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Continuing from last thread, our effort to fix, rebalance and re-envision one of the most iconic yet most infamously problematic Schools in Unknown Armies.

TL;DR: despite being one of the game's most famous features, Dipsomancy has long been considered mechanically broken, to the point that the devs actually dropped it from the latest edition. This was due to a large number of reasons, primarily:

1. The sheer ease of gaining charges was never truly as balanced by the supposed "inherent disadvantages" as the devs had thought it would be. In practice, the drunkenness penalties are simply too little, and apply too seldom, to balance out the fact a Dipsomancer could gain dozens of charges per night.

2. The Dipsomancy Taboo, that was designed so that characters would break it on a daily basis and thus reflect the School's symbolic theme of "easy come, easy go" (alcohol gives you a quick and easy answer, but betrays you soon enough), wasn't at all like that in practice. At losing 5% of inebriation per hour it was exceedingly easy for players to game the system so that they're never sober simply by drinking 45% worth of alcohol before going to sleep, then making drinking the first thing they do once they wake up. In a sense, it's not even out of character when you're playing an alcoholic - but it's certainly not good balance.

cont.
>>
>>59713202

3. The game system simply wasn't built to simulate the long-term OR day to day effects of being an alcoholic. There's no system for damaging your liver, losing your job, acting like an ass or not being able to make friends. Technically, there's not even a system in place to force you into having poor judgement. There's no system to make it any harder for you to wake up in the morning after a night of binge drinking, if only to try and contain some of the inherent game breaking potential of players who turn themselves into robo-Dipsomancers with clockwork precise drinking timetables that ensure they'll never break taboo and always have dozens of charges to spare. It's all on the players and the GM, and you might argue that's always the case when playing RPGs - but all the OTHER School have mechanically solid ways of enforcing their disadvantages. Hanging the entire mechanical validity of Dipsomancy on the player agreeing not to be a munchkin and the GM agreeing not to fuck with them doesn't make for a healthy game.

4. Some of the Dipsomancy formula spells were notoriously game breaking when combined with some of the above. Most infamous were probably Hold Your Liquor, which allowed you to ignore drunkenness penalties (so that even those rare occasions where they might pop up would be rendered irrelevant) and God Looks Out for Drunks, which allows you to use Dipsomancy instead of any other skill and given the amount of charges the average Dispomancer could lug around would mean they'd pretty much never have to roll anything else, turning them into living gods. Soul Sipping was just icing on the cake, being one of the most game breaking spells in Unknown Armies OVERALL.

5. The random magic domain was far, far, far, far too powerful - "cheating" or "the easy wait", almost by definition, could be taken as justification for accomplishing basically anything and everything with Dipsomancy.

cont.
>>
>>59713231

6. The binary nature of being able to gain significant charges was a pain in the neck to balance because once you've gotten your "significant drinking vessel", it was pretty much yours forever. So until you get it, you can never gain significant charges and are comparatively underpowered. Once you get it, you'll ALWAYS gain significant charges and turn into adept Superman. Sure: it's up to the GM when you can get your hands on one and whether any circumstances cause you to lose it (e.g. the book's implication that every other Dipsomancer in town would be after you) but the argument here is that this forces the GM to either consent to the player breaking the game or to just be a dick towards them. If the GM makes it too hard to gain a vessel, or ensures that it gets stolen from you twice a week, then he's ruining your enjoyment of the game/making it impossible for you to realize your character's potential. It's like "dealing with caster supremacy" by covering the entire setting with an antimagic field. Wizards are rendered useless. But of course, if the GM doesn't do that, you'll break the game in half.

cont.
>>
>>59713202
>>59713231
>>59713259

The constant problems into which attempts at fixing the School have traditionally ran highlight what might be the core issue with it, and potentially, the key to fixing it: while it doesn't appear that way on the surface (and everyone's loath to admit it because it's simply so iconic to the setting it's gotten a bit of a "sacred cow" reputation), the truth is that once you give it some thought Dipsomancy's very concept is very poorly defined.

Consider, to illustrate, the issue of the charging mechanics. All the other iconic schools in UA have a very clear symbolic logic running through theirs:

Plutomancy: for a minor charge, gain 100$. For a significant charge, 1000$. For a major charge, 20,000,000$. Taboo is spending money. Power from money: more money, more power, less money, less power.

Epideromancy: for a minor charge, cause yourself minor damage. For a significant charge, significant damage. For a major charge, permanent damage. Taboo is letting someone else change your body. Clean, clear and simple.

Entropomancy: minor charge, minor risk. Significant charge, significant risk. Major charge, major risk. Taboo is letting someone take a risk for you.

Then comes Dipsomancy, and suddenly you realize the symbolism of the charging mechanics is kinda all over the place. For a minor charge, take inebriation penalties... Then for a significant or major charge you need to drink from a historically significant vessel? Drink special alcohol? By regression from those you'd actually think Dipsomancy wasn't about being drunk insomuch as it's about obsessing over the cultural history of alcohol - but then, why is the Taboo being sober, rather than, say, drinking off-the-shelf alcohol with no special history?

cont.
>>
>>59713202
>>59713231
>>59713259
>>59713320

Consider people's difficulty with coming up with an alternative method of gaining Dipsomancy significant charges, and some of the common suggestions: it can't be drinking until you cause yourself damage (because self-harm isn't what Dipsomancy is ABOUT - that's Epideromancy), it can't be drinking in a socially inappropriate situation (because it's about the reality of being drunk, not about social perceptions of drunkenness), it can't be about taking risks due to drunkenness because that's really about the risk rather than the drinking (then you're just an Entropomancer), it can't be about the rarity or price of the vintage because then you're not really about drunkenness but about something like the prestige of partaking of an expensive drug or about the curiosity of trying out exotic new sensations. None of those are what Dispomancy is supposed to be about.

