How many characters do one play? In my campaigns multiple roles are commonly played by the players. Each campaign has it’s own way of doing it – from owning three different characters in Voyage of the Sky Eagle campaign to having a hierarchy of characters in the Wizard-campaign (including the gossiping ladies). This time we take a look at the Delta Green-campaign.
The Delta Green-organization consists of a series of cells, where the contact between the cells are quite limited to keep DG secret and somewhat safe from it’s enemies and the public, which DG struggle to protect. A cell typically consists of three members. Since there are four players, we would either expand the cell to contain four members, or we could split the characters into two cells, or have a player to a friendly.
Friendlies are allies of DG. Some are retired members of DG, others are experts, who assists with knowledge the supernatural, and who may or may not know about Delta Green.
Playing Others: The Friendly
Episode one: The Man in the House
Cell S consisting of Agents Sherlock, Sharp and Simon are acitivated and send on a mission to investigate a series of mysterious deaths in a small town. Delta Green has been alerted by an inquisitive friendly, a doctor, who likes to pick up weird autopsy cases in order to find supernatural cases, that he can assist Delta Green in solving. I wrote the character and e-mailed it to the player. He knew ahead of the episode, that he would be playing some other character, than his own.
When we met, I briefed the players on the session, and the agents were invited to an evening at the opera. A part of this included meeting with a friendly, who would brief them on the specifics of the case.
Arriving at the scene
Once the agents arrived at the small town, I let the player playing the Friendly control the situation. In a sense he and I co-game mastered. He described the scene, where the agents met with the friendly, and here the characters played out the briefing. From there on we played the mission more or less regularly. except that the agents kept the friendly out of the loop in order to keep DG a secret, and the friendly was a convenient tool to point the agents in the right direction, as he would do his own investigation and either report back to the agents or ask them to assist him, when the local police would not co-operate with him.
Playing Others: Other agents and friendlies
The agents in Cell S are all new in the field. Apparently there was a need to replace the whole cell at once (we don’t know what happened to the former members, but they seem have been all lost at the same time). The fourth character is a member of Cell T, where he replaced a lost member.
Episode Three: Burned Bones
In episode three we decided to take a look at Cell T. This time I created four characters for the players. The three members of Cell T (agents Tully, Tremor and Taymora) and a friendly – this time an unorthodox CDC-agent. So none of the players played any of their own characters. Instead they were given new ones, and we played out the their last mission before their new member entered, and since the would only enter due to a loss, we all knew that one of the three agents from cell T would be perish. That naturally occurred: Agent Taymora was killed in combat allowing his allies to escape.
Playing Others: Other agents
Episode Four: The Subterraneans
In the next episode the two cells met on a shared mission. The NPC-leader in cell T decided reinforcements were necessary for the mission and they called in their old allies in cell S not knowing it had recently been displaced by the PCs. We had six characters for four players. The two players, whose cell T-characters survived, played both their own Cell S-agents and the Cell T-agents. The two other players only played their own characters. The players on their own initiative divided the characters into two teams, so that usually only one of their characters would be present in any given scene. The two teams divided the investigation between them, so that either player A, B and C were active or player B, C and D.
During the mission agent Tremor was killed in a tragic accident. The presence of NPC-agents allow me as the GM to add lethal elements and shield the characters with the NPCs, so we can see how deadly the setting is without offing a character every time.
Alternate approaches: Playing minor roles and Playing the secondary cast
These two approaches I will cover in two separate posts.
Besides playing NPC-agents and NPC-friendlies the players also plays the friends and relatives of each others agents, as I covered in this post.