Delta Green and GURPS Cthulhupunk

Pagan Publishing’s Call of Cthulhu: Delta Green setting paints a modern world of conspiratorial horror and political madness, a blend of Tom Clancy and H.P. Lovecraft. GURPS Cthulhupunk, meanwhile, imagines the future of Bruce Sterling and William Gibson with Lovecraft’s creations gnawing at its already rotting roots. Each is a compelling and horrific setting in its own right. But in combining the two, the opportunities for horror are only multiplied.

This crossover assumes that the history of the world is pretty much as described in GURPS Cthulhupunk, with a few minor changes. The work of Delta Green has always occurred in the shadows, and that tendency has only been reinforced by the passage of time. Both the original Delta Green sourcebook and the Delta Green: Countdown expansion have been drawn upon for the purposes of this crossover. (In addition, certain ideas in this crossover are inspired by Adam Niswander’s novel, The Sand Dwellers.)

Delta Green in 2045 –
Delta Green acheived a significant victory over Majestic-12 when it succeeded in getting the team of Burris and Patterson elected as President and Vice-President respectively. The ascension of Patterson to the Presidency after the assassination of Burris allowed Delta Green to pursue its goals on a national scale, and the 2010 purge of mystics and occultists was a dream come true for many Delta Green members. Thousands of cultists were slain and their artifacts seized. What no one realised until too late was that Patterson had been reading the Necronomicon, and had become corrupted. The establishment of NERCC was considered odd, but not unreasonable. By the time Patterson suspended elections in 2024, it was apparent to everyone with eyes to see – and too late to do anything about it.

The merger of almost all government agencies into the National Emergency Resource Control Commission has meant that the agents of Delta Green and Majestic-12 are far more likely to be working together than ever they were in the past. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an unprecedented level of infiltration and dubious loyalties for members of both organisations. For the most part, this is due to Majestic-12’s co-opting of NERCC to serve its own ends. Majestic-12 controls NERCC, and after the death of President Patterson, that meant they ran the United States as well.

As a result, the Delta Green of 2045 is even more paranoid and secretive than that of 2001. The classic cell structure is still in use, but codenames and passwords have become more elaborate – and Delta Green is stingier than ever in giving out information. On the other hand, the wide-ranging powers given to NERCC agents, not to mention the state of more or less constant martial law that the United States exists under, make carrying out missions easier than ever.

As a result of the new secrecy, most Delta Green units are even more autonomous than has been the case in the past. They investigate and assign their own missions, and information filters up to the leadership gradually. The leaders of Delta Green in 2045 often appear weak and indecisive to the lower rungs of the organisation, but in fact, their apparent refusal to act is a logical consequence of their possession of more data than any field agent. Only they see the Big Picture, and they are prepared to play a waiting game until they can strike and conclusively remove Majestic-12 from its position of power. This goal means that many Delta Green missions concern more political than occult goals, as Delta Green attempts to forge a coalition of dissidents, revolutionaries and foreign aid to unseat ProGov.

Majestic-12 in 2045 –
MJ-12 is stronger today than it has ever been. No longer does it have to worry about keeping the real dirt from the government – since the establishment of the ProGov, it is the government. President Adam Hammond is also the head of Majestic-12, and all key cabinet posts are filled by other members of the group. Although their conspiracy is still unknown to the general public, the fact that some sort of old boys’ network controls Washington, and thus America, is common knowledge. But to most people, this is in some ways virtuous – it’s considered more honest, and less corrupt, than the old days of the military-industrial
complex and the like.

Majestic-12’s only real problem is with their alien allies – it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the aliens have shared all the technology that they care to. And while MJ-12 isn’t gaining any more from them, it’s still stuck with covering the tracks of a demanding and (to human modes of thought) erratic superior power. ProGov’s Vietnam-like war in Cuba, and determination not to let it go at any cost is entirely at the direction of the Grays – and even Hammond still doesn’t know why the aliens want them to do it.