Reading through the descriptions of Dispomancy in the 1st and 2nd edition books reveals that the developers have lost the forest for the trees when trying to pin down the symbolic tension at the core of the School. What exactly IS Dispomancy's central paradox, anyway? Is it that alcohol makes you honest while at the same time making you behave "unlike yourself"? Is it the fact that it's a social lubricant that makes you act like a fucktard? Is it that it liberates you by enslaving you to it? That it's a sacred pillar of human culture that's at the same time considered base and barbaric to partake of?

cont.
>>
>>59713202
>>59713231
>>59713259
>>59713320
>>59713409

Each of those actually suggests what should be a completely different School, with very different mechanics attached. If it's about being more or less of yourself, wouldn't it make more sense to tie charging to Self stress checks (and make the spells more akin to Personamancy, with a more narrow focus on bringing out or identifying people's "true nature"?)? If it's about social drinking, wouldn't a more appropriate Taboo be "drinking alone" (and the spells be less about making things float and more about invoking "beer goggles" or being the life of the party?) If it's about appreciating new and exotic vintages, than it's really more of a school for aesthetically motivated alcohol connoisseurs than for piss-stained vomit-covered alcoholics, and should have a very different flavor.

So, with all that out of the way, we come to our mission for the day: recreating the School of Dipsomancy. For that, we need to deconstruct it both conceptually and mechanically, and most importantly (in my opinion), start by realizing what exactly is, truly, Dipsomancy's thematic core. What is the School's symbolic tension? What is the primary paradox around which everything hangs? Once we've isolated a clear, specific theme, THEN and only then could we truly start to reconstruct the School around it, with thematically appropriate charging rites, taboo, formula spells, etc.

Dipsomancy has always been a staple of the Unknown Armies mythos. It'd be a shame for it to disappear off the map.

But we're going to have to work to bring it back.
>>
I had a slightly altered version of dipsomancy in my game, that involved basically getting drinks off of strangers, the more expensive the drink, the better the charge. Taboo was buying a drink for yourself.

I believe the central paradox of dipsomancy is the fact that it's a social lubricant - it makes people chatty, friendly and open to new ideas, but at the same time erases who you are - the friends you make while drunk aren't making friends with YOU, they're making friends with drunk you, who might as well be a different person.
>>
>>59713453
See, but there's the problem: if that's what you decide to go with than you end up with a School that ultimately isn't really about being drunk, but about drinking as a form of social interaction. That suggests something that should both feel and work very differently from Dipsomancy as presented in the books.

You catch my point?
>>
>>59713437
Why not have charging based on alcohol percentage? It’s arguably the point drinking to get “fucked up”, so drinking higher and higher amounts means you’ll get drunker faster.
Not sure if Major would have to be those special brews or drinking 100% alchohol.
Kinda that smoking school, I guess?
>>
>>59713202
I don't know about anything else but a quick, fun fix for the inebriation penalty issue might be that instead of making it a flat 5% per shot, make it 1d10 and keep the player's total inebriation penalty secret from them, like you're supposed to do their wound points. Just tell them how they feel. Of course, alcohol being alcohol, the whole point is that you can never trust how you feel and you're going to feel good, confident and capable long past the point where you're objectively tripping over your own feet and throwing up all over the place. So the player (whose character is feeling great!) thinks they're super duper, and probably has a penalty of 20% at most, tries to hit a target and fails miserably. Like a true alcoholic, they're going to be blaming poor luck, or assume that some foul play was involved, or maybe there were some huge, hidden penalties on the shot. They get angrier and more frustrated, because how come they messed up such an easy shot?

Of course, they're actually shooting at a 78% penalty. But they don't know it.

When you're drunk, the last thing you feel like is impaired, and the more impaired you are, the less impaired you feel.
>>
>>59713552
Still won't do any good to the game balance when booze doesn't penalize magick rolls. It certainly doesn't make sense for it to penalize Dipsomancy... And that's the only kind of roll you're going to be making as a Dipsomancer, anyway.
>>
>>59713467
Maybe dipsomancy should be two schools: those that drink to socialise and those that drink to destroy themselves?

Alcohol is a potent enough marker of humanity that it can be a catalyst for many schools of magic
>>
>>59713699
Sure, but that just leaves you with two new schools to construct (and what you call them, by the way?), one you'd have to be careful doesn't just become an offshoot of epideromancy/oneiromancy/ustrinatheurgy/any of the other "hurt yourself by _____" schools, and another which you'd need to keep distinct from the social schools like aesthetomancy, amoromancy, sociomancy, etc.
>>
>>59713752
look man you've done nothing but shit on every idea suggested so far, do you actually want to fix the school or not?

fuck it, call them boith dipsomancers. Have them being engaged in a holy war as to the true meaning of booze. The order or the grinning mug vs the priests of boozeblivion
>>
>>59713320
That's not a bad idea. A school based on the historical/symbolic significance of alcohol or of drinking in an attempt to understand alcohol (you could even say it's a paradox, since you're doing what normal people do to get fucked up and not think about anything, but you do it in order to meditate, ponder, think and concentrate). You could only gain charges by drinking something you've never drank before (which sounds easy until you realize that any self-respecting Dipsomancer would've probably already drank every single label, vintage and brand offered at any pub in their home town), and then it actually makes sense for sigs and major charges to be tied to mystically or historically significant vintages or vessels.

