Stargate, Powered by Fate: Skills, part 2

The next phase of presenting Skills for Stargate: iteration and presenting Skill write-ups! We’ve already lost a skill from the previous list: Science has been rolled into Academics and Hardware. As I continue down the list, we will continue to prune as needed.

Write-up’s are for new Skills only. Today’s write-up’s are for Academics, Bureaucracy, and Hardware:


         The Academics skill is a measure of education and general knowledge. Academics is used to overcome intellectual problems in a wide array of subjects, to present useful facts in a given situation, or for academic research. Teachers, scholars, and erudite individuals would all possess Academics.

  • Overcome: Academics can be used to overcome obstacles that requires academic knowledge to achieve a goal or any time an answer to a difficult question is needed, where there is tension in not knowing the answer.
  • Create Advantage: Academics can be used in a variety of circumstances to create advantage, given an opportunity to research the subject in question. Generally, this is to gain a story detail, but if that information could give you an edge later it could take the form of an aspect. Academics may also be used in this way on the fly, if the subject has been previously studied or specialized in.
  • Attack: Academics isn’t used in conflicts.
  • Defend: As Attack, Academics isn’t used to defend

Academics Stunts

Specialist:  Choose a field of specialization, such as sociology or biology. You gain +2 to all Academics rolls within your specialty.

R&D Whiz: Your research efforts take two time increments less than they normally would.


         The Bureaucracy skill measures the ability to navigate complex social organizations, such as governments and corporations. It can be used to overcome administrative and political problems, in negotiations with large organizations, to determine the structure and climate within an organization, or to create political advantage within it. Lawyers, politicians, and corporate managers would all possess Bureaucracy.

  • Overcome: Bureaucracy can be used to overcome administrative and political obstacles. It can also be used to create a favorable impression during negotiations through demonstrating proper etiquette and protocol.
  • Create Advantage: Bureaucracy can be used to declare story details as it relates to an organization, given time to study it. It can also be used to represent advantages gained through backroom dealings, political maneuvering, and “gaming the system”.
  • Attack: Bureaucracy is not used in conflicts.
  • Defend: Bureaucracy isn’t used to defend.

Bureaucracy Stunts

Expert Pencil Pusher: You gain +2 when overcoming administrative issues.

Insider Trading: You may use Bureaucracy in place of Resources when manipulating corporate stock and holdings.


         Hardware encompasses the ability to build, repair, physically, hack, and upgrade equipment. It also represents know-how about technology and demolitions. Engineers, scientists, and explosive experts would all possess Hardware.

  • Overcome: With the right amount of time and the proper tools, Hardware can be used to build, modify, and hack. Actions with Hardware often happen as a component of more complex situations, making it useful in challenges. The time-frame needed is determined by the GM; succeeding with style could render the accomplishment better or faster.
  • Create Advantage: Hardware can be used to create aspects representing features of physical equipment, identifying useful components or strengths and vulnerabilities to be exploited, and general technological knowledge. Hardware can also be used to represent sabotage or jury-rigging of mechanical objects on scene. For demolitions, it allows placing of aspects related to explosives and explosions.
  • Attack: Hardware isn’t used to attack; for immediate use of explosive devices, such as grenades, use Athletics
  • Defend: Hardware isn’t used to defend

Hardware Stunts

Minesweeper: You may use Hardware instead of Notice to detect the presence of mines and other hidden explosive devices.

Hot-wiring: You gain +2 when using physically hacking mechanical or technical systems.

Let me know in the comments what you think about these skills! Next write-ups will be for Infiltrate, Intrusion, and Linguistics (should it survive).

EDIT 04/27/2016: Added Stunt examples to Skills.

Venture City Time-Traveller

Commentator MatrixQ brought up my thoughts on the lack of a time manipulation-esque ability in my So You Wanna Make a Venture City Character video. This was one of the gaps I immediately noticed in the new rules and sought to rectify, and since MatrixQ brought it up, here is my homebrew attempt at a Space-Time Manipulation Power Theme:

Power Theme: Space-Time Manipulation

You can manipulate space and time.

Basic Space-Time Manipulation: Your powers are all focused on manipulating space-time. The fabric of reality bends and time seems to distort whenever you use your powers.


