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The Tapani Sector
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:22 pm    Post subject: The Tapani Sector Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

1997 Lords of the Expanse box set with a Sector Guide, Gamemaster Guide, Campaign Guide, Sector poster map, 16 full-color adventure cards, and 6 dice

1997 Players Guide to Tapani 64-page paperback supplement

1997 Tapani Sector Instant Adventures 96-page paperback including 5 adventures with 32 color adventure cards

I love this stuff but I've never ran a campaign centered on this sector. I've ran PCs based on some of the Tapani PC templates (sometimes tweaked for use in the greater galaxy), and I've ran PCs who came from the Tapani sector. I've ran individual adventures that go to planet in the Tapani Sector. I'd like to use the Tapani Sector a lot more in the future.

Have any of you used the Tapani Sector as a setting in your games, or otherwise used any of this material? I'd really love to hear about it, or even any ideas you have for using it. Thanks.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had a DM who was stoked to run a full campaign in the Tapaii sector, but due to his butt getting kicked out of the Navy (failed his 4th straight PT test), could get to play.
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read through the stuff and found it pretty interesting, but I've mostly mined it for background for other stuff. I really like that it gives some texture to the generic "Imperial nobility" concept in a lot of WEG material.

In my post-Endor campaign I assume that Tapani is a fairly stable, powerful pocket Empire, mostly to allow much of the setting in the WEG book to stand as written.

Not crazy about the "lightfoils", however. I think I'd rather have them dueling with rapiers or something archaic/retro.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barrataria wrote:
Not crazy about the "lightfoils", however. I think I'd rather have them dueling with rapiers or something archaic/retro.

Lightfoils are something I like about it. I love sword-fighting in general, but lightsabers take it up a notch. Lightsabers are the most awesome swords ever imagined. IMO, lightsabers are the swords of the Star Wars galaxy.

Personally, I dislike archaic weaponry in Star Wars. The first thing I think of regarding archaic weapons in Star Wars are primitive characters like Ewoks and Gamorreans, and also mook goons and ornamental guards.

Now, I don't think that lightsabers should be so common that every stormtrooper has them like in earlier drafts of Star Wars, and the strict Imperial ban on lightsabers makes a whole lot of sense, but lightsabers being slightly more common in some isolated locations and not strictly Jedi and Sith weapons, I can deal with and even enjoy.

Barrataria wrote:
I've read through the stuff and found it pretty interesting, but I've mostly mined it for background for other stuff. I really like that it gives some texture to the generic "Imperial nobility" concept in a lot of WEG material.

I think you refer to the brief mention of Coruscant/Core World nobles, plus Tapani's significant relationship with the Empire and important Tapani noble families living on Coruscant on a rotational basis. I agree it does somewhat address those vague references, and still works in light of the more modern EU that has established that while Palpatine is from a Naboo noble family, he murdered his entire family at age 17 and was never explicitly shown to have ever been married or produced any valid familial heirs, so doesn't seem to have his own noble family.

I've taken it a step further in my SWU by having Palpatine marry a Tapani noble from House Melantha soon after becoming Senator, and having a son. Being only a senator and noble from the (relatively backwater) Mid Rim, Palpatine had no hope of raising his station by getting into Core World noble family (and even if he could have it would have hurt him politically at the time by losing a lot of support he out in the outer galaxy). But Tapani in the Colonies is like Core without actually being Core. Palpatine's Tapani wife died a few years before TPM and his son was just finishing up at a naval academy during the events of TPM. After Palpatine becomes Supreme Chancellor, suddenly he is not looking so shabby and Palpatine remarries, this time into a powerful Coruscant noble family which produces another son. And both sons grow up and have sons. About a year after the rise of the Empire, Palpatine passes his Imperial Senate duties over to his first son while Palpatine retreats from the limelight. A former Senator from Tapani and popular, decorated hero of the Clone Wars veteran, Palpatine's first son is the handsome face of the Empire. Right before the events of ANH, Palpatine's first son is assassinated on the Senate floor and the Rebel Alliance supposedly takes credit for it. This is the tragedy Palpatine publicly uses for justification to disband the Senate.

