So, I thought I'd share a design document I created that I'd hand out to new players in my games, so that they knew what the setting was about and how they should approach the game. I didn't want to limit the options of players or play down the high adventure nature of the game, but this would give them an idea of the kind of games I wanted to run and what to expect from the campaign as a whole. This was for the WEG Star Wars D6 system - 1st Edition - and served me well for a long time. Sadly, the long lists linked to in the text doesn't exist anymore, but the data is being transferred to www.fanthatracks.com and will be made available at some point in the future.
The artwork is by Jason Brown, a long-time gamer and close friend who, quite frankly, should be illustrating for a living. Hopefully all this will give you some ideas for your own game, so enjoy - and have a Happy New Year!
ROLE-PLAYING IN THE SETNIN SECTOR
A basic GM and Player’s guide to the core locations
Welcome to the Setnin Sector
Over the millennia the Setnin Sector has gone through many changes and upheavals. Although it has retained its title of Sector, by the time of Star Wars Episodes IV-VI it is more of a region of space, located in the Mid-Rim along several important trade routes. It has one of the largest clusters of inhabitable planets anywhere in the Known Galaxy, with trade and business passing through it’s varied industries and trade centres.
But there is a part of the Setnin Sector, the most important part, which remains hidden from the public and the law.
The Setnin Underworld is the true heart of the Setnin Sector. The original gang bosses were in operation within the sector before governments rose and their presence has always been an integral part of its growth. In a strange way, the sector has always been aware of its roots and has always partially accepted it, giving rise to an ignorance of the goings-on in the underworld by both citizens and politicians. This is abhorrent to outsiders of the Setnin Sector, of course, leading to the denizens of the Setnin Sector wishing to be left alone and allowed to get on with things their own way.
THE SETNIN SECTOR’S HISTORY
The timeline is a crucial part of the Setnin Sector and is included in the ‘Guides’ section of the www.lightsabre.co.uk website. It lists time dates and incidents as revolving around Episode IV – A New Hope, goes as far forward as thirty years plus that and stretches back in detail as far as Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Any details further back than Episode I haven’t been fully filled out, and anything between Episode I and Episode IV has been separated from the official Star Wars timeline so that contradictions are kept to a minimum, so it is recommended any gaming takes place between Episode IV and after Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi. This is when the underworld was at its height.
The Setnin timeline was designed to run concurrent with the official Star Wars Timeline so that the two would not contradict each other. The authors of the site have taken great steps to make sure that Setnin history and Star Wars official history do not clash. That said, the details of the Setnin Sector are as flexible as the official Star Wars galaxy. The material can either be taken as it is presented with the GM and players of the game not contradicting the content of the site, or changed to suit the GM’s own game. All we ask is that any changes or additions made to the Setnin Sector are for personal use only – please don’t use any material for the content of your own website unless you’ve tried to keep the stories in line with the presented Setnin timeline and cleared it with us first.
To get an idea how things are run in the Setnin Sector it may be a good idea to read some of the stories interspersed within the timeline and chronology in the Fiction section of the website. These stories give an insight to the kinds of people who inhabit the sector and what they get up to.
PLAYER’S AND GAMESMASTERS INFORMATION
When running or playing in a game set within the Setnin Sector the GM will have to deal with different types of players. They will either be underworld types who are trying to make a living or lawful types trying to right some wrongs. Either one is accepted and/or mistrusted within the Setnin Sector.
Playing Underworld Characters
If the players have characters who are less-than-honest and want them to make it rich in the Setnin Sector then there’ll be both pros and cons. Bonuses in the fact that it’s easy to make a living as a crook in the sector, problems in as such that the crooks that work the Setnin sector don’t like outsiders. Or each other.
The pros are:
Work is widely available. The myriads of ganglords that have operations within the borders of the sector at any one time give plenty of opportunities for business.
Pay is good. Considering that almost 30% of transactions within the Setnin Sector are illegal the black market rates may be low but the supply and demand is high. In some cases whole planets have been subsidised by underworld income.
Contacts are excellent. The sheer amount of underworld and ‘official’ types within the sector, and the selection of skills they are accomplished at, makes working in the sector easier.
Equipment is made and distributed by 90% percent of Setnin Sector businesses, be it starships, weapons, spice, or whatever. Although prices may be high, the quality of the items is excellent – depending on whom it is you’re buying it off. This includes weapons, personal items and parts for vehicles.
It’s easy to disappear. As many planets are ‘sympathetic’ to the underworld then having contacts in the right places to help you stay out of sight is a bonus. Not only that, but there are many natural phenomena to hide in or behind.
The cons are:
Gang bosses and their employees are suspicious of newcomers. Unless the PC has a hefty reputation already, either within or without the Setnin Sector, then they’ll either be shunned or they’ll be given low-paid menial jobs. Working through the ranks to get to a position of importance sometimes takes years.
