A setpiece for the Delta Green RPG.
General Description: This room in a downtown apartment complex is an insidious haven of unnatural occurrences and a beacon for hypergeometric activity. Only longtime residents and staff of the complex suspect it to be “haunted”, so the owner of the complex has an understanding with a Friendly that he allows regular inspections from DG Agents and a subtle “quarantine” that makes sure as few people go into the apartment as possible. The Agents’ superiors inform them that simply destroying Room 218 is not an option, it would cause disaster, so it must be kept under wraps instead. The apartment’s biggest windows overlook a public square and a few backstreets.
- The one bedroom contains a queen-sized bed, two bedside tables, a wardrobe, a shelf, a lamp, a chair, a mirror and two paintings hanging on the walls.
- The bathroom contains a small shower, a sink, a mirror, a toilet, a towel rack and a counter for toiletries.
- The kitchen contains a sink, a half-stocked fridge, a big counter, two small shelves of food, cabinets below for cooking tools, a rubbish bin, and a stove that does not work.
- The laundry room contains two clothes baskets, a mirror, a washing machine, a sink, a small window, and a whole bunch of words and numbers scratched in black all over a wall.
- The living room has a dinner table, a large shelf, a landline phone, a couch, a television, chairs, a mirror, and a small cabinet.
- The last room is meant to contain whatever other things the tenant keeps for work, play, or storage. It currently contains a small supply of painting materials (including an easel) with small tables, a mirror, shelves and chairs along the walls. A computer could be set up here. Various finished paintings are left around here, two hanging on the walls, and all of them depict still landscapes of the countryside and the view from the room’s windows.
Rules and Interactions
- If an Agent tries to sleep in the apartment’s bed, act concerned and ask the player if they’re really sure they want to do that. If they do anyway, they get a good night’s rest and nothing else happens.
- The first visit to Room 218, someone tries to shoot them with a sniper rifle from across the street when they leave the apartment (don’t bother rolling, the shot misses automatically). Investigating the sniper’s perch leads them to a hitman who was hired for double the usual fee by an anonymous employer.
- The windows of the apartment are completely unbreakable and bulletproof. Period. Seeing this property may mean Unnatural 0/1 SAN loss – and foil snipers.
- Deciphering the words and numbers on the laundry room wall should be possible with days of study and high enough skills (Occult 50%, SIGINT 35%, and History 20%) – what message it reveals is up to the Handler but should be a huge clue about an important enemy or mystery.
- Busting down an internal wall (requiring sledgehammers or explosives) within the apartment will reveal the gruesomely murdered corpse of a middle-aged man stuffed inside. The cause of death was a deep stab in the heart, followed by desecrating the corpse. An Occult skill of 35%+ reveals the corpse was marked with sigils belonging to various obscure dark spirits that give men great power in return for bloody deaths. Unnatural skill 5%+ reveals the corpse was ritually sacrificed to power a permanent hypergeometry ritual.
- The hot water taps don’t work, even though they are in perfect condition.
- All rituals cast within Room 218 automatically succeed at their activation rolls.
- Learning rituals can be done faster within Room 218, at least twice as fast.
- Every 4 hours spent in Room 218 requires a Luck roll. Critical Success on the roll means nothing happens this time. An ordinary Success means nothing happens but the next such Luck roll is at -20%. Ordinary Failure means a minor haunting (see below). Critical Failure means a major haunting (see below).
- The character with the lowest CON instantly feels drowsy, and will want to go to sleep.
- One of the shelves suddenly contains a book it didn’t before. It appears when nobody’s looking, and it may disappear once out of sight again. The Handler decides what book. (INTx5 or Alertness roll to realize that the book wasn’t there before, 0/1 SAN loss.)
- One of the paintings changes when nobody’s looking, it now depicts one of the Agents (0/1 SAN loss).
- Anything written down on paper changes out of sight to some other ominous message (0/1 SAN loss).
- One of the Agents suddenly vomits violently onto the floor. In the upchuck, a random small item (for example, keys, a medallion, a stone, a bullet, etc.) can be found without any rational explanation. (0/1 SAN loss.)
- A strange and inhuman noise can be heard faintly (Alertness roll to make out which room it seems to be coming from – there is nothing there when the Agents investigate).
- A character suddenly has one of their mental disorders triggered for an acute episode with seemingly no stimulus. They may suppress the acute episode as normal. A HUMINT or Psychotherapy roll at +20% allows an Agent to realize that such an acute episode is not normal human behavior.
- Everyone rolls Alertness. Any success means the character notices some quick movement in a nearby mirror or reflective surface. A Critical Success means the character realises it was a person running away and out of frame.
- New writing in a bright green color appears on the laundry room wall. The writing addresses one of the Agents by name and asks him/her a personal question (0/1 SAN loss). Handler decides what exactly the question is (try invoking a Motivation).
