[Let’s Study: Unknown Armies] Part 7: Adepts

Nothing encapsulates the sheer weirdness and unique occult vibe of Unknown Armies than Adepts. Rather than embodying what the collective unconscious believes to be aspects of (capital “H”) Humanity, Adepts forge their own dangerous path to magic.

Adepts are people who have a unique vision of the universe that allows them to basically give reality the finger and twist it to their desires. To make this happen however, means that you twist yourself first. Your vision is all-encompassing and obsessive. Unlike the Archetypes, you’re not free to have a different opinion. You are your magic 100% of the time.

This leads to fundamentally broken people. As their worldview is so encompassing, they end up losing their tethers to normal society by how strongly they obsess over something. The moment they compromise this, they lose touch with their source of power and their magical mojo abandons them.

The chapter busts out an impressive list of 8 different Adepts, each one a broken vision that twists reality in just the right way to allow for magic. This is a fun read for me, as they’re similar to how Mage: the Ascension did paradigms, dialed all the way to 11. In the World of Darkness, these characters would have been labelled as among the Mad, but in Unknown Armies, everyone is Mad in their own way, and that’s only the beginning.

I’d talk more about the individual schools, but there’s far too much goodness to spoil. Let’s just say that my new favorite Adept school is Viaturgy, the magical school dedicated to the freedom of driving a car. It’s crazy, risky, and the effects are a boatload of fun… if you’re willing to risk life and limb.


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!

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