So I've created a real Imperial noble/royal family for Palpatine, and it all started with this Tapani Sector stuff.

Barrataria wrote:
In my post-Endor campaign I assume that Tapani is a fairly stable, powerful pocket Empire, mostly to allow much of the setting in the WEG book to stand as written.

That's cool. The published Tapani material is designated to take place in 3 ABY. Actually the materials we have (that were published before the WEG bankruptcy) were written with the Tapani Sector on the verge of exploding. The intention was to publish a campaign where Empire invades the Freeworlds and splits them off into another sector, which dramatically upsets that status quo in the Expanse. That was never published, but apparently the post-RotJ EU took that to heart and in their continuity they had accounted for what WEG had planned.

In my post-Endor world, Palpatine's first grandson (of Tapani heritage through his paternal grandmother and father), takes over the Tapani Federation after his grandfather's death, reestablishes the Tapani Empire and sets himself up as Emperor. This emperor eventually gains control of a lot of his father's former holdings in the southern galaxy, while Palpatine's second son takes control of Coruscant and eventually rules a lot of the northern galaxy. There are also other Empires and of course the Alliance to Restore the Republic in the mix of my shattered Empire setting.
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
IMO, lightsabers are the swords of the Star Wars galaxy.

Personally, I dislike archaic weaponry in Star Wars. The first thing I think of regarding archaic weapons in Star Wars are primitive characters like Ewoks and Gamorreans, and also mook goons and ornamental guards.


Of course, lightsabers ARE archaic weapons, no? Smile

I guess I've thought of Tapani not unlike the world in Serenity where Malcolm ends up in a duel over Inara... an "elegant" sword would be perfect for a hidebound, sclerotic culture. Those lightsabers that cut through armor, metal... where's the romance, artisanship, and daring in that? I think Tapani nobles would have just kept right on with their dueling swords.

Also, IMC there once were multiple sorts of force weapons created by Jedi and other lightside orders, as well as those created by dark side orders, with only lightsabers left in meaningful numbers or recent memory. PCs could theoretically find them, but they would be very, very obscure and difficult to find. I didn't really intend it as a plot point for post-Endor gaming, more a world design decision for proto-Republic flavor. So, all of that makes me think lightfoils are best left out.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, in a sci-fi setting, seemingly archaic weapons can be anything but. What appears to be a simple sword can be composed of some advanced composite or some other high-tech material to make it more durable, it can have a mono-molecular edge to make it exceedingly sharp, it could be reinforced with mag-seal technology, and so on and so forth.

As for lightfoils, they are part of the background of the Tapani Sector, complete with a backstory as to why, along with some nice flaws to keep them from being more useful, so I think they are fine just where they are.

I'd be interested to compare notes with you regarding possible alternative Jedi weapons, as I've had a few thoughts of my own on the subject. That might be better suited for another topic, though...
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: The Tapani Sector Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
1997 Lords of the Expanse box set with a Sector Guide, Gamemaster Guide, Campaign Guide, Sector poster map, 16 full-color adventure cards, and 6 dice

1997 Players Guide to Tapani 64-page paperback supplement

1997 Tapani Sector Instant Adventures 96-page paperback including 5 adventures with 32 color adventure cards


The WEG Tapani material is set in 3 ABY. A few observations in my studies on the Tapani Sector thus far:

Fondor

Fondor was a previously existing planet which had not had its sector or region identified, so WEG puts it in the Freeworlds Region of the Tapani Sector. It's biggest claim to fame is that this is where Vader's "super" star destroyer was constructed. The source materials refer to Fondor as having one of the top few starship manufacturing facilities in the galaxy. True that wouldn't necessarily mean that it always had to be that way, but I don't think that it could get to that point overnight in 0 ABY when it becomes restricted to Imperial traffic only, which would mean that Fondor had to have been a significant planet in the galaxy in the past before the classic era. I find it extremely odd that the WEG material barely mention anything about Fondor at all, but it may have because they had planned on going into more detail about it in the future campaign where the Empire invaded the Tapani Sector that never materialized due to the WEG bankruptcy. Maybe Fondor was going to be dealt with in the unpublished WEG Tapani adventure, but we'll never know. But an issue with what was published was that Fondor is not even one of the five principal systems in the League of Tapani Freeworlds, and WEG doesn't even place Fondor on the Shapani Bypass or Giju Run (the two "galactic" hyperroutes in Tapani), or even a locally major hyperroute.

