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Lit Fragments from the Rim: A look at Galaxy Guide 9 w/ Charlemagne19

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Charlemagne19, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    The Core was just so far from what WEG intended players to be doing, that it doesn't seem inappropriate to me that they neglected it.
     
  2. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    I dunno, it's an interesting case why there was such an aversion to detailing the stuff. West End Games did a lot of very strange Star Wars supplements like Goroth: Slave of the Empire and The Elrood Sector which provided a lot of new and original material. They also blatantly did a Battlestar Galactica/Star Trek Voyager-esque supplement in the Darksaber Chronicles. It seems like detailing the Core Worlds is a lot less avante garde as Star Wars drew a lot of its inspiration from Pulp Magazines.

    You'd think they'd have the opportunity for doing, "Indiana Jones goes to Berlin to get the Grail Diary" back.

    Besides, Zahn already had created the Coruscant in "Heir to the Empire."
     
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  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Dawn Arkanian a.k.a Thilia

    [​IMG]

    Dawn Arkanian is basically what I would term to be the anti-Devon Fuller in that she is a character who actually is obviously NOT someone's PC or an archetype which comes straight from the movies. She's very much an NPC which begins with something other than attempting to imitate something from the movies but easily can be used in adventures.

    The premise is Dawn is an apparent murderous slaver who buys the most pitiful wretches from the thriving Imperial slave trade then apparently sells them to Jabba the Hutt so they can be fed to his Rancor. Even worse, she films the resulting horrors and sells them on the black market for a tidy profit. So, slaver, snuff-film maker, and Rebel Hero? Yes, it turns out all of this is actually an act and she's really buying the slaves so they can be smuggled to Rebel Safeworlds.

    Which is an interesting and efficient way to get recruits, I think. Except, of course, the question of anyone who doesn't want to join the Rebellion. Oh well, it holds up better than most Rebel plans as Star Wars is the kind of idealistic universe where a freed slave betraying their savior only would happen rarely as well as during an adventure where the PCs can deal with it.

    To continue the interesting nature of Dawn Arkanian, we not only discover her interesting job but also the fact she's the sister of a Jedi Master (the same one who taught Corwin Shelvay). So, we also have a storyline which can be built on should Dawn and the PCs sit down to talk.

    The big appeal of Dawn Arkanian is the fact she's not actually a character who can intervene in the story or be the hero themselves. She can inspire a lot of adventures but she's not a Han Solo clone or someone who is going to be doing Rebel Special ops herself. Instead, she has a very specific role she does well.

    Charlemagne19's Note: You can do a lot of adventures with Thilia because she's got a strong concept. Ones off the top of my head include Bounty Hunting PCs or heroically inclined ones planning to take her out in order to do good, only for things to go haywire when real slavers show up to deal with her. Other things would be Jabba the Hutt wanting to find out who is "filming" his rancors and either get a cut or kill them. You could also have Thilia let them in on the scam from the beginning and the PCs get to pretend to be scum for a bit. Finally,a freed slave might decide to inform on them as being oppressed doesn't make you good or evil--it just means you're oppressed.
     
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  4. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    I'm not sure I'd call it an "aversion", though. Ender's got a point: even if you aren't doing the "Han Solo, or Han Solo" thing, the most basic paradigm for a WEG campaign is Rebels or independents during the Rebellion or early New Republic era. Given those conditions, the only times you're going into the Core are, like you say, things Indy in Berlin or Firefly's "Ariel" - one-off highly risky ventures. It's understandable why that just gets an Adventure Journal article instead of a full book; I'm not even sure I'd call it neglect.
     
  5. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Maybe so, but there's still the character who's the equivalent of the FFG Colonist. WEG's character book included a lot of Core World character templates.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
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  6. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    I guess from my perspective is that I really appreciate when West End Games goes beyond it's normal mandate. In addition to the Galaxy Guide for Mos Eisley and Fragments from the Rim, which contain a lot of new information about their locations, one of my favorite guides is to the Corporate Sector which contains a wealth of information not even hinted at in the original books.

    While it's unlikely the PCs will center a game around Berlin or Ariel ala Firefly, I think the Core Worlds would have been a decent place to cover for a guide just like the other regions of the galaxy. I, for one, am always sad the Expansion Region gets little love even though George Lucas and the people at WEG seem to share a hefty disdain for corporatist exploitation of the working class. In any case, I actually bring this up because its not so much a hypothetical as I think they did an excellent job with the subject in Adventure Journal 7. They managed to show the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Core Worlds pretty well in that short article.

