Low Passage rules query

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Low Passage rules query

Postby Steve H » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:26 pm

I saw Seth Skorkowsky's series on Traveller and the game really took root in my imagination. So I am looking to run it with my group.

There were a few points I was unclear on regarding Low passage:
1) On p.149 of the Core Rulebook it says a Medic check is required to revive passengers. It doesn't specify what level of difficulty. Nor how long it takes. Is this specified elsewhere, or do refs have to make a judgement call for themselves?
2) The Cryoberth on p.81 of Central Supply Catalogue (and p.109 of the Core Rulebook) is described as being like low passage except instant, but p.149 of the Core Rulebook says Low Passage is in a Cryoberth. Where are the details of the regular non-cryoberth low berth, or are they the same thing.
3) Again on p.149 of Core Rulebook it says emergency low berth inflicts DM-1. Does this refer to the Emergency Low Berth units on p.21 of High Guard? Or does it refer to a process? I.e. sticking a wounded character in the freezer? Wouldn't their reduced End and associated negative DM make the defrost hard enough?
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:51 am

Steve H wrote: 1) On p.149 of the Core Rulebook it says a Medic check is required to revive passengers. It doesn't specify what level of difficulty. Nor how long it takes. Is this specified elsewhere, or do refs have to make a judgement call for themselves?
Default is 8+ to succeed as always, see Core p56.

By old habit I say it takes 15-30 minutes. I think it is specified in Megatraveller at least.

Steve H wrote: 2) The Cryoberth on p.81 of Central Supply Catalogue (and p.109 of the Core Rulebook) is described as being like low passage except instant, but p.149 of the Core Rulebook says Low Passage is in a Cryoberth. Where are the details of the regular non-cryoberth low berth, or are they the same thing.
They are presumably the same technology, but in different packaging. It's called "Low Berth" when it's built into a ship.

Steve H wrote: 3) Again on p.149 of Core Rulebook it says emergency low berth inflicts DM-1. Does this refer to the Emergency Low Berth units on p.21 of High Guard?
Yes. It's a specific unit, not a process.

You are of course free to add DMs as you see fit for insufficient prep.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Steve H » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:26 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Steve H » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:26 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Old School » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:45 pm

My house rule is a routine 6+ check. Using the tradition 8+ check, low passage would be a seldom used means of travel, suitable only for emergencies. The Traveller / Dumarest trope of people dying in low passage doesn’t make any sense. People just aren’t that suicidal.

Also, anyone other than a trained doctor reviving someone from a low berth would be criminal other than in emergency situations. A tramp trader arriving at a reasonably civilized port would likely contract with a local doctor for the service rather than have their steward with Medic-1 give it a whirl. Traveling to the boondocks might carry more risk as a result.

Using a 6+ check, with a DM+1 for TL-12 or higher and a decent doctor, success is typically automatic. A less skilled medic, or if reviving a sick or elderly passenger, could take extra time to get the additional DM+2.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Reynard » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:21 pm

"An Average [8+] task is a moderate obstacle to a trained professional."

That sounds very reasonable for such a piece of technology dealing with a delicate process to suspend a biological unit precisely. Most real life medical equipment of the same caliber should be comparable. People without the background or skill set should never be allowed to operate an MRI or other complex medical equipment. Ship's crews should be aware of this and hire on qualified medics. Low berth passengers should have the right to inspect such medical staff certification and decide whether or not to use the facility.

"There is real danger to the passenger, as a Medic check
is required upon opening the capsule, applying the
passenger’s END DM to the check."
A further DM+1 is applied if the ship is TL12 or higher,
while non-humans suffer DM-2. An emergency low berth
inflicts DM-1 on this check."

Passengers should be well aware of the chances they take if they know their health status. This is one reason ship low berth facilities are not banned. I'm sure potential passengers receive information like you do when getting a vaccination describing possible risk.

