Stargate SG-1 RPG. The Saga of Wyvern & Aetherworks

This post is roughly four months later than I’d intended it to be. In August last year I posted about a new Stargate RPG having completed it’s Kickstarter and being close to publishing the rulebook. PDF copies were available then, and actual books did start getting out to backers out Sept-Nov 2021, primarily in parts of the USA. Covid and the MGM – Amazon purchase caused a number of delays, especially with printing and shipping overseas. Overall, the project has gone really well, and I’ve seen worse delays in other Kickstarters, even some pre-Covid that never had that excuse.

Initially I’d hoped to have my book October – November, but like lots of other things around the world there were more delays. This was complicated by what sounds like Wyvern now needing approval from (MGM /) Amazon to do anything, including giving updates on what was happening.

Books actually arrived in Australia early Jan 2022, and I was thrilled when mine turned up later in the month. I’d heard Aetherworks (Sydney based) had a bad reputation as a KS distributor, but they got me the book fast and it was really well packed. Not so happy when I started flicking through it to find two sections of duplicated pages and other pages missing because of the repeats. This messed up a whole chapter on the worlds of Stargate and the Goa’uld. It’s taken four months for me to get a replacement. Aetherworks has their own website for selling stuff, and a single contact form – no address, no phone numbers, no assistance! I got a automatic response to creating a ticket that insisted “A support representative will be reviewing your request and will send you a personal response”.

That personal response took three & a half months! I’d updated the ticket twice with “what’s happening?”, and sent multiple emails to support. The response was “we’re sorry”, “we’ve made changes to customer support”, “it shouldn’t happen again”. No, it shouldn’t have happened AT ALL. They were selling copies online, so it wasn’t like they didn’t have spares.

I don’t fault Wyvern – they were great. They didn’t respond to every query (having multiple contact points is probably not so helpful), but I could email them (and had a Discord chat) and got responses that were friendly and helpful. I’m convinced they were doing what they could from the other side of the world to assist and push AW to act.

If there’s a good side to this all… it’s that I now have two books. The “bad” one has  complete player & main rules sections, so that can be the book everyone passes around, and I have a full copy just for me as GM. My group learnt a long while ago that two copies of the main rules of any RPG are a requirement with 6+ people. I got a set of equipment cards which look great too, though a lighter background would have been better.

The book is great… 368 pages, well-bound, nice artwork (nearly all original), glossy pages, well set out and easy to read. Print could have been a little smaller and reduced the page count! It sounds like Wyvern really wants to do more with this while they have the license. A ‘companion’ soft-cover with more character options, feats & equipment would really help the case game. Lots of people want expansions that cover Atlantis, Universe and SG-1 seasons 7-10. I’d certainly buy another book.

I’ve nearly finished writing two one-session adventures using this – one for Stargate itself, and another based on Battlestar Galactica. I still need to make some maps. (You could do a Star Trek game easily with this too.)

I’m sorry for those who are still waiting their order/KS to arrive. Brexit seems to have completely screwed delivery from Europe to the UK (changes in taxes, freight, etc) and some other countries also still have problems. My enthusiasm for the game has gone up and down a lot over the past year, but I’m still glad I supported this.

Now its back to trying to finish painting this final Battletech mini!

A new Stargate RPG

I’m a Stargate fan. I could say more about that and watching Sci-Fi on TV, but it would be a whole new blog-post of its own. There’s a new Stargate RPG just out, at least the PDF is, but printed rule-books are meant to be available for pickup at Gen-Con mid Sept. Here, on the other side of the world, I’m just hoping they start mailing at the same time.

I’ll assume you know what Stargate is. If you are reading this, I’d say there’s a good chance you have either watched the movie, or one of the TV series that followed it later.

History: Here’s some background on the game. (There’s already heaps of websites that could give you background on Stargate itself.)

This isn’t the first Stargate RPG. Back in 2003, Alderac Entertainment Group produced “Stargate SG-1 RPG” based on d20 & their Spycraft game. (Licensed from MGM) They also came out with a bunch of supplements and overall I think it looks pretty good. I’d love a printed copy now, but I’m not interested in spending over $100 getting a second-hand book from the USA/UK.

In mid-2019, Wyvern Gaming announced they would be developing a “Stargate RPG” with MGM. A closed beta playtest began in Oct 2019, followed by a public beta started in March 2020. Covid pushed most of their plans back six months, and they’re Kickstarter ran in October 2020. This was very well supported. I’d noted what they were doing late 2019, but missed the Kickstarter itself and got in as a late backer at the start of 2021.


The original game sounds like it was intended to be set away from Earth with players representing alien races helping the SGC fight against the Goa’uld – with no Humans! People quickly raised the point that a game based on Stargate SG-1 should allow Tau’ri (Human) characters. Thankfully, they agreed and altered their plans.

The last set of Beta rules available was Jun 2020, and little appears to have changed between that and the newly released pre-printed rulebook PDF. This PDF seems to have most spelling/grammar errors fixed and some cosmetic changes, but little or no change to the rules. The Stargate forums (on Wyvern’s site) have had considerable debate on character classes, abilities, weapons (particularly ranges), but I feel most of it hasn’t been taken into account. (Maybe their Discord channel was better with feedback?)

