To me, Unknown Armies is a game, which masterfully blends ancient myths and concepts with contemporary believes. While browsing through the book I always felt, that most adepts take their cues from more recent ideas and cultural phenomenons, whereas avatars mostly refer to slightly more archaic concepts.
The Slacker now is supposed to bridge this perceived gap and update the Clergy with what I think to be a common enough type of person to warrant an avatar.
Attributes: Economic upswing and improving standard of living have led to a jaded generation of adolescents and young adults, who have turned their back on their parent’s values. Work ethic, focus, determination have been replaced with sedateness, clutter and aimlessness. The Slacker does not oppose anything. Remaining still, unobstructed by societal norms, the Slacker chooses a life well within the comfort zone. Lethargy is at this archetype’s core. Most people view the Slacker as underachieving and lazy, while at the same time admiring the courage it takes to accommodate one’s lifestyle around self-sufficient comfort.
Taboos: The Slacker may never contribute to society in any regular manner. Steady Employment weakens the link to the avatar. This does not mean that the Slacker must be poor or live off welfare (although it is very common). Occasionally, an odd job might get done and the Slacker will be reimbursed, but more complex work, requiring a lot of planning and taking up much time (e.g. building an entire house) is out of the question.
Symbols: Undergarments worn without proper clothing, sandals, stained shirts are attire fit for the Slacker. Most forms of recreational drugs ranging from alcohol to marijuana are inherent to this archetype, as long as they are perceived as calming and relaxing. The Slacker frequently listens to music on a portable audio system with earphones, disconnecting oneself from the outside world.
Masks: Diogenes (Greek), Bodhidarma (Indian), Francis of Assisi (Catholic)
Suspected Avatars in History: William S. Burroughs is said to have been channeling the Slacker in parts of his life. Other than that, scholars mostly agree the Slacker has only recently been fully understood as an archetype, hence only few people have been suspected as avatars.
1%-50%: To call the Slacker incompetent would simply be false. Most Slackers excell at many things, the drawback being, that most people just don’t know about it. It is not like they have “beautiful minds” and are geniuises beneath a surface of obsession and serious psychological conditions. They are exactly the dumb, lazy people you perceive them to be. Whenever you are busy doing other things though, the Slacker can peacefully shine for himself. The Slacker may use his Avatar: The Slacker skill for any roll, whenever nobody else paying attention. Absolutely nobody, including the Slacker! The Slacker counts as “not paying attention” under the influence of aforementioned drugs or other chemical, biological or otherwise manufactured substances It is not uncommon for Slackers to take up certain forms of Zen meditation in order to achieve this state of mind.
51%-70%: Before a stress-check, the Slacker may roll Avatar: The Slacker. On a successful roll, the Slacker can ignore stress-checks to the level of the rolls tens-digit. If the Avatar: The Slacker check fails, the regular Mind-check takes place.
71%-90%: The Slacker doesn’t care about riches. Whenever somebody tries to inflict wound points, the Slacker loses some of his wealth. On a successful Avatar: The Slacker roll, the cosmos collects its debts by destroying the Slacker’s earthly possessions instead of punishing the avatar’s frail body. Each otherwise successful attack requires a separate Avatar: The Slacker roll and will cancel all the damage and permanently de-value one of the Slacker’s possessions: His TV stops working and cannot be repaired, his wallet gets stolen or somebody might break into his house and piss on his beloved oriental rug. Some scholars might believe that true value lies in the eye of the beholder, but the cosmos likes to differ: in order for this to work, the Slacker must be in possession of items bought at $30 or more.
91%+: At this level, the Slacker becomes undeceivable. Neither mundane lies, nor magick can conceal a fact or fool the Slacker. Even willful omissions do not get past the avatar. This even goes so far, that on a successful Avatar: The Slacker roll, the avatar sees through unwittingly perpetrated lies, or any other falsehood. The Slacker just knows real from fake. Cosmically speaking, a successful Avatar: The Slacker roll even allows the avatar to disregard any proxy-rituals when targeting people.
Rumor has it, that Alex Abel tried to crack the Clergy’s lineup by becoming the godwalker of the Slacker. In the end he was too close: He simply became too lazy to care about the Clergy.
Unknown Armies and related names are the Intelectual Property of Greg Stolze and John Tynes and protected by Copyright. These items have been used unofficially and quoted exclusively as reference with no infringement on any associated rights intended and without implying endorsement by the copyright holder. Other contents of this articles are published under the following license:
Unknown Armies und damit verbunde Namen sind Geistiges Eigentum von Greg Stolze und John Tynes und urheberrechtlich geschützt. Diese Elemente wurden inoffiziell und ausschließlich als Referenz zitiert ohne die Absicht damit verbundene Rechte anzufechten und ohne eine Billigung durch den Rechteinhaber zu implizieren. Andere Inhalte dieses Artikels werden unter folgender Lizenz veröffentlicht: