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EU in RPG sources

Discussion in 'Literature' started by TOD-UK, Apr 21, 2005.

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  1. TOD-UK

    TOD-UK Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2002
    In my never-ending quest for completion, I recently bought the Heir To The Empire Sourcebook on a whim. I basically bought it as essentially a hardback Fact Files type thing, with lots of EU articles. I was quite shocked then to find original EU fiction (presumably written by Bill Slaviesknick sp?), such as Yoda observing an Imperial explorer, Luke reflecting during his 2nd trial in the dark cave, and the tale of Leia constructing her first lightsaber. Even though these articles are only a few paragraphs each, they make for fascinating reading as glimpses of 'missed' episodes in the GFFA and the lives of our heroes.

    Can anyone recommened any other particularly good sourcebooks worth hunting down? Or any on the online time lines that incorporate these segments.
     
  2. Tam_Elgrin

    Tam_Elgrin Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 1, 2004
    Dark Empire Sourcebook is very good, full of short stories like the ones you mentioned.
     
  3. Leto II

    Leto II Jedi Padawan star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Absolutely:

    First off, track down the SW Adventure Journals. Published quarterly by West End, these were -- hands down -- the greatest repository of SW storytelling and continuity that LFL has ever put out; running up to around 17 or so issues, you can find them on eBay.

    Although you've grabbed the first Zahn sourcebook, pick up the combined omnibus "Thrawn Trilogy" volume, which contains all three RPG books under one cover, updated to the 2nd Edition rules.

    The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook contains even MORE storytelling goodness, if such a thing is possible; short stories, character references, you name it. Packed to the rafters.

    The Dark Empire and Tales of the Jedi sourcebooks. Stunners.

    The Galaxy Guides are likewise a similarly valuable resource. Twelve of those. The Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook has lots of classic Daley-style love; the Cracken's Guides and the Death Star Technical Companion are each superlative.

    Other good ones off the top o' me head:

    The Tapani Sector supplements, Lords of the Expanse, and the DarkStryder Campaign; the first boxed set and "deluxe" versions of the latter containing a Timothy Zahn story establishing that particular milieu.
     
  4. Blithe

    Blithe Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2003
    I would also like to suggest the Tales of the Jedi companion and Dark Empire Sourcebook as well. Both are very well written pieces of literature - some of the best EU out there, IMHO.
     
  5. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm just going to go off of Leto II's post:

    First off, track down the SW Adventure Journals. Published quarterly by West End, these were -- hands down -- the greatest repository of SW storytelling and continuity that LFL has ever put out; running up to around 17 or so issues, you can find them on eBay.

    Actually, only 15 issues; the two more that were in the works never made it to print.

    Other than that, he's right on the ball; the AJ's are some of the best sources of EU info out there, containing not only original stories by authors like Zahn, Stackpole, Anderson, Hambly, Wallace, and others; but also all kinds of informative articles on many subjects. The first appearances of things like Thyferra, Corran Horn, the lineage of the R-series astromech droids, and the description of the Battle of Tanaab made their first appearances in the Journal.

    Although you've grabbed the first Zahn sourcebook, pick up the combined omnibus "Thrawn Trilogy" volume, which contains all three RPG books under one cover, updated to the 2nd Edition rules.

    Actually, if you're not interested in the rules, I'd recommend grabbing the volumes seperately. I noticed that not all of the vignettes from the original sourcebooks were in the TTSB (the only one I can remember off of the top of my head is the awesome Pellaeon vignette, "A Grand Admiral Returns," from page 53 or the HESB).

    The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook contains even MORE storytelling goodness, if such a thing is possible; short stories, character references, you name it. Packed to the rafters.

    Yes, this one is very good. As long as we're using rafters idiomatically, let me praise to the rafters the deposition starting on page 10, where Han tells the story of how he and Lt. Page captured the Star Destroyer Accuser, in a style that only he can. Absolutely hilarious, and all of the characters involved in the interview are dead-on.

    It also is probably the single most comprehensive source for info on the Battle of Endor and its aftermath yet published.

    The Dark Empire and Tales of the Jedi sourcebooks. Stunners.

    Dark Empire isn't strong on vignettes, but it does an incredible job tying the Dark Empire comics into the EU, and in the process covers a lot of virgin ground untouched by other EU sources.

    I just recently acquired the Tales of the Jedi Companion, and so can't really comment on it yet.

