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-Memo to Jedi Grandmaster Satele Shan, from Jedi Master Chi'vas Ji'haldri-

-Data entry beginning playback-

Grand Master Satele, in my attempts to research possible improvements of the quality of the Republic fighting forces against the Empire, I may have found a rather problematic deficiency. Specifically, in our respective intelligence-gathering agencies.

While our standard ground troops are more than a match for the Empire—even completely outclassing them in the case of some of our special operations divisions—the Imperial Intelligence Service is quite another matter entirely. In the points of data collection and analysis, our SIS is quite their equal. However, their advantage lies primarily in their operatives known as Cipher Agents.

As you doubtless know, the Cipher Agents are highly trained individuals with skills in data collection, which any SIS agent has, and in combat and assassination, which our SIS agents do not. Our agents are trained specifically to accomplish their missions while avoiding confrontation, and to not reveal their secrets if caught. Combat training is rudimentary at best, and inept to nonexistent at worst. Imperial Ciphers are trained to be able to kill any target, from a heavily defended politician to Jedi, both up close and at extreme range, often without anyone alive knowing anything about it. Exposed, they are easy prey with sharp teeth. Otherwise, they can be as feared as a Sith, and for good reason.

Obviously, I would not bring up this information that you are already aware of, without a solution to the problem, and one that the Jedi could implement.

"Don't take it so personally, I lie to everybody." 
~ Caspira

Agent Caspira (designation: Cipher Twelve) was an Imperial Cipher Agent who served the Empire during the Cold War between the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic.

Of a rather average height and trim build, Caspira is a master at blending into the environment when it calls for it and can easily disappear into a crowd when prepared. Despite her ability to blend in, she's chosen a remarkably striking appearance as her default persona; pale skin augmented by dark markings around her eyes and dark brown hair shaved on the sides to leave a crest of hair she usually keeps slicked back and in line. A large scar slashes diagonally across her face, mercifully missing either eye but making her even more easily identifiable should one know what to look for. As well as standard Imperial Intelligence auditory implants, her left eye has been replaced with a remarkably advanced cybernetic eye with a wide array of features that is certainly not of Intel stock.

The earliest records available of 'Caspira' are from the Kaas City Hospital and are all medical in nature. As well as information regarding the fresh scarring across her face, they also outline a rather serious head injury. Whatever records of Caspira existed prior to her entry into the Imperial Intelligence Agent program have either been purged, or never existed in the first place. In fact, the name 'Caspira' can be traced back to a character in an old and long-running holo noir series called The Guiltless.

Luniara OMG OMG OMG! You have to promote this person's art too! Caspira is amazing!!!!

In a previous Friday Focus, we discussed immersion, the state of becoming engrossed into a setting, characters, or scene in roleplay; primarily, what ruined immersion for you.

The responses to that article were overwhelming, and spawned the idea that immersion is not only a facet of roleplay, but a necessary part of it; without immersion, and that ability to dive into a specific setting or scene with one's characters, roleplay is in fact impossible.

We've discussed in length what immersion is, and we've even discussed in length how immersion is broken and ruined for multiple people; those things that drive them away from a scene, character, or even genre, that make it impossible to become emerged.

The question I have this week is: what is immersion to you? What makes you feel engrossed in a scene? What do you absolutely have to have in order to feel part of a story?
Mai Cash Immersion isn't as important to me in roleplay as it is to me when I am working on a writing project, be it my novel, or ...

Achuta, galaxy travelers. It's me again, and this time we have a doozy of a person to talk about today. His name is Darth Arkous. His isn't the most friendly of people either. In fact, I could be risking my life just talking about him. But I've never been the kind of girl to turn down a good fight unless you want to count that time in primary school where Sillara Jinks pulled on my tchin really hard. I will get her back some day. Anyway, let’s talk about Darth Arkous.

