Star Wars Edge of the Empire Lords of Nal Hutta has been out for a bit now. Here are a few thoughts on my section, which is essentially the first chapter.
After the Empire, the Hutts are the biggest bad guys in the Star Wars universe. As one would expect from centuries old clan-based interstellar criminal syndicates, Hutt history and connections are confusing and sometimes contradictory. Often on purpose, you could argue.
Taking on the Hutt culture and history chapter was a challenge. Research was key, and I surrounded myself with resources ranging from novels to sourcebooks, Essential Guides, the Star Wars movies, and The Clone Wars animated series (including behind the scenes publicly released concept art). Navigating the Hutt Council’s many names and iterations was an interesting puzzle, and I'm pleased that the final result is essentially what I worked out. The Hutt Space maps and descriptions from The ever useful Star Wars Atlas provided a lot of inspiration to expand and build on for various Hutt activities and reasonable spheres of influence.
The center of Hutt culture is the kajidic. Kajidics are criminal syndicates intertwined with the Hutt clans. When I received the product notes, I learned I was allowed to name and create two of them. On top of that, we could tie the new kajidics to two of the Hutt kajidic symbols that appear in the Hutt Council scenes in The Clone Wars. That meant the two new kajidics would be tied directly to two of those characters. Each kajidic description covers its general history, recent events, legitimate and criminal activities, areas of operation, and a few significant members. There is a mixture of recognizable characters from the Expanded Universe and elsewhere, along with new characters that could fulfill useful roles in RPG adventures (especially for Game Masters that want more control over the fate or connections of a Hutt within the clan).
The featured kajidics include two of the best known – Desilijic and Besadii. Desilijic is Jabba the Hutt’s operation. Besadii includes Durga the Hutt and Gardulla the Hutt, who were both heavily tied into previous Hutt storylines in the Expanded Universe.
When creating the new kajidics, I looked at how they would fit in with the established Hutt culture and stories. They had to complement the known kajidics, but also have their own strengths, power base, and place in Hutt society. I wanted unique names that sounded like something a Hutt could say, and imagined Jabba's booming voice. I eventually settled on two of them - Qunaalac and Gorensla - and I'm happy they were accepted.
Qunaalac is a heavily armed kajidic. They are major defenders of Hutt space, especially around the secretive Hutt throneworlds in the Bootana Hutta. They retain more of the Hutts’ ancient militaristic past traditions compared to most. Marlo the Hutt leads them. Hutt fleets are usually ad-hoc affairs reliant on current alliances and multiple agendas like any other Hutt operation. Qunaalac aren’t solely military (plenty of them are into other business lines), but it is their strength.
While Qunaalac concerns itself mostly within Hutt Space, Gorensla are galactic black marketeers. They operate in the shadows, secretly owning and controlling ports, hyperspace smuggling routes, and more. Their front organizations influence entire economies. They rig rules and laws to legalize their activities. They play and profit from all sides in wartime. Gorensla even sells to the Rebels, but are careful to conceal their involvement from both sides of the Galactic Civil War. They were once led by Oruba the Hutt, who fell victim to the Shadow Collective during the Clone Wars. Those who played my first Edge of the Empire Beta release adventure Crates of Krayts might recognize the return of Sinasu the Hutt as one of the Gorensla lords.
The Hutts are more than just clans, though. They are involved in a lot of activities and schemes that are just the sort of thing Player Characters tend to get caught up in. For example, I created new secret Hutt hyperspace routes because it is the sort of thing the Hutts would hide from each other. However, it is also the sort of information the PCs might learn and exploit, for better or worse.
All in all, I had a good time working all of this out, though now I know far more about Hutts than I probably ever imagined...
And...don't forget about next week's Rebels season one finale...looks to be very good.