Barney's Vector

A shotgun scenario for the Delta Green Role-Playing Game in which the agents encounter a forgotten friendly of The Program who is about to commit a horrible mistake.

Table of Contents


BARNEY DELONG, 75, is an old friendly of The Program. In the late 1970s, he helped several agents clear a local commercial farm of possible Mi-Go or Lloigar slaves. The Program considered him useful and a good watchdog, and left him a phone number to call if he saw any “irregularities.” He owns several acres of land inherited from his family, but with the rise of the internet and satellite TV, he rarely communicates with the local town. He lives alone with no family, and isolation and constant exposure and reinforcement of conspiracy theories have warped his beliefs beyond repair. He has thought about calling the number many times after hearing “strange sounds in the night” for several months but has held off until he has actual evidence.

Last night he discovered a homeless man was using an unused, rotting pole-barn on his property. Fueled by his own madness and the man’s disheveled appearance, he instantly assumed him to be a vector of some kind. He subdued the man, tied him up, and finally called the number he’s held on to for years.

There is nothing unusual about the man. MARK JACOBS, 24, is simply an unemployed drifter passing through the hills. He found the pole-barn and thought it would be a safe shelter for a few days.

There is nothing supernatural or unnatural in this encounter. The agents must deal with an old man fighting through irrational beliefs in order to save an innocent. It can take place in any city or town bordered by an expansive rural countryside.


The agents may be on a current operation or in-between operations. The hook is the same: the agents receive a phone call from a case officer explaining that a local friendly is holding a potential vector captive. Their job is to go, ascertain the threat, and eliminate any vectors. The handler is brief and to the point (a successful HUMINT role or skill level at 40% can reveal he/she doesn’t think this is a big deal), but can offer some basic information:
The friendly is BARNEY DELONG, 75, caucasian male. He lives alone on a several-hundred acre property of mostly empty farmland and small groves. There are records of him assisting The Program in the late 1970s with some type of threat, but for some reason there aren’t detailed records of the incident in The Program’s files.
This is most likely simple fallout from The Schism or bureaucratic mistake; the files were probably just lost.
Barney is basically a hermit. A quick record review by the handler indicates no next of kin or marital arrangements. The property appears to have been in his family’s name since the 1890s. The agents would have to investigate further if they want to know more about him, but the handler doesn’t think there’s much there (again, hinting that The Program doesn’t consider this a big deal, just a routine clean-up operation).
If the agents do decide to investigate via local records, the internet, or simply asking around, the same narrative emerges: Barney is an old, drunken hermit that basically stays on his property and only comes into town to stock up on supplies every few weeks. The town considers him harmless.
If the players decide to take additional time talking to locals (such as asking around at the local bar), they gain additional clues but each delay increases Barney’s level of instability:
1 Hour Delay = agents learn basics as outlined above. No consequence.
2 Hour Delay = agents learn that Barney, when he does talk, sometimes mentions hearing things in the night. Barney starts to become nervous about the delay and begins beating Mark to feel some sense of control.
3 Hour Delay = agents learn that Barney used to talk about his “CIA” operation in the 1970s against “the aliens.” People consider this silly but loveable. Barney is very anxious and starts torturing Mark.
Overnight Delay = if the players get drunk or decide it is too late to leave for other reasons, they learn that Barney might have had “weird government vans or such” on his property at times in the 1980s. The town locals think he was trying to evade taxes. At this point, Barney has tortured Mark to the point of near death, and his face is a pulpy mass. If the players do not provide immediate medical attention to Mark when they encounter him, he will die from his wounds.


Barney’s home is 30 minutes away from the town. The property has a long gravel driveway up to his tiny farm home. As the agents drive up, crude signs saying “FEDS THIS WAY!” with arrows point the direction for the agents to go. The signs lead down a mile-long dirt road, finally ending at the pole-barn.

Barney’s old pickup truck is there; in the back is a rifle, several handguns, boxes of ammunition, and scattered old beer cans. He holds a double-barreled shotgun close to his chest as he paces in front of the pole-barn.

Barney is erratic and paranoid. When talking to the agents, he is constantly looking over their shoulders or darting his eyes. Barney’s core belief is that Mark, the “stranger” as he calls him, must clearly be a threat. Barney has no evidence that Mark is a vector, but the agents also don’t have evidence that he’s not. His only evidence is the “strange noises he’s been hearing at night” and the random appearance of the stranger. A successful HUMINT roll reveals that Mark is genuinely terrified (unless he’s been tortured to near death; then this cannot be ascertained).

The best bet for the agents’ is to appeal to a sense of order and that they are the “good guys” that can handle cases like “the stranger.” They can “take care of the problem,” and Barney can be rewarded for his service to his nation. If the agents can make a convincing case that appeals to Barney’s core belief that he’s done the right thing by alerting them, then they will gain a +20 to a PERSUADE roll opposing Barney’s HUMINT. A successful roll leads to Barney allowing the agents to take Mark away to “be dealt with.”

A failed roll means Barney will not trust the agents; his paranoia will get the best of him, and he will think they are “the stranger’s” allies. At this point, he shoots Mark point-blank with one barrel of the shotgun, killing him instantly; he will still have one shell able to fire at the agents if they move to attack.

Failure to stop Barney from killing Mark results in a 1/1d6 SAN loss in Helplessness for not stopping an innocent from being killed. If the agents do not move to engage Barney, he will not immediately fire upon them; he will wait to see their actions. The agents can talk him down with a successful PERSUADE roll opposing Barney’s HUMINT, starting at a -20% penalty; agents can work up to a base roll by returning to the same core beliefs (i.e. Barney is a good man, we’re the good guys, we can take care of this, and so on).

If the players are forced to kill Barney because he has killed Mark, the handler will recommend putting both bodies in the house and burning the house down. If Barney lives but Mark dies, the handler will recommend having the players “end the problem” and “burn the evidence.” If both Barney and Mark live, the handler will suggest the agents drop off Mark at a bus stop and give him plenty of cash and tell him to “forget about this whole business” while telling Barney they will “be in touch” but to not tell anyone; telling others would put “this great nation at risk from hostiles.”


If the agents decide to investigate Barney’s house, it is mostly a crumbling farm home of no significance. Barney’s internet history is mostly far-right conspiracy theories. However, Barney also does have a tape recording of the “strange sounds” he’s heard in the night the past few months; it sounds like coyotes howling, but there is something just a little “off” about and unsettling about them. It’s probably nothing. Probably.

STR 13, CON 11, DEX 11, INT 12, POW 11, CHA 11
HP 12, WP 14, SAN 30,
Skills: Alertness 40%, Craft (Woodworking) 40%, Craft (Electronics) 30%, Heavy Machinery 50%, Firearms 40%, HUMINT 40%, Persuade 20%, Unarmed 50%

STR 9, CON 10, DEX 10, INT 18, POW 13, CHA 10
HP 10, WP 16, SAN 51,
Skills: Navigate 40%, Art (Creative Writing) 40%, Athletics 30%, HUMINT 50%, Persuade 30%, Unarmed 40%


This was an entry to the 2020 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by Christopher Reed.

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