The Reporter

I collated my notes, tried to channel Transmetropolitan and Max Headroom, and thought of some moves. The result is below, the first draft of the reporter. Anything you think I’ve missed? Anything that doesn’t look fun? Do you want to play this guy?

[First revision: Expanded Nose for a Story to add an overarching story investigation structure and Gather Evidence move.]

[Second revision: Tweaked intro and Live and On the Air.]

There’s dirty business going down all over this city. I’m not talking about sex scandals and drunken escapades. That’s what they want you to focus on. Leave the tabloid stuff for the hacks. It’s the real secrets you want: rights are being trampled; families are being separated; lives are being destroyed. You hear about the building collapse on seventh the other day? Seventy-two people died. Word is, that wasn’t an accident. Right now peoples lives—peoples’ fucking lives—are being traded for market share, profit margin and fucking competitive advantage. Sure, you hang out with a bunch of criminals and break all sorts of laws to get the story, and some people might get hurt, but the people need to know what’s happening behind those wood-panelled boardroom doors. The ends justify the means, right?

Look. Choose one from each line:
Eyes: penetrating, intense, empathetic, calm, determined.
Face: attractive, friendly, serious, grim, composed.
Body: toned, slim, augmented, tense, animated.
Wear: corporate, street, punk, flashy.
Stats. Assign each stat one of these numbers: +2, +1, +1, +0, +0, -1. Your Edge should be +2 or +1.
Cyberware: Choose one: Cybereyes (3 tags), cyberears (2 tags), cybercoms (2 tags), data storage and interface (2 tags).

You get these moves:
Live and On the Air: When you go live from the scene and broadcast a stream to avoid harm and expose your target, you get the shot you want and are “escorted” to a position of safety. Choose one:

  • Your story irritates your target. (The MC will advance a relevant threat clock).
  • Someone on your team gets hurt off camera.
  • Your story angers your employer.
  • Your rushed narrative is misinterpreted by the public with unintended consequences.

Nose for a story: At the start of a mission, roll+Edge. 10+ hold 3, 7-9 hold 1. During the mission, spend hold 1 for 1 for the following effects:

  • Ask one question from the research list.
  • Take +1 Forward when Monstering.
  • Find a piece of evidence that links this mission to a current story. Start a Story Clock and a linked Noise Clock or roll to gather evidence.

Gather Evidence: When you gather evidence to break a story, roll+Mind. On a 10+ you get the evidence you need, advance the relevant Story Clock. On a 7-9, you get the evidence, but tip your hand to someone implicated in your story. Tell the MC which clock to advance: a relevant corporate clock, the linked noise clock or the relevant mission clock (Legwork or Mission, depending on which phase of the current mission you’re in). On a miss, the MC will advance the Noise Clock and make a move.

If the Story Clock reaches 0000 before the Noise Clock, the Reporter has broken the story before the implicated parties could cover up the evidence, or stop her investigation. The exact implications of this for the game will vary based on the story, but it should have a major impact on the implicated parties and will effect at least one Corporate Clock.

If the Noise Clock reaches 0000 before the Story Clock, the implicated parties have tied up all the loose ends and the story is dead. Now that damage control is complete, they can deal with the Reporter permanently. Advance any relevant Corporate or Threat Clocks.

Choose one more:
24/7 Live Feeds: When you scan the feeds to research a topic, ask one extra question, even on a miss.
Chromed: Choose another piece of cyberware.

Filthy Assistants: When you give mission advice based on your research, your team takes +1 forward to follow that advice and you mark experience.

Monstering: When you corner someone and hound them with questions to get to the bottom of a story, roll+Edge. On a 10+ they tell you the truth, regardless of the consequences. On a 7-9, they give you enough to get you off their back, then when they’re safe, they choose one:

  • they respond with fear.
  • they respond with anger.
  • they respond with clinical calm.

Press Pass: When you reveal your public persona to fast talk your way in, choose one extra option even if you miss.

Reliable Sources: When you call your regular sources to research a topic, roll+Style instead of +Mind.

War Correspondent: When acting under pressure or manoeuvring while in physical danger, roll+Edge instead of +Cool and +Mind respectively.

Armoured clothing (armour 0, +discrete, subtract 1 when rolling the harm move), encrypted communications equipment, recording equipment, glasses (2 tags)

Choose one of: holdout pistol (2-harm hand/close discrete quick reload loud), flechette pistol (3-harm close quick flechette), taser (s-harm hand reload).


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    • Mike Sands on June 1, 2013 at 03:59
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    Looks good.

    I wonder if there should be a move that allows you to say “hey, I know that guy!” or something like that?

    • Mike Sands on June 1, 2013 at 04:02
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    Ack, first comment decided to send itself before it was finished.

    I was in the middle of typing that “yes, I know that guy” should include a roll to determine whether you managed to piss them off whenever you last dealt with them.

  1. The Fixer and Hunter both have moves like that which the Reporter could gain with advances.

  2. The main problem with reporters in RPGs is that they are dedicated to finding the truth, but often PC activities will be on the shady to hugely illegal side. Some kind of nod needs to be made in this description to that notion. Now, granted, this game is very specific in genre and is so mission-focused that things like the obvious conflict of interest here may not be an issue, but if I were a GM in a cyberpunk game (generally speaking) that is one major thing I’d be looking at leveraging for story value. Yes, you exposed corporate greed – but you exposed your team as a source for the story, making you all more of a target.

  3. Yes, that’s a good point. I’ll adjust the initial description to fit that in.

    The danger of exposure for the team is certainly in the moves and the system, for example the Gather Evidence 7-9 result: “Tell the MC which clock to advance: a relevant corporate clock, the linked noise clock or the relevant mission clock (Legwork or Mission, depending on which phase of the current mission you’re in).” That’s going to result in a corporation paying attention to the reporter and the team, it’s just a matter of whether the Reporter wants to throw his story, his team or the current mission under the bus.

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