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Old 09-08-2018, 11:53 AM   #1
cptbutton
 
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Default Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

Low Berth Attendant. On big ships there may be a lot of them, on small ships just one, or an extra job of whatever the ship has as a medic.

How prestigious a job is this? Is becoming a LBA the rock bottom of the medical profession you sink to as you screw up everything else, or is it a regular honest health services job?
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:27 PM   #2
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

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Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
Low Berth Attendant. On big ships there may be a lot of them, on small ships just one, or an extra job of whatever the ship has as a medic.

How prestigious a job is this? Is becoming a LBA the rock bottom of the medical profession you sink to as you screw up everything else, or is it a regular honest health services job?
GMs choice I suppose. The mechanics and risks of low berths vary between editions of Traveller.

In the inspirational source material, and LBB versions of the game, that gave us stuff like the Low Lottery, sure, it probably would be the kind of job you get when your malpractice suits force you to flee from the law and your alcoholism is too obviously crippling for even the more desperate gang bosses to hire you as an unlicensed doctor.

In later versions, where more consideration has been given to reasonable economics and the not very lawless frontier-like state of most of the Imperium, it's presumably a respectable enough medical career. Not a top rung one - it's a routine job that doesn't require enormous ability to pull off (it can't or it could never have become a popular enough option to be common), so more like family medicine or being a nurse practicioner than a top flight surgeon, but people are trusting you with their lives, so it's not down there with changing the bedpans in a nursing home. It's also likely one you're employed by the regular passenger lines in port for, not something done by somebody who travels with the ship.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:41 AM   #3
hal
 
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

What Malloyd says is very practical. There are other issues in the TRAVELLER universe that can make a referee's life a bit annoying. For instance, how passengers are located and how tickets are priced etc.

For instance, all available passengers at any given world is per jump. If your ship is jump-1, you can only see those passengers available for worlds within your drive capability range. It doesn't matter whether you intend to hit a world that is accessible by 1 jump-5, or five jump-1 transits, you can only have passengers to the destinations within 1 jump transit distance.

Now imagine the life of a low berth traveller. He goes to sleep, faces death waking up, goes to sleep for the next destination, faces death waking up at the next world, until they get to their final destination some five jump-1 parsecs distant. And, he doesn't know if there will be a ship at his destination, to take him towards his final destination.

GURPS TRAVELLER sort of changed things with multi-parsec freight contracts that were both distance dependent as well as time dependent. That permitted a careful captain to announce a destination five jumps distant, and take on any passengers who want any of the four worlds he intends to touch down upon as well. Now, the low berth ticket purchaser need only buy one ticket priced for the distance travelled, and only be awakened once.

As noted, these things are TRAVELLER edition dependent, i.e. Classic Traveller (CT), Megatraveller (MT), Traveller the New Era (TNE), Traveller 4th edition (T4), GURPS Traveller (GT), D20 Traveller (T20), Mongoose Traveller (MgT), and as of now, finally, Traveller fifth edition (T5).

Mongoose Traveller, like GURPS Traveller, used a per parsec pricing model - so there is that.

The question you have to answer as GM for your Traveller universe is this: how does the powers that be, handle the circumstances where a passenger dies from low berth shock due to negligence on the part of the starship in question? Whose laws are enforced as far as the ship is concerned - after all, the starship is generally going to be in port territory, where planetary laws do not hold sway. Can a ship take on low berth passengers without a licenced operator - and if so, what are its liabilities? If someone dies from low berth shock, who issues the death certication? What proof of Identity is required before a person can be put into low berth and placed on the passenger manifest? Can automated low berth be shipped as freight? Can a person purchase life insurance for low berth?

Or, you can largely ignore those questions.

;)
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:11 AM   #4
tanksoldier
 
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

I don’t recall any version of Traveller where that would be a full time job.

You put the passengers under, then leave them until they wake up. I mean, the whole point of low passage is that it’s cheap because few resources are required to sustain the passenger.

I don’t even recall any rules that require more than a single medic regardless of the number of low passengers to get the bonus to the survival roll.

So, probably, it’s simply part of the duties of the normal ship’s medic. Being a medic on a starship is probably the equivalent of being an independent duty corpsman in the modern US Navy, generally considered a prestigious and responsible position.

In a ship with a large number of berths if there was somebody monitoring full time it would more likely be a technician of some kind not medical personnel... but there are no rules for berth failure during transit, only for problems when waking up.

