1879: Profession High Tiers: Journalist

As an Initiate, a Novice, and a Journeyman, the Journalist has learned how to write a story, how to make an impact with it, and how to handle themselves both in society and when someone objects to the truth having been published. At Warden, the Journalist learns to mold public opinion directly, in person. They can address crowds with Oratory, push them into violent action with Incite Mob, or rally them with Leadership. Their Bardic Voice carries over the noise of the city. One on one, they can now hold their own with an Aristocrat, negotiating with Diplomacy, seeing the Truth Through Lies, and being able to Undermine their opponent and cause social damage to someone who isn’t even present. They gain an aplomb that a lieutenant in Her Majesty’s Army might envy, a steadiness of nerve born of the field of battle, even if the Journalist faces their foe in the minds of the reading public rather than at the end of a Martini-Henry.

The Master Journalist understands how the news directs society every bit as much as society directs the news. Their Skills here are all about honing themselves to perfection, the way a pianist who has been touring Europe for thirty years still practices for hours every day. The final piece in the puzzle, the keystone in their arch, is their journalistic integrity. In the end, it’s reputation that sells newspapers. While scandal and half truths may be meat and potatoes to the tabloid, honest reporting is what keeps a paper in circulation across generations. No one who makes decisions that affect the Empire in part or in whole does so without consulting reputable sources. Maintaining that reputation, keeping one’s own honesty and that of the paper unstained, unblemished, nothing else matters more to the Master, as they have come to understand, fiat veritas ruat coelum, or more vulgarly, publish and be damned!

Skills and Abilities

  • Warden
    • Core Skills
      • Diplomacy, Leadership, Oratory, Truth Through Lies, Undermine
    • Optional Skill
      • Bardic Voice, Disarming Smile, Incite Mob, Safe Thought, Wound Balance
    • Abilities
      • The character gains +1 to their Social Defense.
      • The character gains +1 to their Physical Defense.
      • The character may spend Karma for Recovery Tests.
      • Fearless In Pursuit of the Story:The Journalist knows that the story they are working on is more important than their own physical or social safety. They may add their Writing Rank to any Test against intimidation or fear, or to their Social or Mystic Defense against intimidation or fear. This gives them a “coolness under fire” equal to a veteran soldier, able to report from the front lines calmly while shells explode around them. They may disregard any difference in Social Level that would put them at a disadvantage, for Strain equal to double the difference. A SL3 Journalist questioning a SL5 Aristocrat would spend 4 Strain to avoid the SL penalty.
  • Master
    • Core Skills
      • Cutting Words, Lion Heart, Perfect Focus, Steely Stare, Witty Repartee
    • Optional Skills
      • Defense, Second Chance, Soul Aegis, Stout Constitution, Unflinching Fortitude
    • Abilities
      • The character gains +2 to their Social Defense.
      • The character’s Max Karma increases by 15.
      • Ironclad Integrity: Nothing is more important than the truth. The Journalist may add their Profession Skill Rank as a Step bonus to resist Taunts that impugn their honesty, to their Social Defense to resist attempts at Bribery, and to any other resistance to having their integrity questioned or subverted. They may also use this ability to defend their good name, adding the same Step bonus to encourage others to believe in their honesty. The Journalist must spend Strain equal to their Rank in order to use this ability.