Posts Tagged With: Delta Green

Green Box – Storage Unit 13D

Sparked by the recent discussion – and an example of all sorts of things that can get a group into trouble, as well as an example of a “Green Box Gone Bad” – Originally Posted on Dec 14th, 2005 on the DGML. Personally, I tend to like to fill Green Boxes with all sorts of things that the players would love to use – but that will cause all sorts of trouble if they actually do.

Have Fun!


Typical in many ways, and highly untypical in another, this Green Box (Unit 13D) is found at Eagle Storage, in Aurora IL (Just off Rt. 88). It’s a 10×30 unit located on the ground level of a three-story, open-air structure. Padlocked, the key is kept in military surplus soapbox cached in the nearby Herrick Lake forest preserve in Naperville (also just off Rt. 88). Standard practice calls for the agents to be given the GPS coordinates of the key cache along with the name and location of the Storage Unit when requested. When done with the Green Box the key is to be cached in a new location (though often in a nearby location) and GPS coordinates to be communicated to A-Cell immediately.

To someone passing by the open door, the contents of the unit are innocuous. A number of boxes, some 55-Gallon drums in the back, a number of bags of various building materials. It looks rather like a building contractors storage unit (with some “personal stuff”). Everything is stacked somewhat neatly on itself, and there are number of empty wooden packing crates waiting to be filled by the investigators.

Contained in the Green Box in open sight are:

  • 3-1/2 50lb bags of Fast-set Quikrete
  • 6-1/4 80lb Bags of Salt (With a surprising amount of salt scattered around the floor of the unit.)
  • A gasoline powered, 16″ Chainsaw (stabiled and ready to start) in its case. There’s no other gas in the unit however. There are blood and bone traces in the teeth of the saw.
  • 8′ Fiberglass Ladder
  • 20′ Aluminum Extension Ladder
  • 2 Sledgehammers
  • 2 Shovels
  • 1 Pickaxe
  • 1 Woodsman Axe (with blood traces)
  • 1 Hatchet (with blood traces)
  • Folding Pruning Saw
  • 1 22″ Pruning Sheer (with blood traces)
  • 4-1/2 20lb bags of Charcoal Briquettes
  • Weber “Smoky Joe” charcoal grill (evidence of burned papers inside)
  • 4 cases of lighter fluid
  • 1 Full Bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black Label with a scrawled note attached – “Buy a new one before you leave.” There are 11 empty bottles scattered about the unit, including one that has been used as an ashtray.
  • A spare tire for a late model Ford Mercury
  • 3 Road flares
  • A Bundle of 30 stakes – examination reveals that they are made of White Ash
  • An unopened carton of Gauloises
  • 1 Prybar
  • A single man Battering Ram – well used.
  • 3 20′ lengths of Grade 80 Chain
  • Half-a-dozen padlocks with keys
  • 1.5 Ton Auto Jack
  • 3 30-lb Propane tanks (filled)
  • 2 5-lb bags of soda lye
  • 1 5-gallon Tub of Roofing tar

In the storage crates (Generally under the empty crates);

