Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beyond the Gates - Part 1

This actually got a few sessions but life got in the way before it really went anywhere. It was a d20 Modern game with Lovecraftian influences. It also shamelessly stole the concept of Delta Green and probably misused it in a way that was nowhere close to the original. Very Twilight 2000 in some ways, including improbable political events.

December 21, 2012 – The Gates Open
All over the world large objects called “gates”, for a lack of a better word, appear just before dawn. While the materials and specific architecture all vary wildly, from bone arches to girders of alien metal, they all share some characteristics. They all form large portals of some form or another, the smallest being 12' high and the largest towering over 100'. Within these portals are shimmering walls of opaque light that vary from gate to gate – not all gates are one color, some are striped, speckled or swirling. The gates are placed at irregular intervals – some are within a few miles of another while other places can go hundreds of miles without a gate. A full inventory of all the gates has not yet been established, and a few have disappeared in the ensuing time while others have opened. No special qualities can be detected around the gates, at least by scientific means. No one comes out when they go in, and no communication is possible when devices are sent through a gate.

December 21-23, 2012 – The Initial Mystery
For the first few days, the initial investigation into the gates occurs. The media is in full 24 hour coverage of the event and doesn't pay attention to anything else at first. People are afraid, very afraid – the building sense of apocalyptic paranoia and delayed millennialism is fully unleashed. There are suicides, people rioting to get into the gates while the authorities guard them and calls for this to be the end of the world. In the U.S., it is a combination of millennial terror and religious eschatology.

December 24 - March, the Nightmare is Realized and Days of Chaos and Death
It is finally noticed by the media that people are changing into... things. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to who changes, what they change into or where they are located. Its during this time that civilization nearly collapses completely as monsters freely roam the streets and everyone becomes afraid of their neighbor, unsure if they have changed or not. In the U.S., people are frozen between the terror of leaving their homes and facing the monsters and going out to get the things they need. The chaos in unimaginable as some places break into rioting and looting, some into massive massacres of or by monsters and others completely lock themselves down in terror. The economy completely shuts down and everything grids to a halt. In many places services shut down completely and the long, cold winter takes tens of thousands of lives in the north. International trade has completely shut off and starvation is everywhere. It very well looks like this could be the end of everything. However, also during this time people in power have not been complacent.

Perseverance of Heroes
In the U.S., the government did its best to continue on but there was just too much damage. To begin with, about half of congress turned into some form of monster (not that anyone could tell, lol) as did all the other members of government. The constitutionally structured government collapsed. There were some military attempts to take control, but there was so much effort being focused on damage control that power grabs weren't really possible. However, it became clear that someone was still pulling the strings of what was left, someone with a fully functioning chain of command within various government agencies.

This was Delta Green. After having been officially eliminated in the late 60's, the organization had gone covert and operated as a shadow agency within almost every branch of government, military and law enforcement in the U.S. When the Gates opened, their people were unaffected. Using this continuity, Delta Green used their positions and chain of command to take action. They have managed to keep the military and law enforcement focused on protecting civilians and keeping order whenever possible. They have used the intelligence agencies and scientific agencies to find out as much information about what is going on as possible. They have used the political offices to issue orders and maintain a semblance of authority even when they had none.

As people began seeing the man behind the curtain and asking questions, there was some infighting and revolt, but in the end Delta Green became the de facto leaders of North America, such as it was. In truth, North America has broken down into smaller communities with political control becoming completely localized. Delta Green really only serves as a government in the most basic sense – it offers protection of private property, defense from invaders and a framework for maintaining order. In return, for those who choose to recognize it, it receives manpower and what supplies people are willing to share. Not that there isn't abuse by local Delta Green operatives, but the organization's overall position is that it doesn't care how things are done, only that people are kept safe.

The Current Situation
All across North America (and the world, for that matter) the situation is completely random from place to place. In some areas, the monsters have taken over. Other places have become ghost towns. Still others chug along and do their best to pretend nothing is wrong. Generally, the strongest locations tend to be in the Midwest where food is much more readily available. The coasts and large cities have become veritable charnel houses.

Delta Green does its best to keep order. Cells are continually being recruited to find survivors, free up production resources, fight the monsters and generally investigate the situation in various ways. Bases have been established all over the country in whatever building most suits them, usually police stations or armories. There is often tension between Delta Green and the local government (whatever form it takes), but in the end Delta Green can muster more guns if it needs to.

Character Creation Notes
We are assuming you are members of a Delta Green cell. If you come up with any other ideas, feel free to run with it as long as it isn't likely to cause conflict with the players or GM.

Ability Scores
Everyone has to use the same method. Consult pg.14 & 15 in the Player's Handbook.

You start at 5th level.

All the basic & advanced classes from the PHB are allowed.
In the Urban Arcana book, the following Advanced classes are allowed: Speed Demon, Street Warrior and the Thrasher.
In the Even More Modern supplement, the following prestige classes are allowed: Mastermind, Sniper and Specop.

Occupations and Wealth
Wealth still exists, albeit not necessarily in cash any more, but there is a good deal of scrip and precious metal coinage floating around. We will be using the abstract wealth system as described in the book, only instead of loans/savings/etc, it will include favors/contacts/etc.

Your starting occupation should represent what you did before the gates opened.

Be sure to read the beginning of the Equipment chapter on how Wealth works.

The starting equipment that you purchase represents what you bring with you to Delta Green. Due to society's breakdown, there are no restrictions on what you may have gotten your hands on. However, consider that you can requisition equipment through Delta Green for temporary use (See Requisitioning Equipment on p.93).

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