Journalist Schticks

Purple Prose

Every journalist knows how to write, but you’ve got a way with words that can influence the way people think. Praise from you can get a politician elected, or turn a struggling actor into a huge celebrity.

Similarly, a bad word can destroy a career, or bring a political boss down in flames. On the seedier side of things, you can draw attention to areas that need it—turn up the heat on a local gang, for example, or get another PC out of jail. All you need is a regular forum and a few days time, and you can affect the way people look at anything. Walter Winchell had nothing on you.

In game terms, this allows you to temporarily increase the Charisma of any character, be it PC or GMC. Similarly, you can temporarily decrease the character’s Charisma by vilifying him. With three days’ notice and two hours’ writing time, you may either add or subtract one point to any single person’s Charisma score or to any one Charisma-based skill. The effect lasts for one week plus a number of days equal to the Outcome.

Purple Prose usually only lasts in areas which could hear the journalists’ words; usually one particular city or territory. You should work out with the GM beforehand which area you can affect. Rural areas, foreign countries and the distant past are usually off limits. By spending a Fortune Die, however, you can increase the area of effect to include any civilized locale. (It takes a village, after all).

Research Maniac

You know how to dig for a story’s background, and always have a wide array of information handy. Contacts, libraries, the internetall of them pour out their contents to you, giving you a fast track to any piece of news. You also have a good sense of how facts interconnect and can link stories to statistics with remarkable ease. You are considered to have an Info score of 1 in every conceivable category, even if you have no knowledge of it. This score cannot be used for anything but information: You might be able to determine the exact factory an engine was built in, but you won’t be able to repair it. Similarly, an intimate knowledge of Heckler & Koch’s history doesn’t let you fire their guns any better. Still, an extensive array of facts might help you trace those explosives to their source or locate the kidnappers’ hidden island fortress. You must spend at least one hour in a library (newspaper morgue, etc.), at a computer console, or “hitting” the streets for your contacts in order to use this schtick. Note: You must still pay for an Info of 1 before you can raise it to 2; the schtick simulates an Info score, it doesn’t replace it.

Journalist Schticks

Feng Shui: The Lost Island DJSchotte