  • 2 Model 37 Ithaca Stakeout Shotguns (12-Gauge) – unloaded
  • .50 Desert Eagle Pistol with two clips – unloaded
  • .455 Webley Revolver (Not in great shape but still useable, obvious antique)
  • 4 Daewoo USAS-12 Selective Fire Shotguns – each with 2 clips and 1 drum – unloaded
  • 2 Ingram Mac-10’s, each with an extra clip. (These need to be cleaned before use or there is x4 the normal chance for an accident)
  • Reloading equipment for 12-Gauge Shotgun shells. Unfortunately there’s no powder or primers left. Otherwise enough gear to do about 20 shells or so.
  • 17 12-Gauge Shells – Loaded with Sea Salt, Silver, and Cold Iron.
  • 20 Boxes 12-Gauge Shotgun (lead shot) (25 rounds each box)
  • 10 Boxes of 9mm Ammunition (50 rounds each box)
  • 10 Boxes of .50 Caliber Ammunition (20 rounds each box)
  • 5 Cases of .45 Caliber Ammunition (500 rounds each case)
  • 2 empty clips for a Colt 1911A1 .45
  • 5 lb. bag of Sea Salt
  • A 1-lb Block of Semtex – but no other detonating hardware.
  • An old Latin Bible with a blessed Silver and Ivory Rosary marking the start of Revelations – as an antique worth over $200 – It’s also a Magic Point Storage device with 3 points (out of a possible 10) only usable by a baptized Catholic who is in good standing (e.g. Regular confession, penance, etc). The bible itself has numerous notes in the margins throughout with various sections underlined, crossed out, etc. The various annotations provides the reader with a (3 weeks, +0/+1 Unnatural, +1 Occult, 1d3 San cost – Mythos Rating: 3 – Must Read Latin, French, and German – No spells)
  • An old set of Tibetan Buddhist religious objects. A phurba (ritual knife, three bladed knife), mala (prayer beads) of miniature bone skulls (108 “carved” skulls, close examination suggests that these are actually skulls that have been shrunken somehow; 0/1 San), a kangling (bone trumpet made from a human thigh bone which has been tightly fitted with leather, and the metal encasing has been enhanced by a turquoise), and kapala (A cup made from the top of human skull and lined with silver, and fitted with a ruby in the base of the cup). Antique and worth thousands, these are piled in a bottom crate. No obvious special abilities, save perhaps in the hands of a Tibetan priest or servant of one of the Dharmapalas. As long as they remain unclaimed and remain here in storage they are safe and relatively innocuous, but if a player character takes them without the proper magical “credentials” then they will be plagued by bad dreams and worse luck until they are returned to the proper Tibetan caretakers.
  • A small canvas bank-bag filled with some number of soft and flat things that appear to be scraps of fabric. In the crate next to it is skinning knife/gut hook that has traces of blood on it. Scrawled in marker on the bag is “Don’t Fucking Look!!” (Inside are 39 scraps of human skin, each tattooed with the Yellow Sign – there is evidence that attempts have been made to burn them with no success. They are indestructible, and this fact will net an additional 1/1-2 San loss in addition to seeing any of the various Yellow Signs)
  • 2 6×6 “Bomb Blankets” – Level III-A in Black
  • 3 Class II Tactical Armor Vests (2 Medium, 1 Large) in Black – shot to hell, the large is scored by huge claw marks and blood stains.
  • 1 Class II Concealable Vest with Level IV Rifle Plates (Woman’s Medium) – shot to hell
  • 4 400 Ft. lengths of 2000lb test Nylon climbing rope.
  • 4 sets of rappelling gear, each with harness
  • 1 Roll of 60′ of Nylon Webbing, plus nylon thread and needle
  • 7 MREs, and a case of C-Rations (12) – the canned fruit has been removed from all the C-Rats.
  • 3 Garbage bags, each filled with a mostly shattered human skeleton
  • Collection of 37 dried human ears (all left) on a string necklace
  • Human skull with elongated canines – Red marker on the side says “Van Helsing was here” with a smiley face next to it.
  • 3 sets of cast iron manacles (ankle, wrist, and neck) – these are quite old and somewhat rusty. There are layers upon layers of blood and old skin on the inside of all of them.
  • 40 or so different adult magazines – all from September 2001. These have all been annotated in an unknown code (actually it’s Hyperborean Tsath-Yo) – the notes are all detailing out the suitability of the various models (male and female) as breeding and host material (0/1 San if understood)

Finally there are the 7 55-gallon drums up on pallets in the back. This when things go seriously wrong with a Green Box, perhaps not as bad as possible, but bad enough. The two front drums are empty, and easy to move around. The other five have been crudely sealed with duct tape and roofing tar, and a sheet of plywood laid across their top. Spray-painted across the sheet is “Human Waste Disposal – Don’t Open!!”

No it’s not that kind of waste – it’s the kind that you’ve chopped up (or chainsawed, pruned, etc) and then dumped in a drum with some lye. Is it perfect? No. Is it even a good idea? Probably not.

But somebody did it, actually a couple of different Cells have done it.

The big problem is that one of the bodies wasn’t really dead yet. The first one as a matter of fact – one that wasn’t actually chopped up, just stuck in a drum and forgotten about. Sure the heart had stopped beating, the brain activity was gone, but the spirit hadn’t quite left yet (those damn Mythos sorcerers – life and death aren’t quite the same for them). As each subsequent body has been “interred” here it’s gained strength (1 point of Power per body in case the Agents add a couple themselves – though that takes about 6 months – 5 points in CoC 7E) Since the last mission, the Spirit has been waiting for someone to open one of the drums in which its various remains have been stored. Then it will come roaring out of all five drums in all its gory glory, a mass of dissolved and rotting arms, heads and teeth stinking of lye and bile…


Delta Green RPG Statistics:

Unquiet Spirit:

STR:12, CON:12, SIZ:30, INT:10, POW:9, DEX:15

HP:21 WP: 9

Damage Bonus: +2d6, Move:4

Gets 5 Attacks each round:

Strike (50%)- Does 2d6 + 1d6 Acidic damage.

