Wednesday 10 July 2024

Delta Green #1 — Operation Beauty of the White Ape / AZTEC FORWARD


Part one of a series of reviews and notes on the scenarios I ran for my Delta Green group. The players end up stopping a nazi occultist by burning down a bookstore, and discover the joys of Delta Green's Lethality mechanic.


The first scenario I ran with my group was a shotgun scenario called Because the Beauty of the White Ape Woman Must Not Perish from the Earth (Shotgun contest 2017, by Mellonbread). Because I cut the White Ape reference from the scenario, I needed a different name for it. Luckily my eye caught the excellent title Operation AZTEC FORWARD, another Shotgun that I had decided I wouldn't be using in this campaign.


My group has access to a Google Map with all operations that are available to their Cell. This is the text for Operation AZTEC FORWARD:


A break-in at museum saw a mummy and some nazi memorabilia stolen. Confirm whether there is an Unnatural plot behind it.
Tier1 #Karotechia #ColderWar

Tier1 means this is available as an opening scenario. The tags #Karotechia / #ColderWar open up two scenario chains: #Karotechia covers a remnant organisation of nazi occultists, and #ColderWar includes adventures about clandestine government use of the Cthulhu Mythos, like in Charles Stross' most excellent novelette A Colder War. I've stolen quite some codewords from Stross' work!

MERCURY RAPTOR is Delta Green's codeword for a Winged Servitor / Byakhee, which I included in my expansion of this scenario. THULE links to the #Karotechia tag, and means there are connections to the fabled homeland of the ancient Aryans. More about that in my reworked version of Project Anthropocene!



I added this scenario to my list of operations because it sets up Delta Green's ancient enemy, the Karotechia. This group of nazi occultists fled the Third Reich to continue their repulsive ways from Argentina. DG assumed they'd taken care of them, but no...


The adventure being set in NYC also gave me the opportunity to include Stephen Alzis: sorceror, underworld kingpin, allround suave motherfucker and possible Mask of Nyarlathotep. This NPC is from DG's previous edition, set in the 1990s. He's been killed him in the time skip to the current edition, but in my '90s campaign, I can have the Handler send the Cell to Alzis to ask permission to operate on his turf.


The scenario does a good job going from the mundane a break-in at a museum— to the weird —one of the burglars striding through walls— to a full-on outbreak of the Unnatural in the sorceror's hideout with twisted spells and a resurrected mummy.


The sorceror also has a great collection of creepy knickknacks lying around his workshop, which sets up a good discussion within the Cell about what to do with all those Unnatural artefacts. Session one, and this group already decides to keep some Unnatural artefacts behind for their own use!


The scenario bills itself as an investigation, but falls shy of giving the Handler enough info to run the search for the burglars.


On a personal note, I didn't like the inclusion of the White Ape mummy with the mind of a sorceror from the future. That's too many steps of lore for me to ram down my players' throats in one or two scenes.


Added detail to the burglary and to the investigation portion of the scenario.

  • The neonazi goons now all work at a car garage, which is where their van (a 'loaner' from a client) can be tracked to.
  • I decided that halfway through their theft of the ancient mummy, one of the goons decided to help himself to a piece of random nazi memorabilia (a dagger with an embossed swastika). This riggered a safety gate that split up the four thieves, forcing the karotechia sorcerer to summon a Winged Servitor to escape. Canvassing the neighborhood would have given info on where the thing darkened the stars as it flew to the sorcerer's hideout.
  • Recoverable camera footage shows the two remaining burglars walking into a security guard (a mr. Johanson) and talking instead of squaring off, a sign that they had inside help. After a brief discussion they give him a superficial head wound, so he can claim he was overpowered. An extra avenue of investigation for the PCs.
  • Added a flute out of bone to Summon Winged Servitor to the karotechian's arsenal. It requires 15 minutes of continuous play to summon what looks like an immense spider crawling out of a vantage point that is somehow behind the dome of the night sky.
  • Changed the million-year-old mummy to a karotechia goon who survived the organisation's botched summoning of Azatoth at Neudabaum castle via being thrown into the deep past. The present-day survivors want to revive him to recover the instructions for the summoning ritual.



Adding a more detailed investigation in the museum and across NYC gave this scenario a slow-burn opening that exploded into action; one agent falls to a burst of Lethality during a break-in at the karotechia safehouse. Unprompted by me or any knowledge of Delta Green, the newly-minted Q Cell decided to get rid of all the horrible evidence by burning down the bookstore housing their Karotechia rivals. Fire as the great equalizer will become one of the main themes for Q Cell.

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