DEBRIEFING: THE STARGATE SG-1 ROLEPLAYING GAME

Stargate Command Logo

SGC COMMANDSPECIALTY/SPECIESCLASSESBACKGROUNDSMECHANICSTECHSTARSCAPEMISSIONSDM MISCELLANY

MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS FOR STARGATE DMS

Kane: Do you ever give up?
Daniel: Not til I'm dead...And sometimes, not even then.
- Stargate SG-1, "Ethon"

Gathering Ideas

There are many places you can find inspiration for a Stargate game. The first and most obvious choice is anything in the genre of science fiction. Search your favorite movies, television shows, and books. Look at everything carefully and ask yourself how things might translate into the Stargate milieu. Since Stargate frequently references mythology, it doesn't hurt to research myths, fairy tales, and folklore. It's also a good idea to keep up with the news, especially regarding science and archaeology. You never know when the latest archaelogical find will provide the spark you need. For planets that the player characters are only likely to visit once, you can stick to broad strokes. For civilizations that will come up more often, you may want to dig deeper. For that, I suggest you use Stars Without Number to develop detailed places and peoples. There's a free version with so much to offer, and by following the steps, you can go as deep or broad as you wish.

I have three suggestions when it comes to gathering ideas for an SG-1 game. First, start a file for the bits you find along the way. Copying key details and keeping them in your own notes will ensure you don't lose out if an online article is removed. Having notes that you can search by keyword is also handy, especially when you're trying to tie various elements together. Second, embrace the opportunity to add futuristic details and mix things up so they feel like Stargate. For instance, when you come across special objects (like Ra's chariot or Maat's feather) try to replace them with technological devices. After all, Stargate is sci fi, not a historic documentary. And last but not least, strive to be respectful of cultures as you play with their legends. Avoid caricatures and other insults; highlight the unique qualities that emerge in the civilizations you create.

Naming

Naming characters in Stargate seems like it should be simple, considering that you know what names of people from Earth sound like. The important thing to remember is that variety is your friend. here are only so many Johns that you can have around before everyone starts to get confused, so you'll want to choose unique names for NPCs. Nicknames are also a strong choice. There tons of baby naming sites online, but they tend to lack surnames, so you'll want to look those up separately. There are also many name generators that specialize in different kinds of names, like those of fantasy races. For Stargate, the best resource to use is probably Fantasy Name Generators. It offers a staggering variety of names for people and places in just a few clicks.

Planet Designations

In Stargate Command, every planet found through the stargate is given a designation of six digits. This designation is used in all reports and by all SGC personnel. (The people who live on other planets, of course, have their own names for where they live.) After examining the show and the core rulebook, I noticed that each planet designation starts with the letter P. A majority of the time, the second digit is a number and the third digit is a letter. After the third digit there is a dash, and the rest of the digits are usually numerical. I also noticed that only certain letters were used. Based on this, I came up with a table to generate plausible-sounding designations, which you can find below.

Roll on RPGChartMaker

If you don't feel like breaking out dice and following the table, you can download this .json file and use it at RPGChartmaker. In a few seconds, you can load it there and roll multiple planet designations with the press of a button. If you're not sure how to save .jsons or you haven't used RPGChartMaker before, you can find quick directions here.

Using the Table

For the second, third, and fourth digits, use percentile dice first and then roll 1d10. You can use 1d6 to roll for letters; just ignore any 6s. For the last two digits, just roll 1d10.

For example: The first digit is always P. For the second digit, you roll percentile dice first and get 26%, which means it will be a number. Then you roll 1d10 and get 8, and the result in the number column is 8. For the third digit, you roll 45%, which means it will be a letter; you roll 1d6 and get a 5, so the letter will be Q. You add a dash after the third digit, and see if the fourth digit will be a number or letter. If it's a number, you continue rolling 1d10 for the last three digits (say you get 9, 3, and 2). In this example, we come up with P8Q-932.

