Green Box Blues
Delta Green is a contemporary setting, starting in the mid-1990s with intermittent updates thereafter. The game revolves around a fictitious secret organization, created by the U.S. Government following the covert raid on the town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts mentioned in H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The organization, which takes the name of Delta Green from a WWII-era security classification, is spearheaded by elements of the United States government.
Delta Green agents work undercover through other U.S. government agencies, recruiting across a wide range including the FBI, ATF, CDC, and DEA. It appears to have “gone rogue” somewhere between the 1960s and the 1980s, following a disastrous operation in Cambodia and a “deal” struck by Reagan-era rivals in Majestic-12, ostensibly with “Greys”.
The group was introduced in the seventh issue of The Unspeakable Oath, a Call of Cthulhu fanzine created by Pagan Publishing, in early 1993. Four years later, the Delta Green supplement appeared and spawned a number of its own supplements and novels. The premise is frequently compared to The X-Files, although the original incarnation of Delta Green preceded The X-Files by almost a year. Both draw on federal alphabet soup folklore, UFO conspiracy theories and other modern legends.
The Delta Green supplement lays the groundwork for organized investigations into paranormal crime and horror, setting up the initial plot and providing players with their motivations and the resources they need to carry out their tasks. It also provides a source of replacements for characters who go mad or are killed. Canonical materials revolve around threats from the Cthulhu Mythos, but the framework is very flexible. Delta Green agents typically know little about the Mythos.