THIS IS MATERIAL FROM THE ICE CAVE. IT HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMATTED.
''From: Marco ''
I am going to make a number of assumptions in the course of this post, so feel free to correct my misconceptions.
I have never seen it stated that DG agents used phony IDs, but I wonder if it might not be a common practice. If a cell/team were investigating a strange occurance, and they came from three agencies that seemed a rather odd combo, say a INS agent, someone from the CDC, and an Air Force OSI agent investigating the disappearance of adolescent girls in an area nowhere near an Air Force Base, where no disease was in evidence, even not very bright npcs might suspect something a bit odd was up.
If such an odd team questioned _me_, I might well call one or more of these agencies, and ask if these guys were legit. I might imagine their non-DG supervisors might be rather interested in their peculiar investigations. I might imagine internal affairs in their agencies might look into their doings also. M12 might even catch wind eventually if the same odd trio repeatedly cropped up at or near weird phenomenon. Heck, even other territorial LEOs might look into things if their jurisdiction seemed threatened.
It seems to me that even if you claimed that the investigators were part of a joint task force, you might have more than one person (partners?) from each agency involved, at least in real life. Would a team maybe all obtain a false ID of an agency that might really have a legitimate interest (such as the FBI in the case of the lost girls).
Might this not perhaps have even worse results, if the real FBI were asked about "agents Smith, Jones, and Doe?" What happens when the real FBI agents hear "some of your fellow agents just asked me the same question earlier," when there were no other agents on the case?
Any thoughts about odd multi-agenct teams, phony IDs, or avoiding complications? Why is this not a regular problem with the teams?
''From: Phil Ward ''
I am going to make a number of assumptions in the course of this post, so feel free to correct
Nope, sounds like a very good question to me; just how do DG agents get away with what they're doing?
My take on the situation:
1. They don't tend to interview and ask questions in groups, even though your simulations might tend to stick together just for safety, in real life (TM), your agents are going to be spread thinly trying to get as much information together as possible in the shortest time. At the worst, operate in pairs, with only on agent showing his badge, and introducing the other one. One agent asks the question, and the other takes notes, and gauges responses. If the interview is performed correctly, then it's possible the witnesses may hardly even notice the 2nd agent.
2. You're not only going to be using agents, friendlies are going to be involved in these investigations. Friendlies might be locals, or they might be people with legitimate interests in the 'incident'. These people will not be so noticeable. Remember, DG agents also come across 'problems' in the course of their legitimate investigations, and may come across many red-herrings before they ever find any evidence of 'occult involvement'. These missions are just as important to the cause, and should be pursued just as vigorously, Removing false leads from our field of interest is also vital work.
3. In order to cultivate deniability, agents should be prepared to use a large number of DG friendlies, all of whom have _no-idea_ that they are doing work for DG. In fact, I would propose a new classification for these people, DG-puppets perhaps? Although the name should probably be changed, so as not have so many negative connotations, in order to avoid problems with signal-intercepts.
4. A senior agent within their cell, or perhaps the cell they report to is often a member of the same organisation, but with a higher clearance/rank. That senior agent can often make things a lot easier for them by arranging secondments and paid vacation-time or 'undercover work'. Otherwise, agents will have to be extremely careful about pursuing their 'little hobby' in work time, so as above, DG friendlies are the ideal option.
5. Fake ID's are a necessity, particularly if they can be tied to someone completely different, but I would reccomend using fake names, and never letting any witnesses get to close a look at the badge, say close enough to discern a badge-number, etc. ID's siezed in other (legitimate) investigations may be extremely useful, if removed from evidence lock-ups without trace.
6. Problems with local law-enforcement are a great difficulty to our cause. I would recommend cultivating good relations with any law enforcement representative who may have a bearing on a current case. Providing them with credit for arrests, forensic data they may otherwise have to wait a long time for, and plausible explanations for any wierd occurences they may find will all go a long way to keeping local LEO's out of our business.
7. In our line of business, everything is a complication, trust no-one, see everything, and always keep one last bullet for yourself.
