Cooler Heads

A hostage/crisis negotiation for the 2022 Shotgun Scenario Contest

Handler’s Summary

Lt. Elena Guerra-Olawale, intelligence analyst for the USSF’s Space Delta 7, is undergoing an Unnatural crisis. She’s infected with an extraterrestrial brain virus, called “The Mind,” that’s destroying her mind and is propagating through her. Believing only extreme measures will save her, she’s holding hostages at CU Boulder’s Norlin Library and demanding an audience with MAJESTIC.

The Delta Green Agents must manage this crisis and rescue the hostages by investigating the assailant, negotiating with Guerra-Olawale, coordinating and managing everyone, and defeating The Mind.

The Mind

The Mind is an interstellar memetic parasite, from an entropic planet orbiting Tau Ceti, that was detected by an NRO satellite. Originally classified for Delta Green study, bureaucratic confusion from the creation of the USSF tasked its analysis by non-DG analyst Lt. Guerra-Olawale.

The Mind propagates through communication (speaking and reading) and contact with infected neurons. Every time The Mind tries to infect a target, the target rolls 0/1D4 SAN loss from Unnatural. If the target loses SAN, they are “infected” with The Mind. Whenever the target loses half their remaining WP or goes Temporarily Insane, their brain is modified and one Motivation is swapped for one of The Mind’s Motivations. The Mind’s Motivations persist after hitting Breaking Points. Attempting to act on old Motivations replaced by The Mind’s inflicts 0/1D4 SAN loss from Unnatural.

In addition, The Mind controls the target’s body when they are at 0WP, speaking with a flat demeanor. They only regain WP from acting on The Mind’s Motivations.


  • Propagate through more sapient beings
  • Increase entropy
  • Destroy hierarchies


Agents are deployed to CU Boulder’s Norlin Library. Lt. Elena Guerra-Olawale, analyst for the USSF’s Space Delta 7, has taken hostages, boarded up windows and doors, and claims to have a bomb. She demands to speak to someone with “MAJESTIC clearance.”
Agents’ objectives are:

  • Determine number of hostages in the library and rescue them,
  • Communicate with Lt. Guerra-Olawale, ascertain her threat and knowledge of MAJESTIC and Delta Green, and determine her demands,
  • Reduce the risk of exposure - there are news crews on the scene.


There are twelve hostages in the library, all located on the third floor room M350B. All the doors are electronically locked, and the windows on the second and third floors are shuttered. Guerra-Olawale has let two hostages keep their phones and monitors them closely.
Lt. Guerra-Olawale is showing force: in addition to her M4, she has placed many decoy “bomb bags” throughout the first and second floors, but has only live bomb as a suicide vest. It will detonate if her heart stops or she triggers it.


Negotiation is an important part of handling crises and hostage situations. When an Agent wants to negotiate with Guerra-Olawale, they speak with her for ~10-60min to perform one of the following Actions. Other Agents can be performing other activities (like investigating or dealing with Complications), but only one Agent can talk to Guerra-Olawale at a time.
If The Mind has control of Gurerra-Olawale, it will try to infect the Agent during these conversations.
Failure can also cause Complications per GM fiat.

Gather Information

HUMINT, Psychotherapy, or INTx5-20% (vs Disguise if The Mind has control).

  • Critical: gain 2 information.
  • Success: gain 1 information.
  • Failure: gain 1 information and lose 1D4WP.
  • Fumble: gain 1 information and lose 4WP.

See Investigation and Only learned in conversation for a list of information to be gained.

Make a deal

The Agent proposes a plan. Roll Persuade vs Persuade. Agent gains +20% per Guerra-Olawale's current Motivation benefited, -20% per Guerra-Olawale's current Motivation hindered. -20% if the plan is notably complicated or requires Gurerra-Olawale exposing herself.

  • Critical: As Success, but 4WP instead.
  • Success: Gurerra-Olawale picks between accepting the plan or losing 1D4WP. If the plan is agreed to, both parties must fulfill it to the best of their abilities.
  • Failure: Target rejects plan and provides information as to why it’s a bad plan.
  • Fumble: Failure, plus Agent loses 1D4 WP.


Psychotherapy (vs POWx5 if The Mind has control).

  • Success: pick one
    • Calm: Either Gurerra-Olawale receives 1D4WP and The Mind recedes, or the Target is no longer Distressed or Irritated
    • Irritate: Agent takes -20% to Make a deal, +20% to Distract. Gurerra-Olawale will always choose to lose WP. Target is no longer Dejected.
    • Deject: Agent takes +20% to Make a deal, but -20% to Distract. Gurerra-Olawale will never choose to lose WP. Target is no longer Irritated.
  • Failure: Agent picks either nothing or to Calm but loses 1D4WP.
  • Fumble: Agent loses 4WP.


  • Disguise or CHAx5-20% vs HUMINT or INTx5-20%
  • Critical: As Success, but -40% or 4WP.
  • Success: Gurerra-Olawale picks either -20% to her next check (including Alertness vs SWAT’s Stealth) or losing 1D4WP.
  • Failure: Nothing.
  • Fumble: Agent loses 1D4 WP


Here are three optional complications that can result from falling Negotiation actions.

Guerra-Olawale’s Backup Plan

If progress is too slow, Guerra-Olawale has two backup plans: propagating through the hostages (based on the lie by The Mind that it’ll cure her), and then obliterating herself via the suicide vest. A failed Luck roll indicates a hostage is infected with The Mind. After all hostages are infected, a failed Luck roll +20% indicates Guerra-Olawale will resort to the bomb.

