An adventure for 1-6 players on any TL3-14 world with population 6+ that is either balkanized (Government Code 7) or has a unified government but is embroiled in civil war, insurgency, rebellion or invasion by a neighbouring world. Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition rules have been used here.
One PC has injured their little finger in a freak accident – perhaps cargo loading, R&R, sport, or combat etc. What appears to be a sprain has within 24 hours swollen nastily and become heavily bruised. Fortunately, it is the little finger, on the non-dominant hand.
Medical staff recommend treatment within a week to ten days. How easy this is to arrange depends on the world’s medical care model and the rate of more serious trauma cases arriving as a result of any ongoing conflict.
Law Level determines if and how the PCs are armed outside starport environs.
Off-worlders are markedly different to locals. Choose 1D differences from: clothing (Easy), mannerisms (Routine), accent (Average), facial features (Difficult), body-morphology (Very Difficult) or any combination of those (Formidable). Pretending to be a local requires a Deception check to disguise a PC at ranges down to Short or one difficulty level higher at Close range.
Medic 3 will be able to tell from the lack of pain in the palm and other indications that it’s most likely broken and treatment is required, Medic 2 will be suspicious of this, Medic 1 will be unsure without further tests. X-rays or scanning tech will reveal it is not only broken but requires surgery to repair. Assuming the PCs don’t have access to a fully equipped surgery and a Medic 3, DEX 8+ surgeon, then a visit to the local Accident & Emergency will be necessary.
AT TL3-5 there’s a 50% chance treatment will result in such damage that amputation is necessary, or the only ‘treatment’ is strapping it to the next finger and hoping it heals with some degree of future use (DEX-1). Note that anaesthetics only appear at TL4 and can be assumed to be primitive, risky and possibly ineffective even at TL5. At TL6-10 treatment involves a day surgery operation under general anaesthetic to repair the break with two small pins and some soft tissue repair with a 97% chance of near full recovery (roll 2 on 2D for DEX-1). At TL11+ tissue and bone reconstruction is an hour long outpatient appointment under local anaesthetic and full recovery.
Diagnosis is by preliminary examination, x-ray and referral to a Fracture Clinic for specialist review within 1D days. The Referee may extend this by another 1D days if the Fracture Clinic refers all outsiders to the starport medical facility, where essentially they will start over. The Fracture Clinic will arrange a Day Surgery date and time (TL6-10) or a hospital stay of 1D+1 days (TL3-5). Surgery and Day Surgery will involve a complete fast from food after 7am and liquids after 10am. Day Surgery will be scheduled for a morning session or an afternoon session and will involve a 1D hour(s) wait in surgical gown – most likely with other patients describing what their upcoming procedures in all too graphic detail. Treatment may be free, covered in whole or in part by insurance, or may require payment in cash or in kind – services rendered, barter or community service.
On this world, medical staff are divided into Guilds (TL3-5), Divisions (TL6-10) or Cohorts (TL11-14). Surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing staff, radiologists, service staff are all very clearly demarcated by any or all of dress, badges, language (i.e. jargon), even socialising outside the hospital. Unfortunately, at PI relationships have broken down between these groups and they’re barely functioning, never mind being a smooth running entity. Pay structures are complicated and surgeons begrudge cleaners being paid more in certain circumstances, trade union talks have broken down and news media is getting wind of the near total breakdown and beginning to ask questions. Recovery rates are at rock bottom. A Difficult SOC roll may allow the PC to avoid much of the game playing and obstruction that is going on. Note the Effect for a later task. Spectacular Success will result in the PC being treated like nobility – perhaps they are a noble (SOC 11+). Spectacular Failure will result in the PC at the back of every queue, spoken to quite rudely, and dealt with peremptorily.
The Princess Iphigenia Hospital:
The Princess Iphigenia Hospital, known locally as “Pee Eye”, is a general hospital serving around half a million sophonts, with some 7000 staff, 600 volunteers, 1200 beds and 28 operating theatres. A comms tower on the roof allows incoming trauma transport to liaise with hospital staff (TL3-5 heliograph or semaphore telegraph tower, TL6-10 radio mast, TL11-14 satellite substation).
The hospital is shown in an approximate plan of four of its levels which should not be considered exhaustive. Despite the simplicity of the main corridor architecture, the indicated units, wards, surgical areas and so on may be quite labyrinthine entities by themselves with their own receptions, waiting rooms, consultation rooms, curtained cubicles, offices, nursing stations, storage rooms, cleaning facilities, alcoves, etc. At TL3-5 there will only be stairs, at TL6-10 there will be stairs and lifts, at TL11-14 there will be gravlifts and stairs. Assume lifts and stairs in each corner and near the end of each cross-corridor (i.e. six in total). Additionally, some may be staff only and sized for stretchers or gurneys but may not traverse all floors.
At low Law Levels with limited Government control there may be a small cadre of volunteer protection officers with access to tech level appropriate weapons.
