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Cardinal ignato

All Hutts Men (Advice on a Campaign/Setting)

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I was trying to decide on a nice hook for an opening scene for an Edge of the Empire. And I am sure it has been done before but if so maybe some GM's can see some problems or advantages I do not. The premise is quite simple, the players in the game all are on Tatooine during the opening scene of Return of the Jedi, but they are in Jabba's palace during the shoot-out pit adventure.

 

They either worked for or around Jabba and know each other through what ever connection they deem fit. I try to play it out in my head, what exactly would happen on the planet. My first guess is that it would be such a power vacuum the Empire would have to step in, but this would take awhile. I don't mean to sound crass or insensitive to real life geo-political problems around the world.

 

Although I would envision a heavy handed Imperial shut down of the planet, a current Middle East situation, (please this is not a Clerks joke). I would see the worst of the villains exit the planet, and the remaining ironically poor and dispossessed. It would in most likely create a planet wide riot or at least on a power level dramatic shift all of which was mostly under the table dealings.  Or am I wrong, do the Hutts just shift a new member in with a smooth transition?

 

That aside I can see some of the lesser moral PC's becoming slowly turned toward the idea of the rebellion as they stay on the planet, this is my catch. What obligation do you see that would keep a group of smugglers, low-lives and thieves from honestly hanging around the vicinity of the palace. Anyhoot this all came about after someone posted asking:

 

"What the going price for a Wookie's hide was?" and it got me thinking after reading post after post of RL situations that I honestly rather not think about but are in some way or form reflect themselves in the ongoing Saga in a galaxy far far away....

 

Thank you  for any and all input.

Edited by Cardinal ignato

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Whoever the next biggest criminal is on the planet, is likely to try to step up into Jabba’s … place.

If there are multiple criminals at that level, then there would probably be a turf war. Maybe even another member Hutt of the same clan comes in to try to fill the void.

IMO, the Empire has enough problems on its hands with both Vader and the Emperor gone, and they would not be likely to be bothered with a Outer Rim world that was of little value.

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I would agree it is a small Outer Rim world of little value, but it is a symbol of rebellion. If a turf war raged on as something more, something fueled by the rebels themselves as the attack on Jabba would be obvious to all in the Empire, as a direct result of the rebel forces in one way or another. And Bobba Fett and Jabba's crew are no light arm of resistance in the Outer-Rim, he was big time, a common spacer gang isn't going to fill the shoes of a Hutt that can secure a indebted smuggler away from Lord Vadar without question into carbonite, he is a true made man or Hutt.

 

It would be no problem "seemingly" for the Empire to send in a battalion of troops or what ever it took to restore relative order to a space port of Mos Eisley. Jabba's death may not have the obvious military importance, or even infrastructure loss. But vital information, debts, loans, gambling books all fly up in the air. And that is a lot of credits, what more is that is a huge chance for an ambitious scoundrels to try and make their mark while those indebted and in servitude finally have reason to rise up or at least combine to overthrow the anarchistic government of Tatooine.

 

Although Brad you make a solid point. What though happens in say the 24 hours after the death of Jabba at his palace, his second or valet was killed as well. Not much fire power left in control of his palace, and who is to say they are on or ever where on Jabba's side? Juices flowing now. I think it is a solid hook, at least. Maybe the group's first adventure is just to secure passage from the palace to the spaceport while first achieving minor goals inside the palace. I have wiki-ed the death out of the palace, but what exactly is in there? Beside a Rancor corpse an inconsolable beast-master and a few axe wielding Gamorians?

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Whoever the next biggest criminal is on the planet, is likely to try to step up into Jabba’s … place.If there are multiple criminals at that level, then there would probably be a turf war. Maybe even another member Hutt of the same clan comes in to try to fill the void.IMO, the Empire has enough problems on its hands with both Vader and the Emperor gone, and they would not be likely to be bothered with a Outer Rim world that was of little value.

This for me as well... I'd imagine there will be somebody in Jabba’s organisation who feels that they have the strength & backing to take over! Whether they survive is another matter as there are more than likely others both internally & externally (maybe Black Sun or one of the other major crime syndicates) who are thinking the same.

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I don't know if the old EU canon is of interest to you, but according to that (mostly told through the Tales from Jabba's Palace short story compilation), immediately after Jabba, and most of his lieutenants, died, the palace went crazy. Looting, slaves fleeing, and the B'omarr Monks who built the palace took it back, lobotomizing many unfortunates and sticking their brains in jars (as is their way...weird religion, check it out). Pure dangerous chaos.