    The Galaxy Guides are likewise a similarly valuable resource. Twelve of those. The Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook has lots of classic Daley-style love; the Cracken's Guides and the Death Star Technical Companion are each superlative.

    The galaxy guides aren't strong on fiction, but they more than make up for it in descriptive information. Ever wondered what residents of the Empire drink, or what music they listen to? See GG9: Fragments from the Rim. Ever wondered what Tiss'shar society is like, or how the Weequay, Nikto, and Vodrans played into the Hutts' defeat of Xim the Despot? See GG12: Aliens - Enemies and Allies.

    The Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook is pretty good; its framing story is an interview of Solo by esteemed historian Voren Na'al, and has lots of information about Han's history and the history of the Corporate Sector.

    Other good ones off the top o' me head:

    The Tapani Sector supplements, Lords of the Expanse, and the DarkStryder Campaign; the first boxed set and "deluxe" versions of the latter containing a Timothy Zahn story establishing that particular milieu.


    Eh, the Tapani Sector stuff is good, but short on vignettes and not totally useful unless you're a hardcore EU fan who wants to know everything.

    My recommendations, beyond the above?

    The Imperial Sourcebook and Rebel Alliance Sourcebook. Learn about the workings of both organizations, each one's modus operandi, and the technologies they use. The ISB has some short fiction, but I think the RASB has some of the best fics this side of the TABSB.

    The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook. Another great source of s
     
  6. Leto II

    Leto II Jedi Padawan star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2000
    [blockquote] True. Forgot to mention that one, not-so-minor point...that there *are* a couple of fiction-pieces that fell to the wayside when the compilation occurred. That's why I keep the hardcovers alongside the three-in-one, but pull out the latter whenever statcrunching is needed.

    If it's storyline info you're into, go for the three indvidual volumes; neither version will do you wrong.


    [b][blockquote][hr][...] It also is probably the single most comprehensive source for info on the Battle of Endor and its aftermath yet published.[hr][/blockquote][/b]
    Agreed. One of the major reasons I grabbed it right off the bookstore shelf to begin with, that lovely section beats out many a novel for clarity and detail on Battle of Endor info.


    [b][blockquote][hr]Eh, the Tapani Sector stuff is good, but short on vignettes and not totally useful unless you're a hardcore EU fan who wants to know everything.[hr][/blockquote][/b]
    Right, it doesn't boast huge amounts of direct storytelling, but I've long felt the overall *setting* was the real star of the project, boasting enough differentiation from the usual Rebellion-era stuff that it gave one's gaming session a unique flavor.

    But there are others that contain stonger ties to the mainstream Luke/Han/Leia events than this one, including:


    [blockquote][hr][b]Dark Empire isn't strong on vignettes, but it does an incredible job tying the Dark Empire comics into the EU, and in the process covers a lot of virgin ground untouched by other EU sources.[hr][/blockquote][/b]
    What it perhaps lacks in separate, [i]Bakura[/i]-esque narrative setpieces, it MORE than makes up in spades with its sheer continuity and EU detail, bridging the comic book with the Zahn series and the rest of the post-[i]Jedi[/i] universe in stellar fashion.

    And whose style, finesse, and pure [i]execution[/i] -- in my opinion, having played and GM'ed [i]Star Wars[/i] since 1987 -- has yet to be surpassed in [i]any[/i] RPG supplement since...Michael Allen Horne deserves sainthood simply for this one book alone.>
     
  7. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    I know that at least in WEG's sourcebooks (I know that Gamer did the same thing and I have no doubt the WotC had to have done so as well in it's sourcebooks) they didn't merely say "ok, here are the stats, now go play." They always accompanied them with a good deal of EU material. Descriptions of characters, vehicles, droids, planets, creatures, and tech of course include EU material. But there are also letters, news reports, short-short stories, histories, etc. Some of the stuff in some of the Essential Guides I've never seen in any of the novels or in the comics, but I have found them in sourcebooks and other other RPG material. I've recently been introduced to the lightfoil thanks to getting ahold of the Lords of the Expanse books in PDF. Their basically a knockoff of a Jedi's weapon of choice used by nobels in the Tapani sector who refer to themselves as saber rakes. Lightfoils are not as powerful as real lightsabers thanks to the fact that don't use the same design for the focusing crystals as their placed in a lightsaber. And as their also not made with the same attention and devotion that a Jedi has when making their own, lightfoils may fail at the worst possible moment. Lord Alec Lamere is a noted saber rake.
     
