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Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
 
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Delta Green: Agent\'s Handbook
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Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/02/2016 11:49:12

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Delta Green

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Delta Green System-Delta Green Producer-Arc Dream Price- $20.00 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181674/Delta-Green-Agents-Handbook?affiliate_id=239993 TL; DR-Great RPG with one big problem 87%

Basics- ia ia cthulhu fhtagn- BUT NOW WITH GUNS! Delta Green is Call of Cthulhu if run by the government as secret agencies vie for power and try to keep the horrors from beyond time and space from destroying the world or taking over the United States! Can you handle the truth?

Mechanics or Crunch-Let’s break the mechanics up and give the basics as well as my assessment.

Base Mechanics-Delta Green is a classic percentile based system. You have a skill or an ability rating, and you roll under that number to succeed. As I grow older, I like this no fuss/no muss methods of rolling dice to avoid overly math-y systems.

Difficulty-When a situation is harder or easier than normal, the GM might ask you to add or subtract 10% or 20% to or from your skill or ability total. Again, it’s a simple and easy way to modulate difficulty.

Combat- Combat is basically simple. Characters act in dexterity order from high to low. On your turn you do one action. These actions range from move, shoot, or aim among other things. For actions that require a roll, you roll under a skill as above. There is no given dodge roll if you are attacked. If you haven’t acted in a round, you can forgo your next action to try to dodge an attack by rolling under the attack roll. Damage is a single dice roll that subtracts from a hit point total. Go too low on the hit point total and you pass out. Also, some weapons have a lethality rating. If you roll in that range, the weapon just kills the target in one go!

Personal Life and Sanity- Just like other horror RPG, Delta Green has a sanity system. Characters lose sanity and gain mental illness as they go crazier and crazier dealing with horrors beyond time. This system throws in bonds as a serious component as men and women lose family members, friends, and loved ones. Think of the PTSD struck veteran, but now add the fact that he/she deals with monsters beyond human ken. Players may lose family members or whole families as they slowly go deeper and deeper into the world of Cthulhu slipping away from normal. That level of commitment to roleplaying in the mechanics is awesome.

Advancement-Advancement is a snap in this game as well. When a player attempts a roll in this game and they fail, they mark the skill with an X. At the end of the game session, any skill that you failed that you had at least 1% in, you gain an additional 1%. Also, between sessions, a character can gain 1 in an ability or they can gain 1d10 in a skill if they spend time working on it. If they do, they lose 1 level in a bond as they lose touch with someone they felt was important!

Summary- I really want to like this game more than I do. The addition of solid role-playing psychology makes this a great way to blend the theme and mechanics of a world where things just can’t be and can’t be dealt with rationally. However, combat just makes me irrationally angry. I don’t like systems where you can’t move and act. That’s a minor issue as if all the players and monsters abide by this rule, I can deal. However, the rules as written basically make it better to have a lower dexterity. You get to react to an attack, but people who go fast can’t. I can understand not being able to take your next action if you dodge, but this game penalizes people who go first. Sure, it can be a minor issue if you don’t fight much, and I can deal with not having a dodge roll at all. But, this irks me deeply to my core. Therefore, it’s an ok system with a serious flaw. 3.5/5

Theme or Fluff-I mentioned above how much I love the commitment to theme the game has in its mechanics. This game might even be darker than Call of Cthulhu as this game brings the role of sanity and psychology to the forefront in a very post-9/11 way as the psychology of the soldier is experienced first hand. The book is full of stories and fragments of people trying to handle the unhandable. It’s deep and immersive in a way I can really dig, safely and from afar. 5/5

Execution-This is a well put together book. It flows well, has great art, and the PDF is well done and hyperlinked. I like the index, the layout, and the whole book overall. Some things could use a bit more organization, but the book is an exhaustive reference on both the government and the paranormal for new players. 4.5/5

Summary-Delta Green is a great RPG with one serious flaw. Now, as a gaming group, you can play this however you see fit. It’s a flaw that you can fix by all deciding that this is how the game runs. It’s a flaw I will fix instantly in my tables, but the rules as written make me spitting mad. And it’s just that one part. The rest is amazing. I love the depth of little extra bits that the authors throw in about government jurisdiction and random trivia that are in the book. The art is great and the treatment of psychological factors in our veterans is phenomenal. Sure, this is a just a game, but the level of depth that game goes into to use these conditions as things a person would experience if they experienced Lovecraftian horrors is excellent. I like everything in this EXCEPT one thing. If you can get past that one thing, this is a great RPG that really updates Lovecraft to the post 9/11 world. And since it’s under $20, it’s well worth the look even if you just use it for a guidebook to government organizations in your horror games. 87%



