Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comments?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by NervousEnergy, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. NervousEnergy

    NervousEnergy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    NOTE FROM THE START: I've forked the cannon in my head, and, for now I'm not including transporter technology at all. I know this will likely be really really controversial, but, personally, I found the transporters a little contrived and their tech a bit "magicey". So for now, in my own personal head-cannon, I'm removing the entire idea. Also, the idea of transporters was only really brought up to save costs on landing the ship/shuttle in every episode of TOS.

    The ship is the USS Endeavour: a (Nebula? Nebula-like Proto-Nebula like?) ship whose current mission is for scientific exploration beyond the Federation borders. It's not designed for deep-space missions. It also has a large complement of recent Starfleet Academy graduates, and newly-enlisted personnel, and a couple of 'sandwich' personnel (cadets who are mid-study, taking three years out for experience): the idea being that the three year mission is a "shakedown" cruise for new crew men and women to assess their ability and competence, and then eventually to signpost them to other suitable areas within the Federation. We're going to have a large complement of Science Division personnel.

    I'm wanting it to have around 350 personnel, around 30 civilians, and a few non-Starfleet staff such as representatives from the Federation Exploratory Group (who vet candidate planets for colonies) etc. (though I've not pencilled in either these or civilians as of yet).

    I am having issues with filling out all this crew, however. The ship is working on a three-shift basis but.. it just seems daft to duplicate the entire crew for every single shift. I'm also having trouble trying to reconcile with automation; do we NEED a navigation team if the computer can navigate for you? Do we NEED yeomen for admin in each division, if everyone carries around PADDs? Again, trying to head-cannon this: what if warp drive adversely affects computers necessitating actual people to do the work the computer can do? But then what about The Doctor and Data? Would appreciate some advice.

    Shifts are a whole different ball game, but I have sort-of-finished the shift pattern for Sickbay and the MedLab. Opinions? They work on a weekly basis, with Sickbay Duty Officer and MedLab Watchman changing each week; so that they get to see the entire shift group.
    [​IMG]

    And what about job-sharing? It seems dumb to have a dedicated crewmember who, say, Coordinates the Gymnasium: so maybe one of the Nurses can help with that in his/her off-shift. But then you could get into the Biologists in the Science Division helping out with Medical Division stuff. Hell do we even need a Medical Laboratory Department at all, when scientists from the Science Division could take it over? This just decreases the need for crew even more. And how would I show this job-sharing in a clear way?
    And what do, say, the Planetary Surveyors or Excursion Specialists do when there's nothing going on? What do the Security Teams do all day? Keep them on-duty even when the ship is in-between stars? Seems like a waste. Maybe they could be doing research? But what, and then how to show this?

    The below crew manifest is not complete by any means: but hopefully from the Department names you can see what sort of crew members I want filling them out. I've also not included specialisations: I'm hoping that I'll have each crewmember specialising in /something/, such as Doctor-Dentistry, or Warp Technical Specialist-Field Systems. But that's a way away.
    Hopefully you get the problems I'm encountering. It seems each problem I encounter reduces the crew count even more! And I am desperate for that 350-crew manifest.

    I'm also shuffling around the uniform colours slightly, in a way which makes more sense to me: so now Security and Tactical comes under red/maroon. They're part of the "Command-Control Division".

    Posts that are italicised are "duty posts"; so they are taken by whatever qualified person is on-shift at the time. So for instance the Officer of the Deck could be the First Officer if he's on duty, or the Navigation Specialist.

    So yeah; I'd really appreciate some advice and thoughts! As I said I'm trying to make this as "realistic" as possible. The above problems are getting hard to rectify, however, and I'd really like some input.

    See the below for the six different Divisions. I've not fleshed out Science, Engineering, or Operations yet. But Command, Security and Tactical, and Medical are "done"; in that I've filled out all the crew positions. But I'm very happy to change and chop them around.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jespah

    jespah Taller than a Hobbit Moderator

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Which time frame are you covering? Because ENT probably had a Botanist in order to have fresh food. There was a gardener or botany person or at least a xenobotanist in TOS. Keiko was a Botanist on TNG, too. Don't know if that carried over to DS9 (she didn't seem to be doing it anymore) or something similar on VOY.