You’ll be ripped off left, right and centre. Trust is cheap in the Setnin Sector and only those with experience will actually have friends of one sort or another. Double-crossing and backstabbing is the norm and not only do the citizens accept it, they expect it.
You will have to work within a set of rules defined by tradition – you don’t involve innocents or the law, and any internal problems are kept internal. Any public displays of violence or dishonesty brings unwanted attention and the gang bosses don’t like that. Making sure that your entire deal is kept totally under wraps can be a chore.
When working for one gang boss you make sure you don’t cross another gang boss. Relations are strained between the shifting business territories of each of the gang lords and the last thing you want to be is responsible for a gang war.
Working as a criminal in a sector of space where crime is a fact of life does not necessarily make it easier for the PC. Remember, there are hundreds of other lowly types vying for the same jobs and prestige. Undercutting, sabotage and double-dealing are the norm in the Setnin Sector.
GETTING EMPLOYED BY THE UNDERWORLD
Actually being hired, trusted and paid by any of the Setnin Sector’s many ganglords can be difficult. Paid jobs for newcomers are usually low-credit, easy affairs. Cargo the ganglord isn’t too fussed about, or jobs that do contain a high degree of danger (which means they don’t want to risk their best men) are available for all sorts of outside contractors. Of course, sticking with the easy jobs won’t get you very far in the eyes of the ganglord – after all, if you just show an aptitude for flying ships along easy routes or blasting easy targets then there’s no chance of impressing them. Going out of your way to do the job right, or even getting a little extra out of it for your employer’s benefit, is always a good idea. Of course, there is a fine line between impressing a boss and crawling to a boss. Boasting of exploits won’t be tolerated – respect is earned by actions, not words.
Also, be careful of what it is you bring to the job. A lot of bosses will respect certain employees for doing things their own way and may even encourage it but going against a boss wishes to get a job done isn’t a very good idea. If a boss says ‘get the cargo from the bay but don’t hurt the security personnel’ then that’s what you do. Gunning down security because it makes your job a little easier is not an option. There’s a good reason why a ganglord tells you not to do things.
Ganglords are admirers of an employee’s skill but get worried when they rely too much on their equipment. Zapping about with modified weapons or starships may be an advantage, but if that equipment breaks down or is damaged then the chances of job failure are increased. Personal skill and reliability are what a ganglord looks for – showing off the ‘latest in blaster sighting technology’ sounds good, but won’t impress a gangleader if you lose your weapon and turn out to be a bad shot.
Don’t make demands. Haggling for a price increase is a good idea and shows independent thought, but trying to charge outrageous prices or assuming your ‘skill is worth more than what you’re being offered’ isn’t a very good idea. Ganglords reward for jobs well done, stick to contracts for jobs that are simply completed. Haggling for more money after the job is done isn’t a good idea, either. After all, if it was more difficult than you imagined then that’s tough – you’re not in this job to breeze through every mission. Risk is part of the game and whinging about things when they go wrong is just that – whinging. Ganglords will pay top credit or give out extra special bonuses if the job’s difficult or done well – just don’t expect them to.
GETTING EMPLOYED BY LEGAL BUSINESSES OR THE LAW
Of course, it’s easier to be employed by business plying their trade legally throughout the Setnin Sector. In fact, it’s probably easier to get jobs this way than anywhere else in the galaxy as employers have absolutely no cares whatsoever about what has come before in their hire’s past. They know from experience that the chances are that the beings they put on the payroll or on contract have done some kind of illegal run or job in their history and that’s to be expected. Some of the high profile businesses do insist on background checks, these companies usually being corporations run through Setnin’s inter-sector channels, which are subject to outside scrutiny. Most internal business, however, couldn’t give a care as to what you’ve been up to in your past. Some of them actively encourage ex-smugglers, pirates, bounty hunters and gunmen to work for them – after all, if they come across an underworld plot then they’ll know how to react to the situation.
Many businesses within the sector are aware of the underworld; many even deal with them to keep themselves out of harms way. Some are simply cover businesses for actual underworld activity but it’s up to the player how they react to that. If they decide to try and stop them then they’re commended for their bravery. Ganglords expect some do-gooders to get in their way and they accept the risks – the ones who continually get in the way are regarded as threats. The ones who unveil plots, illegal business dealings or names of the gangleaders themselves are regarded as targets, and not just by the leader they have uncovered – other leaders will consider themselves under threat and react accordingly. If bribes don’t work, then ‘accidents’ or blaster bolts will.
That also applies to working for the law of the Setnin Sector. Policing officers are there to protect the innocent and uphold justice – but their life is made so much easier when those they’re supposedly trying to catch dispense justice for them. They make the odd arrest of a smuggler, usually small timers who are used to operating outside Setnin’s borders, and sometimes even a large profile bad guy, depending on whether a ganglord deems it necessary. There have been plenty of instances where targets of law and order have slipped quietly away. A whisper in the right ear, a credit or two in the right account, and both the ganglords and the law are satisfied.
