I have a fairly large group of lower level players, who usually fly on small starships. All the other players seem to have a niche role, except one. Our ship battles are not very large, with small ships, so there is no need for 'another gunner' or 'another engineer' (which he is not good at anyway). The character actually strikes me as a Star Trek Commander Riker type. I want to try to define some modest, low level crew actions for a "first officer", and I seek some advice and suggestions from you. It's okay if there is overlap with the captain or other crew. I just want to help this passenger do something. Thanks in advance.
Is this a problem that the class isn't aligned to the skills (i.e. mystic, solarian) or that there's just a shortage of roles/chairs?
Given that the system isn't designed for lots of players and multiple ships, we know we have to improvise.
If it's the first scenario, there are multiple threads running around (largely tagged as an issue with the mystic but it applies to a couple other classes) and some designs of starship roles that align better with those classes.
If it's the second... trickier. I have not seen a first officer. If you are making "room" in the rules, I'd just say why not mirror the captain actions and allow more than one captain. It's probably the simplest way to handle it.
First Officer, is basically just another "captain" mechanically. They're in charge when the captain is indisposed or away. It's a chain of command thing. Which doesn't help your mystic, since they probably lack diplomacy or intimidate.
I've had a similar problem with my Solarion and space combat. Ultimately...I remade my character to be a Solider. The Solarion gets screwed if there is an Envoy present, and mystics are just outright screwed.
There are several homebrew ideas floating around to try to give Mystics something to do. I suggest you look into those instead, as "First Officer" is really just "2nd Captain" in my opinion.
First Officer, is basically just another "captain" mechanically. They're in charge when the captain is indisposed or away.
If we look at the various Star Trek series as cinematic depictions of starships and their crews, the captain and first officer always have different approaches to handling things. A mechanical ways to simulate this could be to come up with some captain-like abilities that are Wisdom or Intelligence based.