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Teal'C (Christopher Judge in Stargate) face closeup

Teal’c


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Teal’C was one of the core characters of the Stargate SG-1 TV show. SG-1 was one of the main genre shows of the turn of the century, running from 1997 to 2007. It depicted the adventure of an elite military unit operating alien technology capable of instantly travelling to other worlds.

The show has 10 seasons, 2 movies, and was a spin-off from the original, 1994 Stargate movie. This profile covers the first eight seasons of Stargate SG-1. It includes some S P O I L E R S for those seasons.

For more context, please refer to our Stargate Command article.


Background

  • Real Name: Teal’c of Chulak
  • Marital Status: Widower
  • Known Relatives: Ro’nak (father, deceased), Drey’auc (wife, deceased), Rya’c (son)
  • Group Affiliation: SG-1
  • Base Of Operations: Stargate Command
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 240 lbs Age: 105
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black (was shaved bald until this year)


Powers and Abilities

Teal’c is a highly skilled combatant and a capable tactical leader. As with all Jaffa, Teal’c is physically superior to the average human. This advantage was once supplemented by the effects of the Goa’uld larva he once carried and partially maintained by the drug tretonin he now uses.

His bravery and resolve in resisting the dominion of the Goa’uld have made him a hero among the rebel Jaffa.


History

Teal’c is a Jaffa. These are a race of genetically engineered humans bred as warriors for the Goa’uld, a parasitic race using humans as hosts. The seeds of Teal’c’s rebellion against the Goa’uld were sown on the day of his father’s death. Ro’nak had failed to win a battle for his master, the Goa’uld System Lord Cronus.

Though Ro’nak had faced impossible odds, Cronus showed no mercy in his judgment. Cronus crushed the prim’tah within Ro’nak’s pouch, leaving him to die slowly from the symbiote’s poisonous blood. Teal’c and his mother were then exiled from Cronos’s domain. They eventually settled on Chulak, a homeworld for the Jaffa of the System Lord Apophis.

All grown up

Upon adulthood, Teal’c eagerly entered the service of Apophis, who was Cronus’s sworn enemy. Distinguishing himself in numerous battles, Teal’c rose in the ranks of Apophis’s army.

He caught the attention of Bra’tac, First Prime of Apophis. Bra’tac became Teal’c’s mentor, schooling him in martial skills as well as encouraging the development of Teal’c’s character.

Teal’c began to doubt the divinity of the Goa’uld as he worked in closer proximity with Apophis. Among other things, he once lied to Apophis to protect a fellow Jaffa from punishment and discovered that Apophis could not detect his falsehood.

His suspicions were cemented by his master Bra’tac, who revealed to Teal’c that the Goa’uld were not gods. They were merely beings of great technological power. Like Bra’tac, Teal’c had come to realize the evil of the Goa’uld but could not see a way to defeat them.

I can see clearly now

Thus Teal’c took the same path as Bra’tac. He rose to a position of leadership as First Prime of Apophis’s Jaffa forces. He replaced Bra’tac as the older Jaffa retired from military service to instruct the next generation of Apophis’s Jaffa.

As Bra’tac had before him, Teal’c used his influence to ameliorate the worst of Apophis’s excesses during his campaigns of war and conquest.

Teal’c’s service to Apophis ended when he encountered SG-1 on their first mission. The team had been captured and was about to be executed by Apophis’s primes. Colonel O’Neill recognized something in Teal’c and asked for his help, promising that together they could defeat the Goa’uld.

Teal’c believed O’Neill. He turned on his own men, helping SG-1 escape and defecting to the service of the SGC.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls

Since that day, Teal’c has pledged his loyalty to Stargate Command and served as a member of SG-1. For this act he was condemned by the Goa’uld and loyal Jaffa as a shol’vah (traitor) with a high price placed on his head. He also worked with his mentor Bra’tac to build an army of rebel Jaffa that could end their people’s slavery to the Goa’uld.

Over the next few years Teal’c and SG-1 were instrumental in the defeat and deaths of many powerful Goa’uld, including Cronus and Apophis.

