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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. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    I may actually do an adventure with them with my next Star Wars D20 game but being as I'm a lot more cynical as a man of 38 versus a 17 year old Gamemaster, I'm probably going to go with this as the Adventure Hook.

    "The Price of Family"

    The player characters are there to make contact with Simmon Mandel on behalf of the Rebel Alliance to try to make a deal to get him to transfer the materials necessary to create several pre-fabricated droid-operated starfighter control system plants up and running on Rebel safeworlds, modified from making TIE systems to X-wing systems. Theoretically enough to double the number of X-wings in active service. Not a war winner but no small boost either. This is a deal that was negotiated by Lieutenant Colonel Sonya Mandel who has been a Rebel officer for almost ten years.

    Now, here's the twist: Sonya is dead.

    The player characters manage to arrive on Fabritech's Homeworld (let's say Shownar) and get the news Sonya was captured by the ISB, tortured to death, and an Inquisitor (let's say Tremayne) is being sent to investigate the PCs since he managed to get their mission out of her before the end. If Simmon finds out about this, it's almost certainly an end to the deal because he was negotiating out of filial love versus any Rebel sympathies.

    There's an additional twist that Kvarn is actually the guy who informed on his daughter's deal with the Rebellion to the Empire. He was attempting to protect his family (unaware the Empire is going to kill Simmon now and perhaps take the rest hostage) and is now crippled with guilt over what he's done. He deluded himself into believing it was a Rebel trick and the fact his daughter is actually dead and in such a horrifying way will break him.

    Simmon might turn on the Rebellion but his father could become a Rebel supporter (or defect entirely as he could easily negotiate with many corporate contacts on behalf of the Rebellion). It's also possible Simmon might kill his father and seize control of the company depending on how things are played.

    Should be an interesting story for the PCs to navigate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  2. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

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    Dec 16, 2012
    Heh, when you wrote "being as I'm a lot more cynical as a man of 38 versus a 17 year old Gamemaster, I'm probably going to go with this as the Adventure Hook" I actually expected the plot twist to be that the Sonya Simmon is negotiating with is not actually the real Sonya but just a Rebel lookalike
     
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  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    The thought had occurred to me! Ironically, that still became the assumption of Kvarn.

    If we want to make this a full campaign starter, we can also have Tremayne arrive on the planet....with Sonya Mandel. Except, it's actually Elena Shelvay having been surgically altered to appear identical to the late Rebel officer.

    Or, again, you could have the Rebellion ask for them to have an NPC (or appropriate female PC) to impersonate the dead woman. You might also have it turn out that Sonya died in a spice-related airspeeder accident and never joined the Rebellion in the first place but the suspicion is something they're willing to use. After all, Cassian shows not all Rebels are nice to Imperial collaborators.

    So much potential!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  4. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

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    Dec 16, 2012
    One thing many game creators don't is seem to think about company-culture, we have that in the real world with any company that’s around long enough. And it feels that when you have become a megacorp, you have absolutely been around long enough. Also, since most megacorps are international, or in SW’s case interstellar, organisations they should probably export some of their original homeland/-planet’s culture when they expand outward. I would like to get a ‘company culture’ heading or info-box in my games with that kind of big organisations. Sadly I have only found it in one RPG



    Another idea is that The Rebellion doesn’t actually know what happened to Sonya but has a member who looks close enough to Sonya to fool Simmon that it is her, changed by the years they have been apart and her new lifestyle. And now the real Sonya, or some good leads on her, begin to surface….
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  5. Landb

    Landb Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Mar 7, 2017
    Frankly I miss that aspect of the 90s. The average modern depiction of big corporations is childish and pretty much a cartoon.

    I'm curious, was it always part of Lucas' notes, or was it just an example of someone's beliefs changing over decades? I recall one of Biggs' objections to the Empire in that removed scene being their wide-scale program of commerce nationalization (more Soviet than Nazi, as Nazi nationalization was relatively limited and based on convenience). This was of course largely ignored by the EU and WEG, as by the time they were becoming a huge thing, the USSR and communism weren't the massive bogeyman they were back in '77. As time passed, the Soviet aspects of the Empire were increasingly downplayed while the Nazi aspects got expanded. Something of a pity, imo. I like Empire depictions most when instead of being pure Nazis in space, they're more of a combo between Soviets, Nazis, the more unpleasant colonial empires (given the difference in oppression level and lifestyle between different parts of the Empire, these are a really good fit), Rome, and any number of other autocratic regimes.

    This all sounds good and fairly realistic to me, not sure what you mean by 'not the best version' honestly. Easy enough for a GM to change things up and make a company or select employees more villainous if need be.

    The one thing I find questionable is them being seen as new-money. With some companies in Star Wars being older and larger than any government the Earth has ever seen, plenty would be 'old money' even by Star Wars standards, and corporate culture could be every bit as developed as many regional or national cultures. Something that'd be fun to explore imo.

