The Slipcase Option: Notes from Gen Con
about 1 month ago
– Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 12:25:25 AM
Dennis Detwiller reports on Gen Con 2017:
Gen Con 2017 was special in many ways. It was the 50th anniversary of the show, for one. For another, it was totally sold out for the first time.
They had a huge museum of roleplaying-related artifacts from the before-time, and guess what? You can be proud: Delta Green was in it (along with many other products I had a hand in, like The Unspeakable Oath, Primal Order, and Magic: The Gathering). Neat to be a fossil that's somehow still clawing away at the ecosystem (go, team coelacanth!).
We ran into the usual suspects. Shane Ivey, my stalwart creative partner, was there managing all things with a computer-like precision (that the computer was a first-generation Amiga color, you'll have to excuse). Simeon Cogswell, our layout guru, continued a long tradition of complaining while working too hard for too little money. Booth manager John Marron was happy at all times (despite our best efforts), perhaps because he inflicted the Bob Ross board game on us and managed to get me to play. Finally, Scott Glancy created a new look at the booth called “enturly,” appearing entertained and surly at the same time. Ross Payton and the RPPR guys were there, too (minus Caleb—boo!), and we tortured then endlessly. (Pro tip: Call Ross “Caleb,” he loves it.)
We even got in a bit of a Delta Green game. We played "Operation SUGARTOWN" with Ross, the Arc Dream team, and a few RRPR regulars. Though we didn't get to finish it, much fun was had. Look for the operation in a writeup on the Patreon next month.
At the booth, we had a bunch of Delta Green newly appearing in print (full color!), and they are gorgeous: Kali Ghati,The Star Chamber, and Observer Effect. They sold like hotcakes. I did pen sketches for any Delta Green Patreon backer that stopped by, and let me tell you, I didn't expect 60+ of you to be there—but it was great (though my hand may not agree, currently).
We had a magnificently packed Delta Green meetup (audio coming soon), where we spoke at length about the state of Delta Green, answered questions, and made some announcements.
The biggest announcement has to do with the form of Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game. We’ve been planning it as a single book, but it’s huge, and the cost of shipping it to ports far and wide called for careful consideration.
The options were:
Print a single book with 500+ pages. That would have made the book so heavy that delivery to backers outside the U.S. and U.K. would have cost up to $50 on top of what’s already been paid.
Or make Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game a slipcase of two books. That contains a 192-page Agent's Handbook and a 320-page Handler's Guide. The Handler's Guide is the giant manuscript we circulated a few weeks ago, minus the rules portions that appeared in the Agent's Handbook. So, one book has rules, sanity and character creation: the Agent's Handbook. The other has monsters, magic, creating your own Delta Green, and the timeline: the Handler's Guide.
We chose option 2 for a lot of reasons. Most importantly, it reduces the international delivery costs dramatically. Our international-fulfillment partners in the U.K. can ship two separate packages—one with with the Handler’s Guide; the other with the Agent’s Handbook and the slipcase itself—for far less than shipping a single package the weight of a single, huge book. It’s a weird vagary of the way the Royal Mail handles parcels.
In option 2, no one pays any additional shipping. OK, truth be told, there are additional shipping costs, but they’re modest enough that we at Arc Dream can cover them. Backers don’t have to pay anything extra.
The fans at the Delta Green panel were happy with the announcement, and so were we. It's the best of all worlds.
So, long story short, if you ordered the “Case Officer's Handbook” option, you'll get Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game: the Agent's Handbook and the Handler's Guide in a beautiful slipcase, delivered in two packages, at no further shipping cost to you.
Thanks for all who came out.
Madness and miracles
about 1 month ago
– Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 10:54:50 PM
Croaker Jr : So when is the next big release coming out, eh? ;)
SGlancy12 : Well, next year Chaosium has authorized three CoC books for Pagan.
SGlancy12 : The next DG book will incorporate the Cult of Transcendence, and a whole bunch of scenarios,
SGlancy12 : including the one you're playing in today.
SGlancy12 : It may be at the printer by February (rough guess).
SGlancy12 : Who here played in "The Army is Coming" last time?
KJPotter : I did. Had a blast!
Croaker Jr : Sounds good... I missed "Army" due to work.
SGlancy12 : The Shans and their PISCES pawns may also make an appearance in the next book.
SGlancy12 : Okay gents, let's get going here. I've got to go around 7:00pm.
SGlancy12 : We won't get this done in one session, but that's no reason to waste time.
SGlancy12 : Everyone got their briefing?
