Ghost “Iron Bitch” (São Paulo) Battleship:
The frigate Wren had been through a horrible storm which had blown it way off course. The magical energy cascading off the storm proved that in no way was it a normal storm. Hail and sleet had cascaded down onto the frigate and the small vessel had been struck by lightning over a dozen times. It had appeared suddenly with just a few minutes before the skies had only a few wisps of clouds and the sea had been calm. Now, the storm was already breaking up and a few stray holes in the clouds could be seen.
Still, the little ship was tough. It had survived the storms from when the Rifts came and ripped apart the world and it had survived this. The new captain was a techno-wizard and had added a number of features since taking command. She had also spent a lot of credits getting the vessel fully restored but it was now more capable than it had been when it had served in the navy of the nation which had built her.
Standing on the bridge wing, the captain brought a set of binoculars up to her eyes. The optics of her binoculars were designed to cut through any invisibly enchantments. There was something in the distance. The energies of the storm, even as it dissipated, were playing merry hell with her radar system. It showed little more than snow. It would not be a good time to come under attack.
She saw something in the distance under the most fearsome looking part of the storm. Just above the horizon, it was hard to make out. It appeared to be grey with the clouds behind it also a grey. Still, there was something which made it stand out from the storm. For several long moments, she warred with herself. She could turn he small ship around and get away from it as fast as possible but she was curious.
Eventually curiosity won out and she ordered her ship to close with the target. Still, she was cautious and she ordered a slow closing course. As the Wren got closer, the storm continued to fade until there was almost nothing left of it. The vessel off the distance was bit, much larger than the Wren and the guns on it were enormous. Compared to them, the Wren's five inch mount was little more than a pop gun. From the basic design, it did not look Splugorth or like anything from Atlantis. It looked old, like something from the legendary wars of the Twentieth Century. While many Techno-Wizards were, the Captain was not much of a historian though. The ship was not moving and seemed to be rocking alarmingly. Perhaps it was in some sort of trouble.
As the frigate came closer, she could start to make out more details. The ship seemed to be in decent enough shape in general. There were a few figures aboard the ship in the distance. When the frigate finally got within a few thousand yards, some of the people on the large ship began waving at her frigate. It seemed safe enough so she began pulling her much smaller vessel alongside.
It took quite a while before she could get across to the other vessel. She and about a dozen of her crew boarded the huge ship. The remaining crew was also extremely confused and had gotten even more bewildered when they saw that the captain that they were speaking with was a woman. There had been eight of them but two had washed overboard during the storm. They appeared to just be some kind of caretaker crew. The captain had noticed that there was a parted cable on the bow of the large ship. She suspected that it would be quite a while before she could make sense of what they were talking about. She sighed with exasperation.
The battleship São Paulo was launched in 1909 for the Brazilian Navy in Great Britain. At the time of her completion, she, along with her sister, were the most powerful warship in the world armed with six twin turrets each with twelve inch guns. Even from the beginning, the Brazilian Navy did not maintain her in the best condition. There also was several mutinies onboard over the years. By the Thirties, she could only steam at ten knots and was in horrible condition. She was classified a "Reserve Coastal Gunnery Ship" and later a training ship. She was sold to the breakers in 1951 and was put under tow for England. She was lost in a storm north of the Azores.....Or so it was thought.
The ship instead was caught in a magical storm. This storm brought the vessel to the world of the Rifts, hundreds of years after when the ship was thought sunk. Something revitalized the ancient vessel at the same time and restored it to what it had been like in its youth. The magic had some unintended side effects though. There is something restless aboard the vessel. Perhaps it is the spirits of those who died aboard the ship and perhaps it is something else. It is hard to truly know for sure.
The crew that found the ship brought it to a safe place to see what they could do. With the magic having restored the ship, it did not take too much work to rebuild the old ship. As well, the magic had greatly strengthened her so that she could withstand damage which even in her prime she could never have survived. As such, a refit was surprisingly easy to survive in the Rift's world. Unlike some "Ghost Ships" she also seemed willing to accept modern components to make her "battle worthy." She seems to be able to repair herself although that ability does not extend to her "new" components.