    Disagree with this pretty much 100%. Personal experience working with major military contractors no doubt colors my opinion despite TIEs not being Black Hawks and the Empire not being the USA. Despite the differences, there are plenty of reasons why (as an example) airframes, engines, and avionics systems for a single vehicle may be designed or built by multiple different companies, none of them subsidiaries, and several of those reasons would still apply under an autocratic regime. Come to think of it, the galactic scale of Star Wars introduces even more reasons you might see smaller galactic or regional companies competing for contracts to supply certain components or component types to larger companies like Sienar or KDY.

    I'm not convinced the Empire can really be characterized as fascist (especially in economic policy), unless going by the modern definition of "any autocratic government." Autocratic governments have historically had a wide range of relationships with business and the merchant class, plenty of which would allow for separate companies to contribute components to the same project.

    Even if we make the—imo mistaken—decision to treat the Empire as 1:1 Nazi Germany, the kind of situation outlined re:Fabritech here bears significant resemblance to how outsourcing for various components was handled by the German aircraft industry under the Nazis. (Budrass, L., Scherner, J. and Streb, J., 2010. "Fixed‐price contracts, learning, and outsourcing: explaining the continuous growth of output and labour productivity in the German aircraft industry during the Second World War." The Economic History Review, 63(1), pp.107-136) Overall corporate freedom under that regime was greater than one might expect as well. (Buchheim, C. and Scherner, J., 2006. The role of private property in the Nazi economy: the case of industry. The Journal of Economic History, 66(2), pp.390-416.)

    So I'd actually say it's an example of the writers having a pretty ok idea of how capitalism works, including under Empire-like regimes. Now excuse me while I dive out a window over the shame of citing academic journals in a discussion of pretend spaceships and laser guns.

    Yeah, quite useful from a GM perspective and can be used to tell all sorts of stories with a little creativity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  6. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    The short version, @Landb is that I don't think the corporate culture of the Empire should be free market similar to the USA. The Nazis had a hand-in-pocket relationship with Big Business, providing them with slave labor as well as controlling who were executives as well as what projects to build. I think it's a much more interesting way to handle things in the GFFA with Raith Sienner as our Henry Ford or Volkswagon equivalent versus the Soviets. Stalinist control over the economy is something I don't think the Empire ever achieved a level of dominance over as Russia moved from feudalist to Soviet economy with industrialization happening during WW2.

    You're right, though, this is not a 1:1 to the Nazis but a game about space wizards and krayt dragons.

    :)

    Obviously, post-Prequels, the corporate culture of the Empire is going to be different than what we knew the 90s as well. In the Empire, the corporate culture of the galaxy is going to begin with a large portion of the galactic economy having been nationalized by the Empire. The Trade Federation, Techno-Union, and banking system of the galaxy has all been directly taken over by Palpatine in order to fund the Death Star as well as reward his cronies.

    I admit, I may be biased because of living in Kentucky and witnessing the dismantling of local corporations and consolidation of them under larger international companies during the 80s to 90s (my city, in particular, was one of the victims of Enron's consolidation of the energy business before its exposure) may be biasing me to distaste against the massive megaconglomerates that thrive by pirate-policies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  7. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Gastess Finance Inc

    Gastess Finance Inc. is actually one of my favorite creations of this book because it and its CEO, Sarlim Gastess are the easiest characters to involve in any Star Wars: the RPG game. Why? Because they're cartoonishly evil in the same way as the Galactic Empire is. Something utterly irredeemable and monstrous but entirely believable as they are something which has happened many times in history.

    Specifically, Gastess Finance Inc. is Enron. This is kind of ironic because Enron was something which looked incredibly stable, if not the single best and brightest American corporation around at the time of this books series. It would only be just before the 2001 the nightmarish politics and gross incompetence of Enron would be exposed to the world.

    The premise of Gastess Finance is probably more like Wallstreet and Gordon Gecko with the simple premise of the company buying up successful productive companies, firing their existing boards of directors, and then running them into the ground for vast short term profits. They proceed to then break up the companies after they've ruined the machinery, flooded the markets, and rendered it inoperable before looting all assets into their parent company then selling off the remains for pennies.

    [​IMG]

    I bring up Enron because this was one of their strategies for staying alfoat. They bought up existing power companies, ran them into the ground, and then transferred to their debt to the companies before bankrupting them. The difference between them and Gastess Finance Inc. is they do this to PLANETARY economies. In this case, the book states they've destroyed the economies as well as environments of dozens of worlds, leaving the population in horrific debt as well as squalor and the Empire to occupy the planets before turning them into labor camps.

