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Basic Information

A fictional device capable of making a portal between two points in space, allowing fast travel between them. Essentially this is a form of Faster-than-Light Travel. These seem to divide between the kind which need to link to another jumpgate before the traveller sets off (which are often instantaneous and may be considered a form of teleportation) and those which merely admit the user to another dimension, through which he then travels looking for an exit gate. A third, intermediary kind may exist which is effectively a sort of stabilised wormhole - linked to two specific points and creating a shortcut down which the user must physically travel.

Jumpgates may be found in space, or on the surface of planets depending on the setting and what is intended to use them. Pedestrian operated gates will generally be found on the surface of a planet (indeed there would need to be a damned good reason to have one anywhere else), whilst those designed to be used by space ships almost certainly won't be. N. Robin Crossby's HarnWorld even features a jumpgate designed to be used by sailing ships with a portal generated remotely by a device on the seabed.


Wikipedia Article: Jumpgate

1. TV series: Babylon 5
2. anime: Cowboy Bebop

Game and Story Use

  • These are good ways to move your PCs to a completely alien environment, especially in an fRPG.
    • Even more so if they are one way: the adventure then becomes a Farscape style search for the way home.
    • Also good for foreshadowing - place a gate in the first dungeon they explore - the gate key, however, takes longer to find.
  • Old gates coming back online automatically - or being activated from the other side - can be entertaining.
  • Likewise gates that connect to places you don't want to go to.
  • In an after the end setting, PCs should bear in mind that destination gates might be in hostile environments (who wants a surprise trip to Atlantis?).
  • Gates also make excellent precursor artifacts.
    • And can be great for a change of campaign tone - imagine, for example a GURPS: Transhuman Space campaign in which a survey team out in the deep beyond suddenly comes across precursor jumpgate 2001: A Space Odyssey style…
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