Don't forget a ship medical bay, if adjacent to the Low berth area, could add another +1DM or possibly make it a Boon to the Medical task. I see no reason the medical check timeframe can't be adjusted to go slower and receive another +2DM.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:07 pm

Reynard wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:21 pm
"An Average [8+] task is a moderate obstacle to a trained professional."

That sounds very reasonable for such a piece of technology dealing with a delicate process to suspend a biological unit precisely. Most real life medical equipment of the same caliber should be comparable. People without the background or skill set should never be allowed to operate an MRI or other complex medical equipment. Ship's crews should be aware of this and hire on qualified medics. Low berth passengers should have the right to inspect such medical staff certification and decide whether or not to use the facility.

"There is real danger to the passenger, as a Medic check
is required upon opening the capsule, applying the
passenger’s END DM to the check."
A further DM+1 is applied if the ship is TL12 or higher,
while non-humans suffer DM-2. An emergency low berth
inflicts DM-1 on this check."

Passengers should be well aware of the chances they take if they know their health status. This is one reason ship low berth facilities are not banned. I'm sure potential passengers receive information like you do when getting a vaccination describing possible risk.

Don't forget a ship medical bay, if adjacent to the Low berth area, could add another +1DM or possibly make it a Boon to the Medical task. I see no reason the medical check timeframe can't be adjusted to go slower and receive another +2DM.
Possibly at TL8-9 when it is introduced, but every TL should make it much safer. I apply a DM+1 per TL after introduction.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Ursus Maior » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:03 pm

Don't forget that at TL12 there is a DM+1 and that before a check characters can always opt to use "more time" to receive a further DM+2 per increment. Using the latter rule once your usual TL12 Type-A freetrader transforms from deathtrap to "umm, yeah, okay" for a skill check of effectively 5+ before adding modifiers for END and skill level.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Steve H » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:12 pm

Starting with a base line of 8+, I was figuring on a traveller with Int9 (DM+1) and Medic1 (DM+1), on a TL12 ship (DM+1), taking there time (difficultly-2), is going to succeed on 3+. Basically anything other than a snake eyes succeeds. A death rate of 1/36. I haven't factored in the low passenger's End DM, since some will be +, and some -. 1/36 isn't great, but that would be on a tramp trader, so the desperate take their chances.

And if the traveller gets a competent assist on the medic check (someone Medic 0 or better?) then the boon cuts the death rate to 1/216.
And medic 2 is a guaranteed success.

RP side note: I was planning to present my travellers with a moral dilemma at some point. A pregnant prospective low passenger. Is the low berth suitable for pregnant women? Do they offer her a free boost to state room? What if those are all spoken for, who gets the boot to make room. What if they only notice she is pregnant after she's on ice?
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby NOLATrav » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:29 am

Steve H wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:12 pm

RP side note: I was planning to present my travellers with a moral dilemma at some point. A pregnant prospective low passenger. Is the low berth suitable for pregnant women? Do they offer her a free boost to state room? What if those are all spoken for, who gets the boot to make room. What if they only notice she is pregnant after she's on ice?
That’s a great idea. Yoinked! Cheers

I’ve been working on an adventure where a old Vargr passenger dies en route to his home world; originally I had him dying in low berth but the low social class stigma of traveling low didn’t jive with who the guy was. So he’ll pass away in his sleep in his stateroom.

I’m reminded of the Firefly episode where an old buddy sends his own corpse to Mal.

