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Lore errors


NickEast
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I've found some additional errors in the lore descriptions. It may not be important at this point, but I feel it should still be noted, the RPG supposedly being canon and all.

When the stargate was discovered in 1928, no one knew what it was called. Some time later, at least as early as 1945 (or, well, 1938 if Stargate Origins should be believed), it was due to incorrect translations known only as a "Door to Heaven". It was only in 1994/5 that Daniel Jackson discovered it was correctly called a "stargate".

When the stargate was brought to the United States in 1939, it wasn't stored in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The facility wasn't even built until 1961-1966. The producers used the same film set in "Torment of Tantalus", because they obviously couldn't move the whole gate prop somewhere else or completely redesign the set, but it was unlikely to have represented Cheyenne Mountain.

Only SG-1 was a team of mixed disciplines, all other teams were more or less specialized (Marines, archaeologists, geologists, diplomats, etc.).

Depending on when "Stargate Phoenix" takes place, the Asgard hadn't given us a lot of technology yet, certainly not any weapons. Some time after the episode "Disclosure", the Asgard installed new shields and transporters on the Prometheus, and replaced the hyperdrive only somewhere in late season 7 (at least after "Grace", since that episode clearly mentions the ship still had an Al'kesh hyperdrive, following the destroyed naquadria hyperdrive as seen in "Memento"). And the Asgard never actually shared any weapons technology until the final episode, when they installed the plasma beam weapons on the Odyssey. The railguns used aboard Prometheus and all its successors were of human design.

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21 hours ago, NickEast said:

(...)Only SG-1 was a team of mixed disciplines, all other teams were more or less specialized (Marines, archaeologists, geologists, diplomats, etc.). (...)

SG-2, 4, 10, 14, 15 and 17 are exploration teams, like SG-1. Thus, they are interdisciplinary, as an exploration team is composed at least by a team commander, a heavy weapons expert, a lingual/cultural expert and a technical mission specialist.

In fact, even other teams aren't as homogeneous as you seem to think they are. A diplomatic team (SG-9, for example) includes a team commander, a negotiator, a lingual/cultural expert and a mission specialist. Also, in this kind of teams, degrees in law, world affairs or economics are expected to be held by members (resulting in a diverse bunch of diplomats, economists and/or lawyers).

Or take SG-7, a scientific team. It's made of a team commander, a head researcher and four mission specialists. The team commander in this type of team is expected to be military and to have a master degree in a physical or space science field. Researcher and mission specialists are expected to be experts in their fields and to have at least a professional accreditation; military background is preferred but not demanded on them.

Edited by Bahamut_A6M5
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Season 6, immediately after episode 9 *did* come from the devs, but they're welcome to chime in as well.  

Arcameides
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Posted March 5
Our Season 1 begins right after SG-1's Season 6 e9 and ends at Season 7 e9. So, I would definitely watch SG-1 Season 1-7. To narrow that down maybe all the episodes with the Nox, Unas, Tollan, and the Jaffa rebellion. Oh, and episodes where the SGC finds advanced tech. Hope this helps.

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8 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

SG-2, 4, 10, 14, 15 and 17 are exploration teams, like SG-1. Thus, they are interdisciplinary, as an exploration team is composed at least by a team commander, a heavy weapons expert, a lingual/cultural expert and a technical mission specialist.

In fact, even other teams aren't as homogeneous as you seem to think they are. A diplomatic team (SG-9, for example) includes a team commander, a negotiator, a lingual/cultural expert and a mission specialist. Also, in this kind of teams, degrees in law, world affairs or economics are expected to be held by members (resulting in a diverse bunch of diplomats, economists and/or lawyers).

Or take SG-7, a scientific team. It's made of a team commander, a head researcher and four mission specialists. The team commander in this type of team is expected to be military and to have a master degree in a physical or space science field. Researcher and mission specialists are expected to be experts in their fields and to have at least a professional accreditation; military background is preferred but not demanded on them.

