Delta Green Blues
Pitch session & First Half of Episode 1 – The Hanged Man
13.1.2008 / 20:11:55
GM: So, I suppose we should start discussing the game at hand. I’ve shared an image of the character sheet with you so you can see the basic layout.
GM: So you understand the basic idea of the game and the mechanics. Knowing them perectly isn’t necessary at this point.
Emma Gautreaux: I think I understand the concept much better than I understand the mechanics. I tried to read today, but the wife was in a goofy mood.
GM: I thought we would start with an episodic show, with no overarching plot line to avoid overcomplicating everyone’s first time. Character story arcs will still span the season though, so don’t worry about it being completely disjointed.
Emma Gautreaux: Cool.
GM: Thus each episode explores an issue and features a character but there’s no big, bad conspiracy behind it all (at least at the beginning)
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): OK
Emma Gautreaux: Are we using the pilot rules where everyone gets equal screen presence?
GM: The key thing to remember is that WE create the plot and narrate the outcome: It’s not about the
Producer (GM) putting everything out in front of you and the Protagonists (players) just reacting to it. So your input is necessary. This will be a pilot (perhaps slotted into Episode 1 of the season), so everyone’s SP will be 2
GM: Let’s take care of the characters first.
GM: Emma, you’re pretty much set so why don’t you describe your traits, etc.
Emma Gautreaux: I’m a 16-year old octaroon creole girl from a fallen land-owning family. Father committed suicide, and mother is a terrible alcoholic.
Emma Gautreaux: Raised by the servants and sharecroppers on what was left of the family land, so I have major abandonment and distrust issues. One of the servants who raised me, Nammy Grace, schooled me in the old ways, the folklore of Voodoo
Emma Gautreaux: So my edges are Voodoo Lore (which includes traditional medicine) and Naturally Distrustful (which allows me to read people who are trying to put one over on me). Naturally Distrustful also works as a flaw.
Emma Gautreaux: Nammy Grace died and I was left alone. Her sister, Prophetess Jeanette, promised to teach me in the ways of Vodoun once I was ready, but I’m not ready yet.
Emma Gautreaux: That’s pretty much it.
GM: Ok, so is Jeanette your connection?
Emma Gautreaux: Yes
Emma Gautreaux: She gives me cryptic advice from time to time, and at times might be condescending and cruel
GM: Thoughts from anyone else? If you have any ideas for the character, speak up b/c this is where we hash out how to make her better for EVERYONE and the series as a whole.
GM: Cool connection.
Emma Gautreaux: thanks
Dan Mara: Do you know much about Voodoo?
GM: Do you have a personal set in mind (not required & it may be shared with another player)? ATM, given the episodic nature of the show, I was thinking anyone without a flashback kind of personal set would probably use the railroad cars your group travels by.
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): I like it… could be interesting in relation to Brian Folet’s issue and edge
Emma Gautreaux: I know a bit about voodoo, but not tons. I’m a blues/jazz musician and I’ve spent a decent amount of time in New Orleans
Emma Gautreaux: I thought perhaps Nammy Grace’s cabin as a little girl. I’d have flashbacks to her telling me stories or teaching me to use roots and herbs.
GM: Ok, so a flashback. That’s cool b/c we could use it for those “imparting advice or knowledge that’s useful at this moment” kind of scenes.
Emma Gautreaux: or walking in on her as she was killing a chicken over a circle of brick dust
GM: Nemesis? (again not really necessary and probably not applicable given the nature of the series)
Emma Gautreaux: I couldn’t really think of a nemesis, perhaps the old man who is trying to possess my family property?
Emma Gautreaux: He could be a former business rival of my father’s who is taking revenge by trying to own everything that was once my father’s including courting my invalid alcoholic mother. Maybe he has some sort of dark secret.
GM: That would work; we’ll leave it for the time being and see what develops. Ok, Brian, what about you?
