In the latest episode of their petrification-resistant podcast, Ken and Robin talk least favorite monsters (looking at you cockatrice), the Yellow Fleet, recent horror film essentials, and Austin Osman Spare.

In the latest episode of their virtually priceless podcast, Ken and Robin talk Fall of DELTA GREEN meets Night’s Black Agents in Cambodia, penultimate horror essentials, NFTs of Carcosa, and saving Will Rogers.

In the autumn of 1967, a highway patroller radios in a report of a multi-vehicle automobile collision just outside of Ipswich, Massachusetts, on the Great Arkham Highway.

There’s no such road.

Over the next few days – before DELTA GREEN closes down the area – there are more reports of strange incidents. A motorist is stopped by a pair of gas-masked officers who demand to check her vehicle for ‘contamination’, and spray her with an unknown chemical. A delivery truck crashes, spilling its cargo across the road – a cargo of devices that look like radios, but don’t function according to any known laws of physics. A customer at a roadside diner finds a copy of a tourist guide, left behind by some other traveller, describing good places to eat in the city of Great Arkham. A naturalist observes a flock of wild geese take flight across the grey sky, only to vanish in mid-air.

And across North America, a whole host of people – artists, poets, aesthetes, dreamers, sensitive souls – suddenly start making offhand references to the city of Great Arkham, as if it’s always been there, to be mentioned in the same breath as Boston or Chicago.

A portal to another reality has opened, only it’s not in some distant Antarctic plateau or deep in the trackless sands of the desert, it’s right in the middle of New England.

They’ve codenamed it YANKEE IREM.

 

The House on Castle Hill

In this Fall of Delta Green/Cthulhu City crossover campaign, the player characters are DELTA GREEN agents assigned to investigate and contain the situation. It’s one of the largest operations DELTA GREEN’s ever undertaken; the cover story is that it’s a military exercise designed to test civilian readiness for a Soviet atomic attack, hence the area around the breach has been evacuated (bar a few stubborn or isolated holdouts). An operational headquarters has been established at the stately home on Castle Hill outside Ipswich, under the command of Colonel Michael Kerovouri (FoDG, p. 163). As the campaign begins, teams have sealed off the major routes in and out of YANKEE IREM, and are getting ready to insert the first exploratory teams into the portals. The top priority: ensuring that whatever alien force has taken over a chunk of American soil about three miles in diameter doesn’t expand its foothold.

Inside YANKEE IREM is the city of Great Arkham, as described in Cthulhu City. There are only a handful of portals in and out of the city – some of the roads out of Great Arkham go to the version of the United States the characters came from, and others… go elsewhere. Once inserted into the city, the characters need to ensure they have lines of communication and retreat back to their entry point, or they may be trapped in this otherworld forever. The ‘ordinary’ people of Great Arkham take to the intrusion of mysterious federal agents into their city in the same way they take to the intrusion of other mysterious, sinister, oppressive forces – with dogged ignorance and resignation. However, on the other side of the portal, the characters must also deal with an influx of individuals ‘called’ by the city, reporters and upset citizens trying to get answers about the duration and extent of the ‘military exercise’ and the growing number of portals between Great Arkham and our reality. The alien city’s grasp on our universe is strengthening…

Some Horrible Revelations

  • Isaac Vorsht (Cthulhu City, 124) claims to be a DELTA GREEN Agent, who was investigating strange events in the ruins of Innsmouth before the city swallowed him. However, the program has no knowledge of him.
  • The Black Stone Towers (CC, 18) appear in advance of any expansion of the city into our reality. They appear overnight, as if they’ve always been there, and then over the course of the next few days, the YANKEE IREM zone expands around the cyclopean marker.
  • As YANKEE IREM infiltrates our reality, it begins to infect history, changing the past. References to the city start appearing in old history books and newspapers; people start recalling their own histories differently, incorporating the strange city into their recollections. Railway tracks and old roads sprout like tendrils, looking to connect the city with Boston and other towns in the area as it’s always been there.
  • The cloudy skies above Great Arkham are full of strange lights and glimpses of mysterious objects – and given the increasing scale of the threat, Colonel Kerovouri can hardly afford to turn down help from MAJESTIC.
  • Some of the citizens of Great Arkham are people from ‘our’ reality, residents of the coastal area consumed by the city who got rewritten in accordance with the ‘new’ history – but there are millions more living in the city. Do they have counterparts in our reality? Might there be alternate versions of the Agents living in Great Arkham? Or are the inhabitants of the strange city unique, another branch of humanity living in some alternate reality? Are they human, or body-snatching aliens wearing masks of flesh?
  • To stop the city’s expansion, the Agents must identify the Openers and Closers (CC p. 40) and ensuring Closing wins, cutting YANKEE IREM off from our reality once more.