    The Empire, you see, is entirely happy with this arrangement because it's need for slaves isn't satisfied by its alien bigotry so the creation of debt labor gulags is a necessary for the Imperial war machine. It is a generally horrifying premise but one which works perfectly for the PCs to want to take this company down. Sarlim Gastess is notably a clinical psychopath by Gotal standards and this is due to having nonfunctional headcones that mean he suffers none of the "empathy" which his species is famous for. The thing is, I think he's the second Gotal we know in canon (the other being from "Tales of the Mos Eisley Cantina") and BOTH of them were scumbags.

    Note: The book has an error that Sarlim can read emotions but its specifically noted that he can't in the text yet his stats say he can.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  8. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Kina Margath

    [​IMG]


    Ah, Kina Margath. A character who has a surprisingly long shelf-life both in my campaigns as well as the EU as a whole. She is notably one of the first characters from Fragments from the Rim to appear outside of this book as she plays a role in both The Darkstryder Campaign as well as the X-wing novels where she provides the information necessary to bring down Captain Yonka.

    Kina Margath owns a casino called Margath's and basically is a really successful and classy version of Marion Ravenwood. She's the kind of character who could easily be used in Rebel operations and stories without much difficulty as the "sexy bar and casino owner who is secretly your rebel contact" is infinitely more useful than Devon Fuller or Corwin Shelvay as a character to provide your PCs with missions as well as information.

    Indeed, Kina Margath and General Airen Cracken remain the two most singularly useful Rebels I've ever used in my games. Because there's nothing quite so simple for a character than, "Hello, PCs, we have a problem in Sector 71# and need you to go do this mission. If you choose to accept it, blah blah blah." Kina Margath is notably a "foster agent" of the Rebellion, which exists for the purposes of smuggling back Rebel soldiers who are oft doing their thing when Rebel bases as well as lines of communication get cut off--meaning she's one of the few people in the galaxy who knows where Rebel HQ and other important locations are at any given moment with her being updated as needed.

    Kina Margath is notable in my campaigns for also being a somewhat frequent love-interest character for the somewhat older PCs in my game since she's in her presumed 30s to 40s versus the usual mid-to-late twenties love interests in Star Wars. This is ironic since Mirax Terrick (late Horn) was strongly disapproving of her father's attraction to her on the grounds of her being too young.

    Margath famously also showed up in a Holonet news article where she was robbed by the Tombat (basically Star Wars' equivalent of Catwoman--who is also a Rebel operative, albeit just barely). The news articles mention her vault was taken in an Ocean's 11-esque heist only for the entirety of it to be mysteriously returned. There's two ways of reading the article from the way its presented:

    1. The Rebel Alliance told the Tombat to return everything to Kina Margath since she was an important rebel asset.
    2. Kina, HERSELF, went and stole all of her stuff back from the Tombat.

    The 27th Hour Club is Kina's Studio-54 esque Club attached to her successful hotel and casino.

    Kina Margath doesn't actually strike me very much as a corporate leader even though you could easily expand the fact she could be an owner of a chain of hotels and resorts around the galaxy. I also like the implications Kina's distaste for the Empire is partially motivated simply by the fact the Empire is bad for business. People don't have nearly as much disposable income under it as they used it while the people who are benefiting tend to be less likely to pay.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  9. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

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    Feb 18, 2005
    Could be anything? "Hydrocarbon" has a very well-understood meaning on Earth, and I don't see why it wouldn't be the same in the GFFA ...

    I think the interesting part of the plot twist is that crime lords often have bounties on their heads. So, particularly if the players are bounty hunters, there's a certain exploitable irony that the crime lord isn't the crime lord; the bounty hunter is the crime lord. And then, when the players find out, issues of professional courtesy and other quirks of how to deal with this situation arise that they'll have to navigate.

    And probably half of the other drinks mentioned in the EU over the years. And over half the music, too.

    I actually think this is a perfect example of capitalism at work. Capitalist corporations value profit, not control. (The Empire values control, but they have just as much control over two subservient corporations as they do over one.) If a product can be made more cheaply by purchasing components from a third party rather than doing the work in-house, then that's what they'll do; and nowhere is this more clear than in the military industrial complex. @Landb covers it exceedingly well in his post.

    Ah, indeed. I'm still amazed that such a simple, almost tautological statement as, "Welcome to Margath's. I am the owner, Kina Margath," could carry so much characterization in it. You can really hear her voice in it.

    Well, Terrik was running around as an experienced smuggler two decades before this, so it stands to reason it's not an unreasonable assessment.

    3. The Tombat, after going through the stuff she stole, realized she'd just hit a fellow Rebel and seriously endangered the cause, and returned the vault contents when she realized this. (This is my personal take on it.)
    4. The Tombat and Kina were conspiring, and there's more to this story than meets the eye.
     
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  10. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    At the risk of arguing a point about a universe of space wizards, the simple fact would be in a state like the Empire, it'll never be cheaper for Sienner to purchase parts from a 3rd party distributor than it will be to control the supply lines themselves. After all, the simple fact is that when Sienner buys from itself, it's keeping all of those credits "in-house." It's one of the reasons why we have webs of ownership like this.