Teal’c even defeated the Goa’uld Imhotep in personal combat (albeit by the slimmest of margins). That was something unheard of before due to the powerful personal devices used by Goa’uld as well as the physical enhancements granted by Goa’uld symbiotes. This made Teal’c the most recognized leader among the Jaffa rebel forces.

During this time he also rescued his son Rya’c from Apophis’s service, inspiring the young man to join Teal’c and Bra’tac in their work to free the Jaffa. Teal’c’s wife Drey’auc had turned away from him at first, still loving him but convinced he had betrayed his god.

She eventually saw the truth of the Goa’uld and joined Teal’c in his exile. Drey’auc passed away some time later, refusing to take another symbiote when the one she was carrying matured. Teal’c would later begin a romance with Ishta, leader of the Hak’tyl Jaffa Resistance. But their duties kept them from seeing one another very often.

War sometimes changes

The greatest victory of the rebel Jaffa was achieved during the recent Goa’uld war against the Replicators. Teal’c and Bra’tac feared that a Goa’uld victory over the Replicators would reinforce the belief that the Goa’uld were gods.

Realizing that the distraction of the war presented a unique opportunity, Teal’c led an army of rebel Jaffa to the temple of Dakara. Dakara was the holiest of Jaffa sites, being the place where the Goa’uld bred the first Jaffa. Taking hold of Dakara would prove to all Jaffa that the Goa’uld were not gods.

Due in large measures to Teal’c’s strategic exploitation of circumstances, Dakara was taken with minimal losses. During the subsequent three-way battle between the rebel Jaffa, the Goa’uld, and the Replicators, Teal’c’s leadership kept the Jaffa forces alive long enough for the Replicators to be disabled by a new superweapon. He then led them to defeat the remaining Goa’uld forces.

By taking and holding Dakara and defeating the forces of the most powerful Goa’uld System Lord, Teal’c and the rebel Jaffa had forever sundered the myth of Goa’uld divinity. Dakara became the capital city of the Free Jaffa Nations and Teal’c and Bra’tac were honored with a ceremony making them the blood brothers of all Jaffa.

Leaving the Jaffa in the capable hands of a newly-formed ruling council, Teal’c returned to Earth and rejoined SG-1.


Description

Teal’c is a large, muscular Black male with a broad, square face. He usually has a neutral expression, though his eyes convey great depth that belies his flat affect. His strongest reaction to most things that amuse, puzzle, or annoy him is a simple raising of a single eyebrow.

When Teal’c does show emotion, it’s usually very intense, whether it’s a withering glare or a wide grin.

Though he is no longer a servant of the Goa’uld, Teal’c still wears the golden seal of Apophis. This is an abstract curved snake-like figure within two concentric ovals, the outer oval open on top, etched on the center of his forehead.

This once marked him as the First Prime of Apophis (in contrast to the normal black tattoo seal most Jaffa wear). It now serves as a reminder of the oppression that Teal’c has dedicated his life to fighting.

Teal’c shaved his head for most of his life. But in the last couple of years has allowed his hair to grow out, though it remains short-cropped.

While on-duty with the SGC, Teal’c wears a standard duty uniform in the field, and fatigue pants with a black t-shirt while on-base. While meeting with his fellow rebel Jaffa, Teal’c wears the standard Jaffa armor in the field, putting on a simple off-white robe over the armor when not in combat.


Personality

Two traits are most prominent in Teal’c’s character.

Free thinker

The first is his independence of thought. Teal’c is not one to accept circumstances without question or to submit to others. It was this quality that led him to doubt the divinity of the Goa’uld.

Teal’c was bitter over Cronus’s execution of his father for failing to win an unwinnable battle. When Teal’c was tortured by Apophis for defending his father’s failure while serving Cronus, he wondered what kind of god punished a son for loving his father.

These doubts led Teal’c to risk his life by testing Apophis’s godhood and then to try blunting the malevolent results of Apophis’s rule.

After his defection, he gained such a taste for freedom that he unhesitatingly die rather than submit to the Goa’uld again. His thirst for freedom was such that Teal’c became the first Jaffa to survive the Rite of Malshuraan. It was undertaken to free him from Apophis’s brainwashing after he was turned against the SGC by Goa’uld technology.