The Miskatonic Society –
As recently as the 1990’s, the Miskatonic Society and Delta Green were allies, if uneasy ones. The Society occasionally collaborated with various agencies – Naval Intelligence, the NSA and the DEA primarily – to assist in vanquishing Mythos-related threats. It assumed that all these contacts were in the course of legitimate investigations. But in 2002, the head of the Miskatonic Society discovered that Delta Green was not the officially-sanctioned organisation that the academics had believed it to be, but a rogue army within the government. Aware of its multi-agency nature, but unsure of Delta Green’s true size or the breadth of its infiltration of the myriad of government agencies, the Miskatonic Society’s ruling council decided, by a majority of one vote, to break its ties to Delta Green. They did this mostly by deliberately misleading their Delta Green contacts, most of whom were field agents. That this resulted in the deaths of these field agents was regrettable but necessary in the eyes of the Miskatonic Society.

The secrecy of the Society, along with its paranoia of government interference, has meant that they have had few contacts with either Delta Green or Majestic-Twelve, although some Delta Green agents have noticed that certain civilians turn up as bystanders at Mythos-related events too often for it to be a coincidence, and have started a low-key surveillance of them, which may well lead Delta Green back to the Miskatonic Society at some point. For its part, the Society assumes it is stalked by government agencies – but it does not know for sure as yet.

The Mythos in 2045 –
This list only covers those entities and races whose circumstances are significantly altered from those presented in the Delta Green books. If these beings are not listed below, it may be assumed that they are largely unchanged from the present day.

Cthulhu: In the late 20th century, the Cthulhu cult changed its tack, and the dreaming monster recruited among the rich and powerful of the United States. Over the last 20 years, especially since the ProGov coup, its influence in the US has dwindled to almost nothing. And yet, still it lies dreaming in Ry’leh. Considering these two details, the silence from behind the Bamboo Curtain seems ominous, particularly given China’s proximity to the drowned city. If Cthulhu has been infiltrating the Chinese government, it has done a thorough job. Intelligence reports suggest that almost half of China’s navy consists of submersible craft – and sonar imaging over the last 13 years has shown that they have been engaged in what seeems to be an effort to minutely map the entire floor of the Pacific Basin. Or perhaps they’re searching for something down there…

The Deep Ones: like many of the hidden races, the Deep Ones have experienced something of a resurgence in recent years. The deformities caused by Tolliver’s Disease, not to mention the general lack of care about toxins and radioactive wastes, have led to a society that, if not accepting of deformities, is at least inured to them. The Deep Ones have intensified their matings with humans, with the resulting prevalence of the Innsmouth Look being more or less ignored. Someday soon, the Deep Ones will rise – and when they do, can Cthulhu be far away?

The Ghouls: The Toller was a godsend to the corpse-eaters, and it seemed that their long time of waiting was over at last. But like all golden ages, it couldn’t last. The supply of corpses ran out, but the numbers of ghouls were at an all time high. Delta Green led the fight against them (often covered as part of NERCC’s anti-gang campaigns), and today, only a few scattered families of ghouls survive in the US. The books of Mordiggian are still out there, and every so often, someone new turns – but the Ghouls are no longer a serious threat in America. However, large numbers of them escaped the pogroms via the Dreamlands, and in Africa and India, they’re more numerous and dangerous than ever. Fortunately for humanity, the division in their ranks between the Keepers of the Faith and the Heretics has only intensified, and most ghouls in 2045 are likely to be slain by their own kind in brutal turf wars.

The Great Race of Yith: the psychic aliens’ campaign of mental abductions has become more sophisticated – abductees now choose themselves, simply by using any of a variety of Environmental Modules that prepare the mind of a netrunner to be taken over by one of the Great Race. In fact, the addition of the right selection of skill chips can make such an imposture almost impossible to detect, particularly given the reclusive lifestyles of many netrunners.

Hastur and the King in Yellow: It seems likely that at least one Australian city was absorbed into the dimension of Carcosa during the last days of the plague. Certainly, this would explain why satellite imagery of the depopulated continent has trouble picking up parts of Sydney and Melbourne which should be there according to Australian government maps from 2035. The chaos and suffering caused by the Toller and the Grand Slam have turned more and more people to the worship of the Unspeakable One, and his power is on the rise in 2045.

