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Spacecraft Classification Society: A Mongoose Traveller Career

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue.

Author’s note: This article began as a posting to the Citizens of the Imperium website earlier this year. I would like to thank all those who commented on the article at the time. It has been re-worked as a series of longer articles at the generous invitation of the editor. This is the second article, covering working for a Spacecraft classification society as a Traveller career.


As I mentioned in my first article, my last job before the coronavirus was working for Lloyd’s Register, a marine classification society. This led me to think about equivalent organisations for space craft in Traveller.

A space craft classification society would have two sets of responsibilities. Firstly to establish and maintain the technical standards for the construction and operation of spacecraft and possibly permanent orbital space stations and star port high ports. Secondly by regular inspection of spacecraft to ensure they meet the necessary construction and operation standards agreed for that type of spacecraft.

My first article discussed in general terms the skills required to become a qualified space craft inspector, working for a space craft classification society. Or working as one of the support staff employed by space craft classification societies, to assist the inspectors, also sometimes called surveyors in their work.

This article gives you a detailed description of how working for a space craft classification society, would work as a Traveller career. As I use the Mongoose Traveller first edition rule book, the career follows those rules. But I believe it can be easily adapted for other versions of Traveller.

Qualification: EDU 6+
-1DM for most previous careers(+2 for Navy/Gunnery, Navy/Engineering or Citizen/Specialist)
-1DM if over 30 standard human years old (-2 if over 40)

Assignments: Choose one of the following:

Basic training: Unlike most other careers a space craft classification society employee gains 0 levels from the appropriate Specialist table instead of the Service Skills table in basic training.

Career Progress
  Survival Advancement
Surveyor DEX 5+ EDU 8+
Support INT 6+ EDU 7+
Skills and Training
1D Personal
Service Skills Advanced Education
(EDU 10+)
Surveyor Support
1 +1 DEX Flyer (any) Astrogation Engineer (any) Admin
2 +1 INT Pilot (Small Craft) Pilot (any) Mechanic Comms
3 +1 EDU Vacc Suit Any Science (any) Pilot (any) Broker
4 Persuade Zero-G Language (any) Physical Science (any) Computers
5 Drive (any) Trade (any) Physical Science (any) Sensors Diplomat
6 Jack-of-all-Trades Remote Operations Advocate Engineer (any) Social Science (any)
Ranks and Benefits
Rank Surveyor Skill or Benefit Support Skill or Benefit
0 Trainee      
1 Senior Trainee Vacc Suit 1 Intern Admin 1
3 Team Leader Leadership 1 Manager Advocate 1
4 Departmental Head Admin 1 Senior Manager Leadership 1
6 Head of Station +1 SOC Director +1 SOC
Mustering Out Benefits
1D Cash Benefits
1 Cr2,000 +1 EDU
2 Cr5,000 +1 INT
3 Cr10,000 +1 SOC
4 Cr10,000 Air/Raft or
1 Ship Share
5 Cr20,000 Ally
6 Cr50,000 2 Ship Shares
7 Cr100,000 TAS Membership

+1 DM on Cash if Gambler 1+
+1 DM on Benefits if rank 5 or 6.
This career does qualify for retirement pay.

1D Mishap
1 Working on space craft can be dangerous. Roll on the injury table.
2 You are kidnapped by pirates or raiders. Your employer refuses to pay a ransom. By the time you escape or are released your job is gone.
3 You are accused of accepting bribes to pass unsafe space craft as safe. If you were taking bribes gain an extra benefit roll. If you were not taking bribes roll Advocate +10 to keep this terms benefit roll. Either way gain a rival.
4 Your boss thinks you are after his/her job, and wrecks your career. Gain a rival.
5 One of your best customers finds you in bed with their sexual partner. Roll 8+ on either athletics (any) or melee (unarmed combat) to avoid a roll on the injury table. Either way gain an enemy (your former customer) and an ally (their now ex-partner).
6 A downturn in interstellar trade means you lose your job. Lose one Social Standing.
2D Event
2. Disaster! Roll on the mishap table, but you are not ejected from this career.
3. You are working on an old space craft when an accident occurs. Roll 8+ on either Vacc suit or Zero-G to avoid a roll on the injury table.
4. A dispute concerning one of the ships you surveyed goes to court. Gain one of Advocate 1, Admin 1, Diplomat 1, or Investigate 1.
5. You work on shakedown cruises to check new, repaired, or just inspected ships are working well. Gain one of: Astrogation 1, Engineer (any) 1, Mechanic 1, Pilot (any) 1, Vacc Suit 1, or Zero-G 1.
6. You make an unexpected connection outside of work. Gain a contact.
7. Life event. Roll on the life events table.
8. You are given advanced training in a specialist field. Roll Education 9+ to increase any existing skill you have by one level.
9. You work on the sales side of the business. Gain one of: Broker 1, Carouse 1, Diplomat 1, Flyer (any) 1, Persuade 1, or Streetwise 1.
10. You are rewarded for your good work, or impress a senior manager. Gain a +2 DM to your next advancement roll or +1 to one benefit roll.
11. A war or increased pirate activity means the Navy needs to activate mothballed ships. You get the job of inspecting them. Gain one of: Engineer (any) 1, Mechanic 1, Sensors 1, Gunner (any) 1 or Computer 1. OR gain a Navy contact.
12. Your customers or manager think you are doing a great job. You are automatically promoted.

Qualified Space Craft Surveyors

Just working for a space craft classification society as a surveyor does not mean you can automatically sign off a space craft as “space worthy” after a successful inspection. To be able to do this for any small craft (under 100 dtons) or spacecraft (under 5,000 dtons) you will need will need the following skills at a minimum of level one for each : Engineer manoeuvre drive (M-drive), Engineer jump drive (J-drive), Engineer (life support), and Mechanic. The total skills points in these skills must be at least six. If a character lacks any of the skills, or has fewer than six points in them, the character can only operate as part of a team where all the skills are covered.

For capital ships (those over 5,000 dtons), then (a) the surveyor will need at least level two in the skills mentioned above. (b) In normal circumstances at least two qualified surveyors will needed to certify an inspection on such a large ship.

That covers working for a space craft classification society as a career in Traveller. I hope both Traveller players and referees will find this and the previous article useful. The next article will cover adventure ideas involving space craft classification societies.