THE NATURE OF THE STARGATE: SG-2 CAMPAIGN

It will take you a million light years from home. But will it bring you back?
Lewis's game based on the TV show and using Spycraft/Stargate: SG-1 rules. Explore the Galaxy! Save Earth from the tyrannical Goa'uld! Travel to exotic alien planets, which have trees! Or ancient ruins! Or both! Usually both.
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Lewis
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THE NATURE OF THE STARGATE: SG-2 CAMPAIGN

Postby Lewis » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:55 pm

THE NATURE OF MY “STARGATE: SG-2” CAMPAIGN

I have assumed everyone has some basic familiarity with the movie "Stargate" and the TV series "Stargate: SG-1" (or spin offs).

Type of Team Assignments

Each SG team receives an assignment designation that dictates its standard mission detail and personnel. Team assignments differ from mission details, in that mission detail varies from mission to mission. A team’s assignment remains constant, until re-tasked by the Base Commander.

The Stargate Command (SGC) employs nine standard assignments:

Covert Ops (SG-13, SG-19)
Diplomatic Ops (SG-9)
Engineering Corps (SG-11)
Exploration (SG-1, SG-2, SG-4, SG-10, SG-14, SG-15, SG-10)
Marine Combat Unit (SG-3, SG-5, SG-18)
Medical Unit (SG-8, SG-12)

At the expected time of this campaign, the Russian Unit (SG-20) does not yet exist.

The team to which the player characters (PCs) belong will be an EXPLORATION team, designated SG-2.

Exploration Team Assignments:

This assignment is most suitable for a wide variety of possible SGC mission details. No two exploration team mission details are alike. Most involve travel to newly-discovered worlds and the search for indigenous signs of civilisation – past or present. Exploration teams also take part in first contact missions, escort diplomatic and engineering teams to critical mission locales, assist Marine Combat units during battle and even engage in trade negotiations.

Exploration missions typically deal with the unknown, as the team heads off to a newly-discovered alien world. While the team may have some preliminary data from a MALP probe, nothing can entirely prepare them for what might be found on a new planet across the galaxy. The mission detail is usually Scouting. This involves obtaining data on the area around the Stargate. This includes searching for intelligent life and culture – including remains of extinct cultures – and new technology.

Because of this flexible nature of the exploration team’s assignments, its members must be well-rounded and well trained in a number of different fields. Most have military backgrounds, while a handful are civilian personnel who serve as cultural, linguistic or scientific experts.


Team Members and Positions

Like the bulk of personnel of the SGC, the characters making up the team members are assigned to an “SG team”. They will travel through the Stargate and conduct various missions. The typical SG team member is an officer in the US Air Force with Top Secret clearance, a record with no reprimands or administrative action, several years of distinguished service – preferably in one of the Special Forces branches of the Air Force or another military command – and no attachments. These are certainly the guidelines for the team commander. Other personnel may be civilian experts, enlisted personnel or even aliens!

Team Commander

The team commander is the highest ranking authority on an SG team and makes all operational and command decisions. In the field, this is the most difficult job, given that the commander may have to make a decision that places his team in harm’s way for the good of Earth. The majority of team commanders have a distinguished military career, usually in some sort of Special Forces. As noted above, a team commander is typically an officer in the US Air Force with Top Secret clearance and a record with no reprimands or administrative action. Typically, a team commander has the rank of Major. However, some teams are led by a Captain, and some seasoned teams are led by a Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel. Whatever his or her rank, the team commander must have a thorough understanding of SGC operations, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to make decisions quickly from limited data.


Time period for the setting:

I’ve been re-watching “Stargate: SG-1” on DVD. So far, I think the best setting is contemporaneous with Season 2. (When the TV series was originally shown this was 1998-99, although I may adjust the dates and make everything happen 14-15 years later, just to keep things simple). During this period, many of the common elements of the “Stargate” universe, such as Asgard, Tok’ra, the wider cast of Goauld, etc. were being established. Other elements introduced by the TV series, such as the Zat guns, already had been. It is still a period when teams are needed to travel to newly-generated ‘gate addresses and before much is known about the ‘Gate Builders’ and before the SGC have routine access to galaxy-hopping spaceships and super-weapons. It seems to me the best compromise between familiarity and novelty.