 

 

In the latest episode of their groovy podcast, Ken and Robin talk gaming Swinging London, the rise of the horror auteurs, Gamestop in Carcosa, and the Hart Island amusement park.

In the latest episode of their less than wholly Roman podcast, Ken and Robin talk Morning of the Magicians in FALL OF DELTA GREEN, mid-century gothic cinema, our favorite Old Ones, and the final meeting of the Prince-Electors.

In the latest episode of their temptingly powerful podcast, Ken and Robin talk cursed items, DELTA GREEN’s Bay of Pigs, blind French organists, and iridology.

The BORELLUS CONNECTION manuscript was too nightmarish and vast to be constrained by any binding our printer could conceive; therefore, we were obliged to remove some material from the book. It’s preserved here as a series of Page XX articles. As Orne’s mysterious correspondent in Philadelphia warned us, “no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are to be had”; therefore, we have categorised these cuttings as FINEST EFFECTS.

All materials tagged FINEST EFFECTS are Handler’s Eyes Only – prospective players of the Borellus Connection campaign are instructed not to read these articles.

Over the course of the campaign – especially in the penultimate operation, MISTRAL – it’s possible that Orne results a dead Agent as an obstacle for the investigators. Here’s how to play that from the point of view of the resurrectee…

The resurrected victim needs to make an Unnatural Stability test (6-point for salt-cut, 8-point for full-on) to cope with the experience of death and resurrection. Full-on resurrectees also get an Addiction to fresh blood (Fall of Delta Green).

To maximise the horror, let the players of the dead Agents play their old selves. The resurrected Agents are brought back in the Tunnels (see Operation MISTRAL). Orne vanishes before they become conscious, but Antonio Gomes waits for them.

  • The resurrected Agent has vague, distorted memories of an underground laboratory that seemed half-assembled – there were people moving around, filling crates with jars and other supplies – and a garden full of thorn bushes under strange stars.
  • While the Agents are still recovering from the resurrection experience, Gomes leers at them and explains that the master has brought them back from the dead, and that they are now his slaves. The master gives life, but he can also take it away.
  • To prove his point, Gomes mutters a few words of the dismissal formula – and the resurrected victims feel an undeniable and sickening feeling of dissolution, like they’re falling apart from the inside. It’s clear (HUMINT) that Gomes is telling the truth – the necromancer can destroy his creations with a word.
  • If the Agents are salt-cuts, then Gomes explains that the master has turned them into a drug, boiled all their thoughts and memories down to white powder. He has more of the drug, and he can supply more if the Agents co-operate. Is there any addiction so complete, or high so pure, as simply existing?
  • Gomes gives the resurrected assassins a bag containing weapons, photographs of the living Agents (with the address of their hotel scribbled on the back), car keys, and 2000 francs (each franc is worth about 20 cents). He tells them that they have 24 hours to get rid of their former allies; if they succeed, then the master may prolong their new lives. If they fail, they will be dissolved, and the master may bring them back again and again just to torture them. They have fallen into the hands of a living god – there is no hope for them except willing service to the master.
  • Gomes vanishes down the tunnels; if the resurrected Agents explore, they soon find an exit (either the Almousin-Metraton clubhouse, or the abandoned house near the cimitier Saint-Pierre. There’s a car waiting for them.
  • Resurrected Agents who become Shattered are likely to pick up Mental Disorders like Aggressive Tendencies (“I’ve got to kill you all! I’ve already died once, I’m not going back! It’s your turn!”) or Multiple Personality. Also, remind them of their crippling thirst for blood.
  • Resurrected Agents can spend a point of the Unnatural to try the ‘homing trick’, trusting to their instincts to lead them back to the lab where they were created. If Marseille’s still wracked by Carcosan weirdness, the trick doesn’t work, but if the Agents have dealt with Orne’s psychic chaff, then the resurrectees can lead the team straight to Orne’s House.
  • Any of Orne’s minions capable of spellcasting have access to the dismissal formula, and Orne can cast it at range. The resurrected Agents get turned back to dust if they ever pose a threat to Orne’s plans.