—Adam Scott Glancy (SGlancy12) hosted a playtest of the scenario “Dead Letter” in an America Online chatroom in August and September 1997. The players were Shane Ivey (CroakerJr—that was me), Keith Potter (KJPotter), and Patrick Grindle (PGrindle). “Dead Letter” would be published in Delta Green: Countdown in 1999. The Cult of Transcendence appeared in Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity in 2010. Digital archaeologists unearthed the full series of transcripts in an ancient hard drive.
In This Update
Recent DG releases
DG status reports and what’s next
Join us at Gen Con
66% off our finest games
Recent DG Releases
Now available online and at Gen Con.
"Reverberations," a new PDF scenario meant for beginning Agents and players
Old Ones Rising available in PDF and paperback (with half a dozen features dedicated to Delta Green and many more that can be adapted to your game)
If you already bought Kali Ghati, Observer Effect, or The Star Chamber in PDF, you get $5 off the paperback edition at RPGNow. You should have gotten an email from RPGNow with that discount—check your spam filter. If you bought one of those in PDF and did not get the discount, please email email@example.com. We will hook you up.
DG Status Reports and What's Next
As always, delivery ETAs are based on our most current intelligence. That intelligence is often flawed, but this is what we have right now.
Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game: in layout
Fall of Delta Green: in layout
Control Group: second draft finished; in pre-playtest review
Impossible Landscapes: in progress; about 2/3 written
PISCES: in outlining and planning
Deep State: in outlining and planning
Falling Towers: in outlining and planning
EXPECTED IN SEPTEMBER:
Extremophilia in PDF and print
Redacted: Fusion Centers in PDF
EXPECTED IN OCTOBER:
Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game in PDF
The Fall of Delta Green in PDF
The Unspeakable Oath 25 in PDF and print
EXPECTED IN NOVEMBER:
Music from a Darkened Room in PDF and print, updated to the new rules
Get in the ring for WRESTLENOMICON. That’s our upcoming card game of world-stomping tentacle fights, Old One-style. Wrestlenomicon was designed by Dennis Detwiller, Rob Heinsoo, and Shane Ivey and illustrated with gruesome glee by Kurt Komoda. Playtesting begins right after Gen Con, so sign up now. And come to Booth 431 to try it for yourself. Call Hastur out — I hear you have to say his name three times — and see if you can stand up to the Elbow of a Living God!
Ask questions and trade war stories at the 90-minute Delta Green seminar, Saturday at 7:00 p.m., with Dennis Detwiller, Adam Scott Glancy, Kenneth Hite, Shane Ivey, and Greg Stolze. That’s in the Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom D.
Know anyone at Gen Con who could use a pile of Delta Green PDFs in a bad-ass collectible package? Tell them go to Booth 431 and ask for the Charnel Dreams CD. The booth staff will know what to do.
Join Aaron Vanek’s epic Delta Green LARP Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night. One ticket is officially available Friday. But show up anyway and bring generic tickets. If someone doesn’t come, you’re in!
On Saturday, join your fellow Agents (or are they only enemies in disguise?) in a hunt for clues across downtown Indianapolis. A Delta Green agent needs your help opening a Green Box -- a crate full of operational supplies, including one that might save her life. Watch the Delta Green Twitter feed Saturday morning for the first clue.
66% Off Our Finest Games
Even if you can’t make it to Gen Con, you can help us celebrate with some of the best games we’ve ever made. Starting now, and for only ten days, get Godlike, Monsters and Other Childish Things, and Wild Talents at unspeakable prices, in PDF or print (until print copies run out). We’re talking about a whopping 66% off -- we want these games to move. Print or PDF, it’s time to complete your collection.
And if you already have all those games, please TELL PEOPLE. If you know anyone who’s been curious about Godlike, Monsters, or Wild Talents, this is their best chance to get the game—and if they like what they see, the whole game line.
What has sunk may rise
3 months ago
– Thu, Jul 06, 2017 at 11:21:17 PM
Greetings, Agents. This is Shane Ivey. I'm pleased to report that the Delta Green core rulebook is progressing swiftly. If you pre-ordered it, you have access to the PDF of the work in progress. We're revising the text from valuable reader reports and in-house copy editing, while our page designer works on the sections that are already finished.
Meanwhile, our extended team is working on other parts of this project. Delta Green's creators are reviewing Pelgrane Press' Fall of Delta Green. I'm working with our writers and editors to schedule production on Control Group, Deep State, PISCES, and the other books in the line. Dennis is well into the manuscript of Impossible Landscapes. And we're preparing a number of shorter downloads, such as a conversion of the lethal scenario "Music from a Darkened Room."
Stories from the Shire
Our old friend James Knevitt has launched a new podcast called The Best Character You Ever Had, and I was proud to be his second interview guest. We talk about my favorite RPG character, Kester Proudfoot from The One Ring, as well as gaming and writing in Tolkien's world, Western games, and of course Delta Green. Listen here.