That's not the kind of interdisciplinary nature I was referring to. SG-1 was a mixed team of soldiers, an astrophysicist, an archaeologist/linguist, and an alien, which is also one part of what made it the flagship team. All other SG teams were specialized in one particular field of expertise, you had teams of archaeologists, teams of geologists, teams of linguists, teams of astronomers, teams of diplomats, and at least one team of Marines.

The book states that "Each team has a military lead, a cultural anthropologist or archaeologist, a scientist, and a soldier. This allows each team to be a truly exploratory group, collaborating (usually!) with each other, and alien civilizations." which implies that every team was like SG-1, which they weren't. Pretty much every team had soldiers, it being a military program and all, but not every team had scientists, archaeologists, linguists, or cultural experts. And unlike Carter and McKay, which were a major exception, not every scientist can have every PhD. You wouldn't send SG-3 on a purely archaeological mission, unless the archaeological team needed additional security. And you wouldn't send scientific teams to unexplored planets without some backup. SG-1 though tackled many missions, whether diplomatic, scientific, military or exploratory, because each team member had the expertise (whether "realistic" or not, in terms of Carter being an engineer, astrophysicist, astronomer, pilot, and soldier).

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You are wrong. No SG team is specialized in a specific knowledge field, as each team has people with different expertises. There are no SG archaeologist teams, nor SG astrophysics teams,... Even combat teams, such as SG-3 or 5, have diffent specialists such as sniper, demolitions expert or weapon specialist.

Just for reference, here follows a list of SG teams and their general assignment:

SG-1, exploration

SG-2, exploration

SG-3, combat

SG-4, exploration

SG-5, combat

SG-6, search and rescue

SG-7, scientific research

SG-8, medical support

SG-9, diplomacy

SG-10, exploration

SG-11, engineering

SG-12, medical support

SG-13, covert ops

SG-14, exploration

SG-15, exploration

SG-16, scientific research

SG-17, exploration

SG-18, combat

SG-19, covert ops

As you can see, there aren't enough teams to actually specialize them in specific knowledge fields.

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You do know "science" is a very broad term, right? Astrophysics, archaeology, astronomy, biology, geology, they're all different, and mostly unrelated, sciences. SG-11 for example was an engineering team, until killed by Apophis ("Rules of Engagement"), and was later designated as an archaeological unit ("The First Ones"), and then back to engineering ("Enemy Mine"), each time having a different team composition. SG-9, after its disbandment in "The First Commandment", became a diplomatic team, which was sent to Latona ("The Sentinel") to establish diplomatic relationships in the hope of acquiring their Sentinel technology. The initial 9 teams were more likely to be focused on exploration, but as the program expanded, additional teams seemed to be assembled for more specialized missions, sometimes not even keeping the same team composition depending on mission requirements.

That list what you have is a broad list, simply because there isn't enough information from the shows to precisely determine each team's goals. But from what we have seen, some teams have been sent on specific specialized missions. But the book's wording is simply not correct, or at the very least just too broad for all 25 teams.

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I am very aware of how broad and inclusive is the term "science" compared with the relatively exclusive that specific scientific fields are.

3 hours ago, NickEast said:

(...) SG-11 for example was an engineering team, until killed by Apophis ("Rules of Engagement"), (...) SG-9, after its disbandment in "The First Commandment", (...)

 

There's a pattern. In both cases, those teams were wiped out (half the original SG-9 basically went nuts) and the SGC had to reform them with the candidates at hand. That circunstance alone could explain a reassignment of functions if new members had other expertises. Also, a possible continuity issue can't be ruled out in the case of SG-11; that is, scriptwritters might forget which assignment gave them last time the team appeared.

"The First Ones" is a very slippery episode to walk on. Jackson and Rothman are seen doing paleontological work and making statements regarding bone and muscle structure on fossils (up to that point, it was established both were archaelogists, not paleontologists nor biologists). If that's the case, it would point out that Rothman had also several degrees and he wasn't a SG-1 member. Thus, other SG team members may have been as qualified as Carter (in different fields, that is). In the same episode, Rothman states he likes bossing those soldiers around and we see other SG-11 personel performing menial duties (digging, carrying samples,...) as instructed by Rothman and Jackson. Maybe they aren't qualified to conduct archaeological (¿paleontological?) research? Also, there's never an on-screen statement about SG-11 being a four archaeologists (¿paleontologists?) team; rather, it is said they are doing an "archaeological (¿paleontological?) survey". In any case, in this instance, I see a more probable composition of team as one paleontologist, one biologist, one geologist and one physicist (for date measurement) rather than a four paleontologists team.

