Unknown Armies: Authentic Thaumaturgy, Rituals and Avatars

Hi, this is my first post here, and I have a lot of questions:

I just found the "Bad Man" write up, and it seem that a merchant avatar can become insanely powerful! And I started to get some questions:

  1. Can you trade the Avatar abilities of someone else? This is without losing your own Avatar abilities (You keep being the Merchant plus others Avatar abilities)
  2. Can you get the Adept abilities of someone else? This is to get multiple Adept abilities at once.

From the core book

  1. Can an Avatar cast Significant rituals if he or she gets a charge? I.E. The Mystic Hermafrodite gets significant charges at high skill levels; and several minor rituals generate Significant charges; do an Avatars roll their skill as with Minor rituals?
  2. Adepts can cast the Minor and Significant rituals, but do they need to learn them with XP as Thaumaturges do? The same question for Avatars.
  1. That's probably a GM ruling. I believe that in other situations where this can happen (such as the poker game in To Go) the rule is that if you end up with a second avatar channel, the lesser one starts to diminish quite rapidly. As a GM, I'd probably look at how compatible the two archetypes are - I wouldn't be too bothered by an avatar of the Peacemaker also being able to channel the Healer, for example, but definitely wouldn't allow them to also channel the Warrior.

  2. If you're an adept, and gain a second adept school, you immediately receive five failed notches on all five madness meters and become permanently, horribly insane. So don't do it! Note, too, that if you start off as a non-adept, and gain an adept school, it immediate becomes your Obsession Skill.

  3. Yes, but they need to have the charges to spend. (Hello, Mystic Hermaphrodite!)

  4. I'd say yes, though I'd also say that there's nothing wrong with a GM giving out a ritual as a plot-related reward for free every now and then. Make sure that your players discover the ritual in character, too - they can't just say, "oooh, I'll spend XP to get the ritual of Harmonious Alignment!" if they've not encountered an accurate record of that ritual IC.

One other thing about Merchants you may or may not have spotted - You can't use Adept charges to gain more Adept charges, but you can use Avatar channels without any issue. Look how well the Merchant's channels synergise with the Plutomancer's charging structure...

Abouth the question 2, I was speaking about the Merchant ability to buy things... So could I buy/trade the Adept magic of several people??

Oh, with the second Merchant channel, you can trade any commodity you like - including any skills, even adept and avatar skills.

Just bear in mind that if you ever give anybody - including yourself - more than one adept skill, that person will immediately go quite horrifically mad, and probably die in a ditch covered in petrol and on fire shortly afterwards.