Friday, January 29, 2016

Until the Thrill of Speed Overcomes the Fear of Death

So over on the Unknown Armies Fan Club on Facebook, I'm running a play-by-post illegal street race in Los Angeles — think The Fast and the Furious meets Tim Powers.  In addition to bragging rights and in-character glory, the winner gets a copy of underground occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger's The Complete Magick Lantern Cycle on regionless DVD (we have a lot of international members, so I had to make certain it was something everyone could enjoy).

If you're interested, come join us:

Until the Thrill of Speed Overcomes the Fear of Death

If you're interested, you have until February 11, 2016 to submit a character.  Join us!

Unknown Armies, Third Edition

Atlas Games has a notification website for Unknown Armies, third edition.

Of course I signed up.  And so can you!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Dapimancy (New-Wave Videomancy) — version 2.0

This is almost the same as Dapimancy from eight months ago, except that now there's a way to gain significant charges.

People watched television the same way for over half a century, but newer generations are more accustomed to watching their television shows on-demand, and frequently in a single sitting.

Within the last ten years or so, a shift has occurred, with a couple of would-be Videomancers showing behaviors less influenced by the old-school of being beholden to the television schedule, and closer to the custom of binge-watching.

Those who have encountered the occult underground call their new school "Dapimancy" — after the Latin word "daps, dapis" referring to sacrificial banquets — although some occultists derisively call them Truphemancers (after the Greek word for effeminate luxury).

Dapimancy used to be a minor school, but with the advent of original streaming programming, somebody figured out how to gain significant charges.

aka Binge-Watchers, Bingers

The Videomancers are rubes, Marx's opiate-drunk cultists suckling at the teat of organized entertainment.  You're a monk, a hermit, who goes into seclusion and returns enlightened.  Your living room is the poustinia, your couch is your sajjada, your Netflix account is your gospel.  You retreat into the wilds so that you may bring wisdom back to the world with you.

Dapimancy forms a middle ground between Infomancy and Videomancy — you take the same inputs as Videomancers, but you remix them like an Infomancer.  You accept the truth of television at your own pace, not based on the dictates of some production staff with no knowledge of your personal truth.  If Videomancy is the Catholic Church, you're Martin Luther nailing your theses to the wall.  You're Thomas Jefferson, taking his favorite pieces of the Bible and making the good book his own.  (Of course, Elvis did the same thing, too.)  The gauntlet has been thrown, and the networks and cable companies — those long-standing monoliths holding television hostage — are running scared.  You're bringing television to the people, one marathon at a time.

The central paradox of Dapimancy is still caught up in the tension between the isolation of television watching and the commonality of the experience, but it turns it on its head by letting you make your own truth.  We're all watching the same shows, but we watch them according to our own schedule on our own terms.  You're free to indulge whenever you want, but when you start, you cannot stop.

Dapimancy Blast Style
Like Videomancers, Dapimancers have no blast.  However, there are persistent rumors that some Dapimancers have determined how to inflict fatigue and health problems on their victims — just like they've been sitting too long, letting their arteries clog and their muscles atrophy.

Like Videomancers, Dapimancers charge up by watching television.  Unlike Videomancers, they can watch whatever they want, as long as they carve out chunks for it.  You don't have to catch every episode of Game of Thrones as it premiers on HBO, but once you start watching it, you'd better have cleared your schedule, because you're in for the long haul.

Also, once Dapimancers are on a kick, they're on it until it's done.  Once you start watching Game of Thrones, you can't intercut episodes of Dexter.  It garbles the nuances of both shows.

Generate a Minor Charge: Spend six hours watching your current program du jour.  You can take small breaks between episodes for food and the bathroom, but you'd better plan carefully.  (A truly knowledgeable lord of the occult underground might notice similarities between this and Charismatics from Thin Black Line, page 17-19, but it's doubtful anybody has that much on the ball.  With the probable exception of the First and Last Man.)

Generate a Significant Charge: It was recently discovered that it's possible to gain significant charges by binge-watching shows as they air.  (This works best with original content, because other shows tend to arrive in huge blocks — although you're welcome to try if you're starved for charges.)  If the new season of Jessica Jones hits at 12:00 AM PST on November 20, you'd better be prepared to sit and binge watch until 1:00 PM.  Significant Dapimancers tend to keep very odd sleep schedules.

Generate a Major Charge: Nobody's gotten a major charge yet, although it probably involves starring in a program, just like old-school Videomancers.  Dukes suspect it involves starring in a streaming-only program — here's hoping you end up on Daredevil or House of Cards or Transparent.  There's a persistent rumor that the numerous flash-in-the-pan pilots on Amazon Prime streaming are masterminded by some Merchant to act as a vehicle for would-be major Dapimancers.

Taboo: Once you start, you can't stop.  Interrupting a marathon robs you of all your charges.  As with Videomancers, this means that power outages can royally screw you over, and anybody who knows you're charging can schedule a home invasion and rob you of your charges.

Random Magick Domain: Like Videomancers, you understand people and events through observation, as well as adapting oneself to expectations.  It's perfect for spies and voyeurs.

Starting Charges: Dapimancers start with 5 minor charges, just like Videomancers.

Dapimancers have the same formula spells as Videomancers, as seen in Unknown Armies (second edition), pages 160-163.

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