Brian Folet is a 35 year old male, medium height and thin. Has short salt and pepper hair and beard; wears a dirty shirt and pants that once were well made but now have been patched and have some tears were and there. Brian Folet was a former highly succesful stock broker who lost everything on Black Tuesday. He almost joined his partner in jumping out the window but saw a translucent figure floating up out of the shattered body of his partner, Frank Kalton. Frank spoke to him and told him not to jump as it was not his time; he had to atone for all the lives that he had ruined by his stock advice. Brian naturally fled and has been riding the rails ever since; occasionally seeing other translucent figures or worse. Frank appears to him occasionally, usually when he sees things that he cannot explain and offering very cryptic advice.
Brian Folet Issue: Haunted by guilt over ruining the lives of all his clients and the suicide of his partner (in this case literally). Afraid of ruining more lives through advice or actions.
Brian Folet Edges: former partner of a brokerage house (professional stock broker), Sees things not of this world.
Brian Folet Connections: Frank Kalton, deceased former partner in the borkerage house.
Brian Folet Personal Set: Former office
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): I liked your personal set idea Waldo!
GM: Lurkers are more than welcome. No need to worry about not finishing a write up though; we’re working on characters right now so you could just jump in.
Dan Mara: I wonder what kind of influence you were thinking Frank to be?
GM: Yeah, that was going to be my question too.
Dan Mara: Thanks.
Brian Folet: Since Frank has (presumably) more knowledge of the otherworlds than Brian, his influence is two fold. First is to guide Brian wuth the wierd stuff when Brian has no clue how to deal with it but becuase perceptions are different, the advice is often cryptic.
GM: Perhaps rather than offering advice, he could be the way you deal with your issue. You flash back and have “discussions” with him. That would avoid it being too much like Emma’s (though the way you describe it, it’s not too close and of a different nature)
Brian Folet: Second is to drive or assist Brian in dealing with the guilt he has over Black Tuesday. It was really not his fault directly, he was just on eof many brokers.
GM: Perhaps you could mix the advice part with your issue: Thus he answers your cryptically in a way that offers philosophical advice. That was what I was thinking in relation to Frank’s advice
GM: Cool, then I like the idea even more. :o) The “sees things not of this world” should be something separate from Frank; it’s a sensitivity to the supernatural. In that way the two aren’t constantly going hand in hand.
GM: Ok, so does Brian have a nemesis?
Emma Gautreaux: Did Brian see things before Frank’s suicide? Or did the trauma trigger his latent sensitivity?
Brian Folet: I do not think he would have one unless Black Tuesday was caused by someone. The trauma triggered it.
GM: Ok, let’s go with no nemesis (he’s got enough emotional baggage anyways).
GM: So, Dan: You’re up to bat…..
Dan Mara: All right. This is a little vague right now, but it’s the idea I am most into I guess.
Dan Mara: Dan is a young man, maybe early twenties. His father was a preacher, pretty devaut, and he was raised to be as well. He was not particularly interested and sort of just went along.
GM: That’s absolutely fine: This is what the pitch session is for. In many ways it’s helpful for people not to come in with fully developed characters b/c it’s easier to make the cast gel
Dan Mara: When he neared adulthood, which would have actually come about the time of the depression when everything got messed up, he was stricken mad. Schizophrenia. This added to the sensitivity to the supernatural which came at around the same time totally ripped him from reality.
Dan Mara: Now he sees himself as some sort of judge who decides what’s right and wrong and punishes those he sees fit. He’s got a bit of a Messianic thing.
Dan Mara: Edges – Theologian/Preacher and Schizophrenic.
GM: Lots of potential here though we probably need a bit of refinement simply because he might be too complex. I like the schizophrenic –> Messianic idea but I think it works better without the supernatural sensitivity.
Dan Mara: Oh. Sure. I thought they were all supposed to have it though.
Emma Gautreaux: I think Dan’s religion would clash with mine in really interesting ways.
Dan Mara: I noticed that, too.
Brian Folet: Yes…
GM: Hmmm, I’m starting to wonder if maybe it would be more interesting to play up the theological side and eliminate the schizophrenia altoghter. It would make his “holier than thou” personality much more powerful and allow for more meaningful character interactions.
Brian Folet: Might also be interesting in relation to Brian’s guilt.
