The new Star Wars Edge of the Empire Beginners Game comes with a wonderful mini map of Mos Shuuta the setting for the box sets introduction game. Walking you through the games innovative use of dice, it pretty much railroads you into going to 4 locations in order to complete the adventure and escape the planet.
These 4 locations are described in great details, while less than a page is given over to describing the rest of Mos Shuuta… Its a pity, because with a slight tweak, the mesa could provide several sessions of game play.
The end of the first encounter ends with this flavour text: The Gamorreans are defeated! The silence that follows is broken by slow, unamused applause. The Devaronian bartender approaches and laughes a brittle little laugh. “I guess you’re folks who need to get off the planet in a hurry. The good news for you is that I happen to know that there’s a freighter in Landing Bay Aurek right now. The bad news is that its captain, Trex, is an associate of the Hutt’s and won’t just let you on. The other bad news is the reason its still in the landing bay is that it has a broken hypermatter reactor igniter and won’t be flying anywhere until it gets a new one installed. I bet Worn over at the junk shop has one”. Then he points at the door. “Now get out of my cantina.”
So let’s change that text slightly: The Gamorreans are defeated! The silence that follows is broken by slow, unamused applause. The Devaronian bartender approaches and laughes a brittle little laugh. “I guess you’re folks who need to get off the planet in a hurry. The good news for you is that I happen to know a way you can get off this rock. The bad news is that information will cost you.”
Rather than just providing the information, we’re setting the characters up to interact with the NPc. They might offer to work for him, to repair any damage to the cantina, or they might threaten him. If they offer to work for him: “I thought that might tempt you… A shipment from Alderaan came in recently, but that oaf Brynn has it locked away in the warehouse Besh. liberate the parts for my new still and I’m sure we can come to some arrangement.”
If they threaten or attack the bartender: “I hate the Hutt just as much as you do, his guards come here too often to extract his ‘protection payment’ and what good does it do me, when scum like you can burst in and wreck my joint. If you kill me, everyone’s going to run out screaming and thats your cover blown. If you rough me up, well, you won’t get far before Teemo’s thugs find you again.”
Lets flesh out Mos Shuuta with a few more locations:
Warehouse Besh – This warehouse is securely locked with an imperial security system. Inside, its rows of shelving are filled with cargo that has been reprimanded by the customs teams that work for Overseer Brynn. Each crate is methodically scanned and tagged so that when the customers pay the import fees, or the Hutt’s demand its release, a cargo droid can locate the crate and bring it to the customs office. A terminal located in one corner of the building allows access to the database of cargo, and its clear that some of these cases have been stored here for years.
Customs Office – This squat building located between Warehouse Besh and Docking Bay Besh is the small, dingy field office for the spaceport customs team. The office is rarely used, few Mos Shuuta natives can afford the steep import fees, and if Teemo objects to a package being retained, then it is personally delivered to his palace, though the unfortunate officer who gets the job rarely returns. Beyond the waiting room and counter are a set of offices, untouched for so long that dust has settled on the furniture, and a large supply room, with racks of smaller detained packages and on one wall, a set of body armour and flamer, obviously used for controlling mynock infestations.
Power Station – This large domed building forms the corner of a small grouping of properties, most of which are among the better lit and cooler buildings on Mos Shuuta. Getting close to the building, you can hear the thrum of it’s generators, their ducts delving deep into the planets crust, drawing on the heat from the planets core. Large metal tubes burst out of the moulded sand walls of the station itself, some thrusting into the air, before ejecting a network of cables that run to different segments of the mesa. Other tubes form a shiny walkway between the nearby buildings, while others dive back underground, carrying power conduits to the spaceport and slagworks. The power station is a popular gathering point in the early hours, as Jawas hang around eager to trade with the owners who bring their droids to the station to be recharged.
Baba’s Grill – It’s hard to see the inside of Baba’s Grill, a small property built next to the power station. Thats because there is always a crowd of people outside the shop, and it’s not uncommon to queue for 30 minutes to get to the front and order one of the few items Baba has on sale – Bantha burger or Dewback ribs. Baba himself is a fairly old Rodian, and spends his time in the back of the shack cooking, leaving the sourcing of meat, maintenance of the grills and serving of customers to his younger son Yaga. Yaga is a fast mouthed fool with his fingers in more pies than he can honestly manage. From buying banthas poached from the moisture farms, to storing contraband under the counter, to sharing rumours he’s heard off the customers, Yaga seems determined to get into trouble with Teemo without intentionally doing so.
Desert Survey Office – This unassuming sandstone building is dominated by a large metal door, though to enter the building, you have to find the smaller door around the side complete with a tiny plaque stating ‘scouts welcome’. The inside of the building is a high ceilinged chambers with fans hanging from the roof and ventilators working hard to keep the expanse cool. The owner of the building keeps an aging podrace in the building, the metal doors acting as the garage entry for the device. the walls are covered in maps, recruitment posters and various bits of junk, tusken raider wrappings, a series of Krayt Dragon scales. The furniture here is well worn, it’s a popular place for people to come for a few hours to cool down and listen to the owner Tars Vulnrick tell stories about his old life as a podracer and then as an explorer.
Bounty Office – While bounty posters are shown outside Teemo’s palace, the cantina, and the spaceport, a building by the Electrogate serves as the both the towns jail, and the meeting point for the various bounty hunters that pass through the mesa and its surrounding areas. Behind a security screen, a twi’lek and human update the various information screens with the latest bounties and updated leads. They have a small safe containing a couple of thousand credit sticks, but the majority of their money is stored safely in Teemo’s palace, to which they have a small service duct which a small transport droid runs back and forth in. At the far end of the building are a series of cells, lined with metal to cause their inhabitants to suffer in the desert heat.
Acevedo’s Weapons – It’s said that Acevedo has been selling weapons to the bounty hunters, moisture farmers and Teemo’s bodyguards for longer than Mos Shuuta has been a city. Various locations have served to act as his store, but he currently owns a store near the slagworks. A particularly ugly and scarred Trandoshan, Acevedo has a penchant for antique weapons, and while almost always be armed with something older than his customer and be cleaning or maintaining another old weapon. He has some morals, and is unwilling to see to a common street thug, and is unlikely to sell his prized antiques to someone who doesn’t look capable of using them or looking after them. He keeps a stock of modern weapons on the wall of the shop, but all or unloaded and un-powered, and sell for at least twice their market value.
Jawa Traders – Under a torn sailbarge wing strung between three buildings is a small market stall where jawas gather, tugging at the clothes of passerby’s, and swarming towards droids and vehicles that stop for too long outside the stall. Get past their scavenger nature and their lack of Basic language skills, and you’ll find that the jawas here are well connected, exchanging items with the other tribes in the dune sea. Their stock is constantly changing, and cheap, though not always in the best condition.