Wyvern Gaming is hard at work on a brand new Stargate Roleplaying Game, made for tabletop play in the classic style of Dungeons & Dragons. The group hosted an initial play-test of the game at Gen Con in August, and last month put out an open call for additional playtesters to sign up.
The publisher is targeting an August 2020 release date for the game, following additional play-testing and a Kickstarter campaign this coming February.
Aside from cover art for the core rule book, though, the game’s characters and story have remained a mystery — until now. The game will use Stargate SG-1‘s sixth season as the jumping-off point for its story. Specifically the writers are looking at the episode “Allegiance,” and for a very specific reason that makes a ton of sense for an experience like this. (More on that below.)
Yep, that is an Unas on the cover, in S.G.C. fatigues.
In a new interview with Geek Native, Wyvern CEO Brad Ellis reveals the setting, the playable races, and game design choices for the forthcoming title. He also talked about plans to progress the RPG worldwide with shared missions (“episodes”) and larger campaigns (“seasons”), giving players a way to level up their characters and take them from game to game.
Ellis also revealed “Stargate Phoenix” — the name of an off-world base that serves as home to alien and human reconnaissance teams.
THE FIFTH EDITION
Longtime tabletop role-players noted the company’s early announcement that it would build the game using the D&D 5th edition Open Gaming License (published in 2016). This determines the nature and shape of a campaign, particularly the game mechanics. There are a variety of systems out there, perhaps the best-known being the d20 System published in 2000 by Wizards of the Coast. (That’s the one that Alderac Entertainment used for the original Stargate SG-1 Roleplaying Game, released in 2003.)
Hopefully the Stargate license will help to draw new and casual players into tabletop gaming, and Ellis said that the 5th edition was chosen in order to maximize accessibility.
“It was the system we felt the majority of gamers were most familiar, as well as ourselves,” Ellis told Geek Native. “[And] we feel like 5th edition has been able to strike that balance between, easy to pick up and play, versus the crunchiness an advanced player likes for depth.”
Of course the D&D rules and its mechanics were created for a fantasy world. So will there be magic spells in Stargate? Ellis said that Wyvern is working to adapt the roleplaying system for Stargate’s own fictional universe.
“The biggest part of sculpting we’re having to do is scooping out the magic and replacing it with technology,” he said. They’ll also modify the 5th edition by adding mechanics of their own. The goal here is to create stories that fit the Stargate universe, and also make for suitable challenges to the characters and teams that players create. “We want our players’ characters to feel powerful enough to handle the situation, but at the same time threatened by the likes of a Kull warrior.”
In its television incarnations the Stargate storyline stretches over 14 years, from SG-1’s tentative first steps into the galaxy to the fall of Icarus Base to the Lucian Alliance and the discovery of the Ancient ship Destiny. So where will the Stargate Roleplaying Game fall in the timeline?
Ellis revealed that the starting point of this story is in the middle of SG-1 Season Six. And there is a specific reason for that, which creates the circumstances for the game’s setting and inter-species team-ups.
“To be specific, we’ll be picking up just after the events in Season Six, episode 9, ‘Allegiance.’ This is during the infancy of the relationships between the Tok’ra, Free Jaffa, and Tau’ri who are coming together to fight a common enemy.
“Because of what happens in this episode, the Alpha Site becoming compromised and the influx of freedom fighters from other worlds, the U.S. President and S.G.C. decided to create a new top secret off-world base, called Phoenix Site. The purpose of this site is to take in warriors from worlds across the galaxy that want to help in the fight against the Goa’uld, train them in S.G.C. tactics, and send them on missions.”
That means that players will be free to create characters from a variety of races who are allied with Earth — including the Tok’ra, the Unas, and a variety of humans from planets such as Abydos, Langara (Jonas Quinn’s homeworld), and others. (Tau’ri will not be playable, for reasons Ellis did not elaborate upon.) Each race will give characters unique abilities.
The game will also introduce a new, original species called the Aturen — presumably to tie into the first season’s common storyline. Ellis confirms to GateWorld that this is the Nox-looking species pictured above; the Aturen are a younger species “that was nurtured by the Nox,” he said — “hence the similar look.”
Season Six of Stargate SG-1 comes after the downfall of Apophis, when the Goa’uld Anubis has been received back into the company of the System Lords but has not yet reached the height of his power. Anubis has used Ancient technology to attack Earth (“Redemption”), but does not turn against the System Lords — and (SPOILER alert) destroy Abydos — until the sixth’s season finale.
After the Alpha Site is compromised by a Goa’uld assassin (“Allegiance”), the RPG sees Stargate Command establishing not only a new Alpha Site (seen later in the TV series) but also Stargate Phoenix (S.G.P.) — a second off-world base where various allies can gather to be trained and work together for a common end.
“We chose the setting of the Phoenix site for the specific purpose of letting our players play alien races,” Ellis explained. “Being a secret off-world base it explains why we did not see Phoenix site in the series and allows the stories created to fit into canon of the original show.”
Technically players will be a part of Stargate Command, operating out of the S.G.P. base. And the events of the RPG will at times intersect with the on-screen events of the TV show.
In addition to the core rulebook, Wyvern will publish official “Seasons” for player campaigns, made up of missions (“Episodes”) written by the publisher and its team of contributors.
“In the past the Wyvern Gaming staff had been heavily invested in campaigns such as Living Greyhawk, Adventurers league, and Pathfinder Society,” Ellis said, “so we’re excited at the possibility of bringing an immersive campaign where you can take your character from table to table with different Gate Masters (GMs) and tell a cohesive story.”
COMING IN 2020
Play-testing on the Stargate Roleplaying Game continues apace, with Ellis expressing enthusiasm about play-testers’ level of engagement and enthusiasm. Next will come a public play-test, likely to coincide with a Kickstarter campaign in February 2020 to raise funds for the game’s production and distribution.
Wyvern hopes to have their work in the hands of gamers by August, when the company returns to Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana (July 30 to August 2).
Depending on the success of the initial release, Wyvern certainly hopes to release additional expansions in the future. This would give the Stargate RPG the chance to expand beyond the Season Six era and draw later characters and storylines into its narrative world.
Be sure to read the full interview with Brad Ellis now at GeekNative.com! Stick with GateWorld for more on the Stargate Roleplaying Game in the months ahead.
What do you think? Will you be assembling your squad for some Stargate RPG missions?
On Twitter: @WyvrenGaming