Image of some Delta Green agents from the upcoming kickstarter.
Another kickstarter caught my eye recently, which is being run by Arc Dream Publishing who currently have the rights to the absolutely fantastic Delta Green. Aside from producing a new iteration of that book, which I almost certainly will be backing whenever I get the chance, they have also decided to work with Pelgrane Press and produce a GUMSHOE system version called “The Fall of Delta Green”. This addition is being written by Kenneth Hite (who originally wrote Trail of Cthulhu) and so immediately caught my eye and excitement.
Of course it’s not just the work that Pelgrane are doing with Arc Dream Publishing that has me excited, but the entire project. Delta Green is a very special system to me, because after I began to try it and use it to run Call of Cthulhu it convinced me of one thing: Games in the “modern era” were awesome. Generally Call of Cthulhu games tend to be historically set, with the 1920s up until WW2 being the most popular period. As a result, a lot of the material is written with that idea in mind and while 1990s (at the time) was an option, it’s sort of fallen out of favor to have settings that were post WW2. Delta Green changed my perceptions, largely by how well it blended concepts like alien derived government conspiracies, ala the X-Files, with classic concepts of Cthulhu mythos horror.
An update to Delta Green has been long needed IMO, because the world it was set upon in the 90s has drastically changed. Today we have a focus on the “War on Terror” and I’ve wondered how a new Delta Green source book would approach blending the mythos with our current fears of a global terrorism threat. In some ways I suppose it might look like another GUMSHOE system game called The Esoterrorists. In Esoterrorists isolated sorcerers, nuts and cultists using mythos magic to commit acts of terror. Of course, I don’t want them deciding to rewrite history with things like “9/11 was really done by mythos sorcerers trying to summon Cthugha!” or some nonsense, but there is plenty of potential for great stories here.
Similarly, while the 1960s is pretty far from the modern day, I think it’s an equally rich setting for Delta Green. It’s at the height of Cold War paranoia between the USA and USSR, with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis being one of the key moments in 20th century history. How would Mi-Go infiltrators have attempted to use – or even potentially help avert – a nuclear war between humanities greatest superpowers? Did they pick sides? Did they have absolutely no side? How did other mythos forces react – if they even cared in the first place that is.
Part of why I like the idea of a 1960s themed Delta Green in GUMSHOE is the new skills, abilities, occupational benefits and others to mine for my own modern games as well. Plus the book will have a good timeline of events and potential story ideas, which I can take and use as a basis of my own 2015 (and beyond) campaigns in my modern themed Trail of Cthulhu campaign. So even if I don’t intend to use the 1960s setting, the book is undoubtedly going to be a rich mine of new mechanics, player options and campaign inspiration.
Definitely going to back this one for both the new updated Delta Green and the 1960s Fall of Delta Green. They will both look great next to my year 2000 bought copies of Delta Green and Delta Green: Countdown.