Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Traveller Tuesday: Medical Specialization

Does anyone else find it odd that the Gun Combat skill in Traveller differentiates between pistols and rifles, and yet the Medic skill doesn't even address the obvious biological differences between a Human, a Vargr, and a Droyne?

Fortunately, this is easily remedied.
My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises.
Anyone with Medic-0 is a certified first responder. More than just a Boy Scout with a merit badge in first aid, this level actually teaches basic trauma procedures. (For a rough idea of what this entails, imagine the skills a basic police officer or non-EMT firefighter would have.)

More importantly, this skill teaches the user how to read medical diagnostic devices. Given that the Third Imperium is a multi-species place, medical kits need to be as accommodating as possible, and by TL10 many cross-species medicines have been created. Still, a lethal dosage to a Vargr may be ineffectual to an Aslan, and so being able to make sense of a medscanner is of highest priority.

Beyond medic-0, medical specialties are as follows:
  • Humaniti*
  • Aslan
  • Bwap
  • Droyne (includes Chirpers)
  • Gurvin
  • Hiver
  • Ithklur 
  • K'kree
  • Vargr*
  • Virushi
  • [any other minor race not listed here]
  • Low Berths -- This is used to safely revive passengers from low passage. This specialization exists so that the GM does not need to determine the species of every low passenger. 
* Given that Vargr are derived from Terran wolves, these two species are similar enough that their specialties default to one another at one-half their rating (thus a medic with Humaniti-2 effectively has Vargr-1, and vice-versa.

Beyond this, everything else is a function of the skill rating. Reprinting the table from Starports, p.15:
  • a Paramedic has Medic 1.
  • a Doctor has Medic 2, plus Life Sciences (biology) 1.
  • a Surgeon has Medic 3.
  • a Consultant has Medic 3, plus Life Sciences (Biology) 2.
  • Specialist Consultants will have additional skills such as Life Sciences (genetics) and Life Sciences (cybernetics), usually at level 2.

Sidebar: What's in a medikit?
  • A medical multilab (Cosmopolite, p.106) or portable mediscanner (CSC, p.167) 
  • Automated external defibrillator (or equivalent) 
  • Drugs: 
    • Anti-radiation drugs 
    • Panaceas 
    • Stim drugs (aka caffeine pills)
    • Nervous Response Dampeners (aka "a mild sedative") 
    • Adrenalizers 
    • Endotherm 
    • Exotherm 
  • Bandages 
  • Splints 
  • Emergency blankets 
  • Other assorted first aid materials
Instead of giving a hard number for how many doses are available, simply roll to see if there are any left after the first. A small individual kit is 10+ on 2d6; a family sized kit is 8+ and a large faculty-size kit is 6+.

As a general rule, assume that all kits within the Third Imperium will work on Humaniti (of all types, including Darrians and Zhodani), Vargr, Aslan, and Bwaps. Outside of the Rimward sectors, K'kree and Hivers are uncommon; roll 10+ to see if their biology is accounted for in medkits deeper within the Imperium (all well-stocked hospital facilities will have those, however). Droyne are encountered throughout the Imperium; roll 8+ for them, and for other minor Imperial species.

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