View Full Version : Unknown Armies

03-03-2008, 01:06 PM
Who has played it? What are your thoughts? I really like part 1 but part 2 kinda rubs me wrong for Player Characters as all the adepts and avatars seam completely insane on first reading.

03-04-2008, 01:23 AM
Oh, Unknown Armies rocks. (Well...1st edition did; I haven't played 2nd edition.) I have a friend who uses the system whenever he has a weird character generation idea for players.

I think part of the reason that the adepts and avatars seem completely insane is that they are. You don't get involved in the Occult Underground unless you're crazy.

03-05-2008, 12:05 PM
I ran my first game of it last night. Character creation was a little painful as a few players wanted more structure but they came around to making up skills like unbelievably flexible. I found myself asking for rolls way too often but I caught myself a few times and just asked if they had a relevant skill. Didn't get into any combat or obsessions/passions but we did have some madness meter checks and that seams to add some good fun as we got a couple fails and a couple hardend. It seams like this game has a lot of potential for fun with the right players but you need people who can handle a less structured style of play

03-05-2008, 01:21 PM
I just checked the wikipedia entry about it. Sounds like a nice game but could you guys tell a little more about the game style, type of scenarii, reward system, etc.. ?

What I find appealing is the amount of material already published for the game. Nice, nice.

03-05-2008, 02:34 PM
So its a percentile system (roll under) where 01 is awesome and doubles (11,22,33,etc) give you a bonus (sometimes). There are 4 attributes (Body, Speed, Mind, Soul). These attributes can be defaulted to if you don't have the skill at either -30% (no stress) or 01 and doubles (stress). 15% in a skill is competent level meaning if your in a no stress situation you do not need to roll you just succeed. There are 10 or so given skills at 15% starting but the rest you make up and/or replace the existing skills. So like theres a skill called "struggle" (its brawling) and one of my PCs changed it for his ex-con to be "shank or be shanked" the stripper PC called it something like "nail em in the groin". You may pick an obsession (you make this up) it attaches to a skill. You also pick 3 passions (something you fear, something that causes you to do the right thing, and something that makes you mad), anytime your obsession or passions comes into play the doubles mean something when you roll. There is also a madness meter. This is broken into 5 types of horrifying things (Violence, Unnatural, Self, Isolation, and one I'm forgetting). Say someone near you gets shot if your Violence meter has a hardness less than 3 you roll if you succeed you add one to your hardness if you fail you check a failed box. Maxing out in hardness you become callous to the world unable to relate to society, Maxing out your failed you become paranoid and driven by fear also unable to relate to society. Therapy can help remove boxes from both.

Combat seams simple enough but I have not run it yet so no comment.

The game style is somewhat call of cthuhlu without the mythos and set in modern times. It a modern horror game focused on your metal stability (or lack their of). Its broken into 3 parts or power levels, part 1 - street is you know something is wrong with the world maybe even that there are some crazy cultists but you don't know the details. part 2 - your an adept or avatar, a crazy guy who casts magic and isn't quite right in the head (ie your one of the cultists or know quite a bit about the cults) part 3 - I have not read yet so no comment.

type of scenario (not sure if thats what you meant) - Our game was set on the Vegas strip with no prior knowledge of occult activities by any character.

reward system - your supposed to give 4-8xp per session and you buy your skills up at a 1:1 and attributes up at 2:1

For me I like it because I can run Dark Conspiracy with out all the weird futuristic crap and some other parts I did not like. I think combats will feel much more real than nWOD, AFMBE, or CoC but I wont know until we actually have a combat or two.

03-05-2008, 02:38 PM
Ok that's for the system. What about the typical PC group ? What kind of adventures are they thrown in ? What's the background of the stories ?

03-05-2008, 02:51 PM
ok starting fiction


03-05-2008, 03:55 PM
Very nice fiction, indeed. It settles the mood and style, I even wish it was longer :P I'm very interested by the mature tongue in cheek content of this game. After reading more about it I would say the probable downfall for this game is to be able to gather a team of individuals who enjoy this style of horror/freestyle, but I could be wrong. Seems to me that if one doesn't powerplay, combat are bound to be a bit frustrating. If I understand right, people usually have skills in the low 20 or up to 40%, am I right ? Probably not a trauma for Cthulhu players, probably not the cup of tea of those who play superhero or fantasy tanks. Still the perspective of an Lynch/Carnivale/Barker type of atmosphere sounds really yummy.

Well I think I'll try to get my hand on the corebook as soon as the tooth faerie has biskitz for me...

03-06-2008, 11:16 AM
Seems to me that if one doesn't powerplay, combat are bound to be a bit frustrating. If I understand right, people usually have skills in the low 20 or up to 40%, am I right ?

Well if you hit in melee your doing 11+weapon damage on average and your body score is your hit points more or less. For firearms your doing percentile damage with a max amount of 30 for small arms (so your average would be max damage). So when you get hit its going to hurt probably not kill you with the first one but you start taking wound penalties when your loose 25% of your HP. I don't think its any more deadly that Cthuhlu but as a player its seams worse because the GM is tracking your HP for you so you really don't know how much you have left.

03-06-2008, 11:18 AM
I was thinking more in the way of chances to hit targets. But I guess the game has been tested enough in 10 years and I shouldn't worry about that :)