- “My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.”
— “The Rifleman’s Creed,” as quoted in Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)
Spy stories, war stories, and horror stories: The Fall of DELTA GREEN contains all of them. And all of them contain, encompass, even (ahem) fetishize weapons. While every player knows that bringing a gun to a tentacle fight may not always be the best idea, every player in their secret heart of hearts thinks to themselves, “But what if I brought a better gun to a tentacle fight?”
Herewith a few of those better guns, guns emblematic of the decade or just too cool to ignore. I weep at giving short shrift to the standard Communist bloc small arms (the Kalashnikov AKM 7.62mm assault rifle (d+0; L1 on full auto) and the Makarov PM 9mm pistol (d+1)), bypassing the fun Czechoslovak “Skorpion” SA Vz. 61 7.65mm submachine pistol (d+0; L1 on full auto but only at Close range unless fired from the shoulder with stock attached and extended), and avoiding the temptation to gun-neepery about the 1962 re-vamp of the venerable FN Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol (d+1).
I’m less busted up at ignoring the ridiculous GyroJet 13mm rocket pistol (d+0 Point-Blank and Close, d+1 Near and Long, no Point-Blank damage bonus, natural 1 an automatic miss) despite its appearance in You Only Live Twice. If the finicky Stoner 63A 5.56mm LMG (L1* on a bipod mount) actually had any advantages besides being convertible to an assault rifle or carbine (30-round box magazine, d+0, L1 fully auto) I could convince myself to write it up. The Navy SEALs liked it a lot and carried it for 20 years after first deploying with it in 1967, which I suspect comes down to its 150-round drum magazine and low weight compared to the M60. DELTA GREEN probably has some use for a 10-pound assault rifle that can become a light machine gun in less than a minute (Mechanics test Difficulty 4, Diff 3 with Firearms or Heavy Weapons).
The gun writeups I did get to here include their potentially applicable “Gun Cherries” (Double Tap, pp. 74-75), any special rules to more closely model their action, and even a clue that Agents can plink with the relevant Investigative Ability.
AAI QSPR Tunnel Weapon .44 Magnum pistol
For the extremely close-quarters fighting in the Viet Cong tunnels, “tunnel rats” needed a weapon that was silent (in a tunnel, echoing gun blasts deafened shooters and warned foes), deadly, and most of all easy to draw and fire in close quarters. Silencers made guns longer and clumsier, and a kludged-together .38 Special with an aiming light and suppressor (part of the 1966 LWL “tunnel kit”) was hard to draw, misaligned, and still too loud.
In 1969, Aircraft Armaments, Inc. (AAI) came up with something different. The Quiet Special Purpose Revolver (QSPR) milled a .44 Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver down and sawed off the barrel, for less bulk. Instead of a normal bullet, the gun fired a plastic-cased buckshot shell, using a “captured piston” system that essentially launched the shell at the enemy. Effective range was only 25 feet, but in the tunnels, that was enough. The piston system sealed off the gases, so the gun fired with no more noise or muzzle blast than a cap pistol. The tunnel rats didn’t trust another experimental gun, but the Rangers loved it for covert action and night ambushes. Only 100 QSPRs were ever made — unless DELTA GREEN ordered up a few hundred for anti-ghoul action and other night fights.
The QSPR does d+1 damage and cannot reach beyond Close range. Given its much lower stopping power compared to regular bullets, all Armor adds 2 points (-1 Armor becomes -3 Armor) against it at any range (not just at Close range as with regular shotguns). Treat QSPR shots as silencer shots (FoDG, p. 141), but foes without a positive Alertness Modifier get no bonus to hear them. Possible Gun Cherries: Handy, Smooth Action.
Carl Gustav “Swedish K” Kulsprutepistole m/45 9mm SMG
This Swedish submachine gun dates from 1944 and features a simple, hardy steel-frame design. Low cyclic rate means low recoil, and even though it technically only fires full auto, squeezing off a one-round “burst” is easy for even new users. Its 36-round magazine has a slight trapezoid outline, making for a secure fit and smoother feed for ammo in filthy field conditions — Swedish and Irish troops used it in the Congo, and the Egyptian and Algerian governments licensed it for desert operations. A folding wire stock made it relatively compact (21 inches long) while still packing lots of firepower.
The Navy SEALs and the CIA loved the “Swedish K,” which could fire immediately after being submerged in water, and easily out-performed the balky early M16 models. The CIA even manufactured a variant with an internal sound suppressor for covert operations, and (Tradecraft) literally filed the serial numbers off (“sanitized”) whole shipments of “K-rifles” for CIA operators, MACV-SOG troops, and guerrilla armies around the world. This kind of behavior gets Sweden to embargo shipment of the m/45 to the U.S. in 1966, so the Navy hires Smith & Wesson to build a knockoff, the M76. (The CIA probably just starts buying them second-hand from Indonesia, which also licensed the weapon.)
The Swedish K does d+1 damage (L1 on full auto, roll of 1 fires on full auto regardless of your intent). CIA variants with the internal suppressor count as silenced (FoDG, p. 141). Possible Gun Cherries: Handy, Rugged Reliability, Smooth Action.
GE M134 “Minigun” 7.62mm LMG
To provide helicopters with more reliable (and heavier) firepower to cover landings and takeoffs, the Army tasked General Electric to scale down the Vulcan 20mm Gatling cannon to fire 7.62mm NATO machine gun ammo. This smaller, lighter six-rotating-barrel electric-powered gun (nicknamed the “Minigun”) enters the field in 1963 on helicopter door mounts and weapons pods. The standard mount comes with a self-contained 1,500-round magazine, but with a delinker (Mechanics test Diff 4 or 3 with Heavy Weapons to jury-rig) it can take up to a 5,000-round ammo belt.
Contrary to its later cinematic depiction, a single human cannot carry and fire the M134 simultaneously: not only would the recoil knock him down, the gun requires a power source and attached cable.
The M134 does L1* damage. Electrically powered and mounted, each 1 Heavy Weapons point spent firing it counts as 2 points. It can only be Shot Dry after two unmodified 6 rolls, and does three instances of damage to up to three targets if so. Possible Gun Cherries: BFG, Stopping Power.
The Fall of DELTA GREEN adapts DELTA GREEN: THE ROLE-PLAYING GAME to the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system, opening the files on a lost decade of anti-Mythos operations: the 1960s. Players take on the role of DELTA GREEN operatives, assets, and friendlies. Hunt Deep Ones beneath the Atlantic, shut down dangerous artists in San Francisco, and delve into the heart of Vietnam’s darkness. Purchase The Fall of DELTA GREEN in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.