Monday, June 18, 2012

The Star Surgeons

The Star Surgeons are an interstellar guild devoted to the healing arts.

Richard Powers (1963)
There are at most several thousand Star Surgeons in known space. The guild takes no money from government or corporations, relying solely on donations from patrons and patients, other guilds, non-governmental organizations, and religious societies. Star Surgeons may be found in a small number of  space-based guild medical facilities located in crossroad sectors, often near zones of conflict between different space empires and civilizations. Some Star Surgeons can also be found on independent space stations or as crew on independent starships.

The Star Surgeons Guild is open to any intelligent being that has been trained in the healing arts and is willing to take the Star Surgeon Oath: 

As a Star Surgeon, 
I will heal all intelligent beings 
who seek my help, 
as long as I am qualified to help, 
regardless of the patient's species or other status. 
I swear to take no side in any conflict, 
except as necessary for self-defense
to do no harm to any intelligent being,
and to reduce pain and suffering whenever possible.

There are even some androids who have taken the Oath.

Membership in the guild is by invitation only. The most typical way one is invited to take the Star Surgeon Oath is after being recognized for a medical or humanitarian accomplishment observed by Star Surgeons practicing in that sector.  Lone Star Surgeons, such as those on long range vessels, will usually adopt an Apprentice Star Surgeon who will one day take the oath.

Unfortunately, not all Star Surgeons are what they seem. Some Star Surgeons become corrupted due to excessive radiation, alien pheromones, or pathogens, stimulant abuse, surgical addiction, excessive xenophilia, creeping or exurgent xenophobia, or social pressure from coercive individuals. Corrupt Star Surgeons can harm intelligent beings in all sorts of ways, including assisting with torture sessions, surgical experimentation, alien grafts, illegal cloning, memory manipulation, exposure to harmful or addictive drugs, or even cyber-slavery. Such individuals are usually found-out quickly in Star Surgeon facilities, but can remain at large doing great harm for significant periods of time in more isolated environments, such as remote space facilities or long range vessels.

Due to the Star Surgeons' independence from governments, no central registry of their members exists, and nor does any external regulating authority. Trust your intuitions, or hire a telepath if you have concerns.

OGL Mechanics:

  • The Star Surgeon's Guild is a Large (+4) organization, which makes it extremely small by galactic standards. Guild Aspects include: Altruistic Healers, Above Government, and Dependent on Donations.
  • A Star Surgeon character should have the Star Surgeon's Oath as an Aspect.
  • A corrupt Star Surgeon should have a Broken Oath or Corrupt Star Surgeon Aspect, or something similar. 
  • Star Surgeons will generally be Great (+4) or Superb (+5) in the Science skill, with the Stunts Doctor and Surgeon.
  • Since surgery often is often assisted by complex machinery, and may also involve cybernetics and nanotechnology, the Engineering skill often proves helpful.


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