The Yellow King
Our friends at Pelgrane Press have launched a stunning new project of obvious interest to Delta Green fans: The Yellow King RPG.
Here's their summary:
Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ influential cycle of short stories, YKRPG pits the characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. This suppressed play, once read, invites madness. Or a visit from its titular character, an alien ruler intent on invading and remolding our world into a colony of their planet, Carcosa. Four books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront your players with an epic journey into reality horror:
Belle Epoque Paris, where a printed version of the dread play is first published. Players portray American art students in its absinthe-soaked world, navigating the Parisian demimonde and investigating mysteries involving gargoyles, vampires, and decadent alien royalty. Includes the core rules.
The Wars, an alternate reality in which the players take on the role of soldiers bogged down in the great European conflict of 1947. While trying to stay alive on an eerie, shifting battlefield, they investigate supernatural mysteries generated by the occult machinations of the Yellow King and his rebellious daughters.
Aftermath, set later in the same reality, in 2017 North America. A bloody insurrection has toppled a dictatorial regime loyal to Carcosa. Players become former partisans adjusting to ordinary life, trying to build a just society from the ashes of civil war. But not all of the monsters have been thoroughly banished—and like it or not, they’re the ones with the skills to hunt them and finish them off.
This is Normal Now. In the 2017 we know, albeit one subtly permeated by supernatural beings and maddening reality shifts, ordinary people band together, slowly realizing that they are the key to ending a menace spanning eras and realities.
It already far surpassed its initial goal, so there's much more to come. Back it now, and pray the Castaignes look upon you with favor.
Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game
3 months ago
– Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 01:19:58 AM
“That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and reveling in joy.” —H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”
"On Edward Teller’s blackboard at Los Alamos I once saw a list of weapons—ideas for weapons—with their abilities and properties displayed. For the last one on the list, the largest, the method of delivery was listed as 'Backyard.' Since that particular design would kill everyone on Earth, there was no use carting it elsewhere." —Robert Serber, about Edward Teller
“Blessed be the torch.” —Máximo Gómez
If you pre-ordered the "Case Officer's Handbook," officially called Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, please log in to BackerKit. You can find the complete manuscript in your Digital Downloads.
(If it's not there, please wait. It may take BackerKit some time to distribute the link to all accounts. If it's still not there in the morning, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't know how to log in to BackerKit, click here.)
The manuscript is stil in copy editing, so please don't send corrections for typos and grammar. Wait until we send a version that we think has all those issues corrected.
We do welcome feedback on a few particular issues:
Factual errors and contradictions
References to things that aren't in fact in the manuscript
Abilities that seem like they should be listed under a given entity or Great Old One but aren't.
Please email feedback to email@example.com. IMPORTANT: As the email's subject, please write "DGRPG manuscript feedback from [YOUR NAME]," giving your name or favorite cover identity. That will allow us to keep track of your messages.
Shane Ivey and Dennis Detwiller Arc Dream Publishing
Beyond the Door of Silence
4 months ago
– Tue, May 30, 2017 at 10:47:20 PM
Shane Ivey here from Arc Dream Publishing. Here’s a moment from the book, and reports on what’s happening.
Michael Keravuori, The Door of Silence
In 2017, the lone survivor of Operation SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS, Col. Michael Keravuori (ret.), is 88, and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona on a modest military pension. He spends his Thursdays at the VFW, drives a restored 1971 Corvette Stingray, and plays a pretty mean game of golf.
He doesn’t sleep. That is not some metaphor. He literally doesn’t sleep, and hasn’t since the day of his last mission for Delta Green (Operation SKUNKED, in Colombia, in 1956). Something happened in the jungle, something that he can’t recall no matter how hard he tries. He doesn’t try too hard, anymore.
No one in the group knows that Keravuori is not right. Sometimes, Keravuori himself doesn’t even notice. If it wasn’t for the dreams, punctual as always, he might forget altogether. Even without sleep, the dreams come. During his last vision, he almost drove his car off the road.
In the dreams, a gong sounds, and with each sounding, a silence covers a portion of the world. A silence so deep that light and life vanish. In the end, the Earth is extinguished like a candle. Dead and black. A charnel house tumbling through the void forever.
Though he does not know why, Michael Keravuori is the man who swings the hammer, grinning.
Finishing the core book of this game line is like—I don’t know what it’s like. Is there a Guiness World’s Record for the slowest removal of a band-aid? Are there Guiness World Records anymore? Anyway. With Delta Green, our milestones have to do with quality rather than dates. That is as frustrating now as it was when we old-timers were waiting for the first DG book to come out in the Nineties.
