Author Topic: Unknown Armies  (Read 2164 times)

Entsuropi

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Unknown Armies
« on: June 16, 2003, 03:54:38 PM »
Nice review.

What is the game meant to be used for? That magic sounded... interesting. I could definitely see it being used in a game of Call of Cthulhu for instance. However, what are you meant to do with the magic? After all, Mage sticks in a war for reality, to give definition and usage of your powers. Nobilis has the same. What does Unknown Armies have?
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Fellfrosch

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2003, 01:10:42 AM »
Good question. The answer is "not much."

They make this big deal about soem sort of secret underground, but there's nothing there. You (the GM) sort of make things up. Maybe there's a major conspiracy. Maybe not. At the beginning, the game relies on your characters not knowing anything about the underground.

By the time you're powerful ("high level"), a thematic meta-plot starts to arise. People are trying to join the Invisible Clergy, essentially becoming such great avatars that they become the archetype itself. Maybe you want to do that too. Maybe you want to stop people from doing it. The problem is beginning characters know nothing of this so there's nothing innate holding them together for it. It's easily worked around by just using a dual plot campaign. Part 1: find out about your powers and the underground occult. Part 2: rise in power in the occult (or try to kill the occult, there's a single organization described that does that, and it's the most interesting: no one in the group has magick, and they're all Catholic priests).

Either way it still leaves a gaping hole. The adepts and the avatars aren't supposed to understand each others' theories. They're not antagonistic, they just think the other philosophy has it wrong and won't go anywhere. But how do you reconcile that with adepts suddenly trying to get somone in or out of the Invisibile Clergy? Uh... you don't. Not without rewriting the whole relationship adepts have with avatars.

Again, I liked the ritual magic ideas best. I can see writing a game where the success of the magic comes from players defining how they're gonna do the spell, and having the effect reduced each time they repeat a casting the same way.

Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2003, 10:38:10 AM »
It was really dark for almost no reason... Cthulu was a better horror game.
Still the mechanics are interesting....
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Entsuropi

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2003, 01:03:30 PM »
So essentially, its a good book to steal the mechanics from?

Thinking about it, imagine a CoC game where the only magic is that in the UA book - magic that corrupts and destroy's (how do you plural this word?) you. That could make for... interesting roleplaying, if done in moderation.

Saint, is it worth getting to book for the mechanics alone?
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Fellfrosch

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2003, 11:56:05 PM »
YEah, I'd say the best summation is it's great to steal mechanics from.

And whether it's worth buying to cannibalize I'd say is purely a function of how much disposable income you have. If you only have $20-30 a month for play money, I'd say there are better purchases. If you're going to buy 3 or 4 gaming books this month, it might be worth it going into it knowing what you know now.

However, to be honest, I can probably remember enough myself to give you anything you might need so that you can develop them for a different game.

Oh, and you're not looking for a plural (that's a declenation, what you do with nouns), you want a third person singular conjugation of the verb. No apostrophe.

Pascal

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2003, 08:54:18 PM »
Quote
Good question. The answer is "not much."

They make this big deal about soem sort of secret underground, but there's nothing there. You (the GM) sort of make things up. Maybe there's a major conspiracy. Maybe not. At the beginning, the game relies on your characters not knowing anything about the underground.





By the time you're powerful ("high level"), a thematic meta-plot starts to arise. People are trying to join the Invisible Clergy, essentially becoming such great avatars that they become the archetype itself. Maybe you want to do that too. Maybe you want to stop people from doing it. The problem is beginning characters know nothing of this so there's nothing innate holding them together for it. It's easily worked around by just using a dual plot campaign. Part 1: find out about your powers and the underground occult. Part 2: rise in power in the occult (or try to kill the occult, there's a single organization described that does that, and it's the most interesting: no one in the group has magick, and they're all Catholic priests).

Either way it still leaves a gaping hole. The adepts and the avatars aren't supposed to understand each others' theories. They're not antagonistic, they just think the other philosophy has it wrong and won't go anywhere. But how do you reconcile that with adepts suddenly trying to get somone in or out of the Invisibile Clergy? Uh... you don't. Not without rewriting the whole relationship adepts have with avatars.

Again, I liked the ritual magic ideas best. I can see writing a game where the success of the magic comes from players defining how they're gonna do the spell, and having the effect reduced each time they repeat a casting the same way.[/quote]

Well being a fan of UA

Pascal

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2003, 08:59:15 PM »
Quote





Err, accidental post.
Please ignore.
Sorry

Fellfrosch

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2003, 01:58:27 PM »
Hi, Pascal. Are you...THE Pascal? Or Turbo Pascal?

You know, Turbo Pascal would be a good name for a french superhero who could run really fast and works as a programmer on the side.
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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2003, 11:50:22 PM »
If Gregory meets this "Turbo Pascal" he's going to beat the frog up.

Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2003, 02:02:51 PM »
Well I decided to review UA and realized that I dont hate the darkness of the settin as much as I though I did.
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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2003, 07:34:31 PM »
Umm Jeffe why does your review have no score?
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2003, 08:54:21 PM »
ask Fell I included one, it got a 5 from me.
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Fellfrosch

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2003, 02:03:22 PM »
That's very strange, it was still there when I saved it. I also notice that it's in the wrong department. Hmm.
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Spriggan

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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2003, 05:42:13 PM »
Well I added the score last night but didn't notice anything with the deparment.
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Re: Unknown Armies
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2003, 11:30:45 AM »
I noticed that Jeffe and I didn't actually disagree on very much at all. MY problem is essentially that the writers focused on the very disturbing aspects of the game. THe ones that you have to be a freak to get interested in, and that's a freak by freak standards.