Hints about missions:

Don’t expect me to give too much away here. The typical adventure will involve exploration of a new world, contact with a culture based on an old Earth culture and some twist or surprise. Expect to come up against Jaffa and Goauld, and to encounter the odd bit of ancient (or should that be Ancient?) technology. However, I expect to make only relatively minor use of the specific Goauld personalities that feature heavily in the TV series, those mostly based on the Egyptian pantheon. Instead, I intend to make use of another pantheon which is featured only rarely in the TV show. Languages and cultural knowledge useful would be – in addition to the usual Egyptian – ‘European’. Is that vague enough? I don’t intend to have everyone you meet speaking English. I know this was done in the TV series to cut out having to do a scene every week where SG-1 learn the local lingo. We can cover that with a couple of dice rolls, and it keeps it more believable.

Information here is presented for review purposes only and is extracted and summarised from Chapter 2 of Book 1 of the “Stargate: SG-1” RPG, and original text is © 2003 AEG.

Playing: Telford: Dark Heresy.
Running: Cannock: Legends of Corwyn/D&D, Telford: Forgotten Realms: Heroes of Faerûn/D&D.
Prepping: Chill (modern day horror) Tales From The Loop (1980s sci-fi/horror)

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Lewis
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CHARACTER GENERATION

Postby Lewis » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Guide to Character Generation


1. CONCEPT

It is important to start with a strong central concept for a character, as this will make a lot of the decisions easier and make sure the character’s abilities are consistent and that they really are a “character” rather than a set of numbers. This means the character should also have a name!


2. CLASS

At this stage you should select the character’s base class. The following Base Classes are available: Explorer, Guardian (Jaffa only), Pointman, Scientist, Scout, Soldier and Wheelman. Given that each starting character has a maximum of 3 character levels, personally I would recommend having all three levels in the same base class. If someone is playing a Jaffa, this should be “Guardian”. For the team leader (who must be Human and US Military) I would think that “Pointman” is the most appropriate class, although not the only option.


3. SPECIALITY & SPECIES

Although it is wise to choose the species/speciality at this point, the ability modifiers are applied after the point buy stage.

HUMAN Speciality Options: Except where stated, all of these can be found in Book 1. The format is: “MACRO SPECIALITY: Micro Specialities”. “NID” and “Russian Unit” are not available as PCs.

US MILITARY SPECIALITIES:
AIR FORCE: Officer, Technician, Enlisted Recruit, Pararescue.
ARMY: Officer, Ranger, Technician, Enlisted Recruit, Book 2: Medical Corps.
MARINES: Officer, Enlisted Recruit, Force Reconnaissance, Technician.
NAVY: Officer, Enlisted Recruit, Technician, SEAL.

“Spycraft: US Militaries” adds the possibility of COASTGUARD as a branch (macro speciality) and various new departments (micro specialities) that are possible for different branches of the military, including: Air Superiority, Combat Engineering, Infantry, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Medicine, Psychological Operations, Search & Rescue, Special Weapons, Transport.

CIVILIAN/OTHER SPECIALITIES:
CIVILIAN SPECIALIST
DIPLOMATIC CORPS
ENGINEERING CORPS
Book 4:
ASTRONAUT
FOURTH ESTATE (“the Press”): Photojournalist, Print Reporter, Radio Reporter, TV Reporter

NON HUMAN SPECIES:
I suggest a maximum of one Jaffa and one other alien (such as a Near Human like the Tollan) in the SG-2 team. Starting PCs may NOT be Reol, ‘Ancient’, Nox, Furling, Goa’uld, Tok’ra, or Asgard.

NEAR HUMAN Speciality Options:
The three basic templates are: PRIMITIVE (technology below that of Earth), MODERN (similar to Earth) and ADVANCED (technologically superior to Earth). There are many templates available for specific cultures, including: Abydonian, Argosian, Untouched, Displaced, Cimmerians, Salish.

NON HUMAN Speciality Options: (Book 2) THE UNITY. This is the race of crystalline beings who duplicated Col. O’Neill in an early episode.
UNITY: Explorer, Pacifist, Vengeance Seeker.

JAFFA: Jaffa will mostly follow the rules in “Stargate: SG-1” RPG books, although adult Jaffa must enter play having taken the “Symbiote” feat at least once.
Sub-species options for the JAFFA:
Book 1: Horus Guard, Serpent Guard, Setesh Guard, Shol’va Rebel.
Book 2: Dragon Guard, Clergy, Kresh’taa (outcasts).
Book 3: Bast Guard, Brahama Guard, Emperor’s Hand, Fianna Warrior, Guard of Ages, Jackal Guard, Magi-Uchawi, Olympian Guard, Raven Guard, Spartan Guard.
Book 5: Ta-Taren.


