Some believe it's based on a terrifying truth, while others harbor the hope that it's purely fiction, but what many can agree on is that for years the Delta Green role-playing game universe has offered endless hours of eerie entertainment. With a new wave of Delta Green projects now underway, Daily Dead recently caught up with Arc Dream Publishing co-founder and lead Delta Green editor Shane Ivey, who discussed the new RPG and much more in our latest (and in this case, Lovecraftian) Q&A feature.

Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Shane. For those that are unfamiliar, can you talk a little bit about Delta Green and its Lovecraftian history?

Shane Ivey: Delta Green was a secret unit that conducted psychological operations for the Office of Strategic Services in World War II. It was disbanded with the rest of the OSS after the war. That’s the cover story.

Conspiracy theories can tell you more. They say Delta Green had its roots in the infamous government raid on Innsmouth, Massachusetts, in 1928. They say Delta Green did much more than PSYOPs; they say it fought Nazi occultists who had made contact with malignant forces from beyond space and time. They say Delta Green continued its mission after the war as a secret National Security Council project, hunting down stray Nazi occultists and uncovering new supernatural and alien threats. They say it shut down in 1970 after a mission went catastrophically wrong in Cambodia. They say that even then it only went underground as its leaders kept up the fight in secrecy.

If you look hard enough, you may find conspiracy theories that say Delta Green was reactivated in 2002 as a component of the War on Terror. That it works primarily out of the Department of Defense and draws assets from across the U.S. government. That its agents use the War on Terror and federal law enforcement as pretexts to confront horrific threats from beyond space and time—and to keep those threats secret to save the rest of us from exposure.

There’s a large line of roleplaying games and fiction books that explore the conspiracy theories that surround Delta Green. They’ve even won awards in certain circles. Luckily, it’s all plainly too crazy to be true. People today are too sensible to fall for conspiracy theories or become obsessed with cosmic threats beyond our understanding. Right?

Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game features two different groups that players can affiliate themselves with. What can you tell us about these two sides?

Shane Ivey: I see you’re taking these cuckoo-land stories at face value. All right. If Delta Green is real—and I’m not saying it is—then its agents are special operators from the U.S. military, special agents of the FBI and DEA, investigators from across the U.S. government. Occasionally a handful are brought together on a highly-restricted secret task force with some innocuous name or other. Their colleagues and supervisors, who aren’t cleared for the details, are told to ask no questions. With any luck, the agents who went away come back again. Often they’re a little worse for the wear. Nobody every says a word about what they saw or did. If one doesn’t come back, it’s due to a tragic “training” accident. These things happen.

But there’s a deeper secret. Some agents who belonged to Delta Green in the outlaw days, before its 2002 reactivation, refused to come in from the cold. Some of them had awful memories of military projects that acquired a taste for trying to harness unnatural powers, whatever the dangers. And they’re still out there. They secretly think of themselves as the “real” Delta Green, and try their hardest to stop unnatural threats without any official support or resources.

Delta Green gamers can decide what version of Delta Green is real for their characters. Maybe your characters are part of the official group, going on secret missions with nowhere near as much support or as many tools as you might like, and sometimes expected to bring alien technology and unnatural artifacts in for study. That’s the price of legitimacy. Or maybe your characters are outlaws, not beholden to anyone but your fellow outlaws—and not under anyone’s protection when things go bad. And things always, always go bad.

Either way, be careful what you wish for.

What kind of supplements and fresh fiction can players expect from this new wave of Delta Green products?

Shane Ivey: The latest book of fiction—because it’s all fiction, trust me; would I lie about something that important?—is Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions, available now in paperback and ebook.

A “quick-start” rulebook for Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game is available now in PDF, called Delta Green: Need to Know. It includes everything you need to learn and play the game, including rules, characters and a scenario. It’s free. Download it now.

Other scenarios for the RPG are available for download: Lover in the Ice and Kali Ghati. More are coming soon: The Star Chamber, Observer Effect, VISCID, Iconoclasts, Wormwood Arena, and updated conversions of Delta Green scenarios written for other games.

Many full game books are on the way. Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game itself is the core rulebook. Delta Green: Agent’s Handbook has all the rules that players need but not the chapters meant for the game moderator; it’s basically the first half of the core rulebook. The print edition of Delta Green: Need to Know will come with a sturdy four-panel Handler’s Screen for the game moderator. The Fall of Delta Green is a separate RPG that’s set in the 1960s and uses the Gumshoe game engine as seen in Trail of Cthulhu, The Esoterrorists, and Night’s Black Agents.