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Anders H. L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2016 13:48:21

The rule system The rules are presented in a clear and concise way and I think they are well adapted to the setting. For those anxious about leaving Call of Cthulhu, I can comfort you with the fact that the new DG rules stay in BRP-land as they are built from the Legend SRD (from Mongoose Publishing). This means that DG now has more in common with all the games derived from the first Mongoose RuneQuest SRD - Mongoose RuneQuest, Legend, RuneQuest 6/Mythras, OpenQuest 2, Renaissance etc. In fact, this game is closer to 6th edition CoC than the new 7th edition CoC rules. Over all, the game is vastly simplified (shorter skill lists, more generic weapon lists and so on) in comparison with the old DG books which had tons of new stuff for CoC. And this is a good thing in my book.

At the same time, some new mechanics get introduced: Critical successes are now 01 and doubles (11, 22, 33 etc) under your skill. So if you have a skill of 40% you will crit as in the example above. At the same, fumbles funcion the same - 00 and doubles over your skill are fumbles (in the example 44, 55, 66, 77, 88 and 00 would be fumbles. I like this system as it allows crits and fumbles to scale after actual skill level. Another new thing is the Luck roll that now is a flat 50% chance that things will go your way. Or not.

Opposed tests are resolved by both parties rolling and the highest success wins, which has been standard in the RuneQuest SRD line of games for many years. Willpower points are also new. They can be thought of as mental fuel or mental hit points. You don't want to run out of them. They are based on POW.

Combat is a bit different than both old DG and new CoC 7th ed. A combat turn is a few seconds long and a PC can make ONE action in that amount of time. If you choose to Parry or Dodge, your action is gone for the combat turn. There are a bunch of combat actions described, both offensive and defensive, allowing for a resonable amount of combat tactics. Another cool new thing is the Lethality Rating for more dangerous weapons. This is basically a % roll to determine if a target survives a hit by the big bad gun. If successful, the target (if human at least) immediately drops to 0 hp. This is to avoid the old rules where you had to roll separately to determine number of hits from autofire which could mean a lot of rolls. If you're not a fan of the Lethality rule, there are also optional rules more in the vein of the old autofire rules.

Good old Sanity has also gotten an overhaul. Basically, there are three conditions that might cause SAN loss - Violence, Helplessness and the Unnatural. This is cool, as now your sanity isn't threatened only by monsters and their kynde, but also by malign actions of other people or feelings of not being able to do something. Very much in the line of what DG is about. Otherwise thresholds are pretty the same: 5 or more SAN in a roll is temporary insanity and 0 SAN is permanent insanity. Sanity Points are POW x 5 as before. The concept of Breaking Point is however new. This is described as SAN minus POW and if your PCs loses SAN below the Breaking Point, they get a Disorder and must reset the Breaking Point to current SAN minus POW. The effects a PC suffer when being temporary insane or having a disorder are very good and designed to both realistic and playable. Another cool thing is that a PC can adapt to violence and helplessness (but never to the unnatural), meaning that being in those situations won't call for a SAN roll any more. However, the PC also loses Charisma and from his or her Bonds. Bonds are also a new concept - it can be the relation with a spouse or kids, or with other agents or groups. Bonds are what connects the PC to humanity. So, losing your Bonds will make you more inhumane and also more susceptible to psychological trauma. This feels realistic and might form a very good basis for role-playing. I must confess that I haven't grasped the concept of Bonds 100% yet, but I guess it will be clearer in actual play.

When it comes to PC wealth, expenses and bying of gear, DG introduces a fairly abstract system where you don't have to track every dollar for your PC. Some stuff are day to day cheap and the game just assume that the PC can afford it. Other things are more expensive or restricted and it's up to the GM to decide if the item is obtainable. I like it, but this is one of the things that must be tested in-game.

