Introduction to Agents of Oblivion Campaign:
Welcome to Oblivion.
Those are the three words you read on the plain, white postcard the day before your life officially changed forever. The next day, you became part of the covert agency, Oblivion. Now, your task is to protect humanity, battling threats both natural and supernatural, across the globe.
You are in Chantilly, VA, in a sprawling complex beneath the National Reconnaissance Office.
Agent Mark Dankowski, seasoned agent on temporary assignment to Operative Development. He’s not happy about it. Dankowski is normally a hacker in Tech Ops. He is a lanky fellow with wavy brown hair and a goutee.
While you may be anxious to get into the field, have patience. The threats are not going away any time soon, believe me. So let’s talk about some things that you are currently cleared to know, which, admittedly, isn’t much. Unlike most government jobs, you are afforded a fair amount of choice in navigating your career path. If you decide down the road that you’d like to explore a different branch of the agency, you are permitted to do so. With the proper paperwork,you may be reassigned without compromising your team’s integrity. Yes, you’ll be part of a team. Few new agents are capable of fielding solo missions right off the bat. So remember: patience.
We’ve all had nightmares. I’m sure you’ve glimpsed vague shapes in the bedroom doorway while drifting off to sleep, or awakened bolt upright in your bed, screaming about monsters coming down the hall. Those are inklings, atavistic protective mechanisms heralding back to our ancestors to be alert, to be aware, that something out there, somewhere, does not like us very much and wants us to go away, permanently. Some of our finest writers and artists have gazed through this dark lens, and it has driven some to drink, to madness or worse.
Know you this: the dreams of fancy are real. The nightmares do exist. They were there in our past. Our mythologies speak of them. For a while, they were dormant, lost interest and went away, but they are back. They are back with a vengeance. Your job will be to use your talents, varied though they may be, to deal with the innumerable threats that challenge mankind. We have many enemies, ranging from madmen to monsters to abominations somewhere in-between. Now, let me tell you why we wish to maintain a low profile.
Project Bluebook officially shut its doors on December 17, 1969. Their mission was to investigate UFOs and the kinds of things you’ve only seen in the movies or on TV. The very next day, three men and one woman cleaned out a rather spacious supply room next to the janitor’s office in the basement of the NRO campus. It is understood that some of the original archives Oblivion maintains to this day came from our roots in Project Bluebook.
Where Bluebook and other past organizations went wrong was that they expected the world to hail them as heroes, but that was not the case then, and in Oblivion that will never be the case. If we do our job properly, no one should know we even exist. We are Oblivion. We are Zeros: Nothingness in the eyes of our friends as well as our enemies. We don’t appeal to common sense, for that is quickly decaying in our modern world. We know better, and we act accordingly.
The heart of Oblivion is the Investigations & Field Operations Division (IFO), which consists of three branches:
Each branch helps define an agent’s role on their team. While cross-training is encouraged, agents gain certain benefits while operating within a particular branch. Each time an agent earns an advance, he may opt to transfer into another branch. Focus Training is also available to agents that specialize in a particular role.
A word about IFO’s responsibilities:
As a Zero, you may be expected to do some things that you’ve already done. We have agents that have come to us from the NSA, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, regular military, and even the Hell’s Angels apparently… The point is, you may be assigned anywhere in the world and you may end up joint ops with a former employer. After the reorg of the Homeland Security Act, Oblivion works more closely with other agencies, particularly the NRO – with whom we share this campus; we also work with the CIA abroad; and with the FBI on special cases within the states. We have become a partner in anti-terrorism ops and have absorbed some unconventional covert ops from those agencies. Suffice it to say that you will never stop learning about the extent and impact of this agency. Only our Executive Director knows it all.
A word about the competition…
Oblivion is not the only organization that explores and confronts the dark mysteries of this world. Another agency exists that rivals our own: AXIOM. They’ve been around much longer and have uncovered a great many secrets. AXIOM started as a placid think tank in late 19th century Manhattan. Somewhere along the way, their vision was corrupted and their mission warped. Under their mask of benevolence, lies a darker aspect, a face twisted by contact with eldritch forces. You will learn more about them in the weeks ahead, but understand that you may well meet AXIOM operatives in the field someday.
That concludes your initial briefing. We’re not taking questions. You are dismissed.
Novice agents will be created using the steps in the Agents of Oblivion (beta) players guide. However, there are some differences:
- We are using the Savage Worlds core rules for powers and magic (Arcane Backgrounds, power points, and edges)
- Novice agents training grants 5 skills at d4 level for free: Fighting, Shooting, Red Tape, Tradecraft, Knowledge (usually language)
- We are not using the Guts skill per the core rules. Spirit roles will apply instead.
- Agency Branch abilities will be acquired as normal edges – not temporary abilities. These represent specialized training or equipment.
- Edges from the Oblivion Player’s Guide or from Extreme may be allowable at the Director’s discretion.
- Novice Agents will be created with 1 advance to allow one trait raise or an extra edge pick. This represents the character’s background prior to becoming an agent.
Red Tape House Rules
The Oblivion Player’s Guide (beta) presents a new skill called Red Tape, which represents the administrative processes needed to requisition special equipment. I am going to use a different approach to Red Tape and Resource Points:
The agent may make one Red Tape skill roll per mission to earn additional Resource Points. Resource Points (RP) represent the agent’s ability to play the bureaucratic game, filing timely reports, accurately completing the proper forms, etc… The Red Tape check may be made in the pre-mission stage or even in the field. Resource points may be saved between missions allowing the player to work toward a special item or upgrade. The Director may apply modifiers to the Red Tape roll under special circumstances.
Agents automatically receive one RP per mission. The Red Tape roll can add or subtract points. The agent earns one extra RP on a success and one addition RP per raise. On a critical failure (modified result of 1 or less) the agent has lost a RP, effectively getting no special items for the mission.
Standard Equipment Packages
Agents do not use RP to replace the following standard-issue packages (once per mission):
The Suit package
Includes ballistic mesh, formal G-man attire, complete with dark shades and encrypted wireless comm-link (earpiece).
Handgun (choice of semi-auto pistols), concealeable holster, and Ammo (limited 2 reloads)
If one or both of the standard issue packages must be replaced more than once during a mission, then 1 RP is required for each.
This is where the majority of Resource Points are spent. The following items cost 1 RP each:
Single Use Device
Grenades, 2 items per RP (choice of stun, gas, or anti-personnel)
Explosives – requires demolitions skill (still working out details on damage per unit cost)
The following items cost 2 RP each:
- Temporary Edges (Spytech or Special Training)
- Heavy Weapons
- Company Car – the basic car is a mid-sized sedan (SWex p55)
Car Upgrades – these items modify the company car (2 RP per upgrade). Here are some examples:
- Armament – install concealed machine gun or grenade launcher
- Armor = Toughness 13 (+5), includes AP resistance for tiresAqua 1 = makes the car water resistant to a depth of 5 yards, the car must still be driven underwater
- Aqua 2 = (prerequisite Aqua 1) When activated the car becomes a submarine. It is water resistant to a depth of 50 yards. Requires the Boating skill to operate.
- Performance 1 = Acc 25/ TS 50
- Performance 2 = (prerequisite Performance 1) turbo jets for acceleration boost, Acc 35/TS 60