''From: William Timmins ''
In my campaign, one of the major jobs of friendlies was to provide false IDs and manage security trails for DG agents, as well as responding to departmental inquiries about DG agents.
The joke was the big list of IDs that would spill out when they opened their wallets (I'm CIA… no, wait… FBI… no, wait… apparantly I'm the president of the Gay and Lesbian Association…)
Typically they ran under false names, though I never focused that much on it in my games.
''From: Christian Conkle''
I can tell you that in MY simulations, false ID's are used almost as a neccesity. T-Cell is comprised of a U.S. Marine sniper, a CIA Intel-analyst, with friendlies including a CDC researcher and a U.S. Postal Inspector (the Radio Psychic was killed). None of these people have any kind of business doing any kind of investigative work other than the Postal Inspector.
Therefore, I have them assigned fake ID's just to facilitate the adventure. In one scenario, the agents pretended to be FBI agents while the friendlies were merely consultants. In the next scenario, the PC's had to impersonate U.S. Army security specialists to gain access to a top secret Germ Warfare storage facility. The next week, they were FBI agents again to perform a prisoner exchange with NRO Delta personnel dressed as BATF agents. Those same NRO Delta agents posed as NSA agents a few scenarios ago.
That's one of the great things about being a part of a conspiracy, the obfuscation of your real identity. For media examples, look at Conspiracy Theory, the men from "UNCLE (that nobody talks about)" posed as FBI agents (and newspaper salesmen). In MIB, they posed as everything from INS agents to FBI to CIA. James Bond poses as all kinds of stuff, that's his job.
The creation of false ID's is left to unidentified friendlies within government organizations (see the Friendlies discussion a few weeks ago). ESPECIALLY when working with agents from other cells. You know of their CODENAME, you know of their alias, but you probably don't know their REAL name. And if you do, how do you know THAT'S not an alias?
In one of my sessions, I had Agent TIPPS (John Morsay, CIA analyst), while at the office, see another DG agent, one he THOUGHT was an FBI agent. He had known her as Special Agent Kiki (her codename, which was a mistake on my part), but was suprised that she had CIA credentials and a different name. He was new to DG and followed her a bit, eventually confronting her in the break room. She hushed him, looked around, shut the door, and they proceeded to whisper a short discussion over who she was and what she was doing. Yeah yeah, it's a breach of security and integrity of the cell structure and all that (see previous thread on Inter-Cell communication), but she didn't tell him her REAL name or for whom she REALLY worked for (of course, it's really the CIA, but he don't know that). Besides, it was just such a MOVIE thing to do.
I've said it before, often the truth is often the best misinformation.
''From: Christopher Reeve''
AS a DG Keeper, I thought I would share this wth The Group. I have two new (Fresh Meat!) players who I originally had working for the US Dept. of Agriculture. After some serious weirdness, I transferred them to the FBI. Since their first case upon graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA (Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays) brought them to the attention of DG, I had them "KLLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY" AT LEAST AS FAR AS THE MEDIA WAS CONCERNED AND HAVE NOW ISSUED THEM NEW IDS Your comments are most welcome.
''From: Daniel Harms ''
In the new Harmsian campaign, the agents are temporarily re-assigned to the proper agencies as needed. In "Puppet Shows…", the group was temporarily re-assigned to the FBI, and was provided with the proper badges and credentials - even firearms. (A handgun was provided to the guy from the CDC, to help him fit in with the rest of the group; to his credit, he remained in character and never used it.) Another good idea I've adopted is giving each character a standard cover identity based on their code name; for example, Agent Quentin becomes Quentin Hall of (Agency of the week). That way the players and GMs don't have to get confused about which cover identity their characters are using at the moment, or what the other agents' code names are.
And how does this work with how things might be done in real life? How the hell should I know? ;-)
''From: Shane Ivey''
« Any thoughts about odd multi-agenct teams, phony IDs, or avoiding complications? Why is this not a regular problem with the teams? »
As CO Conkle stated, false identification is the breath of life to Delta Green. When I was a player last year, my character was a CIA operative who may or may not have still been officially attached to the SEAL Team from which he was detached for black ops some ten years before; when the investigation began he bore credentials identifying him as an Army colonel conducting security for USARMIID, and within days he was posing as a DOJ investigator.
