Commander McLane wrote:We may even assume an auto-ejection when destruction of the vessel is imminent.
Well, but then why not for the player too? Tied in to the player's manual ejection would make sense, though.
Then you could randomly lose a proportion (half?) of your passengers on ejection, reported in the arrival reports:
"X's escape pod has not been found, and they are presumed missing"
"X has survived ejection from your ship, but no longer wishes to continue flying with you to their destination"
"X has been terrified by their near-death experience, and decides that this planet is just fine for living on"
"No-one has seen X's escape pod, though there are a lot of salvage teams looking"
Room too for an OXP to occasionally interject at this point: one of your passengers has been located at a rock hermit, or captured by a pirate, and you can go collect/rescue them.
The slightly suspect thing is that the passenger cabin - which is presumably reasonably comfortable habitation inside - costs less than an escape pod. I suppose most of the escape pod cost is probably the insurance premium, though, and your passengers wouldn't be needing a replacement ship.