The biggest problem actually was with her main battery. On the world of the Rifts, shells for her twelve inch guns had not been made for centuries. As such, new shells had to be developed. A wide variety were created including hight explosive, armor piercing, and even plasma shells. As well, a number of magical projectiles have also been created. The turrets themselves were not reworked except to reduce gun crews but during their service in the Brazilian Navy were increased from thirteen degrees to twenty degrees. Coupled with the better projectiles, range is increased to around twenty-five thousand yards. In the future, rocket propelled rounds may be developed for the guns for greater range.
Due to the main guns taking up most of the main deck, there is little room for a secondary battery. Instead, most of the weapons were mounted on the superstructure. Four twin flack cannon mounts are mounted in the forward and after parts of the lower superstructure with two mounts on either side. As well, the ship mounts more lighter weapons higher up with four telekinetic machine guns in the forward superstructure and four more in the after superstructure. So the ship has some missile defense, a short range box launcher is mounted on the main deck forward and aft of the main gun mounts. Each one has forty-eight short range missiles and the ship carries additionally almost two hundred more missiles for reloads. Considered of limited use, the original secondary casemate mounts have been removed and plated up.
She has a longer range radar system fitted so that she can actually track aircraft and missiles. This is a copy of the old pre-rifts SPS-49 radar system. Otherwise, she has fairly primitive electronics although heads above anything she ever had in Brazilian naval service. She does not mount a sonar system or any form of electronic jamming system although she is fitted with a radar detection system. She, like most techno-wizard craft, is fitted with optics designed to see targets which are invisible.
The old battleship’s engines are almost original. They have simply been converted over to techno-wizard steam power. Compared to their original coal fired design, this is far cleaner. No matter how patient, it likely that the crew would have had trouble if she had not been converted. Range is seven hundred and fifty nautical miles per full charge. Even though she has eighteen boilers, they are small. Three boilers are charged per casting. An eventual plan may be to change her to being powered by a magical rift to the elemental planes of fire and water to give her virtual unlimited range. Even so, her top speed is twenty-one and a half knots, as good as she was ever able to do in her youth.
The captain preferred the idea of a protective force field over the shockwave defense system which some vessels fit. This "Armor of Ithan" force field can be activated up to three times per day. In addition, the ship is defended by a “Fireworks” chaff and flare system. The ship also has the ability to produce a magical "Smoke Screen" to hide it from view. A number of other enchantments include the ability to become invisible, to become impervious to energy weapons, and to allow the crew to breath in toxic environments. The ship is a barrety of magical energy on its own which helps to power the various enchantments.
The ship is actually pretty popular with her crew and there has not been as much trouble filling as was originally thought. The vessel for some reason seems inviting and this is in spite of the vessel seeming to be haunted. Even so, the people who were once part of the caretaker crew seem to have drifted away and disappeared. The only "original" crew remaining is a cat who has not seemed to have aged since the ship found its way onto the world of the Rifts. The ship’s new crew has given her the nickname "The Iron Bitch" although there is some suggestion that it really the nickname of the captain of the battleship. The crew is usually around three hundred and sixty with about half a dozen techno-wizards and the same number of other spell casters. The ship also usually embarks about two hundred troops with half in mystic power armor. Otherwise, the ship does not carry any embarked craft.
Model Type: Modified "Minas Geraes" class battleship
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Ghost / Techno-Wizard Battleship
Crew: 360 (Original crew was around 900) with usually at least 6 to 8 techno-wizard and 6 other spell casting types.
Troops: 200 (100 pilots for Mystic Power Armors, 100 soldiers in body armor)
Horror Factor: 14
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|100||Mystic Power Armors|
M.D.C. by location:
|Twelve Inch Cannon Barrels (12, 2 each turret):||160 each|
|Twelve Inch Cannon Turrets (6 - Twin mounts):||1,000 each|
| Twin Barrel Flack Cannon Mounts (4, Sides of Superstructure):||280 each|
| T.W. Gatling Cannons (8, Upper Superstructure):||100 each|
| Short Range Missile Launchers (2, forward and aft):||180 each|
| “Fireworks” Magic Chaff and Flare Dispensers (8):||20 each|
|Front Tripod Mast:||800|
| Radar System (Mounted on Forward Tripod Mast):||400|
| Main Body:||10,000|
| Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (Three Times per Day):||1,000|
 These hit locations are not original systems on the ship. As such, they do not share the regeneration of damage with the rest of the ship.
