When I was younger, I loved watching Stargate SG-1. The Canadian-American military sci-fi series continued the story of the 1994 cult classic Stargate. Learning that the ancient alien device known as the Stargate is networked to a multitude of planets, the United States government covertly establishes elite U.S. Air Force special operations teams to travel through the Stargate, to explore the galaxy, and to defend against alien threats like the parasitical Goa’uld. Stargate SG-1 follows the adventures of the flagship team for this program: the titular SG-1. Now fans of one of the beloved science fiction television show will be able to explore old and new worlds in the galaxy with the upcoming Stargate Phoenix roleplaying game (RPG) from Wyvern Gaming!

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Stargate SG-1 was popular enough to spawn two spin-off shows (Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe), two direct-to-DVD films (Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum), a webseries (Stargate Origins), and even a tabletop roleplaying game. The original Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game was published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) in 2003. It used the d20 system published byB) as well as mechanics from AEG’s signature Spycraft RPG, and it explored characters, locations, storylines, and themes from the first two seasons of Stargate SG-1. As announced on Stargate fan site GateWorld, Stargate is coming back to tabletop gaming with Stargate Phoenix. Wyvern Gaming plans to draw new and casual players into the Stargate franchise by using the Open Gaming License published in 2016 (which is based on Dungeons & Dragons, 5th edition). “It was the system we felt the majority of gamers were most familiar, as well as ourselves,” said Wyvern Gaming CEO Brad Ellis, “[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.”

The story-line of Stargate stretches over decades: from the Stargate being dug up at Giza in 1928 to the discovery of the Ancient starship Destiny in 2009. Ellis revealed that the starting point of Phoenix’s story is the middle of Season 6 for Stargate SG-1. A new threat is rising in the form of the monstrous and deceptive Anubis, who has been restored to his previous status as a villainous “System Lord”. With an influx of freedom fighters from the Tok’ra and the Jaffa Rebellion, the President of the United States authorizes Stargate Command to create a new top-secret off-world base: the Phoenix Site (also known as the “SGP”). Unlike the SGC’s Alpha Site (a contingency base and fallback point for Earth), the purpose of the SGP is to help warriors fighting against the Goa’uld by training them in SGC tactics and sending them on missions.

This allows players to create characters who are not just Humans from Earth, but also Humans of other planets such as Abydos or Langara. Players can also play as other races such as the Tok’ra (a group of Goa’uld that oppose the System Lords), the Unas (the original hosts for the Goa’uld), and a new race called the Aturen (a species nurtured by another race called the Nox).

Stargate Phoenix brings back familiar Stargate aliens and introduces new races, such as the fairy-like Aturen.

Being a top-secret off-world base explains why the Phoenix Site was never seen or mentioned on the show. Thus, the SGP can still fit into the canon of Stargate SG-1. Phoenix also allows for and encourages increased diversity among its characters. “We chose the setting of the Phoenix Site for the specific purpose of letting our players play alien races,” Ellis explained.

The biggest challenge of converting D&D, 5th ed. into Stargate is the lack of spellcasting. “The biggest part of sculpting we’re having to do is scooping out the magic and replacing it with technology,” Ellis shared, “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.” Inspired by “living campaigns” such as D&D Adventurers League and Pathfinder Society, Wyvern plans to publish official “seasons” for player campaigns, made up of “episodes” (missions) written by the publishing team. “So we’re excited at the possibility of bringing an immersive campaign where you can take your character from table to table with different game masters (GMs) and tell a cohesive story,” Ellis said.

The Kickstarter campaign for Stargate Phoenix will be launching February 2020, with a planned August 2020 release date (assuming the game is successfully crowdfunded)…just in time for Gen Con 2020 in Indianapolis. Will you be rolling up some characters to travel through the wormhole? Keep an eye on Geek Girl Authority for upcoming news about this exciting new RPG!

 

 

Tyler Boyce
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