All my life I’ve loved the idea of the Star Wars universe. When I discovered that there was a Star Wars Roleplaying Game published by West End Games back in 1987 I was excited. But this won’t be about how I got into RPGs, but the review of one of the best SWRPG supplements ever:
Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments From The Rim
Here is a list of why this supplement by Simon Smith and Eric Trautmann rocks:
- It’s a well-written book. It has tragedy and humour all packaged up in the entries and the vignettes in the book. The characters to be used as Non-Player Characters (NPCs) have fantastic backgrounds. Parts of the book are designed to actually make you chuckle, not in a non sequitur humour kind of way, but well within the context of its universe.
- It’s diverse. It shows you a dozen aspects of life in the Outer Rim Territories (but using a couple of sectors that feels a lot like the author’s own campaign setting to illustrate this) such as Imperial forces, Alliance forces, Jedi training practices, criminal gangs, bounty hunter procedures, mercenary groups, pirate groups, swoop gangs, news reporting, trade guilds (something which I believe is overlooked by a lot of official writers), tourist spots, music culture and even drinks! It really gives the Star Wars universe the extra topping it needs for gamers to play these aspects of the Outer Rim.
- It has a list of drinks, as mentioned above. If your players aren’t prepared for these drinks, they’ll find themselves suddenly out in the alley behind the cantina in a daze looking at the stars above. Some of these drinks can even be found written into official Star Wars novels.
- There is also a list of rebel spy slang and acronyms. I can just read and reread this section of the book for a good laugh. But then you also realize that it highlights the fact that these rebel agents would have a bizarre sense of humour to deal with the fact that their missions have a very high attrition rate. For example, a “chicken” is an Imperial operation or personnel. A “coop” is a bunch of chickens huddled together. Oh, and “CB” stands for Cybernetic Bronchitis… or Darth Vader.
- The page with the headlines from the tabloid-esque Galactic Weekly NewsStack with wacky headlines such as “Imperial Royal Guard foils attempted theft of Palpatine’s left leg. “I’m hopping mad,” says Emperor” and “Reporter identifies site of AT-AT stud farm”.
- The fantastic black and white interior artwork by Mike Vilardi.
- Ming Fang gave me this book. I thought I’d write that down just in case I forget.
In closing, no other Star Wars supplement from West End Game has given me such enjoyment in reading it. Maybe the original Star Wars Sourcebook comes pretty close. And I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the book, using the characters and situations in the adventures I have run.
- Updated Nov 11 2019 with fresh photos of my old book.