We played this game as a one-shot on Tabletop Clown Society! Going back over the rules in retrospect, we admittedly definitely fucked them up a bit since we had never played before, but we still had an absolute blast. If anyone wants to give it a listen, here's a link to the episode (or you can find it on Apple or Spotify or wherever else)
Agents of the O.D.D.
A downloadable game
If you backed the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, you already own this game! Click "Download" on the bundle page and search for "Agents" to claim it.
Agents of the O.D.D. is a tabletop roleplaying game of conscripted cryptids, shaky psychics, burned spies, and other investigators of the paranormal. Based on the rules from Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland, and inspired by series like Hellboy, Planetary, and The Laundry Files, this beta version offers....
- 100 unique (and 80% weird) agent profiles
- 20 arcana
- 1 sample mission chock full of cryptids from lumberjack folklore
- New rules for advancement and equipment requisitions
- Advice for players and referees
- Probably some other stuff I'm forgetting
Future versions will see include additional missions, revisions based on playtest feedback, some tweaks to art, and hyperlinks contents and page references. If you read it or get it to the table, please feel free to send feedback via comments or email (jason at pretendo dot games).
Recommended for a GM and 1+ additional players.Character keeper spreadsheet for online play.
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:
Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.
If you aren't sure you can afford it, please feel welcome to download the PDFs free.
If you want to set up community copies like these for your own game on Itch.io...
- Go to DASHBOARD
- Click EDIT on a project
- Click MORE, then REWARDS
- Set cost $0; other details up to you
- Operation: Underhill previewNov 01, 2022
- Adapting scenarios for Agents of the O.D.D.Sep 20, 2020
- Character Keeper & Revision UpdateAug 24, 2020
- 100 arcana for the revised editionApr 25, 2020
- Coronavirus CopiesMar 23, 2020
- Fonts of WisdomNov 21, 2019
- Metatopia Playtest ReportNov 13, 2019
- Agents of the O.D.D. v011Nov 02, 2019
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Can you add an EPUB version of the rules?
I will look into this! I’m very slowed down by health issues now, but plan to release a revised edition in more formats after I’ve recovered.
I hope you recover soon, dude.
i do hope you're well recovered. if so, have you considered adding an EPUB version?
Thanks for your interest! A revised edition in more formats is still the plan, but my recovery has been slow. (I'm out from work on medical leave at present.) When the revised edition is ready to release, I'll certainly announce it here.
Played it in at a local demo adapting Trilemma's Sirens of Sea And Blood for a modern-day scenario. Players had to rescue the sons of ODD Europe's director, who had disappeared during his Balearic vacation. Team was composed by a Cat Burglar, a Very Private Investigator, an Harbinger of End Days and a Reptilian, and quite liked it. Definitely want to try the game again!
I got it from the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality and picked it up just now, because I wanted to hack Into The Odd, and figured why not give it a read. Damn it's good. I had plans on making a paranatural investigation game before, but there is no need for that now, this is much more flavourful than what I had in mind. Thanks for making it :)
Thank you — but there’s still room in the world for yours too! I basically collect games in this genre now so I have plenty of stuff to use between them. 😄
Is there physical copies somewhere? :D
My working plan is to do a print on demand version after I finish revisions!
Marvelous ! The game really has great potential!
I literally came here to ask this! I’ll order a copy the day it’s available. Promise. :D
Hi, Jason. When you finish revisions would you update it here or its gonna be so much different from version of 2019 year that's gonna be a different product?
Definitely updating here! I would like to give a coupon for reduced cost POD to everyone who’s already paid, too, but I’m not sure how feasible that will be. Still need to dig into that.
Any updates on this? I sent the spreads to Staples to print out as a booklet but the layout was...well ODD. I assume that was on purpose?
Also any print out character sheets?
Still working on it, but progress on all RPG work has been really slow due to health issues since last year.
I haven’t finished a printed character sheet for this yet. It is part of the plan for revisions, but had been lower priority since I run this online with the spreadsheet I set up, or just have folks jot the few details on an index card when running in person.