GM: As a schizophrenic, his beliefs, etc. all can be blamed on the illness, and thus it takes away from his righteousness, etc.
Emma Gautreaux: Anyone else here from the South?
GM: He becomes the “sick and delusional guy” rather than the “righteous, fire & brimstone bible thumper”
GM: I spent nearly 10 years living in Oklahoma though that’s more midwest, than south.
Dan Mara: No. I understand. It changes the idea I had for the background, but not really the play and it might work better. I suppose he’d have to be a little less wild about his judge-executioner thing, though.
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): no… weill traveled Canuck here but bnot further south than Viginia
Emma Gautreaux: The Southern Fundamentalist I’m familiar with is very closed-minded, a bit racist, and holier-than-thou
GM: Yes and no. He’s still the judge but the executioner is a little less literal in certain cases. However, we’re dealing with supernatural stuff here so maybe not. My thinking is just that the schizophrenia thing would make him less credible.
Emma Gautreaux: I understand the churches my grandmother attended as a girl in the depression were even more so
Dan Mara: I mean, are we prepared for the problems he might cause? I think it’s cool, but I want to know how far I should take it?
Howie Clark: From UK so watch out for any howlers I might come up with
Emma Gautreaux: haha.
GM: Hmmm, what if he were black? That solves the racist issue that we want to explore as an actual issue in the series.
Emma Gautreaux: I think if he were white, we could have actual race issues within the cast
Brian Folet: He even could be the one that is rescued in the pilot.
Emma Gautreaux: Elf’s idea!
GM: Ooh, I’m liking that idea!
Dan Mara: It is good.
GM: How about a poor, traveling preacher… he’s righteous and “always right” but not quite such a fire and brimstone fellow as originally envisioned.
Brian Folet: We would have racial issues in cast between Brian (who is a WASP) and the others.
GM: Geez, now I’ve got that guy who played the lead role in the Green Mile (Michael something?) in my mind….
GM: totally, mismatch the appearance and the intellect, etc. He’s smart, charismatic, and righteous but he looks like the incredible hulk. Him. (uploading picture from Green Mile)
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): He was in “The Last Mimsy”
Dan Mara: Would you want a sort of gentle giant thing? Or with an edge? The reference sort of begs the question.
GM: Your choice. I’m just loving the mismatch of image and role
GM: Don’t think you HAVE to go with this. It’s just that it seems like a great series character and could be a lot of fun to explore.
GM: Thoughts anyone? I’m thinking a very well read, intelligent, preacher who happens to be homeless (he wanders from community to community) and look like the a giant.
GM: We could introduce him in the pilot as the Hanged Man.
Brian Folet: I also like the mismatch of image and role.
Howie Clark: Sounds cool, why the name? A tatoo?
Emma Gautreaux: I think it’s a cool idea, but also that Dan not feel pressured if it’s not what he wants to play.
Brian Folet: True; afterall it is Dan’s character to explore.
Dan Mara: I don’t have a problem with it, really. I’m just trying to put it together in my head. It’s pretty different from what I came in with, so I need some time to rearrange things.
GM: Ok, give it some thought and time to personalize. Let’s let Howie go.
GM: Describe yourself Howie.
Badgers (Howie Clark): I’ll just cut and paste from the notes?
Howie Clark: Cub reporter for the local Clarion, 23-year old Howard Clark III is also a reasonably successful writer of lurid pulp fiction for magazaines like Argosy and Astounding. Lives with mother. Comes up with $10 words when he doesn’t catch himself.Issue – Howie is worried that he may commit suicide like his father and grandfather before him – but he doesn’t know why they did.Edges – A knack for finding and dealing with weird situations.Connections – Penny, college sweetheart who married rich developer Kane Delany (possible Nemesis). Ralph Caruso, The Clarion’s old-school editor – crusty but a heart of gold.Personal Set – The office at the Clarion.
Emma Gautreaux: Awesome!
Brian Folet: Cool!
Brian Folet: What kind of knack? as in Sherlock Holmes or Jimmy Olsen?