We now have the “Stargate SG-1 RPG” (“based on Stargate SG-1” – Really, I’d never have worked that out myself!) The game is set during Series 6 of the SG-1 TV series, and centres on the SG-P, “Phoenix” site, based away from Earth to recruit, train and send out teams through a Stargate to essentially do what the SG teams did in the series, and fight the Goa’uld. The game rules only cover material from those first six SG-1 series. I feel there may not be anything further. There’s been a lot of fuss and delay to this point, though much of that could have been Covid related rather than difficulties with MGM approval. (Wyvern also seems to have gone annoyingly quiet on how things are going with the final stage of the kickstarter, but is heavily advertising pre-order retail sales. This has also coincided with Amazon buying MGM.) If the game sells well in retail, it’s possible Wyvern could release a supplement (or more than one) to cover later SG-1 series, or even Atlantis or Universe. There’s definitely interest in an expansion of PC races and equipment. Failing that, it’s pretty easy for a GM to create material that adds to the official book – there’s already house rules on classes, etc.

Game Rules:

Based on 5th Edition D&D, this looks pretty good! I’d been going over bits of the Beta rules and reading the forums and started feeling a bit let down – especially when I’d been reading over some of the d20 version. Last month I got the full release PDF and I’ve been getting happier the more I read. I decided to make up a single-session adventure with the characters from SG-1, plus a few extras to round out character choices. I haven’t played 5th edition, nor have my players. I looked over stuff when Wizards were developing it, and have a copy of the SRD, but never really read through a lot of it. So, mostly I’m learning how the system works by making characters and reading the Stargate rules. I’m certain we’ll have a lot of fun with this, partly because it’s somewhat different from our other games.

Five races/species – Tau’ri (Humans), Aturen, Jaffa, Tok’ra and Unas. Six classes – Diplomat, Engineer, Medic, Scientist, Scout, Soldier. Each race has a “base” version, and a second variant, except for Humans who get two variants (Abydonians, Tollans). You get two origins that offer stat increases, skill proficiencies or bonuses with certain skills/weapons/environments, etc.

You can only take 5 levels in one class (specialising), after that all your “Mission Points” go to buying feats. Essentially, even class abilities are feats, and all feats have a cost in Mission Points. After 5th, your level is determined by how many points you have spent. If you know what you are doing, you can be “classless” right from the beginning. They have an interesting system for ‘encounters’ that uses a blend of actual role-playing with skill checks for what they term: Convince, Diplomatic, Infiltration, Interrogation, R&D, and Traversal. The GM sets a DC and Threshold (the number of successes required) to succeed. Players describe their “approach” and use ‘Determination Points’ to make rolls. This occurs in rounds until the PC’s achieve threshold, or no one can (or does) contribute more DP, and fail. I’m still getting my head round how this works, but the DP’s are a bit like wagering with poker chips, and you can get them back during the process.

It comes together pretty well. Trying to put together specific characters from the TV series has been a challenge, but I think I’ve got PC’s who represent the characters reasonably well and will be fun to play.

The downsides to the game:

I haven’t finished reading everything, and I’m still learning the game (and 5th ed) but I am disappointed. Particularly, that with all the time spent on play testing and feedback, there isn’t MORE available in the game. Also I’m surprised that considering how this is all based on SG-1, they didn’t draw more from the series itself instead of defining their own ‘canon’.

Potential Improvements:

  1. Races/Species: Aturen are a pointy-eared non-violent species invented by Wyvern (on the forum someone called them ‘space-elves’). While the rules mention 7 planets that SG-1 contacted with humans, only two of them are given specific race traits to use as PC’s. I would have like more options for Humans, and a few more alien races – actually from the series. Serrikan (a reptilian race from Hebridan, Season 6) are mentioned as an NPC race, as are the near human Ilempri (Season 3). I’m sure I’ll write my own rules for Player race versions.
  2. Origins: Players choose two, each from a different category – Biome (16 options), Background (25) or Racial (6). It’s a pity that the racial set has only one possible choice for all but Jaffa (and you have to be a pacifist for the Aturen one). At least three choices each here would have been much better. The backgrounds list is great, and I’m tempted to house rule both choices can be made from here if you’re human.
  3. Equipment: There’s lots of different weapon types listed, and a nice set of weapon ‘upgrades’, but the list of weapons itself isn’t remarkable. Equipment is fairly basic, and probably enough, but the Goa’uld technology that they give rules for is buried in the last chapter with the Goa’uld/Jaffa and not in the Equipment chapter. Again, I’m sure there will be people drawing up lists of more equipment/weapons to use, or I can just go to D20 Modern for inspiration.

Overall, the Kickstarter isn’t much behind schedule (about 5 months) and has been better than almost every other Kickstarter I’ve been part of (in regards communication and delays) except Zombicide. I haven’t funded many projects, but thankfully none have fallen through, although one was much much worse than this… <cough… CurseoftheLostMemories… cough>. I’m looking forward to my book in October. <curses seafreight> Anyone else a backer, or been play testing the game?

This has also given me the idea of using these rules for a one-off Battlestar Galactic session!