A crude application of cryo-sleep technology, mass cryo stacks do not utilise indivudal tubes or coffins instead freezing and storing large numbers of specimens together in massive vaults. While this makes the stacks extremely energy efficient and speeds up processing, it also incurs a high incidence of side effects. These can range from lost limbs and other large scale tissue damage to loss of memory or higher brain functions and straight out fatalities.
Despite these drawbacks, the sheer number of crew that can be put in a set of stacks and the speed with which they can be brought out of storage make them an attractive choice for many less scrupulous captains, allowing them to compensate even near total losses of unskilled crew or to feed wave after wave of (barely) warm bodies into the grinder of massed boarding assaults.
Sha pattern mass cryo stacks count as cold quarters with the following changes:
Sha pattern mass cryo stacks consume one less power but require one additional space compared to standard cold quarters (see Into the Storm, page 157). The Manpower Reserves rule of standard cold quarters are replaced by the Frozen Meat and Butcher’s Bill rules (see below).
Frozen Meat: Up to 50 Crew Population can be stored in mass cryo stacks. These do not count towards the actual crew while in storage, i.e. a fully crewed vessel will have a Crew Population of 100 in addition to any population currently in the stacks. Additional crew, up to the maximum of 50, can be put into the stacks at any time, including directly during replenishment of crew.
Any number of crew can be retrieved from storage at any time by reducing the total in the stacks by the appropriate amount. This requires a Challenging Medicae Test by a character overseeing the thawing and resuscitation rites. During starship combat, this counts as an Extended Action. The starship’s Crew Population is increased by an amount equal to the number retrieved from the stacks minus 1 per Degree of Failure on the Medicae Test.
Each time any number of crew are put into or retrieved from storage, Morale is reduced by 1.
Butcher’s Bill: Freshly thawed crew, still numb from cryo storage can be sent straight to fight in boarding engagements. The crew need to be thawed out following the rules given for Frozen Meat above, but Butcher’s Bill allows it to increase Crew Population above 100 in this fashion. Any Crew Population above 100 are automatically lost at the end of the boarding action.
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