    [​IMG]

    But, again, you can do it anyway you want. I would want to know why it is cheaper to buy from Fabritech, though.
     
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  11. Landb

    Landb Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Mar 7, 2017
    The first simple fact is not a fact. Even in Nazi Germany it wasn't unusual for an aircraft to be designed and primarily manufactured by say Messerschmitt, using engines from Junkers or MiMo, weapons from Rheinmetall-Borsig, and various other components from Fieseler, Arado, etc. This was motivated both by the corporations' own desire for increased profit and occasionally by the Nazi government's pro-outsourcing/licensing interference.
    If by "state like the Empire" you were referring to size rather than type of government, I apologize for the TL;DR. In that case things become a lot more hairy since we don't have any real-world interstellar megacorps, so anything I could say about the effects that kind of mind-bending size would have on core competencies, economies of learning+scale, etc. are pure speculation. Depending on company, project type, and all sorts of insane **** I can't even imagine because of stuff like space magic and tech we don't have, it's hard to say how the drivers of outsourcing would change. (And how that might make Fabritech a worthwhile or not-so-worthwile source of components)

    The second simple fact ignores several of the motivations that drive outsourcing, and therefore doesn't tell us much about the Sienar/Fabritech situation. The S-70A Black Hawk program has over 80 suppliers contributing to everything from engines to avionics systems to missiles to chairs. If keeping cash in-house whenever possible was the sole relevant consideration, those suppliers would all be fellow Lockheed subsidiaries. After all, the company is a giant and certainly has the capability.

    With all that said, at this point I think we've all put at least ten times as much thought into this as the original author ever did, and I've blown my entire quarterly wall-of-text-writing allowance in 3 days. Not only that but I'm distracting you from reading and commenting on more of GG9, and talking about outsourcing instead of T.E.N.C's landmark album "Totally Patriotic", which is honestly a crime.
     
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  12. Jmacq1

    Jmacq1 Jedi Master star 4

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    May 20, 2005
    Well....at the time nobody was going to make toys of West End Game's figures...later on though. Sadly the Radtroopers were never quite so lucky.

    I'll admit though, I thought the Radtrooper and Storm Commandos were one of the coolest parts of this book. Though I was annoyed at how specific the Radtroopers were, given their description of being in chrome armor (shades of Phasma!) was so evocative.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  13. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

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    Dec 16, 2012
    To continue wit my company culture comment I thought it could be fun to write what kind of culture the different companies @Charlemagne19 present possibly could have :)

    Fabritech Inc., is probably the hardest for me to come up with. Maybe we could go with the family angle and have the Mandel family be really big and, kind of like a noble family, having members as representatives at each important level and subsidiaries of Fabritech, with Kvarn being the ruling scion of the great family. If we go with this, the members of the Mandel family probably have a "noblesse oblige" attitude and try to be good leaders of the company (beside some bad eggs), maybe there is also expectations that a Mandel is supposed to work at the factory floor (or similar) as just another workman before being given a position of power and non-family members who show themselves capable gets adopted or married into the family - keeping the Fabritech in the hands of the family while also getting new blood. Now this can create some interesting intrigues within Fabritech with some Mandel members who think that they would be better leaders of the company then Kvarn (or maybe they just have the ego to think they deserve the position) or are trying to lobby for who will get the position after Kvarn steps down. Also this will make things difficult for the PCs who think they are dealing with normal company structure

    Drever Corporation if we go with that "[t]he text implies it's a mom and pop blaster corporation" we could have it so that Drever is a good guy company (if we ignore the 'working for the Empire' part) that take cares of its employees - they get good healthcare, paid vacations & parent leaves to take care of sick children, the workplace is constructed to minimise accidents, etc. - the company also have offers affordable housing, free kindergarten for the children of employees, free psychiatric help if you are working to much overtime (they don't want you to burn-out after all), etc.
    People who work for Drever Corp. have often done so for generations and are proud to work for the company and the Warren family, who has no problem getting their hands dirty helping out the company down in on the fabric-floor if needed. This is the kind of company culture where birthdays are celebrated, people bring pies (or similar) for everybody in their work unit, and you need help with something there is always a hand. Drever Corp. also care about not polluting the environment, and expect their subcontractors and subsidiary to show the same good standard. (This could of course be the reason to why they are doing not so great economically since their products may be high-quality and ethically made but they cost more then other companies version of the same product)
    All-in-all Drever go well beyond imperial law for taking care of it's people and the world around them, the players should feel bad if trying to sabotage Drever Corp. or manipulating its nice owners.

    Margath's, feels to me, going by Charley's description, more like that better kind of old school casino you find in James Bond ordering a dry martini in, rather then the more modern kitschy ones found in Las Vegas and similar. A possibility with Margath's is that we go the 'Rick's Café Américain' rut and have the much of the establishment being crewed by people that was displaced by the Empire, the Clone Wars or some smaller (by galactic standard) conflict in the sector where Margath's lay.

