Back to the rest of my SGA fanfic

Gratuitous Shep Whump Generation Tables

Vol. 1: The Al Fresco edition: off-world whump


Also available:

Vol 2: Accidents in the home: Atlantis-based whump

Vol 3: In durance vile: prison-based whump



Introduction: "Just the whump, ma'am."


There is much to be said for the gratuitous whump story – the short story that doesn't feel the need to bother with huge character arcs or deep statements about the human condition, but just thumps Sheppard with no apology. Sometimes, however, authors find themselves short of ideas. These tables are designed to help such authors create the premise for their gratuitous Shep Whump story.


All you need is a d12 – a 12 sided die. Authors who do not possess a personalised set of polyhedral dice can make do with rolling 2d6 – two regular six-sided dice. Be warned, though, that 7 and numbers near it will come up more often than numbers like 2 and 12. You will also find it quite challenging to throw a 1. You may want to come up with a cunning method to compensate for this.


For each table, roll you d12, note down your result, and follow any instructions concerning follow-up tables.


Section 1: Oh where oh where has our Colonel Shep gone?


1.1 What planet are you on, Colonel Sheppard?


Roll on this table to find out what sort of a world your Al Fresco whump will happen on


1          A freezing cold, icy planet, that positively cries out "hypothermia!"

2          A sun-blasted desert, where every molecule of parched air croaks "dehydration and sun stroke."

3          An evergreen forest, full of prickles

4          A deciduous forest in autumn or winter, with branches like claws

5          A deciduous forest in spring or summer, with lots of undergrowth where enemies can hide

6          A place with lots of cliffs and rocky outcrops just made to be fallen off

7          A lovely bucolic pastoral scene, soft and lovely and perfect in any way – and, oh, the irony of such agony taking place in such a lovely place!

8          A rocky coastline, with cliffs, deep rock-pools and angry waves

9          A dank swamp which is doubtless teeming with disease

10        A hot and humid jungle with many denizens

11        An estuary or sandy beach, with quicksand that's hungry for colonels

12        Flames that gout from the very earth itself



1.2 Whatever the weather…


Roll on this table to find out how if the elements are conspiring against your Shep.


1-3       It was a dark and stormy night

4-5       It was a dark and stormy day

6-7       "This is the worst storm we've seen for a hundred years!"

8-9       "I can't believe this storm came out of the clear air like that!"

10-11   The pitiless sun gazed down mercilessly on the exhausted form of the parched man

12        The weather was actually quite pleasant, to be honest



1.3 "Go not there, Colonel Sheppard, for there resides the deadly ______ "


This table will tell you what local denizen will be mentioned in passing on page 2, which may or may not become relevant later on. You will then have to roll on table 1.4: Is it poisonous?


1          "The legs! The legs!": an insect, spider, or other creepy-crawly thing

2          "Like unto a sheep… but meaner": a harmless-looking domesticated herbivore

3          "Nasty sharp pointy teeth": a big, fierce mammal of some sort

4          "Don't go into the water": some nasty fishy thing

5          "How cute!": something small and furry and cute. Apparently.

6          "Why does it have to be snakes?"

7          Killer plants!

8          Succulent fruit or veg

9          "It's a monster!"

10        "The birds!": a feathery-or-leathery-winged avian

11         Gribbit!: an amphibian

12        "There are some who say it's mythical…": ghoulies, ghosties and long-leggety beasties


The novice author may decide to reroll if there is a mismatch between the result of table 1.3 and table 1.1. The experienced author will rise to the challenge, and will resolutely come up with a good explanation for the presence of a fish in a parched desert.


1.4 Is it poisonous?


Roll on this table to find out if the above denizen is poisonous


1-20     Yes



Section 2: "Who's with me?"


2.1 Who's with me?


Roll on this table to find out who's with your Sheppard during his whump-filled adventure


1-3       No-one. He's all alone.

4-6       His entire team

7-9       Only one of his team

10        A secondary character

11        Some red-shirt or other An upstanding representative of Atlantis soldiery

12        Someone he needs to protect

13        Someone who can actually give him proper medical care.


For all results from 7 to 12, you must refer to the separate volume "Dramatis Personae" to find out exactly who is present. The "only one of his team" result lends itself to a shortcut. Roll a d6: 1 or 2 = Rodney, 3 or 4 = Ronon, 5 or 6 = Teyla



2.2 Why have you forsaken me?


If you rolled 1, 2 or 3 on table 2.1, roll on this table to find out why Sheppard's all on his lonesome.