The concept Contrary to "standard" Call of Cthulhu, where most investigators are average Joe's and Jane's, DG assumes that the PCs are members of a monster-fighting organization and that most PCs (or Agents as they are called in DG) are employed by some Federal Agency. Consequently, most occupations in the book are just that. Examples are FBI, DEA, the military, CIA and so on. There are also a bunch of more civilian occupations in the book as well as advice on how to creat your own occupations. The old DG books had the US agencies in the core book and then lots of international agencies in the other books, supporting Agents from nearly all countries. The new DG book is focussed solely on US agencies, which I feel is resaonable but I still miss GRU-SV8 (Russian) or PISCES (British). Hopefully, they will be in the forthcoming books from Arc Dream. And I'm so planning to do the Swedish agencies, DG style :)

The verdict The new version of Delta Green promises to be an awesome game. The books released so far are pretty and sturdy, with well-written and appropriate rules for the setting/game concept. If you like old Delta Green I'm sure you'll gonna love new Delta Green. However, for players and GMs new to DG, the Agent's handbook is a bit thin on the DG "mythos". Hopefully, this will be remedied in future publications. And don't forget - the old DG books are now available in PDF form from DriveThruRPG, so they can be mined for ideas, adventures and background.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2016 21:24:25

You can find my complete review at http://www.theredactedfiles.com/?p=2635

All together it feels like a more grown up and subdued approach to this standard horror convention. And in that, I think it succeeds at being even more effective at portraying the brutal costs your character is paying to stay in the fight. This is Delta Green after all: the results of mission accomplished is that life can continue to suck just like it always has.

And that's why I think I take greater satisfaction from the escapism of a game like this rather than Dungeons and Dragons. I am not special. I am flawed and broken and incomplete: I'm just human. But I'm going to do what it takes to keep my little corner of the world together just that little bit longer. And when my character trades two quarts of blood to keep that gate to the unknowable closed, I'll walk away from the table and get ready to go out tomorrow and feel that grim satisfaction of giving all I've got to make sure the world sucks a little bit less than it could Otherwise, because that's what it means to be Delta Green.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Shane M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2016 14:32:27

Delta Green has long been my favourite horror setting, and this rulebook delivers exactly what i am lookign for in DG rules-wise in spades. The sanity system tweaks, the bonds, the simple ways to do modern combat, the elegant skill system that custs down on rolls. Brilliant stuff. This would also work for any modern horror or investigative game.

The book itself is gorgeous and solid, and the PDF is just as nice to look at.

If you want dark modern horror with personal cost you will not regret buying this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2016 15:17:40

Delta Green has always been my go-to game for modern horror role playing since it first slithered into my life in the mid-1990’s. Back then, it was some of the most well-written source material for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. Now, with the release of the Delta Green: Agent’s Handbook, it is a fully self-contained rules system built around the same great setting that has been updated to the current era. All the things familiar about the Basic Roleplaying system are still there, but streamlined and geared specifically towards the Delta Green setting.

Everything you need to start playing right away is here, without having to wait for more books to come out. Chapters on overview, playing the game, character generation, combat, equipment/weapons, agencies, and tradecraft/terminology are all presented in an easy-to-follow format. Sprinkled throughout the chapters are immersive, vignettes of doomed Delta Green agents and affiliates -- a nice touch to give you an idea of what may be in store for your character in the not too distant future. Especially fun is the chapter on ‘Home’, a treatise on how interactions with friends, family, and a day job can either help or hinder your character’s ability to recover Sanity and cope with The Unknown. The art and format are what really shine and really can’t stress this enough. The fonts and tables stand out well against a background made to look like a well-read and official government dossier. The interior art is primarily made up of official looking documents and photographed scenes of people preparing for or experiencing the creatures and effects of the Mythos. The layout and imagery really help to suck you in to a hideous and unforgiving world. With each new section, you get a sense of the impotence of modern man when faced with the Mythos. At the very least, the visuals and short-story content will set the mood for the game, but more likely will be nightmare fuel for your players.

Whether new to the realm of modern horror or a veteran of the setting, you need this book. With the scenarios that are currently available combined with the incoming wave of additional source material slated to roll out, the Delta Green: Agent’s Handbook will keep you busy rolling up and killing off characters for years to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by David T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2016 15:33:20

I joined this Kickstarter after taking a look at the early rules document. I was thinking about purchasing the new Call of Cthulhu at the time, but I instantly fell in love with these rules. They are the best horror RPG rules I've used. Super streamlined, with a great reworking of Sanity, and fantastic additions for downtime and family life. Another nice addition is Lethality, making combat realistic and frightening. I really like conspiracy and "monster of the week" campaigns, and this game does both very well, with the bonus of existing within HPL's Mythos. Character creation is fast, but you still end up with a deep character. The information on government organizations is top notch. You can easily run any previous Delta Green material or CoC scenario with these rules. This is really the only horror game I'm ever going to need. It's perfect. Can't wait for more of the books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Neal D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/27/2016 09:38:05

This is a great book and my favorite interation of the BRP rules for a Mythos game and it does an incredible job of bringing personal horror to the Mythos and the impact that doing the DG job has on the characters.