Sorry I don’t have better news just yet, but thanks for checking in. I’ll definitely send out an update message when there’s progress to report.
You inspired me to finally finish the character sheet I've been working on. It's uploaded now under "Download Demo."
I am not sure what you meant by the layout being odd for printing out as a booklet, but feel free to let me know if I can be helpful in figuring out what might be going wrong with printing. (I didn't do anything on purpose to make it hard to print.)
I've run the game twice for my group and they've enjoyed it. We lost the first character on the second mission (one of the two with experience from the previous mission) and it was emotional. The missions were converted short cthulhoid adventures and I'm a fan of Delta Green, so the horror element was definitely there (more Call of Cthulhu than Pandemonium). The random backgrounds were great and loved by all!
The one thing that was missing was grappling rules (!). I know those are a problem on most F20 games and Into the ODD has like two different unofficial ones. I wrote something up after the session and will test them next time.
Thanks for the report! Personally I handle grappling like any other combat maneuver (target can attempt to save STR to escape being grappled, as implied in the Jersey Gator profile). If someone fails their save, I let them try again once every round on their turn.
Does the escape attempt take full action or can the character cause damage at the same time?
I don’t typically expect saves to require an action; they’re more an instinctive reaction to whatever else is happening. I’d run it like, if you save successfully and then attack, then cool, you get to make a normal attack, but if you fail to escape and try to attack anyway, it’s probably impaired (d4).
This is all kind of relative based on context, though, which is why there’s a general “treat combat maneuvers as saves” rule but no specific grappling rules. If you’re grappling a giant porcupine, the spines are attacking you without being impaired! It’s kind of a “use your best judgment and change the approach later if you need to” philosophy.
Played our first session last night, and got 1/3 murdered in the process. Poor Patrick the Squamous Sailor, the catfish alligator did not want to chat. My Chiroptrean Kid — Kid Bat — barely made it out of the Ozark woods alive, but we need to go back and find out what's going on at the Murder Hut ... wish us luck for next week.
One question. When you take STR damage and must then save to avoid critical damage, do you use the new reduced STR to make the save?
Thanks for sharing! Sorry to hear about Patrick. May he rest in the deeps.
And yes, you use the new, lower STR for the critical damage save. I should clarify that in the revision, thanks!
I just finished reading this little booklet, and it's awesome. It's full of gameable content in little space. it follows a modern trend in RPG design of avoiding meaningless die rolls, and I like that. It has a clear root in old school Dungeons & Dragons and Into the Odd (wich I have not read, but I woould like to, based on what I saw here).
I have maaany RPG books, and I will definitely try this with a group.
By the way, I added it to Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55963556-agents-of-the-o-d-d
oo neat, I haven't played any tabletop RPGs in a long time, but this description sounds very similar to Beyond the Supernatural and I was a fan of that game.
Agents Of The Odd is a modern conspiracy-supernatural osr adventure game.
It's 46 pages, with an easily readable but very text-heavy layout, and it runs off of the excellent OSR-pared-down-to-its-bones engine of Into The Odd.
It's written in-character, as a training manual from a dystopian government, so it takes a little more work to decipher than Into The Odd's rules, but it's still pretty clear and well-explained.
The mechanics are pretty straight up Into The Odd, with a few small tweaks to better contour the game to a more mission-based format. If you haven't played ITO, think original D&D---but you can have a new player up to speed and playing in five minutes without losing any of what makes the game mechanically fun.
From a GMing perspective, Agents is solid, and gives good advice in general for running games in its supernatural investigation genre. It also comes with an (admittedly extremely straightforward) sample adventure, which digs into a cool bit of folklore.
Overall, if you like Delta Green, Trail Of Cthulhu, F.I.S.T., or other games of modern conspiracy-horror---and if you'd like to try an extremely-quick-to-pick-up version of the above---grab Agents Of The Odd. It's well-made, fun, and has quite a bit of its own flavor to set itself apart from other games in the genre.