1-4       He's just on his own, okay? We don't need no stinking plot.

5          Everyone who was with him is dead. Oh, the angst! The angst!

6          He thinks everyone who was with him is dead, but they're not really

7          His companions turned on him and drove him out. Oh, the angst! The angst!

8          He's escaping from captivity

9          His companions are in trouble and he's going to get help

10        He's drugged / concussed / confused, poor thing

11        He was on a solo mission for some reason

12        His map-reading sucks



Section 3: Bring on the whump!


3.1 Is there whump? Is there whump?


Roll on this table to find out when in the story Sheppard gets whumped


1-5       Before it starts

6-10     Within two pages of the start

11        Round about half way through

12        Near the end

13        Never



3.2 "What's wrong with you?"


Roll on this table to find out what's caused the whump.


For results marked with an asterisk, also roll on table 3.4

For results marked with a plus sign, also roll on table 3.5


1          Gun-shot wound *

2          Sword or knife *

3          A blunt object wielded by someone or other *

4          Impaled with shrapnel, sticky-out bits of branch etc. +

5          Burns +

6          Complications from an existing "minor" injury

7         Illness or infection

8          Climate-related ailment appropriate to the result of table 1.1

9          Mauled, bitten, stampeded etc. by local denizen from table 1.3

10        Falling off something +

11        Falling into something +

12         Something falling onto him +



3.3 "Let me see your body"


If appropriate, roll on this table to find out which bit of the body Shep has injured. This roll can be repeated if multiple injuries are desired.


1          Foot

2          Lower leg

3          Upper leg

4          Hand

5          Arm

6          Shoulder

7          Head

8          Side

9          Chest

10        Back

11        Neck

12        Stomach


Note that the face is right out. Nothing must mar teh pretty.



3.4 Whodunnit?


If the result from table 3.1 implies human agency, roll on this table to find out who caused the whump


1-4       Some random bandits or other

5-7       Some random villagers or other   

8          Wraith

9          Genii

10        Someone on his team

11        Some terrible but vaguely described menace previously believed mythical

12        Himself



3.5 Thing go boom!


For appropriate injuries from table 3.1, roll on this table to find out why it's happened


1          Thing go boom!

2          Thing go crash!

3          Thing go bump!

4          Mysterious Ancient Device go mysterious

5          Can't move! Pinned down! Can't… breathe…

6          "Who put that cliff there?"

7          Flames gout from a chasm in the earth!  

8          Ground suddenly not there. Help!

9          Shep go splash!

10        Shep go splat!

11        Shep go slippy slidey

12        Jumper go crash!



Section 4: It just gets worse and worse


4.1 There's no way home


Roll on this table to find out why Sheppard can't just stroll through the Stargate and get looked after in the infirmary


1-3       The Gate doesn't work for some reason (see below)

4-6       Radios don't work for some reason (see below)

6-7       The jumper is broken for some reason (see below)

8-9       There are hordes of enemies between him and the Gate

10        There are hordes of enemies between him and the jumper

11        He can't find the way

12        He's forgotten who he is    



Answers 1-7 require the purchase of the Technobabble volume. In particular, see the tables on pages 21-28 of that volume, including:


Table T6: "And that's why we can't phone home": when good Gates go bad

Table T8: "Something inexplicable appears to be interfering with the radios": how to prevent your characters from calling for help

Table T11: "The engines cannae take it, colonel": how to break a puddlejumper



4.2 "And just when things couldn't get any worse"


Roll on this table to find out what else happens. Note that a single roll might generate more than one event.


1-12     The wound becomes infected and there's fever

1-12     The denizen from table 1.3 leaps out

1-8       There's internal bleeding

1-11     Shep staggers on heroically and exacerbates his injuries



Section 5: Aftermath


5.1 And then he woke up to find himself in the infirmary


Roll on this table to find out what happens after he's back on Atlantis


1          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

2          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

3          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

4          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

5          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

6          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

7          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

8          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

9          An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

10        An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

11        An infirmary scene with tubes and anxious team-mates

12        No infirmary scene