You would have to change some of the formula spells, however. Less "force reality to operate on drunk logic" and more things like "gain personal information about a person by taking a sip from their drink", or "take a sip from a drink in order to receive a vision of someone who drank from it in the past", etc.
>>
>>59713784
I'm not shitting on anyone's ideas, I'm just offering feedback. That's the essence of brainstorming.
>>
>>59713202
> 1. The sheer ease of gaining charges was never truly as balanced by the supposed "inherent disadvantages" as the devs had thought it would be. In practice, the drunkenness penalties are simply too little, and apply too seldom
Don't they apply to all rolls except Dypsomancy? Also, the penalty goes -10% per drink and wears off at 5% per hour, and can rise up to -50% - doesn't it make all rolls except Dypsomancy extremely difficult? Also, at this point, I would make players roll for everything they do.
>>59713231
> There's no system for damaging your liver, losing your job, acting like an ass or not being able to make friends.
We don't need system for this, we need plot hooks and common sense to give the character the results of their actions. Also, few player characters that are deep enough into occult underground, have regular jobs. As for making friends, aren't you supposed to roll Charm to impress an NPC, particularly when you're drunk?
> Some of the Dipsomancy formula spells were notoriously game breaking when combined with some of the above
Now this is where it does start to be game-breaing. May be fixing these spells or removing them and making others would be a good start. For example:
> Hold Your Liquor
What if make this one apply only to Body and Speed skills, or only to Body skills?
> God Looks Out for Drunks
What if we make it give the dipsomancer a small bit of luck that is basically Fool's 2'nd channel, instead?
>Soul Sipping
Well, doesn't it require a roll? But the effect might be less harsh.
> The random magic domain was far, far, far, far too powerful - "cheating" or "the easy wait", almost by definition, could be taken as justification for accomplishing basically anything and everything with Dipsomancy.
I'd suggest making the random domain "getting away with silly things" or "getting away from problems" rather than "cheating". That's way more specific.
>>
>>59713812
Wisdom at the bottom of the bottle.
>>
>>59713259
> The binary nature of being able to gain significant charges was a pain in the neck to balance because once you've gotten your "significant drinking vessel", it was pretty much yours forever.
Well, that's a good point. How about this - you can only get a significant charge once per party when you drink from your special glass.
>>59713320
> Plutomancy: for a minor charge, gain 100$. For a significant charge, 1000$. For a major charge, 20,000,000$.
Yeah. Bibliomancy: minor charge - get 10 books, significant - get one but signed by an author, or an expensive one, major - a special uniqu one. I have more issue with this than with dipsomancy.
I suggest it to be more of: minor charge - acquire 1 book, significant - get a tenth book on the same topic, or get a special signed one - measuring the worth of the book in money is dumb, and 10 books for 1 minor charge is too harsh.
There are other schools out there that are silly...
>>59713409
> What exactly IS Dispomancy's central paradox, anyway? Is it that alcohol makes you honest while at the same time making you behave "unlike yourself"? Is it the fact that it's a social lubricant that makes you act like a fucktard? Is it that it liberates you by enslaving you to it? That it's a sacred pillar of human culture that's at the same time considered base and barbaric to partake of?
It's more liberation through enslaving and getting away from your problems without solving them.
>>
>>59714150
Obviously, there were plenty of schools were the charging mechanics were thematically all over the place (3e is choke full of them), but the point was that of the iconic 6 (Plutomancy, Entropomancy, Epideromancy, Mechanomancy, Pornomancy and Dipsomancy) who've been part of the setting since the very beginning and which many believe define it, Dipsomancy stands out as the only one.
>>
Dipsomancey’s paradox was trying to seek comfort in something you know is going to destroy every other aspect of you life.
Charges are generated by choosing alcohol or getting drunk over something else.
>Generate a minor charge by choosing to drink instead of preforming an action that would benefit you.
>Genrate a major charge by choosing to drink at the expense of somone friendly to you OR instead of doing something very important to your wellbeing
>Choosing to drink instead of engaging in something that would “save” the life of someone you are friendly with, metaphorically or literally
>>
>>59714547
Meant to put “What if...” at the start there
>>
>>59714339
Wasn't bibliomancy there from the beginning as well?
>>
>>59714596
Nope. First appeared in Postmodern Magick, a supplement for the 1st edition, some schools of which were included in the 2nd edition corebook (Personamancy and Videomancy also first appeared in it, for instance)
>>
>>59714547
That’s an interesting approach. How about tying to actual failure, rather than missed chances? It become a masochistic magic of deliberately letting alcohol ruin your life. You WANT the penalties to be as high as they can possibly be.

Minor charge: fail at a significant check because of inebriation penalties (i.e. with a number that would’ve been a success if not for alcohol)
Significant charge: fail a major check due to inebriation penalties. Getting into a fight while drunk off your ass would be a sig charge gold mine, but by definition at a great cost.
Major charge: fail at something monumentally important due to inebriation penalties (saving a loved one, stopping a major terror attack, screwing up your friend’s Ascension to the Clergy, etc.)

You can’t game the system as easily because if you don’t fail, you don’t charge.
>>
>>59715354
Taboo would be performing any major check while not inebriated. You can’t face life sober, but you know alcohol will ruin them. And you still drink.
>>
>>59713231
>>59713202
I don't understand the complaints for this branch of magic. Doesn't the merchant and pilgrim Avatars also provide you with access to constant high level magical effects?
>>
>>59713320
>Plutomancy: for a minor charge, gain 100$. For a significant charge, 1000$. For a major charge, 20,000,000$. Taboo is spending money. Power from money: more money, more power, less money, less power.

You know what I just realized is really stupid about Plutomancy? You can just cast the spell and then spend the money. All its requiring you to do is save your money, which a normal person would do anyway...
>>
How about you start losing experience the longer you stay sober.
>>
>>59715495
The taboo is spending more than 1000 at once right? So your logic only works if you plan to only really hold one charge at a time, or only buy relatively cheap things
>>
>>59715646
Which, most people only have to do once a month anyway. If you don't have high rent then you never have to do it. My point is the need to use your magic is going to come up far before the fact that spending the money negating the charge would even be an issue.
>>
By the way, what are your opinions on Plato's Cup and Mal Gusano? These are two artefacts specifically intended to strip dipsomancers from their charges.
>>
>>59715495
>>59715724
It's explicitly not possible, ever, under any circumstances, for any school, to produce charges by expanding charges. It's one of the three basic laws of adept magic. If you accomplish something magically, it doesn't count for charging purposes.
>>
>>59716116
I always read it as a sort of "equivalent exchange" law, by which any magical feat that would produce charges would always cause at least as much as it would produce (e.g. using plutomancy to make someone hand you over a thousand dollars will cost a significant charge, canceling itself out). Same net effect, though.
>>
Some ideas, based on what you think should be the main theme of dipsomancy. Some are very similar, but it's the little nuances that count:

1. Escape from reality (paradox: alcohol offers you an easy escape but over time turns your life into hell). IMHO, this is was the original intention behind the school. Charging should be tied to how detached from reality you've become due to drinking.
Minor: increase your inebriation penatly (as written).
Sig: stay drunk (inebriation penalty>0) for 24 hours. Each 24 hours is a sig.
Major: go for 10 days without ever letting your inebriation penalty decrease (meaning taking a shot at least once every two hours).
Taboo: ever getting sober.
Domain: cheating reality in blatent, flashy ways. Flying, turning invisible, summoning demons, etc.
Conceptual problem: gaining a major charge becomes more of a test of endurance than anything drinking related. Too similar to oneiromancy.

2. Social function of alcohol (paradox: it makes you sociable by making you an ass).
Minor: down a drink alongside at least one other person, having toasted.
Sig: down a drink alongside at least 12 other people, having toasted.
Major: down a drink in front of at least 10,000,000 people, at least a hundred of which must down a drink alongside you. e.g. toast for some important ceremony on national television.
Taboo: drink by yourself, or refuse a drink when offered.
Domain: social interaction.