    There's a chef on ENT. Probably not on TOS, etc.
     
  3. NervousEnergy

    NervousEnergy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Sorry, that's the one thing I left out. We're looking at mid 24th century here. So maybe Season 5 of TNG? But I'd also like to incorporate some elements from TOS, such as the yeomans (which are conspicuously absent post-TOS). In The Undiscovered Country we see there is a kitchen on the Enterprise, and I also wanted to incorporate that too; which is why there is a catering department. Again, this seems absent in TNG (though Voyager had the Captains Dining Room?).

    There's absolutely going to be a bunch of botanists in the Science Division.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  4. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    A chaplain? Don't get me wrong it's a good idea to include a chaplaincy and somebody to look after the spiritual welfare of the crew. But what religion/denomination would you choose? Even if you say Christian. What branch of Christianity? Baptist? Roman Catholic? Alpha Centauri Reformist? What about all the other religions, Terran and Alien?
     
  5. Revdkathy

    Revdkathy No PPE was wasted in the making of this avatar Moderator

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Chaplains in military, education and healthcare are generally cross trained to understand and offer help to most, if not all, religions. They are multi-faith workers, though expected to be relaxed and confident in their own faith/spirituality. Unless you had crew from a group whose religion involved something like human sacrifice, it shouldn't be a problem. (Most chaplains draw the line at that.)
     
  6. NervousEnergy

    NervousEnergy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    I was going, really, for the Belgium style: humanist chaplains who provide support to all faiths, and non-believers.
     
  7. jespah

    jespah Taller than a Hobbit Moderator

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    What I've done in my own fic (Note: I mainly write in the ENT time frame) is that there are chaplains but they're not shipboard. If people want to pray or have services, they can do so in their quarters or a lounge or pray before meals. But spiritual guidance is achieved via communications. For more immediate needs (like a minyan in Judaism), there are certain compromises, and fellow crew members are essentially 'temporary Jews' in the event that someone needs to pray and can't get together 10 Jewish friends. Or Jews are patched in via communications (N. B. there is a requirement of 10 Jewish persons as a quorum when someone is saying the prayer of mourning).

    I imagine a similar compromise could be forged for the Catholic host, that you would allow for a certain amount of host being transported as cargo and then any additional that might be needed would be blessed food (such as bread baked for that purpose) that would get its status by a Starfleet Catholic chaplain giving the okay remotely and saying any and all necessary prayers via communications.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    In the case of damage control, while there would be a single damage control coordinator, the majority of the damage control teams would be composed of cross trained historians, botanists and what have you. People whose primary job serves no purpose in a battle or shipboard disaster.

    Cross training would get away from people who basically can only do one thing.

    One of my characters was a medic with security, so if there was a medical emergency and she could be spared from security, she would go help in sick bay. She was also qualified in basic shuttle operations.

    I don't think we ever saw a dedicated shuttle pilot, piloting a shuttle was more like checking a van out of the motor pool.

    And depending on the size of the ship (important consideration) there might only be a single doctor on board, but they would always be on call. This was apparently the situation with Phlox.

    With the ship's chaplain, unless it's a large ship they probably would have another job too, but there should be a chaplain.

    Would you want to have a "intelligence officer" as part of the team?

    :)
     
  9. Fashion Victim

    Fashion Victim Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    I'm fascinated by people practicing Earth religions in the distant future so...link please? :p

    I'd always wondered about security teams myself, personally I think they run computer diagnostics, in search of vulnerabilities for time where people are so dependent on computers Star Trek covers very little hacking problems. They might also sift through shift logs to make sure, that everyone in coming though and from their shift at the proper time otherwise someone within the ship might be up to know good. They might also change encryption codes on a regular basis.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    I think security would do what modern cops do and patrol. They would walk through out the ship and look for problems. A response team waits in the security office and waits for trouble. Training, studying, firing range, playing cards.

