Missive #11: Considering Campaign Archetypes
A Director’s job is never done. You have an idea for an Oblivion campaign that is off-center and doesn’t follow the Company Line, and you are looking for ideas on how to make it happen. Agents of Oblivion gives you lots of aid in the Campaign Archetypes, but you play Savage Worlds and want a quick, down-and-dirty conversion, especially during character creation. Those whiny players want to create god-like characters with every power imaginable and cry foul when you tell them no. They argue that “it’s in the book, I should be able to do it” without regard for your particular home campaign.
This missive is for you! Shall we play a game?
Watch the Skies
This classic campaign style pits the agents against alien forces and government cover-ups. This campaign is more in the style of The X-Files. Remember there is little magic or horror, and the agents may be limited to low or moderate technology, except for devices captured from alien forces or those in league with aliens.
Alien Factor: High
Conspiracy Factor: Moderate
Magic Factor: None
Horror Factor: Low
Technology Factor: Low to Moderate
Proposed Changes for a Watch the Skies Type of Campaign
First change the name of the Occult Branch. Perhaps use Ex-Branch (for extraterrestrials) or maybe a new Project Blue Book Branch (like Project Angel).
Archetypes Available for Play: Agent, Demolitions, Hand-to-Hand, Infiltrator, Investigator, Techie
Archetypes Not Available: Altered Detective, Combat Wizard, Psychic, Sacred Agent
Skills Not Available: Channeling, Knowledge (Divine & Mystical)
Edges Not Available: Arcane Training, Innate Power, Power Mastery, Arcane Edges, Technological Edges
No Power Mods Available.
(Be sure to check the setting rules of the Agents of Oblivion setting for a list of edges and hindrances from the Savage Worlds core rule book that are not allowed).
Division Assignment and Branch Selection:
EX-Branch: Dealing with aliens, alien technology, and world-wide conspiracies.
Benefits: EX-Branch agents get to choose 2 Firearm qualities for their chosen weapon.
Semi Auto pistol with 4 clips, 1 first aid kit, silencer, flashlight, zip ties, Oblivion cell phone.
New Watch the Skies Archetype
This agent knows the truth is out there. Aliens exist and it is his job to save humanity from them. He will do anything necessary to protect mankind from the aliens. Perhaps he was abducted, or lost a loved one to them. Whatever the cause, he is now a crusader with a purpose.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Investigation d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Streetwise d6, Shooting d6, Tradecraft d6, +7 additional skill points
Charisma: -; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Vow (major) and two Minors or one Major
Edges: Choose 2
Languages: Native, Interlingua, +2 additional languages
Defining Interests: Alien Lore, +2 more
Branch Benefit: Firearm qualities (choose 2)
There are many things to consider when preparing for a Watch the Skies type of campaign. As the Director, it is important that you have established the foundation of the game so it is consistent, yet always surprising for the players. The following are some sample campaign framework questions to assist you.
How many alien types have visited the Earth?
What are their agendas?
Are they in league with various human governments or agencies?
Are any of them friendly?
How much alien technology will you allow the players to gain access to?
How large is the conspiracy to keep alien actions from the public eye?
What is Oblivion’s stance on aliens?
How does Pandora differ with Oblivion on the topic of aliens?
Are their alien-human hybrids?
Have human/alien scientists created monsters that are now loose and must be dealt with?
Does Oblivion work with the aliens?
Are the aliens endangered in some way and must be protected?
How much information do the agents have access to? How far will they be allowed to peel back the curtain to learn the truth?
These are only a few questions to help guide your campaign. This type of game could run the gambit from the style of X-files to Men-in-Black. Once the background parameters are set it is easy to begin forming adventures that fit the mold.
So…you wanna create something different. Agents of Oblivion using Savage Worlds can do that! So what are you waiting for? You bought it, make it your own!
Till next time,