Roll

2nd

3rd

Dash

4th

5th

6th

see above

80% #

20% alpha

25% #

75% alpha

-

80% #

20% alpha

#

#

1

1

B

1

A

-

1

B

1

1

2

2

J

2

C

-

2

J

2

2

3

3

Q

3

G

-

3

Q

3

3

4

4

X

4

J

-

4

X

4

4

5

5

Y

5

Q

-

5

Y

5

5

6

6

6

R

-

6

6

6

7

7

7

S

-

7

7

7

8

8

8

W

-

8

8

8

9

9

9

X

-

9

9

9

10

0

0

Y

-

0

0

0

Psychological Profiling & Mental Health in the SGC

Psychological Profile Questionnaire Download: #1 - Family & Upbringing (few direct stargate references; good for any roleplaying game)

The SGC regularly gives its employees questionnaires that are used in psychological profiling and treatment. This allows the organization to get an idea of the type of people they are sending to other planets, and to monitor any discrepancies. It also allows the SGC to gather data on how teams are psychologically affected by gate travel, contact with alien creatures, and varied alien environments.

Psychological profile questionnaires can be handed out by the DM at the end of a game session or before a game even begins. At any rate, players should have the opportunity to take their time filling everything out and to think about what their character's answer would be, rather than their own. Above all else, the distinction between player and character should be encouraged. Players should also be rewarded for participating in this activity, probably in the form of an experience bonus. DMs can then keep the questionnaires and perhaps use them to develop plots.

Psychological testing at the SGC is done in stages; characters will not be expected to fill out half a ton of materials in one sitting. Rather, the Stargate Command Mental Health Unit schedules personnel into various appointment slots, lasting no more than an hour at a time (unless more time is needed to complete the necessary questions). These appointments are held in rooms that have been searched thoroughly for recording devices, and employees are left alone to give their answers. They can request help or extra time, but are generally urged to complete whatever test they are given before leaving. Personnel are not allowed to bring in notes or pre-made answers, and they are generally not told which test they are going to be given. They are not allowed to take their tests with them into any other part of the SGC, although they may ask for an appointment to view their responses.

All tests are kept in the Stargate Command Mental Health Archives and are considered both confidential and top secret. Leading personnel, such as commanding officers, can request to view the tests of other members but very good reasons are required before permission is given. Most times, such permission is not granted. There are only a few exceptions to this. The Base Commander and the Duty Officer can view anyone's information, but they must furnish reasons for doing so and they must not remove the tests from the protected Archives. Treating doctors and mental health professionals working at the SGC can also review patient records, but they are usually restricted to the patient at hand. Once in a while, one psychologist will request that a colleague in the SGC be shown a profile to aid in diagnosis, but this does not occur often. In any case, the files do not leave the Archive, and any file or copy seen outside the Archive warrants immediate disciplinary action.

The first few tests are usually centered on a character's upbringing and childhood years, and relationships with friends and family. This might not seem important to some, but it is very important to the SGC. Patterns of behavior take time to develop, and childhood is a very powerful period in a person's development. The SGC cannot afford to overlook anything in the people around the stargate, even the fact that personnel hate particular siblings; it is too dangerous and too costly should something go wrong.

The Stargate Mental Health Unit continually examines gate personnel for signs of mental deterioration. They examine files, tests, and any concerns expressed by SGC personnel about the mental wellbeing of themselves or other members. Any SGC member can place themselves under voluntary medical watch and treatment for mental health reasons, as soon as they are able to be taken off of duty safely. SGC members can be pulled off of active duty unwillingly, as well, if the SMHU finds enough warning signs to justify it (repressed memories resurfacing, an increase in the number and/or intensity of phobias, increase in hostility or uncontrolled outbursts), and if the Base Commander allows it.

Sedation, restraints, and quarantine measures are only enacted if necessary. Medication is only used to treat conditions in the short-term and addictive substances are rarely if ever used, especially for stargate teams. Since they could end up stranded off world for weeks or more, it is not safe to give gate teams long-term or addictive medication.