 Destroying Search Radar Tower will eliminate SPS-49 radar system. Due to not being an original system, radar system will not regenerate damage which it takes.
 If the Bridge / Tower is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but with a -15% to piloting rolls.
 Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.
Note: The ship will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Only original systems / locations regenerate themselves.
 As per the spell “Armor of Ithan” - Magic, fire, lightning, and cold all inflict one-half damage. Each activation lasts for 30 minutes.
Surface: 24.76 mph (21.5 knots/39.84 kph). The ship can operate at three quarters speed on half boilers (9 boilers), two-thirds at one third boilers (6 boilers), and one third at one sixth boilers (3 boilers)
Range: 875.2 miles (750 nautical miles / 1408.5 km) for each full recharge (requires 100 P.P.E.) Three boilers are charged per casting and each set can propel the ship for up 125 nautical miles (requires 25 P.P.E. each). The ship normally carries six months worth of supplies on board.
Length: 540.0 feet (164.6 meters) overall and 533.0 feet (162.5 meters) at waterline
Draft: 25.5 feet (7.8 meters)
Width: 83.0 feet (25.3 meters)
Displacement: 19,200 tons normal load and 23,243 fully loaded
Cargo: 500 tons (453.6 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Was originally steam propulsion (18 boilers / coal fired) but has been converted to a Magical power supply.
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale.
- Six (6) Elswick Pattern L Double Barrel Twelve Inch (305 mm) Naval Guns: Two turrets are mounted on the ship forward of the ship’s superstructure, two are mounted behind the ship’s superstructure, and the is a single mount to either side. Two turrets can fire to the rear and five turrets can fire to either side. The barrels have been modified so that can be elevated up to 20 degrees (originally only thirteen degrees) and the turrets can rotate 280 degrees. These cannons are less powerful than those that were mounted on the later Iowa class battleship but are still capable of destroying a target in a small number of shots. Likely, any other Naval ship that gets within these guns will be destroyed in just a few minutes. The cannons are also very effective in ground bombarding roles. These cannons do have a limited rate of fire and are too large to be effectively used against aircraft. No extended range rounds have been developed for these mounts.
- Twin Recoilless Anti-Aircraft Flack Cannon Turrets (4): The cannons are mounted in twins mounts with two on either side of the vessel's forward and after superstructure. Each cannon is identical to the TX-862FC with the exception that the weapon's ammunition bins are larger and are mounted in pairs. The cannon turrets can rotate 360 and the barrel can tilt up to 90 degrees. It is normally used for Anti-Aircraft purposes but also works as excellent but fairly short range artillery.
- TK Gatling Cannons (8): Fitted in the upper superstructure, mounts have been enchanted by a series of spells so the cannons act as a more powerful version of the TK Machine gun. This increases the weapons damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannons must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 100 P.P.E. once per month. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy. Additional optics and fire control have been added to enable the system to track and target aircraft and missiles.
- Short Range Missile Launching Systems (2): One launcher is fitted of the forward turrets and the other is fitted aft of the turrets. Launcher has the ability to launch 24 Short Range Missiles and automatically reloads every time a missile or missiles are fired. The launcher is fitted with multiple fire control systems and can target missiles on multiple targets. Normal missile mixture is 50% Armor Piercing Missiles and 50% Plasma missiles. Usually the faster surface to air missiles are fired from launcher.
- Magical “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (8): In many ways this system is similar to technological versions of the Chaff/Flare system. When the system fires, it looks like fireworks firing. The anti-missile system works by combining three spells. The three spells are Fire Bolt, Apparition, and Telekinesis. The physical effects of the system are similar to the Triax Anti-Missile chaff but instead of being reloaded, it is recharged by spells.
Maximum Effective Range: 14.2 miles (12.3 nautical miles / 22.9 km).
Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 40 ft (12.2 m) for High Explosive, 5D6x10+10 to a blast radius of 10 ft (3 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 1D4x100 to a blast radius of 40 ft (12.2 m) for Plasma. Magical Warheads: Treat as spells of the same level cast at eighth level: Negate Mechanics, Annihilate, Electromagnetism, Hurricane, Tornado, and Tidal wave. Others are possible as well but are not common. Cannons can also use special purpose warheads, double the statistics for 203 mm artillery warheads for damage and effects
Rate of Fire: Once every two melees or two shots per barrel per minute (Can fire up to 4 shots per turret per minute or up to 25 shots with all six turrets although all cannot be targeted against one target).
