[Let’s Study: Unknown Armies] Part 5: Weirdness

Holy crap that took a while, but I’m back. And out of respect to this phenomenal game, I’m continuing the Let’s Study series covering the first book of Unknown Armies with a look at the Weirdness of the World chapter.

As the title of the chapter suggests, Unknown Armies has a very strong focus on the surreal and the weird. The book is pretty clear that what most of what humanity trusts to be reality is just a set of guidelines, and that if you know the little ways to mess with it just right, you can make reality do some really funky things to your advantage.

After a quick primer on just how much of Reality isn’t really all that reliable, the book launches into a fantastic section on Unnatural Phenomena. This is a lovely list of different ways things just go *wrong* starting from the creepy and minor from items moving by themselves to audio miscues, to more significant and major ones light spatial distortions that will drive anyone to question their already fragile sanity.

After phenomena come a selection of Artifacts, curious objects that have inherent power. They come in both natural and created forms, and there’s a small selection of them included, just enough to inspire the GM to go and insert one or two of these things to your game just to see how people take to them.


I’m doing this chapter a bit of an injustice with this article because I’ve chosen to not quote any of the entries because they’re just that good and you really ought to go check the book out for yourself. If you run any kind of horror game you’ll get a kick out of it.

Next up in this series, we’ll be taking a look at the Avatars and Archetypes

If you’re interested in picking up Unknown Armies, you can grab their stuff over at the Atlas Games Website

You can also purchase PDF copies over at DriveThruRPG!

One thought on “[Let’s Study: Unknown Armies] Part 5: Weirdness

  1. The magic and weirdness of UA is so beautifully (and occasionally horrifically) idiosyncratic and unique to its setting. It has always been one of my favorite parts of reading the books.

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