3. Alcohol and self harm (paradox: the better you feel, the worse you are off).
Minor: increase your inebriation penalty.
Sig: increase your inebriation penalty past 50% (i.e. past the point where you need to start rolling for losing consciousness).
Major: Clinically die from alcohol poisoning, and get revived.
Taboo: Drink anything non-alcoholic.
Domain: Alcohol's side effects. Less about giving yourself superpowers and more about inflicting your enemies with dizziness, nausea, clumsiness, social/financial difficulties, etc.
>>
>>59716334

4. Alcohol as an aesthetic experience (paradox: you're attributing sublime artistic value to what is ultimately a cheap drug. You act all high and mighty about your taste in poison.)
Minor: drink a vintage you never have before.
Sig: be the first person ever to drink from a vintage.
Major: drink a type of alcoholic drink nobody has in at least a century.
Taboo: drink alcohol which is mass or illicitly produced.
Domain: Perception, impressiveness, sensation, prestige.

5. Historical significance of alcohol (paradox: it's a pillar of human culture, but considered something base and shameful)
Minor: drink a vintage you never have before.
Sig: take a drink of alcohol of historical significance (etc. a bottle that used to belong to a dead celebrity, the last ever bottle made by a famous brewery).
Major: drink a type of alcohol nobody has in at least a century.
Taboo: drink alcohol which is mass or illicitly produced.
Domain: knowledge, history, nostalgia, memory, prestige.

6. Alcoholic revelry as a sacred ritual (paradox: ecstacy is a sacred, englithening experience - which ends up with people throwing up all over themselves in a bathroom looking decidedly unholy)
Minor: be the centerpiece of a social occasion where at least a dozen people end up drunk.
Sig: be the centerpiece of a social occasion where at least a dozen people end up passing out from drinking.
Major: be the centerpiece of a social occasion where at least a hundred people end up doing something blatently illegal due to drinking (starting a riot, burning down a building, having a public orgy, etc.) No other drug can be involved.
Taboo: take any drug other than alcohol. Knowingly participate in an event where ten or more people are doing a drug other than alcohol.
Domain: basically become a modern day Bacchus - prophecy, sex, madness, turning into a goat, driving people into a maniacal frenzy, etc.
Conceptual problem: not tied strongly enough to alcohol specifically.
>>
>>59716350
7. Freedom and subjugation (paradox: alcohol frees you be enslaving you).
Minor: Sacrifice your time or well-being to alcohol. Either spend an entire evening doing nothing but getting drunk, or get so drunk you pass out.
Significant: Sacrifice an important opportunity to alcohol. Drink instead of going to work, instead of going to a job interview, instead of attending a meeting, etc.
Major: Sacrifice your loved ones' well being to alcohol. Drink instead of saving a loved ones' life, or missing an opportunity that would've been critical to theirs.
Taboo: Refusing an offer of alcohol.
Domain: freedom and subjugation, literal and figurative. Both passing through walls and removing someone's inhibitions (or tying them up, either physically or, say, "at work").
Conceptual problem: It's very problematic for charging to be about what you DON'T do. It has to be something proactive. Otherwise, you run into the issue of "everything could've happened if it didn't" (imagine those people who complain that something or else is "a waste of their time" even though they don't do anything with it because every day that passes they "could" have done something meaningful)
>>
>>59716116
You aren't understanding me at all. You gain a thousand dollars, right? Ok, now you won't NEED to spend that money by the time you'll need to cast some magic. Virtually every single time you have charges, you can expect their usage to come up first. Now, here's the kicker. You don't lose the money from spending the magical charge. The charges are disposable, the money isn't. Spending the money gets rid of the charges but not the other way around. The average person can easily avoid spending hundred and thousand dollar single purchases for months at a time.
>>
>>59716918
So... that's exactly plutomancy as written. What's the point? You have a lot of money in the bank but you still have to live thrifty.
>>
>>59716334
I like No. 1 - it's close enough to the original concept. But major charge is stupid. I suggest this amendment:
Significant: staying drunk for 24 hours will give you that charge, as well as trading or risking something important for it - like getting drunk at work, trading your granny's wedding ring for a few bottles of whiskey, getting into a drunken fight just because you're drunk.
Major: having your alcoholism ruin your (or someone else's) life in a certain way - getting you homeless, or terminately ill, or choosing a drink instead of saving someone you must have saved, things like this.
>>
>>59716986
That's exactly my point. It's not too demanding of a discipline. The catch isn't really a catch at all. Gaining charges is a little slow for my liking, but that's assuming you aren't a drug dealer, hitman, or professional thief, which given the nature unknown armies, you most likely are.
>>
>>59717059
The average adept is supposed to be able to make 5-7 minor charges a day and about the same number of significant charges per week (unless there are balancing circumstances, like an especially mild/harsh taboo). That seems perfectly fitting and in line with the other iconic schools.
>>
>>59717125
Where did you get those numbers? The guideline in the 3e book is

>As a guideline, an adept who is living the lifestyle his
school demands can get one significant charge a day with
moderate effort. But there are many exceptions. A school
with an easy taboo may have charge harvests that are
blood-oozes-cuts-bruises rough to keep things ticking along,
or vice versa. Balancing this is more art than science, and it’s
the GM who holds the sculptor’s chisel.

(page 128)
>>
>>59717125
I just think it would be cool if the money literally burnt up as you cast a spell, like you were buying your magic.
>>
>>59717149
That doesn't fit the central paradox of plutomancy, though. The whole big "joke" of plutomancy (the way in which they're "doing money wrong", to use the terminology of the 3rd edition) is that they attribute significance to the money *itself* despite the fact that money doesn't have any inherent worth beyond that which is agreed upon by society. That's why their taboo is spending money, and why it creates a situation that, to a sane person, looks so obviously silly and ironic - because all the plutomancer cares about is money *itself*, rather than what money can *buy* them, they end up sitting around in their tiny apartment, surrounded by roaches, wearing salvation army clothes, on piles of millions and millions of dollars they aren't willing to spend.
>>
>>59717149
>>59717205
That ^. If Plutomancers burnt money to use magic they'd be using the money, which goes against their whole philosophy. The point of Plutomancy is obsessing over money directly rather than as a means to an end. What gains you charges isn't the worth of the money, it's just getting it so you can hoard it.
>>
>>59717012
Major is cool, significant I'm kind of uncomfortable with. For the iconic schools (which I see as the gold standard by which you can measure whether a school is solid), you'd notice there usually isn't so much conceptual complexity involved in gaining a significant charge. It's never "do X, while Y, as well Z OR N but without M". It needs to be a natural, elegant extension of the minor charge.

