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  #1  
Old 12-06-2022, 12:40 PM
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Default Let's Build: a Military Journalist

Probably 10 years ago or so, one of the original PCs in a Pirates of the Vistula PbP campaign that I had just started running was a US army combat journalist. His player quit the game after another player summarily executed a ZOMO prisoner, and his PC returned to Krakow to find more morally-aligned traveling companions. I was disappointed that I didn't get a chance to witness a military journalist PC in action over the long-term.
.
Anyway, today, I stumbled across this crazy story:

https://warisboring.com/army-photogr...o-of-the-film/

And it got me thinking about military journalist character builds. It doesn't have to be Army (the Marines have a combat journalist MOS- ergo, "Joker" from Full Metal Jacket), or even US-centric, but I thought it might be a fun thought experiment to build an military photographer PC using each of the rule T2k sets.

What skills would an Army Photographer have? How would you equip him or her?

We don't have to focus just on photographers- it can be any sort of military journalist.

Feel free to post your builds here, as well as any other articles, thoughts, stories, encounter ideas, etc. focusing on military journalists in combat.

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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 12-08-2022 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 12-06-2022, 01:11 PM
Ewan Ewan is offline
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This might be of use for the Free League version
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...News-Reporters
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2022, 02:38 PM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
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They'd probably want some relatively light camera, as they'll have to lug it around with them. SLR was just starting to become a thing, but you'd probably need a self-winding film camera due to the difficulty in getting batteries.

Developing film might be difficult too.
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:29 PM
ToughOmbres ToughOmbres is offline
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Default Photographer

Heck, after TDM certainly no later than 1998 I would think even accessing film itself much less processing would be a problem. Almost all of the posts in Germany and CONUS had photolab/shops for MWR. "Let's keep the kids out of trouble" hobby that was popular for some

PAO's are a secondary MOS for officers not sure about photographers?
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:44 PM
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Default Zoom Out

Perhaps I was too narrow with my thread title.

There. Fixed.

Let's open this up to any stripe of military journalist.

Although armies c.2000 wouldn't have the resources or distribution capabilities to publish something like Stars and Stripes (the US military-wide daily of WW2 fame), I bet well-organized cantonments would still be able to print small batches (a couple hundred, at least) of newspapers from time to time. The potential to boost morale would be just as important- probably more so- as keeping the troops informed of local/wider developments.

"Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooood Morning, Poland!"

I can also see some cantonments operating radio stations.

Consequently, military journalists of various kinds would still have a place in the T2kU.

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Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2022, 01:45 PM
Ewan Ewan is offline
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I could see something like this getting produced to let the battalion or brigade or even division keep up on the local news

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wipers_Times
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2022, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for posting that, Ewan. I didn't know about that particular publication. That's the sort of thing that I envision being produced at the cantonment level late in the Twilight War.

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Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2022, 05:47 PM
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Default Tools of the Trade

Equipment for Military Journalist characters:
  • 35mm Camera with assorted accoutrements (various lenses, sling, tripod, etc.) and film
  • Digital camera with memory cards and rechargeable batteries
  • Camcorder with videocassettes
  • Sketchbook and pencil set
  • Notepad and ballpoint pens
  • Battery powered tape recorder and mini-microphone
  • Carrier pigeon (for delivering field reports) [if that seems outlandish, see link in OP]


What else?

A Google Search for "portable military dark room" yielded this:

https://petapixel.com/2012/01/11/us-...minum-shelter/

Could make for a neat random encounter, if nothing else.

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Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 12-14-2022 at 05:54 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2022, 09:48 PM
Homer Homer is offline
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Default AFRTS

Could easily see some form of AFN continuing post TDM. The resources are there; AFN did mobile broadcasts from various FTXs in Korea in the 90s, division PAOs have editing gear, and Army PSYOP Units have broadcast capability as well. Maybe not TV, but definitely radio. By 1998/99 there’s probably going to be three lines of programming: officially controlled news with a heavy helping of “why we fight” and minimal mention of stateside conditions; music and other entertainment programming (audio tracks from tv shows like old radio plays?); and command information split between the typical “AFN commercial”, things like UCMJ proceedings/punishments (especially for looting, desertion, and insubordination), “explaining” why mail and news from home has been slow, and actual useful tips like how to patch your kit or boil your water.

