Been a while since I've talked about Unknown Armies. Especially after I was unhappy with the high buy in cost for third edition by splitting it into three books. So I didn't back the kickstarter and didn't look around for the books.
Eventually a collection of the three main books fell into my lap via a good trade deal. Really it was one I couldn't pass up. So I finally had the new version of Unknown Armies in my hands and I gave it a read through. After that I never mentioned it. Why? Because it was kind of a let down really. It didn't click at all with me, not the way the previous two edition did and it just felt like a whole lot of 'meh' to me.
Well over on rpgdotnet a conversation popped up where a person is reading the second edition of the game. A couple of us said we preferred it over 3rd and one person in particular (Comrade Pointdexter) hit the nail right on the head as to why. Saying it much better than I ever could have.
There are things I'll ransack from UA 3E (such as The Naked Goddess archetype, the schism in her cult, and Ordo Corpulentis), but I stick with 2E. Not only because I like that system better, but the overall tone of 3E strikes me as merely bizarro and kooky than uncanny, dark, and noirish. I recall one reviewer of third edition wrote that he wouldn't have guessed it was a horror rpg if the rule books hadn't said so. If 2E was Tim Powers, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, James Ellroy, and Nick Cave then 3E is The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Ween (and, Christ, what they did to The Sleepers is a joke. Literally, a setting meta-joke. No 12-Step Sleepers in my UA, thanks). Take the 1st edition supplement Postmodern Magick and compare two of the individuals/cabals within - The Bad Man and Team Salvation. Second edition was all about characters like The Bad Man; third edition is totally Team Salvation. And I never could stand Team Salvation.
I have to agree completely with this. It's not a horror game in the way it's been rewritten. The updates to the power groups in the game aren't all that well thought out. It just doesn't work or compare to the previous edition. For the record 2nd edition took everything that was good about the original version, and several of the supplements, combined and refined them in probably the best follow up edition to a game that I have ever seen. It kept the tone and feel while making it all work together.
If you're looking for the 3rd edition you can find it on the Atlas Games page on DrivethruRPG and on Amazon of course or even Ebay. Don't forget to check your FLGS first though.
For 2nd edition you are going to have to hunt around on Ebay, on Amazon, or through second hand sellers. Or you may get lucky and find it at a FLGS also, be sure to check the used games section if they have one. UPDATE: You can now pick up first edition and second edition over on DrivethruRPG.