To represent crew experience, we will use the Dark Heresy ranks level. You don’t have to give stats and talents for every members of your crew, but it will give you an idea of how they are good at their tasks.
If you need to create some crew members, use the rank and career (in Dark Heresy) corresponding. For example, a veteran crew soldier can be build as a rank 3 imperial guard.
|Incompetent crew||0 to 500 xp||Rank 0||Skill 20|
|Competent crew||500 to 1000||Rank 1||Skill 30|
|Crack crew||1000 to 2000||Rank 2||Skill 40|
|Veteran crew||2000 to 4000||Rank 3||Skill 50 +10 (in 1 skill)|
|Elite crew||4000 +||Rank 4||Skill 60 +10 (in 3 skills)|
Crew gains experience as one entity. The GM determines how much experience to give to the crew after each game, depending of how much the crew was used : if the game session is taking place on a space station, with the players solving a murder and the crew waiting on board or drinking and gambling in taverns, the crew will probably only earn 100xp from the usual routine on-board. If the game session is all about fighting pirate raiders, escaping from a black hole and crossing a warp storm, the crew will earn much, much more.
Keep in mind that the players’ characters gave orders and manage the crew, but it is the endless number of crew members that really operate the big guns, repair the hull, tune the engines, etc. So, even if you don’t use crew stats to roll in-game, they are still learning a lot.
The players can also spend some of their own xp on crew training: the character spends some time with some selected crew members, teaching them how to do the job better and quicker.
Each player can spend 100xp per game. All the players can do it at the same time. The crew receive them on a basis of 1:1.
Steve, Michael and Susan want to spend some xp on the crew. Steve and Susan spend 200 each, and Michael spends 100. Ellen, playing the navigator, wants to spend all her xp on the very expensive Strong Minded talent. Never again will she be lure by daemons during the course of her duty!
So the crew receive 200xp from the game session (some action but no fighting), 200 from Steve, 200 from Susan and 100 from Michael. That’s 700xp for 5 hours of play. Not so bad! The crew was Competent (with 800xp), now they are Crack (with 1500xp). Next time they can hope to become Veteran.
Crew Population and Crew Experience
If the Morale of the crew affects how well they use their skills, the crew population can affect the level of the crew.
When a lot of crew members are killed, the players have to recruit some new hands, and the experience of the dead crew members can be lost forever.
If only few were killed, the survivors can work a bit more, and teach the new guys.
For every 20 points of population lost under 80, the crew experience level goes down by one rank.
The “Dursus Light” crewmen were the best you can hope for. All of them Navy veterans, all of them in love of “their” ship, all of them fanatically faithful to their officers. But this damned eldars…
The crew was Elite, but an terrible fight kill 52 of them. They are now 38, and only Crack. (80 to 60: -1 rank, 60 to 40: -1 rank)
Later, the damaged cruiser is damaged in a warp storm on the way home. 9 points crew population are lost. The crew population is now of 29.The crew goes down to Competent (40 to 20: -1 rank).
The captain can rebuild his crew by taking only well-trained new members. Refilling the ship with crew members of the same rank than the one lost completely restores the original level of the crew.
The “Dursus Light” captain returns to his old Navy Spaceport, where he still has a lot of powerful friends. After a lot of discussions, false promises and bribery, he hopes to be able to recruit thousands of Elite crew members. The names of the dead will not be forgotten, but his ship will once again the best of the sub-sector! (Elite crew, 100 population).
If he can’t find suitable (Elite) candidates, the ship will be full again, but the crew will have the rank of the survivors (Competent crew, 100 population).
Of course, he also can fired all the survivors, and rebuild the entire crew to a different level.
Acquisition of crew members
Good crew members are hard to get. The sheer number of people you need to operate a spaceship is impressive by itself. Add to this the diversity of skills and talents you need, and it’s like buying a full city with all the citizens. Trained citizens.
The difficulty of this task depends on 3 factors: the quality of the crew, the size of the ship (bigger ships have bigger crew), and the place you are trying to recruit.
To refill or buy a new crew, use the 3 tables and combine the effects.
|Crew Rank||Acquisition Modifier|
|Crew Population (for 10 points of Crew Population)||Acquisition Modifier|
|Place of recruitment||Acquisition Modifier|
|Navy or Mechanicus space station||+20|
|Forge world, Research station||+10|
|Hive world, Imperial world||0|
|Agri world, Feudal world||-20|
|Dead or death world||Impossible|
The “Dursus Light” captain is making his move! He wants Elite crew (-30), and he wants 10 population points of them for his cruiser (-30). He is recruiting on a Navy station (+20). So it’s -40 on the acquisition skill. Better not forget to bargain before making this roll!
If you try to recruit more than 10 points of crew on one acquisition, the modifiers of Rank and Population cumulates.
The place of recruitment modifier applies only one time.
A merchant captain wants to recruit 50 points of Crack crew in on big acquisition. So it’s -50 for Crack rank (-10 x5) and -50 for merchant crew (-10 x5). Since he recruits in a Forge world (+10), it’s a -90 modifier roll. After some thinking, he goes for 50 points of competent crew. This time it’s “only” a -40 roll
A Rogue Trader trying to fill the rank of a battleship with Incompetent crew will take a -30 modifier per 10 points of crew. Recruiting 25 000 members, even without training, is not an easy task.
The player can still press-gang or recruit from prison, as in the Rogue Trader rulebook, but take an adequate modifier on his Social roll.
Each 3 degrees of success add 1 rank to the crew, or 10 population point.
To fill “his” Battlecruiser, the seneschal pays a visit to the low level of the hive. His press-gang roll will be Fellowship + common lore (underworld) +10. The modifiers are +10 for incompetent crew and -40 for battleship. So, it is a -20 Fellowship roll.
All additional rules regarding the craft that ply the void of the Koronus Expanse