Delta Green: God’s Teeth – God’s Eye – Episode 3

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Synopsis: Months after wiping out the Cult of the Nameless God, Delta Green is no closer to explaining what happened to the men of Working Group M. Whatever dark secrets the Wayfinder’s children initiated will remain forever locked away by death and a world of words. But M had effect on target. That’s all that matters to the Program…and it’s certainly all that matters to Sredni Vashtar.

Now, a mathematician working on a top-secret NSA surveillance program has disappeared into thin air. Group M has been sent to investigate. But when the hunting ground is as large as the mythos, even the servants of a god can turn from predator to prey.

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  1. my various thoughts, in roughly chronological order:

    “it’s Google Deep Dream for the NSA” is a glorious nightmare of a concept, I love it

    I think I’ve been spending too much time on Twitter, when Kim said “there aren’t a lot of guys in Reno for (#)girls like us” I immediately assumed they were both trans. this will remain my headcanon. in the spirit of maximum Twitterousness, I will also assume they were super-awkwardly dating.

    Ross should definitely have gotten a free crit success for shutting down Mister Military with that “it runs on her genius, so I’ll ask when I want your input” line, that was magnificent

    I have never had an oh shit moment listening to a podcast like I have when the DG contact said “we’re using Nora’s tech in other places,” I would’ve had a genuine speechless stress response to that at the table if it were me. I guess that wasn’t it in the end, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW THAT.

    [a long deleted thought about the Apache Tracker being a comment on being incurious and making assumptions about people that didn’t really fit but that runs through my mind every time anyone mentions him]

    mmm, knowledge that sends you to void

    it’s such a goddamn shame that in reality surveillance tends to be a tool of oligarchical evil, because this technology is SO COOL and could accomplish so much good if it weren’t kept in the hands of paranoid, politically motivated police/military/security forces. Eclipse Phase has radicalized me about sousveillance the crowdsourced death of privacy.

  2. Listening to games like this, is SUCH a delight! Normally I listen to podcasts while playing some mindless zero story computer game. But I listened to this while travelling. Completely engrossed in the story! I have ADHD and this held my attention the WHOLE time.

    I talked about this on my own podcast recently, but I’m not really into horror. Certainly not horror movies. Horror games though? I’m starting to get behind it. A horror RPG forces the GM to be more descriptive. If you want to get that emotional response from your players you need to drag them into the world of the scene. I think that is why they are such a delight to listen to. I’m never scared when I listen to CoC or DG, but it’s still a bloody engrosing emotional experience.

    RPPR makes me want to be a better GM, and not just Caleb(who is quite fantastic) but all of you. The whole RPPR crew is an inspiration and you guys should be proud of the art you create here.

    (I was gonna tweet this at Ross and Caleb, but it’s a little long.)

  3. Man, I had this whole scenario figured out totally wrong. I thought they’d stumbled across a different Delta Green op, probably by some cowboys from the Group, and they were killing “random” victims who were all part of a mythos conspiracy. I was guessing that Sredni Vashtar would ping the other DG cell as prey, because they had been tainted by their long experience getting up close to threats. And the opposing DG cell had an inside operator at Persistent Solutions, either the disappeared lady or Kim, feeding them the info they needed to defeat the surveillance.

    That probably would have been a good scenario too, but it wasn’t this scenario. Glad I wasn’t on the team! 🙂

    (Just to clarify, this was a really good scenario, and another great performance by the whole team.)

  4. I had it guessed as either the old DG cowboys or that sorcerer cabal working with the cartels from ToO.

  5. I loved the game. I really enjoy where the campaign is going but I do have just one little criticism (and I think it’s partly my fault). It would be nice if Caleb was a little more transparent when he’s delivering exposition. I fully recognize that I may have trouble keeping up with some of it because I am not as well versed in the DG meta plot as you guys, but there were a few times when some of the descriptions went a little over my head. In the end it was never really an issue because I was able to think about it later and piece together what happened using context and logic but it would be cool if I didn’t have to step back and think “wait, what happened?”

