Hi. My name is Greg Stolze, this is my web page, and I write books.

Postmodern Magick

Postmodern MagickI have a confession to make. Postmodern Magic is my least favorite book in the UA line, despite its consistently good sales.

This is the grief I mentioned a bit earlier.

PoMoMa is a bigger and more cluttered grab bag than One Shots could ever have been, and there’s some truly terrific material in it… but th ere was also stuff that I felt drifted way too far from the tone I wanted Unknown Armies to have. Some of it was too light hearted, and I wanted UA games to involve consequences. (One thing I wanted for UA’s magic system, from the very beginning, was the notion that magicians weren’t born special, weren’t blessed or gifted. They got to be that way by wanting it bad enough to cling with their teeth and fingernails, and to pay high costs for their power and insight.) Other stuff violated the idea of free will, which I also wanted front and center.

Free will was especially important for a game, I felt. Your character should be yours alone, and having someone else be able to take it over just isn’t fair. To my way of thinking, UA magic could make you want something, and it could compel you to perform certain actions, but it couldn’t make you decide one way or the other, or have conviction about this or that. I felt some of the material in PoMoMa violated that dictum, which I of course had never bothered to dictate, feeling that it should just be obvious from the emphasis on human choice that ran through the whole thing.

PoMoMa bugged me, and I asked to have more editorial control over future books. I got it, which turned out fine. But I also (eventually) learned that people are going to play the game the way they want, no matter how clear you make it what you want. That’s probably a good thing, too.