4. ABILITY SCORES

You start with a pool of “Character Points” to buy ability scores. They can also be used to buy extra FEATS. The Character Level Feat for Level 1 can be exchanged for extra points. There are six abilities: STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHA. All ability scores start at 8. Higher scores can then be purchased using a pool of 36 points. The cost for each score is shown in a table in the "Guide to Character Generation". You cannot purchase ability scores above 18 at this stage. You cannot reduce a score below 8 to generate extra points. Ability purchase is done before the adjustments for Species and Speciality are applied.

Feats vs Ability: You may spend points out of the pool in order to buy extra feats, at the cost of 2 points for each extra feat. Your PC must still meet all the prerequisites of the feats being so purchased. Alternatively, you may give up the Character Level 1 feat (only) in order to gain 2 extra points with which to purchase ability scores. Feats due to a character class, speciality or species cannot be exchanged in this way.


5. CHARACTER PROGRESSION

Character Level XP needed and progression of Class Levels are unchanged from basic “Stargate: SG-1” RPG. The character level bonuses are interchangeable between feats and ability score increases. Hence at L3, L4, L6, L8, L9, etc. you EITHER have a +1 to an ability score OR a new feat. The new “Feat Purchase” optional rule allows XP to be exchanged for new feats at any time (cost for an extra feat = Current Level x 1000 in XP).

Level: By default, PCs will start at Level 3. The Level 3 increase may be taken as +1 to any ability score or a feat. You may elect to start at a lower level and receive extra feats under the “Feat Purchase” rule, as long as the total XP value of the character is equivalent to the start of L3 (3000 XP). For example, you could have a Level 1 character with 3 extra feats. You automatically get maximum Vitality at first level. At other levels you roll the appropriate vitality die for whatever class is being advanced. If you roll a “1” on a vitality die, you may re-roll until you get a score higher than 1.


6. RANK

The team leader will start with a rank of Major (O-4). Other officer player characters will have the rank of Captain or equivalent (O-3). Also, the team leader will have a Bonus Style Feat (see pp265-267), awarded entirely at my discretion. Prerequisites for such a feat will be waived. The choice of which feat will be based on my understanding of the character concept. Note that characters who choose to disobey or ignore orders from the team leader will suffer various penalties to their die rolls (see p424). Regardless of character class, the team leader can issue an order as if they have the Pointman’s “Tactics” ability once per session (also p424). If the leader is a Pointman, this stacks with their uses of this ability from their character class. This gives bonuses to characters who follow the orders. Promotions will be determined by the Gear Picks system, set out in the “SG-1” main rule book. In practice this means it is likely that characters will receive a promotion on reaching Level 4 (depending on Classes chosen).


7. BACKGROUNDS

You may elect to use 1 to 5 skill points to buy a “background” (known as “subplot” in Spycraft 2.0). This represents some secret or awkward history of your character. In play, you have to deal with the negative consequences of this background. In return you are rewarded with extra XP. Any such background will need to be discussed and agreed with me.

Playing: Telford: Dark Heresy.
Running: Cannock: Legends of Corwyn/D&D, Telford: Forgotten Realms: Heroes of Faerûn/D&D.
Prepping: Chill (modern day horror) Tales From The Loop (1980s sci-fi/horror)

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Lewis
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:40 pm
Location: Secret Lair, in a cavern somewhere beneath Telford.

POINT BUY FOR SG2 CHAR GEN

Postby Lewis » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:07 pm

You start with 36 points and can spend as follows: 2 points for an extra feat or give up L1 feat for 2 extra points.
Ability Score = cost
8 = 0
9 = 1
10 = 2
11 = 3
12 = 4
13 = 6
14 = 8
15 = 11
16 = 14
17 = 18
18 = 22

Playing: Telford: Dark Heresy.
Running: Cannock: Legends of Corwyn/D&D, Telford: Forgotten Realms: Heroes of Faerûn/D&D.
Prepping: Chill (modern day horror) Tales From The Loop (1980s sci-fi/horror)

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Lewis
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Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:40 pm
Location: Secret Lair, in a cavern somewhere beneath Telford.