Howie Clark: I’m thinking that he has some sort of intro scene where he finds a box of his dad’s, containing weird newspaper clippings
Howie Clark: I think he’s kind of like an older version of the kid in Eerie, Indiana
GM: Excellent. Just one issue to deal with: Why is he traveling the rails? My first thought is that it’s an assignment: His editor sends him out to do a story on the hobos riding the rails and he falls into something much more interesting and sinister.
Howie Clark: Yeah not sure whether my connections will work if the team travel too far afield
GM: We could even work in the issue that his editor finds his reports ridiculous and it causes him all kinds of problems, but he ends up publishing them as a pulp series or something. Thus that’s his story arc in a nutshell (at least the concept)
Howie Clark: Perhaps he knew my dad. Yeah Like that!
GM: That could even be his issue rather than the mental health one (which doesn’t seem to fit although it’s good): His issue is job security and pressure to conform
Brian Folet: Depends on how widely distrbuted the Clarion is; oh I like that idea GM!
Howie Clark: Yeah I think it’s not a mental health problem but appears to be and worries him. He’s a misfit so 🙂 would probably fit in with the hobos
GM: That could easily just be a facet of his character rather than his actual issue (though the issue works completely); the job problem is something that feeds into a more directly related story arc though and has a natural development arc over the season.
Howie Clark: He’s doing a story on the cruelty of the railroad bulls
GM: Yeah and then falls in to these supernatural stories. His editor flips and insists he publish stuff on the original assignment. Eventually it all blows up (in his spotlight episode) and he ends up writing a pulp novel series as the only way to publish the “truth”.
Howie Clark: you had me at GM: 🙂
Emma Gautreaux: very cool. I like the idea that the pulp series is the “truth”
GM: In many ways he’s sort of the chronicler of the stories: Oh hell, the series could have a narrator for the lead ins and outs that turn out to be him later in life.
Howie Clark: excellent!
GM: (sort of like the Wonder Years)
Emma Gautreaux: perhaps there is a company that publishes only “true” pulp novels
Howie Clark: so I survive!
Brian Folet: Awesome idea on the narrator!
GM: All the others become “characters” in his stories.
Dan Mara: Nice.
GM: See, that’s why I love the concept of this game…. everyone decides on the metaplot ahead of time but we still have no idea HOW it will all happen. :o)
GM: So anyone else got any thoughts? If not we’re back to Dan and then perhaps we can actually get started (once we settle on the last few details)
Dan Mara: Here’s what I got right now.
Emma Gautreaux: Just interested in what Dan is coming up with!
Brian Folet: ditto!
Dan Mara: Dan is all those things, a giant, a preacher, good and intelligent. He is very proud, in his faith, his size and strength, and in his upbringing (maybe a little well off for a black man in the south.)
Emma Gautreaux: whoa!
Howie Clark: cool Dan, and cool pic of Howie 🙂
Dan Mara: So he has this coldness and haughtiness toward things he deems as unworthy, including heathenism and immorality and all that stuff. This affects everybody, and his anger and condescending attitude and all get him into all kinds of trouble, especially with whites.
Emma Gautreaux: Very.
Brian Folet: I like it Dan!
Emma Gautreaux: I can see really interesting situations between Dan and Emma
GM: Ok, so his Issue?
Howie Clark: Might be a few problems there!
Dan Mara: He sees the world as getting worse, not better, and is trying to figure out some way to change things. Too sappy?
Emma Gautreaux: Maybe is is self-conscious and quick to anger
-> Howie Clark: Clark Quesiton about your traits? Do you still want to stick with Penny? It might be more interesting to have something like “investigative reporter” as an edge since you could use it in a multitude of ways during the game while Penny seems more like a side issue/character that doesn’t really deserve a contact at this point (but who can still come up)
Emma Gautreaux: Or maybe has an righteous anger problem that is at odds with his faith
Howie Clark: He might be at risk if someone (or something) shows him the way to change things “for the better”
GM: Righteous anger sounds interesting.
id-00005: yeah it conflicts with the hobo thing so I’ll do that
-> Howie Clark: Clark We can still use her as a sort of foil; perhaps bringing her in to an episode to scoff at Howie’s job… later on he becomes famous and gets the last laugh.