Reasons? SG teams operate with limited members (an average of 4 to 6 people per team). Military philosophy for that kind of small forces is having each teammate specialize in a different field; that way, a team with few members can cover the widest possible array of skills. Thus, rather than assigning a four astrophysicists team to investigate a massive corona eruption, the team would include one astrophysicist, one astronomist, one light physicist and a nuclear physicist so they can carry out the more complete survey about the phenomenon. In short, SG teams are multi and interdisciplinar (combat, medical and search and rescue teams being probably the most restricted due to their more focused duty).

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9 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Thus, rather than assigning a four astrophysicists team to investigate a massive corona eruption, the team would include one astrophysicist, one astronomist, one light physicist and a nuclear physicist so they can carry out the more complete survey about the phenomenon. In short, SG teams are multi and interdisciplinar (combat, medical and search and rescue teams being probably the most restricted due to their more focused duty).

I should point out, that Astrophysicist by nature IS an astronomer ("astronomist"), EM/wave physicist ("light physicist") and particle/high energy physicist ("nuclear physicist") - you have to learn all that stuff before you become an Astrophysicist. That's besides obnoxious quantities of Math, solid ComSci foundation and surprising amounts of Chem. There's a reason cross-disciplinary studies are a thing - Scientist's most valuable talent is not in knowing a bunch of things but in learning new things.
“Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

Also teams that operate in completely unknown setting potentially completely cut off from any support need to be as broadly specialized as possible - like real world astronauts or SG1 in the series. Teams that follow up can afford to specialize. Like SG3 is basically their "troubleshooting" unit. When something needs getting shot - nobody's better. If shooting is not the primary option (like R&D project, breakout containment or diplomatic mission with high-Tech society) - SG3 will probably sit it out or come in backup capacity, to keep an eye on the eggheads, so that those don't get eaten by a local lifeform or something.

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I admit Astrophysics maybe isn't the best example because how tighly related is to Astronomy and the needs it has for knowledge from other Physics disciplines (by the way, there's Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics, with the latest being born from the previous and nowadays both are taught in association), but the idea of a team made of scientists from various fields rather than a "monolithic" team is still valid and matches the military doctrine of having small forces being as broader specialized as they can be to cover the widest possible range of skills or abilities with the fewer number of members.

8 hours ago, Logan Cipher said:

(...)Also teams that operate in completely unknown setting potentially completely cut off from any support need to be as broadly specialized as possible - like real world astronauts or SG1 in the series.(...)

Don't forget about SG-2, SG-4, SG-10, SG-14, SG-15 and SG-17. They are also exploration teams like SG-1, they must be as prepared and able to deal with anything they come across as the latest. SG-3 isn't a "specialized" team: it's a combat team and must be ready to perform combat duties ranging from assaults to defenses, entrenchment to escort,... Also neither SG-3, SG-5 nor SG-18 are entirely made of riflemen; there are heavy weapon experts, snipers, demolition experts, etc. in them. Same goes for medical support teams, such as SG-8 and SG-12; they aren't wholy made of nurses nor medics; there also are surgeons, paramedics, microbiologists,... in them. They must be prepared to deal with missions going from humanitarian assistance to dealing with plagues. Or SG-9, a diplomatic team that needs to cover negotiations of very different natures (economic treaties, science exchange deals, diplomatic incidents,...) and require knowledge about Economics, laws, Politics,...

The only advantage teams coming after exploration ones have is they have more information about what is going on in the planet, so they can prepare strategies and make plans beforehand. Also, remember, SGC is a secret program; they don't have as many available people to specialize their teams in such a way they could say "Send SG-39, as it is made of 4 marital lawyers, to negotiate the divorce of the king and queen in P9C-069". Oh, and send SG-43, which has 4 SEAL specialized in evacuations, in case SG-39 gets stranded in 069", without making the stargate a voiced over secret.