Now, being an actual doctor such as they might have on a larger liner.... that might be fairly far down the physician prestige list, but attending to the low berths passengers would be just one part of the job and since there would likely be additional medics on such a ship probably not something the doctor himself handled directly.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:21 AM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

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I donít recall any version of Traveller where that would be a full time job.
The concept probably dates from the fiction that inspired much of that part of Traveller, the Dumarest of Terra series.

https://www.amazon.com/Winds-Gath-Du...arest+of+terra

It starts here and it starts with the hero coming out of a low berth and interacting with the attendant.

I do not necessarily recomend the series. In fact I didn't make it through all of the first book but there are many obvious inspirations for Traveller in it. It was all over bookstores in the 70s and I'm not quite sure how I missed it then. Maybe I jsut never saw the first book.
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

I could imagine a recent medical school graduate taking the job as something to help pay off the medical school debt.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:24 PM   #7
hal
 
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

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I could imagine a recent medical school graduate taking the job as something to help pay off the medical school debt.
Classic Traveller rated their medic skill thusly:

Medic 1 - enough medical skill to serve as a medic
Medic 2+ - enough medical skill to improve low berth shock by +1
Medic 3 - doctor level expertise

Originally, one needed to roll a 5+ to survive low berth shock. The odds of rolling a 4 or less on 2d6 is 16.6% or roughly 1 in 6 people would die. Changing this to a +1 bonus from a Medic 2 or better, results in only 8% dying outright. So in a general sort of way, medic 2 allows a person to save about half of those who would normally have died otherwise.

In GURPS TRAVELLER, this changes to unsupervised exit from Low Berth only kills on a crit failure against a HT saving roll.

That works out to about 2% of the population. The "medic" only needs a skill of 10+ in order to make exit from Low Berth an automatic success.

So, yes, a medical student should be able to handle this easily enough, or even an EMT who has Electronics Operation (Medical) at 10+
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I do not necessarily recomend the series. In fact I didn't make it through all of the first book but there are many obvious inspirations for Traveller in it. It was all over bookstores in the 70s and I'm not quite sure how I missed it then. Maybe I jsut never saw the first book.
The writing gets a bit better in later books. They are, however, formulaic and sometimes repetitive. I found them fun light reading, in the pulp tradition.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

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Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
Low Berth Attendant. On big ships there may be a lot of them, on small ships just one, or an extra job of whatever the ship has as a medic.

How prestigious a job is this? Is becoming a LBA the rock bottom of the medical profession you sink to as you screw up everything else, or is it a regular honest health services job?
I don't think it would even be an independent job. Why can't the medic's assistant do it? After he is done cleaning the floor of the sickbay I mean.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Low Berth Attendant - low status job?

Does it even have to be ships crew who do the "defrosting"? You won't be waking people up mid-flight (other than in an emergency and if that is the case all bets are off).

You might have starport based specialists who would "defrost" passengers disembarking at that starport. It would simplify the legal issues (as at that point you are still in "international waters"). Presumably the planet wants more immigration, in my opinion the most likely reason to risk death just to get somewhere, and this would encourage competence. They would also get a lot of practice (rather than once every few weeks). Indeed the skill of the technicians may be a selling point of that destination. It would be easier to regulate (and tax) if your game still has some sort of intra-system govenment in place.

If the above is true then the low-berth attendant is literally just someone to monitor the gauges to ensure the units remained powered. Perhaps the requirement stems from the very fact that failure cannot happen (other than as some specific story element), if you have someone assigned then there is zero chance of incident, if you don't have someone assigned you cannot legally offer the service (and if you do it anyway then your GM can reasonably start introducing low-berth accidents en-route).

****

If you had someone who was off on a multi jump trip, they wouldn't need to be defrosted at all between jumps they could just be stored in an off-ship warehouse... sorry... passenger facility, and reloaded onto the next ship in the chain. The routing would be handled on their behalf by reputable brokers (just like any other freight). So your destination may not be the "one jump" passengers final destination, that is just the hop the broker needs to get his passenger to the jump 3 vessel that is taking it the rest of the way.

It depends on how frequently jump 2 or 3 ships will be available to take low berth passengers (the profit margins in some version make low berth very unattractive compared to cargo). If you are in stasis the whole time, the difference between a few weeks waiting for a faster ship vs an extra few weeks of travel isn't going to be any more of a hardship.

No broker is going to string say 3 single jumps together in advance as it guarantees 6 weeks travel. In the 2 weeks he is waiting for the first journey to complete he has a good chance of scheduling a jump-2 and shaving 2 weeks of the overall travel time. In the worst case he will have to schedule another couple of single jump trips, but he will probably still be better scheduling just one of them and allowing himself another 2 weeks to get the best deal (including bribes and kickbacks) on the next leg.

As far as a one-jump capable ship's captain is concerned though every low passenger is effectively one jump.
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