    Specifically the disconnect for me tends to happen when Caleb delivers sanity descriptions. Like the scenes where the characters were in the hotel rooms looking at all the “glitches”. It wasn’t evident that the three fucked up sanity descriptions were lining up with three locations in the city until I took a moment to pause the game and think about it. In the moment I was like “wait, something with an iceplanet and a burning tire…wut?”

    I’m really torn on it to because I actually think the sanity descriptions are really cool like that because it really helps highlight how surreal everything is. If I were sitting at the table I would simply ask the GM a question to confirm that I’m on the same page has him, but you guy’s don’t seem to do it as much as I would. You guy’s just seem to all be on he same page and I think that is partly because I don’t have some of the same OC knowledge as you guys do. I’m not sure if that’s entirely it though.

    Again, it’s not really much of a complaint as I’m usually able to piece it together eventually but sometimes I wonder what I’m missing.

    Also, I wonder if Caleb has kind of painted himself into a corner with the Teeth of God thing? A draw towards Delta Green is having an organization bring a group of PC’s together with relative ease. I think Adam Scott Glancy said it best “You can only have so many great uncles die and leave you a mansion before it starts to get old.” Well…isn’t the fact that all the players are part of the Teeth of God kind of like having that great uncle?

    So with two new characters needing to be brought in it’s doubtful that they are also going to be chosen servants of Serendi Vashtar, right? Is that going to be an issue with the game? I mean, I suppose with two new characters you now have the opportunity to bring in two new subplots but it might be a little hard to make that as interesting now. I would really make sure that whoever these two new characters are, that they have really good reasons for being teamed up with the “tainted screw up squad”. Otherwise, don’t you kind of run the risk of making characters that don’t really belong with the original group? And isn’t that kind of what the point of what creating DG was trying to avoid?

    Either way, I’m sure Caleb and everyone else can figure it out. You guy’s have way more experience with that then I do. Anyways, sorry for the long comment. Awesome game!

  6. Always “nice” when too much knowledge really backfires on the players as well as characters. Shame Tom’s bloke went, as it would have been nice to hear where he would have taken that character, but what a way to go.

    Excellent session once again. Really loving this campaign.

  7. Hey, Tom’s guy died doing what he loved: astrophysics.

  8. more importantly, Tom became one of the few people ever to die by having astrophysics done to him. it’s what he would’ve wanted.

  9. @ crawlkill’s 1st post: ‘“there aren’t a lot of guys in Reno for (#)girls like us” I immediately assumed they were both trans.’

    You have a very different impression of Reno than I do.

  10. @Kim I know nothing about Reno apart from its depiction in Fallout 2, which I -assume- takes some liberties. I was just reacting to the words that happen also to be a trans activist hashtag on Tweeter. =P

  11. Really? I get all my knowledge of Reno from ‘Reno 911’. Most of my impression of how DG runs, too, for that matter.

    Oh, and also several different prostitutes I’ve known praising Nevada as a happy hunting ground for tranny-chasers.

    Which, in turn, feeds into my impression of what DG’s all about… Though I think we’ve wandered far from this episode. Or maybe not? Need to listen to it again — have to admit, I did find it hard to follow not just what exactly was happening, but why.

  12. God, I just wanna novelize this for NaNoWriMo. Permission to do so?

  13. @Cameron

    First off, thanks! I’m flattered.

    I normally would (and I still might), but I can’t really give permission for that while I’m still pitching God’s Teeth around. If nothing comes of me doing it, or if it doesn’t take the form of fiction, message me and we can make it happen. But please work on your own DG plots until then. I don’t want to kill any chance I have to do it myself in the crib, so to speak.

  14. Caleb, this thing is genius. Found it from the DG Kickstarter, but I’m hooked. How often does the DG gaming for God’s Teeth occur? I figured it’d be months before there were more, and we’re already on Ep3.

    Either way, keep it up. I love your descriptions, I love the morbid humor, and I love seeing them go through it.