    Also, the Mals and Han Solos of the WEG series kind of got a bit TOO much love if you want my opinion. Leia, after all, is a Core Worlder and "Arrogant Noble" was one of the early archetypes for Star Wars WEG. Like I said, it's mentioned the game often had difficulty steppping out of the idea you're Han Solo or some variant thereof. Admittedly, sometimes they did it REALLY WELL as STAR WARS:REBELS is the perfect WEG campaign with countless references to the RPG.

    I still recall the biggest sourcebook on Jedi to be the Tales of the Jedi supplement and while it would have all been outdated by TPM, the simple fact was even the little bits here in Fragments from the Rim would have been better and I would have liked a supplement on them as well.
     
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  7. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Sure Jello. But it would be like finding the third son of a highly respected British noble who is looking for fortune and adventure in the West Indies or the Raj. They're from the core (Britain), but they're out in the outer rim (colonies) right now.

    This is the problem with reading RPG books and not playing; that context stuff is missing ;)
     
  8. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Short Story
    There's a relatively decent piece of fiction which has Corwin Shelvay and Dawn Arkanian talk about their shared friend/relative in Darrin Arkanian. I have to give props to West End Games that they were really good at these kind of vignettes.
    Arkanian Dawn

    A new type of vessel we haven't seen before in a slaver's galleon. It's the kind of ship which you might be able to use in games with less "reputable" slavers. I.e. any other kind of slaver than the one Thilia is.

    Matt Talon

    [​IMG]

    Matt Talon wins points for his name, which is perfectly PC-ish by itself. His story is rather straightforward in that he is a former member of the First Sun Mobile Unit, which from what I remember is basically the Blue Suns from Mass Effect except they came first. Hell, Matt Talon even looks like a really young Zaeed so I'm now going to have him speak with a heavy Australian accent in my games.

    They're a bunch of dirtbags and weasals who commit mass war crimes. Then a Moff proceeded to butcher a bunch of them for their war crimes (which the supplement has a WEIRD way of saying--like they can't believe the Empire did that for moral reasons so it must have been for propaganda). After Matt gets his unit slaughtered, he joins up with the Rebel Alliance and Thilia in particular where he makes a Heel-Face-Turn. The text makes a note he was on the "Fast Track to the Dark Side." I note this is after belonging to a unit which engaged in Base-Delta-Zero tactics. Yes, which originated in this novel.

    I don't dislike Matt Talon and he makes an okay supporting character for Thilia but I do think it's interesting to note modern writers would probably have made the Moff actually trying to do his job rather than engaging in For the EvulzTM. That would make the character more interesting, IMHO. Because while plenty of people join the Rebel Alliance because they're good people persecuted by the Empire, it's a sight more different to have people join the Rebellion because they were persecuted because they were bad.

    Matt Talon is notably a species-reversed version of Chewbacca, being Thilia's human "alien ethnic muscle." Another random aside is the First Sun Mobile Patch is actually a realistic looking mercenary patch as like RL ones, it's a bunch of weapons and darkly humorous (it's a upside down peace sign made of guns).

    [​IMG]

    Charlemagne19 Note: I think you could do an interesting adventure by having Matt's old comrades in the First Sun Mobile Unit contact him for a mission to assassinate the Moff, which he gladly decides on doing only for the PCs to find out said Moff is one of the few in the Empire who HASN'T committed any war crimes. Killing him would trigger a massive crackdown and replacement by a monster too. Be an interesting moral dilemma. Also, you can tell this book was written in a time when mercenaries weren't really a thing anymore. It mentions in the First Mobile Sun section there's few groups other than the Empire which can hire a regiment, when regiments of mercenaries get hired for security work on EARTH today all the time as private security.
     
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  9. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    I missed yesterday's write-up so I'm going to do two here.

    Kaiya Adrimetrum

    [​IMG]

    Kaiya is a character I've always had a fondness for and she's an interesting one because she goes on to have a fairly central role in the WEG Star Wars canon. After the "events" of this book, she not only survives the Battle of Endor but goes on to become the Janeway of the "Darkstryker" campaign box set. For those of you unfamiliar with the Darkstryder campaign, it's where the PCs are all part of a Corellian Corvette's crew (The Far Star) and its pregenerated cast on a mission to find a renegade Moff who is looking for ancient Precursor technology.

