Friday, November 15, 2013

Better Than Any Man: Unknown Armies Conversion Notes

I'm not going to post everything as yet, but here are a couple of my scattered notes.  I'll probably put them in a pdf or something when I'm finished running Better Than Any Man in Unknown Armies.  Obviously, these notes assume familiarity with both games.  The following notes also reference the Unknown Armies books The Ascension of the Magdalene, Hush Hush, and Postmodern Magick.

Willibald Schwartz

Obsession: Conquering death.  Death is a form of spiritual alchemy.  By controlling the doorway, you control that potential.
Wound Points: 45

Rage Stimulus: Pointing out that he might be insane or deluded.  Schwartz might be a murderous psychopath, but he really doesn't enjoy being reminded of it.
Fear Stimulus: (Isolation) Dying of old age.
Noble Stimulus: Helping children.  Willibald crafts art of the bodies of young children because that's the highest gift he can bestow to one killed so young.  He can't help it if his glass tiger gets confused from time to time.

Body: 45 (Living Well)
General Athletics 25%, Hold Your Liquor 20%, Struggle 25%, Work Without Rest 20%
Speed: 50 (Steady Hand)
Dodge 20%, Horseback Riding 25%, Initiative 25%, Taxidermy 35%
Mind: 75 (Learned)
Conceal 35%, Notice 40%, Occult Correspondences 60%
Soul: 90 (Transcendent)
Avatar: The Magus 60%, Charm 30%, Lying 50%, Magick: Thanatomancy 70%

Violence: 7 Hardened 2 Failed
Unnatural: 7 Hardened 3 Failed
Helplessness: 2 Hardened 2 Failed
Isolation: 6 Hardened 1 Failed
Self: 4 Hardened 5 Failed

Possessions: Rapier (+3 damage), dagger (+3 damage), various fine clothes and ritual components

Notes: Occult Correspondences is Willibald's General Education skill.  It also covers his general knowledge of folklore and occultism.
Avatar: The Magus originally appears in The Ascension of the Magdalene, page 53.  Magick: Thanatomancy originally appears in Postmodern Magick, pages 111-115.
In addition to his own magickal prowess, Willibald Schwartz has access to the rituals Song of Ancient Days (detailed below) and Fires of Pure Will (Hush Hush, page 47).

Schwartz's Glass Tiger

Wound Points: 120

Body: 120 (Savage)
General Athletics 50%, Rip and Tear 65%
Speed: 80 (Swfit)
Dodge 35%, Initiative 40%, Sneak 70%
Mind: 30 (Cunning)
Notice 50%
Soul: 50 (Weird)

Notes: The Glass Tiger's exceptional Body stat grants a +3 to all melee damage.  This is in addition to the beast's teeth and claws, which also grant a +3 to damage.  The glass tiger reduces damage equivalent to heavy armor, removing the +3 damage for sharpness and the +3 damage for heaviness in hand-to-hand combat while also reducing rolled damage by three-fourths.  Guns are deal hand-to-hand damage, but aren't reduced but the tiger's armor.  Magick deals damage normally, although it's not made of flesh, so Magick: Epideromancy blasts do nothing.

Song of Ancient Days (significant ritual)

Note: This is the Unknown Armies version of Schwartz's Journey to the Past spell.  In my version of Better Than Any Man, Schwartz was kind enough to give the PCs all the components to enact the ritual, including a copy of the Fires of Pure Will ritual (a charge-building ritual).  Your Schwartz may not be so accommodating.

Power: significant

Cost: 7 significant charges

Effect: The caster and a group of up to eight individuals participating in the ritual are sent back in time to July 14, 10,000 B.C.  They are sent to the same point in time, although they appear in the same geographic location they left.  (So, if the caster casts this ritual in downtown London, he'll end up in the middle of downtown London...before it's ever built.)  To the outside observer, no time appears to pass — the ritualists appear to flicker for a fraction of a second after the ritual ends.  However, the casters are cast back to 10,000 B.C. for an amount of time equal to ten times the sum of the dice.  As such, a caster rolling a 45 will spend 90 minutes in the past, while a caster rolling a 12 will only spend 30 minutes in the past.
Being sent to the past is a rank-7 Unnatural check.

Ritual Action: This ritual requires a simple stone hammer, particularly of the sort that would have been used in the Neolithic.  The caster should use this hammer to break a sandclock, shouting, "Ula atolnay!" with each hammer blow.  When the clock is smashed, the caster should use the hammer to draw the seal of Prince Seere (a goetic demon) in the spilled sand while reciting a chant in Latin depicting a litany of the demon's praises and epithets.  Once finished, the caster should then use the hammer to smash a sundial, deface a calendar, and destroy a seal of King Philip II Augustus.  Again, with each hammer blow, the caster should shout, "Ula atolnay!"  The ritual completes with the final hammer blow.

Note: For easy reference, Prince Seere's seal looks like this:

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