    Gastess Finance Inc is the easiest, it's the kind of yuppie, dog-eat-dog, "who care about the long terms, we are getting rich now", culture seen in movies like RoboCop, Wall Street, and Fun with Dick and Jane and many other. I 'm thinking lots of grey, or grey-ish tunics and robes with large 80's shoulder pads. People work hard, party hard and live in large, overdesigned & lifeless apartments if they have made it or in a pod hotel if they have not



    Also regarding company culture this blog post about business culture in Japanese megacorps might be of interest
     
  14. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Great job @Gamiel.

    Fabritech

    I'm inclined to think Fabritech would be a good place to do a "Core World wannabe" company that just so happens to be in the Outer Rim. Going with the idea it's a branch of Sienner or it's just a very rich outsourced labor project, I like to imagine Fabritech's headquarters on Shownar and the idea of its executives and their families being people educated on Coruscant.

    However, they're not QUITE as important as they think they are. Everyone is wearing last year or the year before's fashions, their technology is not QUITE cutting edge, and their rulership over manufacturing systems isn't nearly as secure as they think. In short, Fabrictech is not as important to the Empire as they think they are.
    I'm inclined to think its members used to manufacture weapons for the Old Republic Sector Fleet and there's a lot more bubbling resentment as well as disloyalty under the surface. It doesn't help that Fabritech's actual representatives in the Core Worlds are lucky if they can get a meeting with a VicePrix of a Sienner executive or the assistant of an Imperial Advisor.

    There's an awareness this is not even a branch of Ford motorcompany but the guys in Brazil who manufacture engines for overstock. It's also a company that, if Kvarn ever screwed up, would be stripped from him and handed to a Moff's second son as a consolation prize.

    Drever Corporation

    I have the fun idea that Drever Corporation actually might be a Separatist Corporation which used to be a lot bigger and more influential than it was. Basically, an alien-run version of Blastech that was very powerful in the Outer Rim and made its fortune arming battle droids as a second-tier supplier like Fabritech.

    It's actually benefited from the Clone Wars in a somewhat oddball way in the fact that the mass execution and purging of its previous leadership resulted in the promotion of the (mostly human) middle management. Its one of the few cases where the Empire's brutality has worked out better for the long run as the people promoted have a big connection to the locals. Jenos II is one of the remnants of the "rich and powerful noble alien families" who used to own the company.

    However, he's not actually that bad of a guy and running on the idea of "local company for local people" is good PR even if he doesn't care that much either way.
    I'm also inclined to think the company is actually ALREADY brimming with Rebel sympathizers or at least anti-Imperial ones. The Rebellion gets a LOT of firearms from the company simply because the Empire isn't terribly regulatory about what happens in the Outer Rim. 99 cases of blasters being smuggled for every 1 intercepted is fine by them.

    Formalizing it just helps.

    Margath's

    I like the idea the place is very much the sixties version of Las Vegas versus Monaco as there's plenty of catering to the middle class as well as the super-rich. Margath is very tasteful in her handling of things but also very hands on. There's plenty of penthouses for the Moffs, Advisors, and their sons to never have to deal with the rabble (airspeeders right to their vilas and private card games) but it's also the kind of place where Han Solo could walk in and have a drink as well.

    My idea is that Margath has a very interesting policy for recruitment and that's picking up people who have had their businesses ruined by the Empire but not so much it's obvious. Mon Calamari used to be an enormous tourism sector (because of all those luxury liners they manufactured) and Bespin too, so she hires the people affected by their collapse but not directly involved.

    I'm also inclined to think Margath's is also bugged to hell but not in the way people think. I'm inclined to think Margath has a deal with the local ISB and Compnor that she provides them endless amounts of data on the Corporate Sector and Empire (deleting material related to the Rebellion).

    Thus preserving her cover for the Rebellion while copying anything interesting for the Rebellion.

    Gastess Finance Inc

    I have the idea of Gastess Finance Inc. being a monument of tastelessness in the Outer Rim territories and a sense of, "as second-rate as Fabritech is, it's like the Rothschilds to these guys." If you enter Gastess Finance's headquarters, you'll see everything in shades of crimson red and big huge gold statues with holograms of the executives everywhere. There's a definite culture of excess going on that draws from Wallstreet and the Wolf of Wall Street.

    I'm inclined to also think Gastess Finance Inc exists solely at the sufferance of the local Moff. He is personally accepting fifty billion credit bribes annually from the company with the barest of attempts to hide it and the company IRRITATES the Corporate Sector Authority since it is a one-company disruption to Sector economies.