Delta Green: Control Group will be a big campaign book of related scenarios to start a new group and play for months. Delta Green: Falling Towers is a campaign book of adventures confronting a massive occult conspiracy in New York. Delta Green: Impossible Landscapes is a campaign book about the insane mythos of Carcosa and the King in Yellow. Delta Green: Deep State explores the secret government programs and private-sector corporations that surround Delta Green. PISCES delves into Delta Green’s U.K. counterpart, a secret agency called PISCES that has had to dig out its own unnatural infestations. Smaller projects like Delta Green: ARCHINT and Delta Green: Operational History further explore threats and history that Delta Green agents may have to confront.

What has your experience been getting the band back together and adding new blood to the creative team?

Shane Ivey: We’ve all worked together for many years, so that experience has been fantastic. The core Delta Green team is me (Shane Ivey) and Delta Green co-creators Adam Scott Glancy and Dennis Detwiller, with the advice and consent of Delta Green originator John Scott Tynes. We’re working with Greg Stolze, Kenneth Hite, Gil Trevizo, Adam Crossingham, Giles Hill, Lisa Padol, Simeon Cogswell, Bret Kramer, and others.

It’s a Who’s Who of past Arc Dream Publishing projects, from our magazine, The Unspeakable Oath, to games like Godlike and Wild Talents. Not to mention the big Delta Green books we created for Pagan Publishing, Eyes Only in 2007 and Targets of Opportunity in 2010. We’re all frequent collaborators, good friends, and tremendous fans of each other’s work.

What stories or aspects of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos will influence the latest versions of Delta Green?

Shane Ivey: Delta Green pursues the vertiginous sense of cosmic dread that Lovecraft evoked in stories like “The Call of Cthulhu,” The Whisperer in Darkness, At the Mountains of Madness, and “The Colour Out of Space.” That demands a sense of overwhelming isolation, especially in a crowded world with ubiquitous communication. Delta Green agents are exposed to mind-warping wonders—and so they know how harmful that exposure can be. They know that humanity is stumbling toward either extinction or transformation into something alien and horrifying. And so they must keep their discoveries, and their traumas, to themselves. Or else see what happens when the people around them are exposed.

How is the timeline looking for Delta Green’s new debuts following your successful Kickstarter?

Shane Ivey: We’ve released Delta Green: Need to Know in PDF and it’s heading to the printers in the next week or two. We’re putting the last edits and revisions on the core rulebook, Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game, and on the Agent’s Handbook.

With Delta Green, we’ve learned over the years that tight timelines are secondary to the work. Delta Green fans have come to expect a certain level of depth and consistency in tone, vision, and quality. That often means delivery dates slip, so I’m very reluctant to ever give a hard ETA until I have a book in layout and nearly ready for publication.

So we aim to publish the PDF of the Agent’s Handbook in March and the PDF of the core rulebook in April. But ask me again in a few weeks and we’ll see.

What aspects of Delta Green are you the most excited for gamers to experience, and where can they stay updated on the latest news for all things Delta Green?

Shane Ivey: The rules for Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game are adapted from the same engine that drives the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu, which we all adore. We’ve customized the rules to fit Delta Green’s particular themes: bonds with important people in a character’s life, which can protect Sanity but which erode the more you rely on them. The slow build-up of mental traumas into mental disorders, reflected in the Breaking Point. The way an investigation usually begins with carefully controlled research and interviews, which don’t require rolling dice, and then explodes into a crisis where randomness reigns and where death and madness are one bad minute away. It’s been fantastic to hear how those new elements have come out in play.

Follow @DeltaGreenRPG on Twitter for announcements. Find Delta Green on Facebook, Google+ and Reddit. The long-running Delta Green Mailing List is housed at Yahoo! Groups. Diehard Delta Green fans there astonish us every week with their creativity and research. A low-volume announcements newsletter is available at, along with links to all those other resources. For the real history of Delta Green, of course, you can take your chances at


Delta Green:

Need to Know:

Extraordinary Renditions:

Arc Dream Publishing:

*Above artwork by Dennis Detwiller.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.