 

In the days that followed, other Hutts from his family showed up to attempt to take control of his empire, but as easily happens when a crime boss dies, it rapidly fractured, and various other gangs and bosses each snatched pieces of it. Other Hutt clans muscled in, Black Sun took a big chunk, local mobsters like the Lady Valarian...out in the open, it didn't necessarily appear that much had changed, but behind the scenes, the balance of power fractured, and it was some time before the void Jabba left was fully filled (Black Sun fractured not long after, and the top dog ended up being Talon Karrde's organization).

 

So not much need for the Empire to step in; I second the notion that the Empire wouldn't really care, since even under Jabba Tatooine was always pretty close to open warfare, and the Empire mostly turned a blind eye. But if it's what works for your story, it's justifiable enough.

 

I think the main point is that large criminal empires tend to be lots of small criminal gangs loosely tied together, out of loyalty or fear to whoever's in charge. Once that person dies, many of the individual groups tend to break away and strike out on their own, or shift loyalty, and so directly replacing the leader isn't easy, unless the organization already has a lot of structure built into it. And Jabba's cartel is a pretty loose organization.

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The Rebellion era sourcebook for the old WotC d20 system has a few adventure hooks for this scenario. My favorite from that are the "Mos Eisley Mourners". Basically like any good paranoid megalomaniac Jabba had many contingency plans for his death or capture. If a week goes by without him entering the proper codes then ancient war droids spring to life and go on a bloody spree of assassination and vengeance against whoever their last programmed targets were. 

 

In the scenario there were four and they were programmed to go after Lady Valarian as she was his chief rival on the planet, Bib Fortuna (again, a good paranoid megalomaniac always assumes his number two is up to no good), the Imperial prefect for the planet, the captain of the local law officers, and a rebel cell leader. The best part is as they were going about their business they were programmed to say "We mourn for the exalted Jabba. We cry for the magnificent Jabba. We grieve for the illustrious Jabba." Jabba had style.

 

There could be as many or as few as you like, programmed to go after whoever. Stopping them or just dealing with the fallout they create would be a challenge. I imagine the Imperials WOULD take noice if their ranking official on the planet were killed. 

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Thank you everyone for more than I could have hoped for. I am guess I am being paranoid, but if I had yet another Death Star in construction and there was even a whiff of yet another plan hatching I would place that planet basically on the next to test the power of the system upon. My point on the heavy hand would not be from Darth Vadar himself, as he is not a Navy man. I imagine he is not well liked much within the ranks, and any secondary officers in charge of Tatooine, would most likely upon hearing the news send a message up the chain of the command, making darn well sure that all this was done under their watch but was out of their jurisdiction and thus some other higher ranking officers' new problem and up and up the chain. Liken it to not to the death of an American Mobster, because "hopefully" the F.B.I. is doing its best the keep tabs on the situation and have informants and make sure nothing is getting to out of control or bloody, and even when it does get bloody they usually have a pretty good guess on who and why.

 

But a international crime syndicate or cartel whose boss man and all his best men are quite nicely wrapped up in a little bow and dropped into a fiendish pit, and most doubtful it was a pleasure cruise gone awry are going to get that sinking feeling that things are not going as scripted. These are problems for the C.I.A., the real problems that the C.I.A., which would have to report this to Judicial and Legislative bodies it rather not because it makes them look blind and incompetent. It is not the killing of Jabba that throws things into chaos, but the killing of Jabba by unknown forces that is chaos. And chaos is bad unless certain agencies or governments understand this is just normal chaos that can be reasonably explained or guessed at.

 

Although If there is no Imperial intel to report on why a major cartel boss and his men are massacred and even worse why such an untouchable is touched up on a "useless planet" it brings up more and more red flags. Thus the message going up the ranks is not ensuring anyone their job or likely career rise but worse much worse a fine force choking as a bonus would be lucky. I am taking the view of the Imperial Navy and normal human forces not the big boy force users that can "sense" who is doing what to whom. This would all "look" very very bad even in the Outer-Rim. That is why I believe the Navy would have to do more than send in recon, they have recon this is damage control with serious investigation. And even if they knew the why or whom? The how is another issue.

