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  • amechra
    started a topic Expanding the Avatar Merit

    Expanding the Avatar Merit

    The Merit comes from here and is so Unknown Armies that it hurts.

    Now I have a few tweaks that I'd make:

    1. Much like Angels, Avatar Vices and Virtues do not have to fall within the normal boundaries of what a human being would consider a Vice or Virtue - an Avatar of DEATH might have Merciful as a Vice.
    2. Your first 2 or 3 dots of Avatar should not be overtly supernatural; the reason why I don't give a particular number is because some concepts might be more overtly supernatural than others. To use the Tarot as an example: The Fool is probably going to be less overtly supernatural (or flashy) than The Magician.
    3. You can (and should) tweak Dread Powers to better fit the concept; swapping out dice-pools, changing the aesthetics, and tweaking costs and activation requirements are all kosher.

    Example Avatar: The Scholar
    When most people imagine a scholar, they have a particular image in their head of someone past their prime, eyes glasses-clad and fingers stained with ink. For academics, this image is all to easy to slide into like a second skin.

    Symbolism: The Scholar's symbols are books and parchment and etchings; anything written is fair game; after the invention of glasses, they were rapidly incorporated into the Scholarly image. In a pinch, regional symbols of scholarship, wisdom, or professorship will do; a smoking jacket, a lab coat, a monk's robes, or a diploma are all valid expressions of the Scholar.
    Icons: Famous scientists and mathematicians shape the Scholar; however, the purest Icon of the Scholar would be the stereotypical professor from the B Movies of the 50s and 60s.

    Avatar Virtue: Curious; a Scholar's thirst for knowledge often eclipses hungers of the flesh. Whenever you put yourself at risk, physically or socially, to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, regain all your Willpower.
    Avatar Vice: Confident; a Scholar is sure that their research was flawless, and that there is no risk to this operation. Whenever you ignore a detail that disagrees with one of your theories, regain one Willpower.

    Taboos
    1st Taboo: You cannot allow a learning opportunity to pass without indulging in it, at least a little - actively refusing to learn breaks taboo.
    2nd Taboo: You cannot allow the outside world to interfere with your pursuit of knowledge; leaving your studies to perform unnecessary physical activities breaks taboo. This particular taboo is extremely context sensitive - getting up from light reading to go to the bathroom or take a walk wouldn't break taboo, while leaving urgent research for any reason short of "the building I am in is burning" would.
    3rd Taboo: You are a man (or woman) of reason; therefore, all of your decisions must be founded in your reason. Any overly emotional outburst or decision breaks taboo; while deciding to have a sandwich for lunch on a whim wouldn't break taboo, stopping your research because otherwise your spouse would leave you would.

    The Scholar's Powers

    Master Librarian (•)
    Cost: None
    Action: None

    You are incredibly meticulous when it comes to your little personal library; you double the benefits of any Library merit you might have, and may reduce the number of Successes you need on an Exceptional Success by your (relevant Skill rating + Library dots) rather than by just your Skill rating.

    Speed Reading (••)
    Cost: 1 Willpower
    Action: Instant
    Dice Pool: None

    With a little bit of focus, you can read through hundreds of pages in minutes, meticulously committing the important points to memory.
    By spending a minute skimming a piece of text, you can commit the entirety of the document to memory, granting you an appropriate Speciality. This speciality lasts until the you take the time to sleep or otherwise take a long break.

    Brilliant Cognition (•••)
    Cost: 1 Willpower
    Action: Instant
    Dice Pool: None
    Duration: Scene

    You may take a moment to sink into a deeper form of thought, where you carefully turn over every option and the most esoteric knowledge feels like it's within your reach.
    By activating this power, you add your Avatar Rating to your Intelligence for the rest of the Scene.

    Jaded Researcher (••••)
    Cost: None
    Action: None

    You've read so many "madness inducing texts" that they are slightly pedestrian to you now; and no one can follow your reading patterns, as eclectic as they are.
    You may add your Avatar Rating to your Resistance traits when resisting any mind or emotion altering effect carried by text or images, and may apply a penalty equal to your Avatar Rating to any roll attempting to locate you or discover information about you due to what you know or what resources you've accessed.

    Rapid Correlation (•••••)
    Cost: 1 Willpower
    Action: Special (replaces a single Research roll.)
    Dice Pool: Library

    Information seems to flow off of the page and into your mind. It can be quite eery, what you can learn.
    Once per session, you may replace a normal Research roll with this power; you automatically gain a number of successes equal to the bonus from your Library instead of rolling.
    If you don't currently have access to one of your Libraries, another can do at a pinch; the number of successes you can gain varies between -1 (automatic Dramatic Failure) for not having books at all, all the way up to 3 for access to a fully stocked university library.
    Last edited by amechra; 10-29-2014, 09:21 PM.

  • StSword
    replied
    Okay, Kings Raven, I thought I might have been missing something.