- The phone rings. If an Agent answers, the voice on the other end asks if anyone there can help him/her with something. If the Agent humors the voice, he/she explains he/she wants to read The Throne of Want again – and then growls a rather nasty caustic threat to the Agent (“I will crack your skull and flay you with a hot knife, you pathetic diseased-!!”) before abruptly hanging up.
- If any character within the room is injured, they are healed 1 HP instantly with no rational explanation (0/1 SAN loss).
- Someone within the room is suddenly strangled by an invisible force for 1D4+1 damage (0/1D6 SAN loss).
- A nearby mirror suddenly explodes as if struck from behind. No mundane explanation seems to fit if the broken mirror is examined (0/1 SAN loss).
- Bloody footprints suddenly appear, traveling from the front door to the kitchen. (0/1 SAN loss.)
- Opening the fridge will have seven severed and bloody human hands appear without explanation inside, sitting on dinner plates. (0/1 SAN loss) Running the blood and fingerprints on the mystery hands will lead the Agents to a serial killer operating in the next state over, whose M.O. involves chopping off the victim’s left hands. Each of the hands found in the fridge belonged to a victim.
- A shadow in the shape of a man may appear standing in the doorway to the bedroom, point at one of the Agents, and then vanish. (0/1 SAN loss.)
- Bloody cracks appear all over the laundry room wall with the writing on it. If an Agent gets close to the cracks, the cracks will move and pulsate like veins. (0/1D4 SAN loss.)
- The television turns on by itself (even if unplugged), and briefly shows a scene of alien horror – visions of Carcosa or Cthulhu, for example. Then the TV blinks out with a screeching static-y noise. (1/1D8 SAN loss.)
- All the electronics and lights in the room go out, the door becomes stuck tight, and the windows no longer show the normal outside (it is utterly black instead). (0/1D4 SAN loss.) A monster may attack the Agents now, if the Handler so decides. This haunting lasts for 3 hours, then the Agents suddenly wake up in the bed, apparently having had a collective nightmare. If the Agents manage to leave the apartment through some application of digging, lockpicking or whatever, their way out leads to the storage room of an abandoned bus depot on the other side of town (the rusty lockers of the storage room may contain useful items, if the Handler feels generous) with no logical explanation. (1/1D6 SAN loss.)
NPCs and Items
The owner of the complex has Unnatural skill 3% and has a few odd quirks; he/she washes his/her hands constantly, irrationally dislikes redheads, and never drinks alcohol. He or she also runs drug deals on the side.
One of the tenants of another apartment is obsessed with the strange happenings surrounding Room 218. She is a white collar professional in her late twenties, and boasts an impressive collection of mostly legal surveillance gear. She has the Alertness and Stealth skills at 48%, along with Unnatural 8% and less SAN than she acts like. She has learned one Ritual already (Handler picks), and wants to learn more. She may be a potential Friendly, or a complication.
Hidden inside the water tank of the toilet is a sealed plastic bag containing a loaded pistol.
In the bedroom and bathroom are two crawl spaces behind a vent that are not connected to the complex’s ventilation – they seem to go nowhere except a dead end. However, random items can be found hidden in these crawlspaces (apparently from somewhere else when no-one is looking). The most common item found in the crawl spaces is a perfect copy of a tome titled The Throne of Want (see below).
The Throne of Want
(Unnatural Tome) In English or whatever Foreign Language that only one of the Agents knows. Study time: hours. Occult +2%, Unnatural +3%, SAN loss 1D6.
“Your desires have perceptual gravity. To turn all that you must have into actionable reality, you must first boomerang that physical reality off the gravity well that are your supersensual longings. To do this, cruelty and will shall be marshalled in the name of the twin traps of life and death. Only the great diviner can guide your hand perfectly, this book can only show you a few tried and true techniques for manipulating the platonic realm.”
This cleanly formatted and plainly typed manuscript tries to instruct the reader in what it calls “the ascendant craft” (hypergeometry) with questionable success. The author of the tome claims to be a messenger for “great spirits” and was “reborn in the fires of the will” thanks to his study of “true mastery of the platonic realms”. The author outlines various rituals he has been taught, as well as vague warnings about not abusing such power.
Recommended Rituals: Clairvoyance, “Dispel” (The Closing of the Breach (Hypergeometry)), “Establish Absolute Territory” (The Elder Sign), Exaltation of the Flesh, Finding. Alternatively, any three Rituals of the Handler’s choosing.
- The Agents are instructed to inspect Room 218 for any new items found in its crawlspaces. They must also stake out the place in case someone tries to B&E the apartment.
- The Agents are given a ritual that MIGHT exorcise Room 218 of the unnatural. The ritual will take a week of preparations that need to be set up right there in the room, exposing Agents to the room’s danger for hours every day for 7 days.
- The owner of the complex reports signs of someone living in the room. Then he reports that other rooms in the complex are showing signs of being “haunted” like Room 218.