    People involved in the company are hired not because of their talent, most of them got their Business degrees from the University of Ott Gunga Online. Instead, they're hired for their williness to whatever it takes to get ahead. Employees are tested for whether they'll accept bribes, lie for coworkers, or embezzle---and if they do then they're hired.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  15. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Adventure Hooks

    1. Hostile Takeover: The Rebel Alliance has detected a possible way of dealing with Gastess Finance Incorporated but it is an unorthodox: The Hutt Cartel is considering purchasing the company. They're not overly impressed with Gastess Finance's genius, it's brute force economics of the worst sort, but they're of the opinion they could probably run everything 200% better (it's more like 2000% better) with maximizing of slaving, exploitation, and looting. The Rebellion would very much like the PCs to help convince enough executives to sell their stock in the company to the Hutts--enough for a 51% buyout.

    Why?

    Because the Rebellion would buy 2% and then drop it at the end, causing a feud between the executives and the Hutt Cartel. Then a massive release of information stolen of their crooked dealings which would be distributed across the holonet. That will force the Empire to nationalize the company and possibly the execution of the Moff.
    (Or it might drive their stock price through the roof).

    2. Inglorious Barves: The New Republic has taken over the galaxy and this has put a number of corporations in a series bind. Gastess Finance Incorporated has had its trading license suspended in all New Republic territories and it's executive board is all listed as Wanted by Cracken with up to 50,000 credits for enterprising bounty hunters.

    Salem Gastess isn't quite ready to go down, though, and has actually decided to take the OTHER coward's way out by snitching on his fellows. In exchange for immunity for his crimes and the trillions of credits he's stolen, he's willing to turn over an entire Sector of Space under Imperial control by luring its Moff and fleet into a trap. Unfortunately, for the New Republic, Devon Fuller and Kaiya Adrimetrum have their own plan to assassinate Gastiss.

    Expect many double crosses and triple crosses. Also, while General Cracken wouldn't say it aloud, if something untoward were to happen to Salim after he's done his part then they would be chewed out.

    And most rebel Special Ops. have been chewed out.

    3. Metallicon: Kina Margath has booked a concert involving the Emperor's New Clothes and is very-very annoyed they've been picked up by the ISB. Except, not the way they usually expect. The local head of the ISB has literally picked them up and set them to play at his son's 17th rotation party (the son doesn't even like the Emperor's New Clothes, he's a Boba Fett and the Assassins Droids fan). The problem with this isn't the fact Kina is going to take a bath at the concert, though she's more annoyed by that than she should be as a Rebel operative, but the fact one of the band IS a rebel.

    His role in the band is to smuggle Rebel alliance data in bootleg copies of their Holodics and spyware which the rebellion makes ample use of but can be assumed to be either Imperial spyware (the ISB uses almost identical) or their corporate sponsors. He's currnetly physically transporting a data crystal containing information from the Core World (that he swallowed) and it would be VERY BAD if he were to excrete that soon.

    Kina needs them to sabotage the party, disable the droid which would pick up their security composed songs, and get the data crystal--and if possible th band to her as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  16. Voltron64

    Voltron64 Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2009
    However the above two adventures goes, I think it'd be fun to encourage players to carve off Gastess' horns and keep them as trophies.
     
  17. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Getting a wee bit Apocalypse Now there, friend :)
     
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  18. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Do they give any examples of planets/similar that Gastess have enroned?
     
  19. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Sadly, not.
     
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  20. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Ok, to bad. Some short presentations of exemplarily enoroned planets could have been good for inspiration.

    I guess we just have to make up our own:

    Karlmagn-IV: Is a gas-giant with ca. 50 gas-mining-cities floating in it. The mining-cities were all originally owned by Karlmagn Mining inc., a company that was a houk and herglic joint company, and was creating a neat profit while also taking care of it's employees and equipment. After Gastess takeover all the work-benefits was taken away and unpaid overtime become the norm, and then ran it into the ground while ignoring to invest in taking care of or getting new equipment. When the gas-mining begun to cost more then Gastess was willing to pay for the profit they got they begun to sell of the mining-cities one after another to whoever was willing to pay the most (often Imperial front companies). As of now the people on the mining-cities are in debt-bondage to the new owners who are paying for the repairs of the life-support systems, antigravity engines and imported food (Gastess sold of all the farming equipment that existed on the mining-cities).

    Isakk: is an iceworld that would be colder then Hoth if it was not for heavy geological activity that creates patterns of heat oasis following the binderies of the tectonic plates. Populated by humans (mostly blue and tan skinned), pho ph'eahians and a notable minority (ca. 10%) of snivvians Gastess have left the societies on Isakk highly damaged and the life-support systems in need of constant repair something the Empire use to keep them in honour-bound debt-bondage.
     
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  21. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Reuss VIII is also a great choice as an industrial hellhole world.

