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Career Track 1: Medic

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2020 issue.

Career Track 1: Medic. John Watts and Wendy Watts, LPN
Gypsy Knights Games https://www.gypsyknightsgames.com
7pp., PDF
No longer available (see note)

Note: This product has been folded into the current version of the Clement Sector Core Setting book from Independence Games. Independence Games is the new name of Gypsy Knights Games; at present, they are continuing to use the URL given above.

In Traveller, the typical player-character that falls into the role of party medic is simply the one that’s managed to accumulate “Medical” skill somewhere along the line – he/she/it is still an Army or Marine soldier, a Navy spacer, a Scout, etc., first, and a doctor just by accident. But is that realistic? Do the various armed forces grab J. Random Enlistee, and teach him/her/it to be a doctor, or do they look for and recruit people who have already trained to become doctors, and then teach them the basic military skills that they will need in the service?

But then, what use, really, is a doctor in an adventure? How often is a doctor going to be the central character in an adventure group of player-characters? Isn’t the doctor just someone that needs to be protected, until someone gets injured, and then you use him as a DM for getting the injured character back on his feet?

How unfair! There’s really no reason that a doctor can’t be a central character in an adventure – consider the Sector General series of stories by James White. Or consider what sort of things occasionally happen in the real world where Doctors Without Borders and/or Mercy Ships (or similar organizations) has a presence. Piers Anthony even wrote a story where a dentist was the central character. Certainly, it takes an exceptional kind of doctor to ‘go out adventuring’ rather than staying home on a nice safe (mostly) world making good money telling concerned mothers that no, little Johnny doesn’t have the latest Virulent High-Mortality Galloping Crud, it’s just a normal Mostly Innocuous Apparent Crud, and it’ll clear up on its own. But then, Travellers in general are exceptional kinds of people anyway, so why shouldn’t we find doctors among them?

Apparently, John and Wendy Watts agreed with the above, and decided to do something about it. Thus, Career Track 1: Medic.

This slim volume contains everything you need for generating medical professionals suitable for use in adventures—and that’s it. Following the pattern of the first edition of Mongoose Traveller, you get a career with three specializations (private physician, ship’s doctor, and emergency medical technician), a mishap table, and an events table. There is very little descriptive text—one short paragraph defining each of the three specializations. No adventure seeds, no example characters, no illustrations other than the abstract image on the cover.

It should be noted that this product was created prior to the change in Mongoose licensing for Traveller that led to the creation of Cepheus Engine and Gypsy Knights Games’ shift to that rule set, so there are references to the Traveller Main Book (TMB) in this career, and those references should be assumed to be for the [now out of print] first edition (with the red half-arrowhead on the cover, not the large word “Traveller” with a ‘swoosh’ around it).

Interestingly, while there’s an entry for Medic skill in every skill table, it’s possible to run through this career, getting promoted all the way to the top, and still end the career with only Medic-1 (obtained from successful entry into the career at rank 0). The mishaps and events are all reasonable for the career, and most readers are probably aware of news stories or gossip where one or more have happened (or the pre-space analogy occurred).

There’s nothing here that ties this in any way to the Clement Sector setting; it could be used as-is in almost any Traveller setting that admits a sufficient tech level.

If it were still available as a separate product today, I’d rate it as a ‘buy’ at anything below about $3; above $5, I’d say that it needs at the very least some adventure seeds or example characters. As with pretty much everything else for Mongoose first-edition Traveller, it would be reasonably easy to adjust to any other version of Traveller, or for Cepheus Engine; it could also likely serve as a good starting point for building a MegaTraveller-style (or Classic-Traveller-Book-4+-style) advanced career.