Welcome Back to the Minos Cluster - Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters


When the Star Wars RPG first came out back in 1987 the game's default assumption was all the characters would be members of the Rebel Alliance. This wasn't to say everyone was a soldier - but if you were a smuggler, for example, you were a smuggler involved in the Rebellion. Most of the adventures assumed the heroes were your basic Rebel Agents - one week stealing Death Star the plans, the next locating a general of the Old Republic before the Empire and its sinister agents can.

In 1990, West End Games published Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters. Interestingly, it was written by future World of Darkness co-creators Mark Rein-Hagen and Stewart Wieck. Tramp Freighters opened up the setting for characters who had no desire to be involved in the conflict between the Rebellion and Empire. Of course, nothing about the rulebook prevent you from doing just that, but Tramp Freighters had rules for the types of things that you might need in such a game - the cost of modifying and maintaining your ship, how to find or purchase cargoes, borrow money from loansharks, etc. While I've never gone to all the detail of figuring out every penny a ship needs to spend, it makes for great background and as a source of flavor.

It also detailed the Minos Cluster, an extremely sleepy sector which was described as being connected by the rest of the galaxy by a single monthly space liner route. Behind the Minos Cluster is nothing. 

Over time this got revised slightly. with the Darkstryder campaign detailing a sector just beyond, the Kathol Sector, which truly was the end of the line. 

The Minos Cluster campaign as detailed in this book allowed the characters to gradually become with the Rebellion getting established in this sector. This, however, was far from set in stone and nothing prevented a group in using the setting for a Firefly/Han Solo sort of game. The sector featured worlds with exiled nobles, a sort of Hollywood-world, a forested world with libertarian anarchists, worlds on the brink of economic collapse, and many more. Only an aging Victory-class Star Destroyer and a pair of smaller vessels represent the Imperial naval presence.  


Running an Edge of the Empire Star Wars game I have a group of PCs who have a good reason to be as far from Imperial notice as possible. And away from Hutts as well. Rereading this book I realized that the Minos Cluster made for a great setting, albeit one that would need a few tweaks to make it fit into what we now know about the time before the classic trilogy. And it gave me an opportunity to make some changes and additions. Which allowed me to make it mine.



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