MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR HE WHO LAUGHS LAST FOLLOW
REALLY, YOU SHOULDN’T
The following are notes on converting HWLL to the Delta Green RPG setting…
As a contemporary horror story, He Who Laughs Last can easily be integrated into Delta Green, Pagan Publishing’s modern day RPG setting of conspiracy and terror. The scenario needs very little to be inserted into any DG game, but there are two key components that require discussion: the scenario introduction and the use of a green box to distribute clues.
For the scenario introduction, there are a few different ways to bring a group of Delta Green investigators into the story:
- The most straightforward option is to transform Becca’s father, Dale Kingsley, into a DG friendly who reaches out to the party for help, knowing they are capable in these sorts of investigations. Dale can be a doctor/surgeon who has helped DG in the past but now has nowhere else to turn. A simple phone call from Dale outlines the problem – his daughter has died mysteriously and he is desperate for their help. Or this call could come through “proper channels” to have the PCs reach out to Dale, again, as a DG friendly who is in trouble.
- Perhaps Dale is a friend of one of the agents. Dale contacts his PC friend (they were college roommates or served together in the same branch of military), distraught and overcome with despair. This is just a slight change from the above suggestion – Dale still reaches out to the PCs, panicked and desperate for help.
- Another option is to have one or more of the PCs be friends with Becca (through family or work) who are directly impacted by her “suicide.” Becca is in her mid-20s, and if any of the party is generally her age, they could have been friends with her either during or after college. Pulling the party together for this might seem like a challenge (to find a justification for all the agents to travel to LA for a funeral of someone they don’t know), but given the size and scale of the larger LA area, it shouldn’t be too hard to justify a handful of agents taking a vacation for a week to help their friend.
- One last option would is to have Cell A (or whatever infrastructure your campaign uses) assign the DG agents directly to investigate the mystery. Just Becca’s suicide alone could be enough to get the party involved, or the investigation could be bootstrapped by having a DG friendly point out some of the irregularities coming out of the coroner’s office.
With the introduction covered, there are still a couple of considerations to make this scenario work smoothly in the DG universe. First is that the PCs probably won’t be from the LA area and so won’t have the Hollywood connections that make it a bit easier to navigate the story (as mentioned in The Industry, pg. 12). They can, of course, play up their law enforcement credentials, or just play it straight as they try to uncover the mystery. The PCs will just have to be a bit more thoughtful and creative as they work to make connections with the various NPCs.
Finally, one easy way to get the PCs the information from David Lee (Package from the Coroner, pg. 29) is to provide it in a green box. While there is no specific need to deviate from the narrative, if the PCs ask about a green box or the party doesn’t end up meeting with Lee, send the PCs a key from a small green box located in a Burbank industrial park. You are free to put any additional information there for the PCs, but otherwise you can just substitute the green box for the the package from Lee as the mechanism to deliver the clues. Instead of receiving the package at the front desk, inside the green box they find a number of boxes, smelly and old from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, stacked in the corner, ready to divulge their secrets.
Those are all the elements that should be necessary to convert HWLL to a Delta Green scenario. Please let me know if you have any further questions on this, and I would love to hear if you successfully convert it to DG.
You can buy the scenario at DTRPG.com here.