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Mongoose Traveller Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Freelance Traveller.

Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops. Jacob DC Ross.
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
19pp, PDF

Note: The author kindly provided Freelance Traveller with a review copy of this item.

Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops caters to the kind of adventure that occasionally pops up in Traveller (the rescue/relief mission) but which previously hasn’t really had focused character generation—the characters use a hodgepodge of skills and hope to muddle through.

Broadly speaking, there are two groups of people that get involved in rescue operations: the actual rescuers, who go in, find the people, and bring them out; and the healers, who deal with the medical (including psychological) aftermath. This Special Supplement provides careers for both. The skill set resulting from a Healer career will be heavy in Medic and related skills, though there is opportunity to earn skills that have only indirect benefits to the Healer (e.g., Computers or Investigate, which won’t help the Healer heal, but can help the Healer identify what needs to be healed and how). The Rescuer skill set is broader, and focused on dealing with the environment that the rescue operation may occur in, to get the people out. Some Healer-related skills are also part of this career, representing the ability to stabilize a patient for evacuation. Both careers seem—to my lay eyes—to be reasonable profiles.

The focus of the section on Rescue Ops briefly discusses some medical aspects at the beginning, but the bulk of the section focuses on the rescuers, their organization, and the conditions that they might encounter. A paragraph or two for each of many types of rescue situations, from fires to accidents to natural disasters to epidemics, outlines what PCs may encounter. There isn’t, however, very much on the roles of the various career tracks.

While there is a page of discussion of rescue adventures and campaigns, it's a bit disappointing—it only mentions the possibility of PCs playing as workers for a private emergency management company, and suggests the possibility of combining the Rescuer career with a military career, but there are no actual adventure ideas.

The final section, on Tools of the Trade, provides a few tools and a bunch of vehicles that could be useful in a rescue operation. Most of them are oriented toward planetside adventures, though some of the vehicles could also be usable in a large orbital spaceport. More devices, such as mobile surgical facilities, stretchers or gurneys for use in space to e.g., move patients through vacuum, would have been nice to have outlined.

Editing had some minor slip-ups; the most notable is that in the Rescuer career, one of the assignments is called ‘Controller’; in the tables, ‘Drone’ is used instead.

The d66 Events table for the Rescuer career seems to be a bit fuzzier than that for the Healer career. It’s possible that this is because many table entries are longer, and the entire table is done with a smaller font.

The author falls into the trap of assuming that nurses and nursing require less education than doctors, differentiating them in the career only by designating EDU 11- characters as Nurses and EDU 12+ characters as Doctors. As this only affects rank skills and cash benefit rolls, I’m not convinced that the distinction is necessary—or appropriate—in a Traveller context.

Overall, while I don’t rate this as “must have”, if you’re interested in running adventures with this sort of character, it’s definitely worth the coin.