The Statosphere Roundup
  • The Statosphere Roundup

    Welcome once more to our monthly roundup of offerings from the Statosphere, the community-generated content portal for the Unknown Armies RPG. This month, we're taking a look at a trio of new systems of magick.

    Each presents a definition of the style in question (along with various nicknames for the style), ways to generate Minor, Significant, and Major Charges, and Minor, Significant, and Major Formula Spells.

    First up, we have Planetomancy: Magick of Place by Tim Dedopulos—"planet," here, being used in the sense of its original Greek meaning: wanderer. This is a style for those who wish to use their wandering to find the unexpected in out-of-the-way spaces. "Forgotten gods haunt back alley parking lots and those scrubby patches of unloved park where empty beer cans go to die," as the text nicely puts it, and the Planetomancer (aka Jaywalker, Shambler, or Walker) intends to find those gods and commune with them.

    Charges are generated through wandering, aimlessly at first and then with greater and increasingly-transgressive purpose. An hour-long amble around the back streets in your neighborhood builds up a Minor Charge; walking down the white center line of a busy highway from dusk til dawn nets you a Major Charge. Formula spells focus on gathering information about objects or the local area, or otherwise affecting the area's emotional energy or even its very nature.

    Next is Joymancy: The Magick of Games by Justin Miland. A style sure to resonate with the players in the group (if not necessarily their characters), this is magick accomplished through gaming. Not just any gaming, either—the Joymancer (aka Boardwalker, Parker, or Hasbro) uses board games as their magickal conduit.

    To Joymancers, board games represent an altar to "the forces of possibility and chance," and they learn how to manipulate those forces using the tools of spinners, cards, and dice. As you might expect, Minor and Significant Charges are generated by playing and winning a board game; the latter carries the condition that it must be a new game you've never played before. (Yes, Joymancers are that friend of yours who is always trying to get you try out the newest Eurogame.) Major charges, on the other hand, require enacting an action in real life that emulates a potentially-winning move in a boardgame (buying a hotel on Park Avenue, sinking a battleship…).

    Formula Spells all revolve, naturally, around playing games, and have fun little referential names like "Controlling Australia" and "Flip the Table." The document concludes with some rumors related to Joymancy and a sample Joymancer: Patrick Danby, the Born Loser.

    Lastly, we have Charmancy by Sean Clancy. This document describes a magickal style in the wildest, weirdest tradition of Unknown Armies. As the text puts it, "Charmancers reject fire's status as the ur-paradox, and the destroyer-creator cycle it perpetuates. Weird thing is, they reject it exclusively through the lens of food preparation and chef stardom."

    That's right, this is a style all about burning food to a crisp and consuming the charred ashes to generate charges. One way to generate a Major Charge is to set a celebrity chef on fire and incorporate their ashes into your own signature dish!

    Formula Spells focus on using fire and food as weapons; this is an aggressive school of magick, as the nicknames for the Charmancer (Singetooth, Fire Belly, Ash-Hole) indicate. Spell names range from "Food Fight" and "Hungry Heart" to "The Salt Is Real" and "Hottest Pocket." Major Charge Spell examples are particularly fun: becoming a celebrity chef with no actual cooking ability, say, or destroying the Platonic ideal of oyster crackers.

    contributed by David Larkins
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. The Black Ferret's Avatar
      The Black Ferret -
      The Planetomancy is a novel concept, basically building up magical power through inertia.
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