  8. Gladiuus

    Gladiuus Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Is the Tales of the Jedi Companion the same thing as the Tales of the Jedi Sourcebook? I recently acquired the former, and I wonder if its the same thing. It has a couple of stories and stuff in it, plus a bunch of RPG stuff that I don't care about. I haven't had time to flip through it though.

    And there are stories missing from the Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook? That sucks-- I got that tonight too and haven't had a chance to read it, but it's a shame that that Thrawn-Pellaeon story isn't in it.
     
  9. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Gladiuus:

    Is the Tales of the Jedi Companion the same thing as the Tales of the Jedi Sourcebook? I recently acquired the former, and I wonder if its the same thing. It has a couple of stories and stuff in it, plus a bunch of RPG stuff that I don't care about. I haven't had time to flip through it though.

    Yes, they're the same thing. For some reason, WEG called the sourcebook for TotJ a "Companion." Other than the title, it's indistinguishable from a sourcebook, so it tends to get called that.

    I'd read through the RPG stuff when you get the chance, though. The stat blocks are useless to a non-RPG player, but most of the rest is just like any other SW reference work.

    And there are stories missing from the Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook? That sucks-- I got that tonight too and haven't had a chance to read it, but it's a shame that that Thrawn-Pellaeon story isn't in it.

    It is a shame, but it probably would have been impossible to put all three books into one volume in a cost effective manner without cutting a few things.
     
  10. Jon_Bidinger

    Jon_Bidinger Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Does anyone have a list of the books published by WEG? Also, would it be smart to get the books published by WotC? Also, what is the whole deal with RPG?
     
  11. LastOneStanding

    LastOneStanding Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2004
    One of the best supplements ever put out by WEG was The Black Sands of Socorro. Fabulous vignettes, and in many places, some of the greatest artwork from any of the WEG Star Wars products. If you ever get the chance to find it, pick it up...you won't be disappointed.

    Creatures of the Galaxy was another WEG supplement with a lot of neat vignettes...some quite humorous. I'm particularly fond of the story of the rancher trying to convince a claims adjuster that his livestock was carried off by flying aliens.
     
  12. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    I've been looking at the story in WEG's Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim where Corwin Shelvay meets with his Jedi Master's sister for the first time. Intresting story, I must say. There's also one called Calibration Check that's pretty good too.
     
  13. TalonCard

    TalonCard •Author: Slave Pits of Lorrd •TFN EU Staff star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 31, 2001
    I don't think anyone's mentioned the Jedi Academy Sourcebook, which has more good pictures and fiction (there's a nice Ackbar/Wedge story that captures their relationship in the X-Wing books perfectly, although it was later contradicted by them.)

    TC
     
  14. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    A good many have been unmentioned, TC. Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids has a good one called Rybettian Shac in which a guys droid helps him get a load of glitterstim by an Imperial customs agent without them check the ship's hold.

    The only one I've read so far in the Jedi Academy Sourcebook is the one about Luke is thinking about his responsibilities in restoring the Jedi. Though I'm not sure if that's an excert from Jedi Search or not. It's called Reflections and it's on pages 30 and 31, the first two pages in the third chapter.

    Galaxy Guide 2: Yavin and Bespin has a story on Cloud City's founder, as well as a report about the possibility of colonizing Yavin IV that occurs after the Battle of Yavin, and even one on Lobot.

    The Death Star Technical Companion has Tarkin's letter to Palpatine that became better known as the Tarkin Docterine along with entries from Tarkin's personal journal. Entry #621 talks of how Rebel assasin's were thrawted in their attempts on his life, but made off with his Mon Cal servant, Ackbar. His quote about losing a Mon Cal is like losing a trusted pet just seems to really fit his character. There's also a story that seems to be after Endor in which Wedge is teaching young starfighter recruits about the Battle of Yavin and reveals that only one TIE squadron was supposedly launched, and it was Vader's personal TIE squadron.

    The Tales of the Jedi Companion, among others in the book, tells the story of Warb Null's creation.
     
  15. TOD-UK

    TOD-UK Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Looks like I've got my work (and my cash out-goings) cut out for me then.

    Would anyone be willing to help me work out exactly which ones have EU fic. So far:
    Jedi Academy SB
    Galaxy Guide 2
    Galaxy Guide 9
    Death Star Companion
    TOTJ SB
    Dark Empire SB
    Truce At Bakura SB
     
  16. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    Just read the short one on Queen Amanoa in the Tales of the Jedi Companion was exteremely intresting to read. What she was doing just before Ulic, Cay, and Tott meet her for the first time was a little shocking. Not surprising she'd do something like that personally, just shocking that she'd risk doing so just when she was about to meet some Jedi.
     
