Unknown Armies Update Wiki

Armed with logic, reason, and a keen eye, the Rationalist is out to debunk the claims of the wrong. The Archetype has a strong presence on the Internet with the increaed atheist and skeptical communities, and is seeing its own influence grow slowly over the years.

Originally, the Rationalist was a philosopher-scientist, but sometime during the past two centuries or so the Rationalist became the caustic, dogged debunker it is today. While previously the Rationalist was associated with a pure, gentlemanly open-mindedness (Isaac Newton himself was a very unscientific alchemist), it is recently becoming more and more associated with cynicism and elitism.


Symbols: Glasses, a knowledge of magic tricks, and a stuffed reading list are all symbols of the Rationalist. Male Avatars often have a full beard.

Taboo: Rationalists rationalize. As such, up-and-coming avatars must never openly support or buy in to a claim or idea without being able to exceptionally defend her reasoning for doing so. This does not mean that she must perfectly debate her beliefs with any and all detractors, but she must not shy from letting everyone know all the thought she's put into her views, and she should have ready robust proofs for her Passions and Obsession (or Paradigm if she has no Obsession).

Masks: Doubting Thomas (Chrisitan), Velma Dinkley (Scooby-Doo), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Agent Scully (The X-Files)

Suspected Avatars: Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens... any of the so-called "New Atheists" qualify as a Rationalist. Harry Houdini, due to his spiritualist-busting days, was suspected to be a Godwalker at some point during his life. Talk amongst the Underground fingers Ambrose Bierce as the current Archetype. Older suspected avatars include Galileo Galilei and Socrates.


1%-50% : The Rationalist debunks. When the avatar, or a group of people including the avatar, would be faced with an unnatural stress check, the check instead counts as two ranks lower than normal (it cannot go below rank-1), and all faced with the check may flip-flop the roll. This must be activated by the avatar providing some rational explanation for the stress-inducing event. As long as it sounds remotely convincing, the channel activates. This works for everyone the avatar cares it to, regardless of each person's individual beliefs.

51%-70% : The Rationalist is skeptical. All attempts, magickal or mundane, to screw with the Rationalist's perceptions or beliefs need to roll higher than the Avatar skill to succeed. This includes Plutomancy spells like I'm The Man, Urbanomancy spells like Face in the Crowd, and Cliomancy's Familiar Face, but not spells like Epideromancy's Face Shift. The Rationalist is simply more attentive to details than most people. Note that this does not guarantee the Rationalist to know the truth; when this channel activates she simply knows something is up, which is often enough to beak a magickal effect anyway.

71%-90% : The Rationalist can explain it away. With some serious examination and discussion, the avatar can make bad juju disappear. After about an hour of either intense contemplation (for effects on herself) or conversation (for effects on one other person), the avatar can make a skill check. If successful, one lasting magickal effect is turned into a simple everyday illness or malaise and can be treated as such. The new malady can usually be treated with either some rest and lots of orange juice, or at worst a check-up by a doctor. This can apply to things such as hexes, astral parasites, Pornomancy blasts and the like. More serious problems, such as entropics, demonic possession, or other major nastiness will naturally be much more difficult to apply to requisite skill check to. Furthermore, the problem will only seem to go away after treatment, and after a few days it will return with a vengeance and a hankering to punish an uppity avatar.

91%+ :The Rationalist dispels superstition. If an adept attempts to produce a magickal effect while the avatar is observing them, and the result of their magick roll is below the soul stat of the avatar, the spell just fails. This works just as though the avatar had failed their magick roll. In order for this to work, the avatar must be paying active attention to the adept casting the spell.