Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tales of MaricopaCon 2013 III: Call of Cthulhu/Delta Green: Lover in the Ice

I have a soft spot for Lover in the Ice.  It began as an actual play recording on Role Playing Public Radio years ago, and was one of the first games run by Caleb Stokes.  In its original incarnation, it was run as a Delta Green scenario.

Then Caleb did a Kickstarter entitled No Security for a bunch of systemless scenarios, including all of his previous Call of Cthulhu offerings.  Lover in the Ice was a stretch goal scenario for backers of the project, which I jumped on.  As rewritten for the Kickstarter, since Caleb had no rights to the Delta Green IP, it was rewritten with generic FEMA agents.  Since I'm a Delta Green fan, for the purpose of the Con game, I effectively put the Delta Green serial numbers that Caleb had so diligently scrubbed off,  back on the game, and ran it as a Delta Green game.

Getting the balance of the scenario right was something I struggled with.  In the playtest, one character had access to an assault rifle (an oversight of mine, which was very quickly scrubbed off for purposes of the convention run through), which made the monsters easy marks.

For the convention run, I ran into two issues.  First was time.  While we got through the playtest in about 4-1/2 hours, for some reason the Convention game run took longer.  I had to cut much of the endgame for the sake of time.  If I were to run it again, I'd probably eliminate the Green Box generator (which, while fun, isn't really germane to the main plot line).

The other issue was game balance with the big bad of the scenario.  While the monster is more than terrifying enough in Danger Roadwork Ahead (and it is the same creature), the facts are that Delta Green investigators are pretty much always better armed, and better prepared for the use of firearms than a generic Call of Cthulhu investigator.

If I were to run this game again, I'd either give the Amantes a few points of armor for damage reduction, or perhaps lower their vulnerability to bullets (I'm more inclined to do the former than the latter).

In the run through at MaricopaCon, all four Delta Green agents survived, while two of them were mad enough to likely be candidates for the trademark Delta Green 9mm retirement plan.  Despite my personal beefs with the scenario as I statted it up, the party enjoyed themselves, and reaction was positive.

EDIT: I should say that for those of you who missed out on the Kickstarter, Lover in the Ice is available for $1.99 on RPG Now.  Go buy it.

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