Grapple (80%)- Can attack 1-2 Opponents per round, though it only does 1d6 Acidic Damage.

Envelope (100%)- Only after a successful grapple, it draws the Agent into itself doing 2d6 (Damage Bonus) + 2d6 (Lye and Biting/Grinding).

Spit (70%)- Does 1d6 Caustic Lye damage.

Immune to physical weapons, fire, electricity, and most chemical compounds.

Takes 1d6 damage per pound of salt. Shotgun loads of salt will do 1HP of damage.

In all cases there is a 1% cumulative chance per point of Acidic/Lye damage that the creature struck will lose a point of APP.

Sanity Loss: 1d2/1d10

At 10 Pow the Spirit will be able to start contacting nearby creatures and infecting their dreams, slowly corrupting them into the worship of the Mythos. At a Pow of 20 it will be able to possess creatures.


Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Statistics:

Unquiet Spirit:

STR:60, CON:60, SIZ:150, INT:50, POW:45, DEX:75

Hit Points:21

Damage Bonus: +2d6, Move:4

Gets 5 Attacks each round:

Strike (50%)- Does 2d6 + 1d6 Acidic damage.

Grapple (80%)- Can attack 1-2 Opponents per round, though it only does 1d6 Acidic Damage.

Envelope (100%)- Only after a successful grapple, it draws the Agent into itself doing 2d6 (Damage Bonus) + 2d6 (Lye and Biting/Grinding).

Spit (70%)- Does 1d6 Caustic Lye damage.

Immune to physical weapons, fire, electricity, and most chemical compounds.

Takes 1d6 damage per pound of salt. Shotgun loads of salt will do 1HP of damage.

In all cases there is a 1% cumulative chance per point of Acidic/Lye damage that the creature struck will lose a 1d10 points of APP.

Sanity Loss: 1d2/1d10

At 50 Pow the Spirit will be able to start contacting nearby creatures and infecting their dreams, slowly corrupting them into the worship of the Mythos. At a Pow of 20 it will be able to possess creatures.


Have fun!

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Delta Green the RPG

So, I took some time over the last couple of days to look over the new Delta Green RPG (as opposed to the old Delta Green setting for Call of Cthulhu). It is important to note that the rules are backwards compatible with the BRP engine of Call of Cthulhu 6E and previous and probably adaptable to 7E with a minimum of fuss.

(In other news, it looks like at least one of the old Pagan Pubishing campaigns, Coming Full Circle, is going to finally be coming to PDF and POD, good for them! I have my own dead tree copy, but it is a fantastic campaign and well worth picking up. It’s good that they finally convinced Crowe to relax about electronic media, and maybe wel” see some more back catalog content in the future.)

I’ve had the PDF for awhile now, but I have found that reading and digesting rules for me really requires a physical book for me to hold in my hands. I just find it easy to navigate and flip back and forth.

I like the lethality rating for powerful weapons, it seems like an elegant solution. I also like Breakpoints and Sanity rather than old BRP method of having to figure out 20% on a semi-regular basis. I like the idea of Bonds, and suspect that it will work well, but that is something I’ll have to see in practice during play. Similar to CoC 7E I really like the more abstracted method for handling money and equipment.

I really like the rules for experience. Fail a roll, make a check, then at the noted time increase the skill by one. Much, much less fiddly than the classic BRP method. I wonder if it doesn’t lead to inflated skill levels but I expect that it doesn’t – or that characters aren’t meant to survive long enough for it to matter. That particular attitude is one that I wince at, but I understand that the Paganistas have a definitive vision of how DG is supposed to be played.

Honestly, probably my biggest complaint is that the release schedule is such that I really have no idea when I can expect to see the Case Officer’s Handbook – the matching GM’s book to the current Agent’s (aka Investigator) Handbook. Yes, it’s kind of a whiny complaint, but currently I have no idea of how magic has changed, what sort of stats a creature should have (other than some extrapolation forward from 6E and some of that seems iffy), and well, I hate running games without the GM’s guide.

I really hope that this doesn’t hurt sales, but given that most people buying this are probably already DG fans, they can probably make it work. Since I’m running 7E right now it’s less of an issue, but I look forward to running it at some point in the future.