    It was terrible. Which is an odd thing to say because it was extraordinarily well-designed with strong characterization and really good characters (note the separation of these two elements) with a good plot hook but not a very good campaign for PCs. For one, the PCs weren't actually welcome in the campaign as the guidebook all but stated, "Listen, please get them to play our pregenerated characters. Your unique PCs will just screw up the story we want to tell." I think Darkstryder would have been an awesome season of REBELS or a novel or comic book series but not really all that fun a campaign. It didn't help the villainous Moff Sarne wasn't exactly all that interesting either.
    I mean, if they'd put Corwin Shelvay, Tremayne, and others on the ship then it...okay, I've wandered way way off track.

    She was also notably in STAR WARS: REBELLION.

    Why have I not mentioned her history yet? Because she's actually got the smallest write-up in the book and it's like two paragraphs, one of which describe her looks in such a way which can basically say, "She looks a lot like Leia but we're not saying that." They even say "Aristocratic features." Also, illustrations which make her look like Demi Moore. Her actual history is, "She was a local rebel fighter (small R) who joined the (big R) Rebellion after her husband was killed." We also get a nice little story where Corwin Shelvay explains that Small R rebellions aren't going to do a damned thing against the Empire, which is actually fairly convincing.

    Charlemagne19 Note: I always liked Kaiya but I've never actually used her. I think she'd make a good love interest character for games which are inclined to that or just a likable Rebel for the PCs to bond with before either murder happens or the PCs have to rescue her/her commandos.

    Lieutenant Davaire Colmar

    [​IMG]

    I've always liked Davaire Colmar's story because he really has a solid one which is evocative and feels a lot more interesting Post-War on Terror than it was before Blackhawk Down and the modern turmoil in the Middle East. Basically, his story is that he was an Imperial soldier on the fast track before he and his fellows got pinned down by a mob of 2000 people.

    They managed to hold out but he suffered a head wound as the rest of his unit was butchered. Afterward,, he wandered around the city they'd been defending against only to found out the reason for the riot was the fact the Empire had been conducting systematic executions. Interestingly, the book says this wouldn't shake most Imperial officers (and there's any number of rationales) but he was led by his Imperial training to believe that since officers are meant to protect the people--the Empire had betrayed itself.

    Well, DUH, Davaire. I think you and Cienna Ree should have had a talk, though. It probably would have been more effective for you to communicate with her about the meaning of honor and duty than her boyfriend who is the worst guy in the world for it.

    There is one rather annoyingly pompous line, though. "If the Alliance wins, many Imperial Army officers will face trial for war crimes and Colmar's example will certainly deprive them of the defense they were only following orders." Which seems more like the kind of grandiose title you'd give Crix Madine versus this guy. Then again, Crix Madine DID follow orders to destroy Dentaal from what I gather (or did he? I always thought it was ambiguous that he participated or not).

    Charlemagne19 Note: I don't buy Davaire's rank. The Rebel Alliance was completely screwed up for competent military officers at this point in time and Davaire is a highly decorated as well as experienced individual. This guy shouldn't be the same rank as slightly-more-experienced recruits taken from farms and Outer Rim service jocks. The Rebellion should have promoted him to a Majorship and put him in charge of training Army Units

    Which is probably how I'd use him.

    Also, I think he looks a lot like Michael O'Hare.
     
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  10. Bly

    Bly Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Funnily enough, Fragments was published in 1993, during a bit of a mercenary renaissance---the time when Eeben Barlow and Executive Outcomes were soldiering alongside the Angolan Armed Forces against UNITA and doing a damned fine job of it too. But then again Star Wars has never been too fond of properly portraying mercenary soldiers, so I suppose I'll take what I can get. The difference between private military contractors of the G4S/The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Blackwater/GardaWorld static/mobile security variety, PMCs of the Executive Outcomes/STTEP 'we will professionalize your force and soldier for you' variety, and the old-school freelancers a la Mike Hoare, Bob Denard and Rolf Steiner is a dichotomy I don't ever expect to see addressed in Star Wars :p

    As for the unit patches of mercenary soldiers, most modern-day PMCs don't actually have unit patches or, y'know, battle dress in the conventional sense. Goes against the whole 'corporate' image. Outliers like Barlow's Executive Outcomes and STTEP typically wear the uniform of their contracting government's armed forces with no distinguishing insignia.