In addition to this, it is one of the best books for information on US government agencies, both foreign and domestic, as well as information on the military. Even if you don't want to play an DG game, you could use this for a military or federal agent game.

Some of the best mechanical parts of the game include how Sanity and the Breaking Point works; Bonds that represent the relationships that PCs have with family, friends, and organizations that can be used as a source of strength, and will deteriorate over time as the PCs continue to hold back the dark; and Lethality ratings for weapons which is a percentage chance for some weapons to automatically kill a target (mostly human targets), and makes combat deadly which is appropriate for the setting.

Overall, it is a great new start for the Delta Green line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 17:36:00

This review originally appeared on www.forgotmydice.com

Dungeons and Dragons has always been my first love, which I started playing back during 2nd Edition, and it’s a game I always come back to. But the first RPG that blew my mind when I read it, so that it changed how I thought about RPGs, was the original Delta Green supplement for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, written way, way back in 1997. Delta Green introduced me to my favorite RPG genre, modern conspiracy horror. Well, now Delta Green is back, and this time it is its own RPG. I couldn’t be more excited.

Delta Green as a game product was a serious attempt to bring Cthulhu-style horror to a modern-day setting. In the original edition, they brilliantly married UFO conspiracy theory that was popular in the 90’s with elements of the Cthulhu mythos. Though the Delta Green book came out not long after The X-Files premiered, it was being developed around the same time as the show. So while the game was never really inspired by The X-Files, they oddly feel very similar, as if the writers of both were tapping into the culture zeitgeist of the time.

The Setting The original Delta Green supplement chronicled the agency’s history, starting with its inception as a government creation spun out of the events of the novella “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” If you have read the story (Spoiler Alert), “The Government” depth-charged Devil’s Reef at the end of that tale, and the US government took several fish-men hybrids away for study. Delta Green was the agency put in charge of those fish-men and the artifacts they recovered. Over time, Delta Green morphed and found its calling by fighting Mythos-studying Nazis in WWII. They eventually got disbanded after a bad operation in the 70’s, and re-formed into a terrorist conspiracy that operated within the US government, which is where the story was left back in 1997.

However, the real world marched on after that point but we’ve had no update to the original setting, even after several awesome books and adventures were published. Unfortunately, that information void continues to hold true in the upcoming Delta Green: Agents Handbook (available currently in PDF), though most likely because it is a players’ resource, and in a game of conspiracies, the players shouldn’t be aware of the behind-the-scenes history right away. Part of what makes the game fun for the Game Master (or Case Officer, in this RPG) is slowly revealing the layers of the conspiracy. For me, who is a bit of an old hat in the storyline, not being able to know what’s been happening was a little bit of a bummer, but the Case Officers Handbook is due out next and that should have all this information stashed there. So yeah, I’m going just a bit nuts waiting for the next book.

Rules What you do get is rules, which is everything you need to create a character and run the game. There is not much in the way of setting within these pages. The Delta Green RPG builds upon the original Call of Cthulhu RPG. The goal of the system is to streamline everything in Call of Cthulhu, update it to the modern day instead of the 1920s, but still have a product that’s compatible with older Call of Cthulhu or Delta Green material. In general, they have succeeded.

If you have played Call of Cthulhu before, not much has changed. The system is based on a d100, and your skills are based on flat percentages. For instance, if you have a 60 Survival, that means to succeed on a check, you have to roll 60 or under on a d100. They have further streamlined this system by borrowing concepts from the Gumshoe RPG system. Basically, if you have a 40 or higher in a skill, and what you are attempting isn’t time-sensitive, the Gamemaster usually won’t force you to roll and instead just give you the clues. If you have a 60 or higher, the Gamemaster gives you better clues. This was the best part of the Gumshoe game engine, since as a Gamemaster I’m usually scrambling to figure out how to let the players find a clue again after the whole table rolls terribly. It assumes competence of the players, instead of forcing them to roll everything, which makes sense. If you’re skilled in Archeology, you’re not going to fail seeing what is and isn’t Egyptian in the strange tomb you have uncovered. Using a system like this helped the tail end of my D&D game quite a bit, but I’ll get into that next week.