So I'd say it should be either staying drunk for 24 hours, OR it should be risking/trading something significant for alcohol, but not both. The second would align better with your concept for a major charge, but does present a slight problem conceptually because once you start talking about "risks" you begin straying too close to entropomancy (i.e. it starts raising some philosophical questions on whether it's the risk or the alcohol that matters, and you can't have that with a solidly made charging rite), and if you talk about "trading" things the execution becomes iffy because you're either limiting yourself to material trade (which is obviously not what dipsomancy should be about) or you start straying into the quantum territory of "I COULD'VE started working on the next great American novel, but didn't, I deserve a charge".
>>
>>59717205
>>59717239
Oh, that makes a bit more sense. Still, wouldn't mind somebody that gets mojo for destroying things that have value.
>>
The default state of a Dipsomancer should be drunk, with all the associated physical, mental and social problems that causes.
Gaining and spending charges for ____ should the only lucid moment a dipsomancer experiences.
>>
>>59716334
>>59716350
Honestly, option #1 sounds the best to me. Minor charge per drink, significant per 24 hours spent drunk solves the problem of boozehounds always running around with fifty sigs in their pocket, major charge should be something along the lines of "suffer permanent and crippling physical, mental, financial or social damage" due to drunkenness. The trick would be defining what counts as that so that it'd be suitably spectacular. "Simply" losing your house, job, or wife to alcoholism is, funny as that sounds, too easy for a major charge. You might be able to gain some mileage out of defining it in terms of stress checks ("it needs to be something that'd force a rank-10 stress check, probably to Self, Isolation, or Helplessness"). It might be a little easier than normal, but I think if you look at it this way, it just fits within the Dipsomancy motif of being an "easy way out" which has terrible consequences. Yeah, you got a major charge, all it cost you is you can never look yourself in the mirror again/your life is irrevocably ruined/the love of your life now hates you (and because of the Domain, whatever you accomplish with your major charge will probably have major side effects anyway).

>>59717523
Break Today has a school called Plutophagy. You charge up by literally eating money or valuables.
>>
>>59717645
>"it needs to be something that'd force a rank-10 stress check, probably to Self, Isolation, or Helplessness"
Nice idea, but still too easy in my opinion. How about it needs to be one of those, and the check must result in you either getting your 4th or 5th failed checks or your 9th or 10th hardened checks in the relevant meter?
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>>59717688
I think you're failing to appreciate just how rare are rank-10 checks. The mechanical consequences may or may not be severe, but simply GETTING THERE within the fiction is near impossible. For reference, the examples given for rank 10 checks for helplessness, isolation and self are, respectively:

>Be possessed, yet conscious, as your body commits unspeakable acts against your will.
>Spend a month in a sensory-deprivation tank.
>Deliberately destroy everything you’ve risked your life to support

If you, as a player, have managed to somehow engineer a situation by which your PC is one of those situations due to their sheer drunkenness, fuck, you deserve a major charge.
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>>59717688
Maiming yourself or someone else as a result of your drunkenness should be the major charge.

Although that may be too gruesome even for UA.
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>>59717754
The problem with that is that it feels too much like it straddles the line with epideromancy. It can't be about the physical damage, it needs to be very specifically about what you would sacrifice for alcohol.
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>>59717645
>>59717747
Also, further argument for those of you who might be saying "but then a munchkin could just say 'I deliberately destroy my life's work' and gain a major charge" - it's the same for epideromancy. For all the game cares, a player's very first action when the game starts could be "I saw my own leg off". Boom, major charge. But now he doesn't have a leg.

Gaining a major charge isn't the end of the world, it doesn't turn the character omnipotent. It's worth as much as it's worth. If the player thinks it's worth destroying the character's life's work, by all means, he should do it. His character's life is now ruined.
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>>59717813
Missing a leg has concrete, mechanical consequences. Destroying your life's work doesn't, beyond the stress check.
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>>59717766
Then make it a social loss.

>Lose a PC friend for a major charge
>Suddenly your own group doesn't like you anymore
>Because you're a drunk asshole who almost gets them killed on a daily basis
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>>59716334
1 is the best in my opinion. I would change 1's Major and maybe sig to something you can't do by having the party babysit an adept for two weeks, but I'm not sure what.

6 has potential, maybe not as a dispomancy fix but as a school in general. Make it about the party creating a new, superior reality.

Here is what I would do. The Bacchanal has a goal time and whenever it passes that time, the adept who "owns" it gets a charge. My guess would be one evening (6 hours), 3 days, and one month for minor, sig, major. The party has to always have at least a dozen people who cannot all know each other and a significant fraction have to be on a mind altering drug. Ownership obviously starts at whoever started the party, but it can be taken in ritual combat (IE if another pony can beat you at beer pong, you lost the party till you beat him). Magic is focused on social rules, community, and madness.

Larger parties increase the size of the charge payout or decrease the required time, owner's choice.

This would probably work better as an NPC school, but the adept is basically the shepherd of a party and gets paid for keeping it alive. It strikes me as a better angle than "make lots of friends and get drunk".

>>59717754
Don't maim yourself, get so drunk for so long you get a negative ID at 5%.

You now get the ID "Forgets". The GM can force you to roll it a 1 time for every 25% (rounding up) and if you succeed, your skill roll fails because of it. Your attempt to convince failed when forgot that guy's name, obviously you forgot how that ritual works, good luck filling out a loan application correctly. It also marks experience as usual and gets 1% for every charge you gain.

If you sober up for at least a few days, the ID goes down by a few percent. It can never go below 5.

Congrats on your major.
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>>59717898
Isn't that the same as >>59717645? Defining it in terms of rank-10 stress checks is just a convenient way of measuring when "terrible enough" is "terrible enough".
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>>59717915
I absolutely love the idea of representing the long term effects of alcohol with an identity, but I think it'd be the most fun from a game design perspective if it *doesn't* get a special mechanic, it's literally just another identity for all intents and purposes... an insultingly worthless one, that would sit on your character sheet just to remind you forever what that major charge cost you.

