Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Your Numbers Are Up

The Last Equation is a short, but challenging investigation for use with Arc Dream Publishing’s Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game. It can be played using either the roleplaying game’s full rules or those from Delta Green: Need to Know. It opens with bloody murder. The Agents are activated by Delta Green after the secret interagency conspiracy is alerted to the presence of a strange series of numbers painted on Highway Six in Teaneck, New Jersey, right outside the home of a family of eight who had just been gunned down by an assailant who was witnessed spray-painting the numbers before blowing his own head off. He has been identified as  Michael Wei, a mathematics student at Columbia University in New York, which makes the crime an interstate case and so the FBI is already involved. Which makes getting the Delta Green Agents involved a whole lot easier.

At the outset, The Last Equation looks to be relatively straightforward case. After all, the identity of the murderer is clear and he committed suicide. However, the Agents are not tasked with investigating the case per se, but rather with providing an acceptable cause for Wei’s action and then eradicating any traces of his research. This is not an easy task and the Agents are faced with difficulties right from the start. Not only do they have to take care to maintain their covers, they also have to alter the evidence—and both are criminal acts. At the same time, the Agents face two other dangers. One is a news team which takes an understandable, but annoying interest in what is a sensationalist crime as well as the members of law enforcement assigned to investigate it. The other is the nature of the threat itself—a cross between a virus and a meme—which threatens to spiral out of control and begin to replicate. Unless the Agents are careful, this will come home to them very quickly.

The second part of the scenario takes the Agents from New Jersey to New York and beyond—certainly if events spiral out of control, which they very much threaten to do in The Last Equation. As the danger appears to spread, there is the chance that one or more of the Agents falls victim to it and as they too spiral into madness, the likelihood increases they too, will become part of the problem. In a way, The Last Equation models an Agent’s mental trajectory in the long term as he investigates a multitude of cases on behalf of Delta Green, but radically and deleteriously accelerated. It also highlights Delta Green’s ruthlessness and there are also some quite weird and creepy moments once the investigation moves away from New Jersey, which under any other circumstances would look like coincidences, but in The Last Equation are anything but. Ultimately, The Last Equation is not a scenario about investigating the Unnatural, but about containing it.

Previously available from the author’s websiteThe Last Equation has been redesigned and presented in full colour. As will other titles for Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, it is generally well presented and well written, and as you would expect, the artwork is excellent. However, there is not enough of it and the Handler will probably want to supply portraits of the scenario’s various NPCs. There is solid advice on how to handle the consequences of the Agents’ evidence cover up or alteration—whether successful or not, but Handler may want to prepare a timeline for easy reference. Two timelines of events are included, but whilst separate, they cover the same period of time and might be easier to track as one timeline.

The Last Equation could be run as a one-shot or even as a convention scenario, but it would need to be played with some alacrity to fit easily within a four-hour slot. It is better run as a two to three session scenario, and it is easy to add to a campaign. Overall, The Last Equation is a nasty scenario which will challenge the Agents’ capacity to not only deal with the Unnatural, but also with the consequences of their cover-up. 


  1. My players really enjoyed it in a frustrating kind of way. It really kept them on their feet while also giving the sinking feeling of dealing with the blow-back of everything swirling around them.

    One of them had the best quote, "Alright, ya'll, how in the f**k are we supposed to fight _math_?"

  2. short... hell we spent 3 sessions on this beast