The CIA manufactures fake IDs constantly to support the sanctioned and unsanctioned missions of the Operations Directorate, complete with establishing correlated identities for the case officer's background references, past neighbors, past employers, and so forth, calling on other case officers to play these roles and routing the appropriate "local" phone numbers to them. And the CIA is hardly the only intelligence agency around which must equip its operatives with credible false histories. Delta Green is positioned to call on such resources to support its own black operations without compromising its security: the random CIA officer who is posing as a DG agent's past employer, for example, does not need to know anything about the DG agent in question except what is necessary to describe his or her false work history.
''From: "David Farnell" ''
At the worst, operate in pairs, with only on agent showing his badge, and introducing the
other one. One agent asks the question, and the other takes notes, and gauges responses.
If the interview is performed corrrectly, then it's possible the witnesses may hardly even
notice the 2nd agent.
This is just how my players did it recently. One FBI profiler, one CDC viral researcher. The CDC guy rarely talked and never introed himself. While they were in a porn shop, he mostly hung out in the 25-cent movie arcade. (Didn't find much in the way of clues there, but he got some interesting propositions.) Anyway, the pair-work usually worked, as the CDC guy was rarely noticed until he would come up and suddenly ask a question to knock the interviewee off-balance.
DG friendlies, all of whom have _no-idea_ that they are doing work for DG. In fact, I
would propose a new classification for these people, DG-puppets perhaps?
Although the name should probably be changed, so as not have so many negative connotations,
in order to avoid problems with signal-intercepts.
Yeah, we might get a bad rep, especially after we take on that infestation in GB and some of us get turned into Shan puppets. I also have started using the idea of "Friend-of-a-friendlies," which is of course way too cumbersome. These are the contacts that the friendlies have, but who don't have any contact with DG agents at all, or no more than very brief contact. In need, the DG agents can start using them directly, at which point they become friendlies. They still probably don't know anything about DG.
but I would reccomend using fake names, and never letting any witnesses get to close
a look at the badge, say close enough to discern a badge-number, etc.
ID's siezed in other (legitimate) investigations may be extremely useful, if removed from
evidence lock-ups without trace.
Another suggestion for creating a false ID: layering. Don't have a fake ID that, when uncovered, just reveals who you are, or, at the very least, who you aren't. Have another fake ID ready to toss to them. "All right, ya got meI'm not really Special Agent Smithers of the FBI, I'm really…Lemming of the BDA (British Dental Association)!" sez Agent Carstairs of the CIA. Of course, you can't make it so easy (or so silly)they have to work to find out your 2nd-layer fake ID. If they work hard enough, they may believe they've really found you out, and be satisfied and look no further. This could save your ass, or at least DG's collective ass.
always keep one last bullet for yourself.
Hey, can we carry those little suicide pills? Cool.
''From: Andrew ''
The question of false id's has come up a lot recently.
Given the mix of DG and friendlies on any given operation I feel that the use of fake ID's is essential.
In a recent DG scenario things went pear shaped and there was a falling out between the PCs. In fact two PC's (Including mine, Richard Bateman) suspected the other two of being controlled or at the very least, likely to be controlled by some alien entity that they had been exposed to.
As a result DG would no longer have anything to do with the two friendlies.
However the friendlies can identify the DG agents. In the event of an official investigation they owe no loyalty and would expose the others to cover their own backs. Perhaps blackmail would be DG's response.
Additionally if you don't use fake ID's any run ins with rival agencies (eg MJ12) would expose the DG agents to sanction at a latter date. Not a very noce thought.
Richard Bateman (my character) wishes he had used a fake id, he would certainly feel more comfortable upon returning to New York knowing that he was unlikely to be linked to the deaths in Arizona by either the authorities on the MIB with the stealth copter.