It would work somewhat like this: your new, "alcoholic fucktard" identity starts at 50%. Those 50% don't come out of thin air, though. You need to remove a total of 50% from your other identities to build it.

"Alcoholic fucktard" has the following structure:

"I'm an alcoholic fucktard, of course I can: alienate my loved ones by repeatedly giving them then subsequently crushing false hope, wake up at new and exciting locations covered in shit and vomit, forget to wake up for work.
Substitutes for: lie.
Feature: resist changes to helplessness.
Feature: resist changes to self."

(if losing 50% of your identities isn't harsh enough, maybe you should also replace one of your relationships with a 50% strong relationship with "alcohol", also requiring you to lower all your other ones to make it, and similarly being a mechanical insult because obviously you can't do anything with it, it just consumed one of your relationship slots like alcohol has consumed your life)
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>>59718131
That way you can't get more major charges, though, and I don't think any school should have be in a situation where they can only ever gain one. I mean, how would that work? Would you "destroy your life" again? Increase "alcoholic fucktard" to 100%? It raises a lot of mechanical AND fictional questions.
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>>59717915
Another way of utilizing already existing mechanics to emulate the effects of suffering permanent brain damage from alcohol effects: just have the player distribute X (4? 5? 6?) failed notches all across their shock gauges, and those notches can never, ever be erased. If they want another major charge, they get another batch of failed notches to spread. Until they're absolute morons.
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>>59718131
Replacing mentor or guru with Alcohol sounds hilarious.

I wouldn't remove points from an ID, you want to encourage players to take multiple negative IDs then wind up like Dirk Allen. They can't drink because it will immediately skyrocket all their problems and they always have a risk of long term abuse fucking them over. But look at all this COSMIC POWER. Starting the negative ID at a higher percent is probably a decent idea though. Maybe every 25% also raises the "floor" of the id as well. So if you go up to 78% Forgets, the lowest you can get it is 25%. Something for long term consequences even years after rehab.

Negative ID or replacing relationships is probably the better way to go. Cap relationship replacement at 2 for PCs so characters can't get too isolated.
>>
>>59717915
>>59718131
>>59718231
>>59718264
Are negative IDs an actual thing that exists in the rules, or is it something we just made up here? Because I'm not generally in favor of making up entirely new systems just to accommodate a single element of the charging mechanics of one school. Feels inelegant to me.

If it's something that exists in the game anyway, sure.

Another midpoint option: each major charge you take you just need to create another worthless ID by taking points off of your other ones.

"I'm an unemployed slob, of course I can lounge around all day long accomplishing nothing, cry myself to sleep, and convince myself I'm justified in not showing up for job interviews."

Not sure what genuine features they'd have, though.

Replacing relationships is a really cool idea, though. If you don't want to ever create a situation where a PC might possibly find themselves all out of relationships to replace in their search for major charges (there should always be more to sacrifice, after all), make it so you can buy the alcohol relationships off, somehow. Maybe like if it's a significant goal or a major goal or whatever. Then you get to replace your alcohol relationship with an intense love for whoever helped you through rehab. And subsequently trade your love for them for more alcohol two months down the line, of course.
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>>59718131
>>59718195
>>59718231
>>59718264
>>59718520
Just make it so the identities you get from those dipsomantic major charges each have a pair of the special features "permanently reduces [ability] by -5%", explained however you like.

Struggle: hands shaking, coordination wrecked.
Pursuit: tripping over own feet
Fitness: liver damage
Status: alienated all of his friends
Connect: ignores human beings in favor of alcohol
Lie: thinks slowly, lacks creativity
Knowledge: plain old brain damage
Secrecy: bumbling idiot
Dodge: slow and sluggish
Notice: flightly and unfocused

The big punishment is the identity points you lose to make them.
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>>59717523
That’s Annihilomancy, they charge up by destroying stuff of emotional value
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>>59718264
>>59718520

Don't trip all over yourselves mechanically, it's not that hard. You sacrifice one of your existing relationships and replace it with a 50% relationship with alcohol. This must be justified within the fiction as you roleplay through whatever event or series of events leads you to absolutely and permanently destroy one of your five most important personal connections. This results in the usual isolation check, probably a self and/or helplessness check, too.

The relationship with alcohol is useless, but it's occupying one of your slots. The alcohol relationship goes down by 1 each day in which you don't drink at all. It goes up by 1 every time you gain a significant charge. You have to chip at it back down to 0 before you can have a normal relationship again.

If you have multiple instances of relationship with alcohol because you ruined several of your real ones, only 1 gets lowered each day/rises with each sig charge each time.

Balanced? Not balanced? Fair? Unfair?
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>>59718847
If overcoming alcoholism took 50 days, there'd be way less alcoholics in the world.
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>>59718869
1 a week, then? 1 a month? Or maybe it never goes down, it’s just a matter of saying “I’m not drinking any more”
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>>59718893
The problem with it never going down is that, in terms of game design, you generally want to avoid a school where it's possible (however unlikely it might be) to find oneself in a situation where it's flat out impossible to ever gain any more charges of a certain type. If alcohol relationship never went down, every dipsomancer could gain a maximum of five major charges in their whole life because that's as many relationship slots as they have to destroy. Extremely unlikely that anyone would get there, but theoretically possible.
>>
I wish Unknown Armies had an actual community somewhere. You never see good, living discussion of it anymore. Just a /tg/ thread every few months with 10 posters that dies out by when you get back from work.
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>>59719293
That's a common problem with RPGs. There is very little middle ground for success. Your game either gets a community large enough to be self sustaining or it fails to catch on outside of explicitly promoted events and it has to leach off other forums.

