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Do as thou wilt, dude.
[b]AKA.Rebels, Deviants, Assholes.[b]
When everyone follows the rules and sticks to established social conventions, you get harmony, peace and tranquility. When you give all that shit the big finger, you get total power to do whatever the hell you want. Just don't get caught.
Maybe it was because you never had an authority figure in your childhood, or maybe because the ones you had couldn't control you and didn't try. Or maybe they just thought it was okay to let you run wild and just do what you liked. In any case, you spent longer than you care to remember in "special" classes, child psychologists' offices, police stations, family courts and juvenile detention centres. None of it made any difference. There were times, of course, when you tried to act as if it had, when you wanted to believe that you'd turn out to be sane, normal and balanced, but who were you kidding? You wanted much more than a dull, ordinary life, but that's exactly what you were going to get if you just fell in line and did as you were told. Cutting away those constraints you'd bound yourself with gave you a revelation that hit you like a speeding express train, and you've been on a wild, mad ride ever since.
You know now that rules are meant to be broken and barriers to be smashed away, as they're only there to test your strength of will. To the free, unfettered mind that accepts no restraint or compromise, the laws of nature are no different to the laws of society, and you break both with impunity. Why should you care about petty misdemeanours and felonies if you have the power to see through walls, dodge bullets and fly like Superman?
But that's the paradox of Anarchomancy. To become a superior being, you have to turn yourself into what most normal, law-abiding folks would deem to be an inferior one. Superhero and public enemy - you must be both at the same time.
Anarchomancer Blasts tend to vary, as most adepts are self-taught. But a typical Blast might come in the form of overwhelming telekinetic force that either sends its victim sprawling or crushes his windpipe.
Generate a Minor Charge: Do something that grossly contravenes social norms and expectations, like casually making and breaking promises, speaking your mind when others would keep their mouths shut, or refusing point blank to grant a reasonable, innocuous request. Committing a misdemeanour that might earn you a fine or a caution works as well, and you can get an extra charge by laughing in the cop's face, or tearing up the ticket, or whatever.
Generate a Significant Charge: Run the risk of arrest, trial and imprisonment. Any serious crime will suit your purposes, and you can get a second charge if you can both commit the crime and get away with it. However, to get that second charge you need people to know that it was you, so if you can't avoid the police you'd better hope they don't have enough evidence to convict you, or get a damn good lawyer.
Generate a Major Charge: Get yourself a chapter in the next edition of "Most Shocking Crimes of the 21st Century." If you still have qualms about seeing your name up there with Charles Manson and Ted Bundy, you can also get the charge by organising and leading a massive campaign of civil insurrection. It has to be serious enough to get you and at least 100 other people potentially imprisoned or killed, but if the authorities actually cave in you get a second Major Charge. As a nice side perk you might end up running the country.
Taboo: Any voluntary act of obedience towards authority causes you to forfeit all your charges. You also lose your charges if you go along with an idea or opinion that you actually disagree with - you must never allow yourself to be pushed around by anyone.
Random Magic Domain: Anarchomancy is all about transcending boundaries to achieve your true potential. In practice, it allows you to do things that are physically impossible - a pretty neat range of superhero-style powers, in other words. It's useless for affecting other people, except with Blasts, and it doesn't have any power over intangibles like emotions, memories and probability.
Starting Charges: Anarchomancers begin with 4 Minor Charges.
Charging Tips: You can rack up a lot of Minor Charges just by being obnoxious, pushy and irritating on a daily basis - anything up to 4-5 a day is realistic, depending on how much of a prick you want to be.
For Significant Charges you need careful planning and luck if you want to pull off a crime and get away scot free without magick. 1-2 Signficant Charges a week is feasible, although you're likely to spend more than that just getting away from the police.
Minor Formula Spells
Hard As Nails
Cost: 1 Minor Charge.
Effect: You can take a number of Wound Points equal to the sum of the dice on your magick roll without actually suffering an injury. Any Wound Points sustained above and beyond this amount come off your normal total.
You're A Natural.
Cost: 1 Minor Charge.
Effect: You can utilise your untapped potential when attempting a physical activity, even one you aren't very good at or have no skill in. As long as the spell is successful, you can use your full Body or Speed stat in place of a skill for the purpose of one roll, thus avoiding all of the problems normally associated with significant and major skill checks.
Fists of Doom.
Cost: 2 Minor Charges.
Effect:You need to hit your target successfully with a hand-to-hand combat attack for this spell to work, but if you do you can get a Cherry as if your combat skill was also your Obsession skill. Note, however, that you can't inflict firearms-type damage unless you get a matched success for the hand-to-hand attack.
But There's No Blood!
Cost: 3 Minor Charges.
Effect: This spell works in much the same way as the Epideromancer spell Regeneration, i.e. you regain a dice worth of Wound Points if you cast it successfully. You can only use it on yourself.
I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing.
Cost: 3 Minor Charges.
Effect: You guessed it: this spell strangles the victim by applying telekinetic force to the windpipe. It works just like it would if you were using your hands, and you have to maintain concentration on the spell to keep applying the pressure for more than 1 round.
Real Life Action Hero.