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1 hour ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

I admit Astrophysics maybe isn't the best example because how tighly related is to Astronomy and the needs it has for knowledge from other Physics disciplines (by the way, there's Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics, with the latest being born from the previous and nowadays both are taught in association), but the idea of a team made of scientists from various fields rather than a "monolithic" team is still valid and matches the military doctrine of having small forces being as broader specialized as they can be to cover the widest possible range of skills or abilities with the fewer number of members.

We use the two interchangeably (I'm an Astrophysicist actually among other things), mostly context-dependent. I suppose case could be made in contexts sufficiently divorced to make them into two slightly different disciplines.

Technically SG1 had 2 scientists on board - one more into humanities and languages and the other more into natural sciences, but they complimented each other well. Even O'Neil was an amateur astronomer and good old Teal'c picked up plenty of ancient history over his century-plus lifespan, (yes, it's still history, even though he knew some from that history personally). Just like everyone in SG1 knows how to fire a gun or two and every one of them had to demonstrate diplomatic acumen. All of them are renaissance, uhm.. persons. And no, of course I did not list ALL examples of where a highly skilled team is tossed into unknown to fend for themselves. We can spend good long time violently agreeing on the subject.

As for "Specialist team" - it's not the same as "monolithic team". Just like the "specialized vehicle" is not carved of a single slab of special metal. It's a team put together to solve specific types of problems. That's it. There will still be someone to give orders, plenty of people able to handle a gun or first aid kit, at least someone knowing their way around med kit, someone, who knows how to fix things. But if it's a science team - it'll be much better at extracting information from environment than hunting Jaffa, and if it's a med team - you should expect them to patch people up faster than build a rocket. The primary problems they solve do define the group make up, but it still doesn't mean all team members will be identical.

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Seems we are coming to terms, though we are still struggling with some meanings.

On 4/28/2020 at 2:41 PM, Logan Cipher said:

As for "Specialist team" (...). It's a team put together to solve specific types of problems. (...)

There's the issue. SG teams are designed to handle a range of problems with a common "theme". Basically, it could be said SG teams are "thematic" rather than "specialists". Exploration teams, for example, should be able to handle missions ranging from reconnaisance and scouting to first contacts, etc. Or medical teams should be able to deal with bullet wounds, blunt traumas, diseases, poisoning or lending humanitarian aid.

Regarding this issue, I've re-read the chapter on SGC and SG teams organization from Stargate SG-1 RPG handbook and found nothing about SG teams having "specializations" at all, neither. Closest thing it mentions is, when discussing scientific teams composition, that a scientific team may swap mission specialists and borrow people from other teams, if possible, to match a mission profile. That has me wondering how it is possible for AEG, back then, and now Wyvern Games to trip into the same pitfall... Unless they haven't and NickEast's statement "Only SG-1 was a team of mixed disciplines, all other teams were more or less specialized (Marines, archaeologists, geologists, diplomats, etc.)." is inaccurate and the "lore error" in itself (because SG-2 or 4, as exploration teams as they are, should be also mixed disciplines. And SG-9 being a diplomatic team doesn't mean it's just diplomats; it also needs a range of disciplines such as Laws, Economics, Political Sciences or International Affairs, making it as multidisciplinar as SG-1 without being an exploration team).

The reading also recalled a few interesting points. For example, scientific teams are often acompanied either by a combat or engineering team; this could explain SG-11 presence during the "archaeological" survey in P3X-888 without it being a scientific team. Or the fact Base Commander rarely changes a team's assignment, and only when the most dire circunstances happen, such as a team suffering severe casualties or the like. Even then, there's an exception: a team's original assignment is never changed if it's the only team performing that duty. So, unless new teams are added with certain assignments, teams such as SG-6 (search and rescue), SG-9 (diplomacy) or SG-11 (engineering) will keep their assignments even if reformed.