Altruist

The second trait that defines Teal’c is his altruism. Though he will not meekly submit to domination, he will dedicate himself to a higher cause. His first such cause was serving Apophis, the enemy of the hated Cronus. When Teal’c realized Apophis was not a benevolent god, or any kind of god at all, he devoted himself to curbing as much of Apophis’s excesses as he could.

This was a particularly painful time for Teal’c, committing atrocities in the name of a false god. But he knew that quitting Apophis’s service or rebelling against him would only make matters worse.

The desperate grief that Teal’c felt over his part in Apophis’s crimes drove him to take the incredible risk of turning away from all he knew to join the SGC. This rested on nothing more than an intuition that they could overcome the Goa’uld.

Teal’c’s altruism has put him in difficult places from time to time. Though he felt a duty to free his people, he also struggled with the harm his defection inflicted upon his friends and family. He resolved this conflict by taking the risk of returning home to ensure the safety and freedom of his loved ones.

It meant a great deal to him that he was accompanied on this personal mission by his new family, the friends he’d made in SG-1.

Other traits

He also felt torn between his loyalty to the Jaffa rebels and the SGC. While his fellow Jaffa are his first concern, he greatly enjoys being a part of the SGC and is loath to give it up. The only time he seriously considered leaving the SGC permanently was when he believed his friends in SG-1 were dead.

But as the rebel Jaffa movement grew, Teal’c did spend more time operating on detached duty to assist the Jaffa resistance directly.

Though Teal’c is laconic and typically restrained in his expression of emotion (traits which have lessened somewhat over his years with SG-1), he is in fact a very passionate man. He’s a living example of the old adage that “still waters run deep.”

He often communicates his feelings with his physical presence as much as his speech and can often intimidate people with nothing more than a glare and a raised eyebrow.


Quotes

“Indeed.”

O’Neill: “So what’s your impression of Alar ?”
Teal’c: “That he is concealing something.”
O’Neill: “Like what ?”
Teal’c: “I am unsure – he is concealing it.”

Bra’tac: “We die well.”
Teal’c: “More than that, old friend. We die free.”

“Things will not calm down, Daniel Jackson. They will in fact calm up.”

Daniel: “Can you do me a favor ? Could you keep an eye on this plant thing for me ?”
Teal’c: “I will keep both of my eyes on it, Daniel Jackson.”

Hammond: “We’re holding our breath down here.”
Teal’c: “That would be most unwise, General Hammond.”

Jack: “Jaffa jokes ? Let’s hear one of those.”
Teal’c: “I will attempt to translate one, O’Neill. A Serpent guard, a Horus guard and a Setesh guard meet on a neutral planet. It is a tense moment. The Serpent guard’s eyes glow. The Horus guard’s beak glistens. The Setesh guard’s nose drips.” (Teal’c roars with laughter, everyone else just stares or grins politely)

“In my culture, I would be well within my rights to dismember you.”

“If you once again try to harm me or one of my companions, my patience with you will expire.”

Jaffa: “I know you, shol’vah. You dare return to Chulak ?”
Teal’c: “The people of this world are my brothers and sisters. I have betrayed no one.”
Jaffa: “Except your god !”
Teal’c: “False god. Dead false god.”

(Inciting a rebellion against the Goa’uld) “We are their strength, we are their power, until we choose to serve them no more. I was witness to the final breath of Apophis. I watched him tremble with fear at what lay beyond. I believed that day would be honored for all time on Chulak. But instead I see Jaffa taking up arms against one another. I see cowardice, and I am ashamed. This is our time. It will not come again. But first we must grow stronger as the people of the Tauri have done. I call for warriors to join me through the Chaapa’ai to gather weapons, to forge alliance with other Jaffa who seek freedom, to show the Goa’uld we will do battle with them wherever they might be. Who will join me ?”

Ishta: “Teal’c of Chulak. Former First Prime of Apophis, the shol’vah who has become a legend.”
Teal’c: “I am no legend. I fight as any true-hearted Jaffa for the freedom that we deserve.”


DC Universe History

Teal’c and the SGC could be imported to the DCU easily enough.