Stated that way, it doesn't sound profound but I think its a good rule of thumb. You have your communities that are self sustaining and large enough to cause spinoffs (D&D, 40k, Shadowrun, FATE, etc) and your systems that can leach some discussion of their hosts. In that respect, I'm pretty sure Unknown Armies leaches off the WoD community, which isn't doing too hot right now.
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>>59719790
The weird thing about Unknown Armies is that it seems to have a reasonably large following on /tg/. Whenever the game IS mentioned, people always jump forward to say it's really good. Then they go silent for another few months.
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>>59720704
I wish I had more threads for it, I'd love to see people trade ideas for adept schools and avatars they'd made.
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>>59720773
I like how this thread was more focused on just one task, though. I feel like sometimes that makes for more productivity than everyone just dumping their random ideas out into the sun.
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>>59720704
Honestly I never feel like I need to say more, other than recommend it where appropriate. I don’t even know if I’d want generals. It’s not as if it updates all that much, we had to wait a hell of a long time for 3rd edition.
Honestly I think it’s lack of wide spread popularity is simply a matter of its subject. Unlike more popular games like D&D, Unknown Armies isn’t very broad. It’s arguably strictly adult and focused on creating a certain type of genre, rather than the broad strokes of WoD or Shadowrun. You can’t run a cyberpunk game in UA without completely gouging the system, which is designed for urban occult horror.
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>>59723251
You know, if you'd given almost any other genre as an example I'd have been inclined to agree with you, but I actually think UA wouldn't do cyberpunk badly at all. It's about weirdoes from the fringes of society doing terrible things and making terrible sacrifices (sometimes including to the point of raising questions as for whether they're still human) for what they believe in, in a setting where society at large is the antagonist but individuals are morally ambiguous. Self stress and hardening would certainly be a more elegant way of dealing with the old cyberpunk rpg problem of "what's the psychological effect of implants", if nothing else. Just rename the Unnatural stress track "Reality" and have it be more commonly related to one's sense of what is and isn't real being fucked by VR, AR, mind hacking or drugs.
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>>59723551
...shit man, you’re right. I was just thinking about the time I considered including augments in a 2e game. Didn’t even think about thematic parallels.
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>>59723551
>>59723611
Check out Greg Stolze's "eCollapse". It's a cyberpunk setting for Wild Talents that happens to have its own system packed right with, so it's technically self-contained, and the atmosphere is rather fitting for Unknown Armies. Maybe a conversion could work.
>>
One of my problems with Unknown Armies is some of the options seem much better both power and flavor wise than the others.
>Merchant, Faustian Deals
>Pilgrim, world travel at will
>Soldier, Incredibly Powerful
>Cutter, Emo that cuts himself for magic
>Bilblomancer, guy that has to carry his own library around to do anything...
It doesn't take much imagination to see that the possibilities of the Merchant far outstrip half of the other avatars and that certain branches of magic are simply better than the other ones.
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>>59723991
Yeah, the balance on options is normally weird. Most of the adepts have to be balanced by the more powerful ones being more crazy, which can be hard for both players and GMs. I find that its better in 3rd than 2nd, but that was achieved by removing most of the egregious options. See this whole thread about balancing Dipsomancers.

I haven't had many opportunities to play 3rd, so has anyone found unbalanced options in it? Most of the adepts are now socially focused, so that seems to make them less prone to abuse. It seems like having a Captain to give generic skill bonuses to the group could be unbalancing, but I haven't played with one.
>>
I've heard a lot about unknown armeis but never really got into it. How dark overall would you say the setting is?
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>>59723991
It is possible to be both an adept and a avatar. it's just really rare.
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>>59725529
Pretty dark.
Humanity is the be all end all.
The gods all all just formal humans who ascended.
Ghost are all assholes.
Magic requires at best you be unhinged.
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Rule question for IDs. If I have an ID that substitutes for Health, do I also use it to protect against Violence stress checks?
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>>59717468
Dude, that's what I meant. It's either/or. And spending one day drinking and wasting some great opportunity on that day will give you two charges, that's what I meant.
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>>59727855
No. Substituting for an ability for the purpose of performing actions is a separate feature from substituting for them for the purpose of resisting stress.
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How about school of hangover annd rehab?
paradox:Once you step into the school, you can't get get away from alcohol whether drink or not. Harder you abstain, more you crave.
minor:find out what did you do last night till hangover's done.
significant:helplessness check by drunk tank or rehab.
major:stay dry a year.
taboo:drink alcohol.
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>>59730874
Why limit it to alcohol. There's a school in getting addicted to things, just so you can quit. Make it like Sociomancers, but with drugs instead of subgroups.

related
https://www.smokingfeelsgood.com/node/3643
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2dSE6_utcE
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>>59715495
Just something I'd like to throw in here;

While this is technically true, you have to remember that every single Adept is insane. All of them have very warped worldviews; they MUST have their magic as an obsession. They are so obsessed with sex/money/drinking/cutting themselves that they literally hang in on the afterlife to do it so more to become demons.

While it is technically true that a Plutomancer can get a ton of money and have no problem spending it all once they use up their charges; you can bet that the Plutomancer is going to be total nickle and dimming freakshow. He's exactly the type to be filthy fucking rich and yet scream at a burger king employee for not taking a coupon on its expiration date. Adepts are crazy.
>>
Does anybody know how to open pages on johntynes? This thread is making me nostalgic for old UA homebrew
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>>59723991
This was something that really annoyed me about 3rd ed: lots of the avatars seemed completely useless due to how niche they were. The GM would have to build the game around them to make them worth using.
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>>59728844
There’s a miscommunication here: I mean that either one or the other should be the ENTIERTY of the charging mechanic. Not that the charging mechanic would allow either to provide a charge.
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>>59731294
They switched to a new website. Google “Unnaturalphenomena Unknown Armies.”
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>>59734165
Much simpler:

http://www.unnaturalphenomena.com/wp/
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>>59713467
>>59713699
>>59713752
>>59713784
I kinda like the idea that Dipsomancy evolved into two rival schools around the 3/3/3 event.

