Well, we recently started playing the Campaign Setting by Reality Blurs, which is a "Perfect Cocktail between horror and Espionage", and tough we're liking it, there's not a guideline to limit equipment other than "The GM says so", which doesn't helps, as my players always ask me a "WHY?!" and then we begin playing Q20 instead of roleplay.

Well the weapons options presented are quite nonsensical, as there's ALWAYS something better, for the same cost. Why would you pick a Slug Type Shotgun with 2d10 damage over a Shotgun that does 3d8 damage, both costing the same? Plus ranges in Savage Worlds are BIG, a ranger RARELY is fighting mid-range, let alone long range, so a Pump Action Spread Shotgun is gonna be doing 3d8 damage almost always, specialy since Agents of Oblivion lets them pick a free edge each mission, and if they pick Gun Fu they'll be shooting adjacent enemies with a shotgun.

Since there are not stablished, written limits to the weapons they can take, how can I give them a big NO when speaking about weapons? they're just novice rank, they'll argue if I say it's because of the rank since it's no where on the guide.


4 Answers 4


Unlike traditional RPGs, Agents of Oblivion follows a requisition system rather than a price based one. Oblivion has access to all of the weapons and there isn't particularly any reason why they can't provide one.

Assuming that you're using the standard loadouts and requisition rules (under Resource Management, page 47), you have a few options:

  • Depending on the situation, use the Field Requisition rules for the weapons they start with. If they are traveling and having to go through airport security along the way (where transporting weapons would not be allowed), they'll have to roll to see if someone from Oblivion can deliver the big guns when they land and how long it will take. You could also throw in a modifier for how difficult it is to obtain; the free Deadlands: The Last Son's Player's Guide did something similar with Agents and Texas Rangers requisitioning items.
  • Enforce the fact that characters will draw a lot of attention to themselves if they walk through town holding a shotgun, which in most cases is the opposite of what Oblivion wants (especially if you have the Conspiracy dial up). You can stick a pistol in your suit jacket and walk up to someone without them knowing that you're packing. But walking into a small town while holding a shotgun will be memorable and an instant source of gossip, and the people will probably be too freaked out to give you a calm response anyway. If you do this properly, the players should limit themselves. They could of course keep a shotgun in the car, which gives some drama of how to retrieve it when a big monster shows up.
  • You can always have Oblivion outright deny certain requisitions. "You're going to New York City? Heck no, we're not giving you a buckshot shotgun! You'll kill three innocents each time you fire it!" Bureaucracy is a wonderful thing in the hands of a GM and something that the players are going to have to deal with. This is where "the GM says so" turns into a story reason. You could cite some obscure situations or weapons regulations (e.g. "Last time some idiot brought Roaring Cricket into NYC and we spent a whole week mind-wiping people. Company policy is that we cannot grant that requisition to junior agents anymore."). You could even go the Paranoia RPG route and have the players fill out paperwork each time they want to requisition a big gun :-)

Agents of Oblivion is designed as a toolkit with a number of 'dials' that can be turned up or down. In order to cater for the extremes of these dials, a massive variety of weapons, equipment and special powers are all included, some of which are incredibly high tech.

Although it has a built in setting ("The Company Line" p.108) where these dials set at particular levels, there is a core assumption that GMs will have to limit equipment and powers access based on where the dials are set for whatever flavoured campaign they are running. For example, "The Company Line" has the "Technology Factor" dial set to Moderate. Based on this, I would certainly significantly restrict access to a number of the equipment qualities, modified rounds, spytech and single use devices.

It is also assumed that campaigns are based around a group of special agents working for an agency and being sent on missions. Within this structure, the agency in question has every right to restrict access to certain equipment based on the parameters of the next mission, and this can and should be used to keep things within the realms of realism.

Regarding your issue with players always choosing certain weapons. If you want this to change then you have to present them with scenarios where those choices are sub-optimal. Yes, standard shotguns are awesome at close range (don't forget about innocent bystanders on a miss on a 1 or 2 though), but at greater distance their effectiveness tails off significantly. That means giving them situations where they are forced to engage at those ranges if you want them to diversify their equipment picks. If you aren't prepared to do that then you will end up with the situation you are in. If players can predict what you are going to throw at them to that extent, then of course they will choose optimum equipment – I know I would.

At the end of the day, the way Agents of Oblivion is written implicitly assumes that not all of the options presented in the book are going to be used in every campaign, and I'm afraid that its up to the GM to decide which ones to allow based on the type of campaign they are going for. As long as you ensure that your choices are internally consistent within the world and its fiction, then I think you will be OK.

  • \$\begingroup\$ My setting is using the following dials: *Alien Factor: Medium *Horror Factor: High *Conspiracy Factor: Low *Magical Factor: High *Technology Factor: High, tough I limit them to ANYTHING listed there, without making them feel like cyberpunk, they're the only people in the world with that technology, and it's VERY expensive to use. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2013 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ So the way you limit equipment use has to be consistent within the fiction you've created. That way, the player cannot argue with it \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Jul 21, 2013 at 21:35

Expanding on Thunderforge's answer, there are rules in d20 Modern, under Equipment Basics for requisitioning equipment that may give some inspiration.

Players must make a requisition test for each item of equipment they request. Modifiers apply based on the item's necessity, price, government restrictions (eg. firearms laws), and the character's reputation within the organisation. Characters are responsible for their own equipment. If a character requisitions equipment for a colleague and the colleague destroys the item, the requisitioner cops the blame. Requisitioned items are expected to be returned (except consumables) in good condition. Failure to do so penalises future requisitions.

Requisition takes time, so characters are expected to lodge entire equipment lists before the requisition process begins. This prevents players from requesting a Spread Shotgun, failing, then trying for a Slug Shotgun. You may want to allow a second round of requisitions, but not for any item related to the first round of requisitions. (So failing to requisition a shotgun means you'll have to settle for a pistol.)

So you might provide modifiers such as:

Mod  Rank
 +0  Novice
 +1  Seasoned
 +2  Veteran
 +3  Heroic
 +4  Legendary

Mod  Item's necessity for current mission
 +2  Essential
 +1  Obvious use
 -1  No obvious use

Mod  Government Restrictions
 -2  Item requires a license (eg. firearm, vehicle, pharmaceuticals, lockpicking tools)
 -4  Item is illegal (eg. explosives, narcotics, experimental technology)

Mod  Previous requisition (use the worst applicable)
 +1  Equipment was returned undamaged
 +0  Equipment was returned damaged
 -2  Equipment was returned destroyed or not returned at all

Mod  Other conditions
 ±x  Character's Charisma modifier
 +1  Character is trained to use the item (a least d8 in appropriate skill)
 -2  Item is rare (eg. evidence or an artefact)
 -2  Item may cause collateral damage

The test itself is a d6 with the d6 Wild die, not based on any skill. Perhaps offer a Red Tape Hurdler Edge that boosts this to d10 with a d6 Wild die.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are already rules for requisitions in the Agents of Oblivion setting, so I'm not sure these are that useful \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Jul 21, 2013 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. I'm not familiar with the setting and wanted to provide options for restricting weapon over-acquisition. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2013 at 23:45

"The GM says so" is really the only limit. You have to determine what is and isn't available, and at what cost. We can't make your players listen to you, though; only you can do that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Agents of Oblivion threats weapons differently. There are spread and slug types. Spread works always with spread rules and slug type you can only load slugs into it. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2013 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AldathLe'Carde Ah, ok. I'll remove that bit. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2013 at 21:08

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