  15. Author

    This month is unusual for RPPR Actual Play because Arc Dream is sponsoring it to help promote the DG Kickstarter. We’ll keep playing God’s Teeth but it will be a while before episode 4 is posted.

  16. I have a shitty job, I was having a really bad Monday (even at 8am) and then I refreshed my podcast app and saw “Delta Green: God’s Teeth – God’s Eye” and that’s when I knew I would make it through that day. I just want to say thanks to the RPPR crew, I don’t know how many times I have made it threw a day because I had something interesting to listen to, Thank you so much guys.

  17. There is an Episode 4! wooooo!

    Slightly disappointed the title was not “A Mote in God’s Eye”

    To echo Crawkill, I agree, Caleb is excellent at nonchalantly dropping in details with terrible implications like “we’re using Nora’s tech in other places,” or the “there are rings embedded in the walls” of Gods Teeth 1. Fantastic technique, excellently executed.

    To draw a parallel, I recently read the classic “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Here is how the unreliable narrator describes her bedroom:

    “It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways,
    and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and
    gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and
    there are rings and things in the walls.”

    I love techniques that make the audience backtrack mentally and go “wait a minute”.

  18. I feel a vague bit of shame that it took me three plays to finally grok the glitches.

    On the other hand, I have the RPPR crew and especially Caleb to thank for helping break my writer’s block. So thanks!

  19. Wow….

    Caleb, you just managed to make the magic from the Laundery file/hyper-geometry, even creepier. Maths equals magic is one of my favourate tropes and you just took it to a new level. Bravo sir, Bravo.

  20. Somehow, when I hear “hypergeometry”, especially in a context like this, it’s hard not to imagine it as like, a goofy video game announcement “H-H-HYPERGEOMETRY!”. Or the gag CaC voice for Dragonball XV where one of the DBZA guys has re-written joke names for the attacks, like “Advanced Geometry!”.

    Of course, Caleb has a great way of building to “it’s hypergeometry” in kind of a low-ball way that keeps it good. But I think that’s most of Caleb’s narrative design. You see the horrible freaky stuff first and then it builds to “oh, btw, cthulhoid teleporters”. Like, you can understand the explanation, but that doesn’t diminish how freaky it started.

    PS, google spell check, how is “cthulhoid” a word, but “hypergeometry” is not?

  21. I like this one. Keep it up guys.

    First. I work with satellite and aerial images. I expected to have to power through the mistakes in Calebs description of the technology and get on with the rest of the episode. This did not happen. Somehow Caleb managed to get through the whole game with out any blunders. Just kept things vague enough in the technically complex areas that everything worked. Good work. If I had tried to run a game with an element about teaching or about literature I would have done far worse.

    Second. I love how, when frustrated that the PCs weren’t picking up on a clues or utilizing their options, Caleb used an NPC to shout at them. I could just hear how behind the NPC it’s just Caleb shouting at the PRRP crew ” Why aren’t you using the Eye in the sky for this! WHY! ”

    Third. I love Ross just feeding the NPC to the hounds in the end. Just didn’t give a dam anymore…

    Look forward to episode 4

  22. Holy balls, these games have been so engaging and so SMART! Bless Arc Dream for sponsoring these, because if my RPPR AP feed was filled with nothing but Teeth of God games for months on end, I’d be a happy, happy boy. Keep grinding those teeth, gentlemen.

  23. Ross is going full cultist by the end of this.

    I always new those words would make me happy. I didn’t until now, know just how happy.

  24. Fun game. Enjoyed the end. But also, please do your homework. I’m usually ok with errors in games, but for once there was one that was too much for me and it completely killed my immersion.

    There is nowhere in Connecticut that will take more than 5 hours to drive to from the furthest point of Massachusetts. If they were in middle of nowhere mass, which would be west and maybe north, then you can get pretty much anywhere in CT within 2 hours or less. So it wouldn’t really have been “driving all night in shifts” unless they switched every half hour.