    And the old-school mercenaries? Well, here's the insignia of 5 Commando, Armée Nationale Congolaise, probably the most successful unit of non-corporate mercenary soldiers in modern history.

    [​IMG]

    Not exactly blood-n-guts, but entirely in keeping with Colonel Mike Hoare's entirely more low-key sensibilities.

    tl;dr, Bly rambles about mercs. The more you know.
     
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  11. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    He did:

    "I formed the storm commandos and led them in their early missions. It was those successes that put us in a position to unleash a biological weapon, the Candorian plague, on Dentaal. We were just following orders. That was the last order I took from the Empire. I defected to the Alliance, but I'll be paying my debt to Dentaal until the day I die."
    ―Crix Madine, Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide

    Though apparently he started trying to defect, and supplying info to the Rebellion, shortly before that:

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Crix_Madine/Legends

    He attempted to defect to the Alliance prior to the Battle of Yavin, and, to prove his loyalty, Madine provided essential guidance for the sabotage of Operation Strike Fear and the destruction of the Star Destroyer Invincible. However, it was the order to release the Candorian plague on Dentaal that convinced Madine it was time to leave for good.[4]
    Wracked with guilt over his role in the death of the entire Dentaalian population, Madine left his unit while performing a training mission about eleven months after the Battle of Yavin. Madine erased himself from Imperial records, although his disappearance was covered by some HoloNet news channels. He did not even tell his fiancée where he was going, not wanting to place her in a dangerous situation.[4]
     
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  12. Duguay

    Duguay Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2002
    I have the Darkstryder campaign; the box set and the three suppliments that continue and end it. And I have very much enjoyed reading through and perusing it from time to time, I can't entire disagree with your assessment. I definitely agree that it has a strong and interesting concept, and some worthwhile characters with a lot of potentially interesting directions for them to grow in. There are strengths and weaknesses with the way it's designed to play, the benefits being seeing where the characters end up; the weaknesses being the players lose a certain amount of freedom with creating their own characters. Plus, it's a very long game to play under the restrictions it's intended to be played under. It's a great story, too, overall. There are a few episodes which felt a little weak, and there's a dismaying lack of consistency with how their written up. I recall one episode was written very straightforwardly, with very clear directions: If this happens, the X occurs; if not, Y occurs. Then another episode would be written very vaguely with lot's a suggestions yet without a sense of narrative trajectory.

    I was really excited a few years after first acquiring the Darkstryder game, I found lots of recommendations for Fragments From the Rim. I was really excited to see that Kaiya Adrimetrum puts in an appearance in Fragments. I like how WEG went about their world building, with characters such as Kaiya, and the smuggler, Platt. It's a great version of SW expanded universe.

    I'm also thrilled to see discussion on the Adventure Journals, which seems scarce, even after using a search to find discussions about them. I remembered seeing negative comments about the Alex Winger character that appears in AJ stories. Having a small handful of the early ones, I read the first one that appears in the first Journal, and I can see how the character is easily dismissed as something of a Mary Sue character. She is too "perfect", annoyingly so., The story passed the time for a little bit, it was ok but doesn't really take chances.

    Anyway, I'm enjoying this thread for the old school WEG love in general. WEG is great!
     
  13. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Mercenaries in WEG

    Thanks for the mercenary information, Bly, that was very educational and I mean that. I actually liked the mercenary information found in Fragments from the Rim because I felt like one of the issues WEG had was it didn't have very much variety in its opponents for PCs and this book went a long way to rectifying that.
    In my home campaign, I'd often make use of mercenary units after this book and had the war between the Rebellion and the Empire be a lot more complicated on many worlds--particularly after the Battle of Endor.

    Basically, the Rebellion couldn't often afford to engage in military strikes against the Empire but there were plenty of soldiers from formerly militarized societies the Empire had conquered who sold their services even if they weren't willing to engage in full time anti-Imperial activity. They were also usually a lot more willing to go after Imperial contractors and satrapies (which I had as very common due to Marvel comics' influences) than the Empire itself. It sort of presaged Twilight Company as the Rebellion didn't have a lot of credits but it had even less in terms of skilled military personnel so they'd hire out when they could (operational security issues aside).

