Unknown Armies: Berkeley
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Your identity involves caring and sympathy and healing the troubled souls of puzzled mortals in this modern era. It could be something recognized and licensed, like psychology, or you could do it all with crystals and soothing words. Whatever your therapeutic modality, you can help people repair their damaged shock gauge.
The best time to treat someone for a psychological shock is soon after it occurs, because that’s when you can frame it properly and demonstrate a healthy way to think about it. People who’ve been shocked aren’t in the best position to calculate the healthiest way to regard their own damage, so having outside guidance is very useful. Talk them down in a calm, soothing voice, and roll.
|Fumble:||Welp, that made it worse. The target now also has a Self (2–3) check to contend with.|
|Matched Failure:||You didn’t make them any worse, but if you have a relationship with this… patient? Client? Stooge?… it drops by 5%.|
|Failure:||Nothing happens. Sorry.|
|Success:||If they got a failure, you can erase that and change it into a hardened notch instead, if the person being counseled agrees.|
|Matched Success or Crit:||You can erase the notch the person took, hardened or failed. It’s as if they never faced the stress check. Of course, you can’t do this if they don’t permit it, no matter how much you scold about resisting therapy.|
HELPING THE DISTURBED
When someone has gotten settled in their ways, you can still roll after some deep, heartfelt therapy sessions and possibly erase some stuff off their shock gauge. You can make a roll like this every month or so, if you’ve been having close, heart-toheart, honest sharing exchanges with the person every week for at least an hour. (Let’s be real though, it’s more like fifty minutes after the meet ‘n’ greet and paperwork each session.) Alternately, if you go for intensive daily therapy, you get a roll every week, but that assumes at least three hours a day spent in encounter groups and talk sessions.
|Fumble:||Ugh. Shouldn’t have brought up their mother. Target takes a Self (2–3) stress check.|
|Matched Failure or Failure:||“You worked real hard today, good session.” No change to the shock gauge though.|
|Success:||The client can choose one hardened or failed mark to remove, if desired.|
|Matched Success:||You can choose one hardened or failed mark to erase, regardless of whether the client wants it gone or not.|
|Crit:||Pick one meter. The client loses a hardened notch and a failed notch off that meter.|
If the client has an ongoing issue — meaning, one or more meter has five failed notches — you as the therapist must treat those first. You really can’t help someone get mildly more functional in their social life if they’re still completely enslaved by an occult phobia. In game terms, if someone has five failed notches in Violence and one in Helplessness, you can’t get rid of that Helplessness failure until you take one off Violence. If someone has multiple neuroses from multiple maxed-out meters, pick which one you target first.
HEALING THROUGH BED REST
Ahahaha, no. You can fix a sprained ankle that way, but sitting by yourself at home in the dark is a way to get your mind sicker, not better.