    Amechra, I like your merit, but the results aren't really impressive enough if you really want the feel of an adept in nwod. I'd tie it to forbidden lore from Mirrors for full on adept weirdness, maybe tie it Conviction or allow charges to be spent on some of those expanded willpower options from Mirrors for a "maybe magic maybe mundane" option.

    With the caveat that no obsession charge can be used for anything that doesn't serve the obsession but perhaps a charge could be done to allow such possibilities as ignoring defense, getting a clue, hurrying extended rolls, supreme effort, and maybe even survival or narrative elements, that nothing in the universe will stand in their way and the universe listens.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    It strikes me as more of a generic "obsession superpower" than actual Unknown Armies Adepts; but obsession superpowers are pretty cool.

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  • amechra
    replied
    No opinion on the Adept merit?

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Originally posted by StSword View Post
    Okay, I have a question, Raven, is there a reason why it seems only muggles can channel the deities like this?
    standard WoD convetions. Feel free to ignore them.

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  • amechra
    replied
    Being an Adept is more like a Merit, though - or a Wisdom 0 Mage in Mage2e.

    I think it would be more along the lines of:

    Adept (• - •••••)
    You have recognized some great truth about the universe! Well... you believe it's a truth, anyway. Most people wouldn't agree with you.
    Effect:
    Adept has a separate benefit based off of your Rating:
    •: You develop an Obsession Persistent condition with regards to some topic; in addition, you gain a 4th Aspiration, which must be in line with your Obsession. This Aspiration is referred to as your Obsessive Aspiration. If you fulfil an Obsessive Aspiration, you must replace it with another Obsessive Aspiration.
    ••: Whenever you fulfil your Obsessive Aspiration or take a Beat due to your Obsession, you gain a Minor Charge - a measure of magical mojo generated by your unhealthy focus. You can only "hold" one Minor Charge at once, and you cannot spend both Willpower and a Minor Charge to increase the same dice pool.
    •••: You may hold up to two Minor Charges at once; you may only spend one Minor Charge a turn. Additionally, you gain the Eye for the Strange merit, regardless of whether or not you meet the prerequisites.
    ••••: Once per Story when you fulfil your Obsessive Aspiration or take a Beat due to your Obsession in a way that brought you significant personal, social, or fiscal loss, you may forgo gaining a Minor Charge to instead gain a Major Charge - a serious packet of mystical might. In addition, you gain the Indomitable Merit, regardless of whether or not you meet the prerequisites; in addition, if an attempt to manipulate you or apply mental influence that goes against your Obsession is a Failure, it is automatically downgraded to a Dramatic Failure.
    •••••: You may hold up to 3 Minor Charges at once. In addition, you gain a single dot of Mojo, and may purchase up to 3 dots for 5xp apiece.
    Drawback: Your Obsession is all-consuming - if you ever resolve your Obsession condition, you permanently lose this merit (you do, however, regain the XP you spent on it). On gaining your second dot of Adept, you gain a Taboo; breaking your Taboo causes you to lose all of your Major and Minor Charges, regardless of whether or not you broke it willingly (or knowingly). Finally, any attempt to convince you to perform an action in line with your Obsession achieves an Exceptional Success with 3 successes.

    Minor Charge and Major Charge
    A Minor Charge may be spent any time a point of Willpower could be spent, and has the same effects (increasing a dice pool or a resistance trait; fuelling a merit); whenever you do so, the action warps slightly to allow your Obsession to shine through.

    A Major Charge is significantly more potent; you may spend a Major Charge any time you could spend a Minor Charge. However, doing so has one of the following effects:
    • If you spent it to improve a dice pool, you may choose two of the benefits of Risking Willpower and apply them to the roll.
    • If you spent it to activate a merit, you may apply one of the benefits of Risking Willpower to the activation roll. If the merit has no activation roll, you may instead either ignore the merit's Drawback or regain a single Willpower.
    • If you spent it to improve a Resistance trait, add +5 to your Resistance trait instead of +2.
    Neither Minor Charges nor Major Targets can be spent to improve a dice pool for an action that would break Taboo or otherwise oppose your Obsession. Nor can you spend them to activate a merit in a way that would oppose your Obsession or break Taboo, and you cannot spend them to increase your Resistance traits against any influence that attempts to convince you to take an action in line with your Obsession.

    Mojo
    Mojo is a form of Potency; it is added to any roll that gain 9-again due to your Obsession condition; however, you take your Mojo as a penalty to all other rolls.


    Example Adept School:

    Ablutomancy
    Obsession: "Cleanliness is next to godliness; therefore, everythinghas to be clean."
    Appropriate Aspirations:
    Clean my house from top to bottom.
    Convince those slobs next door to clean up their act.
    Leave this murder scene spic-n-span.
    Taboo:
    Ablutomancers break Taboo whenever they become noticeably soiled; they cannot gain Minor or Major Charges until they clean themselves up.

    Leave a comment:


  • StSword
    replied
    Okay, I have a question, Raven, is there a reason why it seems only muggles can channel the deities like this? Considering the gods of myth include shapeshifters, blood drinkers, and spellcasters, I would think that if nothing else some people who channel their gods too much would cease being human.

