All Fired Up! Looking at Loadouts in Agents of Oblivion

Though there’s still a good amount of work left before I can call it complete, I did finish the first draft of the Echo of Dead Leaves Plot Point Campaign for Realms of Cthulhu. When I hit my rhythm, I had been averaging one plot point a day, but really pushed it today to get it done (so I could actually just, y’know, chill out, tomorrow). In my enthusiasm, I should say it wasn’t rushed, nor will it be. This has been the culmination of a lot of research and planning and plotting and mulling over bits and pieces of it until I needed to step away from it a bit and work on some other stuff. Refreshed and renewed, I came back to it with a fresh pair of eyes and was able to knock out some words. There are still Mythos Tales left to do, though they aren’t nearly as intricate as weaving together the larger tapestry. There are still some Keeper Notes I’ve got to do and I still have to wrap up the Side Treks and then turn my attention to all the connective tissue required to make this a complete work. Having a very hefty skeleton upon which to pile a bit more of squamous flesh is an absolutely fantastic milestone to hit (on a Friday, no less).

But I did promise to talk a bit about Agents of Oblivion today and I know I sometimes say I’m going to write one thing and invariably write another, so I shall take steps to remedy that right here and now. I’ve been running my guys through Agents of Oblivion pretty heavily over the last month or so. They’ve tackled two adventures and they are getting a feel for how the setting works and are loving it.

One thing they particularly love is how loadouts are handled. This is one of the finer points of the system as it allows characters to access weapons, customize said weapons, get mundane gear items, and get Spytech (which gives them devices which functions as Edges), SUDs (Single Use Devices), and Perks (need to call in an airstrike or get a quick extraction?, now you can!). This seems to be one of the brighter points of the system my guys really glommed onto. The AoO Beta GuideĀ has this in an earlier stage. It works well and elements of the new system are quite similar to what I previously put together, but it needed a change. Why? I was concerned about the time it took for a person to get a loadout together. Savage Worlds is about Fast! Furious! Fun! and while the action and adventure is fluid in AoO (it had always been), I didn’t want the front-end to bog things down. Based upon feedback and conversations with the crew, especially Norm Hensley and Ed Wetterman, I hammered it out. This required taking out and modifying a few elements, but so much was gained in the exchange you would never know (unless you gave them a close comparison or read this post). The loadouts can be quick–standard loadout packages are available (by branch)–or the players can take time to tweak out their equipment. For example, you can do such things as disguise your equipment (on the last mission, one character had an SMG disguised as a laptop, a second had his bang-stick look like a cane, and a third had his rifle squirreled away in his umbrella). This is one area where a tremendous amount of work and refinement resulted in a system which works effortlessly in play and the mechanics fade to the background as imaginations at the table run rampant.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!

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