Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hoth Under the New Republic

Since my own campaign has moved many years past the original trilogy movie timeline (I think we're now set... 7 or 8 years post Return of the Jedi), I have had to revise a lot of the 'classic' movie locales to reflect the changes that have taken place in the Galaxy. Some places don't change all that much. Tatooine, for instance, may be under the nominal rule of the New Republic, but it is still a backwater with moisture farmers, Sand-people, Jawas and one particular wretched hive of scum and villainy. The names have changed, but the place is very much as it was. Its good to have some places that don't change all that much. Bespin is another example. Cloud city weathered the tempest of Imperial occupation, but was able to throw off that yolk with the help of the New Republic. Again, they're 'nominally' New Republic in affiliation, but they remain primarily a self-ruled system that offers fine gambling and resorts as well as tibanna gas.

But while some places remained pretty much the same, others have changed quite a bit. Yavin is a prime example of this. In my game it has become home to the Jedi Order- an organization quite a bit larger than that presented in the expanded universe novels. It is a center of learning for thousands of young students- kind of like a boarding school for Jedi hopefuls (and yes, I did think of this before Harry Potter, but the analogy is a good one- Yavin IV = Hogwarts). The NR also maintains an orbital naval yard in the system- a base for ships operating in the sector (and also an added line of defense for the Jedi Temple.

Though I have only used it ONCE in my campaign since the epic 'Empire Strikes Back' battle, Hoth is a planet I have always thought could still make an interesting setting. So, without further ado, this is my concept of what Hoth is like some 7-8 years after the battle of Endor:

Though still not heavily populated, Hoth has, through its involvement in the events of the Rebellion, become something of a tourist stop. People curious about the history of the Galactic Civil war—as well as veterans of that war and their family— can now come to Hoth to view the war memorial that stands where Echo base once stood. Part of these ruins has, in fact, been turned into a museum, displaying scenes and technology from the battle and the Alliance's time on the world.

Where there is tourism (however scant), there are hotels (and of course shops). Hoth is no different. What began with a simple hotel soon opened into a couple full fledged resorts. After all, Hoth does have incredible terrain for arctic sports like skiing, skating, ice-climbing, taun-taun riding, repulsorlift-ice-skimming, etc. One of the newest hotels (rumored to be backed by Alliance hero Lando Calrissian), is constructed entirely of ice- a glittering frozen palace rising above the glacier fields.

Of course there were security issues. Wampas are dangerous and intelligent predators. A combination of security defensive sensors, power-fences and selective hunting have managed to keep their incursions to a minimum, however. What began as simple security and population control soon branched out into its own industry- big game hunting. Expeditions go out regularly from specially appointed hunting lodges to track down Wampas. In keeping with the New Republic's Ecological policies, however, the number of such hunts per year are limited. Unfortunately, there are instances of poaching. Even with planetary sensors and dedicated ranger patrols, there is a lot of meteor activity in the system and not all illegal landings are detected.

But apart from its commercial uses, Hoth is also home to a large scientific commune- part of it focused on the study of arctic ecosystems, but with some lab space rented out to individuals who merely want a remote (and secure) place to carry out their research. Such grants are carefully monitored by the New Republic's Bureau of Science to ensure their legality, but there are (always) rumors of 'odd' experiments being undertaken in labs beneath the frozen wastes.

And finally, Hoth, not surprisingly, is home to the New Republic Army's primary arctic training base. Here, specialized troops undergo intense courses designed to prepare them for operations in bitter climates across the galaxy.

So, there you have it. The Hoth of the Future! It could be an interesting spot, actually. In my own campaign, I utilized the science base- making it a setting for a murder investigation story that I (now) barely remember.

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