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23:02, 22nd July 2024 (GMT+0)

Y: Ship's Crew.

Posted by StarMasterFor group 0
GM, 45 posts
Fri 30 Aug 2019
at 18:46
  • msg #1

Ship's Crew

As the ship bores its inexorable way through Jump-space, Princess Rao leaves the operation of the ship to those on board. After all, you'll soon be on your own anyway.

One of the things you find in the computer is the Standard Operating Procedures for a Harrier-Class Commerce Raider. There's nothing that says you have to run things this way, but the ship was designed around it, such as the Captain's Walk on the Bridge.

To take full command of the ship, the roster needs to be filled out and entered into the computer.

Here are the 12 ship positions and what their responsibilities are:


     The senior officer aboard the ship is her captain, though his or her actual rank might vary. The captain is usually, but not always, a qualified bridge officer who can replace an injured crewmember or one who has been sent off as part of a prize crew. Occasionally, the captain’s role is taken by a non-spacer who might be a ground combat specialist or political leader. Some of these individuals have proven to be shrewd tacticians and effective raiders, but a ship’s captain should be the conductor of an orchestra. It is hard to do this effectively without understanding music, so to speak, and ships whose commander is not an experienced spacer have generally under-performed in action.

First Pilot

     The first pilot role is traditionally assigned to the executive officer of the ship, though this can vary. The thinking behind this practice is that a successful executive officer will next progress to captaincy of his own ship, and since the first pilot is responsible for controlling the ship in combat, an understanding of this role is essential to commanding a ship. Many navies consider the mathematics-heavy role of astrogator to be more senior than that of the pilot, but the Sindalian Empire and its successors felt that a captain should have recently been a pilot in order to fully understand how a ship behaves in combat. The first pilot is often referred to as the first lieutenant if he is the executive officer, and to many Drinaxians the terms are interchangeable.

Navigation Officer

     The navigation officer is responsible for astrogating the ship in normal and jump space, and for overseeing all sensor tasks during combat and other spaceborne operations. The navigation officer is usually the ship’s second lieutenant.

Engineering Officer

     The engineering officer is responsible for overseeing all maintenance and repairs as well as monitoring the drive systems. The role is largely managerial aboard a Harrier-class vessel, with the engineering officer normally visiting the drive rooms only to carry out inspections. Most tasks do not require physical presence aboard a high-tech vessel, so this arrangement is entirely workable unless the ship takes damage that requires a hands-on approach. In that case, the delay in getting to the engineering spaces has doomed some Harriers, but the fact there is an engineer outside the machinery spaces has at times saved ships from losing their entire technical complement. The practice remains controversial, with no hard-and-fast conclusions either way.

Second Pilot

     A fully-crewed Harrier carries a backup pilot, who is not normally an officer. This role is often taken by officer cadets or personnel being trained for a command role, but this is by no means universal. The second pilot is usually assigned a duty station away from the bridge when the ship is in action, typically leading the damage control party or standing ready to assist any personnel who need it. The second pilot is often an odd-job-man aboard a Harrier, especially when other crewmembers are busy at their specialist tasks. This gives rise to various figures of speech such as ‘busier than a second pilot’ or ‘leave that for the S-P’.

Drive Chief

     The drive chief is a specialist non-officer, typically a rating of considerable experience. He is in charge of the machinery spaces when the engineering officer is not present, which is most of the time, and is assisted by the marines and gunners not required for combat duties. The second pilot is often co-opted to assist with engineering tasks when others are unavailable.


     A fully-crewed Harrier carries two gunners, of whom one is normally a missile specialist and the other a beam gunner. Maintenance of the turrets and any missiles carried falls to the gunners, but in action their duty stations are normally on the bridge, with loading of weapons left to the autoloader or any personnel who can be reassigned to bring fresh missiles in from the magazine.


     The ship’s medic is (hopefully) a part-time post, and most of the time the medic acts as chief steward. Even in combat, his role is more commonly to supply the bridge crew with sandwiches and coffee than to patch up wounded crewmembers. However, his duty station is the common room/galley area where casualties can be brought to him at need.


     The ship’s three marines must be competent in ground-side combat and vacc suit operations, of course, but most of the time they act as additional technicians and maintenance crew. Marines may be tasked with anything from assisting with cargo handling through food preparation to helping out in the engineering spaces. Their combat duty station is officially close to the main airlock, but more commonly marines will be encountered rushing from one necessary task to another or helping the drive chief. Properly qualified marines are trained to at least a basic level in a non-officer shipboard skill such as Engineer, Electronics, Gunner or Mechanic. All marines should also be capable of conducting damage control operations.