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And, in a more modern vein…


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Sanity Loss in a Pulp Game

One of the biggest threats, existential or otherwise, when playing Call of Cthulhu is the ever-present and slow draining away of Sanity. The lower it gets, the faster it goes. While the 7e rules have introduced some methods for alleviating this (Getting Used to the Awfulness and Mythos Hardening) I had always had a couple of tweaked methods for dropping Sanity loss a bit further but keeping “big things bad” while allowing those players who wanted to become sorcerers some additional buffer against the inevitable.

Keeping with the simplified skills listing of 7e, I’ve actually simplified this a great deal and I like it even more. It is based on three skills, one of which I use in conjunction with the Mystical Talents. So as follows:

  • Cthulhu Mythos or Unnatural: Divide the skill level by ten, round down, and apply this as a modifier to all Sanity loss. E.g. Cthulhu Mythos skill level of 34 becomes 3.4, rounded to 3, the character has a -3 to all Sanity losses.
  • Occult: Divide the skill level by twenty, round down, and apply this as a modifier to all Sanity loss. E.g. Occult skill level of 82 becomes 4.1, rounded to 4, the character has a -4 to all Sanity losses.
  • Meditation: Divide the skill level by thirty, round down, and apply this as a modifier to all Sanity loss. E.g. Meditation skill level of 69 becomes 2.3, rounded to 2, the character has a -2 to all Sanity losses.

A character with all of those skills would have a -9 to all Sanity losses, meaning that they could interact with most minor Mythos creatures and toss off a great many of the spells with no effect. That said, they still have the potential lose Sanity from the greater threats, and in an interesting statistical twist are (when they do lose Sanity from those threats) are actually a little bit more likely to go temporarily insane as a result.

The Meditation skill is basically combination of “mental fortitude” skill as well as what I tend to use as a “psychic powers” skill use skill. In the Old Delta Green supplement Countdown the psychic powers were all individual skills for the most part, I actually like the Pulp Cthulhu version of them as abilities instead. It is less mess in the skill section of the character sheet and allows me as the Keeper to play more fast and lose with how much any use will cost or how it works.

Clearly this sort of rule doesn’t for everyone or for all sorts of campaigns, but I’ve found that it really isn’t that unbalancing and does a good job of allowing people to play the sorts of characters that they are trying to.



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The Song of Samael

Of course, the other joy (and Lovecraftian tradition) of Call of Cthulhu is making up your own eldritch tomes full of mind-shattering cosmic horror. The following is what I came up with as an alternative to the Necronomicon for a multivalent “ultimate tome of horror” – I generally prefer a game that is more focused on the Elder Gods rather than the Great Old Ones, and even when I focus on the GOO’s I shy away from Cthulhu because he tends to be done to death.  In any case, as with the Oer Linda Book, part of the fun with doing this sort of thing is detailing out the various versions of the book through the ages. With a Necronomicon-like book this is (as you see below) much more than the simple editions (which is essentially what the Oer Linda Book was written up as). This is a collection of closely related tomes which all deal with the same eldritch mystery across both time and cultures. I actually have notes on three or four more related texts (including at least two more modern ones, this was originally written for a Classic Era campaign) that I haven’t detailed yet, those will form a new post in the future.


The Song of Samael

Song of Samael is a complex allegory poem that is considered one of the great lost Gnostic source materials. It discusses the great song of creation and destruction that the Demiurge, the great blind God, sings as surrounded by his servants at the center of Creation – in the chaos that comes without awareness or wisdom. Portions deal with the place of humanity in creation, the nature of the four-fold world, and the multiple emanations of the Demiuge that both plague and inspire humanity, through the Fall of Man as well as the hope of his Apotheosis. Some scholars have recently questioned a possible connection between the Song of Samael and the Massa di Requiem per Shuggay though no definitive proof has ever been unearthed. Similar relationships have been posited with the Dhol Chants.

Singing Across the Centuries: A Historical Analysis of the Song of Samael.

Produced shortly before the Great War in 1911, this text was derived from the doctoral thesis of Dr. Samuel J. Wight, who is currently associated with the newly created Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Obscure in nature, it is generally only found on the shelves of university libraries, though a few have found their way into private hands.

  • (English: Sanity: -1d3, Unnatural: +1/+2, Occult, Anthropology, & History Checks, 3 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 9)
  • No Spells

Joachim Feery’s Notes on the Canticum Yaldabaoth:

One of Mr. Feery’s last pamphlets, this was published in English in 1903. Similar to his Notes on the Necronomnicon, this consists primarily of translated portions of the Latin text with a series of annotations and footnotes.