    And its not like in UA you couldn't be an adept and a godwalker I understand.

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  • amechra
    replied
    Oh, and I meant expanding in the sense of the God-Walker merit and supplying a second example.

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  • amechra
    replied
    That does look like a better arrangement; I'll edit the OP with my tweaks on that.

    So, here's a little something I've been working on:

    God-Walker (• - •••••)
    Prerequisite: Avatar 3 + [Dots in God-Walker]; Maximum Avatar 5
    This Merit marks the "next step" in an Avatar's evolution into their larger self. It marks both a loss of identity and a greater exaggeration of their "unnatural" power.

    Each dot of God-Walker can adjust a given Avatar Power by a number of points through the Research & Development system; they may make as much an adjustment as they wish, but they still must end up with an "Endowment" equal to the given dot value:

    •: One dot.
    ••: One dot.
    •••: Two dots
    ••••: Two dots
    •••••: Three dots

    As an added benefit, you may use your God-Walker dots as a Supernatural Tolerance trait; any effect that would directly compel you to break Taboo is an automatic Dramatic Failure.

    Drawbacks: Becoming a God-Walker is the start of the end of "you" as a distinct person; each time you gain a dot of God-Walker, replace one of your personal Breaking Points with one matching the concept towards which you are an Avatar.
    In addition, upon gaining the 1st, 3rd, and 5th dots of God-Walker, replace one of your Aspirations with an Aspect Aspiration - whenever you fulfil an Aspect Aspiration, replace it with another Aspect Aspiration.
    Finally, if you have at least 2 dots in the God-Walker merit, you must pay 1 Willpower to attempt any actions that would break taboo; if you have 4 dots, you are psychologically incapable of willingly breaking any of your taboos.

    How this works:

    Let's say I was to take a dot in God-Walker (The Fat Man); now, I talk to my ST and we decide that the first dot lets you add +2 to your Presence when using Avatar (The Fat Man) • if you activate it while gorging yourself on food (+2 to an Attribute (4) + Strange Cost (-3) = 1).

    I go through the list of Aspirations listed for The Fat Man and pick out "Eat a five-course meal by myself."; that replaces one of my Aspirations, and if it is fulfilled, I have to replace it with another Aspiration from The Fat Man's list.

    Then I look at my Breaking Point questions and pick "What is the worst thing that ever happened to me?" I talk some more with my ST and decide that an appropriate answer from The Fat Man is "I once went hungry; never again."

    End result? Let's say I have Avatar (The Fat Man) ••• and God-Walker (The Fat Man) •; I now have to follow two Taboos, have a matching Virtue or Vice, and have an "alien" Breaking Point and Aspiration. On the plus side, I can "supplement" the Fat Man Avatar Power 1 (can we please just name the things? It makes them easier to refer to AND remember.) by gorging myself to get a +5 bonus to Presence instead of a +3.


    EDIT: Fixed up the Scholar; I think the 5th dot is a sufficiently scary trick (a Scholar with Library 3 for Occult and Occult 3 can start up their research, use Rapid Correlation to get an automatic 6 successes, and then choose the "Reduce the number of Successes needed" option. That would let them find the Ban or Bane of any Ghost with a Rank of 4 or less. In about half an hour. Alternatively, use it to "cap off" a bout of research to give yourself that last little push you need) to stand on its own merit, though I could consider letting you pick two options if the power gives you an exceptional success instead of one.
    Last edited by amechra; 10-29-2014, 09:26 PM.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Originally posted by amechra View Post
    The Merit comes from here and is so Unknown Armies that it hurts.
    I'm takeing that that as a complimant. The Fat Man was actually taken from an Unkown Armies fansite (with permission from it's author).

    For the curious I chose The Fat Man partly for being a non-obvious choice but partly because he's great for a sort of "the king of the small town" (corruption optional). It seemed like a pretty cool charachter you might play when a cult is moving in on your town.


    A question though; what do you mean by "expanding"; since your tweaks are very small. Though I'm going to steal that first one for sure


    Originally posted by amechra View Post
    ... And I admit I'm at a loss for the 5th dot.
    You should always feel free to create new Dread Powers just for an avatar.

    I admit I'm not too fond of your forth dot; since those Merits are things that a Scholar will have anyway which limits it's use. Here's my take on The Scholar, with a slight skew towards occult researchers because this is Hunter.

    Double Bonus for Libary
    •• Speed reading
    ••• Brilliant Cognition
    •••• When learning "dangerous knowledge" add Scholar to your resistance roll (so protection from going mad after reading the Necromonicon). Monsters that track victims based on what they know subtract Scholar from their dicepool to hunt the Scholar.
    ••••• You can find almost anything in a library. Once per session. Roll Academics + Library without the 1 dot power (if you don't have your Library you take a penalty, -5 from an average home's bookshelf to -0 for high quality university library). Each success lets you ask one question that can be answered in a sentence or less. "Who is that ghost, how did he die, what is his Bane, what will resolve his anchor to the tree". There are some limits; no asking what really happened to Father Wolf.

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