  17. TalonCard

    TalonCard •Author: Slave Pits of Lorrd •TFN EU Staff star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 31, 2001
    I'm going to have to find the TOTJ companion now. I want to see the Secret Origins of Warb Null! ;) I always wondered where he came from...

    TC
     
  18. LastOneStanding

    LastOneStanding Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2004
    I'm going to have to find the TOTJ companion now. I want to see the Secret Origins of Warb Null! I always wondered where he came from...

    While I love the TotJ Companion, the creation of Warb Null isn't that great. The story about how Freedon Nadd became the evil being he eventually was is much better.
     
  19. Jon_Bidinger

    Jon_Bidinger Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 18, 2003
    So the best ones to get would be:
    TOTJ Companion
    Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command SB
    Dark Empire SB
    Han Solo and the Corporate Sector SB
    Truce At Bakura SB
    Jedi Academy SB
    Imperial SB
    Rebel SB
     
  20. Leto II

    Leto II Jedi Padawan star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Woops...yeah, forgot all about the Jedi Academy Sourcebook.

    The "Tarkin Doctrine" material in the DSTC makes it worth the purchase price alone.
     
  21. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2005
    The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook should probably be added to that list; I'd say it has some of the most overlooked-yet-important short fiction out of the sourcebooks. (I'm only speaking about the pre-Special Edition version - can someone with the Special Edition version comment on its content?)

    Also, we shouldn't forget the Star Wars Sourcebook. The short fic in it tends to be even shorter than you'd find elsewhere, but some of it wound up being a jumping-off point for several major plot points (the Khuiumin Survivors from I, Jedi survived an attack first described in this book, Bib Fortuna's conflict with Bidlow Kwerve first appeared here, and the entire Endor chapter of the Illustrated Star Wars Universe is written from the standpoint of a follow-up team to the first report seen here).

    Also, the Adventure Journals trump them all in terms of fiction content. Where the sourcebooks have brief vignettes, you get all-out short stories in the AJs, written both by well known SW authors and fresh names seen no where else.

    But really, other than the core rulebook, I think just about EVERY WEG book has at least SOME short fic of some sort in it; granted, some have more than others, but I think you're best served by picking a topic you'd want to know more about and getting WEG materials about it, rather than trying to determine which works have optimum short fiction content.
     
  22. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    Well, there are in-universe advertisments, a wanted poster for Luke, Han, and Chewie,, and NR propaganda in the second edition, revised and expanded corebook. Most of chapter 13, though not short stories, is EU material. In Chapter 9, Ana Tathis tells the two part short, short story of how they Jedi known simply as "Lady Caryn" picked her as her student and trained her to be a Jedi.
     
  23. KansasNavy

    KansasNavy Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Coruscant and the Core Worlds and Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds are good ones from WOTC. They have a lot of EU in them.
     
  24. TOD-UK

    TOD-UK Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Just had the "Dark Empire" Sourcebook delivered, and as one poster called it above....stunning.

    I've only had a quick browse and read the vignette, but here are my thoughts:

    The Admiral Ackbar background is fantastic! As a mini-story written from the characters POV it makes for an interesting departure from most RPG Stat backgrounds. In fact, it's the first one of it's kind I've seen. Does that make this 'tale' canon, and worthy of a timeline entry?

    Boba Fett! I was worried about this. Despite Fetts escape from the Sarlacc being referred to, but not explained, in DE, I always got the feeling that it would manage to contradict TFMEC. After reading Dengar's tale, even tho there's nothing that downright contradicts existing EU, something about it just dosen't feel right.

    Palpatine The Undying & Episode III! As he is referred in one section discussing the "Tarkin Doctrine". As we all know, Palpatine's return is accomplished through cloning. Maybe the "powers" that he teases Anakin with in Episode III are just a lie, and he simply meant a combination of cloning and dark side 'spirit-transfer'.

    Finally, I'm sure someone mentioned the Tarkin Doctrine in connection with this book, however I could only find a quote from in in one of the vignettes. Is there a sourcebook that has actually brought this legendary document into reality?
     
  25. TOD-UK

    TOD-UK Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Bump....simply cos this thread was pushed off the main page within 2 hours!!!
     
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