    By contrast, the Empire in my games was always expanding but never quite enough to the point to actually successfully garrison 1,000,000+ worlds. The Empire would often employ local mercenaries for grunt work and atrocities as well as working against planets they wanted to soften up first without going for the "orbital bombardment" option. Mercenaries generally hated working for the Empire because while it paid well, they were treated like garbage.

    In-between I had corporate mercenaries who functioned pretty much like they do in real life, except being Star Wars, actually could enter combat zones. I think we all predicted the Trade Federation in some form, it's just we had it on the side of the Empire with the Corporate Sector and cyberpunk megacorporations which dominated RPGs.

    Madine

    Thanks for that confirmation there as well, Iron_lord. Interesting that the Rebellion actually accepted the equivalent of the guy who pulled the superlaser switch as their chief military officer. Then again, part of the nature of Star Wars is there's nothing you can't come back from, even if I imagine in a more realistic scenario that Dentaal's survivors would want to press charges against Crix despite his rebel service.

    Adventure Journals

    I actually have a huge fondness for Alex Winger and wouldn't have minded an actual novel about her versus the AJ short stories. I think Star Wars has a much higher "Sue" threshhold than other works because it's an exaggerated universe. Yes, Alex Winger is a Force Sensitive who is destined for some kind of relationship with Luke (which never happens) but heroic attributes are an expected part of characters. Luke is supposed to be the greatest Jedi of all time, Leia is supposed to be 2nd in command of the Rebellion despite being twenty, and Han Solo really is the greatest pilot in the universe. By contrast, Alex being a local Rebellion leader with some Force Visions is pretty damn mild.

    Indeed, I mentioned it before, but I always felt WEG had a problem with scale. Take the adventure module Starfall for example. The Rebels are captured at the beginning in a Victory star Destroyer which is about to explode and have to get off of it as well as warn the Rebel fleet which decimated it that the ship is being used as a time-bomb (with its crew unaware they're all being left to die). This is actually one of the bigger adventures in the setting but they don't even shell out for an Imperial Star Destroyer. I will note, it's interesting that the Rebellion actually is attacking Imperial targets directly in this adventure, though.

    Also, they had two adventures where you fight death-worshiping spies with bio-organic technology from another dimension. I kid you not.

    I always felt the games could have benefited from less 'realism' and bigger scope like an adventure to blow up an SSD or doomsday weapon.
     
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  14. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Well, I had to take a good bit of time off to finish off my novel, THE SCIENCE OF SUPERVILLAINY. Thats the fourth volume of my Supervillainy Saga series that takes the view of what it's like to be the bad guy in a comic book universe--but not quite evil enough to pull it off. Anyway, I'm sorry for slacking off and will be finishing the Rebels chapter now.

    Davar Hamalcal

    [​IMG]

    Davar Hamalcal is a Rebellion warrior from a primitive barbarian world who basically has the concept of being CONAN IN SPACE (except for the PG audience the book is expected). Albeit, he actually looks more like Sabertooth.

    There's a cute little bit about how the Empire crashlanded on his planet and the villagers defeated them which subverts the Ewoks and Noghri by saying, "The Rebels assisted them and prevented it from being a massacre by the Empire." He then stowed away on the Rebels ship and "impressed by his charisma and fighting ability" they decided to take him along. Amusingly, I had this exact same character but it was an Ewok warrior.

    Despite subverting the stereotype by making him a Caucasian human versus a alien primitive, the book then spends the rest of his description talking about how to make Davar look like a complete moron. He's pretending to be a moron, though, so that makes it okay. I guess. Still, he's a character you can throw into games if you want to spruce up things a bit.

    Certainly, he is a BIG personality and that's something I feel far too many Star Wars characters lack in the nu EU. NPCs only have so much time to make an impression on the PCs and win their respect before they lose interest so SPACE CONAN, double points if you add some BRIAN BLESSED, is something you can actually make a lot of use of.

    Charlemgane19's Notes: I also think Davar would make a decent enough "Worf" to throw at the Empire. A guy who can be killed or captured by, say, Tremayne to make them look tough since he does actually radiate a decent amount of badassery versus, say, Lieutenant Colmar. Kayia and Davar might also make a decent pair with him serving as her Chewbacca.

