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Convergence Is An Excellent Introduction To Delta Green

Updated adventure which introduced conspiracy horror long before the X-Files!

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Many RPGs have iconic adventures that have introduced thousands of people to their world. Adventures like Keep On The Borderlands, The Haunting, Dreamchipper and others will get fans of a certain system to break out into a smile and start telling war stories. For Delta Green, it’s the John Scott Tynes penned Convergence. I will never forget the moment our cell realize just how truly screwed the people of Groversville, Tennessee were and the brutal firefight we had on our way to literally call in the National Guard. Convergence, along with several materials from the original Delta Green books are being updated thanks to a recent Kickstarter. Arc Dream Publishing sent me review copies of some of these materials and I decided to take a look at Convergence with some fresh eyes. Does it still hold the same power to shock and awe? Let’s play to find out.

Please note that this review contains some light spoilers for the scenario, though I keep them to a minimum. Suffice to say, I still think this is an excellent scenario for Delta Green even if I prefer others like Last Things Last as a first contact for the game.

Convergence brings the players together as a cell to investigate poor, unfortunate Billy Ray Spivey. Spivey was caught on camera robbing a gas station but what piques the interest of Delta Green are the inhuman strength and ability he displays during the robbery. After interviewing a drugged Spivey, the agents are dispatched to his hometown of Groversville to see what could be the cause of Billy Ray’s altered state. The investigation is complicated by two other factions working at cross purposes. There’s another conspiracy team in town with the same directive as the players, though the rivals want to claim whatever turned Billy Ray into a monster for its own. There’s also Phenomen-X, the gloriously trashy news show that covers UFO, cryptids and all the other stuff that comes across Delta Green’s path for its syndicated show that airs at midnight in most markets. Not only must the cell solve the mystery, they’ve got to do it while battling rivals and staying out of the public eye.

Delta Green was a stunning breath of fresh air when it came out in 1997. It began in the pages of Pagan Publishing’ The Unspeakable Oath and grabbed the end of millennium conspiracy vibes in ways few other media did outside of the X-Files. (The authors will remind you Delta Green was around in the magazine long before Mulder and Scully stumbled around in the sexy alien dark). It began as a way to give Call of Cthulhu investigators a way to have access to things they needed for their investigations. But it also blended the secret history of the mythos and alien conspiracy stories into a potent mix that’s still enjoyable to read to this day.

The case illustrates two of the big ways that helped separate Delta Green from its older brother. The first is that there’s very little recognizable Mythos content. The monsters are unique to the scenario and only if the players are very thorough do they uncover any familiar terms from the Mythos. Though the game did well to give modern twists to a lot of Mythos entities it also produces some terrifying creatures on its own. The second is the element of intrigue keeping the truth away from the rival faction. Many classic investigations pit the players against the authorities and a straightforward cult to break up. Delta Green cells can’t just walk away. Setting the town on fire and walking away just causes more questions and spreads out loose ends to tie up.

This case remains in the 90s as Delta Green: The Conspiracy has pitched itself as a historical setting. Despite my own cosmic horror in realizing that a time when I was an adult is now considered a historical setting, it makes sense to keep this story in the past. Much as the 1920s allowed for a blend of the exotic and the familiar, so too does Convergence take players to a similar feeling in that era. Cellphones but not smartphones. The internet but not everywhere. Videotape, not digital.

Convergence remains an excellent introduction to the original Delta Green era. It’s been updated for the more recent version of the game and isn’t quite as lethal as I remember but it’s a great way to kick off a classic era campaign or to use as a case file as a flashback one shot.

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

Vincent55

Adventurer
D20 modern had dark matter which reminded me of the X files and other dimensional horror RPG settings, never heard of this really
 


Vincent55

Adventurer
Dark Matter was actually an Alternity setting, which they watered down into a D20 Modern Setting. The Alternity version was quite good.
yes remember that one, was a space setting not one based on Earth though if I remember, these are not the same thing one was more space adventure and the other was more x files
 

stadi

Explorer
yes remember that one, was a space setting not one based on Earth though if I remember, these are not the same thing one was more space adventure and the other was more x files
Alternity had two main settings: one was Star*Drive, the other was Dark•Matter. They also had a StarCraft release and there might have been something else as well, but these two were the main ones. Star*Drive was the science-fiction one and Dark Matter the X-Files clone.
 



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