  • (English: Sanity: -1d6, Unnatural: +1/+3, Occult: +2, 6 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 12)
  • No Spells

The Song of the Creator

Translated in 1900 from the Greek Āisma Dēmiourgos by Dr. W. J. Spencer-Knowles, it was the culmination of a twenty project on his part at the end of his career. Considered a brilliant and accurate translation, though often disturbing due to bleak projections on the nature of the universe, a freak fire destroyed most of the copies at the printers and there has been little demand for another printing run. Thirteen copies are thought to have survived, which are found in university libraries for the most part.

  • (English: Sanity: -2d6, Unnatural: +2/+3, Occult: +2, 12 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 15)
  • Spells: Call/Dismiss Daoloth, Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Vorvados, Summon/Bind Dimensional Shambler, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling

The Song of Bind God Sammael – Hear the Roar of the Lion-Faced Serpent

Privately published in London in 1898, the author remains unknown. The run of one-hundred and one volumes bound in black leather and printed in a curious silver ink is difficult to read and a comparison of the different volumes shows subtle differences. It is unknown if this is purposeful or if it is a printing error. Given the generally high quality of the printing it is thought that there is some meaning to the differences though no-one has ever managed to gather to enough of different volumes together to manage viable a textual analysis. This translation seems to derive from a combination of the Greek and Latin texts, and there is little else in the text other than a somewhat terse introduction and some fragmentary footnotes.

  • (English: Sanity: -1d6, Unnatural: +2/+6, Occult: +5, 12 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 24)
  • Spells: Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Nyarlathotep, Contact Vorvados, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling, Elder Sign, Voorish Sign

Ballade du Dieu Aveugle

Transcribed in 1354 by the Comte de Montange, the “Ballad of the Blind God” during the terrible times of the Black Death after listening to cries of the dying in the rural regions around Langeudoc. This octavo was barely published before being denounced by the church, with all copies banned and then many burned. A significant number survived however in the hands of the Inquisition as they searched out similar sources of heresy, and a similar number remained in private hands as well.

  • (French: Sanity: -2d4, Unnatural: +1/+2, Occult: +3, 20 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 9)
  • Spells: Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Nyarlathotep, Summon/Bind Servitor of the Outer Gods, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling

Testament des Zeichens der Löwe-Gesicht Schlange

This 917 version is a handmade copy of a now lost version that dated from the time of Charlemagne. The “Testament of the Sign of the Lion-Face Serpent” was ordered by the Holy Roman Emperor himself. It records the tale of the destruction of a pagan cult of blind singers by the warriors of Charlemagne and the interrogation of the few survivors. Replete with details of human sacrifice, sexual perversity, and bestiality it has always had an unsavory reputation. Only three copies are known to exist, one in private hands and one each in library of the University of Munich and Heidelberg. Rumors persist that the original is contained within the Z Collection of the Vatican Library.

  • (Old High German: Sanity: -2d4 Unnatural: +2/+4, Occult +6, 30 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 18)
  • Spells: Call/Dismiss Nyarlathotep, Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Nyarlathotep, Contact Tzulscha, Contact Yog-Sothoth, Summon/Bind Dimensional Shambler, Summon/Bind Servitor of the Outer Gods, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling

Canticum Yaldabaoth

This version, the “Song of the Son of Chaos” dates to the Crisis of the Third century, and was recorded by members of Imperial Cult who saw the changes and chaos of Imperial Rome and its court as endemic of the Emperors. It’s authorship is attributed to Vibius Lartius Priscus, a black magician and sorcerer of that time period. The earliest known manuscript has been dated to the reign of Philip the Arab (244-249 C.E.), and is usually dated to 248. Speculation remains rampant among scholars as to the possible association of the Philip the Arab in the establishment of the Yaldabaoth Cult. Secret and hidden, some scholars suggest that it is a resurgence or survivor of the Imperial Cults associated with Caligula and Nero while others insist that Philip brought it to Rome from Persia. The British Museum and the Huntington Library in California are known to have copies, as does the Z Collection of the Vatican. At least two copies are known to be held in private collections. There was an excellent copy at the University of Prague prior to the Great War but it disappeared during the conflict.

