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What's In Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game

Our first and primary goal is to deliver the AGENT'S HANDBOOK, a full-color book with all the rules and tools you need to play: fast character creation, the core game mechanics, detailed rules for combat and sanity, equipment, details on agents' careers and Bonds (their most crucial personal relationships), and useful profiles of the government agencies most often involved in Delta Green games.

Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game is built to be easily compatible with earlier editions of Call of Cthulhu, so you can use the Agent's Handbook with any past Delta Green publication.

If this Kickstarter project does well, an early stretch goal will be a larger core book of DELTA GREEN: THE ROLE-PLAYING GAME. That includes everything from the Agent's Handbook as its first half, plus chapters on quickly building mysteries and horrifying adventures; running Delta Green campaigns; customizing the setting and the Delta Green organization itself; creating new supernatural effects, spells, psychic powers, and alien artifacts; creating new monsters and cults; and some of the key cults, rival organizations, and factions that the Game Moderator (the “Handler”) can draw into games. The Handler's chapters aren't just spells and monsters that any player can read about and memorize; they're tools for customizing your game to keep players guessing and keep them scared.

Beyond that we'll present new scenarios, new tools for your campaigns, and a line of full-size, full-color sourcebooks to detail terrifying threats new and very, very old.
What's In the Agent's Handbook

CHARACTERS: A new Delta Green character can be created and ready to play in minutes. Roll or assign the six core stats that shape your agent's broad strengths and weaknesses (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Power, Charisma); choose an occupation, which determines most of your starting skills; choose a few bonus skills to customize your agent's background; and choose a few Bonds to describe the people who are most important back home. Of course, the best games feature characters with memorable backgrounds and personal lives, so the game features scenes to flesh out the details over time.

THE CORE MECHANICS: Each agent has an assortment of skills. Each skill is rated by the chance of successfully using it in a terrible crisis, from zero to 99%. A skill at 50% is considered “professionally” competent, good enough to base a career around it. In play, there are many scenes where you don't roll dice to see if a skill works. Particuarly in investigative scenes where you have time to think and search, all that's required is having a certain minimum amount in the skill. When things go seriously bad and get dangerous and unpredictable, that's when you have to roll the dice, because the randomness of a roll reflects the chaos of a crisis. That means most Delta Green games begin with investigations where the dice don't come out often. What's more important is problem-solving, deciding how your agent approaches the challenge and how to bring the needed skills to the situation. When the agents zero in on the horror and lose control of the situation, the dice come out. Having a great skill is crucial—but sometimes even the most competent agent can fall prey to unforeseen disaster.

COMBAT: Delta Green is about confronting unnatural terrors and the people who invoke or worship them. That often leads to violence. The combat rules in Delta Green are fast and brutal. The action happens in quick turns, and every character gets one action in a turn. Skill rolls determine who does best. If two combatants are in direct opposition you simply compare their rolls. Characters have a small number of hit points reflecting their health; lose enough and you collapse or die, unless you're smart enough to retreat when you get hurt. Of course, violence wreaks havoc on the human psyche, so it gets its own place in the Sanity rules.

SANITY: Every agent has from zero to 99 Sanity Points (SAN). Sanity Points are based on the Power stat, and the average is 50 to 60 SAN. When you encounter traumatic events or do terrible things, you lose SAN. If you lose a large number of SAN all at once from an especially bad trauma, you go temporarily insane as the "fight or flight" reflex drives reason from your brain. And if you lose too much SAN over time, you hit the Breaking Point, the specific Sanity Point where you have a breakdown and develop a long-term mental disorder. When that happens, your Breaking Point resets to a lower number. If you hit it again, you develop a new disorder and reset it yet again. If SAN reaches zero, your agent goes permanently insane and beyond your control.

BONDS: Most agents have a few Bonds, powerful personal relationships that are a source of strength and of vulnerability. You can rely on Bonds to reduce SAN loss by projecting the trauma onto the Bond. The Bond score suffers as your relationship deteriorates, but it might keep you sane. You can also use a Bond to keep control of yourself when temporary insanity strikes or a long-term disorder threatens to take over. That stress, too, causes the Bond to erode. Long-term Delta Green campaigns feature occasional scenes of an agent's home life to explore the shape of those deteriorating Bonds and to offer a chance to repair them — unless you'd rather undertake important training or research instead, or work extra hard to save your career instead of keeping your family close.

EQUIPMENT: The rules include guidelines for what kind of gear is available on a Delta Green mission, whether it's on a shoestring where you have to pay your own way or a well-funded counterterror operation where the challenge is keeping your actions secret.
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