The Hounds of Tindalos: The decay in social values has led to a resigned acceptance of the drug trade on most people’s parts, and no drug is more widely accepted than the apparently harmless Coca Loco. A small but growing percentage of those who have experienced the time-shifting effects of this drug have attracted the attention of one or more Hounds. The 2040’s in particular seem to represent an all time high in Hound manifestations, although only the Miskatonic Society has yet realised this – and even they haven’t made the connection with Coca Loco. If this goes on, the Hounds will surely soon be detected – but by whom is an open question.

Ithaqua: Most of Ithaqua’s followers had believed for years that the stars would come right at some point in the 2030’s. When this didn’t happen, most of them deserted the cause or committed suicide, weakening the cult. The few fanatics who still worship the windwalker ascribe the depopulation of Australia in 2037 to their master, although most serious mythos scholars agree that he had nothing to do with it. Although the worship of Ithaquaa is at an all-time low, it should be noted that those worshippers there are tend to be heavily armed and highly trained survivalist fanatics. Fortunately, their god keeps them mostly to remote areas, but they should not be underestimated.

Nyarlothotep: If anyone knows the truth about what happened to Australia, it’s the Crawling Chaos. Not that he’d ever tell a human. Nyarlothotep’s attitude to humanity has always been that of a child whose favourite toys are a selection of action figures and a blow-torch. All the changes that the last few decades have wrought upon humanity have only made us more interesting toys…

The Sand Dwellers: These strange non-humans have been hunting human psychics for decades now, using them to sow nightmares and despair among humanity. To what extent they have succeeded in this goal is unclear – certainly, to the average person, life in much of the world is a living nightmare, but it’s questionable that a group numbering so few could have had much influence. Unless, of course, they were targetting exactly the right people. The deserts where the Sand Dwellers are known to have dwelt in the twentieth century are located in the same region as Area 51 and Edwards AFB, after all. Or could it be that the Sand Dwellers, for reasons of their own, are fighting against the Mi-Go?

The Serpent People: Unknown to most of the world, many Serpent People now live in Australia – since they go unclothed and usually run about on all fours when above ground, most observers believe them to be some sort of mutant goanna species. Some signs of their presence have been observed via satellite, but are assumed to be the work of human hands. The total number of Serpent People alive in 2045 exceeds that of any previous era since the Hyborian. One day, they’ll be out to reclaim the world for themselves and their masters.

Shub-Niggurath: Although the True Love Study Group was almost entirely wiped out in the purges of the 2010’s, Shub-Niggurath’s other worshippers, the Skoptsi and the Corporacion have survived. Indeed, through its infiltration of the Traffs, La Corporacion is stronger than ever. Alone among the Elder Gods, Shub-Niggurath, in its guise as a fertility deity, benefitted from the Toller. Although the death toll was high, people wanted to believe in something that could grant new life, and the Beast with a Thousand Young fit the bill. Although worshipped under a plethora of names throughout the Third World, it is South America that is the true stronghold of Shub-Niggurath, and the followers of the Black Goat are busily consolidating their power there, waiting for the day that they can claim the rest of the world too.

Crime –
The Network has, as always, prospered with the changing times. Changes to the American legal system have made the black market even more lucrative than it was during the Prohibition Era, and the general level of corruption, particularly in NERCC, means that they have fewer legal hassles than ever before. The legitimisation of the Mafia suited Stephen Alzis perfectly, although the coming of the Russki-Yak has been a setback. Although the Network has several times demonstrated its power to the Russki-Yak, there remains a stubborn resistance to any outside domination in the latter organisation. The Russki-Yak have learned much from the Network’s methods, although how much exactly is unclear.