  • (Latin: Sanity: -2d6, Unnatural: +3/+6, Occult: +4, 36 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 27)
  • Spells: Call/Dismiss Daoloth, Call/Dismiss Nyarlathotep, Call/, Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Nyarlathotep, Contact Tzulscha, Contact Yog-Sothoth, Summon/Bind Dimensional Shambler, Summon/Bind Servitor of the Outer Gods, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling

Āisma Dēmiourgos

Fragments of this version, which translates as the “Song of the Demiurge” date to the chaos of the Persian invasions around 500 B.C.E. Contemporary accounts speak of the hymns of damned priests from Persia in the vanguard of some of the Persian armies, as well as their unholy rites and orgiastic frenzies that they indulged in. Written and recorded by scholar Argyros the Delian with a series of commentaries on the Greco-Persian Wars, this work is a gigantic and complex text that includes a significant alternate history of the Delian League and elements of the Persian Court. Hints at terrible alliances within the Greeks and foul bloodlines among the Persians run concurrent with the Argyros’ rendition of the Song of the Demiurge. Copes of this are exceedingly rare, the only complete one known being held at the British Museum.

  • (Ancient Greek: Sanity: -2d6, Unnatural: +3/+7, Occult: +5, 52 Weeks, History Check – Mythos Rating: 30)
  • Spells: Call/Dismiss Daoloth, Call/Dismiss Nyarlathotep, Call Vorvados, Call/Dismiss Yog-Sothoth, Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Nyarlathotep, Contact Tzulscha, Contact Vorvados, Contact Yog-Sothoth, Summon/Bind Dimensional Shambler, Summon/Bind Servitor of the Outer Gods, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling, Elder Sign, Eye of Light and Darkness, Vach-Viraj Incantation, Voorish Sign

Shir Ha-Samael

The original and lost version of the Song of Samael, there are several scholars who are positive that this version is forever lost though fragments have been found that confirm its existence. There are obscure references to this song throughout many obscure texts and it scholars believe that the original Shir Ha Samael dates to roughly 1000 B.C.E. Abd al-Azrad mentions in the Kitab Al-Azif to listening to a choir of 666 blind monks and nuns who sang “hymns to the daemon sultan” accompanied by unseen flautists who piped with maddening monotony in the nights of the Empty Quarter. Knowledgeable occultists agree that this is a reference to the dreaded Song of Samael.

  • (Ancient Aramaic: Sanity: -2d8, Unnatural: +4/+9, Occult: +6, 64 Weeks – Mythos Rating: 42)
  • Spells: Call/Dismiss Azathoth, Call/Dismiss Daoloth, Call/Dismiss Nyarlathotep, Call/Dismiss Tulzscha, Call/Dismiss Yog-Sothoth, Contact Azathoth, Contact Daoloth, Contact Nyarlathotep, Contact Tzulscha, Contact Yog-Sothoth, Summon/Bind Dimensional Shambler, Summon/Bind Servitor of the Outer Gods, Dread Curse of Azathoth, Shrivelling
Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Fun Piece of old Cthulhu Lore – The Oera Linda Book

There is a long and proud history of using real-world occult texts (and mystery texts, and plain old cypher texts) in the Call of Cthulhu RPG – as well as people using the titles of Lovecraftian tomes for real world texts in return. What this means is that it is actually relatively hard to find a book that hasn’t been used already. I stumbled over the Oer Linda Book years ago and found it perfect for a game I was running at the time. Links are included at the bottom for more information on the real-world editions.

The Oera Linda Book

An ancient manuscript that was held in the family of Over de Linden family for generations, its existence was revealed in 1867 by the master shipwright Cornelis Over de Linden who inherited it from his grandfather via his aunt. The book describes the destruction of Atland (Atlantis) in 2194 BCE, and the subsequent history of the Frisian people.

The book describes the history of a matriarchal culture of folk-mothers who rule over celibate priestesses of goddess Frya. This goddess generated through a series of virgin births twelve men and twelve women who formed the progenitors of the Fresian race. After living with the Fresians for seven generations and giving them a series of laws to live by, Fyra ascended to the stars of heaven while a terrible flood and nearly wiped out humanity and civilization. Favored by Heinrich Himmler, and sometimes referred to as “Himmler’s Bible” it posits a Northern European origin for several Middle-Eastern civilizations and includes a doctrine of racial purity.

The complete known text is comprised of three primary parts, the letter of Hidde Oera Linda (dating to 1256), The Book of Adela’s Followers (dating to the 6th Century BCE) which is compiled of contemporary and ancient writings, and Frya’s Tex (dating to 2194 BCE), which gives the laws as set down by the Goddess Fyra. Two additional sections are included towards the end of the book, the writings of Konered and Beden, but these are often incomplete and the book itself breaks off mid-sentence.