All of this will in one way or another be driven by military journalists and reporters. Some of the current generation’s work is on the DVIDS website. Or for a laugh, search AFN commercials on YouTube. It’ll take you back to the good old days…
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Old 12-15-2022, 12:51 AM
CraigD6er CraigD6er is offline
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Not to derail this from journalists, but another option for a good character would be the combat chaplain. I'm recalling It Took Heroes by Claude Newby, about his service as an LDS chaplain that would accompany troops on patrols and missions. Obviously he's not going to be doing the fighting but if I recall correctly he had, unofficially, a handgun for self defence and carried part of the load for troops that were struggling. Such a character would be a boon for parties that aren't just the "kill 'em all and let God sort it out" types but prefer a bit more role playing.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2022, 09:31 AM
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@Homer: Thanks for that helpful info.

@CraigD6r: No worries. I moved your post and all subsequent posts about chaplains to another thread dedicated to the topic.

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=5336

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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 12-15-2022 at 02:25 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2023, 06:35 PM
Matt W Matt W is offline
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Something like the Wipers Times?
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  #13  
Old 04-08-2023, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt W View Post
Something like the Wipers Times?
Absolutely. I reckon most well-run large unit cantonments would have something of the sort.

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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
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  #14  
Old 04-08-2023, 03:57 PM
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Default 4e Military Journalist Build

I've converted to 4e rules (v1 history forever!) so I'm going to continue this exercise using that particular ruleset. Please feel free to share builds for any of the other editions here as well.

None of the 4e PC Archetypes seem a like a good fit, so I'm going to have to give that some more thought. On the other hand, a couple of the Skills and several of the associate Specialties stand out as being very suitable/applicable.

Under the Recon skill:

HISTORIAN: Roll RECON when you arrive at a new location. If you
succeed, the Referee can tell you something significant that has
happened here in the past (if anything ever did).

INVESTIGATOR: Roll RECON when you spend a stretch or more
investigating the scene of a crime or a battle. If you succeed, the
Referee should give you some useful information about what
has happened and when.


And under the Persuasion skill:

INTERROGATOR: Gives a +1 bonus to PERSUASION
rolls for extracting information from a prisoner.

PSY OPS: Gives a +1 bonus to PERSUASION rolls for
changing someone’s mind about a particular
issue.


As for party role, given some local language skill specialization, I can see a Mil-Journo being a very helpful "face" character- someone who can elicit information from just about anyone. A Mil-Journo could also act as party "scribe", keeping IC (and OOC) records for the party. Overall, a Mil-Journo would be a good character for a player who enjoys the RP'ing / character-interaction aspects of RPG'ing more than the combat-related stuff.

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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 04-08-2023 at 04:34 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2023, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
INTERROGATOR: Gives a +1 bonus to PERSUASION
rolls for extracting information from a prisoner.
-
I like this for a journalist, because I think Interrogation is a skill that doesn't require ripping anyone's fingernails out or applying electrodes to the testicles. It needs to be normalized for attorneys [along with Bottom Feeding... ], detectives, consular officers, Barbara wawa, HUMINT collectors, and my 'looks like he's 16 years old' doctor asking about my nutrition and exercise habits during my last physical, etc.
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Old 04-08-2023, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-117 View Post
I like this for a journalist, because I think Interrogation is a skill that doesn't require ripping anyone's fingernails out or applying electrodes to the testicles. It needs to be normalized for attorneys [along with Bottom Feeding... ], detectives, consular officers, Barbara wawa, HUMINT collectors, and my 'looks like he's 16 years old' doctor asking about my nutrition and exercise habits during my last physical, etc.
Also chaplains.

- C.
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