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Why I Like Unknown Armies

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RPGPundit:
I really dig Unknown Armies. This might seem strange since the game does border on pretentiousness and has some natural appeal to the Swine, but to me it doesn't actually go over the top into pretentiousness, and has something that most of the Swine games lack: substance.  To me the whole basis of UA is that magic is possible but only through obsession and a total disconnection from social and psychological normality. So just as in Call of Cthulhu (another great game of similar vein) the PCs have to constantly choose how much of their sanity they are willing to sacrifice for the sake of truth; in UA the choice is how much of your humanity and ability to function in society you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of power.  I'm also a real sucker for a well done conspiracy game, and UA is a conspiracy game with the twist that most of the so-called occultists are really just total poseurs and losers, while the real power players are groups that on the surface look nothing like what we in the normal world associate with the "occult".

RPGPundit July 15th 2005

Mr. Analytical:
Here Here.  I adore Unknown Armies, if only because it's the only modern horror game out there.

One of the things I've noticed about the RPG scene is that genres generally don't progress.  For example, nobody seems to have told Talsorian that actually... the whole arcology and PVC boots style of cyberpunk imploded about 20 years ago.  In the mean time there have been dozens of great books written within the cyberpunk vignette but they are utterly ignored by most game publishers.

Similarly, the only modern sci-fi game out there is Transhuman Space.  Everything else is mired in the 70's.

Unknown Armies is modern horror and modern fantasy... it's Tim Powers and Neil Gaiman.


I think this is because most gamers are fueled by the same drives that makes people buy all of those dreadful fat fantasy novels... they really aren't interested in anything new.  They want the safe, they want the familiar and they want the bland.

RPGPundit:

--- Quote from: Mr. Analytical ---Here Here.  I adore Unknown Armies, if only because it's the only modern horror game out there.
--- End quote ---


Yar, matey, methinks ye have forgotten a few games there: not least of which be ye Call of Cthulhu, that game of ye squid-headed scourge of the briny deep; which can be played modern, in its regular format or as Delta Green.  There be quite a few others as well, by thunder!


--- Quote ---
One of the things I've noticed about the RPG scene is that genres generally don't progress.  For example, nobody seems to have told Talsorian that actually...
--- End quote ---


Yar, but that be because Mike Pondsmith be more daft rum mad than Missis Miggin's Husband!


--- Quote ---
Similarly, the only modern sci-fi game out there is Transhuman Space.  Everything else is mired in the 70's.
--- End quote ---


Yarrr, me thinks that be subjective as well. It depends on if ye view Transhumanism as a truely new phenomenon... and let me tell ye this, me bucko, Old Cap'n Pundit wages that in five or ten year Transhuman Space will seem as right silly as "sci fi" as how we view ye old books which predicted we'd all be riding in rocket-cars by now! Yar har!


--- Quote ---
I think this is because most gamers are fueled by the same drives that makes people buy all of those dreadful fat fantasy novels... they really aren't interested in anything new.  They want the safe, they want the familiar and they want the bland.
--- End quote ---


Avast, me laddie, I'll wager that be because ye Familiar be safe and tend to at least be mediocre; whereas ye so-called "cutting edge" often be nothing but bilge. Ye "cutting edge" only be good if it be done very well, which bless Neptune, Unknown Armies truely be, says I!

YARRRPGPundit

Vellorian:
I wanted to start up a UA game at one point, bought the book, had a couple of character generation sessions, introduced players one-by-one to the way the game works and had some very interesting characters developed....

...and then one of our "key players" decided he couldn't handle UA.  Because he was a "key player", most of the others kowtowed to his choice.

And the reason he didn't want to play?

It was "too close" to the way he thought the world "really works" and he was uncomfortable "letting something loose" through our game play.

RPGPundit:
I can tell you one thing, I've never seen a game that so adequately represented how "real" magicians are.

That is to say, not in any metaphysical sense, but in the sense that the more you try to gain "power" from the occult/mysticism, the more divorced you have to be from your normal humanity and the more incapable you become of functioning in everyday society.

The idea of tying obsession with magic was brilliant.

RPGPundit

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