The Various Editions:

The Lost and Complete Version: A collection of loose pages in a folio, it is written in the same Old Fresian cipher as the 1256 Manuscript. Suitable to be found and used in Cthulhu: Dark Ages game…

  • (-1d6 Sanity; +0/+2 Unnatural, +5 Occult, 21 weeks – Mythos Rating: 6)
  • Contains: Contact Fryra (Yidhra), Fryra’s Blessing (Perfection), Fryya’s Mead (Brew Dream Drug), Fryya’s Message (Dream Vision)

Thet Oera Linda Bok (1256): The original manuscript consists of a series of loose pages, written in a cipher of Old Fresian. It is currently held in Tresoar, Frisian Historical and Literary Center in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

  • (-1d4 Sanity; +0/+1 Unnatural, +5 Occult, 16 weeks – Mythos Rating: 3)
  • Contains: Contact Fryra (Yidhra)

In 1872 the book was first translated and edited in Dutch as Thet Oera Linda Bok. Naar een uit de handwriting dertiende Eeuw by Dr. J.G Ottman, a prominent member of the Frisian Society for History and Culture, after being rejected by Eelco Verwijs, the provincial librarian of Friesland. It was published by H. Kuipers.

  • (-1d3 Sanity; +0 Unnatural, +4 Occult, no spells, 2 weeks – Mythos Rating: N/A)

Shortly thereafter, in 1876, William Sandbach translated the book into English, The Oera Linda Book: From a Manuscript of the Thirteenth Century, but worked strictly from the Dutch translation by Ottema, evidently never referring to the original, and having some heavy Christian biases. It was published by Trübner & Co.

  • (-1d2 Sanity; +0/+1 Unnatural, +3 Occult, no spells, 2 weeks – Mythos Rating: 3)

In 1933, Herman Wirth translated a version of the book into German, Die Ura-Linda-Chronik. Übersetzt und mit einer einführenden geschichtlichen Untersuchung. More propaganda than scholarship, this version is rife with additions and interpretations to support his already existing theories of Atlantis and Aryan origins. It was published by Koehler & Amelang. Note that rumors abound regarding the personalized and annotated copies of Wirth, Himmler, and other Nazi leadership.

  • (-1d4 Sanity; +0/+1 Unnatural, +5 Occult, no spells, 1 week – Mythos Rating: 3)

In the aftermath of World War II, the work was largely left alone until Robert Scutton translated a new abridged version in 1977, The Other Atlantis: Astounding revelations of the secrets of Atland, long-lost imperial capital of the North. In English with a lengthy commentary and introduction.

  • (-1d2 Sanity; +0 Unnatural, +2 Occult, no spells, 1 week – Mythos Rating: N/A)

Finally, since 1983, there has been a cheap and easy to find translation by Frank H. Pierce IV, commonly found and used by various and sundry occultists and Neo-Aryans as a research tool and support as it supposedly a complete and unbiased translation of the original. The Oera Linda Book: Translated from the Frisian

  • (-1d2 Sanity; +0 Unnatural, +2 Occult, no spells, 1 week – Mythos Rating: N/A)

The Wikipedia Entry:

Excellent site, with pictures of the entire original manuscript:

The 1872 version:

Interesting site with pictures of the 1933 Wirth edition – and with an amusing bit of DGML connection…

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A belated Halloween post in celebration of the Delta Green Kickstart!

has been sitting on my hard-drive for (as I check the document properties)… 11 years, since about this time in 2004. It might have been inspired, in part, by the Black Sands comic by Blair Reynolds. I can’t remember if it has ever seen the light of day before, I don’t remember posting it on the DGML, but it was my idea of an additional adversary or patron for a Call of Cthulhu/Delta Green game. The really interesting part is that with the publication of the additional CoC “eras” (Invictus and Dark Ages) it is a concept that could span all of the eras for a very cool multi-stage campaign.

It certainly wasn’t or isn’t the basis of my current, though dormant, Call of the Cthulhu campaign. But looking back I have to say that I’d don’t think it’s that bad of a kernel for something!

So, without further ado and only a couple of minor tweaks!

…The Lodge…

The Lodge has its formal beginnings in the middle of the 19th century with expansion of the British Empire into the Far East. Informally, the Lodge has antecedents that stretch to Atlantis, where what has become the Lodge was born in blood, fire, and the end of a civilization.

The Lodge knows about Delta-Green, they know about PISCES, they know about SUV-7, they suspect what is behind MJ-12, and they are all too aware of the Starkweather-Moore expedition uncovered in 1934. They are all, as far as the Lodge is concerned, misguided amateurs.