Payload: 960 Rounds (160 per turret), usually carries 200 High Explosive, 320 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 320 Plasma, and 120 magical warheads of various types (Only 8 Annihilates because they are very expensive), The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information
Maximum Effective Range: 10,000 feet (3048 meters).
Mega Damage: Single Round: 4D6 M.D.C., Two Rounds 1D6x10, and Six Rounds 3D6x10. Double weapons damage if the gun is firing both cannons simultaneously (1D6x10 for two rounds / 2D6 x 10 for four rounds/ and 6D6x10 for twelve rounds)
Rate of Fire:Equal to the gunners combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6) each (Firing both barrels counts as one attack)
Payload: Total 1,200 for each barrel (2,400 total for mount). That is 200 volleys of 6 rounds, or 600 two round volleys. (Ship has 19,200 rounds for reloads - 2 full reloads each mount)
Special Feature: The flack cannon has both and independent power supply and its own laser targeting and radar tracking system (especially useful if radar system is destroyed). Sensor has a range of 11,000 feet (3353 meters). The system can also be set on automatic which gives it +1 to strike and three attacks per melee and will fire two round burst. Gives +2 when fired.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
Mega Damage: 12D6
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Unlimited, although the spells (100 P.P.E. each cannon) on each must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), twelve (12), or twenty four (24) missiles.
Payload: 48 short range missiles each launcher for 96 short range missiles total. (Ship carries 192 short range missiles as reloads)
- 01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles
are all destroyed.
36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
Payload: 10 Uses before being recharged. Each launcher is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.). The cost for all launchers to be recharged is 280 P.P.E. All launchers must be activated at the same time to operate correctly.
Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) in all directions
Effect: Produces a fog bank that obscures vision. Visibility is reduced to 60 feet inside the cloud and even with thermal sensors, a penalty of -2 to strike parry and dodge
Payload: Effectively Unlimited
- Breath without Air (8th Level) - 5 P.P.E. or 10 I.S.P. (20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.)
Impervious to Energy (8th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)
Invisibility-Superior (8th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)
The ship can be considered to have all systems standard on a robot vehicle (no life support though) plus the following special features:
- Magical “See the Invisible” Optics: The ships has several special optical systems with see the invisible on them. Same as spell and used at will. 2,000 feet (610 meters) range. Can see forces, objects, and creatures which can turn invisible, or are invisible. Can also see vaporous beings and astral bodies.
- SPS-49 Radar: Long range air search Pre-Rifts radar system. Radar system has a range of 445 nautical miles (512.1 miles / 824.1 km). Radar system can track up to 128 targets simultaneously.
- E.S.M.: The system can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar. all radar guided weapons.
Special Abilities / Quarks as a Haunted Vehicle:
- Will of Its Own: The ship sometimes has a will of its own and carry out up to six actions in a twenty-four hours. This can include refusing to operate, change course, and activate the ship’s magical abilities. The ship can also make minor actions such as activating sensors, turning lights on, operating the ships speakers on its own without counting as an action.
- Regenerates Damage: The ship will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Does not regenerate the newer systems added to the vessel.
- Modification Ability: The battleship WILL accept modern upgrades and newer systems. These can include both magical and techno-wizard additions. Unlike original components though, the systems will not regenerate along with the rest of the ship if damaged.
- Natural P.P.E.: 900, The ship virtually fairly hum with magical energy. The energy regenerates at the rate of 90 P.P.E. per hour. Double P.P.E. and regeneration on ley lines and triple P.P.E. and regeneration at a Ley Line Nexus. Magical energy can be used by the ships crew for spell casting.
- Haunting Entities: Anyone attempting to do a Read Object, See Aura, or telepathic communication will feel the impression of multiple voices/presences, all attempting to communicate at once, and too numerous to make out individual distinctions or traits. Only the most general impressions can be made out in attempts to communicate with the vehicle's essence.
- Illusions: Appearing to be related to the Haunting Entities, periodically there will be illusions of various activities for the past of the vessel. These can be from the mutinies but are not limited to this. Generally, these illusions happen during times of relative peace not in the middle of combat. As well, these happen more often after dark.
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Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.