The Fate have therefore taken a more active stance in supporting various competitors of the Russki-Yak. Il Unione and the ‘Traffs are basically fronts for the Fate, but the real success story is the Triads. An alliance between the Fate and Tiger Transit was concluded in 2005, and forty years later, Tiger Transit still exists as a business, but its criminal operations have been totally absorbed into the Fate. Using Tiger Transit’s contacts as a starting point, the Network now controls about 60% of the Triads – and much of the remaining 40% also gives homage to Nyarlothotep, making them unwitting allies in any case. As a general rule, those Traids which deal in Coco Loco can safely be assumed to be affiliated with the Fate.

What this means is that the Russki-Yak and the Network are roughly evenly-matched. The relative diffusion of the Netwrok’s components – and the fact that many of them do not realise that they are parts of a larger conspiracy – is a weakness of the Network, but it is balanced by the flexibility that such a structure allows. At some point, there is bound to be a showdown between the Fate and the Russki-Yak, although with the two sides roughly equal it is impossible to say who would win. And very likely, it will all depend upon the whims of Nyarlothotep anyway.

Other Organisations –
The Karotechia: The aging Nazi triumvrate that ran Karotechia for six decades eventually succumbed to their own mutual distrust, and although the organisation still exists in name, it is far more a loose collection of fueding factions of deluded cultists than a disciplined organisation led by facist sorcerers in 2045. It seems that, rather than displeasing their masters, the Karotechia are simply no longer needed by them, and have been discarded. Their knowledge makes them dangerous to small groups of investigators, but they are hamstrung by their own madness and a lack of resources.

P.I.S.C.E.S.: The infiltration of the Insects from Shaggai, or Shans, throughout the intelligence services of United Europe was cemented by the suicidal attack of the Army of the Third Eye on Severn Aerospace in early 2007. Although nearly every member of the Army was captured or slain, casualties on the Shans’ side were also high. Many of the Insects were slain in the fighting, including every one of the few remaining Insects who were not born on Earth. As a result, the remaining Insects were almost entirely members of the faction that wanted to stay on Earth and take it over. The investigation of the terrorist attack by a combined United European team gave the remaining Insects the opportunity they needed to break out of England and begin taking over the rest of the world. So far, they remain undetected by any human agency, although the dissolution of NATO may have been a part of the MiGo response to the Shans’ actions.

The Skoptsi: Spared the worst of the purges by their CIA ties, the Skoptsi were nonetheless somewhat set back by the loss of many of their ally groups. Over the last 35 years, they’ve made a conscious effort to re-fashion themselves into a seeming more palatable to ProGov, with some success. Their willingness to play upon American fears of the Russo-Japanese and the Russki-Yak to keep their CIA allies has resulted in them being targetted for destruction by the latter group. Currently, the Skoptsi are considering relocating to South America, where the wide open spaces of the Amazon basin offer all the space the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young could ever want.

Minor Groups: Of the various other groups not covered above, few still exist in 2045. Phenomenon-X no longer exists, although there remain media groups like it that investigate the same sort of stories, such as The Paleoarchaeological Review and the Homo Sapiens League. In fact, every episode of Phenomenon-X is (illegally) archived in the massive data stack of Mythos-related info maintained by the Homo-Saps. The Outlook Group has been absorbed into the structure of ProGov. GRU SV-8 seems to have been likewise absorbed into the Russo-Japanese Economic Union, and possibly thence into the Russki-Yak. Finally, SaucerWatch are still out there, a little closer to the truth and a lot more determined after the persecutions they’ve endured at the hands of NERCC.

SOURCES:
Delta Green GURPS Cthulhupunk
Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Delta Green and GURPS Cthulhupunk

  1. Conrad Gray says:

    You cannot imagine how happy I am that this page is online! I had feared the worst when CrossoverKingdom went under.

    On the RPG.net forums, I have taken the root of this idea, and merged it with Cthulhutech. I hope you don’t mind:
    http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?426222-Cthulhutech-GURPS-Cthulhupunk-Cthulhutech-crossover

    • Loki says:

      Wow! I really love what you’ve done. Y’know, it might be time I circle back around to Delta Green. I do love that setting.

Leave a Reply