Right now, this pureblood Sith sits on the Dark Council as the head of Imperial Military Offense. That’s right folks, if you’re one of them Pubbies, he’s the one in charge of attacking you. Of course, he’s not the one who sat in that seat when this war began. That was Darth Vengean, who was replaced by Darth Baras, who was replaced by Darth Arho, who was replaced by Darth Arkous. Pro tip: If someone says that you’d be perfect for the job of Head of Military Offense, run the other way. That position is riddled corpses. This ain’t a threat against Reb Arkous, but if history serves, he's probably going to die an untimely death by the hand of another Imp.

At any rate, we should probably answer the all important question this week: Who the kark is Darth Arkous?

This week we are featuring the artist Mojo Jojo, known in-game by the alias Xei or N'alaa, presently residing on The Ebon Hawk server.

What we really like about this artist is her distinctive use of colour and shape and like many of those artists we all love and adore. There is something animated and almost alive about her artwork. We asked her about her motivations when it comes to her SWTOR fan art, and she had this to say about Star Wars:

"The first movie I actually remember sitting down and watching with my parents was Return of the Jedi. Since that day, Star Wars opened my mind to a world of mysticism, technology and wonder. A place where heroes live and breathe and there is a war between good and evil that we can't always discern in black and white terms."

And when looking at her artwork, we think the following piece stands out:
JadeEclypse Considering three of these are commissions of mine I'm notably biased... however... Jo is an absolutely *fantastic* arti ...

Want to see what the finest beautiful men and women the Hutt Moon has to offer? Want to have a whirlwind of a time with great company and good booze? Feel like chilling out and just having the time of your life? Well then this is totally the event for you! 

Read more here.

This will be the third annual competition, hosted by Vaanthe whereby both men and women will be competing for their respective titles as Mister and Miss Nar Shaddaa, so don't miss out. It is sure to be a blast!

Take a look at last year's winners below:

Truly Cosmo - Miss Nar Shaddaa
Matthyas- Mister Nar Shaddaa

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, there is still time boys and girls! So put your credits where your mouth is and see what you can do to sponsor your product with the most widely anticipated event of the year!
User Story of my bloody life, missing out on the glamour life. I will take refuge in wisdom (old age with nothing better to l ...
Vaanthe a ((Thank you for the article!))

-Memo to Republic Command, Carrick Station, from Chi'vas Ji'haldri, Jedi Master-

-Data entry beginning playback-

In my last message, I outlined the benefits of asymmetric warfare and its potential use on the fields of war against the Empire. You responded with a request for specific information regarding how it could have been or can be applied to current or past conflicts. I shall now attempt to satisfy your desire.

In less then recent history, I bring up the instance of the Mandalorian Wars; one of the greatest threats the Republic had faced for a thousand years. As a generalization, when the Mandalorians invaded, the Republic military was powerless to stop them. The Mandalorians were, and are, some of the best non-Force-using fighters in the galaxy, and the Republic military of the time was very much outmatched. This is not assymetric warfare. This is simply a large difference in the quality of the opposing forces. However, part way into the war, the Jedi known as Revan formed his fighting force of Jedi, the Revanchists, and succeeded in consistently driving the Mandalorians back. 

Due to the fundamental differences between the opposing forces, and the use in the current war of Jedi as a tactical resource instead of front line troops, I feel safe in declaring this an example of asymmetric warfare. The Mandalorians simply weren't a match for an army of Jedi, despite their advanced combat ability and equipment, whereas the Jedi could match anything the Mandalorians fielded short of Basalisk war droids, and even those had difficulty.

In a more recent example, I cite the breaking of the Mandalorian blockade, prior to the Sacking of Coruscant, by Hylo Visz and her smuggling fleet in BTC-7. -Holonet link: Gnost-Dural war report, BTC-7 The Mandalorian Blockade is Broken- The Mandalorians were in position to destroy any Republic effort to break the blockade of the Hydian Way trade route. However, the smugglers' light freighters were able to outmaneuver the Mandalorian ships repeatedly. Although this effort would have been a defeat if it were not for conventional reinforcements from the Republic, the initial effort was a good example of asymmetric warfare, as smuggler freighters proved a good counter to the slower Mandalorian cruisers.
Rolan Storm ((damn good article))

Darth Deceptus was born Edward Pravan on the planet of Serenno to a wealthy family which was an offshoot of one of the Six Great Houses. He had a rather spoiled childhood and everything that he had ever wanted was given to him. At around age 6, Edward's parents noticed that their male heir was demonstrating abnormal abilities and was developing a cruel streak. Edward would trick other children into taking the blame for deeds that he had done. He would also trick them into starting fights while Edward would sit back and watch.

