Thursday, 30 August 2012

Avatar: The Artist

I've seen people try to design The Artist on the UA website over there -->, but I haven't really been that impressed with them, so I've decided to make my own. I am fairly sure the power-level is not at all right, but there's no way to tell without playtesting.

The Artist

Humans have created art for as long as there have been such creatures as "humans". They've drawn on the walls of their caves, created figurines of their desires and Gods and regardless of what social, political or economical state they have existed in, there have always been someone to draw, to create.

The Artist is an embodiment of those people. He creates art, sometimes to praise the glory of his religion or political views, sometimes to bring beauty into the world, sometimes for money, sometimes to show some Truth to his audience, for entertainment and sometimes just for the sake of Art itself. Whatever the reason, the Artist paints, draws, carves, sculpts.

The post-modernist wave hasn't been kind to the Artist, with everyone throwing around questions like "What is Art?", but the Artist will still survive, as he always does.
The Artist must always be expressive in his works, he must always have a reason to exist, though the reasons need not always be the same from piece to piece.

The Artist, unlike the Chronicler is an entirely visual creator. Painting, drawing, sculptures and carvings are his domain. Films are not, since they require other people, and an Artist must create alone to show his view in the purest way possible. Animation and Comics are still fuzzy, but more and more people are considering those to be valid art-forms, and a lot of avatars are still fighting to push them into the public eye as true Art.

The Artist has three taboos. He must create. If a week goes by without the Avatar painting, sculpting, carving or drawing something he is distancing himself from the Archetype.

Second, the Artist must do his creative work alone. Having someone else help him with the piece will muddle the Artist's vision with the one of the person helping. Artists who work in comics and animation must do the entire thing alone. (This is also why live-action movies are out...Unless the Avatar writes, acts and directs the entire movie all by himself.)

And third - The Artist must strive to preserve Art. What is and what isn't considered art is up to each individual Avatar, but once a decision has been made it must be maintained forever.

Masks: (I couldn't come up with any masks for the Artist, so this remains blank for now)

Tools of the trade - the paintbrush, the pencil, the stick of charcoal, the chisel and hammer, clay, marble, stone, wood. The palette, the canvas and the tripod it stands on, along with clothes and aprons covered in paint or clay are also strong symbols.

With the rise in popularity of digital art, drawing and 3D software, along with graphic tablets are also becoming potent symbols of the Archetype.

Suspected Avatars in history:
Every occultist, mystically aware art critic or Avatar of the Artist will tell you endlessly about how his or her favorite artist was surely channeling this Archetype. It seems logical that people like Leonardo and Michelangelo were channeling (consciously or not, we'll never know) the Artist. Andy Warhol was either an Avatar who  wanted to expand the public's perception of Art, or someone who wanted to fight and destroy the Archetype by undermining his certainty.

1-50%: The Artist can tap into his understanding of human consciousness (knowingly or not) to help him with creating art. With a successful roll against his Avatar skill the Artist may add up to +15% to his next roll when using an artistic skill to create a work of art. (His skill still can't exceed the stat that governs it)

51-70%: The Artist gains deeper knowledge of symbols and their meanings, as manipulating them helps him in creating more powerful artwork. The Avatar may now use his Avatar: The Artist skill when rolling to understand the meaning of any symbolic action or to try and figure out the appropriate symbols for a given situation. (This includes the symbols used by other Avatars and Adepts, the symbols needed when performing Tilts and such.)

71-90%: The Artist can now create Works of Art that carry a tangible emotional charge. When an Avatar decides to create a Work he must pick a theme that relates to one of the Madness Meters. Once the piece is created he rolls against his Avatar: The Artist skill. If the roll is successful the Work can now be used to either heal or induce stress on the chosen Meter. (The purpose of the Work must be chosen before it is created. The same Work can't be used to both induce and heal.)
If the Work was created with intent to induce stress, seeing it for more than two seconds causes a person to roll a Stress check on the chosen Meter equal to the tens of the Avatar skill roll made after it's creation. 
   Example: Vince wants to make a bit of protection for himself, so he creates a carving the size of his palm that incorporates very strong themes of the Invisible Clergy. Once he finishes he rolls against his Avatar skill and rolls a successful 56%. From now on, whenever someone is shown the carving for more than a few seconds they must roll against an Unnatural-5 stress check.

Works created to heal stress can be shown to people who then must make a successful Soul roll lower than the roll the Avatar used in enchanting his Work. If they do, they can then decide to remove either one failed or one hardened notch of the chosen Meter.
   Another Example: Joshua has been using his Works to heal people of their nightmares. He decides to help an old war veteran with his flashbacks and makes a painting showing a moment of peace and serenity. He makes an Avatar skill check and rolls a successful 43%. Whenever the old veteran sits down to look at the painting and makes a successful roll of less than 43 he can chose to remove one hardened or failed notch from his Violence meter. Once he has no hardened or failed notches the painting will simply stop having an effect on him.

Each Work can also only be used to trigger or heal someone a number of times equal to the tens of the Avatar roll used in enchanting it. After that it becomes a mundane piece of art like anything else the Artist makes on a daily basis. 
An important note must be made that a Work can never affect it's creator, though it can affect other Avatars of the Artist just like anyone else. Sociopaths can't be affected by a Work, as they are too emotionally deadened to feel it's effects.

91%+: The Artist can create a Masterpiece with a successful Avatar: The Artist roll. An Avatar can have only one Masterpiece, ever. If he wishes to create a new one the old one must be destroyed (Doing that would cause him to break taboo though). What can the Artist do with this Masterpiece? A lot, really. If it's a drawing or sculpture of a person it will create the actual person. (Not an animated statue that moves around, but an actual flesh and blood person). They will have their own feelings, thoughts and emotions, though they are in a positive disposition towards the Artist that created them. People or other creatures brought to life this way are fully aware of their nature. If the Masterpiece depicts a place, it becomes a portal to an Otherspace that looks like the one depicted in the drawing or painting. If a person enters it they will show up on the painting, walking around the place. If the Masterpiece is destroyed, creatures created with it simply cease to exist (and Reality re-writes itself so that they never did), and the Otherspace is closed off forever, along with anyone or anything that was inside it.

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