How to get into: Delta Green
Greetings prospective Agents and Handlers. This is Dethstrok9, and today's mission is to learn how to join the enigmatic role-playing experience of Lovecraftian horror and conspiracy know as Delta Green (DG). If you have never heard of DG fear not, for I am here to enlighten you. Published in 2016 by Arc Dream Publishing and created by Dennis Detwiller, Adam Scott Glancy, and John Scott Tynes, DG is a tabletop RPG in the vein of X-Files or Men in Black only far darker and more mysterious. The game at its core is about fear. Fear and the end of all things, and how much of this end you might live to see... Everything has layers of fear and goes far deeper than you though possible, everything is on a need to know basis, and if you learn more than you should, you will either learn to keep your mouth shut or likely end up dead.
Excerpt from Arc Dream's Website:
"Born of the U.S. government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green spent four decades opposing the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Stripped of sanction after a disastrous 1969 operation in Cambodia, Delta Green’s leaders made a secret pact: to continue their work without authority, without support, and without fear. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day—but often at a shattering personal cost."
The Quick Start
First thing you will want to pick up is the free Quick Start Guide which includes everything a new player (in Delta Green know as Agents) or game master (Aka Handlers) needs to start gaming in the world of DG!
- Complete rules for conducting investigations, overcoming crises, fighting for your life, and watching your sanity slip away.
- Complete rules for character creation.
- Six pre-generated agents, ready to play.
- A Delta Green operation, “Last Things Last,” ready for the Handler (the game Master) to introduce your team to Delta Green.
Another thing you'll want to do is check out this top secret video file on YouTube. It will help anyone with learning all about Delta Green and how to dive deep into the eldritch lore contained within. I should know, I'm the one who created it. Subscribe to the channel if you want to see more DG content, and let me know what you think.
I do think it will be helpful, and hope you enjoy it:) It's one of my personal favorite videos I've concocted... And after looking through that there is-
The Core Rules
The meat of Delta Green is within two books: The Agent's Handbook, and the Handler's Guide. You can get both together in the Delta Green Slipcase Set, or purchase them separately. At the time of writing, the slipcase is 100$ US.
The Agent's Handbook includes all the rules one needs to play the game. Character creation and backstory generation is the first big thing here, and the actual rules are very well put together. Based on BRP, the system boasts extremely intuitive and streamlined rules for skill checks and combat, as well as a deeply disturbing sanity system which will slowly destroy your character's mind and twist them into something they were never meant to be...
As mentioned the combat is very well done and realistic, where getting shot will actually kill you. It's intense, satisfying, and brutal to witness. Another really fun concept is the rules for "home" scenes to teach players what they are fighting for... and what they stand to lose should they falter. The way funds are handled is nigh perfect, and makes money a far more simple matter than other similar games. Overall what sets Delta Green apart from, say, Call of Cthulhu, is the way it truly gives the players hope before crushing them. That hope is built into the game since players take on the role of secret agents or Men in Black fighting against the Cthulhu Mythos. They have purpose and some hope of success, even as their little worlds are shattered by the mind bending truths unveiled.
The Handler's Guide is a Game Master resource like no other! While not essential to the rules and while you can play without it, I would personally never dream of doing so. This 368 pg book is one of the most useful supplements I've ever seen for a TTRPG. Ever. It includes a detailed history of the Delta Green organization which goes deep into the truth (not going to reveal much, lots of spoiler heavy content within the Handler's Guide, don't let your players read it heheh) behind what's in store for the future and the past...
But all the lore aside, it also includes tons of scenario hooks, as wells as detailed magic rituals, unnatural and horrifying monsters, and reality breaking Great Old Ones. Then after all that, there's guidelines on how to create new threats and entities to shock and scare your players into oblivion, as well as guidelines on making your own scenarios and campaigns using the resources provided within the book itself. And finally, there's a really dark and fun pre-made scenario called "Sentinels of Twilight" included as well.
Beyond the Veil
After picking up these things, what's next? Well, there are many pre-made scenario books out there, as well as materiel from the previous edition of DG which could also be utilized. Apart from that, there is a Handler's Screen, and many more intriguing things over on Arc Dream's Website. Seek and ye shall find, but do not pick up that which you cannot put downe...
I hope this quick guide on what Delta Green is has either helped you learn about this game, or inspired you to play it again. I had fun writing it and making the accompanying video, and the system itself is phenomenal. I appreciate you taking the time to read all this and watch my content, Dethstrok9 out:)