[Agents of Oblivion] My groups gameplan.

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robert4818
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[Agents of Oblivion] My groups gameplan.

#1 Postby robert4818 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:54 pm

My group is currently in the middle of some old D&D gaming, but we've started working on our POST D&D plan, and it involves Agents of Oblivion.

When it comes to GMing, I'm not confident in my abilities. Our normal GM isn't confident in his SW Rule Grasp for actual play. And we have a 3rd member who's trying to wet his feet in both. None of us want to take on the burden of running a Campaign in any SW game at the moment.

So we came up with a solution.

Since AoO is episodic, we will all 3 run a joint episodic campaign in AoO. We each get to rotate through in the GM spot while the other 2 (and the other members of the group) play. You run an episode, and the next GM in rotation steps up the next game day and runs his episode. This isn't going to be 3 GM's planning out a campaign. Its going to be 3 GM's running their own adventures with the same characters in the same shared universe on a rotating basis. The bonus here is that everyone gets experience in front of, and behind the screen. Plus the episodic nature of AoO means that you can avoid many of the pitfalls that would/could happen with this set up in a more "campaign arc" style game.

That being said, we still have to sit down and figure out various ground rules for our campaign. Some of these we haven't even agreed upon.

Obviously the first thing we have to do is sit down and agree where we want to set the dials on our AoO world. How much horror, how much alien, how much conspiracy, etc. Mainly we need to basically get ourselves with in the same chapter (instead of on the same page). We don't want one GM running with a concept of "No aliens" and the next guy run in all "MiB". So we need a base-level of consistency through the game, this way it feels like we are all still running the same campaign world.

Beyond that is going to be some discussion and agreement between the GMs.
One rule is already agreed upon: NO GM PC'S in their adventures. Ideally this means your character from the campaign doesn't make any appearance in the adventures you run, but limited NPC roles will probably be tolerable. (Opening/closing scenes... the "voice on the radio" etc.)

Beyond that, it'll be setting up common courtesy, and how wild a ride we may want to have in the game.

I want to try to strike a balance between the "Bucking Bronco" of wild tangents, and the predictability for the other GM's. In other words, how much freedom each GM has during his session. If one GM comes up with a big bad, or a new organization, how much freedom do the other GM's have to run with those? One side of me would love the total freedom of not knowing how these cogs I put in play are going to spin, another side of me wants to know that if I set something up, the other guys aren't going to screw with it...

I think, obviously, its going to come down to Communication, and things like "common courtesy". Though, what direction that communication needs to take is up in the air. (I.E. Do we go into an "Ask permission" concept, or a "You can use anything from any GM they haven't specifically mentioned is off limits.") The first is the nicest, but might give away too many plots. The second might lead to miscommunication problems.

Then of course there's the concept of cliff hangers or major plot changes. (I.E. if I want to take the agents and go all "Burn Notice" on them, how much notice do I need to give the other GMs, so it doesn't screw up their plans?)

In the end, I think it'll be an interesting experiment. Instead of the "total control" that GMs have on a campaign, this is going to be a much wilder ride. Things are going to happen, twists are going to occur, and you aren't going to necessarily plan out what all the details are going to be. It'll be like Improv on a larger level.

Should be fun.
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#2 Postby Trigger » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:49 pm

I had a four GM rotation of espionage Spycraft gaming. We were under one agency but had different facilities that each of us ran missions out of. The NPC's were deemed ours and no one really used someone else’s unless asked.

With AoO, everyone is under Oblivion, but each of you could designate a District or Region as a District Director to run your missions out of. This setup is rather handy when having multiple GM styles, settings and play types. We had many different aspects of missions ran with some missions being mainstream espionage and some being more extreme on horror or alien. It actually works out even better when you rotate GM's out as then you never know what's coming as Oblivion can deal with all types of missions. I even ran linkable missions or continuances of missions with repeated NPC's or organizations making their presence known.

The one thing about espionage role-playing games and a team being assigned to missions is the diverse mission and GM opportunity that comes with this genre. Embrace the differences and creativity of each of you when being a GM. You can always run one of the One Shot missions to get you started with running a AoO session. They are perfect for anyone wanting a little horror, high espionage, and a world of fun. Good luck with your group, I'd love to hear how it goes.
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robert4818
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#3 Postby robert4818 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:32 am

Trigger wrote:I had a four GM rotation of espionage Spycraft gaming. We were under one agency but had different facilities that each of us ran missions out of. The NPC's were deemed ours and no one really used someone else’s unless asked.

With AoO, everyone is under Oblivion, but each of you could designate a District or Region as a District Director to run your missions out of. This setup is rather handy when having multiple GM styles, settings and play types. We had many different aspects of missions ran with some missions being mainstream espionage and some being more extreme on horror or alien. It actually works out even better when you rotate GM's out as then you never know what's coming as Oblivion can deal with all types of missions. I even ran linkable missions or continuances of missions with repeated NPC's or organizations making their presence known.

The one thing about espionage role-playing games and a team being assigned to missions is the diverse mission and GM opportunity that comes with this genre. Embrace the differences and creativity of each of you when being a GM. You can always run one of the One Shot missions to get you started with running a AoO session. They are perfect for anyone wanting a little horror, high espionage, and a world of fun. Good luck with your group, I'd love to hear how it goes.


The uncertainty is something that really appeals to me with this idea. Nobody has a handle on where things are going to go. That's part of the excitement for me. Not even the GM's know whats going to happen once they hand the reins over to someone else.
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#4 Postby Trigger » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:04 pm

Exactly the frame of mind to have. It was always fun not knowing what was coming up when I was playing as an agent. We even had players want to step up and GM after seeing how fun it was to run a mission.
Michael Ysker



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Reality Blurs Writer - Agents of Oblivion Line

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#5 Postby robert4818 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:32 pm

Trigger wrote:Exactly the frame of mind to have. It was always fun not knowing what was coming up when I was playing as an agent. We even had players want to step up and GM after seeing how fun it was to run a mission.


The difficult part is finding the right balance between "free for all" and "asset protection/courtesy".

I like the idea of setting up an interesting villain, and seeing what others do with him. But at the same time, you need to make sure that nobody throws a game changing curve ball out without some sort of warning.

(For example, deciding to "Burn" the entire team a-la "Burn Notice")... We game every 2 weeks, so with 3 Gm's, you GM every 1.5 months. So, a curve ball might force the next guy to re-write his entire adventure right after yours finishes. Or you risk them resolving the curveball unsatisfyingly at the beginning of his campaign just to avoid doing that. (Turns out, you weren't burned, it was a paperwork error. Its all good now).
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