    Recruitment Speech

    This is another piece of fiction in the Rebellion section of the book with it following Corwin Shelvey trying to recruit Kayia. Kayia and her people have managed to blow up an Imperial target on their homeworld with injuries but no deaths, which she considers to be a great victory. Corwin proceeds to deflate her like a balloon by pointing out the fact the Empire hasn't really suffered any from her efforts. Corwin then explains that he's a Jedi Knight and a member of the Rebellion who wants her to move to doing actual work. I mentioned this earlier but this is a pretty nice piece of fiction which does give insight into both. I also like how Kayia was starstruck by Corwin's dual credentials but still wary since it was abandoning her home.

    Mazer Rackus

    Mazer Rackus is an interesting enough concept, albeit something which could have used some more development and that's due to the fact he's a juvenile deliquent who stole his father's starship and ended up plowing it into the Rebellion. That was a couple of years ago and he's been blowing up starships for the Alliance as an X-wing pilot ever since. There's really not much to Mazer Rackus' character aside from his daddy issues. It would be interesting, I suppose if Mazer's father was an Imperial Governor or crime lord or Corporate CEO but we don't get him defined--so it's possible to make him any of those things. Hell, it's possible Mazer is actually the son of Ryloth's Viceroy or Orn Free Ta.

    Bizarre fact, Mazer Rackus is technically a video game protagonist as you can choose to play him in Rebellion.

    Charlemagne19 Note: So there's room for the character to be used if you want to do a story like Ploo's from Rogue Squadron but I've never actually thought Mazer was all that interesting. Which is a problem I have with most of the Rebellion characters all around. They're decent enough PCs but very few of them have much in the way of versatility for use as NPCs save Kayia and Corwin. Still, ironically, Mazer actually does have a potential adventure to use out of him and that is more than Colmar or Devon Fuller.
     
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  15. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Rebel Special Operations

    This is the really important section of the Rebellion Chapter: The Rebellion's Secret Division of Player Characters.

    The Mass Effect Specters

    The Grey Wardens

    The 00 Division

    The Badass Order of Badassitude

    Basically, Special Operations is described in glowing terms from beginning to end in how they're people who are capable of accomplishing the impossible. I don't know if Aaron Allston read this section before he created Wraith Squadron but it's basically them. It's a really good section with material about various roles which would never exist in a real life military but Star Wars is a comic book/Pulp universe so the idea they have a special place for unimaginably successful individualists makes perfect sense.

    I also love their slang table.

    I will say I disliked this section saying "Your PCs probably aren't good enough for this group."

    KARK YOU, BOOK!

    Who *IS* good enough for Special Operations if not the HEROES of the game?
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    Hey, Chuck, were you planning on finishing this thread? I know there's a lot more great stuff to reminisce about.
     
  17. Jmacq1

    Jmacq1 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2005
    This book was, and will probably be my favorite RPG supplement ever until the day I die. I very much remember my 15 year old self reading the section on Rebel Special Operations and realizing "Oh, so THIS is what Han, Luke, and Leia's little group was." Or at least providing the mechanism for creating PC groups that "mirror" that group of heroes in the sense of their independence from the Alliance proper. Basically "Go off and do adventures for the Alliance!" Had forgotten about the "Your PCs probably aren't good enough" but I probably took that as "challenge accepted" back in the day.
     
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  18. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    If memory serves this book supplied the final bit of copy for the Essential Atlas, supplying the location of the rendezvous point after TESB from which Luke and Leia regard the GFFA. Remembered the reference but almost went insane trying to find it.
     
  19. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Indeed I am! Amusingly, the next chapter begins what I consider the "good stuff" of the book. The Rebel Chapter, Special Ops aside, wasn't really my wampa.
     
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  20. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998


    Well, then, let's go Rimward!
     
  21. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Was he part of the first, second or later class?
    The more Sanity you lose
     
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  22. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Alas a family member passed and also I had a book to finish so I only became available a couple of days ago. NEXT UP - TREMAYNE!

    Second class. Kyle Katarn was the last student of the first class.

    Amusingly, the PCs were already full Jedi themselves by that point and missing instructors who were gathering other students by that time.
     
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  23. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    Good ol' Tremayne! He was everyone's favorite villain. I used him in my campaign too.
     
  24. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    The Galactic Empire

    After much-much delay, it's time to once again start this thread. The Galactic Empire section of Fragments from the Rim is easily my favorite and has a wonderful selection of villains both great and small, all of which I've had the pleasure of using in my campaigns over the years. This section of the book is really effective because it took an attitude toward villains which the rest of the supplements for WEG Star Wars...did not. Specifically, it gave the characters BIG PERSONALITIES, which almost no other supplements did.

