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Character Creation 13: Unknown Armies

Once again, some missed nights. Admittedly, I had good reason: I was on Bute for some time away. It's a good place, less isolated-feeling than Cumbrae but with a lot of Victorian seaside charm. It also has Mount Stuart, which is quite possibly the poshest place I've ever been. Despite it being summer (and thus warm) it remained grey and the visibility was pretty crap, so we didn't get to see much. The weather also discouraged walking, which was a pity as most of the island is nice and remote.

Anyway, that's my excuse for not posting characters. Back to it:

The Game: Unknown Armies
The Publisher: Atlas Games
Degree of Familiarity: Oh yeah. Played and run it a bunch online and offline.
Books Required: The corebook

Ahh, Unknown Armies. I bought the corebook on a whim in Germany. Bought a whole swath of supplements, and I can honestly say that I can't think of a single other game where every book is a hit. Oddly, I never bought the second edition. The first edition had everything that I need for the game, especially with the supplements, and by the time the second ed came about, I wasn't actively playing and cash was tight enough that I couldn't justify a copy. Now, I can't justify a copy because there's not enough to justify upscaling. Oh well.

Personality
Normally, when it comes to UA I go for the straight unpowered Duke. Occasionally the tough-guy, more often the random mission specialist later going for the route to empowerment through becoming an adept. But just for today, bollocks to that. Time to hit the magic and hit it hard. And of course, when you hit the magic only the first hit comes for free. I'm thinking Entropomancer, a mad accident waiting to happen, willing to stake everything on the flip of a coin or the roll of a dice. Que sera, sera. But rather than passively accepting that, he's willing to make chances, and take the resulting chaos and inject it back into the world.

Tyler Jericho isn't his real name, he knows better than to give that away. That's the only risk he doesn't take. Everything else is free, everything else is random. A mild-mannered salesman, his wife died as a result of a freak coincidence—someone tossed a penny off the top of the Empire State Building and it landed on her head0. They'd won the trip to New York in a contest on the local radio station. Other people might focus on trying to make their life more ordered after an event like that, but Jericho couldn't. He had to believe that million-to-one chances can happen. Everything's balanced, right? He's on a sacred mission to work out what the hell happened that day to make sense of it. He's a fairly typical Libra when it comes down to it, .

Obsession
This much is easy: Tyler's obsessed with Chaos and seemingly random events. They shaped his life, but he won't let the world turn him into a passive observer. He's not only a fiend for random chance, he's branched out into ways to buck the odds, from card sharping to double-headed coins and loaded dice.

Passions
Every character in UA has three passions. First one's keyed to Rage. What makes our man Jericho mad? I'm thinking it's something to do with people. People who don't care for the consequences of their own actions and go on to hurt other people. Obviously, that's the guy who threw the penny (if anyone actually did), but it's also all those people who just don't give a crap. The bartender who allows a drunk to drive home. The cop who tells his son to get even with the bullies, and leaves his .38 on the counter rather than putting it away. They're all the same in his head.

Next one's Fear. So, what would Tyler fear? The obvious thing would be something related to his insanity, but, well, no. He's a normal guy who happens to be obsessed with chaos. While he's good enough at what he does, he's a normal guy who tried to hide his obsession when it'd get in the way. Anything that demonstrates that there's a wider occult underpinning to the world than he's already aware of. That's keyed to his Unnatural meter.

Finally, the Noble stimulus. What pokes him to act outwith his best interests? Simple: What goes around, comes around. Treat him fairly (or at least don't ladle the shit on him too deep) and he'll actually try to keep the occult underground from taking an interest in an otherwise normal person.

Stats
Four stats, 220 points. Tyler's a likable enough guy, and he makes friends very easily. One of the reasons he was such a good salesman is that he always knew what people wanted almost before they did. He's no smarter than normal, but he's also not particularly slow. That's 50 points into Mind and 70 into Soul right there. Thinking about the other two, I figure his Body's below average: life-threatening risks that go wrong tend to leave permanent scars. They've not impaired his ability to get out of the way in a hurry, indeed they've actually honed his agility. 45 points into Body, 55 into Speed.

