Thursday, August 24, 2023

Four Short Reviews of Delta Green Actual Play Podcasts

 Role-Playing Public Radio

  • It's RPPR, you've probably already listened to it.
  • Veteran handler and players; Ross knows what he's doing.
  • Probably the truest-to-table experience you'll find in actual plays.
  • Usually one-shots, so not many home scenes or campaign features.
  • The show to listen to if you want a good idea of how the game is run and played in practice.
  • Not the show to listen to if you are looking for a story.
  • Nowhere Lane and the current Impossible Landscapes AP are some of the best Delta Green content I have listened to, period. Impossible Landscapes bucks the RPPR trend by being a very character-focused campaign. Players are really into it and doing a fantastic job. Ross is spinning an absurd number of plates and none have crashed yet.
  • Also that first run of Lover in the Ice, primo gross.
  • Recommended for: I want Delta Green as it is played.

Pretending to Be People

  • Absurdist & gross.
  • Great soundtrack.
  • Rules hybridized with Pulp Cthulhu.
  • Basically no connection with the canon of Delta Green or the Mythos proper.
  • Players have great report with each other.
  • Players are good with character acting.
  • Some truly pristine horror imagery.
  • Lots of weird, memorable NPCs.
  • Great sense of the heightened surreal-real. Things are fucking weird.
  • Some occasionally aggravating obtuseness with the weird aspects.
  • Players meander & spin their wheels sometimes; tabletalk rambling & bits sometimes go a bit long.
  • I am under no illusions that the PCs are in any danger of dying in this game.
  • The PCs are many things and 'competent investigators' is not among them.
  • Recommended for: I want something very strange and very gross.

The Redacted Reports

  • Most well-produced of the four.
  • Least table-honest of the four.
  • Very character-focused.
  • Long narrative arcs with a lot of interconnected threads.
  • Daisy-chains multiple published scenarios with original material.
  • Handler can do some fantastic NPCs, scene-setting, and tension ramp-up
  • The most 'canon' of the four.
  • The 'nicest' of the four - you're not going to find that classic Delta Green panic spiral of bad people making increasingly bad choices here.
  • A good deal is definitely planned beforehand; doesn't matter. it's well told, overall.
  • Pacing can get painfully slow sometimes, especially in the most recent couple arcs which are more heavily-modified than the earlier ones.
  • Not kidding we're talking like, 5-6 hour long episodes before weird shit starts happening in the last couple seasons. I hope you like Burning Man and subplots about California political lobbying.
  • This combined with the nice factor leads to points where I, the listener, am going "get on with it" and/or "you are not panicking nearly as much as you should be in this scenario"
  • Honestly this is a feather in the cap of DG as a game, how player metaknowledge translates into the "insanity" of the characters. I the listener know the tell-tale signs of an outbreak of the Yellow Sign, and my immediate gut reaction could only be described as insanity.
  • They are definitely setting up a Carcosa season.
  • Can't come too soon the current antagonist has an exaggerated vocal fry affectation and just because it's an act she's putting on in-fiction doesn't make it any more pleasant to listen to.
  • Recommended for: I would like a Delta Green audio drama.

Sorry, Honey, I Have to Take This

  • Generally feels pretty table-honest
  • Feels like the players spin their wheels often
  • Not as weird as PTBP, not as well-produced as RR, not as well-run as RPPR.
  • Every episode has a minute-long music spot at the midway point and I don't know why it's so long.
  • PCs are not immune to game-changing injury or death.
  • Handler regularly makes choices I firmly disagree with (ex. Players did not realize that it was 3am instead of 3pm, Warden doesn't wind back the clock.) 
  • I don't like the chosen scenarios all that much.
  • I don't jive with the humor.
  • Listened to three seasons, unlikely to return.
  • Recommended for: I'm caught up on all the others and still want a DG AP.


  1. I will go to bat, at the slightest opportunity, to praise how DG encourages quote-unquote insanity as a metamechanic. It's the best.

  2. In complete agreement about RPPR's Impossible Landscapes campaign, which is truly exceptional. I'm also a big fan of Caleb Stokes' Dead Channels Patreon AP, which is unsurprising in the RPPR vein of being very true-to-table and also extremely well-run. Main difference is that it's more campaign-based than one-shot based so you have a more character-driven experience, closer to Impossible Landscapes and also featuring some really strong character play.

  3. Thanks for getting me hooked on RR! I'm mostway through the first arc and it's been beautifully edited and sound-designed so far. Hour-long episodes are a massive advantage over other APs I've watched and listened to; the table talk and wheel-spinning while players look up rules turn me off of lots of other APs for just wasting my time. Definitely got me looking back into modern urban fantasy and horror games - I should pick up Esoteric Enterprises again...

    1. Yeah even when it gets slow, RR is never slow because of mechanical issues, which is definitely a blessing.

  4. If you can, i'd highly recommend the DG: Dead Channel patreon, mostly Caleb from RPPR running/play testing things he's writing for DG. The re-worked God's Teeth campaign that they just wrapped up is *cheff kiss*.