Rejected Schools of Magick in Unknown Armies

Of all the elements that make Unknown Armies stand out from other roleplaying games, it's probably its strange, postmodern take on magick. Imaginative, engaging, even hilarious schools of magick make kewl powerz that are actually cool. There are dozens of fan-created schools, each of them a singular vision of a certain type of character who has the specific obsession that gives rise to their magick.

This got us thinking: Is there anything that can't be a compelling Unknown Armies school of magick? We gave it our best shot to come up with schools too goofy, too weird, or too dull to be interesting. But actively trying not to be awesome was harder than it seemed! Did we succeed at failing, or do these still sound like interesting schools of magick?

Pagotomancy—The magick of ice cream. Minor charges involve creating new flavors of sweet, cold confections. Of course, the blast involves really bad brain freeze. Like, actual, literal freezing of brains. A secret war rages between the Gelati and the Soft Serve.

Esorouchurgy—The magick of underwear. Acquiring the underwear of the famous and powerful could be a source of charges, but so can acquiring the underwear worn at historic events like Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Spells include things like "Down on Skid Row," "Four Days Good," and "Hyperwedgie." But would esourochurges be required to go commando themselves?

Videofelimancy—The magick of cat videos. Their hypnotic quality and unfailing ability to improve people's moods must surely come from a form of magick. For a significant charge, track down the original video file of the first Internet cat video. The annual cult meeting takes place in Saint Paul, Minnesota at the International CatVidFest.

Ozomancy—The magic of terrible smells. Naturally, high schools are great places to acquire minor charges, from the concentrated stink of a locker room to the weaponized scent of cheap body spray. The paradox is, of course, that the ozomancer must be meticulously clean and devoid of any scent whatsoever. If they acquire any of the scents they work with, good or bad, they must immediately clean up to avoid the taboo.

What can you come up with? Remember, the Statosphere is coming. Unknown Armies 3rd Edition has and always will thrive on the creativity of its audience.

2 comments:

  1. I see the first companion sourcebook coalescing!

    A request - a Causal papercut spell, please!

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  2. The magic of "waifus" (hardcore anime fan jargon for a 2D, usually video game or anime character, with whom they've fallen *badly* in love). Their power is drawn from the paradox that otakus wish for their "waifu" to be real because they idolize her like a goddess (some good postmodern magick right there) as everything perfect about femininity yet have no interest in "3D" women because they're "imperfect". Their proportions aren't cute like in anime, they smell, they have bad personality traits. If the waifu were to become a real, flesh and blood person, the otaku would likely lose interest in her. In truth, what they crave is the unattainable.

    Charges could be gained from "sacrificing" romantic opportunities in real life because they aren't as perfect as the "waifu" (leading to the bizarre situation of otakus, naturally among the most disgusting of god's creatures, becoming masters of seduction so they can attract members of the opposite sex then break up with them in the last moment so they can go back to worshipping waifu-chan). Alternatively, maybe they could gain charges from spending days on end watching media featuring their waifu or acquiring rare and expensive merchandise. A Major Charge could be gained from personally inventing, creating, and marketing a new waifu into a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of its own adoring otaku fans - someone on the scale of Miku Hatsune, the Kantai Collection girls or the Idolm@ster dolls.

    Their taboo would be having romantic or sexual contact, or even fantasizing too hard, about anyone other than the waifu, 2D and all.

    Magic would revolve around the themes of perfection, imperfection and adoration. Their blast would work by destructively magnifying the "imperfections" in a thing, causing tiny scratches to tear into gaping wounds and cracks to crumble into faultlines. A Major Charge could be used to turn the waifu into a true human being, but of course, ever becoming involved with her would break their Taboo...

    (Female users of the School are known as Fujoshi and idolize the impossibly handsome, oftentimes homosexual men of anime, though recently a splinter movement in the US has began fetishizing a certain impossibly hunky, sparkling vampire...)

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