I’m down to about two to four pages of text that need writing, short pieces filling in specific aspects of the setting and modern-day campaigns. Then I think it’ll be done. That’s a matter of days, at this point. Maybe Thursday, maybe Monday; probably not later than that. (College orientation for my kid will eat up a couple of days in between.)
Once we have the manuscript finished, we’ll make it available to backers who ordered that book in print or PDF, and we’ll welcome feedback. A project this big will generate a lot of opinions. We’ll allow three or four weeks to get notes, and then we’ll implement them along with corrections picked out by our copy editor. Then that section goes to layout. For publication of the final, finished PDF, we’re probably looking at late July.
Over on Pelgrane’s side, I understand The Fall of Delta Green is now in playtesting, so it’s coming along as well.
Join us at Gen Con 50! It’s August 17–20, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Arc Dream Publishing and Pagan Publishing will share Booth 431 in the Exhibit Hall. We’re near Paizo, Mayfair, and Cool Mini or Not.
We’ll host a 90-minute Delta Green Q&A panel at 7:00 Saturday night, in the Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom D.
Our friends at Pelgrane Press will hold a panel of their own at 2:00 Saturday afternoon, in the Crowne Plaza, Pennsylvania Station B. If you can’t make our panel Saturday night, you can probably corner Ken and company there to get the latest on The Fall of Delta Green.
I count 16 Delta Green games being run at the show, plus three Delta Green LARPs (a first for Gen Con!), two Fall of Delta Green games, and a game of Godlike. The bad news: Those all sold out fast. The good news: In most Gen Con games, somebody who bought a ticket fails to show up. Bring generic tickets to the game you want to join. If there’s an empty seat, the GM will probably let you in. (Warning: the Delta Green LARP is pretty pricey because it involves a LOT of interesting goings-on and locations. You’ll need a big pile of generic tickets for one of those.)
Next for Delta Green
Finishing the core book opens the floodgates. I’ll start juggling short projects while leading the teams that will go to work in earnest on the big projects. The short projects include four Redacted Files, “ARCHINT,” the new scenarios “Viscid,” “Wormwood Arena,” and “Iconoclasts,” and conversions and updates of older scenarios such as "Music From a Darkened Room" and Future/Perfect Parts 2–4. The big projects include Control Group (which has its second draft already done), Deep State, Falling Towers, PISCES, Impossible Landscapes, and Operational History. I can’t wait to turn the other writers loose. We’ll announce delivery dates on those as we go.
Several good friends of ours have great projects on Kickstarter and elsewhere right now.
TERMINATION SHOCK: Delta Green and Unknown Authors coauthor Greg Stolze is raising funds to produce 6+ hours of podcasts of his new science fiction game, Termination Shock. Greg says: “The phrase ‘termination shock’ refers to the outer reaches of a solar system, but it could (of course) also indicate the terror of a sudden ending. The setting for the game plays on both meanings.” If the project gets a substantial bump, it’ll unlock Greg sending backers a rough draft of the game to play themselves.
CTHULHU DARK: We’ve been fans of Graham Walmsley’s rules-super-light Cthulhu Dark RPG since it took up no more than two sides of a sheet of paper, not to mention is terrific analysis of Mythos gaming in Stealing Cthulhu and his Trail of Cthulhu scenarios. Cthulhu Dark is a bleak game about finding horrors and trying to survive them. The new book adds suggestions for creating mysteries and terrors, and four settings and scenarios. He’s joined by Helen Gould, Kathryn Jenkins, and our old friend Chris Spivey.
SHADOW OF THE DEMON LORD: Rob Schwalb’s gruesome fantasy RPG can be downloaded at a grotesquely corpulent bargain courtesy of Bundle of Holding. $14 gets four books. Another $12 gets another seven. I’m playing SDL weekly in my home game right now and love it.
Actual Play recordings (Part 1 and Part 2) of me running “Music from a Darkened Room” for my friends
We have a lot of projects coming, some to Kickstarter and some as ordinary preorders.
THE KING IN YELLOW: A big, gorgeous collector’s edition of Robert Chambers’ classic, annotated by Kenneth Hite and illustrated by Samuel Araya. Undergoing final checks of the cover stock and the Kickstarter page. All art is finished.
WRESTLENOMICON: A crazy card game of the End Times. They’re the end for us, anyway. It’s just another brawl for the Great Old Ones. Goes to playtesting in late June.
OLD ONES RISING: A compilation of The Unspeakable Oath issues 18–22, updated for compatibility with Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition and Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game. We’re correcting the layout now and it should be available in a couple of weeks.
THE UNSPEAKABLE OATH 25: A new issue at last! It goes into final editing next week.
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, VOL. 1–III: Collections of new Delta Green scenarios and scenarios previously released only in PDF, revised and updated with new illustrations.
And a few big things that we can’t talk about yet. Watch this space.