The first supplement for Unknown Armies is an interesting artifact, and not just because it has someone trying to crash a plane into a major metro area years before 9/11. One Shots was conceived as a way to get people into UA and let them hit the ground running. (In hindsight, it would have been better to do that in the main book. The biggest complaint people had about the first edition UA core was “It’s full of great ideas, but… what do the characters do?”)
We got a bunch of writers we liked or admired and asked them to write one-off scenarios for our new game. What I find interesting about the result is the variety. The two I did are gritty, low-down, everybody-is-confused-and-violent episodes where circumstances spiral rapidly out of control. Tynes’ is a somber meditation on regret and the price of resisting resignation. Grabowski presented this post-apocalypse buffet, and Dedopulous had this very big-time, wahoo, over the top phantasmagoria.
UA was an inkblot. Different writers saw very different things. At the time, I thought that only Tynes and I were seeing what ‘should’ be there, an attitude that would bring me some grief later on. But as more and more players started describing games, fun and incredibly cool games, that didn’t fit my UA paradigm, I started to ask why my vision of it should be privileged. Especially if I hadn’t been able to articulate it in the core book.