Campaign Seed: Project GAMMA YELLOW.

Just my little joke.

Project GAMMA YELLOW – Google Docs



NATO’s GAMMA YELLOW project would be legendary in the conspiracy theory community, if only any of them had ever heard of it.  But there are in fact certain security restrictions that people do take seriously, and the ones involving GAMMA YELLOW fall in that category.  It helps that the classification is at a level that can be beyond the reach of mere ministers of defense, or even some heads of states. For example, no American President has been briefed on GAMMA YELLOW since Jimmy Carter, and that was widely (for given values of ‘widely’) seen as being a horrendous mistake.

GAMMA YELLOW, to put it succinctly, involves your particular campaign’s various Western military-industrial complexes truly know about the supernatural and/or metaphysical. The default assumption is that whatever they do know is deeply scary: this is the response to a worldwide vampiric conspiracy or slowly wakening Great Old Ones, not one to the revelation that .0001% of the population can be trained to move cigarette ash with the power of their minds.  Assuming that there’s a Horrible Secret at that level in said campaign, GAMMA YELLOW is there to destroy it. Not delay the inevitable, not learn how to accommodate or appease the Gathering Dark.  The goal is destruction of the menace, root and branch, and the people who secretly run GAMMA YELLOW have some justified confidence that they have the tools to do the job.


What are the jobs?  The same as in any government conspiracy supernatural horror game, of course: analyze cult activities, investigate bizarre occult crimes, thwart the incipient end of the world.  The difference is, most investigators start out not realizing that there’s really any sort of thing as the supernatural.  They’ll know by the time their first job is done, of course, and if they survive it they’ll rather quickly learn the virtues of keeping their mouths shut about how weird the world truly is. Aside from everything else, the only people who will believe them would be all the other weirdos out there.


Unlike many other supernatural government conspiracies, GAMMA YELLOW is not an organization that you join; it’s a set of tasks that you’re temporarily detailed to. Most people doing the jobs don’t know that they’re part of a larger whole, because they’re not cleared to know that. The good news is that a botched GAMMA YELLOW operation typically does not end with the operators being hung out to dry: they are instead carefully exonerated of any wrongdoing (with a suitably nasty patsy becoming the fall guy, if necessary), and never again used for another GAMMA YELLOW operation. Talking about that weird case that you had once is also a good way to never get assigned a GAMMA YELLOW job, too.


But some government and/or military agents figure out that something’s going on.  And that whoever’s running the show is willing to do what it takes to get results, as long as things are done quickly, cleanly, and quietly.  Those agents end up with more jobs, often in somewhat exotic parts of the world. It’s not a bad gig, if you don’t ask stupid questions and don’t keep too-extensive records of what you did, and who you did it to.  Although at least who you do it to typically had it coming anyway.  The people running GAMMA YELLOW don’t really care about non-dangerous weird stuff, although they themselves keep track of weird stuff that might become dangerous. This includes favored agents who learn how to do some magic or psionics or Weird Science for themselves. Assuming that they can handle it, that’s also a good way to get more GAMMA YELLOW jobs. If you can’t handle it, well: they certainly know where you live.
GM note: Essentially, this is a framework for a Men in Black RPG campaign that avoids the basic existential bleakness of Delta Green; the instinctive revulsion towards using supernatural powers of The Esoterrorists; the perhaps slightly over-the-top power levels in GURPS Black Ops; and the American-centric, and somewhat morally nebulous, focus of Conspiracy X. Which are all great games, of course. And certainly the assumptions behind GAMMA YELLOW could be changed to create a campaign more suited to any of the game worlds listed above.

2 thoughts on “Campaign Seed: Project GAMMA YELLOW.”

  1. Stross’s ‘Laundry’ books are probably worth a mention as well. Though since a good chunk of the humor in some of the books is about discussing how a government bureaucracy (emphasis on that second word) would deal with various horrors, it doesn’t exactly fit well with the “one and done” emphasis mentioned above.

  2. I admire your self-control. I don’t know if I would have been able to resist calling it “a kinder, gentler DELTA GREEN.” 🙂

Comments are closed.