Otherwise, perhaps the Jaffa are slaves of the Dominion in the DCU and Teal’c defected during the Invasion, inspired by the heroism of the human race in repelling the alien alliance.

He has since worked with various galactic heroes trying to build a network of allies to free his people. This culminated in a recent effort by the revived Green Lantern Corp that freed the Jaffa from Dominion rule.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Teal’c of Chulak

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Rebel, member of SG-1
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 05
Init: 021 HP: 060

Powers:
Detect (Goa’uld symbiote): 02, Systemic Antidote: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:
Systemic Antidote is dependent upon continued dosages of tretonin (-1FC) ; Systemic Antidote is effective against disease as well as toxins (+1FC).

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing, Dodging): 04, Artist (Juggling): 02, Charisma: 07, Martial Artist*: 06, Military Science (Field Command, Tracking)*: 06, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land): 04, Vehicles (Space)*: 06, Weaponry: 06*, Weaponry (Jaffa Weapons): 07

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Chulak), Expertise (Goa’uld), Iron Nerves, Languages (Goa’uld, Latin), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (Free Jaffa Nations), Scholar (Jaffa), Slowed Aging (dependent on tretonin), Special Credentials (Medium, Stargate Command)

Connections:
Bra’tac (High), Ishta (High), SG-1 (High), Rya’c (High), Tolok — Jaffa High Priest (High)

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance (golden symbol of Apophis on forehead), Miscellaneous (Prim’tah/Tretonin Dependence — see “Vessel of the Gods” below, -10 points)

Equipment:

  • Staff Weapon [BODY: 10, EV: 04 (05 w/ STR, 07 w/ Martial Artist), Energy Blast: 10, Range: 07, Limitations: Energy Blast has no AV —use Weaponry (Exotic) or (Jaffa Weapons) as AV (-1FC), Energy Blast has No Range — use listed Range instead (-1FC)]
  • Tactical Radio [BODY 02, Radio communications (scrambled): 07]
  • GDO (Garage Door Opener) Emitter [BODY 02, Radio communications (scrambled): 00, Limitation : Can only send an unlocking code to the iris on the SGC Stargate – the current code is never stored in the GDO and must be typed by memory, Note: Assume GDO has 6 APs for Scrambled purposes]
  • Zat’nikatel (“Zat”) [BODY 04, Lightning: 06, Disintegration: 08, Limitations: initially the Zat may only Attack with Lightning for Bashing damage. If the same target is Attacked again within four Phases (2 APs) of a successful hit (i.e., an attack earning positive RAPs), then the Attack must use Lightning for Lethal damage. If the same target is attacked yet again within four Phases of the Lethal Lightning Attack, the Attack must use Disintegration]
  • USAS-12 Assault Shotgun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 08 (Diminishing, Area of effect 1 AP), Range: 03, Ammo: 07 (using drum magazine), R#04, Recommended STR: 04, Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range, use the Range given next]
    Though most SGC team members use SPAS-12 shotguns, Teal’c and a few other SGC personnel prefer the USAS-12. These shotguns are most often used when fighting the robotic Replicators. The typical Replicator is a small target (less than two feet long) and vulnerable to projectile weapons, making shotguns the best small-arm to fend them off.
  • Milkor MGL Mk.1 40mm Grenade Launcher [BODY 04, Range: 07, Ammo: 06, R#03]
    This is essentially a stripped down rifle with a very large revolver-type cylinder holding grenades, and a big vertical grip below the barrel. Teal’c carried this loaded with Offensive Grenades [BODY 03, EV 07 (Area of effect 1 AP), Grenade drawback, R#03] when hunting one of Anubis’s Kull soldiers, which were shielded against energy weapons such as staff weapons and sufficiently armored to withstand most small-arms fire.
  • Glider Cannon [BODY: 08, Energy Blast: 12, Limitation: Energy Blast has no AV —use Weaponry (Heavy) as AV (-1FC)]
    Teal’c used this cannon, salvaged from a crashed Death Glider, for a few missions that required heavy artillery. The bulk and lack of versatility of this improvised weapon kept him from adopting it as standard equipment.
  • JAFFA ARMOR [BODY 06, Invulnerability: 02, Skin Armor: 02, Limitations: Invulnerability and Skin armor are only effective vs attacks by slashing and piercing weapons (-2FC each), Both Invulnerability and Skin Armor lose 2 APs for each AP of Sharpness used against this armor — a single AP of Sharpness effectively negates both Powers completely (-1FC), Invulnerability cannot be used to counter *continuing* loss of Current BODY due to Killing Damage (-1FC), Partial Coverage (Can bypass Powers with a +3CS OV Trick Shot); Real Armour]
    Though Teal’c normally eschews the armor he once wore for standard SGC garb, he will don the armor again when working with rebel Jaffa forces as a show of unity with his people.