Another bit that I liked was the method of character advancement. Handing players XP for character improvement seems weird in a system that is known for character insanity and death. Instead, during the session, if you fail a skill roll, then you place a mark by the skill. If your character survives, at the end of the adventure, all marked skills go up by 1 point. It’s like the character deciding to double down to improve skills so that they wouldn't have the same trouble again. It’s a little random and arbitrary, but that is Call of Cthulhu for ya.

The master stroke for modern Cthulhu gaming has to be the revised sanity chapter. Call of Cthulhu handles sanity in a way fitting of a 1920s pulp horror novel, but those actions don’t quite translate to the modern day. For example, if your character fails a sanity check, he or she may pass out or develop strange phobias. The Delta Green RPG revises this concept by making the sanity mechanic that more resembles PTSD. Also, sanity loss comes from fewer sources, such as violence, helplessness, and witnessing something unnatural. Your character can become hardened to sources of insanity, which means you don’t take sanity losses from those sources anymore, but it also means you are becoming a cold soulless person that is starting to resemble the very monsters you are fighting.

You can also resist sanity loss by sacrificing points in personal connections you have. But this also comes at a cost, since after the adventure is over, you have to explain how this loss of connection occurred. For example, after fighting off some fish-men, you start to drink a lot more at home and start yelling at your kid, which has permanently damaged your relationship. It is unsettling and uncomfortable but more realistic to simulate a modern game where you’re slowly losing your mind.

Final Thoughts Overall, I’m very happy with the new version of the Delta Green RPG. I’ve only played the game with the original Call of Cthulhu system once and found the experience lacking. It was obvious to me even then, that there was a little bit of a disconnect between the rules and the setting. After that, I used Wizards of the Coast’s d20 version, which wasn’t much better but it was during the d20 boom and I understood the system. I was planning on using the Gumshoe Trail of Cthulhu version if I ran Delta Green again, but then they announced this update to Delta Green RPG, so I’m going to give this a try. They have cleaned up most of the problems I had with the original version, and the new sanity mechanics are very evocative of the setting and time period. While I am disappointed with the lack of setting detail, I know it’s coming, so I just have to wait for it a little bit longer. Once a few more books come out in the line, this is going to be a great game to pick up. I’m especially looking forward to the King in Yellow campaign book they have been talking about. The only question is, when will it be out, and will it be in time to start when I wrap up my current campaign? My hope is yes, as the anticipation is definitely getting to me. Pardon me while I go roll a sanity check vs helplessness during the wait.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2016 12:58:50

Opening with an Overview, this is the players' book for the Delta Green RPG. The Overview is interesting, stating that it is a warning... that Delta Green is not about adventure and bug hunts and guns, but about fear. A fear that the things the characters deal with can end not just their lives but the very Earth itself. Once it's calmed down a bit, there's a more reasoned explanation of what Delta Green is and does: a covert operation hidden within the depths of the establishment, with a mission to investigate, contain, and conceal unnatural events. It's a strange organisation with no headquarters or bases, with most agents knowing only a few others and generally working a 'day job' when they are not off on a mission for Delta Green. Agents are recruited carefully and slowly, they need to be certain that they have the right people. There's a run-through of the common features of all the missions undertaken: suspense, horror, violence, moral dilemmas, secrets, mind-bending knowledge, and the personal and professional consequences of being a Delta Green agent. This opening chapter ends with an outline of how the game is played, primarily aimed at those not familiar with role-playing games.

Next, Agents contains all the information you need to create your character. The system is based on Chaosium's Basic Role Playing one with characters described by their Statistics (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Power and Charisma) which can be rolled or determined through a point-buy system. There are some Derived Attributes to work out, then you select a Profession and Skills before adding personal details including the character's bonds to important people (vital for hanging on to your sanity) as well as things like name, appearance, current job and so on. There's masses of detail to help you through the process. If you don't care for the Professions offered here (which provide your main Skills), there are notes on how to invent your own.

Then The Game is a chapter which explains, in great detail, how to play the game, and use the abilities and skills that your character has to effect. The core system is percentage based, with the aim being to roll under the percentage you have in an applicable Statistic or Skill. It's advised that you only get the dice out if the task you wish to undertake is a difficult one, if the situation is unpredictable or when there are consequences to failure... dire ones, that is. There are lots of examples to show you how the system works, but it's pretty intuitive. One nice angle is the Luck Roll - a straight unmodified roll giving you a 50% chance of things going your way: use this when wondering if the car you just stole has a first-aid kit aboard as you need one, or if the neighbours are in when you are busy kicking a door down to break in... There's things like opposed tests and pursuits here as well.