Now, I need to pick a descriptor for every stat. Body's easy: "Patchwork of scars". Speed gets "Lightning reflexes". For Mind, I figure he's a "College drop-out". And for Soul, he's "Always sincere"

Skills
Same number of points in Skills as come from the related stat, with 15% free in two "everyman" skills. In order:

Body skills include General Athletics and Struggle, both at 15% initially. I drop 40 points into "Walk on broken legs", his ability to operate semi-normally when he should be collapsed in a bloody pile—and to remain breathing until an ambulance arrives. The remaining five points go into boosting Struggle to 20.

Speed skills include Drive and Dodge. Dodge is the big one, so I ramp it to 35. More points into Drive, giving me a Reckless Driver skill of 25. I figure he carries a backup gun, as much for playing Russian Roulette for magical juice as for shooting people. That gives me "Range Shooter" at 15%, which seems about right; he's comfortable pointing a gun at paper targets but real people always give him pause. Oddly, that's not the case with magickal blasts.

For Mind, you get General Education and Notice. Notice is another big one: if you can't see when something insanely dangerous is about to happen, you can't get there. I raise it to 35. General Education goes up to 20: he could have graduated college, but it wouldn't have been easy and money ran out too soon for it to matter. I put the remaining points in Synchronicity, the study of coincidence and (to a lesser extent) unlikely events1.

Finally, Soul. Lying and Charm come free. Here, the real meat of the skill list is Entropomancy, the magic of chance and chaos. I'll take that at 50%. Tyler's an honest salesman, relying on his force of personality to close a sale over a cup of coffee and a quiet chat. The remaining 20 points thus go into Charm.

Tidying Up
My obsession skill has to be the magick skill. Nothing else really matters to Tyler at this point.

Cherries are special effects that fire on a matched success. For 11 and 22 I take "Tricky", allowing me to flip-flop the next roll. For 33 I take "Mojo", for the bonus to magick, and 44 is "Potent", because a little extra juice never hurt.

I have to take one Hardened and one Failed notch in The Unnatural, and that keys to the Fear stimulus. I'll take another failed notch in Isolation, over the pain of losing his wife, and use that to buy a Hardened notch in Helplessness, as he's coming to terms with his role as an actor, rather than a spectator.

That's me done.

Tyler has Wound Points equal to his Body, so 45.

Name: Tyler Jericho
Wound Points: 45
Obsession: Chaos and unlikely events
Rage Stimulus: People who don't care for the consequences of actions that go on to hurt other people.
Fear Stimulus: (The Unnatural) Magick, especially that outside the Entropomancy domain. He's sure that the world's rational but unpredictable, and has got swept up in the world a bit too fast for his own comfort.
Noble Stimulus: People who make fair deals deserve a fair deal in return.

Body: 45 (Patchwork of scars)
General Athletics 15%, Struggle 20%, Walk on Broken Legs 40%
Speed: 55 (Lightning reflexes)
Dodge 35%, Range Shooter 15%, Reckless Driver 25%
Mind: 50 (College drop-out)
General Education 20%, Notice 35%, Synchronicity 25%
Soul: 70 (Always sincere)
Charm 35%, Entropomancy 50%, Lie 15%

Charges: 4 Minor

Madness Meters
Violence: 0/0
The Unnatural: 1/1
Helplessness: 1/0
Isolation: 0/1
Self: 0/0

Cherries
11 Tricky
22 Tricky
33 Mojo
44 Potent

0: I know about the Mythbusters episode. I don't care. Run with it.
1: The latter part isn't actually part of the field of synchronicity, but it's close enough to make this character work.

Comments

( 2 informants — We want information! )
cairmen
Jul. 25th, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
Good character. I'd like to see him in a game.
digitalraven
Jul. 25th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
So would I, to be honest. I want to play him as this complete straight-man, perfectly normal, doesn't act at all weird—until about three sessions in when the shit hits the fan and he does something suicidally risky out of the blue for a charge. And then not mention it, because to him it's perfectly normal and drawing attention to it is like drawing attention to a Dipsomancer's drinking.
( 2 informants — We want information! )

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