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Delta Green: God's Teeth
[978-1-940410-60-9]
$49.99 $24.99
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
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by Michael [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2024 18:33:42

My spoiler-free review of this campaign is that I liked it, but it's nowhere near as good as the masterpiece that is Impossible Landscapes. It features copious amounts of both child abuse and animal abuse, to the point that even I as an experienced CoC and DG GM would be hesitant to run it for any table, even a group of my friends. And it doesn't really feel like a Lovecraftian horror campaign, more like a gritty detective drama with some supernatural elements.

Potential spoilers from here on:

God's Teeth begins with the Agents being contacted by a rogue DG operative for an unsanctioned operation. They are to travel to a remote orphanage/farm and kill the 4 adults there, all of whom are abusing the children. This sets into motion a series of events which leads to the Agents returning to cover their tracks 15 years later and to deal with the fallout of what happened at that orphanage.

It turns out that the orphanage was a cover for a cult of Shub-Niggurath which was led by a powerful witch seeking the recipe for immortality. This recipe just so happened to involve the heinous abuse of both children and animals.

15 years after the Agents kill the witch and her lackeys, two shocking murders occur just days apart. The murder victims can both be traced back to the orphanage, and it isn't long until the Agents discover that the culprits are a group of children who survived that horrible place. It turns out that the Agents themselves, the group of survivors, and any number of other people and animals are just pawns in a game of chess being played by an ancient, hungry god. They are the God's Teeth.

To address the elephant in the room, yeah, this campaign delves into some really heavy stuff. Honestly the animal abuse depicted in this scenario bothered me far more than the child stuff, especially because it frequently involved domestic animals like dogs and cats. I've run many, many horror RPGs for many different groups and I consider myself to be pretty good at knowing when to delve into disturbing content and when to ease off, but I don't think I could ever run God's Teeth for any group. It's just hard for me imagine any group of people having fun playing this particular scenario at a table, no matter how much they like Delta Green or how unbothered they think they would be by animal/child abuse.

I’m not a prude; I love all sorts of dark and disturbing stuff and gore and taboo subjects. But in my opinion, the content depicted in this scenario crosses a line where it just becomes impossible to have any sort of fun playing pretend characters in a fake world, even if that world is supposed to be full of macabre, morbid secrets. And that's a shame because I really like a lot of the stuff in this book.

But there is a lot of other plot stuff in God's Teeth that I'm not a huge fan of. I thought that the Shub-Niggurath cult was way more interesting than Bast and her hunger, but unfortunately that cult is kind of just an inciting force for the campaign and nothing more.

All of the plot points, characters, locations, and themes depicted in this book just don't really come together in a satisfying way. It felt like the author had a lot of really cool ideas and really tried his hardest to make them all work together, but he couldn't quite do it.

Honestly, I think he would have done much better to just leave out the child abuse stuff and all of the weird predeterminism stuff and to write a campaign that is just a group of Agents working in the service of Bast - either knowingly or unknowingly - to take down a Shub-Niggurath cult.

The whole section that starts off the second chapter in 2016, wherein the Agents travel back to Maryland to assist in uncovering a mass grave at the orphanage, just seems unnecessary and out of place. Your Agents are supposed to get really into the idea of crafting an official narrative around the crimes and deciding which agency to blame for the whole mess, but I'm just not sure that any group is going to get too invested in this part. It kind of just feels like a waste of 5-6 game sessions to me.

Fortunately a lot of the other sections are a lot stronger and more compelling, but like I said before, God's Teeth just doesn't have that Lovecraft feel for me.

The book itself is well-written, though, and I like the little "synchronicity" moments, even if they feel like they're trying to imitate the feel of the surreal moments from Impossible Landscapes.

Maybe your particular group will absolutely love this scenario, but for me, it's hard to imagine sitting at a table with 3-5 people on a Saturday night and actually having fun with many of the parts of this campaign, no matter who those 3-5 people are and how skillfully I present the content as a Handler.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Delta Green: God's Teeth
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