Flushing out a New Character Class.

Tollon's picture
November 23, 2014 - 9:21am

I'm well aware that this is an import from Traveller and may not gain much traction here because of that.  However, the character class would help round out a ship's crew. SO here we go:

Steward Skill covers general shipboard tasks including caring for passengers, cargo and crew. It includes basic cooking and serving skills along with general-crewmember knowledge but no specific technical ability. A character with Steward Skill is able to keep passengers happy and entertained under most circumstances without other skills, and can handle cargo without making basic errors like forgetting to tether containers securely down. A character with Steward Skills knows how to live and work aboard a starship and can usually get a job aboard a space vessel as a deck hand even if they have no other relevant skills. They have also learned how to make minor repairs to ship systems in case of emergencies.


Any crewmember can become a steward.  However those who attend school to become a trained Steward are sought after and prized by starship Captains whose ships carry passengers. Player’s can chose this PSA.  The skill set is geared towards caring for passenger and cargo handling as well as the business side of starships. 

Weapon Skill                 Computer skills                         Technician Skills             Medical Skills

1 weapon                      Operating                                   Operating Machinery      Administering Drugs

1 melee                         Defeating                                    Repairing Machinery      Diagnosis

                                      Bypassing                                   Opening Locks              First Aid


Psycho-Social Skills                  Business Skills 

Persuasion                                Appraisal

Communication                         Finance

Bluff                                           Detect Forgery

Body Speak                               Haggling

Chef                                           Politics

Empathic Understanding           Society

Entertaining                               Scrounging




Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 23, 2014 - 1:36pm
Looks a little too Zeb's Guide for my tastes...that said the issue I see is any character opting for this is restricted to shipboard adventures, and ships in SF aren't that common.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tollon's picture
November 23, 2014 - 3:07pm
How does it look for an NPC?

jedion357's picture
November 23, 2014 - 3:18pm
I think a steward should be like a profession choice in Star Frontiers vs part of the character mechanic.

Example: a character with Technician PSA (character mechanic) could take a job as a mercenary or a corporate trouble shooter or with an explanation service or as a Steward on a cruise ship (all profession choices). His PSA and skills will make him more or less effective at each of these jobs circumstances depending.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
November 23, 2014 - 10:11pm
What about a set of PSAs based on ship trades, like Merchants, Smugglers, Space Pirates, and even Ship Stewards?

Although, where a Steward would fall under "Unskilled" labor in the pay chart, one could have a Chief Steward (or Purser) as a skill-set. That is, they would have the skills and knowledge to administrate the crew's needs (hiring, pay, supplies, etc.), entertain/handle the passengers, and supervising the unskilled crewmen (cooks, loaders, stewards, entertainers, etc.). Much like some Spaceship skills, one's skill level could determine the amount of crew and passengers the Chief Steward/Purser can handle. Given it's limited use and benefits in adventures (mostly dealing with administration and logistics), this makes more sense as a NPC skill. As such, it should have the lowest EXP requirements, but fairly good pay.

Here is a Merchant skill I just thought-up:

This PSA is based on a magazine article (Dragon I think?) about trading in the Frontier. The article notes how freight can be a 'boon or bust' business, and notes the business savvy nature of Frontier Sector Merchants.

This skill-set deals with trade, barter, costs and travail. Here are some sub-skills:

Assess Common Goods (??%, +10% per level) This is your knowledge of common commodities like raw materials (ore and the like), life-stock/produce and fabricated products (vehicles, electronics, toys, etc.). This also allows you to assess the general bulk of items based on the size of a cargo container, as well as the capacity of a cargo container for any given item.

Assess Rare Goods (??%, +10% per level) This allows you to identify an unusual commodity (a rare collator's item or black-market contraband), and know what sort of people who would pay good credit for it.

Market Foresight (??%, +10% per level) An experienced Merchant can predict trends and know which systems would yield the best profit for what stock is available. This is used to figure-out what system a set of commodities are valuable in and if it is worth the cost of the trip. This skill also allows the Merchant to predict future trends in the market based on events (economic bubbles, rumors of wars or epidemics, etc.).

Networking (??%, +10% per level) This allows you to find a buyer or seller with something good, to get a good deal and to find useful information on a wide range of business matters. This could be getting a stock of new model luxury sports skimmers, to offloading a rare set of antique Yazirian ceremonial blades that may or may not be real, as wells as to get connections for future deals or to get some useful rumors that could effect your business.

Avoid Trouble (??%, +10% per level) This allows the Merchant to predict trouble spots or for see ambushes with regards to space pirates.

A Smuggler has a number of the skills found with Merchants, but where Merchants focus on the economic big picture, Smugglers focus on using freighting as a cover for transporting illicit goods. They posses skills with using underworld connections, hiding goods within their ship, appearing nonchalant while being boarded by customs agents, avoiding patrol areas, etc.

A Space Pirate can assess the potential value of a cargo ship, gather information on potential loot or hostages, setting up traps and ambushes, avoiding patrol areas, etc.

Much like a Criminal PSA (a PSA set I made-up), thay are not skills you can pick up in business school, nor learn with hypno-training, and have the same EXP costs as a Technical or Biosocial PSA with no standard pay rate.

What do you guys think?

Tchklinxa's picture
November 25, 2014 - 10:32am
I got curious about what sort of jobs people actually do in the "cruise" industry. I have never had anything to do with cruise ships... There are a lot of jobs, and jobs for big ships versus private yachts or small cruise business (I guess that would be the Bed N Breakfast of the cruise world).

Most jobs would not require weapons skill in my opinion as these are civii jobs, but that sort of life skill would be useful. My civii job requires no weapon training or self defense training, but it does not mean we have not received training. 

The big categories are:

Child Care
Deck & Engine
Food & Beverage
Land Based
Shore Excursions
Sports & Fitness

Anyhow when I started checking out the openings per category there are lots of jobs. 

You might have "Space Marshals" for instance (if you have terrorists in the UPF) on bigger passenger ships. They would have weapons.

As a rule "weapons" in RL are discouraged by all corporations I have ever been employed by as legal is always worried the employees will kill someone and not if an employee gets killed. Only small businesses tend to have a weapon on premisses in my experience. I would like to point out though people will break company policies if said policy means certain death is a high probability (it is always preferable to live and be fired versus simply being dead.) 

So the question is does Frontier Law in general encourage companies to want armed employees or discourage it? I think it probably does encourage armed employees, but up to a point, they have certain people armed doing specific jobs but others would not be armed. PCs are armed as the game encourages that, but in thinking about RL it all depends on where you are and what you are doing if your job allows you to be armed. It depends on the laws of the land a company is operating in a lot.

In my experience policy is set by people sitting safe at a desk trying to save money and these folks usually lack imagination on why people might need to be cross trained or be armed.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Mother's picture
November 26, 2014 - 7:48pm
I would think a steward is an occupation and you would pay them a set rate of CR per day to hire them like you would a mechanic etc.  IMO it's not relevant to adventuring,  The appraisal and persuasion skills reminds me of D&D 3.x and is not my style.

I always liked that SF has PSA but you developed characters based on skill bundles, not classes.  I loved strict class rules in D&D but skills feel right for SF.