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I’ve gotten hooked on the whole “Stargate” franchise lately. The show, the roleplaying game put out by AEG… It’s just great fun. But, while I absolutely love the RPG, there are a few things I found myself wanting to change after I created a few missions and worlds using their charts. Everybody needs to tailor things to their own tastes, so you’ll probably want to adjust these to suit yours, but this is what I ended up with. Anything with “adjusted” in the title is adapted from something in the RPG; anything with “new” is something I threw together myself. For the adjusted charts I only include those columns where I deviated from the book (I know, it might be helpful to include the whole chart, but I take copyright seriously).
- Adjusted thermosphere chart
- Thermosphere causal chart (new)
- Adjusted atmosphere chart
- Adjusted anthrosphere/technological development chart
- Mission plot twist chart (new)
I guess they were trying to go for something a bit more “realistic” than your average RPG. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work entirely well for an RPG. I’ve always been okay with the excuse that the Stargate worlds are largely habitable specifically because they were terraformed to be that way. If more than half the worlds the teams come across require specialized equipment to get through, then games tend to become a bit cumbersome. Not to mention you can’t have as many of those fun action sequences. When I rolled up my third world in a row that had sub-freezing temperatures, I decided it was time to change some things. Partially I changed the roll numbers; mostly I changed the temperature ranges. I’m sure every person will have a different opinion as to what is dangerously cold or hot (or simply annoyingly cold or hot for their game), so change the numbers accordingly for your own game. Again, I’m deliberately skewing this chart to make it more fun for a roleplaying game, so please don’t send me email telling me how horribly unrealistic it is!
|Roll 1d100 (percentile)||Thermosphere||Base Temperature||Actual Range||Notes|
|01||Above-surface artificial environment||N/A||N/A||Roll on causal charts, below. If that doesn’t specify a temperature, re-roll on this chart.|
|02||Exotic (cold)||N/A||N/A||Reason for extreme cold is very unusual — GM’s discretion|
|03||Absolute cold||-(2d%+150) F||-152 to -350 F|
|04-05||Deathly cold||-(1d%+40) F||-41 to -140 F|
|06-10||Frigid||-2d20 F||-2 to -40 F|
|11-25||Cold||3d12 F||3 to 36 F|
|26-45||Cool||35+2d10 F||37-55 F|
|46-55||Temperate||55+2d6 F||58-67 F|
|56-76||Warm||65+1d10 F||66-75 F|
|77-90||Hot||70+1d20 F||72-94 F|
|91-94||Broiling||94+1d20 F||95-114 F|
|95-96||Deathly hot||114+1d% F||115-214|
|97||Extreme heat||200+5d% F||205-1200 F|
|98||Exotic (hot)||N/A||N/A||Reason for extreme heat is unusual; or heat level is way beyond chart|
|99-100||Underground environment||N/A||N/A||Roll on causal chart, below. If that doesn’t specify a temperature, re-roll on this chart.|
I guess you could say that the original chart focused on a comparatively planetary scale of hot and cold, whereas I’m concerned more with a personal scale of hot and cold.
I had wanted to add those “underground” and “enclosed” options to the thermosphere chart because we’ve seen them come up a number of times on the show, and I thought it might be nice to have a reminder right there on the chart that these are options. Of course there are lots of reasons why people might live in those sorts of environments, so I put together a small causal chart. If you roll on this causal chart and it doesn’t mention anything about the temperature of the outside surface of the planet, then either pick something that makes sense with your result, or re-roll on the thermosphere chart, discarding any result of 1, 99, or 100.
|2||Surface uninhabitable due to pollution or other toxins|
|3||Surface uninhabitable due to deliberately-released toxins|
|4||Surface uninhabitable due to disease or plague|
|5||Surface uninhabitable due to extreme heat or cold (roll a die; evens–hot; odds–cold)|
|6||Little or no atmosphere (ignore atmosphere chart)|
|8||Surface uninhabitable due to cataclysm (1d10; 1-2: volcano; 3-4: earthquake; 5-6: flood; 7-8: asteroid impact; 9-10: other)|
|9||Dangerous creatures roam the surface|
|10||Population chose to seclude or segregate themselves for some reason|
|11||Population has physical needs that require special environment|
|12||Dangerous people roam the surface|
|13||Surface uninhabitable due to radiation contamination|
|17||Religious, ethical or moral reasons|
|18||Population has been misled into believing that their situation is necessary (re-roll on chart to determine the ostensible reason why they remain inside, ignoring a result of 18)|
|19||Population is being kept prisoner or used as forced labor|
I changed this for pretty much the same reason as the thermosphere chart–I was tired of creating worlds that required specialized equipment to survive. I wanted a larger proportion of human-habitable worlds. Sure, I can always toss out a roll I don’t like, but it’s also nice to have a chart that suits my needs. Thus, pretty much only the rolls have changed. The main rulebook contains the rest of the chart, including number of atmospheres, challenge ratings, exposure increments, saves, recuperation times, and so on.
