Operation Ask Alice

A quantum pointcrawl through the Sedona Dreamlands[1].


In the mountain college town of Flagstaff, Arizona, NAU biochemistry professor and Delta Green Agent Taylor is obsessed over the results of the MKULTRA experiments and its pertinence to Delta Green. In their search for complete knowledge, Taylor has discovered a library in the Dream Canyon, a localized variation of the Dreamlands, containing vital information. Taylor has gone on an expedition to find the library.
Unfortunately, Taylor’s now stuck in the Dream Canyon. In addition, Delta Green needs their specialized expertise for an upcoming Opera. After not getting a response from Taylor, Delta Green sends in a recovery team to find and recover Agent Taylor.


Agents fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor and drive north on I-17 to meet their Case Officer in Rock Springs Cafe, partway between Phoenix and Flagstaff. After offering the Agents a bite of key lime pie, the Case Officer quietly briefs them on OPERATION ASK ALICE:

  • Agent Taylor knows specialized information essential for an upcoming Opera.
  • Agent Taylor has not responded to any recent invitations.
  • Your objective is to find and recover Taylor alive, and return them to the Case Officer.

The Case Officer provides them Taylor’s home and office addresses, and a to-go box of remaining pie.

Taylor’s Apartment

A small, rustic, and messy 1-bedroom, 1-bath apartment.

  • Desk: Computer, stand-alone VR headset, and wheeled drone with camera
    • Two boxes for drones, but only one drone
    • Spare film for instant camera
  • Bed: Cluttered with books and hand-written notes
    • Anthropology/History 30% or INTx5 roll: books and annotations about the library of Alexandria and both the Tower of and Library of Babel (high-volume records).
    • CompSci, Microelectronics, or Science (Engineering or Mathematics) 40%: theory-light articles and books on data coding, signal processing, and file compression (record storage).
    • Multiple receipts for all books, purchased from the local Day Dreamers Bookstore.

Taylor’s Office

An easily accessible office at NAU.

  • Sticky note on the door:

“Out hiking for the week.
- Taylor”

* The door is unlocked

  • Cluttered L-shaped desk with numerous 3-ring binders and miscellaneous papers
    • Binders with FIOA-acquired writings on MKUltra and Stargate Project.
      • Pharmacy 40% or Science (Biology) 60%: Notes in the margins point out probable dosages for various hypnosis and “psychic” experiments.
      • Mention participants vividly hallucinating a fantastic location called “The Dream Canyon.”
    • Damaged Moleskin
      • Various surveillance notes on the Day Dreamers bookstore/bar
        • Late-night attendance by well-packed hikers
            • All don’t seem to leave the store
          • Photos of the perimeter, noting only two doors (1 front, 1 back)
            • A small foxhole near the side is also noted
          • Foreign Language (Handler’s pick): Taylor finds the owner of the store off-kilter, as if they’re barely maintaining sanity.

Day Dreamers Bookstore/Bar

A combination bookstore and bar. Cozy and warm.

  • Owned and primarily operated by Patricia Lachowsky
    • Ghoul in hiding. Takes gross amount of sedatives to minimize non-human behaviors during business hours
    • Allows access to the Dream Canyon in exchange for the retrieval of dangerous items
    • Will grant the Agents access if they return with a photo of the “Dream Haunt”
  • The Bookstore
    • Normal bookstore
    • Sells instant film cameras
    • Local college students stock the shelves and check out customers
  • The Bar
    • Adorned with photos resembling local Sedona outdoors and Grand Canyon
      • Seem to have various color filters applied, despite being instant film prints
    • Entrance to the Dream Canyon is behind a locked utilities door
  • Outside
    • Search or INTx5 or the Agents declare it: foxhole (from the picture) found
      • Agents can use this to enter the Dream Canyon (sans personal items)

The Dream Canyon

The Dream Canyon is a localized permutation of the Dreamlands, arranged in a labyrinth of canyons and tunnels drenched in a neon sun.

Entering the Dream Canyon

There are two ways of entering the Dream Canyon:

  1. Remote: use the VR headset found in APARTMENT.
    • Requires a Drone to physically enter the Dream Canyon (see Physical below)
    • Recharges when powered off (or plugged in the real world)
    • Observes its location as long as its on
  2. Physical: enter via the utility closet or the foxole of the Day Dreamers.
    • Explorers physically enter

Observation in the Dream Canyon

Like in surreal dreams, unobserved objects/scenes in the Dream Canyon have indeterminate and changing characteristics.

Whenever an object/scene is being observed (touched, seen, heard), it is temporarily locked in place, and the characteristics being observed cannot randomly change.

Observation can be performed by a creature that is directly observing the object or scene, or it can be remote via a recording. Recordings include photos and video, including live drone footage. Observing a recording is identical to observing the actual object.
However, once something stops being observed, its characteristics are free to change. This holds for small characteristics, like color or texture, and for large characteristics (like the arrangement of rooms). This makes backtracking almost impossible, unless the Agents are clever about observation.

In addition, if a recorded object/scene is observed to be different from the recording, the recording no longer provides a proxy for observation and becomes useless.