    Good suggestions!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  22. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Guilds

    One of the elements of Star Wars is that it isn't any specific time in space but all spaces simultaneusly. Medieval worlds are next to Roman worlds next to modern day worlds next to future and cyberpunk worlds. That's reflected in GUILDS, which exist in a somewhat nebulously defined role in this group. "Guilds have a special place in Star Wars. They are composed of individuals and corporations that are engaged in similar fields of trade and therefore lobby for things that are good for the industry but every individual member of a guild is competing with all of his or her fellow guild members."

    This is not remotely how Medieval Guilds worked (where it was a monopoly-based system to control the output of a certain product before corporations existed) or trade unions. It's also fairly clear the guidebook has no idea how these things work either. So these are really a mixture of unions and some more corporations.

    The Most Honourable Guild of Armourers

    [​IMG]


    Basically, the entry here hypes the group an incredible amount. It's the BIGGEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE SOURCE OF EXOTIC WEAPONS IN THE GALAXY! Boba Fett, Zardra, Dengar, and Matt Talon are listed as customers of the Honorable Guild of Armorers. It explains the Guild has its own planet and they sell all their exotic weapons there with the Empire turning a blind eye since so many Imperial Moffs as well as allied mercenaries love the product. Also, they give healthy bribes to let them sell everything, including a lightsaber at one point. We also talk about how Moff Balfour uses them to get his spare parts for his luxury yacht and another Moff uses it to refit his classic battleship.

    There's just one problem with this entry and it's not the fact they do a BUNCH of namedropping (some of it quite interesting). The problem is the Honorable Guild of Armorers isn't really all that interesting. Okay, they're arms dealers. Yeah, we all knew those existed in Star Wars. It'd be cool if the PCs could show up and buy something interesting there (or be there to steal something for the Rebellion). That's a certainly viable plot but there's no personalities associated with the place and it's not really as original or interesting an idea as the writer seems to think it is.

    Oddly, I think THE LAST JEDI works better for this with it better to have this group set on Canto Bright. The luxury Monaco-section of the planet is next to the auctioneers section and next to the warehousing section. It's a planet where you can hang out at the country club, gamble, do some epopie racing, and then negotiate the sale of a bunch of Z-95 headhunters to the Rebellion or Empire both.

    How I'd Fix Them

    The Honorable Guild of Armorers is actually an alliance of second-tier arms manufacturers and munitions companies which exists underneath the Imperial mainstays. Together, their financial value is barely equal to Sienner, Kuat, or BlasTech as they don't have many Imperial contracts. Instead, they have two sources of income:

    1. Doing sub-contract work for one of the larger Imperial corporations.
    2. Taking advantage of the Empire's surprisingly loose weapons laws.

    The Empire, for a fascist dictatorship, is actually surprisingly fine letting its citizens be armed all the time. This is because the government barely bothers to fight organized crime and is happy to let the bodies pile up as long as it gets its cut.

    Lobbies allow armed freighter captains, defense forces, and so on so long as the Empire isn't thretaened (and sometimes when it is). The Emperor actually sees this as a good thing because as long as the various resistance groups never align together, brushfire wars justify the Empire's eternal military growth.

    The Honorable Guild of Armourers does deal in exotic one of a kind weaponry but these are really occassions for networking, feasting, and promoting blaster-culture among the super rich. It may be an odd idea to imagine Boba Fett being invited to a black tie and robe affair on Canto Bight but its free booze as well as a place for usually easy money.

    (Could you kill my VicePrix for 200,000 credits? No, he doesn't have any bodyguards or extra security. Do it myself? Don't be gosh)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  23. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Adventure Hooks

    1. "I'd love to roll on these guys" Horch of Kheedar is buying a voting block on the Honorable Guild of Armourers board, which will allow him to become immediately a vast trillionaire with his planet adjusted to becoming the next manufacturing plant for the Guild's blaster contract with BlastTech. The Rebellion has a DARING PLAN to capture Horch of Kheedar and seriously disrupt business operations. The problem is that as soon as they find him, suspiciously easy, they get a guy with a voice as well as personality suspiciously resembling the "Mandarin" from Iron Man 3.

    Horch informs them Noval Garaint is the real brains and is happily ready to sign the deal with the Empire--which they now have to either do a second run for or figure out a way to use Horch themselves to disrupt the deal.

    WARNING - If the players get Horch to a Two-One-Obee Droid and get his system cleaned, he will turn into a very dangerous angry crime lord who might Kaiser Soyze them.

    2. "The Lightsaber of Kenobi": The Honorable Guild of Armorers is selling the lightsaber of Obi-Wan Kenobi for ten billion credits (starting bid). The Guild has unknowingly just karked themselves over in a way they could not imagine as the lightsaber was stolen from Darth Vader's castle on Mustafar (or Vjun or Coruscant) by the Tombat. Obviously, Darth Vader wasn't home at the time but it was a crowning moment of her career. The Guild had no idea WHO the weapon was taken from and have already put out the invitations for it.