Fondor is a total whopping 62 hours (at standard speed) off the Shapani Bypass (including a stop at a minor system on the way required due to the use of hyperspace beacons). Yes, there is also a secret Imperial hyperroute from Fondor to a Core World, but again, Fondor didn't get the super star destroyer contract and become restricted until 0 ABY, and the Empire hadn't even existed 20 years by that point, so I find it utterly ridiculous that Tapani wouldn't have a major hyperroute going to it. SW author Jason Fry felt the same way when designing The Essential Atlas, and invented the Shipwrights' Trace which connected Fondor to the Corellian Trade Spine, Hydian Way and Corellian Run. I agree with his intention, but that does contradict the statements in the WEG material that the Shapani Bypass and the Giju Run are the only major hyperroutes in and out of the Tapani Sector. I asked Jason Fry about it, assuming it was meant to be a retcon resolving an obvious problem with the source material, but he replied that it was an error. He did not intend to override any published continuity except where absolutely necessary due to contradictions. (He also said that in his research he had read about how the Tapani Sector still requires the use of hyperspace beacons in the classic era and meant to mention that in TEA but had forgotten which sector or where he had read it until I mentioned it to him.) He told me he noted for his TEA errata document, to maintain the WEG continuity about the Tapani Sector, he moved the start point of the Shipwright's Trace to just outside the Tapani Sector rimward of Mrlssi. Unfortunately, with that only being non-public errata, the error is duplicated in more recently published material such as FFG's RPG maps of the galaxy.

Jason Fry's correction would make TEA conform to WEG, but it un-solves the original problem of there not being any major hyperroutes connecting to Fondor! So for my SWU I adopted his errata but created two new things: a system at the new start point called New Fondor, and a new major hyperroute connecting Fondor to Tallaan (the major Freeworlds system at the junction of the Shapani and the Giju Run). Tallaan being another planet with major shipbuilding, I call the new short Tallaan-Fondor hyperroute the Shipwright's Run. So there still isn't a galactic hyperroute directly connecting to Fondor, but now the galactically significant planet which has been a major shipbuilder for millennia is not so far off the beaten path. There was a mission of Republic-Sith Cold War featured in The Old Republic MMORPG called Operation Midnight Freedom that takes place in the Fondor system.

And since the Shapani Bypass was only established in 2203 BBY but Fondor likely would have been a galactically significant planet before that, I just say that Fondor was invited but declined charter membership in the League of Tapani Freeworlds, wanting to remain even more independent, and was capable of handling its own defense so didn't need to share its fleet with the five worlds contributing to the Freeworlds Common Navy. From my study, Fondor continues to be an important planet in the EU well after the classic era, and was in the prequel era. The Tapani Sector Galactic Senator was from Fondor in the year before TPM and in the year before AotC, which raises the question how that would happen since according to WEG, the Tapani Federation Great Council elects the senator (and you would think would elect one of its own nobles from the ruling coalition of the day). I just say that major noble house in control of the Great Council at those times let Fondor represent the sector in the Galactic Senate as part of the terms of a business deal.

WEG otherwise

WEG's own historical background on the Tapani sector is confusing and self-contradictory in some ways. Events are described as seeming to take place in one era but then by the year provided take place in a different era. There are some other anachronistic references. However these are very minor compared to what WotC does with the material...