''From: Phil Ward ''
«Still, one part of the question remains unanswered. Does a DG team have to worry about running into other feds? Do they have to be careful to dodge the official agents, assuming the investigation is of a crime the law is aware of? Or do the higher ups always have enough juice to make it exclusively a DG op?»
Was that what the question was? Typical gamer, answer the question you want instead of the question that was actually asked :)
OK, odds are the DG can provide them with an official reason to investigate crimes in their 'local area', so they don't have to dodge other LEO's who are involved with investigations. However, as the agents begin to speciailise in a particular type of activity, or if they already have knowledge on specialist subjects, then they are gonig to be called out of their home turf and involved in other investigations. A _lot_ of these are going to be entirely unnoficial, and their 'meddling' in other LEO's investigations might lead to prosecution were they to be caught on the job.
Most of the time, it should be up to the individual team to cover up their involvment, to the point of throwing off other agency's investigations, and providing them with 'simple answers' to occult-related cimes…
It'll make for a more fraught and harrowing game if the PC's choose their own investigations and ahve to side-track and delay the regular police investigations too :-)
Only on Big and Important missions should their higher ups actually get them complete 'control' of an investigation.
This last option seems unlikely, in this day of high-profile media, and activists and politicians
who often adopt sensational crimes as issues and vote-getting opportunities.
Major opportunities there to give your players headaches ;)
DA's who require simple and scandalous answers. Mayors who need quick results so they can be tough on law and orer. Civil right's activists. Talk shows… hmm, talk shows could be a wonderful tool for getting agents involved with investigations…
"This week on Murtaugh: the father of my child lives in the sewers!"
"Next week on Claire; I was impregnated by aliens"…
If you can find a copy of Dark Conspiracy (cheap though, make sure it's cheap), there are some excellent recommendations in their for using Supermarket tabloids for adventure idea's….
''From: Christian Conkle ''
Delta Green is an illegal conspiracy after all, I would expect that, while operating with legitimate agencies, DG Agents have to be particularly careful to cover their tracks and mask their scents (so to speak). So, in answer to your queries:
1. A DG team only has to worry about other Feds if they are doing something patently illegal or illegitimate.
2. They ALWAYS have to be careful to keep their TRUE identities a secret from official agents, but as long as their cover (if any) is solid, then they can interact with legitimate agents.
3. Again, it depends. On a small-scale case, an X-files type of monster-of-the-week case, I'd suspect that the DG infrastructure would be able to keep other agencies out of it and claim exclusivity. If there is agency overlap, that becomes more difficult. Say, for example, a secret militia-cult was smuggling in high-power assault weapons, then the case might involve agents from BATF, the FBI, and, of course, local authorities. DG may be able to plant a few agents in the inter-agency task force, but not all. I have a feeling that DG would, in fact, TRY to put a few agents or friendlies into each of the cooperating agencies, but that's not always possible. In this case, the BATF DG friendly may be given instructions by their cell contact on how to recognize the DG agent or a secret code (masking tape triangle on their car window, whatever).
''From: Christian Conkle ''
Ah, ain't hindsight wonderful? Unfortunately, fake ID's aren't always available. Not only that, but they're worthless if the friendly knows the Agent prior to their affiliation with Delta Green or if the Delta Green agent is working in an official capacity for their legitimate agency. Also, Fake ID's are worhtless if the PC's are identified by the forces of darkness before they are affiliated with DG, and most DG agents are recruited only AFTER they have a run-in with the forces of darkness.
I had this problem in MY campaign, where the PC's all met each other through the course of legitimate investigations for their day-jobs, BEFORE joining DG. The operation turned out to be a run-in with the Forces of Darkness (tm) that DG had arranged. Therefore, all the PC's knew each other before they were recruited. Not only that, but one of the PC's had an encounter with Adolph Lepus and the NRO Speedwagon boys.
This was really fun for the Players and bonded their PC's together, which is essential to ANY Role Playing Game's fun. It might not be realistic, but sometimes, realism has to be sacrificed for playability. If the PC's all distrust each other and the players aren't given any chance to trust the other PC's, then it becomes a bad scene for the game as a whole.