Into the Odd by way of Fringe or The X Files. It's great.
Got this as part of the big charity bundle, and just tried running it for the first time tonight. Really impressive game, we had a ton of fun! Pretty much exactly what I want from an OSR-style game, random charts leading to some cool emergent gameplay, clever player plans leading us down unexpected paths, that sort of thing. We played Operation: Treefall, next time out I'm looking at something inspired by T1 in a modern setting, see how that goes. Thanks for the cool game!
That's great to hear—thanks so much! If you do run it with a modern T1 approach, I'd love to hear how it goes! (I've been thinking I'd like to do a "haunted house" kind of adventure for the revised edition later this year, but that's still just a germ of an idea in my head.)
What's the recommended playercount/can it be run singleplayer?
Good question! It’s intended for at least two people — one referee plus another player — but I think it works best with three to six total participants (one ref and two to five players). Having two players means one can drag the other to safety in case of critical damage, and any more than five players gets unwieldy, with more accidental interruptions (and tinier faces to pay attention to when running online).
Wait my brother loved this, can we get more??
I'm so glad to hear that, thanks! I'm currently working on a revised edition to release later this year, which will be available to download for everybody who already has this version. It will have a bunch more arcana, some new profiles (replacing some that didn't work out great in playtesting), updated advancement rules, and at least one more sample mission. I'm planning on sharing some posts on my blog soon, too, to suggest how to adapt a bunch of adventures I've run to fit with this game (most of which are free Trilemma adventures).
Would like to hear more about adapting adventures for your game as it is something I would want to do myself, given that I have both a One Page Dungeon Compendium and Dissident Whispers (awating shipping) in print.
- All NPCs/creatures have default abilities of 10, 3 HP, and weapons/attacks as per equipment page
- Replace fantasy weapons with modern weapons as appropriate
- Be prepared to address anachronisms with excuses or editing (e.g., motor boats go faster than assumed boat speed in most swamp adventures)
- Come up with an excuse to be someplace with older architecture/ruins so it’s less obvious to players where you got it
I’ll try to get a blog post up soon with more detailed info!
Great tips, very helpful.
Have just been looking at some of the Trilemma Adventures.
Have also pulled out some classic source material like Colin Wilson's Mammoth Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries.
love your game dude, also it would be nice if it has some sort of character sheet for agents of odd, like men in black them-I MEAN umm...P-PA-PARANORMAL THEME yes yes i-would like paranormal theme character sheet...
Thank you! And yes, I really need to put that together. I’ve been just using a google sheet or having people write on index cards. 😅
By now, there is a character sheet for QZ. QZ is full of great horror and weirdness of its own, so it's a great purchase.
Howdy, just from reading the pdf im really excited to run the game but im a bit confused about how combat works, do you just roll the weapon die and then take the damage after you deduct the armour bonus or is it like 5e where you can hit or miss?
Yup, it works just as you said (which comes from the rules for Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland): Roll weapon’s attack die, subtract armor, apply excess as damage. There is no extra roll to see if you hit. “Missing” can be described when armor and/or HP completely absorb the damage.
I literally started running a game with this premise two months ago, using Mutants and Masterminds, but it's an idea I've had for years - Agents of W.E.I.R.D. ... And now I stumble across this - should make a great resource!
Haha, excellent, I’d love to hear how it goes!
Any gamer who likes stuff like Planetary, the SCP Foundation, or Doctor Who is going to want to play or run a campaign like this sooner or later.
I remember discovering SCP Foundation years ago and immediately wanting a flavourful ruleset to run it with.
Hello! I've ran two sessions of O.D.D. and it's been great fun. I really enjoy the profiles and my players seem very enthusiastic about their characters.
However, I have a couple of questions. At the risk of sounding dumb, I don't quite get how save rolls work - how do they tie in with each character's ability scores? I've been saying that a success is rolling under or equal to their score since you say 1 always succeeds. Unfortunately a player has said this is a bit confusing as a lower number is better when it comes to saves but a higher number is better when it comes to damage. Also, can saves have different difficulties, like in D&D, or do they depend only on the roll/stats, like in Dungeon World?
