Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

DG operation lethality. How do you deal with it? [Convergence Spoiler]

Expand Messages
  • hairygumby
    I recently started running a Delta Green campaign for a couple of players. I ran the adventure A Victim of the Art first, and then ran Music From a Darkened
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 31, 2009
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      I recently started running a Delta Green campaign for a couple of
      players. I ran the adventure "A Victim of the Art" first, and then ran
      "Music From a Darkened Room."

      The PCs perished in MFADR.

      The players say they had a blast. The final character actually
      committed suicide after murdering his partner, so it wasn't like I
      railroaded them into doom or anything. It was just a regular Delta
      Green operation that went completely sideways.

      Anyway, the end of the session got me to thinking about the lethality
      of DG operations, and I'm interested in how other Keepers deal with
      it. DG is one of those games that seems geared toward an "every
      mission could be your last" play style, especially when you start
      investigating stuff like Tillinghast Resonators, Hounds of Tindalos,
      and anything remotely connected to OUTLOOK. Adventures like
      Convergence even go so far as to suggest having characters kidnapped
      and altered or killed off by horrible mi-go engineered viruses.

      Personally, I love the desperation of Delta Green agents and the toxic
      nature of interacting with the mythos, but I'm wondering how many
      people run it that way and have dead agents piling up left and right.

      So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
      characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
      you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
      from behind the GM screen?
    • Graham Kinniburgh
      ... Hard one to answer this - I ve concluded one long termish DG campaign (which involved about 5 or 6 decent sized scenarios irrc) and am running another
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        > So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
        > characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
        > you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
        > from behind the GM screen?

        Hard one to answer this - I've concluded one long termish DG campaign
        (which involved about 5 or 6 decent sized scenarios irrc) and am
        running another ongoing one just now. Lethality has varied from player
        to player and character to character. In the first campaign I had one
        player whose character lived right through to the end of the campaign
        only to die at the very end (and he only perished because he was the
        unlucky bugger chosen for special attention from the funguys in
        Convergence). The other two players had two character deaths each
        respectively).

        In my new campaign each player has lost at least one character already
        due to death or madness (again we've played about 5 or 6 scenarios and
        some smaller 'ops'). In most cases these have been a result of poor
        choices by the players or just bad luck. Personally I suspect that if
        played pretty straight with a 'normal' bunch of players (i.e. those
        showing a reasonable mix of caution and curiosity) then a death every
        three or four scenarios is pretty inevitable - the mythos plays for
        keeps, especially in DG it seems.

        I have made the conscious decision to pull my punches once

        *** SPOILER warning for Owlshead****

        when I ran the Dark Young they encountered it could easily have killed
        everyone present but instead I decided that one death per encounter
        was appropriate. Even then it killed one NPC, one PC and drove another
        PC mad.

        ********

        My suggestion to extend player shelf life is to leaven your campaign
        with some lighter 'ops'. Some of Brett Kramer's shotgun scenarios like
        'Last Things Last', 'Whereabouts Unknown' and 'UXO' are interesting
        and challenging without being overly deadly and some others like 'See
        No Evil' and 'A Victim of the Art' are survivable if the players are
        smart and / or cautious.

        Ultimately though - Nights at the Opera are a risky business and death
        and madness are part of the fun !
      • David Rankus
        I have not run or played CoC in ages, due to not having a group into this genre.  I ve never played Delta Green, though I ve written twists and whatnot for
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          I have not run or played CoC in ages, due to not having a group into this genre.  I've never played Delta Green, though I've written twists and whatnot for planned games should a group ever actually get past the discussion phase.  I am currently writing a modern day detective novel set in Lovecraft Country, but am not sure whether I'll be using DG or not.

          So, from this standpoint.

          1) Ever read Titus Crow by Lumley?  I haven't yet, though it sounds as though that could help you.  He and a friend constantly run into Mythos and instead of doing as Lovecraft's do, these guys fight back.  It sounds like luck has a little to do with it as well, though.  Look it up online.

