Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Filling Billets 2

Today I'm continuing my attempt to hire a crew for the Leviathan, the merchant cruiser appearing in the Traveller module of the same name.

2nd Officers

Position 07: Computer Officer

Navy 107*
Scout 67, 100

Suprisingly I could find few characters in the right Rank range qualify for this gig. The Naval character also qualifies for the higher-ranking Chief Gunner position. I wonder if offered this lower position instead of Chief Gunner, would that character take the assignment but resent it?

Position 08: Purser (NPC)

The ship's purser is the highest ranked company agent on the vessel and as such the command crew gets no choice in filling this billet. In the module it's explicit that the company people on the ship are present to prevent the PCs from skipping with the vessel. As an alternative idea, one could fill out the company slots with the PCs and start the campaign with them having to mutiny against the captain to prevent him or her from stealing the ship! A nasty firefight could leave the ship seriously under-crewed for the long trip home.

Position 09: Boat Deck Officer

Navy 61*
Other 63, 82, 90 94
Sailor 8
several Doctors
Bureaucrat 18, 23, 26*, 33
Scientist 14, 19, 26, 29, 36

Based upon the qualifications (Admin-1, Computer-1), this looks like mostly a desk job managing the ships complement of small craft. The Navy dude and two of the Scientists also qualify for the much more prestigious Exec Officer billet, so you might be able to put a back-up X.O. in this spot. My sense of humor can be very simple at times and the thought of a surface navy Sailor working as the Ship's Boat officer amuses me to no end. Make sure someone explains the concept of vacuum to that guy!

Position 10: 2nd Pilot (NPC)

No point in the purser seizing command of the ship if he doesn't have a loyal pilot to steer it back to port.

Position 11: Navigator

Navy 27*, 31*
Scout 16, 67, 96, 100
Scientist 4, 40

The two scouts who qualify as Computer Officer above also fill out this billet.

Position 12: Shuttle Pilot

Navy 21, 31*, 50, 53, 58*, 61*, 106
Scout 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 16, 18, 20, 22, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33, 36, 38, 40, 45, 47, 48, 53, 55, 57, 58, 59, 62, 66, 67, 71, 72, 73, 75, 78, 84, 88, 92, 94, 95, 96, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 107, 110, 114, 115, 116, 118, 120, 123, 125, 128, 129, 130, 132
Merchant 5*, 15*, 21*, 37*, 46*, 47*, 54*, 57*, 63*, 69*, 80, 91*, 113*, 131*, 134*, 135*
Other 1, 7, 9, 19, 21, 32, 39, 41, 79, 87, 88, 90, 97, 107, 118
Pirate 9, 16, 37
Belter 2, 6, 7, 31, 34
Flyer 30
Noble 8, 11, 13, 15, 21, 23, 28, 40

The primary qualification of this billet is Piloting-1. In a game about spaceships, that's a pretty common skill. Personally I like the idea of hiring a Belter for this slot. The odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field may only be 3720 to 1, but these folks spend years there! Navy officer #61 makes another appearance here. Exec officer, the boat deck, shuttle pilot: Is there nothing this guy won't do to get onboard this ship?

Incidentally, this is where I would expect the PCs to get sick of recruiting. When 60 Scouts (Quickie adventure seed: Why are there so many out of work Scouts in the area?) and 55 other people show up to interview for the Shuttle Pilot job, it's time to ask the referee if we can hand waive the rest of this and get on to the space adventure. "Sure," says the ref with a grin, "I'll take care of the rest of the crew. I love the prospect of getting to pick out the doctor who puts you back together after laser shoot-outs."

Position 13: Surgeon

Army 12*
Scout 37, 57, 62, 99, 112
Merchant 21*, 59, 74, 131*
Other 4, 75, 112, 117
nearly any Doctor
Noble 30
Scientist 8

Obviously the Doctor career path from Supplement 4 gets big play here. But I'm curious about the Others, the Noble and the Scientist that qualify for this billet. Why did that Noble go to medical school? And why would he or she be trying to get onto a ship heading away from civilization? Are the Others back alley quacks who happen to be pretty good at what they do?

Position 14: Second Engineer

Navy 65
Scout 17, 61, 64, 77, 125
Other 91, 133

Scout 64 is the guy in the kilt from last post. Since's he's the only candidate for Chief Engineer, I doubt he's going to end up as 2nd Engineer. And as the only qualified Chief Engineer available, my guess is that he would respectively inform the captain and X.O. that he will hire his own engineering department and they can mind their own business. I'd look for the engineer department to be scout heavy on this cruise.

Position 15: Second Gunner

Navy 18, 107*
Scout 4, 18, 21, 28, 42, 54, 69, 74, 90, 92, 110

Navy character #107 is my first candidate for Chief Gunner and I'd pick Navy 18 as the first person to interview for this job for the exact same reason: the Navy shoots people for a living, so why not go to that service for gunners?

Position 16: Master-at-Arms (NPC)

The crewmember responsible for discipline among the ranks is another member of the purser's shadow crew. Given that Traveller spaceships operate somewhat like age of sail vessels, I would expect this character to be one hard ass son of a bitch. In the event that the purser has to assume command of the ship, it's probably this guy's job to detain or eliminate the captain.

I'll tackle the 3rd Officers of the MSS Leviathan later in the week. You may get a Mutant Future session update before them.