Delta Green: The Storm

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Unnatural atmospheric conditions in a small city in Minnesota have gotten the attention of The Group. Nearby agents are activated in order to assess the situation and report back. Even if this is an act of god, the agents must find what god is behind it…

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  1. Tom can be made to play something other than a stoic murderer, Caleb can recuse himself from being a mastermind, but Aaron will always be there to defy authority for no clear reason, wander off on his own and completely blow opsec!

  2. I’m with Aaron on this one. They put a bunch of people in a room, surround them with men in tactical gear, more men in hazmat suits, lock the doors, coerce a medic to start awkwardly put on a hazmat suit, don’t tell him ANY PART of the plan, and suddenly it’s his fault when shit goes crazy?

    Okaaaaaaayy, sure thing there buddy. It’s definitely not because of your half cocked, cowboy bullshit. Not at aaaall. Lets gas one of them in front of a bunch of people who aren’t on the level. That will go greaaat. Uh huh. Definitely Aarons fault.

  3. American Siberia!

  4. Aaron: “I have computer science”
    Everyone: *completely unsurprised*

  5. I need to listen to this one again, because I think I missed the point of breaking the security cordon of a town that might have been infected with “Things” just to snuff a Tango in front of a room full of EMTs and local cops at an airport. Seems really risky…

  6. Author

    This was discussed on the Delta Green email list last year. Here’s what I wrote then:

    To give more context: A DG team was investigating Weird Things ™ at a Place when the home office noticed a lot of suspicious activities – files deleted from servers, evidence tampered with, reports not consistent. When the team was called in to explain themselves, one agent pulled a concealed weapon and turned on his team and supervisor. All three agents from the team were killed but only the rogue agent’s autopsy revealed physical anomalies. Other DG agents were tasked with figuring out what the team found out at Place. They figured out how to detect other rogues with the thermal sensor trick but not what caused the anomaly. About 24 hours after the bloodbath, Place started manifesting Weird Weather ™ – as in impossible to cover up, visible with satellites, kind of weather. DG had to Do Something and Now (Washington wants results ASAP), but all the locals and friendlies near Place could be rogues. Hell, other DG agents could be rogue.

    The PCs are selected as the sacrifical lambs to go into Place and poke around. The weather is Weird but travel to and from place is still possible – it has been cordoned off though. They are placed with local friendlies in the kill zone screening to see who is real and who is not. They don’t want to tip off any possible rogues, so a group ‘hazmat training briefing’ is less likely to alert them than private screenings. I love the rigged hazmat suit idea, so I’ll go with that.

    Other NPC agents will phone in their investigation of the dead team’s actions throughout the scenario to the PCs. PCs are just scouts and viewed as expendable.

  7. Thanks for sharing your design notes, Ross. I think what I missed was that at that point in the mission, their handler didn’t know if working group R was infected or not, and that’s why he didn’t fill them in on the situation. The scanners were all in place in the big room, so it was only then that DG knew they were clean. If it felt like the characters were in danger, it’s because they were.

    It also helps now that I understand all of the folks in the briefing had a compelling reason to be there, the weather was dangerous and they needed to learn to protect themselves so they could do their jobs. If they weren’t compelled to be there, why would an infected person show up, after all.

    If things had gone more smoothly in the hazmat briefing, would the characters have seen first responders in hazmat gear in town later on? That might have given them some cover to wear their own gear and not look like like complete weirdos.

  8. I feel like maybe some advice is in order concerning Cover Stories. I don’t just refer to Aaron at the TV station; there were several other times when the various team members had needlessly flimsy legends.

    The best cover story is the one that is most true. You’re federal agents investigating the disappearance of a rogue FBI team. So what you do is, you tell everybody that you’re federal agents investigating the disappearance of a rogue FBI team. You need to look at everywhere they stayed for evidence. You ask everybody if they have information about the agents’ activities. If they bring up anything weird, don’t say, “Ignore that weird thing, citizen, everything is normal.” Say, “That’s weird. Tell me more.”

    You want to use your thermal scanner without freaking people out? Tell them that it’s a thermal scanner you’re using to search for evidence, and you need to point it at them to calibrate it. Heck, ask them politely for their permission. Most people will quite willingly cooperate with an investigation.