  25. mike: Maybe they hit some bad road construction in Stockbridge. 🙂

    But more seriously, this is probably a result of the RPPR folks living in the Midwest. Out here it generally does take at least 3 or 4 hours to get from one state to another, so Caleb probably just defaulted to that.

  26. @ mike and @ Ethan

    It’s obvious that the Delta Green team hit a time distortion affect due to the Hyber-Geometry. I’m sure that ep.4 will deal with it exclusively.

  27. So Aaron was direct and unquestioning about running down and killing a dude and then Caleb felt bad for killing some PCs? I’m confused.

  28. @Ethan
    You know, that’s a good point. I’ve hit inexplicable CT traffic at odd times, and that doesn’t even take into account times where they decide to cut 84 down to 1 lane for the lols.

  29. @Teapot

    The dude was a murderous cartel criminal aiding in horrific eldritch rituals through cold blooded murder, though. So that’s something of an alleviating factor.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Caleb felt bad for Aaron because of him having been shat on in every session, and also the suddenness and undodgeable nature (due to sleeping and missed alertness checks) of his death. Taken over by the skoptsy crone, mauled and disfigured by gatormonster, and then unceremoniously shot through the head while asleep. Pretty rough.

  30. Trnshmn, you say pretty rough; I say best character arc ever!

  31. When is God’s Teeth #4 planned release date Ross?

  32. Part 4 should be out on smeventh of smarch 201zornth.

  33. *half an hour until work, I can watch part of the new Doctor Who episode*
    *while watching the Doctor look at footage from an aerial drone, notices it’s time to go to work*
    *puts on iPod for the walk to work and starts up the RPPR episode I’m in the middle of*
    *immediately hears Caleb describe the aerial drone footage as like Doctor Who*

    It’s not Manchurian candidate solitaire bad, but still.

  34. No “mistakes were made” tag on this one?

    Jeez- the stakeout. It wasn’t bad enough that a couple guys take off in one car to scope out some leads, but 2 of the characters in the stakeout car fall asleep, leaving just one PC in an area with an occult-ish criminal cartel beading in on their area? WTF, guys. 🙂

    The failed rolls made the game OMG-unintentionally-hilarious, though.

    I think Ross was right with the Indefinite/Temporary insanity not causing insomnia every night… I think you just check on the first night? Otherwise, you’d basically have 2 long-term things going on at once.

    Amazing campaign, Caleb, and an awesome hook. I hope this one gets published and I can spring it on my players.

  35. This scenario was amazing. I thought parts 1 and 2 were going to be the highlight, but this campaign just keeps delivering on the terror and originality. The fact that you made the “eye-in-the-sky” (which was used in the Twin Cities WHERE I LIVE) into a Lovecraftian horror is both terrifying and original. The paranoia was palpable.

    Furthermore. Holy shit. Dat car scene. Wow. That was the single most amazing series of unfortunate events to happen in a game I’ve ever heard. And it was awesome. Bravo dice. Bravo. What I love most is that Faust, the progressively more grim and nihilistic alcoholic is the one that lived through that cluster.

    Ross: Great roleplaying after the car scene. Every decision seemed to hang on the razor’s edge of freewill and predestination.

    So good.

  36. Question:

    On listening to the car scene again (yeah i could not get enough of it) do I take it that Dom went bye-bye and another personality (Aiden) asserted itself? Has he always had Dissociative Identity Disorder or is that a result of his encounters with the Mythos or is it something that has been there beneath the surface the whole time?

    Either way, I like how subtle and jarring it was. It also sounds like Faust did his research on this, and an “alter” being thrust out into consciousness is very accurate to the disorder.

  37. jesus christ I just listened to this again and Cooper is the best Mythos sorcerer of all time, such a strong counterpoint to the usual cackling high-functioning maniac. more Mythos sorcerons should just be broken and sad.

  38. Caleb you have delivered yet another absolutely mind shaking scenario, what a way to end it. The RPPR crew made me burst into laughter many times at the silent lab I work at. Bravo! As soon as I can throw money at you to put my players through this I will!

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