbel, Simon Rogers, Ralf Schemmann Format: 368 page, full colour hardback

 

Take your players on the greatest vampire hunt in history—more than a hundred years in the making with the limited edition of Dracula Unredacted.

Limited edition without dust jacket

Only 100 copies of the limited edition exist. 50 are available to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and 50 are available to customers outside the U.S. and Canada. The limited edition books are hardbound replicas of the first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with the Dracula Unredacted dust jacket and each one includes a sticky-backed bookplate signed by Kenneth Hite and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, which you can add to your book.

Dracula is not a novel. It’s the censored version of Bram Stoker’s after-action report of the failed British Intelligence attempt to recruit and control the perfect asset — the ultimate weapon — Count Dracula. Kenneth Hite and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan have restored the deleted characters and redacted information, inserting annotations and clues left by three generations of MI6 analysts. This is Dracula Unredacted.

Limited edition with dust jacket and bookplate

 

This new edition of Dracula adds new letters and recordings, diary entries long thought lost, and documents suppressed by Her Majesty’s Government… until now. From the first tentative contact between British intelligence and the un-dead, to the werewolf of Walpurgisnacht, to the cataclysmic disappearance of Dracula in volcanic fire, read the story you’ve known for years… for the first time.
Dracula Unredacted does for the Dracula Dossier what Henry Armitage’s letters did for Armitage Files or The Book of the Smoke for Bookhounds of London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock #: PELGN06L Author: Bram Stoker, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Kenneth Hite
Artist: Jérôme Huguenin, Juha Makonnen Format: 488 pages, casebound, octavo sized

“They have no time to think of surrender. Are they heroes — these Parisians?”

— Robert W. Chambers, “The Street of the First Shell” (1895)

Right about now, just about fifty years ago as I write this, France had no functioning government. I mean, more than usual. Charles de Gaulle, President of France for the last decade, had vanished from the Elysée Palace in the midst of strikes and protests that paralyzed – or vitalized – Paris and left France on the brink of revolution. Half a million protesters marched through the streets of the capital in the dawn light of May 30, 1968, chanting “Adieu, de Gaulle!”

Awake!

The “May 68,” as it has come to be known, began with a student strike in March at the miserable conditions at the University of Nanterre outside Paris. Some of the Nanterre activists (calling themselves enragés after the grubbiest left-radicals of 1793) fled to the Sorbonne in Paris; when the police closed Nanterre and entered the Sorbonne to recapture the rabble-rousers, 20,000 Sorbonne students rose in protest on May 6, 1968. Police brutality against the students in turn brought the unions and the Communists into the streets, hoping to tap into the energies of the enragés for their own causes.

A million people marched in Paris on May 13, setting off a series of general strikes and workers’ seizures of factories all over France. The students retook the Sorbonne and declared it a “people’s university.” Barricades went up, and paving stones flew at cops’ heads. By May 22, two-thirds of French workers were on strike. On May 27, the UNEF, the national student union of France, held a meeting at the Sebastien Charety stadium in Paris; the 50,000 attendees demanded the end of the French state, and the Socialists hurried to pledge their support the next day. On May 29, de Gaulle got into a helicopter and flew away.

We Have a Situation Here

“Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior.”

— Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (1967)

A plurality, and perhaps a majority, of the Occupation Committee of the Sorbonne were members of, or otherwise identified themselves with, the Situationist International. The SI believed in radical non-hierarchy – possibly because of SI founder Guy Debord’s distrust of the Stalinist tendency throughout the contemporary Left – but Debord provided the main theoretical juice for what the Situationists claimed they never called “Situationism.”

In a nutshell, Situationism expands Marxist theory of alienation from the workers to all of society. Ever since World War One, Debord wrote, “the Spectacle” of consumption and commodified objects by its very nature has dominated and controlled every act, thought, and word not just of the proletariat but of everyone who buys or watches. These illusory bread and circuses recreate the oppressive class order within themselves, and “recuperate” even seemingly rebellious acts as a necessary dramatic element within the Spectacle. Examining politics, culture, and capitalism as art produces awareness of the Spectacle but cannot escape it; psychogeography can map the effects of geography and the city on emotion and mind but cannot obviate them.

Only by random artistic inspiration and acts of parodic reinterpretation called “detournement” can the willful Situationists win “the game of events,” free themselves from the Spectacle, and call their own vision of true democratic equality into being. From 1957, when the SI emerged out of a radical surrealist movement, they (or at least Debord) grew ever more directly political.

Politically, to the extent they mapped onto the normal spectrum, the Situationists could be called left-anarchists. Debord mocked anarchists as “mystics of nonorganization,” a tag which could as easily apply to the SI. Their snark and individualism appealed to student radicals such as those in Nanterre and the Sorbonne. Those students dug up precursors to their new movement, from the dynamiter Ravachol to the Marquis du Sade to a certain anonymous playwright.

A Situationist cell in the Sorbonne reads a banned play, and acts. How better to rip the mask off the Spectacle, to separate the lying signs of capitalism from the true signifieds of feeling, than by weaponizing words that undermined so-called reality? They set the Pallid Mask against the mask of the Spectacle, attacking police from the new boulevards of the “Bablyon-Carcosa” they had seen emerging through the tear gas as the Seine billows outward into a great black Lake.

Operation CHARENTON

“Coming soon to this location: charming ruins.”

— Situationist Graffito, Paris 1968

Amidst the Situationist graffiti that rapidly covered the walls of Paris’ Left Bank, a program stringer notices a Sign painted in yellow, a Sign that Admiral Payton has made sure to brief his Paris operatives on since he saw it in 1955. Every DELTA GREEN asset in France gets the alert signal: A day at Longchamp. But how to find the center of an invasion inside a revolution? Payton suggests a random walk: seeking the Sign calls the Sign to you.

Payton learned from Operation BRISTOL that guns and confrontation only feed Hastur. So what to do about it? Detourn the Sign, spray-paint petals sprouting from it, create a yellow fleur-de-lis that angry leftists will be sure to obliterate beneath scarlet hammers, sickles, and stars. If you find copies of the play, destroy it, yes; if you see a street performance under black stars, disrupt it, absolutely. But until then, lean into the Spectacle; make it work for you. Behave like a character in a spy film, turn cosmic convulsion into cheap stereotype. Reinforce plastic reality, tread Carcosa as a stage set, recuperate the King in Yellow as nothing more than a revolutionary poster, and then rip him up.

Agents fan out into Paris, losing touch with each other in a city writhing between two masks. Your Agents doubtless play the crucial role, although other teams in other Iles du Paris report their own strange victories. A Gaullist rally 800,000 strong marches through Paris on the afternoon of the 30th. De Gaulle returns from Germany with the army’s support, orders the workers back with raises, orders the colleges reopened under proper prefects, orders the Spectacle restored. The Communists and Socialists go along, and he crushes them in the elections the next month. Only the normal despair and alienation breathes Parisian air again.

Or was the explanation different? Was Payton’s aim wrong, even if his ammunition was sound? Had the Situationists, alert to every nuance of falsity and screen memory, uncovered the truth about the world? Were they trying to awaken the world from its unnatural prison? After all, Debord’s description of the Spectacle sounds very familiar, to my ears:

To the extent that necessity is socially dreamed, the dream becomes necessary. The Spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The Spectacle is the guardian of sleep.

Iä! Iä! Spectacle fhtagn!

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