Dan Mara: I like that he’s angry and all, but I think the issue should be sort of a struggle with the object of the anger, not the anger itself. I mean, that’d be the real issue, but he doesn’t know it right away.
GM: Nice; much more complex and something we can resolve.
GM: Traits? (edges and/or connections)
Dan Mara: I don’t know how to put it. I guess the preacher thing, his manner and all that, and Intimidating, maybe?
GM: How about something like “Man of God”
Dan Mara: Sure.
Emma Gautreaux: or what about Circuit Preacher. That would give him connections in the towns he’s visited
GM: That includes all of that. The way edges work, you can use it for anything as long as you can justify it in some way. Part of the fun is for the person who gets narration to try and make it fit.
Emma Gautreaux: knowledge of the “good book”
GM: Yeah, circuit preacher is also good
Emma Gautreaux: maybe crowd control as well!
GM: For the 2nd edge, I’d go with something like “Goliath”
Dan Mara: Ok.
Howie Clark: so does he preach to mixed crowds? what sort of audience does he have?
GM: Or something else that sort of sums up his physical size and strength and hints that he looks threatening.
Dan Mara: It’d be pretty segregated at that time.
GM: Yeah, very much so.
Emma Gautreaux: It would also depend on the community, though
Emma Gautreaux: in a really isolated community, he could minister to poor whites
GM: There are plenty of blacks to preach to but I can seem him as a “man of God” not hesitating to point out whites faults as well.
Emma Gautreaux: which could cause massive amounts of trouble with the rich whites
GM: What about a connection?
Howie Clark: I’m guessing he always gets at least some insults from the crowd but usually works it in to what he’s saying so it rebounds on the heckler
Dan Mara: How about a relative or something on the run for messing with something they oughtn’t have.
Dan Mara: I don’t know, maybe they see a lot of the south and know what’s going on and where to hide, stuff like that.
GM: Sounds good. Maybe he/she could show up during his spotlight episode: How about a “missing” relative? (say a niece)
GM: Missing is much more ambiguous and thus ripe for exploiting.
Dan Mara: That could work, too.
GM: Thus missing could be on the run b/c of trouble or kidnapped.
Emma Gautreaux: ooohhh
Dan Mara: Sure.
GM: So last question, do you want to stick with Dan Mara as a name or do you want something a little more ethnic? To be honest, “Dan” doesn’t sound like a preacher’s name (don’t ask me why)
Dan Mara: Jebediah Douglas.
GM: Love it!
Emma Gautreaux: yep
Howie Clark: excellent 🙂
Brian Folet: perfect
GM: Ok, so last bits to take care of and then we can actually start the pilot:
Emma Gautreaux: you could use the same name when we play DitV
GM: Screen presence for your story arcs. Each of you have to choose 2 episodes (#) to have a 1, one to have a 2 and one for a 3. Screen presence is how important your character is to that episode’s events. For the pilot you all start at “2”
GM: 3 is your spotlight episode, typically where your issue gets resolved or at least dealt with in some major way
GM: With 4 main cast members, you each get a spot light ep, but they can’t be the same ep.
GM: So, for example, you could assign yourself 2,1,2,3,1
Emma Gautreaux: I think Howie’s episode might be best as the Season Finale
GM: 2 being our pilot, 1 being the 2nd episode, etc.
GM: Yeah, I would agree.
Howie Clark: yeah
Brian Folet: yes that makes sense
Howie Clark: so 2, 1, 2, 1, 3
GM: Jebediah’s could come early
GM: Brian’s should probably come later.
Jebediah Douglas: I’m thinking that, too. Maybe the first one, after the pilot. Sort of lead into it.
Emma Gautreaux: 2, 1, 3, 2, 1
GM: Cool idea Jeb
GM: Sort of like part 2 of the pilot…
Brian Folet: 2,1,2,3,1
Jebediah Douglas: Do you want Jeb to be involved in Emma’s episode, at all?
Emma Gautreaux: I think that might be a good idea
Jebediah Douglas: I’m thinking 2,3,2,1,1
Emma Gautreaux: I think our characters will probably have the most amount of tension.