The basic VM needs to have SNMP running on it, because there's no point having a server if you're not monitoring it. I had Zenoss set up a year ago monitoring some of my computers, but I was getting "bad oid" messages on the new VM template I was setting up.
The solution: Zenoss had a default SNMP version of 1 for Linux systems. I had set up SNMP on the new VM for version 2c. In Zenoss 2.0 I navigated to /Devices/Server/Linux page and selected the zProperties tab, then scrolled down to zSnmpVer and set it to v2c.