Dream Haunt

The Dream Haunt is the native apex predator of the Dream Canyon. It is susceptible to the observation rules,

  • Goals: Capture the souls or bodies of its prey for harvesting
  • Characteristics:
    • Familiar: The Dream Haunt will take on the familiar face or form of someone the Agents personally know
    • Retaliative: Whenever the Dream Haunt dies, it will resurrect and use the same method on its killers as they used on it.


When entering the Dream Canyon, roll 1D4 to determine the starting location. Alternatively, if the Agents are observing a different location (via valid photograph or drone footage), Agents start at that location instead.
Navigating the Dream Canyon is performed over a number of Turns. Once per Turn, the Agents may choose to do one of three things:

  • Stay here: Agents stay in the current location and investigate.
  • Proceed: Agents move to a new location. If the current location isn’t being observed, roll 1D4 for the new location.Roll 1D4 + number of observed locations for the new location.
  • Go back: Agents attempt to move to a previous location. If the previous location isn’t being observed, roll 1D4 for the “previous” location. If the previous location is being observed, Agents return to that location.

At the end of every Turn, every Agent physically present loses SAN 0/1, and Drones lose 1 Power.
After Turn 2, the Dream Haunt goes on the prowl. Every Turn while the Dream Haunt isn’t being observed and isn’t dead, roll 1D4 for the Dream Haunt’s location.
Encourage your players to try and draw a map of the Dream Canyon. It’ll be fun.

Table: Location sin the Dream Canyon [2]

Roll 1D4+Observed Locations New Location
1 R1: Base Camp
2 R2: The Slide Rock
3 R3: Cacti Barrels
4 R4: The Den
5+ R5: The Library

R1: Base Camp

Open canyon amphitheater littered with camping supplies

  • Wheeled Drone
    • Powered off
  • Contains the only exit out of the Dream Canyon
    • Small foxhole
    • Large door labeled backwards “Utility Closet”

R2: The Slide Rock

A series of cascading streams and drops

  • Whenever a stream or drop isn’t being observed, its location and speed change
  • Fish populate the stream
    • Change color and size when not being observed[3].
  • Unless Agents are being careful (via observation or explicitly safe hiking), each rolls Athletics to pass. Fumble costs 1HP.

R3: Cacti Barrels

A twisting labyrinth often blocked by giant barrel cactus

  • Four pathways out, with two cacti in each barrel cacti in two of them[4].
  • Unless both cacti are being observed, the pathway out is blocked

R4:The Den

An infinitely high pit housing the Dream Haunt’s captured prey

  • Dead bodies of hikers
    • Brains, throats, eyes, and ears torn out (SAN 0/1)
  • Immense collection of art and media: vinyl records, books, video tapes
    • No special hardware to consume these media

R5+: The Library

A cliffside stone library overlooking an ever-shifting desert.

  • Stone Bookshelves
    • Probably infinite row of indexed stone tablets
    • Indexed via an unknown system
  • Stone computer
    • Giant mechanical computer with giant lever keys and rotary display
    • If asked a question, it will return the index for a stone tablet that contains a pertinent answer
    • Agent Taylor is nearly exhausted while inputting questions
      • Has a broken arm, no more ammo in their pistol
      • Has forgotten the question they came in here for in the first place
      • Hasn’t left yet because they’re afraid of the Dream Haunt


If the Agents successfully rescue Agent Taylor from the Dream Canyon, they gain 1 SAN.
If the Agents kill the Dream Haunt once and never encounter it again, they gain 1 SAN.
If the Agents capture a valid photograph of the Dream Haunt and return the photo to Patricia Lachowsky, they gain 1D4 SAN.

Appendix: Stat Blocks

The Dream Haunt

STR: 21, DEX: 14, CON: 19, INT: 12
HP: 20
SAN loss: 1/1D6 SAN (first viewing), 0/1 SAN (second viewing after killing them the first time)

  • Familiar: The Dream Haunt will take on the familiar face or form of someone the Agents personally know.
  • Retaliative: Whenever the Dream Haunt dies, it will resurrect and use the same method on its killers as they used on it.


Operation Ask Alice was written by Sammy J/Staggered Amusement Machine for the 2021 shotgun scenario contest.

Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QkMLMTlh8C1nlxBea7kvnt4VacrZTpp3l8iNQVHP5vw/edit.

Notes and suggestions after playtesting

  • Players spent a lot of time in Flagstaff before entering The Dream Canyon. They were especially suspicious of Patricia. Expedite this process if you can, and make it clear that Patricia is sincere and helpful (perhaps by offering to answer questions if they return and give up).
  • The players quickly picked up on the first observation rule. However, they had trouble realizing the second rule (looking at a photo counts as observation). Try and add extra clues that point to that conclusion. Alternatively, leave field recordings from Agent Taylor that talk about it, or remind the PCs that Patricia might know the answer.
1. PS: Technically just a "naturally-occurring" inner-space.
2. This table was initially absent from the original version. It has been added for clarity and convenience.
3. Added missing word "observed"
4. Small correction in content. The original text is strikethroughed.
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