At TL3-5 PI is a monolithic building built in the grand style
At TL6-10 PI is a ferrocrete brutalist structure that once won a design award but is now hopelessly out of fashion and aging badly
At TL11-14 PI is a sleek, glass-fronted building (and at TL14 may be gravitic, serving the populace where the need is greatest). At these tech levels assume Level A is the top floor of the building served by gravitic patient/visitor and emergency vehicles landing on the roof.
At tech levels beyond this, hospitals may become a thing of the past with personal and immediate care a basic sophont right.
Referees might wish to add other units as they see fit: Rheumatology, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Orthotics & Blood Tests, Dietetics & Nutrition, Neurophysiology & Urology, and Renal are just some possibilities. Higher tech level options might include cancer day treatment, nerve refusion units, cloning and genetic engineering. Lower tech levels may preclude some units or only have them with very basic facilities (e.g. Limb Regeneration as simply prosthetics). Exorbitant player wealth or over-insurance might tempt corrupt hospital officials to order extra tests until their insurance runs out.
Other PCs may use Admin, Leadership, Medic, SOC or perhaps even Advocate or Deception to improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce waiting times. Lower level Medic and life Science skills may result in negative DMs on interactions as medical staff feel their professionalism is being impugned.
Conflict or war has just broken out here. Enemy forces have decided to seize and hold the strategic PI as a hospital and communications base. Any local protection cadre will be overwhelmed or only able to hold out in pockets.
The opponents may be attacking other targets in the city or surrounding territory as well. The Referee can determine when this attack takes place in relation to the PC’s progress to mend their finger or can use the table below.
1D. Treatment Stage
1. A&E visit
2. Fracture Clinic
3. Day Surgery waiting room
4. Day Surgery
5. Day Surgery recovery
6. 2 week follow-up examination
If this is being run with a party of adventurers, the other PCs should be visiting, negotiating with hospital staff, or perhaps delivering food or clothing for an extended stay. The injured level of PC’s incapacity depends on their treatment stage as described above (adjust as appropriate for other tech levels as noted in treatment descriptions):
1-3. The hand functions relatively normally but it still injured
4. The PC will be unconscious
5. The PC will be conscious but groggy and their hand incapacitated (DEX-3)
6. The PC will have heavily bandaged hand with some limited use (DEX-2)
The PCs will hear various rumours to focus their attentions. The Referee may use as many as desirable and should determine if they are true or not.
1. All off-worlders are being rounded up and shot
2. All off-worlders are being rounded up and taken for interrogation
3. All off-worlders are being rounded up and held captive
4. The troops are only looking for children
5. The troops are only looking for those with certain blood types
6. Demolitions experts have been seen in the basement
Note the location of the PCs, most obviously in the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic or the Day Surgery, but possibly in the restaurant, reception or one of the cafés.
One of the first three rumours above should at least appear to be true to the PCs and should encourage them to hurriedly leave. They can leave via any entrance or exit, except these are now guarded by the 50 troops, who together with four officers and a commander, are now barring all obvious escape routes and means of external communication as well as searching the building. A Formidable task check is required to leave without fighting or use of effective subterfuge. Troops will arrive at the PCs location within five minutes of taking the building. Track the time the party takes using the timed tasks below as a guide:
To traverse a main corridor or move between floors using a lift without encountering opponents: Very Difficult (12+) DEX check (1D seconds x 10).
To move between floor using a stairwell without encountering opponents: Difficult (10+) STR check (1D seconds x 10).
To traverse a floor using ‘inner’ routes without encountering opponents: Average (8+) END check (1D minutes); BUT add (or subtract) the Effect of the earlier SOC roll to reduce/increase the time if staff are helping or hindering.
Other possibly useful tasks:
To gain the assistance of staff from one guild, division or cohort: Difficult (10+) Leadership or SOC check (1D minutes + 5).
To locate clothes for a disguise (or the injured PC if in gown): Routine (6+) INT check (2D minutes). Time may be reduced if assisted by staff.
To create limited amount of explosives with material on hand: Routine (6+) INT or EDU check (1D minutes x 2).
To create a large explosion with materials on hand: Difficult (10+) Explosives check (1D minutes x 3, INT or EDU). (This can be one task level easier if assisted by staff to find materials.)
To speak convincingly like a medic for one minute: Difficult (10+) SOC check (1 minute, INT). (This can be one or even task levels easier if assisted by staff briefing, but the briefing will take twice the length of the performance).
To fast-talk your way past guards: Routine (8+) Medic or Deception skill checks (15 seconds, INT) browbeat guards into submission and allow a PC to pass unobstructed within the IP.
Weapons, if required, may be taken from overpowered soldiers, taken/borrowed from cadre or a hospital supply, or be the PC’s own gear.
The climax of the adventure may be a fight for the exit, a tense deception, or use of an ingeniously original escape route. If the PCs can make it from the hospital in a vehicle or on foot, assume they can make good their escape to the starport although depending on the exact situation, there may be a heavier than normal security presence at the starport gate.
Referees are at liberty to choose whether the skirmish is an isolated incident, if PCs must cross contested battlefields to reach a heavily guarded starport gate, and whether the war is local, planetary, interplanetary or even part of a looming or raging interstellar conflict.