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Interstellar Journalism
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:38 pm    Post subject: Interstellar Journalism Reply with quote

Our earlier discussion on interstellar communications seemed to focus primarily on background information, as in fleshing out some of the background details of the campaign without really requiring the characters to make a lot of use of it. I mean, as Rebels, how often are they going to be using the HoloNet?

I got to thinking about ways in which characters could be more regularly involved in interstellar communications as part of a campaign, and one idea which stood out was journalism. We touched on the idea of news reports being like newsreel footage, like short, pre-recorded internet videos being relayed from point to point across the galaxy. But these holo-clips have to come from somewhere, so why not a group of characters?

-It would require that the characters have regular, official access to the low-end band of the Holo-Net, so as to upload their stories to their news desk.

-It would give the characters official reason to be in all kinds of different places, depending on what events they are reporting on. Reporters could be official news media, or the SWU equivalent of paparazzi, digging up dirt on celebrities and the like (which would make an excellent cover for a group of Rebel spies).

-It would allow the characters to have access to an appropriate ship to serve as both transport and a mini-production studio for putting their stories together before sending them off. Such a ship would need to be fast (so as to rapidly get to where the next big story is), possibly a converted courier of some kind (or maybe even an unconverted courier with the cargo bay converted into a holo-studio.

-It would bring the characters into conflict with Imperial censorship via COMPNOR's Coalition for Progress, although I would have to write something up since CoProg doesn't have a media branch (and the Empire would have a vested interest in shaping galactic media, whether it is news or entertainment). There would also be the potential for running afoul of Imperial Intelligence's Analysis Branch, via their Media Division.

A campaign like this would require definite rules on modes and methods of communication in the SWU, since it is entirely based on getting information out in spite of a variety of obstacles.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a pretty cool idea.

I've always pictured the Empire having an iron grip on all media; the propaganda machine in full swing. Ruthless suppression of differing view.

Being part of an independent broadcasting group; Pirate radio, would be a life of serious danger; virtually rebels themselves even if they had no official ties and vowed impartial neutrality.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we already know that the empire has cramped down on music etc, to the point where smugglers do seem to make a decent profit on contraband.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 11 of Fragments from the Rim is entirely about News Agencies, and provides a lot of detail on the subject. While WEG's premise is that the Empire has locked down the Holonet, our premise on the interstellar communications discussion was that the galaxy as a whole still had access to it, if on a limited scale.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what sorts of skills do you see journalists focusing on.
Investigation obviously.
Con and possibly persuasion
Sneaking/search
Communications and maybe even computer prog/rep..

What else?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a character template in Heroes & Rogues for a NewsNet Reporter, with the following stats:
    DEX 3D
    Blaster
    Brawling Parry
    Dodge
    Running

    KNOW 3D+2
    Alien Species
    Bureaucracy
    Business
    Cultures
    Languages
    Law Enforcement
    Planetary Systems
    Streetwise
    Willpower

    MECH 2D+2
    Repulsorlift Operation

    PER 4D
    Bargain
    Con
    Hide
    Investigation
    Persuasion
    Search
    Sneak

    STR 2D
    Brawling
    Climbing/Jumping
    Stamina

    TECH 2D+2
    Computer Programming / Repair
    Droid Programming
    Droid Repair
    Security

The reporter is well-equipped to be the front-man for any group of characters. Obviously the behind-the-camera staff would need to be more tech-heavy, such as the camera-person and the producer who would take the lead on splicing and editing to produce the story. Other templates, like pilots or bounty hunters would provide their usual roles, with the official titles of transportation and security / bodyguards...
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always scratching my head as to why that template had a 3d dex, but only 2d+2 mech and tech..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
I was always scratching my head as to why that template had a 3d dex, but only 2d+2 mech and tech..

Why? A reporter's job is to be poised and professional in front of the camera, which requires a modest amount of control over one's body movements. That says a mid-to-high Dex to me.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd put that more under Knowledge; Scholar, profession or Cultures, than i would dex..
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CRMcNeill
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
I'd put that more under Knowledge; Scholar, profession or Cultures, than i would dex..

I think you are reading too much into Knowledge. Having poise and control of one's own body is very much a part of Dexterity. You may have to be trained in the appropriate techniques, but that isn't exclusive to the Knowledge attribute.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A war correspondent type is going to need a bit of dex, if only to avoid getting killed. 'Shooting' with a camera...would that be governed under dex like a weapon?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
A war correspondent type is going to need a bit of dex, if only to avoid getting killed. 'Shooting' with a camera...would that be governed under dex like a weapon?

Profession - camera man. And willpower to not crap his pants!
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CRMcNeill
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about instead of wasting CP improving Blaster, specialize in Scholar: Blaster Operation?
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
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Tinman
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might include the need to use alternate routes of communication in some circumstances, especially when it comes to situations like war reporting. Getting the story and footage is only half the job when reporting on things and situations others would rather you weren't. I can picture hunted reporters having to resort to such methods as the message bearing service of the Corellian Merchant's Guild, and hoping the material makes it to where it can be broadcast, even if you need to be in hiding yourself.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They would also need a decent streetwise. We have IRL seen many instances where journalists have gotten meetings with high level criminals/terrorists, to do an interview with them, while the authorities are twiddling their thumbs cause THEY can't find them.
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