Delta Green: The Review

Hot on the heels of a wildly-successful Kickstarter campaign, Delta Green calls itself a “Role-Playing Game of Lovecraftian Horror and Conspiracy.”  More than just a Call Of Cthulhu meets X-Files, this thrilling tabletop RPG hits-the-ground-running with a swift character creation process, and its participants are presented with more strange situations than you can shake an EMF meter at.

Recommended for players above the age of 17, this tabletop RPG has plenty going for it; from the concise layout/presentation of its sleek Need To Know guide book (fewer than 50 pages,) to its evident awareness of what its target audience seeks in a tabletop RPG, and its easy-to-learn approach.

Players who prefer plenty of crunch at the very start of a tabletop RPG, would do well to look elsewhere.  Delta Green is many good things, but it can hardly be considered crunchy.  Handlers are always welcome to sprinkle in as much crunch as they’d like to (and perhaps they ought to do so, here and there, until the right blend is found, and all players at the table feel satisfied and eager to continue.)  More about Handlers in a moment…

delta-green

THE RULEBOOK

Players are secret agents, working for a clandestine organization that’s been code-named Delta Green.  To play this game, players will require six dice that we’ve all come to know and love (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20;) which is quite helpful, seeing as such dice sets are easily obtainable at your local FLGS – and, if you’re enjoying this product review at the Multiverse blog today, we’re going to deduce that you already own an appropriate set of such gaming dice.

Behind the screen is the Handler (a.k.a. the GM or the Referee, you get the idea.) The dynamic of interactions between the Agents and the Handler is what propels this tabletop RPG forward.  There are Skills.  There are Stats.  Luck rolls and Sanity points even have a home here.  All in all, there’s plenty for veteran tabletop RPGers to have a firm grasp on already.  Players who are new to the world of tabletop RPGs will find the instructions to be quite friendly and helpful.

Available professions for players include anthropologist, historian, federal agent, computer scientist, engineer, physician, and more.  Handlers work together with Agents to flesh out their player characters, as needed.  For instance, if playing as a federal agent, does your federal agent work for the FBI, or the ATF, or the DEA, or the CIA, or the NSA, or the Secret Service, or the U. S. Marshal’s, or another existing government agency, or a government agency that exists only in your imagination?  Is your physician character an oncologist, or a toxicologist, or a neuro-surgeon, or involved with another field of medicine altogether?

Dennis Detwiler’s cover art (appearing on the front cover of the Need To Know guide book pictured above,) really sets an ideal tone for this game.  The sturdiness of the Need To Know guide book’s binding, spine, and paper stock also earn high marks.  The creepy-and-mysterious aesthetic of the Need To Know guide book keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, and very curious as to what awaits them on each subsequent page (the eye on page 1, the blood droplets on page 8, the hand on page 42…)

delta-green-logo-green

The Handler screen measures an impressive 44″ x 8.5″, is reminiscent of the 4th edition D&D screen, tastefully featuring as much disturbing supernatural(?) imagery on the player side as one might expect for a game of this stripe (without overdoing it.)

proofs-2

Examples of game play do appear in the Need To Know guide book; required reading for rookies. And yet, it’s the Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions anthology of 18 short stories (spanning 435 pages) that really hammers it home.  If it isn’t considered to be required reading for the Delta Green tabletop RPG, perhaps this anthology should really be thought of as such.  A reading of Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions will certainly help to inspire Handlers to develop ideas of their own for adventure scenarios.

Enjoy this excerpt from the anthology’s back cover, and decide for yourself:

“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 years 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…often at a shattering personal cost…how much of their humanity will they give up to save humanity itself?”

DELTA GREEN: EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS

DELTA GREEN: EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS

—   —   —   —   —   —   —

We hope you enjoyed reading this review of the Delta Green tabletop RPG, and we hope you’ll consider giving this game a try.  If you have a tabletop gaming product that you’d like us to review (or if you know someone who does,) please leave a note for us in the Comments section below, and we’ll find a way to make it happen.  As always, thanks for reading!