At age 10, Edward was taken out of traditional schooling and removed from the other children. It was around this time that a Sith emissary was conducting business on Serenno and was drawn to the child. This Sith attempted to negotiate with Edward's parents to take the child away and enroll him in the Academy on Korriban. Edward's parents were strongly opposed to letting go of their only male child, and heir to the family fortune. They refused the Sith and made plans to relocate Edward to a stronghold located in the Moddell Sector until he came of age and could assume his birthright.

The Sith had other plans. The night before his parents' plan was to be set into motion, the Sith Emissary who had pleaded with Edward's parents revisited their estate. Once more the Sith asked the parents to allowed their child to be taken, and that the power he had sensed in the child was remarkable and like nothing he had seen before. The parents once again refused. Upon their second refusal, Sith military forces stormed the compound and the Emissary grabbed both parents through the force and hurled them out of a window overlooking a cliff to their brutal deaths.

With the estate guards eliminated, and the parents out of the way. The Sith Emissary took Edward and boarded their starship never to return to Serenno. What Edward hadn't told his parents, was that he had seen these series of events in a dream and that he foresaw their deaths. Instead of warning his parents, Edward remained silent as events began to unfold, leading him to his true destiny.

Characters: they start off as a storyboard, an idea, sometimes well thought out and planned, sometimes off the cuff and spontaneous. Sometimes they turn out nothing like you anticipated when you created them, taking on minds and personalities of their own, ever changing and evolving.

Sometimes they have quirks. Oddities. Habits. Mannerisms. Even a look.

Sometimes that look is influenced by a real person, maybe even yourself. My own character Niatara has a habit of playing with her hair, ruffling it, twirling it, mussing it up when she's idle or thoughtful, a habit of my own that I transferred to her. My character Talia is insanely crazily curious about all things imaginable; another habit of mine that I thought would be fun to play on. My former character Adahiana had pale skin, dark hair, and a crazy love for any and all animals.

These are things I infused to the characters because I thought they might be amusing quirks and habits for them to have that reminded me of my own faults or oddities, if you will.

So my question to you this week is: how many of you do the same? How much are your characters like you? How much of yourself do you put into your characters?
katta When I first started making characters, I found it hard to make them different from me, as I wanted to portray them with ...
Mai Cash I am a big fan of writing characters, & not living characters. I wrote a Tumblr post about it recently: http://blind ...
Redamous While bits of me may end up in the mold, for the most part my character's traits come from themselves, but at times it c ...

This week we will be featuring the musical side of artistry. And therefore, I would like to introduce to the readers of SWTOR-RP the musician Zeeda; his preferred instrument being the guitar. 

In-game, Zeeda is a musician and bar owner; co-runner of the more than simply dubious Velvet Pearl, in a good way. Is there ever really a bad kind of dubious? OK, there is. My mistake.

"I originally wanted to play a musician because I've always felt that roleplaying communities are at their most robust when they encompass a broad spectrum of character professions."

He goes on to explain what prompted him to begin creating SWTOR roleplay themed music: 

"One night at the Velvet Pearl (before I became a member) there was a "karaoke evening" where players took real-world songs and altered the lyrics to fit a Star Wars theme to comic effect, and this is what first inspired me to attempt something similar. But I wanted to go a step further and write my own original compositions, as I have a great affinity for music and have played guitar for many years."

The following piece describes the capital of devious intent, the city of broken souls and terrifying misdeeds; Dromund Kaas:
Arlan A great spotlight for a great player! Grats mate ...
Keraal/Vaelos/Aes o This player seems dedicated to both his art and the community. It has certainly been a pleasure covering him ...
Arantir / Nexios Some high quality, concentrated awesome on display here.
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