Silver Age Beyond
Starship Escape Pods
Starship Escape Pods
Well maintained ships usually have a compliment of escape pods for a full crew and passenger load, but with the less well maintained ships this is not always the case. There are relatively few manufacturers of life boats in the Galactic Imperium and among the various technologically savvy races of the galaxy, leaving many ships in the predicament of having less escape pods than needed, or none at all. Most military ships have a full compliment, as do most noble ships, but it is not uncommon for a freighter to only have enough room in it’s escape pods for half it’s crew. Some crews have taken to bolting landers to their starships to serve as life boats instead. This seldom works out, as most crews do not have time to power up the lander before the mother ship meets an untimely demise that takes the lander with it.
Escape pods are usually built in five-man increments, ranging from five-man escape pods to 20-man escape pods. These pods usually hold enough food for a full passenger load for two weeks, in addition to tents, a small handgun and an emergency beacon. This beacon has a range of about 20 AU and activates as soon as the escape pod is jettisoned from the mother ship. Most escape pods travel at 5% of the speed of light. Escape pods are considered to have a Vitality of 20 and 40 armor, with a Maneuverability of -4. They usually have a range of about 10 AU. Escape pods cannot be fitted with a jump drive.
An escape pod can be jettisoned within one combat round after every one has boarded. The escape pod, equipped with an emergency landing autopilot, then locates the nearest habitable area (it usually has radar sensors rated at 3 – which is 3 AU), usually another ship or a planet. The crew of the pod may refuse certain destination choices, such as an enemy ship. The escape pod’s computers look for the most basic life requirements, meaning that the planet it decides upon may be just marginally habitable. These computers of course are prone to failure in the Void. Some have been known to fly straight into a star or crash into another ship.