Trust and paranoia

There are different perspectives on trust within cells of Delta Green agents, an issue that borders on philosophy as well as the problem of insane agents.

Trust is good

Trust and reliability are the main factors in a cell. Which does not mean that you, all of a sudden, start believing the world is wonderful and full of flowers and warmth, and we're all friends and everything shall be for the best. It simply means you believe (and with good reasons) the guy at your back will cover you, not shoot you. The cell is a circle. The paranoia is out of the circle. You need the guys in the circle, and they need you. (Davide Mana)

Trust is bad

The Man in Black responded: Trust is not a quality that should be encouraged in the conspiracy horror genre. Playing paranoid agents is much more fun than playing trusting naive souls. Paranoia is a survival tool and trust is unwise with hidden enemies, spells of imitation, insanity and everything else out there. You can't be sure if your own actions are guided by the invisible hand of some hidden master, or if your cell-mates are themselves, but you have to trust them. This is the horrible paradox of Delta Green.


  • On the contrary, trust and the struggle to maintain it should be one of the main themes of a conspiracy tale. Even The X-Files got that one right. (Peter Miller)
  • Delta Green already has enough potential for agents to become conscienceless killing machines. Conspiracy X or GURPS: Black Ops are recommended for a paranoid gunbunny style without trust. (Steven Kaye)
  • It's fun to toss in the occasional mission that has no Mythos involvement but looks like it does, or to have the possibility that a given event is a trap by covert enemies. However, how many times can you run scenarios with agents ready to shoot each other at a moment's notice before it gets boring? Reservoir Dogs was a fun movie to watch - once. (Steven Kaye)
    • All agents know that if they try to kill their buddies, their buddies will try and kill them. That isn't going to lead to a lack of trust. It's when you start executing people on the far more vague grounds that they're 'endangering the mission' that they become unreliable. (Peter Miller)
  • Recognizing who your real enemies are is a better survival tool than paranoia. (Steven Kaye)
  • Paranoia is all very well, but when you get to the point that you're effectively having to do the mission on your own, because you don't trust one cell-mate and the other thinks you're trying to kill him, you're screwed anyway. There has to be trust within cells, not because it'll always be well-founded, but simply because the conspiracy can't function properly without it. Yes, this will mean you lose cells. Unfortunately, it's preferable to lose a few cells because of misplaced trust than for them all to be unreliable. (Peter Miller)


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