    Which is bizarre when you think about it. Think about it, no supplements for WEG ever created a Grand Admiral and there's only a couple of Grand Moffs. Most of the lesser Moffs and Captains were also generic Imperials. It's notable for the fact they always seemed to be afraid of trying to compete with the movies and thus really hurt themselves.

    Perhaps this is why Tremayne and Jodo Kast are some of the ONLY characters remembered from WEG's books, barring Adventure Journal fiction.

    High Inquisitor Tremayne

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    High Inquisitor Tremayne basically is the most iconic character of West End Games, which is kind of interesting as he's had no other appearances in WEG as far as I can tell. He had a short story where he plays the Vader role in a story and a couple of other minor appearances but most of them don't give the character much dignity. I think his most iconic moment outside of this supplement is damaging Vader's life-support controls when he was a padawan.

    Who is Tremayne? Well, in simple terms, he's Darth Vader Lite. Darth Vader by his stats in WEG, is basically like Darth Vader has appeared in Rebels. He's invincible barring you sending a Blockade Runner down on him to kamikaze him. This kind of limits his versatility in an RPG where you can't use the most iconic villain in the franchise without him killing your heroes. Likewise, many players liked to think they were playing in the "canon" universe, just off camera and would be remiss if you altered the timeline in such a way like allowing Vader to be killed. Basically, Star Wars is a religion to a lot of us and you don't want to break CANON.

    High Inquisitor Tremayne basically gave player characters a scaled-down version of Vader who was pure comic book theatricality. He's a cyborg, he's cultured and erudite, a torturer, plus also has a position JUST outside the Emperor's inner Circle. He's the kind of guy who has the authority to chase the player characters across the universe and JUST ENOUGH of a stats so that he could fight either a group or a sufficiently seasoned Jedi initiate.

    The Inquisitor concept is also immensely useful because it gives an "excuse" for the Emperor to have other bad guys like Darth Vader without, you know, being Darth Vader. The Emperor's Hand was something which Tremayne, notably, had as a potential part of his backstory but was left ambiguous. Perhaps because it was never clear if Mara was supposed to be wrong or not about being the only Emperor's Hand as Zahn dropped the hint himself but other writers sort of drove it into the ground until there were like 30.

    Stats-wise, Tremayne is formidable but not TOO formidable if that makes sense. He has 5d in lightsaber and 5d in Sense, which means he can use a 10D in lightsaber combat that would certainly kill any player character who wasn't a JEDI unless they tag-teamed against him. So, you have two ways of going after Tremayne. You can do it solo and use some Force Points to have a DRAMATIC VICTORY over a much more powerful foe or you can make a team effort.

    Best of all, the writing actually throws in some weaknesses for Tremayne. Corwin Shelvay has a grudge against him so you could have him weaken Tremayne or heroically sacrifice himself. Also, Tremayne has a Wookiee-like bodyguard who may turn against him (again, probably at the sacrifice of his life). Corwin's sister is also a trusted agent so there's multiple ways of taking him down in-story as well as just with your stats.

    I've used Tremayne multiple times and have killed him probably seven or eight different ways.

    1. Tossed him down a reactor shaft (the bounty hunter did it after Tremayne assumed he'd killed him)
    2. Lightsaber duel with the padawan
    3. Tremayne getting buried alive in his falling apart Star Destroyer before the PCs evacuate it and watch it explode. They knew he died because of a cutscene of him dying.
    4. Elena Shelvay shooting him in the back of the head after he reveals he killed her family (but assuming she was killed by the PCs and thus not aware she was listening)

    The biggest contribution of Tremayne to the canon is he's clearly a direct ancestor for the canon Grand Inquisitor. Indeed, Jason Isaacs wouldn't have been a bad choice for High Inquisitor Tremayne even if he ended up being the head of a really-really overpowered Gary Stu-esque version of Black Sun.
     
  25. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    As Eleven Thirty Eight's article on the Inquisitorius pointed out (CooperTFN), Tremayne not only paved the way for Rebels' original Inquisitor, but for the entire concept of Imperial Inquisitors as dark-side-using agents of the Empire. It's a pretty impressive contribution to future SW for a guy who was basically just Thrawn Vader ("the Vader who is also Thrawn").