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Who says you can't buy happiness...
ATTRIBUTES: Modern society encourages people to buy things, even if they already have everything they need. The myth of consumerism is potent: buying things will make you relevant, make you happy, make your problems disappear; forking over cash will make you a more valuable person, a better person. It may have been a patriotic duty to sacrifice and conserve during WWII, but things have changed. These days you're asked to spend, spend, spend... all of it.
Unlike earlier Consumer archetypes -- investors and hagglers -- the current take on Consumerism incarnate is strongly allied with the Merchant. It is believed that this concept of the role ascended shortly after World War II, sometime during the fresh rush of Americans throwing their money around the war-torn globe, back when having US dollars to spend made a person special.
There is some variation in style among the Consumers, but it is a superficial distinction, not unlike the division between Nurturing and Devouring Mothers. Impulse Shoppers incorporate the act of buying into their everyday life, buying anything and everything that strikes their fancy. Educated Consumers spend their time to research purchases, but pick up more expensive items. Although the more spiritual-minded among them have their theories about why their habits are best, the central points are the same: they make buying into a lifestyle, and they don't have a cent left over.
Taboo: A Valued Customer cannot have more cash than she owes. All her extra liquid assets must be spent by the end of a month. Money for unavoidable costs (rent, loan payments, etc.) can be put aside, but whatever you have on top of that must be released back into the economy within 30 days of receiving it.
In addition, a Consumer must spend her Avatar rating in Dollars/Euros or more every business day. The only way around this requirement is to spend at least an hour researching a single purchase that will cost at least 10 times your Avatar rating. The Archetype's patience is limited, however, and will only allow an Avatar to put off buying for 5 business days.
Symbols: Credit cards are her badge of office; receipts are her footprints. Malls, department stores and supermarkets are places of strength.
Masks: It is not uncommon for Consumers to worship a specific brand, such as Abercrombie, Old Navy or Sony. Others understand it in terms of major brand names, as opposed to knock-offs.
Suspected Avatars in History: A great many unconscious Avatars have appeared on Oprah and Doctor Phil to address how the lifestyle is destroying their families.
01-50%: There is a special bond between a buyer and her new possessions. Make an Avatar check at the time of purchase. If successful, the Customer can flip-flop one roll to use her new toy. (Sneakers work for Running, Perfume for Charm, etc.) The aura of newness fades quickly, however; unused "luck" left in a new possession fades away one month after it was purchased.
51-70%: Serious Consumers often use shopping as a form of therapy. A Valued Customer can buy something, make a successful Avatar check, and heal her psychic trauma, erasing either a Failed or a Hardened notch from her madness meter.
71-90%: The Valued Customer's habits now promote physical as well as mental well-being. Buy something and make your Avatar check to undergo a superficial rejuvenation (look younger or older, make your breasts perky, etc.). If sick or injured at the time, you heal the sum of dice. This channel can also heal psychic damage or a reduced Soul stat, such as from Pornomancer blasts or Astral Parasites.
91+%: A devoted Shopper is molded by the things she buys. After making a purchase relevant to the desired change, a Valued Customer can redefine one of her Passions, her Personality, her Obsession and related skill, or even her Madness Meters (add/subtract up to the "ones" die to purchase-related Hardened notches). Significant purchases ($1,000+) let the Avatar distribute 5 points among her stats and wound points instead, though none of them can be raised above her Avatar rating this way.
Menzoa | profile | Jun 30, 04 | 9:31 pm
I know, I know... this baby's old hat now, but there was some playtesting and some revisions resulted. Within the same general concept, it was decided that the Channels should be reordered with minor changes.
Menzoa | profile | Jun 30, 04 | 9:35 pm
I think I am this avatar.
Jeff | profile | Aug 11, 04 | 1:03 pm
That's among the best compliments I could ever get from one of you guys...
Menzoa | profile | Aug 15, 04 | 3:01 am