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Keepers’ Korner - IMPOSSIBLE LANDSCAPES

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Oh, you know, just something I’ve been working on for awhile. I have a ton of these works (the Gilchrist Trust, a book on the Great Race of Yith as DG enemies/allies and a lot more). 

 

IMPOSSIBLE LANDSCAPES

Wherein Minds are Lost but Truth is Found

A Campaign of the King in Yellow, for Delta Green

"We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded. Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march. You’ll read them — or they’ll march."

—Charles Fort

INSTRUCTION MANUAL

(Written in a mad scrawl on the back of what look like asylum papers. There is blood and smeared fingerprints on the page.) 

This is a book. In this book are ideas. Ideas with teeth. One of you must eat this book; chew it and swallow it and let the book become you. Then, you must act as the book might act.

This is no small trick.

Then, the dance.

Once the dance begins, others join. It is their job to pretend to be someone else, but to feel real fear. As they pretend, they dance. They dance with the person who has become the book, they dance with the fear of the unknown, they dance around a table and a story is told in the tracks of their steps. 

There are dice. The dice tell you things. They open doors, and cause brains to spray across walls, and translate books, and climb burning tapestries and scream and go mad and hide, weeping in the dark as marionettes spin in empty, Victorian halls outside. 

The dice sing, and the people dance to the tune.

And the book tells a story. And whether you want to or not, you dance. 

We dance. 

We all dance this way, hand-in-hand, until the world ends. 

And then it all begins again.

THE CAMPAIGN

IMPOSSIBLE LANDSCAPES is a campaign for Delta Green that focuses on the mythos of the King in Yellow (from Robert W. Chambers book THE KING IN YELLOW, and found in DELTA GREEN: COUNTDOWN and NIGHT FLOORS and John Tynes’ wonderful fiction such as SOSOSTRIS, AMBROSE and BROADALBIN). 

It focuses on a mystery — concerning a missing woman, a strange book, an asylum and the end of the world — and in this mystery, the characters find a thread which unravels their lives and the world.

It is a mystery that many Agents will find difficult to confront — as it is not the conventional Delta Green operation — and instead focuses on psychological and surreal horror (such as THE SHINING, JACOB’S LADDER, LOST HIGHWAY, or THE NINTH CONFIGURATION). 

Agents do confront monsters, but these monsters shift and change, and seem to be products of the mind, and the run-off slurry of human imagination: known as Carcosa. Carcosa is the realm of the King in Yellow, is a kind of a cancer of human thought that mutates the world.

This campaign also features a unique structure. Players portray a single character in two time frames simultaneously: in one, they are Agents of Delta Green, in the second they are that same Agent, sometime later, committed as an inmate in an asylum seemingly controlled by the conspiracy.

They play both timeframes, jumping back and forth at the Keeper’s whim, one affecting the other. Somewhere between these two points is the unresolved mystery of the investigation, what they did to end up in the Asylum, and the horrific act of connecting all the dots.   

This structure is challenging and frightening, but it pays huge dividends in increasing the terror players feel, and reinforces the surreal horror that is the King In Yellow. 

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