Crew Losses in Space Combat


does anyone know if there are rules for crew losses or injuries during space combat? I know when the Structure System is hit, you roll a die to see of a PC or important NPC is injured. But what about generic crew? I feel like crew injuries (not necessarily losses) should be a major incentive for Starfleet not to engage in combat. How do you handle this?

1 Like

My house rule: if I have a PC head doctor, I have much more injuries to give doctor a role, if he fails I increase the complication range of the wounded division.
Of course don’t forget that dead are counted at the end of the mission.
And not too much wounded because the series production can’t afford too much extras.

I house rule crew losses as well (I’m not aware of anything official, but let me know if I’ve missed something!). When my players encountered a spatial phenomenon that started injuring the crew, it killed 1d20 / x crewmembers per “hit”.

/ means divide and x was defined according to which area of the ship was affected by the phenomenon. To count the number of casualties from each hit, I rolled 1d20 and divided the result by x, rounding up to the nearest whole number if necessary.

e.g. For the bridge, x =2. The greatest number of casualties that you can roll is 10 (because 20 / 2 = 10), which seems sensible given the size of the bridge on my players’ ship. The fewest casualties that you can roll is 1 (because 1 / 2 = 0.5, which rounds up to 1).

14 crew died in that encounter, which felt about right given how long it lasted before the players found a solution. With a bit of tweaking, I think this system should work fine for combat as well, although you would want to randomise the value of x to avoid having to keep track of which rooms have been hit. Depending on the situation, you might also decide to modify the calculation itself and how you round the result (maybe the enemy ship is primarily targeting the player ship’s nacelles, so crew deaths are determined by 1d20 / 3x, rounded down to the nearest whole number).

I avoid keeping track of how many crew were just injured, because I figure that’s something which is pretty easy for the CMO to fix, so I can just make up a number if the narrative requires it. The number who die aren’t necessarily instant deaths either - it could include people who make it to the infirmary but then the doctor is unable to save them.

Crew deaths don’t have any impact on my players’ ship in terms of performance - I keep track of the number purely for dramatic purposes and because my players are actively trying to keep as many crew alive as possible. If a significant fraction of the crew were dying, then I’d probably look at introducing a Trait to reflect the ship being understaffed, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be an issue.

1 Like

Having used the search-function, I want to highlight this thread on Starship Combat Breaches from Damage, this thread on Crew Casualties and Ship Performance Degradation. I’m sure that I have read some homebrew formula on how to calculate losses, somewhere (else; thanks @northrider).

1 Like

For every breach during Starship Combat I roll 1 CD and for every Effect I roll 1 D20 casulties.
The Constellation-Class USS Gettysburg with 530 Crew received 43 casulties during a Battle with a Son’a Battlecruiser.

I used to run a more complex system, but effectively it boiled down to the following with some more variation:

For each breach, roll 3d20. The highest is number of crew with any form of injury, middle is the severe injuries (probably need the docs attention) and lowest is deaths.

This is an overly simplistic version but gives a bit of depth beyond simply dead or alive. You can easily change the dice sizes if you have them, or apply a little maths to account for the size of your ship.

Just a thought in terms of GM’ing crew losses, I’d expect before the TNG era you’d have a delay in determining specific number of casualties, especially deaths as they’d probably rely on officer on the scene reporting in.

However in the TNG era, I imagine the computer would adroitly synch life signs, hull breaches, comm badge data.

“hull breach on deck 5 and Ensigns Bloggins and Schnook have left the ship”