SG-2: The Ninth Legion & The History Of The Romani

Postby Lewis » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:42 pm

STARGATE: SG-2 The Ninth Legion And The History Of The Romani

What is known on Earth


Legio Nona Hispana (Ninth Spanish Legion) was a Roman legion which operated from the 1st century BC until mid-2nd century AD. The legion's fate is unknown but has been the subject of considerable interest and research. It was based in Eboracum (York) in 108. The legion's title of "Hispana" may have meant that it was raised in Hispania (now Spain), but it was more probably awarded this title for victories there.

What is speculated on Earth

There are theories that the Ninth Legion was destroyed in action north of Hadrian's Wall around 117. This is because of the the disappearance of the Legio IX Hispana (Ninth Legion) from the historical record, following an expedition north to deal with Caledonian tribes in 117. This is a plausible theory, i.e. that the unit had been wiped out in Britain during a period of unrest early in the reign of the emperor Hadrian (AD 117–138). However, this is not widely agreed by historians.

What really happened (the ‘Stargate’ explanation!)

Several Goa’uld System Lords, including The Morrigan and Cronus visited Earth in the 2nd century AD, via the Antarctic Gate. Cronus targeted an area beyond the borders of ‘civilisation’ to kidnap humans to be slaves. He chose Caledonia, north of the Roman Empire’s newly defined northernmost border, Hadrian’s Wall.

Cronus scooped up many local tribespeople, Romanised settlers and farmers and (unfortunately for him) the Ninth Legion. The commander of the Ninth, Marcus Flavius Aquila was not only securing peace on the Empire’s border, but also visiting the frontier settlers. These were not just simple farmers. Many of them were actually veteran legionnaires, given frontier farmland in line with common Roman practice. With Aquila, were his two tutors, Greek philosopher/scientists. Additionally there were a large number of local Celtic tribespeople, including many warrior heroes.

The humans were captured and taken through the gate to one of Cronus’s worlds. However, despite the typical Goa’uld tactics, the educated Greeks and hence Aquila and his men never believed him to be a god. And so they plotted to win their freedom.

Despite being vastly outmatched in terms of technology, the kidnapped humans had the advantage of numbers, military experience, Romano-Greek stoicism and sheer suicidal bravery. The battle against Cronus’s Jaffa troops was brutal and epic. The humans won and Cronus fled through the Stargate.

Unable to work the Stargate to return home, the human rebels buried it and founded a new home on the world they named Roma Nova (“New Rome”). Their culture is a mix of Celtic and Roman elements, with the latter, even after nearly two millennia still being predominant. They built a capital city and called it Novum Eboracum ("New York").

The humans called themselves Romani and still speak a dialect or offshoot of Latin called the same thing. They started with far less people and influences, but have had the advantage of some scraps of Goa’uld technology and no Dark Ages. Hence, technologically and scientifically, they are around 20-30 years ahead of Earth humans in 1999. However, their science, particularly the biological sciences and gene tampering have led them to some problems, especially with their originally very restricted gene pool.

The Romani eventually uncovered the Stargate and (like the Tau’ri) started experimenting with it. They discovered that Cronus was only one of the Goa’uld and what a threat the System Lords were. The Romani were overjoyed when, on an expedition to another planet, they encountered a team from the SGC. After careful negotiations, a cautious alliance has been formed between the Romani of Roma Nova and the Tau’ri of Earth. And now one of the Romani’s top Prætors (policemen), Marcus Crassus has been proudly accepted as a member of the SGC and serves in the SG-2 team, under Lt. Cdr. Sheppard.


Game Mechanics for Romani Characters

(see Stargate: SG-1, Book 1, pp 148-151)

Macro Species: Near Human
Society Type: Advanced

Ability Modifiers: -2 STR, +2 INT.
Species Skill Bonuses: Electronics, Mechanics
Species Bonus Feat: Any Basic or Advanced Skill Feat.
Evolutionary Advantages: Godless, Genetically Modified: +2 DEX
Evolutionary Disadvantages: Vulnerability to Cold, Dependency (on a medicine called ‘Ambrosia’, must take every 24 hours).
Cultural weaponry: Due to their militaristic background, Handgun is always a Weapon Group Proficiency for Romani of any class, additionally characters may start play with an Advanced Taser (directed energy weapon). This counts as part of their personal gear and does not need to be requisitioned with Gear picks or Resource points at the start of each mission.