At what tech level are low berths merely stand-alone, 1,5,10 ton items that Travellers can ship like freight? As opposed to ship- or facility-class installations? There’s so much amazing tech in the TU, this idea of low berths being so dangerous feels too quaint.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Reynard » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:32 am

Cryoberths drawback is they are standalone with a power pack limited to on week. A passenger is iced on board a ship, the clock is ticking once you leave the dock. You reach reach the jump point say taking a day at 1g. You enter jump and... you're dead 6 days later. That's what make ship low berths better.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Ursus Maior » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:23 pm

Steve H wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:12 pm
Starting with a base line of 8+, I was figuring on a traveller with Int9 (DM+1) and Medic1 (DM+1), on a TL12 ship (DM+1), taking there time (difficultly-2), is going to succeed on 3+. Basically anything other than a snake eyes succeeds. A death rate of 1/36. I haven't factored in the low passenger's End DM, since some will be +, and some -. 1/36 isn't great, but that would be on a tramp trader, so the desperate take their chances.

And if the traveller gets a competent assist on the medic check (someone Medic 0 or better?) then the boon cuts the death rate to 1/216.
And medic 2 is a guaranteed success.
All valid and true. I for one would expect the upcoming "Merchant Prince" [?] supplement that is mentioned in the core rules to go into more detail. For me, a simple failin the roll should not mean immediate death. A re-roll might be possible if better equipment arrives in time or similar things are available.
Steve H wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:12 pm
RP side note: I was planning to present my travellers with a moral dilemma at some point. A pregnant prospective low passenger. Is the low berth suitable for pregnant women? Do they offer her a free boost to state room? What if those are all spoken for, who gets the boot to make room. What if they only notice she is pregnant after she's on ice?
I imagine there would be industry and insurance standards for these cases, probably as part of a well-meant leaflet printed on outside and inside of all cryoberths. If pregnancy is an issue for low-passage, than good practice standard would be to have passengers fill out a form during booking. If "are you pregnant or suffering from one or multiple of these conditions [...]" gets ticked with "yes", the passenger does not get a booking offer for low-passage; period. A higher type of passage can of course be booked if funds and availability permit it.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:40 pm

Why would anyone pay Cr8000 for a mid passage if a Cr1000 low passage was perfectly safe? The low passage will even prolong your life!

The whole point of low passage is that is cheap, but dangerous.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Condottiere » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:41 pm

Pretty sure there would be a prohibition against pregnant passengers getting popsicled after the first trimester.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Steve H » Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:02 pm

I imagine all those safety procedures and protocols would be in place in central worlds, but out on the frontier? That is where I imagine looser regulation and standards.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Baldo » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:44 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:40 pm
Why would anyone pay Cr8000 for a mid passage if a Cr1000 low passage was perfectly safe?
You're right, but don't forget Low Passage gets a "10kg
baggage allowance" ONLY, usually I *need* a stateroom for all those nice things I buy when I'm traveling :lol: ...
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Reynard » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:58 pm

Low berth is the steerage passage of space travel. Low cost with no frills or considerations. It's for the desperate. If it was entirely safe as well as that cheap (relatively), a lot more people would definitely use it including Travellers (PCs).
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Ursus Maior » Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:28 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:40 pm
Why would anyone pay Cr8000 for a mid passage if a Cr1000 low passage was perfectly safe? The low passage will even prolong your life!

The whole point of low passage is that is cheap, but dangerous.
Good point. A 1/216th chance to flatline permanently is not a perfectly safe method of transit, though. It's actually pretty rough. Imagine 1-2 people per voayage of the QE2 not wake up in one of their 313 cheapes class cabins. That would not sit well with transit authorities. The number would actually rise if the ratio of non-human passengers increases. What company would transport its sophont resources in this way? That would be impossible to insure.

However, I don't think a tabletop game needs to be that precise in statistics. The threat must be real, but it should not dictate game play. Nor should characters or core NPCs simply die from cryo-berth. But loosing some self-paying cargo once in a while? Sure, why not.
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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby Condottiere » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:46 pm

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Re: Low Passage rules query

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:40 pm

Baldo wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:44 pm
You're right, but don't forget Low Passage gets a "10kg
baggage allowance" ONLY, usually I *need* a stateroom for all those nice things I buy when I'm traveling :lol: ...
Absolutely, but just another Cr1000 gets you 14 m³ "baggage allowance".

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