The Lodge numbers accomplished sorcerers, psychics, dreamers, a family of were-jaguars, a single very old vampire among its ranks, and five… Others.

The Lodge has members within the highest levels of the British and Japanese governments, and many other nations, including the United Nations.

The Lodge hides it’s members within other occult and fraternal organizations.

The Lodge is the second oldest surviving organization that hunts the Mythos.

The Lodge knows what Stephan Alziz is, and they don’t care about the Fate.

The Lodge and the Cult of Transcendence carefully ignore one another.

The Lodge has been both hunter and hunted for it’s entire existence.

The Lodge hates the Mythos and what most of it represents.

The Lodge has contacts in groups throughout the world.

The Lodge has no morals, as we understand them.

The Lodge wants the human race to survive.

The Lodge demands secrecy.

The Lodge values loyalty.

The Lodge has no mercy.

To understand the Lodge is to understand that everything you ever learned is absolutely correct, to a point. It is the Truth behind the facts that is inspiring. It is the Reality beyond the Truth that in damning.

The Lodge is completely insane.

The Others are five individuals who survived the Fall of Atlantis. They merged with an Force that has allowed them to survive to this day. In order to kill one you would have to kill them all, at the same time. No-one has managed to do this yet. Perhaps this is because no-one has tried hard enough, or perhaps it is because they don’t care. The Others don’t really care that the world is going to eventually be overrun again my Cthulhu and his brethren, they just want to make sure that humanity survives.

Somewhere else.


Until we have to move again.

It’s that “we” that keeps giving them problems.

The Others have no illusions about the eventual triumph of the Great Old One’s. They understand the reality of the Elder Gods.  They have journeyed the Dreamlands. They have seen Azathoth and conversed with Nodens, Vorvadoss, and others just as powerful that have never come close to the orbit of the Earth. The Others understand these things and accept the reality of the Universe. The Others don’t really care what happens to the majority of humanity because they know that the majority is damned to become fodder. The Others want to insure that humanity survives the end of the earth, just as they survived the Fall.

It’s just that there is no way to duplicate Them.

So They must find a way to bring a sustainable population elsewhere.

The premise is simple, the execution difficult.

They almost have an answer.

The Lodge fights because they hate the Mythos. The fight so that there will be humans to survive. Not ghouls, not Tcho-Tcho half-breeds, not minor spawn of some GOO. Other races have survived, the Shan, the Mi-Go, the Byakhee. There are dimensions and worlds far removed from earth that humans could move to, inhabit, take over. The rules of the universe are simple.

Rule or be Ruled.

Evolve or die.

At the greatest level, you cannot rule. There are Powers that are far beyond that of humans who will never be disposed without ending that which Is. And to gain the ability to depose these Powers would transform humanity into something… Else. So accept that we must be Ruled.

Evolution is a slow process, and there are many, many branches that must be pruned to get a tree to bear proper fruit. The Others have almost achieved their goal. When they do, they can Leave.

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samhain Thoughts of the Unnatural

One of the things occupying my attention this October was the amazingly successful Kickstarter for Delta Green. I’m always of two minds to crowdfunding Pagan Publishing, and the craziness that has accompanied both Call of Cthulhu 7E and the various add-ons for the Masks of Nyarlathotep doesn’t make me less inclined to question the think hard about Kickstarting gaming items.

The family was also a backer for Traveller 5E for that matter…

One the one hand, while I’ve crowdfunded the Paganistas for, well, forever it seems. They do have a horrible, horrible tendency to have very badly delayed releases. Heck, they still have a massively delayed previous Kickstarter that doesn’t seem close to fulfilment.

That said, they have always delivered (even if years late), and their products are some of the best written RPG material out there.

I also have to say that I am really digging not just what we’ve seen of CoC 7E, but also what Delta Green the standalone RPG looks like. It actually seems like a somewhat simplified and stripped down CoC 7E with a somewhat more evocative Sanity system. I like the “Unnatural” skill as opposed to the “Cthulhu Mythos” skill for purely aesthetic reasons (as they are mechanically identical), and while I haven’t crunched my way through the details of Killing Damage I’m generally trusting of the designers for it to work the way that they want it to.

So, while I may have some catching up on the 5E game to do as far as posting and campaign content, I think I may mine the pages of documents I have for my CoC campaign(s) for content as a way to make sure that things are getting posted regularly.


Categories: FYI | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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