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56 minutes ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Seems we are coming to terms, though we are still struggling with some meanings.

There's the issue. SG teams are designed to handle a range of problems with a common "theme". Basically, it could be said SG teams are "thematic" rather than "specialists". Exploration teams, for example, should be able to handle missions ranging from reconnaisance and scouting to first contacts, etc. Or medical teams should be able to deal with bullet wounds, blunt traumas, diseases, poisoning or lending humanitarian aid.

Regarding this issue, I've re-read the chapter on SGC and SG teams organization from Stargate SG-1 RPG handbook and found nothing about SG teams having "specializations" at all, neither. Closest thing it mentions is, when discussing scientific teams composition, that a scientific team may swap mission specialists and borrow people from other teams, if possible, to match a mission profile. That has me wondering how it is possible for AEG, back then, and now Wyvern Games to trip into the same pitfall... Unless they haven't and NickEast's statement "Only SG-1 was a team of mixed disciplines, all other teams were more or less specialized (Marines, archaeologists, geologists, diplomats, etc.)." is inaccurate and the "lore error" in itself (because SG-2 or 4, as exploration teams as they are, should be also mixed disciplines. And SG-9 being a diplomatic team doesn't mean it's just diplomats; it also needs a range of disciplines such as Laws, Economics, Political Sciences or International Affairs, making it as multidisciplinar as SG-1 without being an exploration team).

The reading also recalled a few interesting points. For example, scientific teams are often acompanied either by a combat or engineering team; this could explain SG-11 presence during the "archaeological" survey in P3X-888 without it being a scientific team. Or the fact Base Commander rarely changes a team's assignment, and only when the most dire circunstances happen, such as a team suffering severe casualties or the like. Even then, there's an exception: a team's original assignment is never changed if it's the only team performing that duty. So, unless new teams are added with certain assignments, teams such as SG-6 (search and rescue), SG-9 (diplomacy) or SG-11 (engineering) will keep their assignments even if reformed.

Read the sections about "Team Assignments" (pages 40 to 45) and "Mission Profiles" (pages 57 to 61) of the original AEG RPG. Those clearly describe that teams have specific assignments, aka, diplomacy, exploration, covert ops, engineering, medical, scientific, and search and rescue, and that they rarely operate outside of those assignments. Mission Profiles are then the type of missions such teams usually undertake, with both chapters clearly stating that a Marine Combat Unit is rarely if ever assigned to perform a scientific research mission, and that such a team will rarely if ever have a civilian anthropologist. For example, the suggested personnel for a Diplomatic Ops team does not include a heavy weapons expert, or an engineer. Each team can have a "mission specialist" though who is described as having a single particular specialty, usually related to, as the term indicates, the missions the team is sent on. The one constant is that team commanders must have a military background, but must also possess skills and experience, and thus a degree, related to the team's assignment. Through all of this, SG-1 is the exception, because despite the fact that O'Neill is not a scientist or an engineer or a diplomat, the team is still sent on a variety of missions due to each of the four members having different specialties and experiences. Recall that there has been numerous discussions throughout the show that Daniel Jackson shouldn't really have been on a team like that, being a civilian and all, but was because of his front-line, first-hand experience dealing with the Goa'uld and any other alien culture a first-response, front-line team SG-1 had been dealing with.

I'll reiterate that I never said each team can't have overlapping or a varied set of skills, or that there can't or shouldn't be multidisciplinary, or rather multi-assignment teams, for the players. But far out the majority of the actual teams as depicted on the shows have specific assignments except for SG-1. The "spirit" of the section of text I critiqued may not be wrong, and is not what I critique, but the precise wording and its interpretation is.

Edited by NickEast
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On 4/25/2020 at 2:20 PM, NickEast said:

Only SG-1 was a team of mixed disciplines, all other teams were more or less specialized (Marines, archaeologists, geologists, diplomats, etc.).

Issue is, this is an inaccurate statement. SG-2 isn't an archaeologists team, nor SG-7 is a geologists team, nor SG-9 is a diplomats teams, nor SG-11 is an anstrophysicists team. There are no such things, you are mistaking "assignment" with "specialization".