The Mind’s Plan

Once The Mind has taken over, it wants to directly propagate over news & social networks. It’ll use the hostages’ phones to infect journalists and viewers. 1D10 people are infected with The Mind.


As Agents fail, SWAT might take matters into their own hands. If Guerra-Olawale’s or The Mind’s plans have started, that might motivate SWAT.

Failed Luck roll indicates a commotion (from the hostages as a result of Guerra-Olawale’s backup, from news media as a result of The Mind’s plan), which will cause SWAT to ready and grow impatient.

Fumbled Luck roll instead indicates someone is injured as a result of these plans: a panicking hostage falls out a window or news crews start hysterically infecting SWAT with The Mind. SWAT will immediately begin breaching the library unless the Agents stop them.


  • Investigation and acts of discovery will run parallel to any Negotiations. The following can be learned by an Agent Gathering Information from the Target or Agents going out and investigating/researching with the skill listed:
  • (Bureaucracy or talking): Guerra-Olawale has a wife (Alice) and one child (Ruby) (4yo)
  • (Bureaucracy or talking): Guerra-Olawale doesn’t know what MAJESTIC is, merely found related analyses labeled MAJESTIC.
  • (Bureaucracy, MilSci, Medicine, or talking): all her fellow guardians that worked on this either committed suicide or have been arrested for battery.
  • (Search or talking): Guerra-Olawale is infected with an intelligence she calls “The Mind.”
  • (Bureaucracy, CompSci, SIGINT, or talking) The Mind’s signal was originally collected by an NRO satellite
  • (HUMINT, MilSci, Psychotherapy, or talking): Guerra-Olawale is Motivated to:
    • Bring honor, security, and prosperity to her family,
    • Bring glory to the USSF and help build its legacy.

Only learned in conversation

  • The Mind speaks to her, and sometimes for her.
  • The Mind started out as trusting (like another inner voice), but grew demanding.
  • The Mind told her she will be free of it if she infects others. She doesn’t entirely trust it, but is short on options.
  • Guerra-Olawale has secretly battled depression her whole life. At this point, she’s less concerned about dying than about protecting her daughter.
    • Motivation: keep Ruby innocent from the truth about The Mind.

Only learned by researching

  • (Astronomy, CompSci, SIGINT): the origin signal for The Mind isn’t terrestrial - it came from outer space (SAN 0/1).
  • (Biology, Psychotherapy): The Mind is a highly-competitive meme, evolved to modify its environment for survival (SAN 0/1).
  • (Biology, Psychotherapy): Motivations of The Mind.
  • (Biology, Medicine, Surgery): studying someone infected shows they have a new lobe in their brain, and new connection fibers throughout their nervous system (SAN 0/1D4).
    • It can’t possibly just “leave” Guerra-Olawale.
    • +1D4% Unnatural.
  • (HUMINT, Psychotherapy with wife): Guerra-Olawale is fundamentally incapable of inflicting lethal harm on somebody.
    • Motivation: Keep people safe.


Kill The Mind

There are a few possible ideas on killing The Mind:

  • Inducing memory loss in the infected,
  • Lobotomizing the infected,
  • Heavily medicating the infected,
  • Solitary confinement,
  • Have it fight other memes (like Yellow Sign).

SAN Rewards

  • +1D4 SAN for rescuing at least half the hostages, +1 SAN for at least one hostage.
    • 0/1D4 SAN loss from Helplessness if a hostage dies.
  • +1 SAN for keeping Guerra-Olawale alive.
    • 0/1 SAN loss from Helplessness if you tell her family how she died.
  • +1D6 SAN for developing a solution to kill The Mind.

Appendix: Stat Blocks

Lt. Elena Guerra-Olawale

US Space Force ISR Analyst, Space Delta 7
STR 11 CON 11 DEX 12 INT 15 POW 14 CHA 10
HP 11 WP 12/14 SAN 56 BP 42
Motivations and Disorders (descending order of importance):

  • Bring honor, security, and prosperity to her family,
  • Keep Ruby innocent from the truth about The Mind,
  • Keep people safe,
  • Bring glory to the USSF propagate through more sapient beings (see The Mind).
  • Depression (AH pg 70).

Armor: 3 points of armor

Skills: Alertness 50%, Athletics 50%, Bureaucracy 50%, CompSci 60%, Craft (Electrician & Mechanic) 30%, Craft (Microelectronics) 40%, Demolitions 40%, Disguise 30%, Firearms 40%, Persuade 40%, Science (Astrodynamics) 40%, Science (Math) 40%, SIGINT 60%, Unarmed 40%, Unnatural 4%.

Attacks: Unarmed 40%, 1D4-1.
M4 w/ holographic sight 60%, 1D12, Lethality 10%.
Suicide vest, Lethality 30%, Kill Radius 2m.


Provided by Jake “ChiefMcClane” Cook
STR 15 CON 14 DEX 12 INT 10 POW 11 CHA 10
HP 15 WP 11
Armor: 5 points of armor, 1 point of Kevlar helmet
Skills: Alertness 50%, Athletics 40%, Bureaucracy 40%, Criminology 50%, Dodge 40%, Drive 50%, Firearms 60% , Forensics 30%, Heavy Weapons 50%, HUMINT 60%, Law 30%, Persuade 50%, Search 50%, Stealth 40%, Unarmed Combat 60%.
Attacks: AR-15 w/ holographic sight 80%, Lethality 10%.
Shotgun w/ holographic 80% 2d10 damage (use shotgun range rules, pg 97 Agent’s Handbook).


Cooler Heads was written by Sammy J, the "Staggered Amusement Machine" for the 2022 Shotgun Scenario contest.

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.