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GreyMatter

Reading recommendations for a noir-themed EotE campaign

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Hi guys,

 

Thanks so much for your earlier answers on my questions about EotE. They were very helpful.

 

I played a quick beginner's box session of EotE on the weekend and had a blast. I think I've found a great system here for my group. I have some questions for you about background materials that might be of benefit to me and my players.

 

My group is a bunch of very smart people who like solving problems by thinking. Getting into the occasional fight is a plus, but the thrust of their preferred style is definitely negotiation, talking, investigation, and exploration. Because of these things, I'm strongly considering building a "noir"-themed campaign: heavy on mystery, underground crime syndicates, unsolved murders, cyberpunky atmosphere, etc. Think of a cross between Ghost in the Shell and Chinatown and Blade Runner. That means lots of work in urban environments on urban worlds, or at the very least highly populated orbital stations/asteroid habitats.

 

I'm looking for Star Wars reading suggestions for myself and my players to help them acclimatize to this type of environment. I've only read the novelizations of the films, the Thrawn trilogy, Rogue Squadron books, and the Republic Commando series. I'm looking for any books (novels) or other reading materials that are largely set in the types of environments I described above.

 

I'm aware of the Under a Black Sun adventure and will definitely be using it to supplement my design of the world I'm building.

 

Thanks in advance, guys.

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Any thoughts on reading clasic noir books, or just sticking to Star Wars?

I've read quite a few classic ones, actually -- everything from Elmore Leonard to K. W. Jeter to James Cain. I guess I'm looking for more setting-appropriate stuff in the Star Wars universe.

 

And I should add it doesn't need to be "noir" per se -- just material that will help me set the stage for that. So even some of the Bounty Hunter novels would be helpful in that regard.

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Any thoughts on reading clasic noir books, or just sticking to Star Wars?

I've read quite a few classic ones, actually -- everything from Elmore Leonard to K. W. Jeter to James Cain. I guess I'm looking for more setting-appropriate stuff in the Star Wars universe.

 

And I should add it doesn't need to be "noir" per se -- just material that will help me set the stage for that. So even some of the Bounty Hunter novels would be helpful in that regard.

 

 

I've been reading Leonard's westerns, haven't gotten around to his urban mysteries yet. I've yet to read Jeter or Cain.

 

My suggestions were going to be Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler. I'm currently reading through Hammett's Red Harvest again. It's the basis for Yojimbo, Fistful of Dollars, and Last Man Standing. The book actually has a mystery (The Contentinal Op is trying to solve a murder) where the movies only have the gang warfare part. I'm also a fan of Mickey Spillane, but he's more hard boiled than noir. (I once talked someone on here into using an enforcer to get the tough guy feel for a PI)

 

You have a great selection for movies. Speaking of Chinatown, I've Two Jakes sitting beside my TV for about 6 months now but I haven't watched it yet for fear it'll ruin Chinatown for me. Other Noir (-ish) movies I'd recommend would be Brick, LA Confidential, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Big Lebowski. There really needs to be more Neo Noir options out there.

 

Good luck on finding the right inspirations. Sometimes I find that going outside the genre makes it easier to twist it into what you need when you retell it and make it yours.

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I'm currently reading through Hammett's Red Harvest again.

 

 

Actually, Red Harvest is a damned good suggestion. Gonna start that tonight.

 

 

Speaking of Chinatown, I've Two Jakes sitting beside my TV for about 6 months now but I haven't watched it yet for fear it'll ruin Chinatown for me.

 

 

As a sort-of-answer to that, here's a one-line summary of the proposed follow-up to Two Jakes: "The third movie, called Gittes vs. Gittes, was to be set in 1968 and deal with Gittes' divorce."

 

Yeaahhhhh....no.

 

BRICK. So effin' good. And how pumped should we be that Johnson is involved in the upcoming SW sequels? Looper was incredible too.

 

I really should watch LA Confidential again. Great movie.

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Wasn't there a Legends trilogy  Coruscant Nights or something? I didn't read it myself but I did read the blurb and it sounded noir-ish? Lets see if I can find it… There is a trilogy of novels Starting with Jedi Twilight that are set just after Order 66 and all set on Coruscant

 

From Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/758715.Jedi_Twilight):

 

With the dark ascension of the Empire, and the Jedi Knights virtually wiped out, one Jedi who escaped the massacre is slated for a date with destiny–and a confrontation with Darth Vader.

Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who miraculously survived the slaughter that followed Palpatine’s ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant’s Blackpit Slums, Jax ekes out a living as a private investigator, trying to help people in need while concealing his Jedi identity and staying one step ahead of the killers out for Jedi blood. And they’re not the only ones in search of the elusive Jax. Hard-boiled reporter Den Dhur and his buddy, the highly unorthodox droid I-5YQ, have shocking news to bring Jax–about the father he never knew. 
But when Jax learns that his old Jedi Master has been killed, leaving behind the request that Jax finish a mission critical to the resistance, Jax has no choice but to emerge from hiding–and risk detection by Darth Vader–to fulfill his Master’s dying wish.

 

 

Hope that Helps

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It's not Star Wars, but the first novel in the Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, might serve you well. One of the main characters is a detective, working on an asteroid, investigating a missing-persons case amidst race tensions and interplanetary war. It's also a very fun read.

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I've been considering Richard Stark's (a pseudonym for Donald Westlake, which sounds like a pseudonym but what the heck) Parker novels for inspiration. One of them (The Hunter) was made into 2 movies over the years: Point Blank in the 60s and Payback starring Mel Gibson in '99. "Stark" wrote about two dozen pulp-noir style novels over the years about thieves, heavies, the mob, and their heists and capers. There ought to be some useful material there somewhere.

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It's not written as noir, but my One Shot First module has a lot of what you're looking for. It's more Indiana Jones than Blade Runner (to maintain the Ford theme), but it hits mystery and adventure in a pretty substantial way. You may want to read through it and see what you like there:

 

http://thompsonpeters.com/eote/modules/

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It's not Star Wars, but the first novel in the Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, might serve you well. One of the main characters is a detective, working on an asteroid, investigating a missing-persons case amidst race tensions and interplanetary war. It's also a very fun read.

 

That is so weird: the book is literally on my desk right now and I'm about 3/4 of the way through it. It's totally fun!

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Wasn't there a Legends trilogy  Coruscant Nights or something? I didn't read it myself but I did read the blurb and it sounded noir-ish? Lets see if I can find it… There is a trilogy of novels Starting with Jedi Twilight that are set just after Order 66 and all set on Coruscant

 

Actually this is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you!

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I've been considering Richard Stark's (a pseudonym for Donald Westlake, which sounds like a pseudonym but what the heck) Parker novels for inspiration. One of them (The Hunter) was made into 2 movies over the years: Point Blank in the 60s and Payback starring Mel Gibson in '99. "Stark" wrote about two dozen pulp-noir style novels over the years about thieves, heavies, the mob, and their heists and capers. There ought to be some useful material there somewhere.

That sounds like some great material for underworld figures. Thanks!

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It's not written as noir, but my One Shot First module has a lot of what you're looking for. It's more Indiana Jones than Blade Runner (to maintain the Ford theme), but it hits mystery and adventure in a pretty substantial way. You may want to read through it and see what you like there:

 

http://thompsonpeters.com/eote/modules/

 

This page and that module look like great resources. Thank you.

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