Stargate as OSR
How can Stargate, both the movies and old series, be useful to OSR? For those that don't know what it is, basically it's a sci-fi TV series that ran in late 90s early 2000s where a crew of adventurers used a "Stargate" (teleporting device) to explore different planets and battle aliens, almost like a contemporary "let's explore the galaxy" strand of Star Trek. When the SG1 series was aired first, I became very interested with it: playful banter by the main actor, interesting delve into multiple cultures, sci-fi, and the budget was really not bad for its time considering it's a TV show.
Now that I'm playing more D&D and OSR, I feel there are a few elements that makes Stargate an "OSR" series. Considering I play West Marches, I'd even say that it's both OSR and West Marches. Let's take a look at it:
- A group of varied adventurers (although there are some specific crews) go out on adventures
- Sometimes, different groups go to the same place. Sometimes, the group mix and match.
- They have access and can decide to go to various locations. Sure it's not wilderness exploration because it's "click! I'm there", but it's still "player" agency (in this case, the agency of the organization of Stargate Command)
- The more the explore, the more they uncover; the more they explore, the more they make enemies
- Although their "character skills" do not really grow that much (although we could alrgue it does in the form of narrative character development), their "player's skills" does: they learn to recognize patterns, be more "aware", use the right tools for the right job, etc.
- Everything is episodic, based on whatever they explore, but always with one overarching plot. It's not a linear experience, but rather a sandbox universe
- Crews get there, learn about the place, fix a problem, bring back loot (not always, but sometimes). Latter in the series, grabbing specific loot is actually the main focus for the whole "campaign".
- And so on