Operation Lamp

Briefing: Agents have been tasked with impersonating a locally hired film crew for PhenomX. Recent reports that have been mysteriously kept out of the public confirm that several PhenomX film crews have gone missing. The Program suspects that there is a vector involved.

Agents have been living in Athens Georgia for the past two weeks becoming familiar with the city. They are en route to pickup their PhenomX host, Carter Mason and a “special celebrity guest”, John Malkovich.

The program has suspected there was more to PhenomX when their film crews started disappearing. The last four productions have evaded surveillance and the program has decided to send a team in.

Executive Summary:
PhenomX has been covertly used as a tool by a small group of extremely dangerous serpentmen. John Malkovich, their leader, has used the media company to gather resources to begin/finish a ritual that is taking place at several times in history. Given that humans experience time in a linear fashion, these rituals either ended without disturbance or were never encountered but the efforts of the serpentmen is to change the orientation of time and eradicate causality as we conceive of it. All time will become simultaneous.

Malkovich and Mason will leading the film crew to an old plantation in a rural part of Georgia to conduct the first/last part aspect of the ritual. They will maintain the charade of a television program, leading the crew into a vast sugar cane field that is affected by the concurrent rituals. Once in the field, they will leave the crew, like those before them, to starve, as sacrifice.

Malkovich and Carter:
Malkovich is a vain, megalomaniacal ass. Carter is a syncophant, enjoy.

The Sugar Cane Field:
The field is imposing, dark, dry at the top, thick in the middle and swampy at the bottom. Sounds carry unnaturally well and players should always be hearing Malkovich and Mason (mostly Malkovich) talking about his career, his hot takes on politics, science, art etc. (Think deranged Richard Dawkins x Slavoj Zizek) The plants are easily 12ft tall and the field, from an outside perspective, is roughly 20 acres. Inside it is beyond measurable dimensions. Numerous, unfortunates litter the interior of the field, at different stages of time and in different states of starvation, some have gone cannibal. Realizing that the field is an unnatural territory is a 2/1d6+1 SAN loss.
Navigating the field requires a successful realization of its’s unnatural properties and then a failed Navigate roll. This will allow agents to find their way inward coincidentally facing greater dangers from starving animals, survivors, and large serpents that have thrived in these conditions. Handlers should not let the players know that successful Navigate skill checks are actually negatively affecting them but Handlers should allow any player to make a skill check. (Each skill check to navigate the field takes 10 minutes of time.)

Handler can offer to let them roll Intelligence or Survival instead. Use the same mechanics but for the offered skill/stat.

The following table can be used by Handlers upon successful Navigate rolls:
1-10 A large serpent has been stalking one member of the party and attacks them
12-21 1d4 cannibals come across the group and attack
23-32 The group notices a large cat/starving dog before it attacks them
34-54 The group stumbles into a deep part of the bog which will act as quicksand. (Survival -10%, Athletics -20% or DEX -30% check to leave the bog without loosing an essential piece of gear)
56-65 The group is separated and must perform a SAN check for helplessness.
67-77 The group realizes they are following themselves, 1/1d4 SAN loss

Fumbles should be more lethal or frustrating versions of either result.

The following table can be used by Handlers upon failed Navigate rolls:
100- The group stumbles upon Malkovich and Mason who will flee once the gunfire starts.
98-89 The group finds an abandoned police or met vehicle (inoperable) but valuable resources can be found inside (weapons, water/meals, armor or first aid kits etc.)
87-78 The group finds a benevolent guide who will aid them in locating Malkovich and Mason. The guide has acclimated to the field and understands how to navigate it. This should be played by the Handler as someone who is adapted to Helplessness and is mildly deranged.
76-67 The group finds a needed resource (food, water, ammunition, aid etc.)
65-56 The group notices the sounds of chanting cultists moving through the field and can, upon successfull stealth checks, follow them to the altar.
54-45 The group confronts Mason who has been separated from Malkovich
44-34 The group smells Malkovichs’ cologne and can track him, leading to a confrontation.
32-23 The group arrives at the altar before Malkovich and Mason.
21-12 The group ambushes Malkovich and Mason.

Malkovich and Mason will talk loudly to one another while moving through the field, namely about Malkovich’s career. Their destination is an altar at which they will spend 1d4+2 hours performing a ritual that will collapse/condense time. It will take them 1 hour to successfully navigate the maze (from the agents’ perspective)

Running this Scenario:
The mechanics of the field are meant to challenge the players’ expectations when performing skill checks. Begin by making the rolls for the ritual’s time. Players should be able to hear Malkovich begin the ritual which will let them know time is running out.

The players should ALWAYS be able to hear Malkovich talking. Handlers would do well to play interviews with him in the background during this scenario. Handlers should vacillate between grotesque, race against the clock horror and absurd megalomaniacal humor.

Monstrous Serpent A snake is just a stomach wrapped in muscle and tipped with teeth
STR 19 INT 9 HP 19
CON 19 POW 12
DEX 10 CHA 0
Attacks: Constrict 70% (1d4hp per round), Bite 50% 1d3HP
Skills Stealth 80%, Slither (flee) 70% Search 80%

  • Snake will attempt to flee if it looses more than half HP.
  • Upon death, players can find 1d3 sharpened hand weapons (machete, knife etc) in it.

Cannibal Gaunt, grim and deathly silent.
STR 12 INT 7 HP 11
CON 10 POW 5 WP 5
DEX 15 CHA 1 SAN 0
Weapons: Machete or Club
Skills: Stealth 80% Alertness 50%, Athletics 50%, Dodge 60%,
First Aid 50%, Search 70&

Benevolent Guide Silently whispering hunched figure, alert, terrified.
STR 11 INT 15 HP 10
CON 9 POW 14 WP 12
DEX 12 CHA 5 SAN 30
Rituals: Know Path (-3WP to know path to stated destination, 5 minutes, 1 hour to teach)


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

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