|Roll 1d100 (percentile)||Atmosphere|
|02||None (hard vacuum)|
My reasons for changing this one are a little less specific. I guess I just had a couple of options I wanted to add, and it seemed like there were a couple of types of tech levels that kept coming up again and again, and I wanted more variety than that. Maybe it’s just my dice, but anyway, this chart works better for me. If you have particular time periods you like working with (or don’t like working with), adjust the numbers to suit. Again, further information (such as advancements, weapons, armor, etc.) can be found in the main rulebook.
|Roll 1d100 (percentile)||Technology Level||Notes|
|01-10||No developed life|
|97||Non-existent*||This world has no technological development to speak of. The inhabitants have been unable to develop on their own, they steal technology from others rather than developing it them selves, or something else equally odd.|
|98||Historical*||This world’s development has stopped–all development occurred in the past.|
|99||Unusual basis*||This world’s technology is based on something unusual–organic technology, for example.|
|100||Other exotic*||Unusual tech level; skewed tech level (some things match one of the designated tech levels while other things match a different level); odd tech basis or developmental direction; etc.|
* Re-roll to determine the society’s original or equivalent tech level, if appropriate.
Mission plot twist chart (new)
I feel that when they came up with the mission chart, they left something out. One of the hallmarks of most TV episodes (particularly Stargate) is the twist. At some point in the mission you find out that one or more things weren’t what you thought they were, or something totally unexpected happens. Some people call this the reversal when they’re working specifically with plot twists that change your idea of what’s been going on, although I’ve made this more general than that.
|Roll 1d100 (percentile)||Twist|
|01-05||Roll on thermosphere causal chart and work the complication into the plot. If the result doesn’t work, roll again on that chart or this one.|
|06-17||Re-roll on mission chart; part-way through the mission something happens to change the mission type to that of the new roll.*|
|18-28||Re-roll on mission chart; part-way through the mission something happens to add the new mission type onto the team’s responsibilities.*|
|29-30||An unexpected sacrifice must be made in order to achieve the team’s mission, or in order to survive or return home.|
|31-33||The team cannot return home. There are many reasons why this might be the case!|
|34-42||The team comes across someone (an individual, group, or civilization) that wants or needs to be rescued (1d6; 1: from a hostile force; 2: from a natural disaster; 3: from a man-made disaster; 4: from a medical emergency; 5: from something mystical and weird; 6: other or re-roll)|
|43-44||The team comes across a situation that is easy to misunderstand (or that the SGC has already misunderstood), and thus are likely to do something inappropriate.|
|45-48||The SGC is placed in danger (roll a die; odds–because of something related to the team’s mission; evens–because of something unrelated to their mission).|
|49-52||The team is exposed to something dangerous–radiation, a disease, a drug or poison, etc. Use whatever’s appropriate to the mission.|
|53-54||The team is stalked or attacked.|
|55-59||Information or equipment important to the mission is destroyed, stolen, missing, or captured.|
|60-64||A location important to the mission has been overrun, occupied, or destroyed by hostile forces.|
|65-69||A natural cataclysm has changed the landscape or situation and interfered with the planned mission.|
|70-75||Someone important to the mission dies, becomes injured, goes missing, or gets captured.|
|76-77||The team stumbles into the middle of someone else’s problems and gets caught up in them.|
|78-83||Team uncovers evidence of a Goa’uld or Jaffa plot or other hostile activity beyond the scope of their mission.|
|84-86||Someone isn’t who they say they are.|
|87||Someone is being coerced or co-opted in some way.|
|88||Exotic–anything from one-of-a-kind alien encounters to the team finding out they’re actually in a virtual reality machine.**|
|89||Team discovers missing or presumed dead SGC member(s) or ally being held captive.|
|90-93||Team was misled about details of the mission.|
|94||Entire mission is a ruse to capture the team, get information from them, etc.|
|95-98||Someone is using the team for their own ends.|
|99-100||Someone ambushes or betrays the team.|
* Or, print out an appropriate list of plots (there are some available on the web), cut up the paper so you have one plot to one strip of paper, put the papers in a bag, and grab one at random. At some point during the mission, this new plot is introduced.
** A re-roll on this chart or the mission chart may help to nail down the practical effects of this plot twist. For example, you decide the team is having a weird one-of-a-kind alien encounter. You re-roll and get a result of 85, “someone isn’t who they say they are.” Perhaps this means the encounter is being faked, or that the alien is misrepresenting himself. This may be helpful at other times as well. You may even wish to roll for multiple plot twists for a particularly long and head-twisting episode.
As always, adjust the numbers to suit your tastes. You can also shift numbers around in order to introduce new options into the list, and I may come back once in a while to muck with the list as well.
I hope you find these useful, and enjoy your game!