Design Notes

These stats reflect Teal’c’s abilities after his symbiote died and he began taking tretonin. See the “Vessels of the Gods” section for more information.


Previous Statistics

From the time of his defection to the SGC up to the recent establishment of the Free Jaffa Nations, Teal’c had Exile (Involuntary) from loyal Jaffa society.

Teal’c had a High Connection to his wife Drey’auc and son Rya’c until he left Apophis’s service. These Connections were then reduced to Low since they were still loyal followers of the Goa’uld. These Connections returned to a High level when Teal’c finally convinced Drey’auc and Rya’c to abandon the Goa’uld.

Teal’c’s Connection with Drey’auc ended with her death.

Once the Jaffa resistance began forming, Teal’c quickly became a Local Hero among them as the most prominent rebel against the Goa’uld. This advantage carried over to the Free Jaffa Nations once the Goa’uld were defeated.


Vessels of the Gods

Jaffa warriors carry larval Goa’uld symbiotes — known as prim’tah — in surgically-crafted pouches in their abdomens. This benefits the larval Goa’uld by helping them to adapt to human hosts.

Before this process was begun, one in every two implantations ended in the death of the Goa’uld and host. Goa’uld who have been carried from their larval stage to adulthood in a Jaffa have adapted to human biology and can usually take a human without difficulty. This process takes several years. Once a prim’tah has matured, it is removed from the Jaffa and replaced by a new prim’tah.

The benefit for the warriors is an enhancement of their strength and health. While a Jaffa is carrying a symbiote, he has +1 AP to STR and BODY, Slowed Aging (Potential lifespan of 150 years), Systemic Antidote (effective against disease as well as toxins) at 02 APs, and Regeneration at 03 APs.

Kelnorim

However, he had to enter a meditative state called Kelnorim once a day or his body would begin rejecting the Symbiote. Which would mean losing 1 AP of Current BODY every two days without undergoing Kelnorim. Kelnorim also takes the place of sleep for Jaffa.

A Jaffa trapped underwater can enter Kelnorim and use the symbiote’s gills to breathe. Treat this as Suspension: 10 and Water Freedom: 00, activated simultaneously.

Due to genetic engineering by the Goa’uld, a Jaffa’s immune system shuts down at the Age of Prata (puberty). This requires them to host a prim’tah at all times or they will die.

A Jaffa whose prim’tah has been removed loses 1 point of Current BODY every 2 hours (11 APs of time) that cannot be recovered unless the Jaffa gets a new prim’tah or begins receiving doses of tretonin.

Tretonin

Tretonin is a drug derived from a special processing of Goa’uld symbiotes. Its benefits are not as potent as carrying a prim’tah. But it still provides Slowed Aging and Systemic Antidote (effective against disease as well as toxins) at 01 AP as well as freeing a Jaffa from prim’tah dependence.

However, tretonin triggers a similar form of dependence even if the user did not suffer that disability before. A tretonin user must take a dose once a week or begin losing 1 point of BODY every three days that cannot be recovered until tretonin doses are resumed or, in the case of a Jaffa, a prim’tah is acquired.

15% of Jaffa who previously carried a prim’tah react poorly to tretonin. They not only gain no benefit from the drug but can no longer accept a prim’tah either. The end result is death as the Jaffa in question suffers prim’tah withdrawal.

By Roy Cowan

Source of Character: Stargate SG-1 (tv series), character played by Christopher Judge

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet

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