This last session was #10 of twelve, with the players finishing out their third case. It's been a solid series-- made more interesting by having a group of European players for a game set in a strained America. There's a weird echo there in that one of my major inspirations for the series is Alan Moore's "American Gothic" run on Swamp Thing from the 1980s. I've also been obliquely referencing existing Delta Green materials, remixing the meanings behind them.
All the sessions so far have been posted if you're interesting in raw actual play. I've put together a playlist on YouTube of those sessions (you can find that here). Audio-only podcast versions can be found here: http://gauntlet.hellomouth.net/
Today I want to present the mission briefings for the first two operations. These are the player-facing documents I provided them prior to the start of each arc. Once the series finishes I plan to write up my notes so that other GMs can run, adapt, and remix these cases.
CASEFILE GREASE PROPHECY
Two Days ago Delta Green watchers picked up an unusual thread on a forensics/pathology board. This is a shared space for persons working in that field to discuss weird things anonymously. Text follows:
Organic Test Dummies?
I have the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. I honestly don’t know what it is and I have no idea how to fill out my report.
I’ve been told just to fill out a standard report, but I mean…I just don’t know. Early this morning we had an accident victim brought in—hit by a car on a back road. Horrible thing, Caucasian male maybe 9-11 years ago. Killed instantly as far as I can tell and what the ambulance driver told me. No ID…and struck apparently at like 3 in the morning. I didn’t get other details.
So I get to checking things out and it gets weird. There’s damage—bruises, scrapes, and the like—but like some other traits are missing (blood vessels in the eyes). It’s blunt trauma, that’s pretty clear and even I can tell that. But when I do the prints, they’re fucked up. Like all of them are the same across all the fingers. Like maybe someone did something to remove the prints, but then why replace that with identical tips.
Then I start checking out the wounds, like the scrapes and stuff and there’s no blood. I mean there’s redness and it looks like a scrape, but there’s no fluids. And there’s no rigor setting in and the body’s super cool. Then I do a cut—and like as far as I can tell, it’s undifferentiated flesh all the way down: no arties, no vessels, no internal organs. No bones as far as I can tell.
So this has to be some kind of vat-grown thing right? Like something made to mimic the human body for testing? But no bones? Did someone steal this and throw it in front of a car? It gets weirder when I check the clothes—no tags, no real seams in it. It looks like it should have them but its faux. I don’t know what to put on my report but I think my dad’s just going to fake it. He’s freaked out enough about it. I think it might be some kind of horrible gunfire dummy.
Delta Green operations traced the report back to a Deborah Catanzerite in Marcott, Michigan, a small, rural town in the center of a lot of pine lots and farmland. She’s the daughter of the local elected coroner who also owns the funeral parlour. There are reports of Christian Militia groups operating in the area, additional details to follow.
Once it came up the pipeline an operations team worked to discredit and make the post vanish—eventually leading to moderator deletion.
- Go to Marcott and ascertain what this body and incident involve.
- If there are indications of unnatural or hypergeometric forces, clean up the evidence.
- If it is proves to be of unnatural or hypergeometric origin, deal with whoever is involved with the creation.
CASEFILE: CRITICAL CARBINE
KANSAS CITY, MO
You’re being sent in to look into a series of recent killings with a possible Unnatural link. These may connect to a previous set of killings in the same location several years earlier (more on that after the basics). This incident just appeared on our radar, so you're being sent before we have time to do a full situational analysis. You will have to do legworks on this; we will set you up as a semi-official FBI task force so you can call on local resources.
- Discover the perpetrator
- Uncover their connection to unnatural or hypergeometric forces (if any)
- Stop the perpetrator.
Reports and details on cases attached.
VIC 1: Lane Moss (Five days ago): Moss’ body was discovered behind the Starlight Motel. His car was found on the scene, parked at the far end. Cameras caught nothing. Moss was found behind the motel with taser burns. Some defensive wounds were found. He was stabbed and then stripped from the waist up. These were wrapped around the head. A number of sigils with possible HG connection were carved shallowly into the body and then cut across to distort and obscure.
VIC 2: Joel Robles (Four days ago): The body of Mr Robles was found in a downtown alley, near a number of bars and clubs. Identification is not fully confirmed at this point. Robles was apparently combusted, with some skeletal remains found. A wallet nearby gave initial ID and partial dental may confirm. No accelerant was found on scene. (Note: while unconnected to earlier cases, it connects with a later killing and the coincidence of an unexplained unnatural killing is what draws this to our attention).
VIC 3: Jelena Petrovic: (Three days ago): The body of Petrovic was found in a KC public park, well off the beaten path. She was strangled and then carved with the similar sigils to those found on VICTIM ONE. Forensic report notes similarities and differences.
VIC 4: Adrian Vowinkel: (Three days ago): Volwinkel’s body is found in his apartment, no sign of forced entry. Killed via blunt force trauma to the head. Body again carved. Forensic report notes similarities and significant differences.
VIC 5: Harley Kim: (Yesterday): Found in her home. Evidence of some kind of break in and struggle happening midday. Body found in relatively the same condition as victim two, Joel Robles (combusted).
In 2015-2016, Kansas City had a series of three unsolved killings. There may be more which have not yet been connected with the killing. These three cases share strong forensic similarities to one another. They also share connections and differences to the present five cases, excepting VICTIMS ONE and FIVE.
These past incidents all have the same unnatural body carving indicating some kind of ritual working and unnatural practices. The killer for these incidents was never captured and the KC police are downplaying any connection to the present series.