The quality of the crew determines how well a starship performs in and out of combat. Unless otherwise noted, every starship has a trained crew of nonheroic characters. However, situations could arise where a starship must rely on an untrained crew. Conversely, expert crews and ace crews are also available – for the right price.
See the Crew Quality Table for comparisons of four different qualities of crew: untrained, trained, expert and ace.
From the Crew Quality Table, the following modifies apply to combat:
Skill Check Modifier: Apply this modifer to all skill checks made by the crew.
Pilot’s Dexterity Modifier: A Pilot‘s Dexterity modifier applies to the starship’s intiative rolls and the starship’s Defense.
Pilots Class Bonus to Defense: A pilot’s class bonus to Defense applies to the starship’s Defense and to oppose Grapple checks.
Gunner’s Attack Bonus: A Gunner’s attack bonus applies to all ranged attacks made by the ship.
To improve in quality, a starship’s crew of nonheroic characters must “put in the hours” and gain combat experinece. Check the Crew Improvement Table to find the length of duty and the number of battles the crew must survive to be considered of a particular quality. A crew cannot be elevated to a higher quality until it meets the minimum required time spent serving aboard the ship and the minimum amount of ship-to-ship combat experience.
Operating below Minimum Crew
Ships suffer a –2 Piloting and +2 Turn Modifier for each Helm unit below the minimum, and a –2 Acceleration for each Engineering unit they are short. Ships without Damage Control crew will not be able to repair any damage suffered without putting the ship into dry-dock.
If a ship has suffered heavy losses, it can use crew for things they were not trained to do to meet its minimum requirements. Thus a ship, whose entire Helm crew was killed by multiple bridge hits, might use Science crew to fill that requirement while it limped back to base. While crew used in this fashion will remove the penalties for not meeting crew minimums, if the ship enters combat, that crew functions as a Raw Unit, regardless of its normal quality.