The Escape Pod is a lifeboat. Normally, it is fitted such that it completely encloses the flight deck of the ship on installation, so when the crew needs to get out of Dodge fast, they just hit the button - no inconvenient running around to the escape system when a mere second could mean the difference between life and death.
Unfortunately, survival is not guaranteed by an escape capsule. Assassins, for example, will see it detach from the stricken spacecraft and will destroy it. Pirates will probably try and pick it up in their fuel scoop and then sell the crew to slavers. In interstellar space/witchspace there is no-one to rescue you. Despite these risks, the tiny craft has saved countless lives since its introduction, and generally it is worth carrying one.
Typically, insurance can be purchased with the capsule so a replacement ship can be assured should an unfortunate crew need to bail out of their ship. This insurance almost never covers cargo. It does cover any improvements to the ship which were made prior to its loss (but see some of the oxp's below).
Escape capsules have also been used to jettison an inconvenient criminal record - it is trivially easy to fake one's death and make off in the capsule, as with the radio shut down, the pod is very difficult to detect. One can then restart under a new alias elsewhere, GalCop knowing that the old criminal is dead!
It should be mentioned that spacesuits and RemLock masks provide other alternatives to the Escape Capsule. They do not automatically come with insurance, though.
The Escape pod has a size of 7x6x6 meters (WxHxL). Its small engines give it a maximum speed of 0.05 LM and allow for 0.5 roll and pitch maneuverability. There is only room for 1 energy bank and its recharge rate is rather poor at 2.0.
Press Escape twice on your astrogation console. The rest of the process is entirely automated.
- See the gallery below for a variety of Escape Pods
- The GalTech Industries Corporation offer two newer versions (the second is pictured below)
- Montanas Resource Pack 01 (2021) more variety - people in spacesuits/escape capsules/life boats etc
Being rescued oneself
- Interstellar Tweaks: allows your escape pod to be rescued in witchspace/interstellar space
- Escape Pod As Standard: automatically awards one to your vessel, but reduces the insurance payout. By Redspear (2021)
- Capsule Self-Repair (2010) - repairs damaged Escape Capsules (don't forget to change "www.box.net" to "app.box.net")
- Ship Repurchase by Phkb auto-ejects the player (either in a pod or in a space suit) and gives a range of options for replacing the lost ship
- Hard Eject reduces insurance cover so that only half of lost equipment is replaced (ie: shown as damaged on the F5 screen). By Stranger (2013-19)
- Escape Pod Locator OXP: originally developed by Another_Commander, then taken on by Capt. Murphy and then Thargoid (before 2011 - 2020)
- MoreEscapePods by Strato1 (2016): increases number of NPC ships carrying them.
Escape Pod missions
- RRS Group amongst other things focus on rescuing escape pods
- GalCop Missions - includes missions to rescue distant escape pods (Phkb 2017-21)
Escape Pod "slaves"
Fixes for Vanilla game Escape Pod rescuees being turned into slaves:
- Escape Pod Tweaks stops inexistent GalCop customs removing your captured Escape Pods at Rock Hermits, as well as listing them on your Ship's Manifest (F5F5) screen (Phkb 2009-19)
- Escape Pod Slave Fix prevents scooped escape pods from only holding slaves (Phkb 2018).
- Smugglers - The Galactic Underworld also impacts on the handling of escape pods/slaves (Phkb 2019)
The more NPCs with Escape Pods, the more derelicts. Destroying derelicts counts towards one's Elite Rating. Derelicts don't count OXP stops this.
Other forms of rescue
- WEBS System: The last line of defence when shields are down: airbags in the equipment bay. Gives an extra second to hit the escape pod. Looks surprisingly good in game. Wildeblood (2012)
- Life Support Systems (standard equipment)
- Ichihara S-Pulse: page with details of the manufacturers of the Scream Pulse unit for RemLock survival masks.
- human size in oolite (2011) - the second half of the thread is more relevant
- Learned disquisition by RockDoctor on the real-life problems with life boats (2021)
|Commander "Blaze O'Glory" is the current pseudonym of an individual with a, to say the least, murky past. More than twenty years ago, it appears he was a starship pilot who suffered some form of mishap and was forced to eject. A series of failures in the escape pod systems -- possibly damaged in the attack/accident -- put the pod into a highly eccentric elliptical orbit around the star. By sheer chance the pod, now pitted by micrometeorites and scoured by solar radiation, was picked up a few months ago. The pod was turned over to the Moray Medicals, who, to their surprise and growing horror, discovered that the occupant was still alive.
The internal life-support mechanisms had been radically altered. Resyk units had been patched, recircuited and reprioritised, mated in desperate ways with the onboard autodoc, and stretched far beyond their design limits. The pilot was, indeed, alive: but no closed system is 100% efficient. Over the years the machinery had been forced to cannibalise all available resources to maintain core brain activity. "All available resources" ... you don't need legs to live, or arms; or skin; or flesh; or bones. Then one major organ system after another had been consumed, their functions taken over by mechanical processes. By the time rescue came, the pilot had been stripped down, piece by piece, reduced -- simplified -- to a nervous system and nothing else, held suspended in a soupy fluid within a pressure suit.
The motto of the Moray Medicals is "Never Say Die". This case tested it to its fullest. Eventually, however, with infinite patience, they excised this bundle of nerves from its warped cocoon and placed it in a specially-designed suspensor tank, meshed into sensor webs and a set of basic manipulators. Then they handed it over to the Psychs -- and hit the local bars, hard.
The pilot's original personality and memories were almost wholly gone. But radical egosurgery and experimental wetware did manage to coax a functioning, and to all intents and purposes sane, individual from the remains.
A long-running legal battle ensued between the Medicals, the disembodied brain (now referring to itself as "Blaze O'Glory", which caused the Psychs some concern) and EV-Away!, the manufacturers of his escape pod. The pod's black-box recorder had been cooked, and there was no record of who the pilot actually was, how much his insurance policy should pay out, or if it was even still valid. Eventually, suffering from increasing bad publicity, the manufacturers caved in and agreed to settle out of court. The medical bills were paid, and Blaze O'Glory was given a basic ship and 100 creds. EV-Away! had at first suggested a Worm, but O'Glory stuck to his guns and held out for a minimum-spec Cobra Mk III. His pilot's skills, although perhaps -- who can say? -- not what they used to be, seem at least adequate, and he's now rated Dangerous with over 1,000 kills. He's fought and traded his way up to a shiny new Python Class Cruiser, too. Bolted into the fabric of the ship, and wired directly to the controls, he's carving out a new life for himself across the quadrant.