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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 Bastionlandand 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.

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Get this game and 2 more for $8.00 USD
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In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $2.50 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Agents of the ODD singles v011.pdf 11 MB
Agents of the ODD spreads v011.pdf 11 MB

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Community Copies

If any of the following describe you, please feel welcome to download a free PDF, no questions asked. 

  • Self-isolating or performing essential services during the pandemic
  • Not sure you can afford it 
  • Donated money, goods, or services to help someone in need this month 
  • Playtested this game with me
  • Contributed a game to Cryptid Jam

Thanks to Dee Pennyway, creator of Mnemomic, for instructions on setting up community copies on Itch.io.

Development log

Comments

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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.

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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.

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Thank you so much!

Thank you for writing it!

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.)

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What's the recommended playercount/can it be run singleplayer?

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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). 

I picked it up a couple weeks ago and it looks like such fun! I printed it up as part of my prep and decided to use it to practice bookbinding (pics here). Thanks so much for all your hard work!

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AAAAA that’s so cool, thank you for sharing! 😄

Wait my brother loved this, can we get more??

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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.

Short answer: 

  • 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.

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I'll have to take a look at the Encyclopedia! Mostly been using Trilemma adventures myself. Apparently I should also be looking at SCP, which I didn't even know existed until I ran playtests at Metatopia!

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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. 😅

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?

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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!

(+1)

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!

Excellent game. 
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.

(+1)

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.

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Good to know, thanks! Please feel free to let me know what works best for you if you get it to the table! 🙂

(+3)

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.  

(+3)

good Stuff.... The O.D.D

OCCULT DEFENSE DIVISION.

Solving unconventional problems,with unconventional means.

(+2)

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. ;)

(+1)

Occluded Dimension Deterrence

(+2)

Love it!

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! 

(+5)

Thanks so much! I strongly suspect I will be happier if this document includes as many arcana as background profiles, so we'll see what I can come up with....