Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Unknown Armies

Unknown Armies is an odd game, in that it essentially revolves around your character being on the way to madness. The default character, at the 'Street' level, must be obsessed with something, though it is up to the player as to what that something is; if he or she wants to become an Adept (a worker of modern-day magic) or an Avatar (an example of a popular archetype that gives you power), you must be more obsessed, often to the point of madness or even total insanity. But let's start slowly. To create a character, first you must have an obsession; this can be something general, like 'Toughness' or 'Religion' or even 'Knowing it All'. Then, you must have three separate passions - a Fear passion, a Rage passion, and a Noble passion. Fear can be something like arachnophobia, or fear of foreigners, but each must be tied to a mental stress track, of which there are five: Violence, Helplessness, The Unnatural, Isolation, and Self. Rage passions can be things like Bad Drivers, Laziness, or Cell Phones. Noble passions are things like Protecting Children, or Historical Preservation, or World Peace. After you have those, you get to determine your stats, of which there are four: Body, Speed, Mind, and Soul. Finally, you determine your skills, and those can be virtually anything, since there is really no set skill list; each stat has a couple skills, but others are made up by the player. So, let's start out.

Jerry Kopp

Obsession: Vampires (yeah, sue me)
Fear Stimulus: (Violence) Bees
Rage Stimulus: Racism
Noble Stimulus: Book Preservation

Stats (220 points)
Body: 50
Speed: 60
Mind: 70
Soul: 40

Skills (15 bonus points, and 15% in all basic skills)
Body Skills (50 points)
General Athletics: 40%
Struggle: 40%
Speed Skills (60 points)
Dodge: 35%
Driving: 25%
Initiative: 30%
Multi-task: 20%
Mind Skills (70 points)
Conceal: 20%
General Education: 50%
Notice: 30%
Photographic Memory: 25%
Soul Skills (40 points)
Charm: 20%
Lying: 20%
Hunches: 15%
Vocal Imitation: 15%

Jerry is a very intelligent, quite nimble guy who isn't all that empathetic; he's good with doing multiple things at once and keeping track of all kinds of things in his head, but a lot of human interaction puzzles him. He has a bizarre fascination with vampires, in art, in literature, in movies, and so he is driven to see or read anything containing them, from Anne Rice books to Bram Stoker to Vlad the Impaler's history to the Twilight books. He's had some bad experiences with bees, because his presence seems to drive them wild, and so he's afraid of them. He's a white guy, but racism just sets him off; he's never seen a reason why people hate each other because of skin color, when there are so many better reasons. And he loves books, and works in book preservation to keep books old and new from falling apart. He's just beginning to learn about what lies underneath the world everyone else knows, but he hasn't become obsessed enough with anything yet to uncover the secret pathways to magic that are the paths to being an Adept.

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