Delta Green

Delta Green is a setting for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game and was created by Adam Scott Glancy, Dennis Detwiller, and John Tynes of the Seattle gaming house Pagan Publishing.

Set in the modern day, the setting revolves around a secret and perhaps renegade organization called Delta Green (created following the covert raid on the town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts) spearheaded by elements of the United States government. Its members are dedicated to combating the mind-rending horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. The group was introduced in the seventh issue of The Unspeakable Oath, a Call of Cthulhu fanzine created by Pagan Publishing, in early 1993. Four years later, the Delta Green supplement appeared and spawned a number of its own modules and novels.

The premise is frequently compared to the X-Files (although the original incarnation of Delta Green preceded the X-Files by almost a year), as both draw on federal alphabet soup folklore, UFO conspiracy theories and other modern legends. Delta Green also involves groups like a modern-day offshoot of the Nazi Ahnenerbe organization, occult criminal gangs and paranormal television shows, amongst others. All of these separate cords are woven into a more existential, bleak and Lovecraftian form of the Cthulhu Mythos than some other Call of Cthulhu publications.

PAG1005-Delta-Green-1.jpg PAG1008-Delta-Green-Countdown-1.jpg

The Delta Green supplement lays the groundwork for the scenario, setting up the initial plot and providing players with their motivations and the resources they need to carry out their tasks. It also provides a source of replacements for characters who go mad or are killed. Unlike many Call of Cthulhu supplements, Delta Green is designed to raise ethical and moral questions. As a member of a legitimate government group, acting outside their remit, the players may have to engage in questionable actions to safeguard society, with serious repurcussions for whatever choice they make. The second supplement Delta Green: Countdown proved somewhat controversial for its inclusion of a cult of Russian-emigrant castratees and their use of child abuse to perpetuate their religion.

In 1998, Delta Green won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Supplement of 1997. The setting also won two awards in 2000: Best Game-Related Novel of 1999 for Delta Green: The Rules of Engagement and Best Roleplaying Supplement of 1999 for Delta Green: Countdown.

The books update background material from the original 1920 and 1930s horror stories, and aren't simply a way to work government agencies and gun-toting soldiers into the game. In particular, Delta Green: Countdown covers the UK government, which is helpful in running any UK based game which is likely to draw the attentions of the authorities. Much of this background material was used in CoC Modern Day Game 0.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.