When asked to name his favorite monster, Noah selects a deep cut that cuts deep.


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 BORELLUS CONNECTION manuscript was too nightmarish and vast to be constrained by any binding our printer could conceive; therefore, we were obliged to remove some material from the book. It’s preserved here as a series of Page XX articles. As Orne’s mysterious correspondent in Philadelphia warned us, “no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are to be had”; therefore, we have categorised these cuttings as FINEST EFFECTS.

All materials tagged FINEST EFFECTS are Handler’s Eyes Only – prospective players of the Borellus Connection campaign are instructed not to read these articles.

Operation HORUS HOURS sends the Agents on a trans-Pacific flight, shadowing a group of heroin smugglers as they fly from Hong Kong to LAX. Some added random encounters to liven up the flight:

  • Drunken Passenger: A drunken passenger (pick one of the Red Herrings if need be) mistakes one of the Agent for someone they know and strongly dislike, and decides that mid-flight is the perfect time to have this long-delayed confrontation. Reassurance or Flattery means that the Agent merely gets vomited on instead of punched.
  • Illness: One of the other passengers has stomach flu, but assumes it’s appendicitis or worse. The cry goes up – “is there a doctor on board?”
  • Turbulence: The plane runs into turbulence. Everyone must return to their seats and strap in. If an Agent delays, call for an Athletics test (Difficulty 3); failure means the Agent falls and takes d-3 damage.
  • Bad Weather: Thunder booms, lightning flashes, and the plane shudders as strong winds catch it and throw it across the sky. The lights flicker. Any physical actions (Athletics, Stealth etc) are at +1 Difficulty until clear of the storm.
  • Talkative Seatmate: Pick one of the Agents; their seatmate finishes the novel they were reading (Valley of the Dolls) and, bored, tries to strike up a conversation with the Agent. The seatmate is inquisitive and persistent. If rebuffed, complain loudly.
  • Fallen Baggage: One of the overhead compartments flies open and a bag falls out. Roll a d6. On a 1-2, it belongs one of the Agents; on a 3-5, an ordinary passenger; on a 6, one of the smugglers). In the case of an Agent or criminal, some suspicious item – a gun, a passport, a brick of heroin – goes skittering away under seats and must be hastily retrieved.

Among the reasons for running my light-hearted Fall of DELTA GREEN home variant with QuickShock rules: I can share custom cards I create for it here with you.

In the first scenario, intrepid agents of the Dominion Bureau of Research, an unacknowledged Canadian spy outfit, tracked a mole in the Avro Arrow plant in Malton, ON. Before they could figure out whether he had reestablished contact with a new Soviet handler, they found him melted to goo on the floor of his Kensington Market rooming house.

The possibility existed that they too would find themselves on the receiving end of a MAJESTIC melting ray. Due to their admirable caution in confronting this newly discovered adversary, they skirted this fate and, with it, the following QuickShock Injury cards.

The Minor card suggests an indirect hit from a heatless melting ray that works by breaking down cellular walls. The Major card comes with a direct hit, one that potentially touches off a cellular cascade that turns the victim to goo at scenario’s end.

MELT SCAR

Injury

-1 to Focus tests.

MELTED FLESH

Injury

Gain 2 Health when you receive this card. Lose 2 Health on any failed Physical test. If Health ever drops to 0, and this card is still in hand at end of scenario, you die.

Discard by finding the cure.

In The Yellow King Roleplaying Game, this is exactly the sort of sinister technology that might have gone missing from Castaigne regime armories during the revolution depicted in Aftermath. In This is Normal Now, the melt ray could be wielded by scientists developing technologies they believe to come from a crashed UFO access, but are really of Carcosan origin.


The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

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