• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[UA] Work in process: the Iconoclast

Bicorn

Active member
Validated User
I'm working on a new entry for the unknown-armies.com site, and I would like some advance feedback and ideas.


The Iconoclast

Like the Rebel, the Iconoclast challenges existing authority. He doesn't care about political power, however - he challenges the ideas and notions that bind people's minds into existing patterns. He seeks to break those established structures, to make way for new ways of thinking. He's not a demagogue, however - he doesn't seek to convert others to his way of thinking, merely to challenge their established thought patterns.

An Iconoclast avatar may be a philosopher or social reformer with wildly radical ideas, an outspoken atheist or skeptic, or perhaps a scientist researching a field most consider to be nonexistent. Whatever his focus, he's not content with established truths; he wants to find new ones.

By its very nature, the Iconoclast is in direct opposition to all other Archetypes who, after all, are personifications of established notions. Because of this Iconoclast avatars are always haunted by negative Statospheric attention, increasing in severity as their Avatar attunement increases.

Symbols: broken or defiled symbols of other Archetypes - a butterfly with wings crumpled up, a broken sword, a bashed-up crown, a book with pages torn out, etc.

Channels

1-50%: the Iconoclast can shake another's faith. If he discusses a matter that is somehow deeply important to someone's worldview with them for a while - say, a minute of conversation - he can roll his Avatar skill. If he succeeds, the target must make an immediate Self stress check at a rank equal to the tens place of the Iconoclast's Avatar skill plus one. If this check fails, in addition to any other results of the failed roll any skill the victim had tied to the matter discussed becomes weakened. If the topic was the target's Obsession, he won't be able to flip-flop his Obsession skill. If it was religion, he would completely lose access to religious Paradigm skills, the Pray skill, etc. The effects last until the victim has had a good night's sleep.
The Iconoclast can use this channel as often as desired, but no more than once per day on the same person. This channel cannot affect Adept skills.
At this level, the Iconoclast also starts to attract negative attention from the Statosphere that makes him generally unlucky. Whenever there is a purely random chance (skill rolls etc. don't count) that he might receive something beneficial (or avoid trouble) and that chance would normally be 50% or less, the results will not favor him. An Iconoclast will never win the lottery.

51-70%: at this level, the Iconoclast is able to attack other Avatars' attunement. Whenever he does something to another Avatar that symbolically defies their Archetype and what it represents, he can roll his Avatar skill. If successful, he temporarily reduces the victim's Avatar skill by the sum of the dice. Examples might be throwing a cream pie at a True King, stealing the Warrior's weapon, slapping a Flying Woman in the face, etc.
The Iconoclast must be physically present to use this ability, and he can make no more than one symbolic attack per combat round; depending on the act, a successful Struggle roll, etc. may be required.
Avatar skills damaged by this Channel "heal" at a rate of one point per day.
Now, the negative Statospheric interference becomes so intense that good luck will automatically pass the Avatar unless his chances would have normally been 90% or better. If he plays Russian Roulette, the bullet will be in the chamber when it's his turn.


As you can see, it still needs entries for masks, suspected avatars and the taboo, as well as two more channels and the associated drawbacks. Some extra babble about the archetype's nature would be nice too.
 

Eslington

The Cardboard Palace
Validated User
Just an idea someone with more historical knowledge than me could look into, but could Socrates have been such an Avatar?
 

DocTheWeasel

Covert in plain sight
Validated User
I can kinda see the idea, but need some more to really get it, because there are so many ways you could cast the archetype. Are they separate from society, like a pariah, or are they more of an agitator?

Honestly, I would start with Masks and Suspected Avatars, and then get into the nitty gritty. If you can't name anyone who embodies the idea, then it isn't a strong enough archetype.
 

Bicorn

Active member
Validated User
I have to admit I did start off the wrong way with this, that is, from mechanics to concept. I don't usually do it that way, but in this case I had a dream about a game mechanic (the second channel - I described the dream here) and had the urge to find something to stick it into.

Still, I think the archetype could be made viable with some work. I agree with Eslington that Socrates might work as an example of a historical avatar.
 

DocTheWeasel

Covert in plain sight
Validated User
A good question would be "does the Iconoclast die because of their beliefs?" Socrates, Jesus, MLK, etc all died because of their speaking out. I think it's something that people expect now (enough to become part of the archetype).
 

Bicorn

Active member
Validated User
A good question would be "does the Iconoclast die because of their beliefs?" Socrates, Jesus, MLK, etc all died because of their speaking out. I think it's something that people expect now (enough to become part of the archetype).
Mmhm. There's some overlap with the Martyr there though.
 
Top Bottom