          2)  I like the idea of recycling characters.  For instance.  Howie plays a student at Miskatonic named Randall Carter.  Randall goes crazy, gets locked in the asylumn.  Howie next plays Dr Harold West, New Psychiatrist working in Arkham Asylum.  Harold is struck by his patient's delusions as Randall Carter, his patient, describes such hideously real depictions.  In order to try and help, he tracks down friends Randall babbles about and inadvertently joins the group.

          Harold goes crazy, meets Randall in the ward and the comfirmation he brings Randall allows Randall enough grip on reality to be released in his friends custody, to continue on.

          Now, I'm a firm believer in the entropy of sanity, however after slow, repeated exposure, the same thing doesn't drive you crazy and Randall, much like Pickman being functional knowing the monsters were real, can better deal with the issues.  Should something go wrong, Howie always has good old Dr. West on hold to release from the asylum.

          3.) Altering, maiming, disease, not necessarily the end of your career.  Sometimes it just takes some creative RPing and/or storytelling to overcome certain handycaps.  Personally, I've always felt flaws can help define a character better than skills.  The measure of a man based on how he plays the cards he's dealt.  Can you take AIDs and make LemonAIDs?  That sort of thing.

          Death is something you can't avoid unless you've got some seriously witty players.  I've known one guy who made life difficult for his game masters because he was too creative.  They couldn't penalize him, because he wasn't doing anything wrong, wasn't metagaming, he just thought correctly for the game.  Ironically, those were some of the best games, even though the GM had to think on his feet constantly.  Now, that was Vampire: The Masquerade, not Call of Cthulhu.

          Call of Cthulhu, as mentioned about Titus Crow, relies heavily on chance/luck.  There is not much good and evil, but strictly "oops, sorry, didn't see you there."  In this regard, there isn't a whole lot you can do to save their lives other than to throw in safety catches.  But this will lead to a much different experience.

          Have you ever seen Cast a Deadly Spell?  The ending is a clear case of the surviving characters surviving because of how events played out, not because of anything they did to save themselves.


           



          ________________________________
          From: hairygumby <hairygumby@...>
          To: dglist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2009 7:55:26 PM
          Subject: [dglist] DG operation lethality. How do you deal with it? [Convergence Spoiler]


          I recently started running a Delta Green campaign for a couple of
          players. I ran the adventure "A Victim of the Art" first, and then ran
          "Music From a Darkened Room."

          The PCs perished in MFADR.

          The players say they had a blast. The final character actually
          committed suicide after murdering his partner, so it wasn't like I
          railroaded them into doom or anything. It was just a regular Delta
          Green operation that went completely sideways.

          Anyway, the end of the session got me to thinking about the lethality
          of DG operations, and I'm interested in how other Keepers deal with
          it. DG is one of those games that seems geared toward an "every
          mission could be your last" play style, especially when you start
          investigating stuff like Tillinghast Resonators, Hounds of Tindalos,
          and anything remotely connected to OUTLOOK. Adventures like
          Convergence even go so far as to suggest having characters kidnapped
          and altered or killed off by horrible mi-go engineered viruses.

          Personally, I love the desperation of Delta Green agents and the toxic
          nature of interacting with the mythos, but I'm wondering how many
          people run it that way and have dead agents piling up left and right.

          So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
          characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
          you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
          from behind the GM screen?






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • jonasargham
          ... I have pulled punches quite a few times, lowering damage enough to put the character in the hospital for months without killinng him, or lowering the san
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In dglist@yahoogroups.com, "hairygumby" <hairygumby@...> wrote:

            > So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
            > characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
            > you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
            > from behind the GM screen?