First PilotViridianTeddyVarca
Navigation OfficerAaron  
Engineering OfficerIngrid  
Second Pilot   
Drive ChiefIngrid  
Gunner (Missile Specialist)   
Gunner (Beam Specialist)Viridian  

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:55, Tue 28 July 2020.
BB Nova
player, 84 posts
Orbital Drop Marine
Sun 28 Jun 2020
at 20:49
  • msg #2

Ship's Crew

I will take Marine #1 spot
BB Nova
player, 87 posts
Orbital Drop Marine
Sun 28 Jun 2020
at 23:42
  • msg #3

Ship's Crew

Moving the conversation here to better focus our talks.

Captain: Varca
First Pilot: Teddy
Engineering Officer:  Ingrid
Beam Gunner: Viridian
Navigation: Aaron
Quartermaster: Zhouth
Marine 1; BB
Marine 2: Reijj

The reason for this is that Teddy is a really good pilot and Varca isn’t but they have the same Leadership score and let’s be honest, Varca’s probably going to be doing a lot of the talking. Teddy is in charge but Varca seems capable of relaying orders to the rest of us in combat.

This means Teddy can pilot which frees up Viridian to man the beam lasers

BB can handle the marine squads with her tactics and leadership.

I suggest we move a Vexsper into being a backup engineer, a missile gunner, and another marine. Zhouth as quartermaster becomes the general gopher; steward/admin/medic/coffee getter.

The big diff is that Teddy is actually captain and Varca is more like an XO in this situation but because Teddy is flying the ship he gets to make the decisions of where we are going on his own without waiting for Varca due to his naval tactics skill.
This message was last edited by the player at 23:48, Sun 28 June 2020.
Viridian Starfire
player, 65 posts
Human Merc
Sun 28 Jun 2020
at 23:52
  • msg #4

Ship's Crew

Damn it, BB! I'm a Doctor, not a gunner!

Oh, okay, Aaron's a better medic than I am. Guess I'm a gunner... *sigh*
player, 464 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2020
at 23:54
  • msg #5

Ship's Crew

  Zhouth doesn't have any Steward skill for making those sandwiches, y'know!

  On the other hand, his rank-1 Carouse means that the marines can be properly sloshed when they engage the enemy...
BB Nova
player, 88 posts
Orbital Drop Marine
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 00:02
  • msg #6

Ship's Crew

In reply to Viridian Starfire (msg # 4):

Oh I get it. I don’t like it any more then you do but nobody else even has the gunnery skill let alone ranks in it. As soon as you can find a suitable replacement you can go right back to your med-bay.
Ingrid Gustavdottir Sigar
player, 198 posts
Human Merchant
Sword Worlder
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 00:09
  • msg #7

Ship's Crew

In reply to Zhouth (msg # 5):

I'm making the sandwiches. I've got Steward, and more importantly, I'm a Sword Worlder.
player, 465 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 00:10
  • msg #8

Ship's Crew

  You're the ship's engineer, though! Need you full time on those drives and power when things are getting crazy. That is, crazier.
Varca Lexand
player, 393 posts
Human Vespexer
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 06:26
  • msg #9

Ship's Crew

In reply to Zhouth (msg # 8):

First of all--and this isn't an "objection", it's just an observation--that list of "Ships Positions" is what we're finding in the ship's database.  It is partly a "Legacy" list from the Drinaxi Star Guard (Pre-Aslan Attack), and partly "Modern" Drinaxi Star Guard.  And both, as Zhouth has pointed out, are descended from he "legacy" of the (much) older Sindalian Imperial Star Guard.

Having said that, and adding that a few of us do have military backgrounds--including a couple of us having actually served in the (Modern) Drinaxi Star Guard--I would now point out one very important point....

We're farging Pirates!

That means most of he "Traditional Rules" go out the airlock.

A lot of the points that have been made, however, are quite relevant.  Some are also quite contradictory.

For example, Ingrid is the only one of us (unless any of the new Vespexers we just brought aboard has it) who has the Steward skill.  This is more than just "babysitting passengers"--in a lot of ways, this skill covers what we (at least, what I) think of as the duties of the Ship's Quartermaster. I.e., making sure there's enough food on board, making sure there's enough Life Support materials (air, drinking water, recycling/reprocessing necessities, etc.), "Housekeeping" (bedsheets, laundry materials, cleaning supplies, uniforms, etc), even stocking the bar.  Everything we need to live aboard the ship.

And this crosses over to the duties of a Ship's Purser--the person who takes care of the ships finances--payroll, paying port fees, arranging for connectivity to planetary internet and comm-systems, etc.