Anchored in Time: You cannot be directly affected by changes to the time stream and you will always recognize a timeline that is not your own.

Five Seconds Ahead: Your Notice is +2 when picking up on danger and detecting ambushes.

Alter Dimensions: You are able to manipulate the size and shape of non-living objects, making them as small as a grain of sand or as big as something that will fill an entire zone. This takes an action and if you attempt to alter the dimensions of an object in the possession of another character, they may roll opposed opposition to your attempt with Athletics or Physique.

Common Power Synergies

Item Summoning: You have a pocket dimension that you can access where you store useful items.

Slowing: You are able to stop time.

Teleportation: You not only can move through space, but through time as well.


  • You can manipulate space-time, but you are by no means its master. Your alterations cause a Butterfly Effect.
  • Your powers have a detrimental effect on space-time, Weakening the Fabric of Reality.

Improved Special Effect

Temporal Alacrity: You may provide the Extra Action or Movement effect to a character of your choice that is not yourself.

Collateral Damage Effects

Temporal Distortion: Time goes haywire in the zone you are in. You’re unaffected, but everyone else faces a Fair (+2) obstacle against actions that persists to the end of the scene.

Stargate, Powered by Fate: Skills, part 1

For this next part, I considered at length how to approach it. While I enjoy the streamlined list of skills in Fate Core for most games, I also had to bear in mind that Skills are one of the primary ways to reinforce what is important in a setting. That led me to my current iteration of a Skills list for Stargate, containing 25 total skills (seven more than base Fate Core).


Skill Description
Academics Scholarship, education, and general knowledge
Athletics Aptitude with physical movement and avoiding harm
Contacts Ability to make connections with others, network, and leverage relationships
Bureaucracy Application of organizational etiquette and protocol; political maneuvering
Deceive Lying, misdirection, and subtly manipulating others
Empathy Sensitivity to the moods and emotions of others
Fight Close quarters and melee combat
Hardware Ability to build, repair, physically hack and upgrade equipment; demolitions
Infiltrate Avoiding detection, lock picking, sleight of hand, and creating misdirection
Intrusion Electronic intrusion and counter intrusion, hacking, encryption/decryption
Investigate Research, analysis, interviewing, and other info gathering/collating skills
Linguistics Applied use of languages and related knowledge
Lore Mythology, folklore, and esoteric knowledge
Medicine Applied care of biological beings, medical research and related knowledge
Notice Situational awareness and casual observance
Physique Physical aptitude, like strength or endurance
Pilot Operating vehicles, remote controlling drones, and related knowledge
Program Writing and modifying software code, programming machines
Provoke Intimidating, frightening, or otherwise aggressively manipulating others
Rapport Making positive connections and eliciting positive emotions
Resources Currency, equipment, and possessions; knowledge of economics
Shoot Ranged combat
Survival Endure, navigate, and thrive in various environments
Will Ability to keep one’s composure; used with certain tech and advanced powers

EDIT 4/26/2016: Science has been folded into Academics and Hardware.Let me know in the comments or email ( below what you think of this list and, for those skills that are significantly different enough, I will post how they are used in conjunction with the Four Actions in separate posts.

EDIT: 5/6/206: Changed Reputation back to Contacts.

Welcome to Camp Kaboom

Half-a-dozen recruits, fresh off the bus, stood at attention. They were lined up for their first inspection in the center of the recently repopulated boom-town. Before them stood two gray cloaked figures: one a gnarled, hunched-over old man with sun-weathered brown skin with a long beard, and the other a tall bespectacled white woman, her blond hair held tightly in a bun on the top of her head. Silent looks passed between the recruits as they waited for the Wardens to do or say something.

Continue reading “Welcome to Camp Kaboom”

Stargate, powered by Fate: Gear

This week, I’ve been working on bringing Stargate to life using Fate. Props go out to Thomas E., who is going to be running a three-shot of Stargate that I get to play in (woot!), for inspiring me to dust off my ideas for running this amazing setting in Fate.

As I develop various systemic elements to match the setting, I will be posting them on here; first up: handling gear!

Continue reading “Stargate, powered by Fate: Gear”