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Tuesday, January 26

Unit 23 Story Hour: Introduction

This story hour is a combination of the latest Delta Green Mailing List contest entry, "Unit 23," by Graham Kinniburgh, "Two Minutes On High" by Michael P. Nagel from Unspeakable Oath #11, and "Righteous Triad Fists" by Allan T. Grohe from The Triad Sourcebook. You can read more about Delta Green at Delta Green. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!

The odds of someone posting a scenario that perfectly fit the window when I needed something involving tcho-tchos are incredibly small. As fate would have it, Graham posted a scenario that was just perfect. It's not that surprising, given that my tastes in Delta Green action run similar to Graham's. I ended up using his scenario as the glue between At Your Door and what I like to call "Cthulhu Must Die."

This scenario actually draws on a third scenario, Righteous Triad Fists. Instead of having the battle be over The Seventh Scroll of Hsan, we have a Portuguese translation in book form. The goal is simply this: get the book, stop the cultists. Of course, it's much more complicated than that…

I had no idea I would end up with a full host of players that day. Because d20 is level-based, Caprice and Guppy have fallen behind in levels, so I was careful to separate them from the combat initially. What I didn't want was to have a bloodbath where the low level characters get knocked flat while the high level characters pound away on the opposition.

I pretty much butchered Graham's entry – I completely tossed the items he had listed as a homage to Marc McFadden, who recently passed away, along with the allusions to "The Lizard King." I replaced the Banzai 23 with Satan's Sadists, from At Your Door. And most importantly, I wanted to role-play some bidding, which gave our two weaker characters a chance to shine. Since Caprice is involved, that means our favorite cover is back: SNOWDOG!

I've also learned that, although it's fun to place 20 ninjas and 20 thugs on a warehouse map and have them duke it out, it's really not practical to make all those rolls. I learned my lesson running a massive D&D scenario with a similar number of opponents and skipped the boring parts. Narrative combat is key, rather than what miniature is on what part of the page. more


posted by Michael Tresca at 7:08 AM

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