    Great scenario, though. Very entertaining, as DG always is. Out of curiosity, was this run before you all started God’s Teeth?

  9. Author

    @John B – I don’t know. Probably? I hadn’t considered it.

    @Ethan – yes this was run shortly before we started God’s Teeth, I think.

  10. I enjoyed this interesting to learn its placement alongside the God’s Teeth stuff.
    Though evil hail and things is all rather a good idea that could be great with an expansion of the ideas within.
    Kind of how I want a group of Divine Fire scenario’s in a book

  11. So..Aarons chaotic neutral on the ‘player type”, right? Like the “But its how my character would react!” kind of thing? The sort who is either blind to the idea of a campaign contract, or else dismissive of the idea.

    Tom tries to get things started in a scenario called shanghaied. Aron decides its perfectly fine to derail the entire opening because he can’t justify his character doing so.
    Caleb runs a game in which Aaron’s psychiatrist plays the “Oh yah everyone else? I’ve got medical clearance to force you to do what I want”. Its use? Generally used in situations where everyone else wants to one way, but Aarons character wouldn’t, so he plays the “My way or else” card.
    Ross runs a game with a structured narrative opening. He is very clearly about to get to the “the ball drops” Aaron interjects, despite about a dozen signals that say “The DM had planned for this to play out” and causes a big kerfuffle. Again, because his character would act like that.

    Of course, most of these do not lead to terrible results. Sharks get punched, The ending for the group shrink was cathartic, and Ross is perfectly fine adapting to players interrupting best laid plans. Its I know its not but it feels like Aaron lacks a general empathy for other people’s fun and enjoyment. This is clearly not the case, but at the same time I’ve listened to 30 or more podcasts with him in it, and this behavior is consistent through-out.

    It may just be that my own play style is so wildly different from this now that I’m an adult, and I recognize behaviors I cringe to look back on from when I was younger. To me, gaming together is a group activity, and if your not at least trying to make sure your not the only one having fun at the table, your being selfish/doing it wrong.

    This could be as little a change as “Yes I play characters the way i want..but I accept the consequences.” The issue of course being the RPPR group writ large isn’t willing to pull the trigger on Aaron for such things. Or, perhaps, at least not in the past. Tom should have had the men toss Aaron over board. Threats, guns or just plain ignoring the Shrink should have occurred. Someone needs to have the sit down “You are welcome to play the characters you build, but can you please try and keep the scenario and everyone elses enjoyment in mind when you do?” talk.

    Or not. Despite my own personal annoyance, the axiom of “If it works for you, then there is no problem’ remains key. I’m just listening, not playing. If Aarons behavior doesn’t bother anyone he plays with, and in fact adds to their enjoyment (as seems to be the case) then bully for them. Full steam ahead. I just felt the need to put this opinion somewhere.

  12. I can’t speak for Aaron, but it sure seems like he’s quite happy to accept the consequences to me. Consider for example how he goes ahead and brings the guy back from hell despite repeated warnings this is a bad idea in the Wild Talents campaign, or his addition of Sparkles to the RPPR rogues gallery by freeing him in an early Base Raiders episode. Etc.

  13. I liked the opening scene a lot. I thought it started the investigation with a bang and reflected that the higher-ups were rattled about having one of their own turn on them.

    I really liked the description of the hail effect, too – losing your ability to breathe with icy lungs is pretty horrifying. If anything, my only disappointment with the game was that the players succeeded at their CON rolls to avoid dealing with it. (Sorry Aaron, Tom, and Caleb, but a lot of the fun of DG is seeing things go really bad.)

  14. Love the podcasts. Been listening since August and was goin through some of the ones I hadn’t heard yet. I enjoyed the mess out of this one but something struck me

    You said the storm was hexagonal and I instantly recalled the pole of Saturn (don’t know why) and I found this

    I’m very surprised that Arron’s character didn’t soil his pants when seeing that since his character had some background in weather patterns.

    But again, you guys keep up the good work.

  15. Author

    @Azreal – Good catch! Saturn’s hexagonal storm was indeed an inspiration for this scenario. Glad you enjoyed the game!

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