I have a bit of trouble keeping up with all the rules as there are many situations predicted in the pdf but hopefully my players don't mind if I simplify things a bit.
I greatly enjoy that it's an RP focused game as opposed to constant combat, and I love listening to the PCs discuss what's happening. I also appreciate that it's easy to improvise because creature creation is simple and quick.
Sorry for sending such a long message, and I hope it's clear enough! English isn't my first language. Thank you so much!
Thank you so much for the feedback! I am happy to help out however I can, so don't feel bad about any questions at all.
You are correct that saves are meant to be rolled on or under ability scores. For players who prefer for high rolls to always be better than low rolls, you can instead add the ability score to the die roll, and try to roll 21+ (with a roll of 20 always meaning success, and a roll of 1 always meaning failure). It requires a little more arithmetic in your head, but the odds end up being exactly the same.
Saves are based solely on characters' abilities. In easier situations, consider skipping a roll entirely, or providing more favorable results on success; in more difficult situations, consider greater risks on failure. Check out this post on "Difficulty in Bastionland" by Chris McDowall, whose game Agents of the O.D.D. is based on, for some terrific suggestions.
And yes, if you ever find yourself struggling to remember any rules, I completely endorse simplifying things however works best for you. Honestly, I do it pretty often myself. I'm hoping to give some better guidance for this in the revised edition I'm working on. Thank you again!
I'm confused by one thing: requisition rules for acranum. I think I might be just reading it wrong though.
On 28 I think it says a specific arcanum costs 2 requisitions and a random arcanum costs 1 but on pg 31 I think it says that a random arcanum or ritual costs 2 and a specific costs 3.
Am I reading it wrong? How much should arcanum cost? I'm going to be running this soon and while it's not a huge deal, I'd like to make sure I know what the intention is.
Otherwise, amazing game. Love the backgrounds, want to make some more myself once our campaign gets going.
Thank you! And yeah, there are some errors in the requisition rules; the intent was that 1 req would get you mundane gear of your choice, or 2 pieces of random mundane gead; 2 reqs would get a random arcanum (d20 on arcana) or a random ritual item (d6 on arcana); and 3 reqs gets you a specific arcanum.
That said, I found my own rules confusing enough in playtesting that I've been designing a new approach for the revised edition. Right now I'm playing that you can call in a favor (like a specific mundane gear, intel relevant to a personal mission, or to field test a random arcanum) for every 6 objectives you complete. I'm considering trying something more governed by chance, though, like treating "favor" like a stat you save against to call in a favor, which goes up by 1 for each objective you complete and takes damage when you mess up. Still tinkering!
interesting. that sounds fun.
i like the req system at the moment just because it was sounds like a fun way to handle gear in a non-dnd system. "you find stuff, or you can roll randomly, or you can pic stuff" and sort of having "load out points." So like my escaped sacrifice can have an arcanum ritual that she really loves using but eventually trades it in for an assault rifle but then if she eventually gets stuck with some weird a bunch of odds and ends waiting for the quartmaster to give her the arcana she really wants.
i see a lot of potential in it. though yeah it does seem like it could be a bit confusing as presented and a different approach could be fun too.
A wonderful modern weird fantasy/horror action explosion game. The d100 backgrounds are worth the price by themselves, the rest of the game is savory gaming gravy.
good Stuff.... The O.D.D
OCCULT DEFENSE DIVISION.
Solving unconventional problems,with unconventional means.
Thank you! And that is definitely a good answer to give when people ask, "But what does it stand for?" I'm never going to give the same answer twice if I can help it, though. ;)
The idea of using Into the Odd style Arcana to solve paranormal cases is just brilliant! It makes me want to play and run this game right now!
Not to mention the d100 backgrounds that open a whole window of opportunity for homebrewing Troika like "classes!"
I am sold!