    It was (imo) a roving security guard who found the dead Tellar ambassador in the jeffries tube during Journey to Babel.

    :)
     
  11. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    ^^

    Sounds similar to military pilots or the Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers. The troopers serve as security aboard ships (usually 8 soldiers per shift with the rest of the platoon or battalion training, servicing equipment, etc.).

    As for the chaplains, military chaplains (at least last I looked) have Religious Program Specialists (RPs) who are enlisted personnel who assist the chaplain in their duties, and are also allowed to carry weapons, since chaplains are not. RPs provide the opportunity for support personnel who are from a variety of religious backgrounds.

    Support personnel can often serve in different departments, pretty much what T'Girl sir. Cross-training is your friend in this case.
     
  12. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Ah i understand now. I often walked by the Chaplaincy at my university and wondered about that.
    In that vain, the Ship should have a room designated as amulti-faith center.

    So no Alpha Centauri Reformist then....
     
  13. jespah

    jespah Taller than a Hobbit Moderator

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Oh, thanks for asking!

    The Light
     
  14. Revdkathy

    Revdkathy No PPE was wasted in the making of this avatar Moderator

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Had one of them in our hospital last week - made a hell of a mess in the multi-faith centre, and no-one's seen one of the Health Care Assistants since.
     
  15. P. Fingh

    P. Fingh Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Are there going to be educational / training personnel ? And what about traders / merchant people ? - I like to think of a starship as a mini-representative of government. Just about anybody could be part of the crew.
     
  16. NervousEnergy

    NervousEnergy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Did you check the Operations division? It's got a Training department.

    Not sure on the trading/merchant bit... simply because the whole "We have no money in the future" thing gives me a headache and I don't want to work out how it'd work with trading with other cultures at the moment!
     
  17. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Okay so what you have posted is far better than what I have found in creating my own crew for the USS Thunderchild in my story/game. The level in detail you put was remarkable.

    Once more I find myself looking over what I have and wondering if there are improvements that could be made to my own crew.

    I used the TOS Enterprise Crew Manifest to build my own but I am finding it hard to put my crew together correctly.

    I am already pushing the limits of my crew level, but I want this to be as close to realism as possible.

    I am so open to suggestions on this.
     
  18. P. Fingh

    P. Fingh Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    With crews into the hundreds of people, what about the status of "accidental' crew members ? Stowaways, and people who were mistakenly misplaced ? Are they given some designation as crew members ?

    Also, if I wanted a crew of 3,500 would I just multiply the number of people ?
     
  19. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    With the advent of superior sensors aboard Starfleet ships, stowaways would be easily detected by the ship's internal sensors. When I was doing research in to my trigger scene for my story I had to look in to this. In the scene, an intruder boarded the USS Thunderchild. According to Memory Base Alpha, the internal security sensors would detect the intruder and notify security at once.

    As far as someone being assigned to a ship by mistake, that is possible. After all, orders are created by living beings and mistakes happen.

    Regards to your crew population, I would not simply multiply the number. You really need to look at the kind of work that needs to be done. I spent several hours talking with a couple of Naval Vets about US Navy duties aboard a ship. What it means to "Pull Watch" and the kind of live style that occurs aboard a ship at sea. I did my best to create my characters based on this information.

    My suggestion to you is this, create a list of your Division (Command, Operations and Engineering, ect, ect....) Then create sub departments to tend to the missions of those Divisions. Once you have this, you can start to fill out your crew more accurately, rather than just multiplying the numbers.
     
  20. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Re: Creating a realistic crew manifest for a Starship. Ideas & comment

    Unless you enjoy over thinking things, you're over-thinking. You only need six characters, tops. If your vision appeals to others that read what ever you write, they will create the other characters in their imaginations. The most you need beyond that six is gender, species, and one line of dialogue that distinguishes the character from the white noise.
     
    STEPhon IT likes this.