Combat, however, gets a chapter to itself. This takes you through brawling in great detail, with all the options available - some of them optional - and how to make the most of the skills, equipment and situation that you have. There's a lot to absorb here, but it's worth reading so that when you do have to fight, you do so to best effect. It can get pretty lethal though - just like the real world - so pick your fights carefully. There's also things like protection, healing and other useful combat-related material here too, as well as other ways to harm or be harmed - poisons, environmental dangers, fire, falls and so on.

Next comes Sanity. In a game about horror and fear, it's quite easy to lose your marbles... so here are the rules for hanging on to your sanity, or losing it big style. All sorts of things can put a Delta Green Agent's sanity at risk, both the things that they see and experience, and the things they find that they have to do. There's a splendid selection of disorders that deranged minds might turn to, and a scant few notes on therapy that may, just may, aid in recovery.

The next chapter is Home. The brief respite of normal everyday life that anchors agents, reminds them of why they do what they do, reminds them of normal life. In this game, short scenes are used - normally between missions - to enable agents to touch base, but also to see how what they have done and seen affects that which they hold most dear. This is also when they can attend theraphy sessions, gain additional skills through training and study... or even face prosecution if the authorities have noticed what they've been up to! It's a neat way of incorporating an air of real life into the game, making things like boosting your skills a part of the game rather than book-keeping.

This is followed by Equipment and Vehicles. This deals with the gear that the agent needs (or would like to have). The expense is handled in an arbitrary manner without tracking every dollar spent. You only have to argue the case for access to high value or hard to obtain items, most of the time it's deemed that agents have access to the things that they need. It depends on the mission, the cover story and the item you want... and a lot is left to the Handler's discretion! There can be consequences for asking for something that the powers-that-be deem inappropriate to what they think you are doing, and there can be an after-action review in which awkward questions can be asked. Or you can try the black market... It's only then that we get down to the actual lists and applicable game mechanics for actual items. Again, it's a neat system which adds realism to the process without bogging it down in masses of accounting and record-keeping.

Next is an extensive chapter of Federal Agencies. All the alphabet soup agencies you've heard of and quite a few that, unless you are obsessive about US government agencies, you probably didn't know existed. It also includes the military, as well as law enforcement, intelligence, diplomats and public safety. The main idea here is that they are potential employers of record for our agents. Each agency is described with notes on whether or not their staff have powers of arrest, do they carry weapons as a matter of course, what funds are available to them and do they have access to more exotic items of equipment. Appropriate professions are listed for each one, and there are notes on how best to play a member of that agency. It's all quite fascinating, and gives a wide range of interesting backgrounds - I once played a Centers for Disease Control doctor, another time I was a CIA consultant and historian scampering around Afghanistan...

Finally, there's a series of appendices covering tradecraft (all those useful tricks of espionage or undercover work), a comprehensive glossary and some recommended reading. And a character sheet.

It's an excellent introduction to the game with loads of useful background to help you create and play an effective Delta Green agent. Good luck... you'll need it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Agent's Handbook
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Alexander L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2016 22:52:53

There is a reason Delta Green is a classic in the TTRPG world. This new Agent's Handbook updates much of the technology and other details of the setting, but it doesn't take away from the "classic" feel of a decades-long conspiracy and and courage at the brink of madness. It's been a while since I last played Delta Green, this is the perfect excuse to jump back in.

The most compelling part of the game (for me) is the ever-present focus on the Lovecraftian themes of madness and cosmic horror. Yes, other games have the sanity mechanic, edge, guts, etc... but few are as central to your character as it is in Delta Green. Even set in the 20th and 21st Centuries, this is still the biggest threat to humanity, and getting too close to the truth is only going to drive you over the edge and into a straightjacket or worse. When you're playing a PC with that much responsibility and that much to lose, and the game keeps reminding you of that at every turn, it makes for an unique gaming experience. I've played only a few games over the years where the players were so upset by the setting that it affected the way they normally play. It gets intense. And the fact that this current DG Handbook is filled with so much new gear and evolved backstory makes it an easy choice for a group looking to get into something detailed that isn't "standard".

The layout is solid as well, the font size and style are easy on the eyes (something that actually makes a huge difference when you read as many corebooks and TTRPG books as I do.) The art is terrific, I just wish there was a bit more, but that is no reason to take away stars on a review. Glad to see the agents of Delta Green are still carrying on the fight in 2016 and beyond! Go, go, Delta Green!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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