If you want to try and enforce the law then will you be out under pressure by the ganglords but you’ll also be put under pressure by colleagues in the same job – everyone wants an easy life and won’t tolerate someone rocking the skiff. Only in extreme circumstances will action be taken against an officer of the law; ganglords don’t like dead cops that can be linked to them.
Only the sneakiest and most dedicated of law officers will be able to operate well within the borders of the Setnin Sector and these present a great threat to the ganglords, although a great challenge to the average gamer. Be warned, mind - life expectancy is not usually measured in days.
PROMINENT UNDERWORLD EMPLOYERS
The most influential ganglords that existed within the Setnin Sector between Episode IV – A New Hope and Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi. For more information on each of these characters, and stories with them in, go to the Characters Guides on the Lightsabre website.
Glann Cipple – Probably the most successful Setnin Sector ganglord of all time, Glann Cipple is force unto himself. Quite literally owning an entire planet, he built his underworld empire after taking the governor’s office of Amagad City, Amagad. Stern, demanding and almost always angry for one reason or another, Glann Cipple is the man to get a job with. He pays well and he rewards well, but will not suffer failure or fools. Once you get a job with Glann and do well he’ll try to keep you close because he demands loyalty to him and his business. You work for him, no one else. Everyone ignores this and works as they please, of course – but they make sure Glann never finds out.
Glann Cipple operates from Amagad City, dwelling within a security-conscious fortress.
Dressel – Not as hard to get on with as Glann Cipple but having the same drive, Dressel is more devious than his counterpart. Whereas Glann Cipple is a great believer of ‘might is right’, Dressel takes the other approach and runs his business more tactfully, crossing other ganglords wherever he can make a profit and double crossing as many people as possible. Glann and Dressel, as a result, do not get on at all and do whatever they can to best each other.
Dressel operates from the planet Cawbate, where he continually keeps on the move in his twin sail barge the Duet.
Jomobol Pocock – Pocock is one of the more easy going ganglords. He takes profit where he sees the opportunity and keeps back when things get a little hot. He doesn’t directly get involved with other gangleaders unless necessary. When he does he keeps things as light as possible and usually takes the lesser deal to keep the peace. He’s friendly and open with the employees he trusts.
Jomobol Pocock operates from a small office in the Chancai Trade Centre on Zelon.
Mister Spyte – Spyte is a gangleader with a difference; whether the deals he takes on are successful or not he takes a perverse pleasure out of actually doing the job. Cipple has mentioned on various occasions that ‘even if Spyte made no credits, he’d still do the business’. Spyte isn’t driven by power, money or fame – he’s driven by the fact that he loves doing the job in all its forms. He’s even been known to go out in the field himself just for the kicks. That said, he is still an excellent employer and, even though his pay may not be good, he can guarantee excitement and enjoyment for those who are in this business because they love it.
Mister Spyte also operates out of the Chancai Trade Centre, Zelon. He and Pocock get on but are always wary of one another.
Predd Jason – The loose blaster cannon of the group. Predd Jason is young and hot-headed, impatient for results and lustful for power. Instead of crossing or double-dealing the other gangleaders Jason goes straight to the point and relies on hired thugs and firepower to get what he wants. He has violently struck against the other ganglords with little success, mainly against Glann Cipple. Predd Jason only pays for results to his demands, but if other gangleaders get wind that you’ve worked for him – well, good luck.
Predd Jason does not operate out of one location, but keeps on the move about the Setnin Sector in his modified Corellian Corvette.
Of course, there are other gangleaders within the borders, but these are usually limited to a city- or planet-wide operation.
HINTS AND TIPS FOR A SETNIN UNDERWORLD CHARACTER
When you sit down to create a Setnin Sector Underworld character, it’s best to take the following things into consideration. This also applies to those characters that are already established out of the Setnin Sector and want to make a name for themselves.
1 – Make sure your negotiation and personality skill is high. Having contacts or knowing how to deal with undesirables is a must when entering the Setnin Underworld.
2 – Combat skills, while important, are not always necessary. Make sure you’re pleased with the career path you’re taking and spend your dice in skills pertaining to that career. Having a smuggler with low Starships skill but high Combat won’t get those offers rolling when employers realise you’re not very good at your job description.
3 – Make friends, fast. You can’t always trust them, but having people you can fall back on is a must.
4 – Get your skills up with a few adventures before you think about double-crossing anyone. If they take exception to your dealings then they may come after you violently and you need to be good at what you do before taking the risk.
5 – Make sure you can back up threats and boasts. You’ll always be called out.
6 – Never cross a gang boss unless you’re absolutely sure you can get away with it.
7 – Never involve innocents. Never reveal your dealings to the law. Never rat on your colleagues and friends to the law.
8 – Remember the short version of the Setnin Way – ‘This is our sector – you either abide by the rules or die by them’.