            I have pulled punches quite a few times, lowering damage enough to put
            the character in the hospital for months without killinng him, or
            lowering the san loss enough to leave a character with a permanent
            phobia and a white streak in his hair, but not enough to lock him away
            for ever. Having to remake characters every couple game sessions makes
            it hard to keep players, and it furthers the negative stigma of CoC.
            I like to build up npcs to the point of familiarity with the party and
            then when the time comes to pick a party member to die, like in
            convergance, I choose the npc. Its important not to abuse this to
            the 'oh my god, they killed kenny!' point. Don't get me wrong, I'm not
            opposed to killing characters, sometimes they deserve it, and when the
            player makes blatantly bad decisions, I send a message to the rest of
            the players via gruesome dismemberment.
          • Ross Payton
            When I ran Owl s Head mountain, (which you can listen to on role playing public radio
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              When I ran Owl's Head mountain, (which you can listen to on role playing
              public radio
              http://slangdesign.com/rppr/2007/12/actual-play/actual-play-delta-green-eyes-only-a-night-on-owlshead-mountain/)
              I crippled a PC that got too close to Cooter rather than kill him. I
              am
              not afraid of killing characters but I hate to do it in the middle of a one
              shot game that would force the player to sit the rest of the game out. At
              the end of the game, I had the fun guys abduct the player in question. Same
              end result basically :)


              On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 3:43 PM, jonasargham <jonasargham@...> wrote:

              > --- In dglist@yahoogroups.com, "hairygumby" <hairygumby@...> wrote:
              >
              > > So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
              > > characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
              > > you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
              > > from behind the GM screen?
              >
              > I have pulled punches quite a few times, lowering damage enough to put
              > the character in the hospital for months without killinng him, or
              > lowering the san loss enough to leave a character with a permanent
              > phobia and a white streak in his hair, but not enough to lock him away
              > for ever. Having to remake characters every couple game sessions makes
              > it hard to keep players, and it furthers the negative stigma of CoC.
              > I like to build up npcs to the point of familiarity with the party and
              > then when the time comes to pick a party member to die, like in
              > convergance, I choose the npc. Its important not to abuse this to
              > the 'oh my god, they killed kenny!' point. Don't get me wrong, I'm not
              > opposed to killing characters, sometimes they deserve it, and when the
              > player makes blatantly bad decisions, I send a message to the rest of
              > the players via gruesome dismemberment.
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > The Delta Green Mailing List:
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dglist
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >


              --
              Ross Payton
              Raillery: A Comedy video podcast
              http://www.raillery.tv


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Peter Kisner
              Hah. That ll show em for bad decision making! Makes me wish I had some thugs of my own on call to drag players kicking and screaming into the night. :D ...
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Hah. That'll show 'em for bad decision making!

                Makes me wish I had some thugs of my own on call to drag players
                kicking and screaming into the night. :D


                On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 5:31 PM, Ross Payton <rpayton@...> wrote:
                > At the end of the game, I had the fun guys abduct the player in question. Same
                > end result basically :)
                >
                > On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 3:43 PM, jonasargham <jonasargham@...> wrote:
                >
                >> --- In dglist@yahoogroups.com, "hairygumby" <hairygumby@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> > So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
                >> > characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
                >> > you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
                >> > from behind the GM screen?
                >>
                >> I have pulled punches quite a few times, lowering damage enough to put
                >> the character in the hospital for months without killinng him, or
                >> lowering the san loss enough to leave a character with a permanent
                >> phobia and a white streak in his hair, but not enough to lock him away
                >> for ever. Having to remake characters every couple game sessions makes
                >> it hard to keep players, and it furthers the negative stigma of CoC.
                >> I like to build up npcs to the point of familiarity with the party and
                >> then when the time comes to pick a party member to die, like in
                >> convergance, I choose the npc. Its important not to abuse this to
                >> the 'oh my god, they killed kenny!' point. Don't get me wrong, I'm not
                >> opposed to killing characters, sometimes they deserve it, and when the
                >> player makes blatantly bad decisions, I send a message to the rest of
                >> the players via gruesome dismemberment.
                >>
                >>
                >> ------------------------------------
                >>
                >> The Delta Green Mailing List:
                >> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dglist
                >>
                >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >
                > --
                > Ross Payton
                > Raillery: A Comedy video podcast
                > http://www.raillery.tv
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >



