Lords of Nal Hutta

lords-of-nal-hutta

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire – Lords of Nal Hutta

Fantasy Flight Games has been churning out materials for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. Part of that rollout is the sourcebooks. Now in the past, Wizards of the Coast and West End Games have done some sourcebooks that transcended the realm of gaming. Many of the books they did were excellent guides for the Star Wars universe and a great way to expand your knowledge of the galaxy far, far away. It also helped that many of the authors for the adult novels drew upon the information in those guides. Thus I’ve always kept an eye on new RPG books to see if there are any titles that might be fun or useful. When I saw that Fantasy Flight Games was doing a book for Hutt Space, I knew I had to have it.

Lords of Nal Hutta is a nice 144 page hardcover that will fit perfectly next to your Wizards of the Coast library as it’s the same size as the WOTC Star Wars sourcebooks. Inside there is a lot of great artwork, though I’m not sure how much of it is new as I definitely recognized some pre-existing pieces such as Darren Tan’s excellent Hutt fleet painting from Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare.

Darren Tan's 'The Hutt Fleet'

'Boonta the Hutt' by Bruno Werneck

Regardless of how much of the artwork is new, there were a lot of pieces I’ve never seen before. There are full color illustrations of various Hutts who don’t all look like Jabba, pictures of the various Hutt slave species, vessels, shots of locales on the various Hutt worlds and pictures of the worlds themselves. There’s also one map of Hutt space. One complaint I have about the artwork is that not every species in Hutt space is depicted. Later in the book, they talk about the various species in Hutt space, but not all of them include a picture, so it leaves the reader wondering what this alien species looks like. I could understand if there wasn’t room for the pictures, but there’s actually plenty of room for them, so it’s a missed opportunity. This comes into play later when the book talks about specific weapons and vehicles which are not shown. Another small complaint is that weapon pictures that are included are very simplified–almost to the point of being abstract. They are not in color and they’re very clunky and blocky. It’s could actually be illustrations from old WEG books. Nicer illustrations would have looked a lot better, as the ones they included felt cheap. An even more minor complaint is that the illustrations don’t have any credits so it’s very difficult to identify who did what picture.

Weapons

Beyond the artwork, the book covers a lot of ground. Most of the book is very much a guide to Hutt space while the rest of it provides the game mechanics for the setting. The book is broken down into four chapters. The first chapter briefly covers the history of the Hutts and the nature of their species. The second chapter of the book is the largest and goes through the major planets in Hutt space. Chapter three covers some specific species, weapons, gear, vehicles and spaceships. The final chapter provides some scenarios for game masters.

The Orange Lady Cantina by Jacob Atienza

Now I’m not a tabletop RPG’er so I bought this book as a general guide to learn more about Hutts and everything in their empire. In that respect, it’s actually a pretty good book. Aside from the fourth chapter, there’s a lot of content that can be used outside of the game. The history part gives a brief rundown on the Hutts, though if you’ve read The Essential Guide to Warfare, you probably won’t get too much out of it. There’s some interesting attention given to the psychology and social structure of the Hutt species. Ship nuts will enjoy the small section on vehicles and vessels, though it is lacking specs like the size of the ships and not every ship is illustrated.

Where the book really shines is second chapter devoted to the planets of Hutt Space. This 60 page chunk of the book goes through twelve planets, moons and space stations, breaking down the inhabitants, the geography, the history of the planet and species, significant locales and a nice list of stats. Those stats include astrogation data (name of system, sector and territory), orbital metrics (days per year, hours per day), government, population (with percentage breakdowns per species), languages, terrain, major cities, areas of interest, major exports, major imports, trade routes and special conditions. Each of those twelve worlds/places gets a lot of attention which in turn makes this book a great companion to the Star Wars Atlas. In addition to those twelve places, there is another two pages that runs down additional planets and stations, each getting a couple paragraphs of info.

For those hungry for specifics, the twelve locations covered are: Nal Hutta, Nar Shaddaa, Varl, Bootana Hutta, Kintan, Klatooine, Saki, Toydaria, Vodran, Ylesia and Kwenn Space Station. The additional places are: Alee, Circumtore, Nimban, Nar Kreeta, Outland Transit Station, Riileb, Sleheyron and Teth.

Nal Hutta

Nar Shaddaa

So, in recap, Lords of Nal Hutta will enlighten you on the history of the Hutts, provide info on their clans, their throneworlds, and give some insights into their psychology. It deals heavily with the planets in Hutt space covering the species, native creatures, local cities, native formations, planet/species history and current status. Note this book is set during the time of the Empire so all info leads up to around the time of The Empire Strikes Back. There’s some info on weapons, vessels and species, and lots of artwork throughout the entire book, most of it really good.

Aliens

Gank

Weequay beastmaster by Jacob Atienza

As an avid Star Wars reader, and a huge fan of Hutts, I enjoyed this book a lot. There’s a ton of great info in it, especially on the planets and their various species. To my great surprise, they not only talked about the Gank species, but they even include new illustrations of them and a cool excerpt of a smuggler and a Gank trying to track down a bounty. The book actually opens with that and I would have loved to have seen more of that kind of prose in the book, alas that was the only bit they did. Still, as a guide to Hutt space, it’s pretty cool and very useful. Reading it cover to cover may not be the best idea, but I did enjoy reading about all the planets and species. It was also neat to hear them talk about specific Hutt clans, their political conflicts, and their various retreats and treasure worlds. For fans of Hutts, this is a must have book. For fans of the Star Wars Atlas, you’ll also want to add this one to your library as it is an excellent companion piece. For casual fans, it all depends on how much you want to learn about the Hutt’s and their chunk of space. Personally, I give it a five out of five metal bikinis. While it’s not perfect, it’s also the only book out there on Hutt space and it does a very good job of filling that void.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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