Playing: Telford: Dark Heresy.
Running: Cannock: Legends of Corwyn/D&D, Telford: Forgotten Realms: Heroes of Faerûn/D&D.
Prepping: Chill (modern day horror) Tales From The Loop (1980s sci-fi/horror)

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Lewis
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Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:40 pm
Location: Secret Lair, in a cavern somewhere beneath Telford.

Roma Nova's own 'supervillan'

Postby Lewis » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:16 pm

Lucius Agrippa – Roma Nova’s own ‘supervillan’

Doctor Lucius Agrippa was a high-born Romani scientist who was part of Roma Nova’s early Stargate programme, around 50 years ago. This developed a lot more slowly than Earth’s Stargate programme, as the Romani did not have the advantage of the Abydos Cartouche or the Ancient database. Lucius travelled through the gate on various exploratory missions. After one mission to an icy planet the Romani named Gelida cost the lives of his team-members, Lucius retired from the programme and apparently dedicated his scientific knowledge to helping his fellow citizens.

Lucius founded the Atlas Corporation to develop and exploit the scientific knowledge provided by the perilous off-world expeditions. He had powerful family connections amongst the Patrician class that provided political support and still had friends inside the programme. Whilst the Atlas Corporation produced many small technological advances, Lucius began devoting his personal efforts to improving the characteristics of the Romani race themselves.

Over the next four decades, Lucius worked on a genetic treatment that would boost intelligence. When the central Commission Ethicis refused permission for human trials, Lucius publicly accused them of wilful cowardice and blindness to the benefits to the whole race. He then tested the gene therapy on himself anyway. The treatment apparently rejuvenated Lucius and kept him looking remarkable young, boosted Lucius’s IQ by a large margin, a result he was pleased to announce to the world, rather grandly. Potential legal fall out was headed off by the positive result and his powerful connections. However, there were rumours of undocumented side-effects, including unpleasant changes in behaviour. Lucius announced that he would perfect the gene therapy and then make it available to the whole Romani race on a non-profit basis.

At the same time, a young but dedicated Prætor called Marcus Crassus was investigating the disappearances of a number of homeless people. Most of his fellow detectives had no time for such cases, but Crassus was still dedicated and idealistic. He doggedly pursued the clues until they led him to an isolated clinic owned by a subsidiary of the Atlas Corporation. Here Crassus was shocked to discover a number of the homeless people he had been looking for. All had been the subject of medical experiments. Several were already dead, but some could be saved. The Prætor realised that Atlas had been perfecting their genetic therapy on these people. But why were they more interested in the cases where the subject gradually sickened and died?

Meanwhile, the Atlas Corporation released the first version of its therapy, which was actually a retro-virus that spread rapidly through the Romani population. And soon everyone reported the benefits – increased co-ordination and spatial ability. As Marcus Crassus raced to find evidence to tie Lucius to the kidnappings and deaths in the clinic, the Doctor was feted across Roma Nova. As the Prætor closed in on the well-connected Lucius, the second part of the scientist’s staggering plan clicked into place. The population began to sicken. Quickly the Atlas Corporation moved to reassure everyone that they could supply treatment for these “side effects”, for a price. Yes, the whole world would have to buy a medicine code-named ‘Ambrosia’ from Atlas for the rest of their lives. And Atlas was charging a steep price for Ambrosia.

Too late, the world realised that somewhere along the way – perhaps from his own treatments - Lucius had become deranged – egotistical, immoral, self-centred and grandiose beyond all measure. Although it was too late to prevent Lucius’s evil plan, Marcus Crassus confronted and captured the evil scientist. Crassus was an instrumental witness at Lucius Agrippa’s trial, which concluded with the scientist being convicted of multiple homicides, frauds and crimes against humanity. Lucius was sentenced to death.

Meanwhile, the Atlas Corporation has been taken into public ownership in order to ensure that supply of Ambrosia is available to all. Some of Lucius’s powerful friends have exacted a degree of revenge and Marcus Crassus’s career has hardly been as stellar as it should have been. So when the opportunity came up to serve as his world’s representative with an SGC team, the now more world-weary detective jumped at the chance.

Playing: Telford: Dark Heresy.
Running: Cannock: Legends of Corwyn/D&D, Telford: Forgotten Realms: Heroes of Faerûn/D&D.
Prepping: Chill (modern day horror) Tales From The Loop (1980s sci-fi/horror)


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