According to AEG handbook (pag. 42), an exploration team is suggested to be formed by at least 4 people, being one team commander, one heavy weapons expert, one lingual/cultural expert and one technical mission specialist.

Team commander is expected to have a minimum of 5 years experience in Special Forces (either with USAF or other branch).

Heavy weapons expert is expected to be qualified with common weaponry and be a certified marksman.

Cultural/lingual expert must be fluent in at least 3 languages and have Master or doctorate in anthropology/archaeology.

Mission specialist should have at least 2 Masters or doctorates in technical fields of study.

Usual mission profiles for exploration teams are defense, diplomacy, emergency aid, exploration, intelligence, military operations, scientific operations and trade.

Finally, it is stated that exploration teams are SG-1, SG-2, SG-4, SG-10, SG-14, SG-15 and SG-17 (by season 6).

So, where the hell do you get that SG-1 is an exception and performs duties unlike the other exploration teams? Or that SG-2 and the rest don't follow the same requirements as SG-1 to be designated? Shouldn't the SG-2 team commander have at least those experience years in Special Forces, just as O'Neill has? Shouldn't the SG-4 cultural expert meet the languages specification and degree requirement and perform in a similar fashion than Daniel Jackson from SG-1?

Now, let's take a look to a combat team (AEG handbook, pag. 42):

Suggested personnel, 6: one team commander, one intelligence officer, two heavy weapons experts, two mission specialists (a combination of either sniper, demolitions or weapon expert).

All members are expected to have marksman and jump certifications from the USMC, as well as proficiency with all the SGC weaponry.

Usual mission profiles for combat teams are defense, emergency aid, intelligence and military operations.

Stated combat teams are SG-3, SG-5 and SG-18 (by season 6).

Of course, they are different than an exploration team and their member requirements are others. Their assignment is "combat", not "exploration". Then again, SG-3, 5 and 18 are expected to meet the same criteria and be able to handle the same mission profiles. But no one expects them to perform as exploration teams, even though they share mission profiles. Also, don't forget they are all marines (thus the USMC certifications) because, since Vietnam, US Army is disgraced and USMC is the go-to standard combat force.

Or check the diplomatic team (pag. 41):

4 suggested personnel: one team commander, one negotiator, one lingual/cultural expert and one mission specialist.

Members are expected to have Masters or doctorates in law, world affairs, economics or judicial experience, according to the mission.

Their usual mission profiles are diplomacy, exploration and trade.

Again, different professional profiles than a combat team (of course) or an exploration team (even though they share some common mission profiles). They are a diverse bunch of people, like SG-1, but not a "diplomats team" (there's a subtle difference with "diplomatic team").

And I could go on and on, discussing every assignment and teams specifications but, in the end, the point is teams are designed with certain mission profiles in mind yet that doesn't make them "astrophysicists team" or "geologists team". They are exploration teams, or combat teams, or scientific teams and they are expected to perform a range of duties within their qualifications. Of course SG-1 is "special"; it's the flag team and, as the SGC field commander team, it has some "privileges" other teams may not have. But they are still an exploration team, like SG-2 or 4 or 17.

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Well, I guess this turned into just another argument about semantics. There's nothing in that essay that outright proves me wrong. The only thing it proves is that sometimes someone may not be getting what I'm saying.

Anyway, I concede. You win. Without a response from the designers, there's little point in giving feedback anyway. I guess shame on me for trying to provide feedback to make this game great. I don't know what I'm doing that makes people want to argue with me. But I'm tired and really don't want to keep arguing, least of all about the semantics of a piece of feedback on a couple of lines of text.

I'm probably more pissed than I otherwise would be since I had a terrible day, but I want to get this over with. So I'm not going to keep arguing. It's done. I guess you're right and I'm wrong. We'll part ways here. It's probably for the best. I think it's also better for me to just spend my time, energy, and skills on my own homebrewed Stargate RPG, rather than making a futile attempt to influence someone else's vision.

Edited by NickEast
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