WotC

The SAGA sourcebook Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide adds some Tapani fluff taking place around the time of the Great Sith War circa 3996 BBY, and the entry includes several errors. This is the Dynastic Era of Tapani history. In this WotC sourcebook, The Tapani Sector seems to be a part of the Republic over two and a half thousand years before it sent its first senator to the Senate, but that one is solved easy enough by saying Tapani was an Allied Region of the Republic (without Senate representation) at the time, but it still wouldn't have been the Tapani "Sector" yet - It would be the Tapani Empire, or maybe even the Tapani Region from the Republic's point of view. However "High Lady" Brezwalt III of House Mecetti is "part of a dynasty of Mecetti rulers". So how are you a part of an imperial dynasty but your title is High Lord and not Empress? She "endeavors to seize control of half the sector" so she clearly wasn't Empress or she would have controlled whole "sector". It lists Calipsa as one of three houses that were completely absorbed into Mecetti, but Calipsa is still alive and very prosperous in the classic era. Brezwalt stood "poised to transform Tapani Sector into the Mecetti Empire" even though multiple dynasties that controlled the Tapani Empire throughout the Dynastic Era were Mecetti dynasties while it remained called the Tapani Empire. This is just lazy writing to not even care that much about the source material. It took some mental effort but I rewrote that fluff to make it make the most sense with respect to WEG while trying to keep as many of the original sentences as true as possible.

The SAGA sourcebook Galaxy of Intrigue has two pages on "Tapani Nobles" and this takes lazy RPG writing to a whole new level. It calls the Great Council the Grand Council, but that is a minor forgivable thing. There is hardly any information that even is correct! It lists what are really the only seven noble houses of the classic era as the "major houses" and says "Seven major houses of Tapani oversee dozens of minor ones, arranged in an elaborate hierarchy." Um, no. There are a few hundred noble families total that are a part of seven noble houses total, with three of those the greater ones and the other four the lesser ones. It states that as a result of the Jedi purge of House Pelagia, "House Melantha seizes most of its territory," when it was really House Calipsa who is a part of the Mecetti lead coalition (look on the sector map, idiot). It says that House Pelagia only survives "on the charity of its allied houses like Calipsa and Reena," when those houses are the allies of Mecetti and thus enemies of Pelagia. Pelagia actually survived on the charity of its real ally, Cadriaan. This "Factions and Organizations" entry is almost completely worthless. It reads like someone just went to Wookieepedia's Tapani Noble Houses article, copied the list of the seven noble houses, read the article once, went to bed, got up the next day and went to work at their day job, then came home that night and typed up the book's entry based on inaccurate memories of what he had read and just winging it. There is absolutely no way to reconcile this steaming piece of bantha poodoo so I just ignore most of it.
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Barrataria
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:45 am    Post subject: interesting stuff Reply with quote

Thanks for posting it. On the one hand, I guess I could buy Vader's SSD being built in an out-of-the-way place, but as you say if Fondor is supposed to be a historically important shipyard in all likelihood it should be on or directly connected to a big space route. If it's tangential to the fabric of Tapani anyway, maybe just retcon the sucker out somewhere else (unless you need it for dramatic purposes).
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: interesting stuff Reply with quote

Barrataria wrote:
Thanks for posting it. On the one hand, I guess I could buy Vader's SSD being built in an out-of-the-way place, but as you say if Fondor is supposed to be a historically important shipyard in all likelihood it should be on or directly connected to a big space route. If it's tangential to the fabric of Tapani anyway, maybe just retcon the sucker out somewhere else (unless you need it for dramatic purposes).

Sure you could just move Fondor west out of Tapani Sector altogether and slightly reroute the Shipwright's Trace. I didn't think about that at the time but I had (incorrectly) assumed Fondor was more important to the WEG Tapani material. I was ready to retcon WEG in favor of the TEA and just have another major galactic route into the sector, but when the TEA project lead himself moved the route out of sector, I decided to go with that and invent my own retcon to WEG.

Fondor to Tallaan is not the only route I have added to the Tapani Sector. Pelagon, the capital of Pelagia, was the original human colony in the Tapani region. For millennia Pelagia was a major house/province until only 16 BBY and so close to Procopia (the sector capital), so I found it strange that there was no route from Pelagon to Procopia. I added a minor route connecting Pelagon to to Procopia ("The Pella Compact Trail") to not upset the source material too much and I just assume that it had once been a major route but has fallen in status due to recent disuse. I also connected Canti in Reena to Riesa in Calypsa, because they are two extreme ends of two ally houses in the Mecetti coalition, and because of the secret route from outside the sector into Canti that Black Sun and Reena uses to smuggle cargoes west to Aleron on the Shapani Bypass. That would be the most logical direct route, and instead of having a second secret route, I just added a minor (and long travel duration) route there.
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