Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mercy Ships for the TAS

In my TU, when the TAS comes into possession of a starship, whether purchased or received as a donation, it can be refurbished and converted into a mercy ship. These ships are crewed by TAS employees, and operate on regular in-system and interstellar routes, bringing routine or emergency medical care to any needy party. The ships are funded by the TAS, the Church and private donations. They are mobile field hospitals, and free clinics, so no one is expected to pay them directly.

The TAS hires people to crew the ships, offering anywhere from 1/2 standard wages to normal, with 1,2 or 4 year contracts. Potential employees can check at a TAS office if there are billets that need to be filled, and request an employment interview. The player should present the referee with relevant skills & experience to build a case for +DMs on the Reaction table, with a reaction of 9+ indicating a job offer. Once hired, the PC is obliged to fulfill the contract; the TAS will not overlook their employees skipping out or engaging in criminality.

The mercy ship can be a good campaign framework for a solo PC; a group of PCs might be able to provide most of the ship operator positions, and have an NPC crew providing medical care. In either case, the referee can direct the PCs to just about any system with the TAS as patron. In the course of providing medical aid, all manner of emergencies and side adventures can be introduced.

Mercy ships will be most commonly encountered in systems with lower populations, lower tech levels, and poorer starports (D, E, & X); as these systems will have less access to quality medical care. Any solar system will have its outposts and settlements on moons, planets or planetoids away from the mainworld, where life is rougher, and help may be far away. On the standard CT Starship Encounter Table, the referee can substitute a mercy ship for any listed encounter, or add a W for mercy ship wherever a dash appears on the table. 

From Adventure Class Ships Volume II, there is the Kurgilash-class Medical scout. 
Kurgilash not pictured, cover art is a Type-T Patrol cruiser.

In my TU, there is also the St Lucy class ship, similar in design to the type Y Yacht.

St Lucy-class Mercy ship

Using a 200-ton hull, the St Lucy-class mercy ship is intended for medical rescue. It mounts Jump Drive-B, Maneuver Drive-A, and Power Plant-B, giving performance of Jump-2 and 1G of acceleration. A 60-ton fuel tank provides fuel for the power plant and sufficient fuel for 1 jump-2. Adjacent to the bridge is a computer Model/2. There are 17 staterooms and 10 low berths. There is 1 ship's vehicle, a 20-ton Launch. Cargo capacity is 0 tons. The hull is streamlined. The crew double-occupy five staterooms, the remaining 12 are configured as a 8-dton surgical suite and medical wards with beds for up to 20 patients. Two tons are set aside as a chapel.

The St Lucy class requires a crew of 10: 1 pilot,1 navigator, 1 engineer, and 5 Medical staff. The ship carries 1 other crew, a priest or priest/monk. A captain oversees the crew. The ship can carry 0 passengers and 10 low passengers.
The ship costs MCr100 and takes 12 months to build.

Meet the Crew of TASS St Anastasia

Captain Magda Gerasimou  684699 Age 34 4 terms Merchants
Pilot-1, Steward-2, Vacc Suit-1, Mechanical-1, JoT-1

Priest Fr. Vasili Malik  799BA8  Age 30 3 terms Clerics
Theology-2, Medical-1, Liaison-1, Recruiting-1, Administration-1

Pilot Dorothy Tchai  95A794  Age 30 3 terms Scouts
Pilot-2, JoT-1, Grav vehicle-1, Mechanical-1

Navigator Dame Julia Davenham  4836BB  Age 30 3 terms Navy
Navigation-2, Engineering-1, Vacc Suit-1, Administration-1
Engineer Benjamin Tessier  A577B9 Age 34 4 terms Scouts
Pilot-1, Engineer-1, Grav vehicle-3, Computer-1, JoT-1
Doctor Anthony Baana  6887A8 Age 38 5 terms Doctors
Medical-3, Administration-2, Electronics-1, Computer-1, Streetwise-2

Doctor Henry Boscombe  67B884  Age 26 2 terms Doctors
Medical-3, Administration-1, Computer-1

Nurse Tombari Onajobi  A54A87  Age 26 2 terms Navy
Medical-2, Vacc Suit-1, Ships Boat-1, JoT-1, Engineering-1

Orderly  Deke Pickens  778846 Age 22 1 term Other
Streetwise-1, Medical-0

Orderly  Estevan Quintera  A83896  Age 30 3 terms Other
Medical-1, Forgery-1, Streetwise-1

Everyone aboard the St Anastasia has their reason for being there. Some made a conscious career choice, some might be there out of religious duty or penance, some might just be looking for "three hots and a cot". What they can all find is a purpose and a mission.

Because medical care is central to the mission of the mercy ships, I recommend using the rules given in "Medical Treatment in Traveller" by Terrance McInnes & Marc Desmond from JTAS #11.  This article provides more detail to the process of wounding and recovery. 
Trust me, I'm a Doctor.

There are three categories of wounding: Light, Moderate and Severe.  Untreated wounds have a chance of becoming worse, the referee makes a throw for the wounded character. Surgery (requiring Medical-3 and Dex 8+) is required for all gunshot, cutting or impaling wounds worse than Light wounds. Surviving surgery requires a roll from the player, with DMs for Medical skill of those attending. If the priest is present and praying over the patient, that character gains a +1 on all surgery survival and recovery rolls. There is a recovery period after surgery, determined by die rolls; if the priest is in attendance all recovery rolls also gain a beneficial DM of 1.

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