Cost: 5 Minor Charges.
Effect: Choose one incredible feat from the realm of popular fiction. e.g. jumping onto a moving train or rolling out from underneath its wheels. Cast this spell, and then whenever you try to do the amazing but not quite superhuman thing you've specified you succeed automatically. You can't invent something, though: if you can't name the comic book, film, TV show or computer game you saw your feat in, you can't do it.
Significant Formula Spells
Ddoge Bullets? You Won't Have To.
Cost: 1 Significant Charge.
Effect: For a number of rounds equal to the 10s dice on your roll, physical attacks against you only succeed if their rolls are better than yours. It either looks as if you're dodging every attack with incredible speed, or as if they're all just as incredibly bouncing off.
Gravity Is For Losers.
Cost: 2 Significant Charges.
Effect: As long as you have a surface to plant your feet on, it doesn't matter if it's horizontal, vertical, solid or liquid. You can run up walls and walk on water if you want to, without ever having to worry about falling. The spell ends as soon as you're back on normal ground.
The Hell With That Breathing Shit.
Cost: 2 Significant Charges.
Effect: You can get by very nicely without oxygen for as long as you have to. A lungful of air ends the spell, but until then you're immune to drowning, suffocation, asphyxiation or other assholes trying out that lame Darth Vader shit on you.
Only Now, At The End, Do You Understand.
Cost: 2 Significant Charges.
Effect: Zap your enemies with bolts of lightning that come from your fingertips. Doing this in public is an excellent way of getting the Sleepers' attention, which almost certainly means a bullet in your brain if you aren't careful.
Screw You, Grim Reaper.
Cost: 4 Significant Charges.
Effect: This spell protects you against certain death. You don't have to know what's coming when you cast it, but the next time you sustain a fatal injury the Wound Point loss is halved. If you get a matched success on the roll it's reduced to hand-to-hand damage, and a crit eliminates it completely. However, you can't gain charges while this spell is in effect: if you're trying to do bad stuff magick won't help you to buck the consequences.
To Infinity And Beyond.
Cost: 6 Significant Charges.
Effect: You can fly at your normal top running speed. You can stay up in the air as long as you like, but be warned that the spell ends as soon as you hit the ground again. This is very likely to happen when people that you've pissed off in the past take shots or sling Blasts at you.
Permanently gain a "superpower." Become completely and permanently immune to one form of damage.
What You Hear: The Anarchomancer.
There's this asshole in Chicago calling himself Thomas Anderson (he says it's his real name) who's worked out this spell that allows him to vanish the moment you've turned your back on him. Not a bad trick, when you think about all the dukes that want to turn back and smack his smartass mouth so hard so that he spends the next week shitting teeth.
I think the taboo might need a bit more oomph.
Menzoa | profile | Aug 19, 04 | 12:55 am
Another thing that needs to be defined about the taboo is how broadly "obedience toward authority" is meant. Traffic signs and the like are an exercise of authority, after all; would the adept lose his charges if he obeys a "Don't Walk" sign? How about warning labels on tobacco or drugs? Does the anarchomancer violate taboo if he takes an antihistamine and then doesn't operate heavy machinery? (Obviously these are absurd examples, but they're not outside the scope of the taboo as written.)
Doug Atkinson | profile | Aug 19, 04 | 7:19 am
I'm actually inclined towards defining this thing very broadly indeed, so that the adept loses his charges for things like stopping at a red light when he wants to keep going - basically anything that can incur consequences. If he crosses the road when it says "Don't Walk," there's a chance he'll get a cop in his face or a pissed-off motorist shouting at him. That won't happen if he buys a packet of cigarettes - no one's actually -telling- him not to smoke (ever seen a government advisory that actually says DON'T SMOKE THESE THINGS?), although he'd be in trouble if someone advised him to quit and he did as they suggested. As for the antihistamene, if he wasn't going to operate any heavy machinery anyway, it wouldn't matter. But if he wants to and he's been specifically told not to, either by a doctor or a warning label, he's got to ignore what they say.
I think my favorite thing in the world right now is recommending alternate taboos for new schools.
I'm against the blast style--it seems too simplistic. Yes it makes sense, since they want to personally stay out of society, but it's not very UA-ish. Maybe something more like "society turns against you" or "rules don't work for you." The whole "I beat you with my mojo" doesn't feel right to me at all.
Actually, it's not so much a matter of staying out of society as it is wanting to kill people with a bunch of nasty powers they've seen in movies. And I'm not too worried about how UA-ish something is or isn't if, as you say, it makes sense within the context of the thing that it's a part of. I think that "I Beat You With My Mojo" sounds like a pretty good name for a blast, actually...
Interesting. It seems like this school is kind of split between "rebelling against authority" and "doing cool stuff like you saw in the movies." Maybe that's the symbolic tension of the school - Anarchomancers reject authority, but draw inspiration from the media of the very system they reject?
Actually, I think it's more a matter of rebelling against society in order to give themselves cool powers from movies, comics and computer games. But yes, they are rather violating one set of norms, conventions and laws so that they can conform to different ones. That's why they give themselves names like "Thomas Anderson." See Real Life Action Hero for an example.