Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations

a supplement for Star Wars
by Rick D Stuart
published by West End Games
94 pages
reviewed by David Dunham

Criminal Organizations covers just that, the individual criminals and the organizations they belong to. It's a guide for Star Wars GMs -- players are not supposed to be criminals (despite a noted smuggler -- note that the movies never show him actually smuggling).

It starts by explaining a dozen types of criminals, and four categories of organizations (differing by how much turf they control). Each has an example with a law enforcement summary which could be given to players. The vast Hutt crime empire (and the Hutts themselves) is also explored; like all the criminal organizations mentioned, it's still in turmoil after Jabba's death. There are also three worlds which serve as havens for criminals; some of the best plot hooks are in this section.

The chapter on the black market is most useful for players; buying there is not quite as simple as forking over the inflated cost to a contact. The listing of criminal equipment will also tempt players. Finally, there's some information on law enforcement in both the Empire and the New Republic.

All told, there are stats for 36 NPCs (including a few good guys). Many of these characters also appear in vignettes which illustrate criminal interactions. Most of the locales are in the Rim, which ties in well with Fragments from the Rim, though that supplement is not required.

With the wide scope of criminal activity in the galaxy, Criminal Organizations only scratches the surface. I would have liked more advice for how GMs can introduce criminal elements into their game, although there are certainly hints. GMs running a campaign set before Jabba's death will have to make some adaptations.

While Criminal Organizations isn't a wildly imaginative product, it does deliver solidly on its promise, and could be useful to any Star Wars GM who wants to detail the dark side of mundane life. It's less valuable to players, though they could alert themselves to the dangers of dealing with the underworld.

This review was written for The Gamer's Connection.

Copyright ©1996 David Dunham. Last updated 18 Jun 96

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