    Darth Vader is going to arrive very soon to make his displeasure known and at least some of the Guild members are planning on unloading it before making a hasty break. The Rebellion has heard wind and want the PCs to steal the artifact as a rallying cry. Luke Skywalker is willing to provide X-wing backup as well.

    Buyers include the Kryze Clan of Mandalore, a Zabrak force-sensitive impersonating Darth Maul, and a former Separatist war criminal.

    3. "Star Forged": The Honorable Guild of Armourers have acquired a map to what they claim is the sister of the Star Forge of the Legendary Darth Revan. It is part of their collection of Jedi Civil War era material which include quite a number of fakes. Doctor Aphra is the PC's employer this time and wants them as muscle while she attempts to verify whether or not this is a load of hooey.

    She's going to double-cross them, of course, and your PCs should be ashamed of themselves if they don't try to do the same. The competitors for this object include High Inquisitor Tremayne, Kvarn Mandel (who believes the Star Forge could propel him to Kuat levels of wealth), and pretty much everyone else.

    Is it real? Is it a hoax? That's up to the kind of game you want to run.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  24. Voltron64

    Voltron64 Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2009
    As a twist (since in one of my hypothetical campaigns, I had a PC discover Obi-Wan's lightsaber in some Death Star debris via the WEG Scavenger Hunt adventurer and rebuild it with Luke's help), the lightsaber isn't actually Kenobi's.

    No, the lightsaber being auctioned belonged to someone else, it belonged to one of the few people Anakin Skywalker loved and cared about more than anybody even in just the short time he knew him.

    Qui-Gon Jinn.
     
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  25. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    The Corellian Merchants Guild

    [​IMG]

    The Corellian Merchants Guild is the largest private trade organization in the galaxy and is open to all native-born Corellians and all owners or crew of Corellian ships. It can also represent companies with CEOs that are Corellian (and many smaller companies install one just for that purpose).

    The Empire views it as a hotbed or anti-Imperial sentiment, free thinking, law-breaking, and sedition but ONLY ONLY ON THE GOOD DAYS. It's so rich and influential the Empire can't do much about it and just put out house-fires by shutting down Corellian Merchant Guildhouses then watching a new one pop up in its place.

    As we see from the picture accompanying the CMG, the whole thing is basically treated as an enormous frathouse which the PCs are expected to join John Belushi style. They're meant to keep it from being shut down by the mean old Dean/Moff and keep everything going smoothly.

    I've got mixed feelings about the CMG as it is a useful organization which the player characters can use as a haven on various planets (and it describes services they provide Corellians or YT-1300 transport pilots which players disproportionately will be). However, I'm not actually sure how much use the organization is.

    The majority of player characters are going to be OUTLAWS after all. Either they're going to be outright members of the Rebellion with a price on their heads (albeit probably not as much as DEVON FULLER--awesome Rebel badass!) or they're going to be outright criminals working under assumed identities. So, them showing up to a Corellian Merchants Guild house is something I don't see happening anymore than Han Solo knocking on one and expecting to get service.

    This is also a group which predates Corran Horn as the depiction of Corellians is "a bunch of free-thinking independent minded people like Han Solo." Which Corran Horn HATED the stereotype of, if you remember, because he was a rules-obsessed policeman who just so happened to be a free-thinking independent minded person unlike Han Solo.

    With Solo out and it more clear Corellia is like Detroit (i.e. a place which was ONCE great but has fallen on hard-hard times), this depiction of them as a vast economic power doesn't quite fit anymore.

    How I'd change it

    I think I'd make it so membership is only available to native-born Corellians or people who are immigrants to Sector (since it seems biased to leave it only to natives). People who just so happen to own Corellian ships are Sith out of luck. I'm also inclined to think the CMG is a group which should come in two sides.

    There's the very very rich Corellians who are at the top of the organization and the large membership of working class Corellians at the bottom. As such, the place is a very big party-sort of place in many worlds but it is also not quite the "everybody is Han Solo" sort of place which people suspect.

    After all, there ARE Imperial collaborators like Kirtan Loor (who I maintain was Corellian), Sal Solo, and other people who would see the group described here and think, "What a great place to monitor for Rebel activity."

    I *WOULD* however have the Rebel Alliance make a lot of use of the CMG, though. I think I'd have Cracken and company have a bunch of fake Corellian-identities hard coded into the system and constantly registering more so the PCs can make use of them smuggling low priority cargo.

    The Empire is always looking for blasters, explosives, and starsips but they aren't looking for zoochberries, medpacs, and droids of the kind the Rebellion equally needs. Han Solo also DOES have a number of fake IDs which are registered with the CMG and they only became useless when he became on the Imperial Most Wanted List.

    One of my favorite Han Solo stories is from TALES where an Imperial keeps wondering why Han Solo is delivering empty Corellian Corvettes across the Border with no smuggled cargo. Only toward the end does he figure out that Han is smuggling CORELLIAN CORVETTES to the Rebellion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018