Wretched Hives of Scum and Player Characters: Platt’s Starport Guide

PlattsStarportGuide-CoverThere seems to be a special fondness for the village of Hommlet among D&D grognards of the early 80s boom generation. I’d bet good money that my high school gaming friends would feel that exact same fondness for Kala’uun Starport on Ryloth, home planet of the twi’leks. It was a place where starting characters met, where advancing characters could regroup, and where experienced characters could retire. But it’s not mentioned once in the original trilogy, nor I do recall reading about it in any novels.  Kala’uun was the first piece of the Star Wars universe that came from strictly from the RPG that we fell in love with, all thanks to Platt’s Starport Guide.

Before I ran my first session of RAW Star Wars 2nd Edition, I picked up two supplements. One of them was Platt’s, a collection of seven starports located throughout the galaxy, with a bent toward the shadier side of commerce. Knowing that my players would most likely create bounty hunters, smugglers, and other unsavory sorts, I thought the book could prove useful. I was very, very right. Platt’s was just the first in a series of supplements that would support years of Star Wars gaming set almost exclusively in the criminal underworld of the galaxy.

I probably used every entry in Platt’s in one game or another, but a few stick out as memorable and recurring facets of our campaigns. Omze’s Incredible Traveling Starport was a great place for meeting contacts and blowing credits. If it was time to lay extremely low, then it was off to Port Haven. But more than any of the rest, it was Kala’uun that they returned to again and again, adopting it as a de facto home base.

Image via Wookiepedia

Sure, the restocking prices weren’t the most reasonable, but they weren’t the worst and you can haggle with a twi’lek. The port was sufficiently shady that business could get done, but sufficiently safe that you didn’t have to worry too much about a back alley beating. The planet was located in the Outer Rim Territories, where the Imperials spent most of their time dealing with the Rebellion and where most of the potential job opportunities could be found. And because the players had no preconceived ideas about it from the movies or books, I could tweak it and make it exactly what I needed it to be. It was a perfect campaign launching point, and it’ll always have a place in a nerdy little corner of my heart.

Next week I’ll take a look back at the other book I bought along with Platt’s, the Imperial Sourcebook.

Author: John Carr

Gamer, comic guy, office drone.

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