Now, admittedly, that could fall under Admin skill.  And it very well might, with us.

So, Ingrid has the skill to keep our ship supplied.  She will likely be assisted in this by Zhouth, with his Admin skill, and his (Tech/16) Electronic/Computer skills.

But Ingrid also has the widest range of Ship Engineering skills among us--J-Drive, M-Drive, and Life Support.  These skills would make her the ideal candidate for the "Drive Chief" position, I think.  But, are "Drive Chief" and "Steward" incompatible?

I don't think so.  Especially if we think of these "positions" as Supervisory.

Being the "Drive Chief" doesn't mean that Ingrid has to be down on the drive deck 24/7.  She can tell someone else what to do, and oversee their work.  For example, Varca does not have "Engineer/M-Drives", but he does have "Mechanic".  With Ingrid "supervising" him--she with M-Drive Engineering, and Varca with Mechanic--Varca can work on the M-Drives.  He just has a Higher Difficulty Number, and he doesn't have to "know what to do", because Ingrid is telling him what to do, he only has to know how to do the work.  Which Mechanics gives him.

That's how Varca fixed the Fuel Processors, remember?  Varca used Mechanics, while Teddy supervised with Engineering.

I'm sure a couple of our Newbies will probably have Mechanics.  We make them "Engine Wipers" under Drive Chief Ingrid.  Ditto with putting a couple of them to work for "Ship's Services" under Ship's Steward Ingrid and Ship's Purser Zhouth.

Theodore is this ship's Captain.  He may not have the highest Pilot/Starship skill, but his Background is a Naval Officer.  His background, in this case, is more important than his actual skill.  Even though he may not have an actual skill in, say, Tactics, or Steward, or Leadership, he can still say "Oh, yes, as a Naval Officer, I received training in..."

Now, if he doesn't have a skill listed, after saying that, he obviously slept through that training, but he can still make the point that he received it!  So, while there may be better Pilots among us, there are no better Ship Operators...

Varca, on the other hand, isn't much of a Pilot, he can barely Astrogate, doesn't know his way around a Turret, and his Engineering skills suck.  He's a Survivalist, and his military career was as a Scout--which, oddly, explains his wide range Electronics skills.  When he wasn't wandering around the wilderness of alien planets, Varca was an Electronic Warfare Specialist aboard Star Guard Scoutships.  He wasn't the best, but he was okay.  And that's a Ship's Position not on that list, even though we have Electronic Warfare Suites onboard the ship.

Varca has Leadership skill, Tactics (Military), he's Combat trained, a veteran of the Drinaxi Star Guard, and he's loyal to the King of Drinax....well, okay, no he isn't.  But he is loyal to Princess Rao.  And Planet Drinax.  That's why Varca created his own "position"--Mission Commander.  Teddy is in charge of running the ship, Varca is in charge of running the Mission.  The whole mission.

Anyone have an issue with that, Varca is willing to discuss your issues--outside.  After you...

And if anyone is dumb enough to actually turn their back on Varca, then after he tosses their dead body out the airlock, we'll get on with the Mission....
player, 468 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 08:16
  • msg #10

Ship's Crew

  Turning her back on someone murderous is, I'm sure, exactly what those rear-mounted autocannons in BB's suit are for...

  And I'm sure that everyone is quite happy to let Varca go on thinking he's in charge. After all, it keeps him rushing around and bellowing importantly, thereby acting as our Obvious Distraction!


  On the other hand, the Vespexers that we've just recruited probably won't see loyal to Princess Rao as being meaningfully different than loyal to the king, and they're the ones that Varca really has to worry will seek 'expedited promotion'.


  No matter the oversight options, we're still going to need people who know what they're doing covering specific systems under pressure. We can cover certain things with software in a pinch - the ship comes with Fire Control 2 if we're short a gunner, at least - but if we're about to make a jump then we want Ingrid actually doing the J-Drive job, not telling someone else how to do it (thereby sending us off into dispersed-particle-land)!

  Since we're on the subject: the Drinaxian Companion book covers situations of skilled people overseeing unskilled ones for extended tasks. You need Leadership 0+ to do it (BB, Theodore, and Varca currently) to oversee up to 2 + (2 x Leadership) people, and their skill rank is treated as two points lower than your own while being led.

  That won't help with most skills at the moment, but notably, Theodore could oversee up to 6 people working on extended J-Drive or Computers tasks, giving them an effective rank of 0 - enough to do basic work like repairing them, albeit probably not very quickly.
This message was last edited by the player at 08:21, Mon 29 June 2020.
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