Unknown Armies Damage and Success Questions

Hey all,

I've been a big fan of UA for a long time and now I'm going to be running my first campaign. I have a few questions (clarifications, really) about some of the second edition rules that I can't seem to find the answers to anywhere else. I hope you'll bear with the newbie GM:

  1. In terms of successes: I understand that the closer you roll to your skill, the better (i.e. with a General Athletics skill of 40%, rolling 38% is better than rolling 16%, but they are both successes). Is there any special effect for rolling exactly your skill? I know that rolling 01 is a crit and matched successes can sometimes give cherries but I was wondering if rolling your skill did anything special. Also, any advice for measuring degrees of success? In the example above, would the 16 mean "you just barely clear the gap you tried to jump and regain your footing" while the 38 would be "hitting the opposite side with a tuck and roll back into a run"?

  2. In terms of Hand to Hand damage: I understand you add the two numbers in your roll together to get the damage (i.e. rolling a 27 would be 2+7=9 points of damage). Is there any adjustment for getting closer to your skill? Or is rolling a 27 really better than rolling a 32 (assuming a skill of 40)? Also, how do you figure in a 0 in the ones place (like in rolling a 30)?

I realize these probably seem like beginner questions, but it's been a while since I played and I've never run so I want to make sure I do it right.

Thanks all for your help and patience.


  1. If a player rolls the same number as their skill, I treat it as a matched success, with associated cherries, but not the instant kill or absurdly awesome success a 01 would give them. That's a house rule though, I'm not sure the books actually specifies a mechanical effect for matching the skill.

  2. Melee is straight up the sum, with the best possible base roll being 19 points of damage. 0s count as 10s, to the best of my knowledge.

I hope the game went well!

Thanks very much. This helped a lot!

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.

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