One involving alcohols symbolism as a "social lubricant" (with the symbolic tension that alcohol is always a drop away from making you alienate everyone you love) and a second school that follows the original themes of "foolish enlightenment".
>>
>>59713231
>>59714041
>There's no system for damaging your liver, losing your job, acting like an ass or not being able to make friends.
Well, you could just steal the cancer rules for Ustrinomancy
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>>59735729
If you wanna go there why not split it seven ways a la >>59716334
>>59716350
>>
>>59731242
It’s always preferable for the mechanics to reflect the setting
>>
How well would this work for an alternate Significant charging method?
Fresh Vintage: the adept consumes a drink of a variety they've never tasted before and receives a Significant charge. The year of origin, source, or specific composition must either be identifiable or self-evidently new to the adept - for example, a beverage known to have aged at least two hundred years is a fresh vintage to someone who's never consumed a drink that old, even if its actual year can't be determined. Any of these three factors can distinguish a variety from another. A quantity normal to the beverage's type (shot of whisky, snifter of brandy, glass of wine) must be consumed for the charge to be received. If that variety had been previously consumed by the adept in any amount, even unknowing, only a minor charge may be obtained if drunk penalties result. If the drink has been adulterated in a manner unsuitable for its supposed type, only a minor charge can be gained.
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>>59716116
This is a thing i don't understand about plutomancy.
Basically, the major/significant powers let you move/control absurdal amount of money, from which you can't directly benefit - at least charges-wise. But could you indirectly get charges from a service rendered with plutomancy?
For example, let's say that i get a single major charge, and use it to make ten person rich - filthy rich, we're talking about millions here, with the caveat that each of those person wll pay me a million in a single payment at the end of the day. Would those payment generate more significant charges? Or, since they're (indirectly) magic-generate, they wouldn't?
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>>59741169
The money was gained by magic, so you can't charge off of it.
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An UA thread beyond 25 posts? Now I've really seen everything!
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Bump
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3rd Backers, please teach us what's in the new campaign starter kits.
It seems Atlas Games won't gonna sell them on DTRPG anymore.
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>>59746440
Haven’t looked at them since I got the test kits but from what I remember, there was a cool one about drug addict adepts taking down Big Pharma, a cool one about a bunch of promising your adepts trying to avoid being groomed to do evil by a guy who took control of their cabal, and one that was basically just Night Shift
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>>59747484
And the one about a bunch of trans Muslim lesbian Hispanics sticking it to the white man.
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>>59741169
The book says itself that plutomancers can take the money they have and move it around without violating taboo. Its spending it specifically that violates their stance.

It's why a savvy plutomancer is so damn dangerous. Get major charge, do big magic stuff with it. Take the money after the fact and shunt it into various offshore and hidden interest bearing accounts; as to generate a near effortless stream of charges for later use.
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>>59748909
Nobody’s perfect
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>>59743322
And now you went and jinxed it
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>>59735752
What's this school of magic? Some fan-made one? An official addition to the mix? What are the rules for cancer there?
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>>59754744
It's from one of the 3e supplants. It's smoking magic
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>>59755055
>>
I have content to brainstorm, keep this thread alive for a few hours until I get home from work.
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>>59759021
Have a faithful bump. I'm going to work.
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Bump for interest
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>>59759021 here. Gonna post a few unfinished things I've been working on that I'm hoping to get some feedback/suggestions on.

First off is Adonimancy, a school about weight lifting. I have pretty much everything figured out except for what the spells should actually do. Some of the names should give an idea of where I'm going with it (The Motivator is probably gonna be some sort of physical buff for your allies) but for the most part I was just listing off potential names I thought would be funny.
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>>59763755
Next up is The Troubadour, an Avatar for musicians who have a very personal connection with their audience. Think Woody Guthrie. Mostly the work of me and another anon from a UA thread ages ago when we noticed there isn't really any magick in UA that relates to music. It's too short to warrant putting it in a PDF but too long for a single post. Looking for further suggestions or maybe some flavor text if anybody is feeling creative.

Avatar - The Troubadour
>1-50% - The first thing the Troubadour must do is understand his audience. They can read the zeitgeist through their own logic and knowledge of culture, but the most direct link to understanding is humans themselves. The Avatar may use his Avatar: Troubadour Skill to make rolls to read the emotions of a specific person or of a group of people, flip-flops included if it is his obsession.
>51-70% - The Voice connects to peoples through his performances – he can intuitively perform so that he bonds with his audience and they accept everything he does, mistakes and all. He may replace Matched Failures with Matched Successes when making a Performance roll – his slick style turns disasters into triumphs. This does not affect a 00.
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>>59763856
Part 2

>71%-90% - After succeeding on a roll to make a performance and spending at least 30 minutes on the performance, the Troubadour can fill the audience with intense, magical emotions. The GM should appropriately roleplay the effect the emotions have – enough people becoming very Angry in a small area might cause a Riot (in this case, they will not attack the Troubadour, but he will be viewed afterwards as the instigator of the whole debacle, which may have strong effects on his reputation, if not legal repercussions.) If someone undergoes a rapid shift in emotion, the GM may wish to give Self or Helplessness checks as they try to account for their sudden, uncharacteristic, shift in mood.
>91%+ - At this level, the Troubadour’s powers of persuasion go beyond simply suggestion. He is a like a god when he performs, and gods demand servitude. After succeeding on a roll to make a performance and spending at least 30 minutes on the performance, the Troubadour can issues commands to anyone in the audience, or the audience as a whole. These compulsions may be resisted with a Mind roll initially, but doing so is a Rank 8 Self Check – you honestly believe that you want to do what the Troubadour suggests. The Mind Roll may also be made whenever they would be made to harm themselves, or harm someone they care about. These compulsions last for 24 hours, and someone cannot be Compelled twice. After the 24 hours are up, the targets are left exhausted and probably confused – Helplessness, Self or even Unnatural checks may be needed. (Or Violence, depending on what happened). The targets may not be Compelled for the next 6 days, until a full week has passed since the original Compel.
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>>59763878
Third I have Egomancy, an Adept school about propping yourself up. It's pretty bare bones right now but I was thinking of reworking it to be less about the physical act of posing and more about showboating so hard it becomes a greater display than the actual art (or sport or whatever) you did to warrant it, because as it is it seems a little too similar to Adonimancy.

Egomancy
aka
Posers, Gastons
Taboo: Passing up the chance to show everyone that you’re the best around
Minor Charge: Pose in a mirror for ten minutes
Significant Charge: Pose in front of a crowd, show everybody how good you look
Major Charge: Pose after winning an event or contest in front of a crowd of over 1,000 people
Random Magick Domain: Getting people on your side, putting everyone’s attention on you
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>>59763973
Lastly, and least fleshed out of all because it's literally just a name, is The Gourmand, an Avatar about cooking I guess? I don't know, I was watching a bunch of Gordon Ramsay videos a while ago and the idea popped into my head but I kind of lost where I wanted to go with it.

Maybe it's like the idea of a head chef that most people have as this commanding personality who can keep an entire group of people working cohesively to deliver something as delicate and highly crafted as gourmet food? This one needs some work.




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