 

Because the how is very very bad. This was not a hit, one boss man was not killed a lot of important people got killed. There was a lot of collateral damage, this would make not just the Navy and Empire flinch, the Hutt and every other crime syndicate would flinch. Why Jabba? Even if it gets around this is a rebel act, well why in damnation is the rebel forces focused on killing off the finest gangster in the Outer-Rim? This kind of perfect hit on an imperfect target makes people nervous and ask themselves why not me next and was it the rebels or what if it was another Hutt or the Black Sun or what if the Navy was tired of Jabba. No good answer would come after such a neat scrub job, many fingers would be pointing at many pies all full of nasty little holes.

 

Even though it was by no means a hit, it was a rescue job. One that was so brass and brazen, I am sure the little group really felt no need to share even with other rebels the idea of what they just did, because these are rebels and might have had ties to the planet as well. It would not be something to brag about, bringing up even more real fear for people like Luke and his merry band of Hutt slaying smugglers and Wookies. It would be hard to convince a boss of the Black Sun that this had nothing to do with payback or something looming larger. It may have just been a very cool opening hook to a very cool movie but the fallout would be quite a mess.

 

But at least I don't think the players will get bored and that is all that matters, especially if there is the slightest chance their brains may end up in a monastic mason jar....

Edited by Cardinal ignato

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Honestly, I think one of the reasons comparisons to real life situations fail on Star Wars scale is because of the scope of the Galaxy. The biggest crime cartels on Earth control portions of countries, and government agencies have, at most, one planet's worth of intel to gather. Jabba had enough influence to influence significant parts of entire planets, and many of them, spread across the galaxy. And the Outer Rim is filled with criminals who hide from the Empire and fight with each other. The ISB and Imperial Intelligence may keep tabs on the biggest crime cartels, but the Empire also makes a habit of hiring them directly for jobs, so it generally takes a more hands off approach: technically, Hutt space is under Imperial jurisdiction, but becoming Moff of that sector is one of the cushiest jobs you can get, because you basically just accept bribes to look the other way and do nothing.

 

A cartel as big as Jabba's might not get knocked over so frequently, but crime bosses in the Outer Rim are constantly being killed and replaced; don't forget how visible bounty hunters and assassins are in Star Wars. Even the capital planet has a thriving underworld trade. I imagine the Imperial commanders on Tatooine would be interested in laying down the law to keep order and protect their authority, but I can't imagine the powers closer to Coruscant worrying about a criminal backwater over actual rebel cells. Either they have no intel that implies the rebels in Jabba's death, or they will have heard that it was a rescue mission for captain Solo, which ought to make it clear that destabilizing a crime boss was collateral damage.

 

As I said above, though, whatever works to tell your story and keep your campaign interesting is justifiable.

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Thanks GAThraawn and the rest, but especially Thrawn the scope is the rub and I am glad the community exists so my players do not catch me before I call for a debate on the opening scene.

 

Like you said the scale of a Galaxy throws earth scope intelligence keeping on a whole new level or rather pushes it back toward Romanesque military operation like theatres. Where collateral damage is written off as at least ten percent of all operations, most likely. And spies well they are spies and lie and you expect them to lie or at least pretend they know, which is oft how intelligence agencies must act today because of the size and scope intel has blown up to by creating so much white and black static to sift through.

 

Trying to keep reign of a Galaxy even with speculative fiction equipment like Star Wars has means very little because the sheer amount of data is almost ridiculous to try and collect yet alone analyze. So I think at best it makes for a good start, but I seriously doubt that Jabba's death now would bring about anything than more chaos. If anything the Imperial's may just have to pull out, because the power brokering in the slave trade, spice dealing and worse is going to get very ugly. A good note to any smugglers or gamblers owing money to Jabba after his death, you are not going to sigh a big huge sigh of relief. Because the next owner of your debt is going to pick up your tab, and have the leverage to not care for your life and be able to ask why you were lucky enough to survive such a nasty mess, so now you due to unforeseen fees and interest you now owe double your obligation. There would be a mass exodus and influx of all manner of greedy dangerous gangs and Hutts. No, I seriously doubt a Age of Rebellion would rise out of the ashes of one dead slum lord squatting in abnormal brain case monastic spider machine sand blasted metal palace....

 

That did get lost in the mix, I was looking for some juicy obligation hooks that could come up with Jabba's death and around his retinue and palace. Thanks for all the references one and all. Again the forums come to the rescue!

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