Unknown Armies: The Power of Love

CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains themes of domestic abuse.

A group of bar buddies discover that one of their friends has radically changed his life and seems to be an abusive relationship. They investigate to see if they can help him out of the relationship but soon learn that things are not as they seem. The friend has delusions of another girlfriend, a perfect manic pixie dream girl, while a shady barfly knows too much about the dark secrets behind what’s going on. Four men plunge into the occult underground without knowing what they’re doing or exactly why.

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  1. Man, Caleb’s take on Saving Silverman is pretty dark.

    The Farm and bar reminded me of Stolze’s 7&7.

  2. I v v approve of not using the specific supernatural content from the books

    tbh always thought Call of Cthulhu worked much better that way, too, I like namedropping deities but day-to-day original monsters are much more fun for everyone involved

    the patriomancer interrupting the “you’re as bad as him” like with a shotgun and an oh, no, she’s not was the best

    I was super pleased they were siblings, two different toxic responses to toxic masculinity

    been a while since I looped a campaign repeatedly but I get the feeling I’m gonna be comin back to this one again and again

  3. Holy crap this was glorious. I can’t help but feel that UA is the perfect game for the RPPR crew.

  4. How is it that “the Farm” managed to come off as more mentally healthy than the siblings O.O

  5. The fucking Galadriel doll. You sons of bitches, you brought it to life.

  6. I knew no fear until I saw the Galadriel doll was the image for an Unknown Armies game. Then I was ever so afraid. Seriously though, that doll be creepy.

  7. Fantastic and stomach squirming disturbing. I loved the successive progression of reveals about Mr. F. The players were legitimately consumed by his mystery.

    Can’t wait until you write this up and publish it. The Lover in the Ice of Unknown Armies.

  8. “They’re a couple of feet away but the shotgun is on multiple of you”

    Goddamn it Caleb you should know by now that’s not how shotguns work. Unless they’re a tropemancer with the power of TV shotguns. I’ve shot clay pigeons before and the spread is still pretty tight dozens of feet in the air, let alone a few feet away. Even with certain chokes you’re talking yards of distance before they spread a foot or more.

    Other than this singular petpeeve, great scenario of creepifying and unfortunate… whatever genre exactly you want to call Unknown Armies.

  9. Ha ha ha loved it so much! Need a Galadriel doll like right now!

  10. Wow, this was really dark but really funny. I’m so conflicted. Why do you do this to me Caleb?! Why?!

    Also, Ross’s character was MVP

  11. That was a hell of a game. Thanks for a great demonstration of Unknown Armies. It’s really helpful. That contrast between the Patriamancer and the archetype of the Shrew — brilliant stuff. Classic Stokesian horror. And I loved the Farm. He deserves to be in the UA canon.

    One nitpick for improvement: I was just reading about Hunches, and apparently you’re supposed to always use the Hunch result on your very next roll. So basically, you have some inkling of how the next roll is going to go, so you can plan accordingly. That also avoids the possibility of forgetting to use the roll later on in the scenario.

  12. I asked if there’d be more UA, and was pleasantly surprised that there was!

    I think the trigger warnings for UA are actually used pretty well, here and I appreciate them- though the situations in this episode don’t bother me overmuch. What shitty situations, and awful(some, player) characters! And it’s so good. Can’t wait to see if you can make a campaign out of it.

  13. W



    Real horror. Enjoyed feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t expect feeling that way.
    Similar to how I felt during Schindler’s List; I could stand it because I knew it would end for me.

    This was the pure, good stuff.

    Looking forward to Caleb’s Ascension…

  14. Had to unlurk again to express my appreciation for this game and your commitment to giving a warning where needed. I loved the first Unknown Armies game you posted and this would have been an instant click for me without the warning, which would have caused me real harm. Having the content warning there meant I knew to wait for a time I could set up coping strategies, in case anything hit too close to home. Your APs are one of my go tos for mood lifting/distraction on chronic pain days so I’m doubly thankful for that consideration. You’ve got dark games for when I want to chew on the human condition and more light-hearted fare for when I need a break.

    The themes you touched on with are really vital and, imo, powerful to dissect and explore. It was especially interesting whether there were any blurring of roles in the quick defence (to the point of talking over each other) at the accusations of wasted life at the start of the scenario.

    One tiny nitpick: I loved the idea with what the semen represented but technically, if you want ejaculate without love, you’d be looking for an aromantic’s. Asexual semen would better epitimise lack of desire. I’m a bit more sensitive to this today as I’ve spent the morning tracking an thread where myself and other partnered aces assured someone newly out that ace doesn’t equal never finding love. I see it crop up probably every three months so it’s an important distinction to us. Otherwise, thank you for representation.

    Finally, thanks again for all your work and sharing it with us. Your podcasts have been a real lifeline for me recently in a bad patch and I just wanted to acknowledge that. Apologies for being a bit gushy and wordy.

  15. Amazing game, absolutely loved it, will definitely have to give Unknown Armies a look-in myself.

    Question – is it deliberate that the magic on offer is available for what feels like relatively small amounts of money? I don’t mean that thousands of dollars is petty cash or anything, but that’s anyone who could afford a used car could afford what was being offered.

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