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Sunday, May 18

Chapter 10: PX Poker Night - Introduction

This scenario, “PX Poker Night,” is a D20 Call of Cthulhu scenario from Dungeon Magazine #96 by Dennis Detwiller. You can read more about Delta Green at http://www.delta-green.com. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers! Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!

Our cast of characters includes:
  • Game Master: Michael Tresca
  • Hank “Guppy” Gupta (Smart Hero) played by Joseph Tresca
  • Kurtis "Hammer" Grange (Fast Hero) played by George Webster
  • Sebastian “Caprice” Creed (Fast/Smart Hero) played by Bill Countiss
There’s an odd trend in D20 Delta Green scenarios: they seem torn between making the conflict about pseudo-sci-fi topics and blatantly supernatural, magical beings. For an example, see the other introductory scenario for Delta Green, Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays, where a supernatural Coyote helps the agents out. In PX Poker Night, it’s a dimensional shambler.

PX Poker Night has a lot of great ingredients but not much guidance on how to use them. There are no less than twelve characters (not counting the agents, who replaced three of them) that handle the day-to-day duties of Platte Air Force Base. Encountering each of them takes a considerable amount of work, but I really wanted to flesh out their personalities so there were some good foils to role-playing against. I basically just fast-forwarded through the various shifts, wherein one PC got to hang out with one NPC each day. A short amount of role-playing ensued to allow them some time for dialogue. Once all nine were introduced, it was time to introduce the poker game.

I toyed with the idea of playing an actual poker game, but role-playing with the various characters took up plenty of time already, so I just skipped to the crazy event. The other problem I noticed is that the scenario doesn’t provide information in an easy-to-find fashion. Breaking into the armory where the weapons are stored--probably the most important part of the scenario--is obscured as part of a map key.

I debated about adding in the dimensional shambler, but since the agents had already encountered one from before I decided it was time to reintroduce a recurring villain. And the dimensional shambler also provided an excellent form of menace that guided Guppy right into his worst nightmare.

This was one of those games where not everyone showed up, leaving us with just three agents. That’s not usually a problem if all three are stalwarts of sanity. Except one of them is SO NOT.

Defining Moment: The defining moment came when Guppy went bonkers. This was the first time the Tower of Sanity actually collapsed. Mind you, he had it coming…the crystal generator was making everyone bonkers anyway, and it just took a little shove to push poor Guppy over the edge. Of course, being alone with aliens in the dark will do that to you.

Relevant Media
  • The Warning: by Nine Inch Nails. You don't hear songs that talk about alien contact very often, much less from NIN. But here it is!
  • Dungeon Magazine #96: The source for this scenario. You can also get it for free by joining the DG mailing list.
  • Oddcast Virtual Host: Need a talking creepy grey alien but don’t want to role-play it? Oddcast has the answer: pick the virtual avatar, pick its voice, and then type in what you want it to say. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:28 AM


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