                --
                democratsforlife.org - feministsforlife.org
                amnesty.org - voteforjoe.com
                theologygirl.com - protozoic.com
              • Joe Crazyperson
                I m not sure how people have the problem with lethality so much, I run a lot of games and send some really nasty shit at PCs, but I rarely come away with a
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  I'm not sure how people have the problem with lethality so much, I run a lot
                  of games and send some really nasty shit at PCs, but I rarely come away with
                  a huge body count. The trick I think is foreshadowing or at least allowing
                  the players the abillity to gather clues before the end encounter. Ditsy
                  players jump the gun and they do get killed when that happens, maybe my PCs
                  are just smarter than yours? :P But they rarely seemto die.




                  On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 8:36 PM, Peter Kisner <kisnerp@...> wrote:

                  > Hah. That'll show 'em for bad decision making!
                  >
                  > Makes me wish I had some thugs of my own on call to drag players
                  > kicking and screaming into the night. :D
                  >
                  >
                  > On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 5:31 PM, Ross Payton <rpayton@...<rpayton%40gmail.com>>
                  > wrote:
                  > > At the end of the game, I had the fun guys abduct the player in question.
                  > Same
                  > > end result basically :)
                  > >
                  > > On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 3:43 PM, jonasargham <jonasargham@...<jonasargham%40yahoo.com>>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > >> --- In dglist@yahoogroups.com <dglist%40yahoogroups.com>, "hairygumby"
                  > <hairygumby@...> wrote:
                  > >>
                  > >> > So, to those Keepers who have run long campaigns where the same
                  > >> > characters survived numerous points of contact with the mythos, how do
                  > >> > you do it? Are your PCs particularly plucky? Do they get some help
                  > >> > from behind the GM screen?
                  > >>
                  > >> I have pulled punches quite a few times, lowering damage enough to put
                  > >> the character in the hospital for months without killinng him, or
                  > >> lowering the san loss enough to leave a character with a permanent
                  > >> phobia and a white streak in his hair, but not enough to lock him away
                  > >> for ever. Having to remake characters every couple game sessions makes
                  > >> it hard to keep players, and it furthers the negative stigma of CoC.
                  > >> I like to build up npcs to the point of familiarity with the party and
                  > >> then when the time comes to pick a party member to die, like in
                  > >> convergance, I choose the npc. Its important not to abuse this to
                  > >> the 'oh my god, they killed kenny!' point. Don't get me wrong, I'm not
                  > >> opposed to killing characters, sometimes they deserve it, and when the
                  > >> player makes blatantly bad decisions, I send a message to the rest of
                  > >> the players via gruesome dismemberment.
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >> ------------------------------------
                  > >>
                  > >> The Delta Green Mailing List:
                  > >> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dglist
                  > >>
                  > >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >
                  > > --
                  > > Ross Payton
                  > > Raillery: A Comedy video podcast
                  > > http://www.raillery.tv
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > --
                  > democratsforlife.org - feministsforlife.org
                  > amnesty.org - voteforjoe.com
                  > theologygirl.com - protozoic.com
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Edward Lipsett /t
                  The biggest problem is not that a character dies, but that the player comes to EXPECT that he or she will die. They can get a lot less interested in surviving,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 1, 2009
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    The biggest problem is not that a character dies, but that the player comes
                    to EXPECT that he or she will die. They can get a lot less interested in
                    surviving, which is unrealistic and can really eat the heart out of a game.

                    ----------
                    Edward Lipsett, Intercom, Ltd.
                    translation€@...
                    Publishing: http://www.kurodahan.com
                    Translation & layout: http://www.intercomltd.com
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.