Ghost USS Constitution "Old Ironsides":


The USS Gato was in trouble. It had survived the coming of the Rifts and had served the New Navy well. Unfortunately, it was unlikely that the old submarine would see another sunrise. The sun was just setting and the black sails from two ships could been seen in the distance. The executive officer put a set of binoculars to his eyes. Demon Black Ships, just as he figured. All hope disappeared from his heart. To have gone so far and to fail now.


The Gato had been ambushed by a group of monsters, likely sent by the Lord of the Deep although it was likely that it would be never known for sure. Two thirds of the crew were killed, injured, or missing as a result of the battle. The captain was among the dead and the boat had been left for the executive officer to try and save. As well, the submarine had been crippled and forced to the surface. The submarine could not dive to escape and could not even maneuver. A call for help had gone out and four additional fast attack submarines were being sent out escorting a repair ship. Unfortunately, there was no chance of help arriving. Well, they were the New Navy and they would make the enemy purchase their deaths with as high a toll in blood on their side as well. While all of the ships weapons were non-operational, the crew still had small arms.


Time slowly passed and the executive officer of the disabled submarine watched as the black sails got larger and details on the twisted hulls of the Demon ships became clear. They looked unnatural as if they were the carcass of some dead creature. It appeared that the two vessels were approaching slowly as if they were sharks smelling blood. Hideous creatures could been seen clamoring on the deck of the fell vessels. The flapping of wings could be seen from several of those creatures as if they were about to take to the sky. He knew that it was only a matter of time until death would arrive.


The executive officer looked away for just a moment, perhaps to wipe a tear from his eye. Suddenly, another sailing ship appears as if from the mists. At first he thought that the ship might be further reinforcement for the demon fleet but the ship had a presence about it. The sails practically glowed white. He thought he had seen the majestic ship before but could not place where. Still, there was no way this ship could defeat the demon ships and felt sorry for the crew which would join his. He wished that they might try and escape but he knew that there was no way which it could outrun the fell demon ships.


The ship suddenly turned to present her broadside to one of the Demon Black Ships. Proudly hanging from the rear mast was the stars and bars. The flag of a vanished nation still flew in red, white, and blue. Several crew of the Gato had been standing on deck along with the executive officer and they cheered at the sight. Suddenly, thunder could be heard as the massive battery of guns raked the fell vessel beside it. The crew of the Gato cheered against, even louder than before, as one of the masts on the evil ship toppled and smoke could be seen coming from the Demon Black Ship. The white sailed ship wheeled again to present her other broadside. The executive officers brought his binoculars back up and read the name of the fantail "Constitution" under the figure of an eagle with a shield.




There are many stories about the USS Constitution rescue ships in trouble and the rescue of the USS Gato is a well known story told in the New Navy. No one knows how but the old sailing ship seems to have the ability to appear where it is needed, often seeming to appear from a fog bank or rising out of the mists. There has been some close battles where the ancient frigate has been badly hit. In those battles, she seems to have disappeared back into the mists and when later seen, she seems fully restored. In addition to attacks by demons and supernatural creatures, she has had battles with Coalition vessels and has had to battle ships which were once in the same navy which she served in. She has even attacked other haunted ships including a pirate vessel which has been seen many times.


Even after all her years, she seems to sail with the wind although she seems to frequent ley lines in her voyages. Her top speed also appears faster when she voyages on Ley Lines, likely almost twice as fast as she does when away from ley lines. It is unknown if she still travels by wing or if she is powered by magical energies.


There have been discussion among scholars about why the ship survived with a variety of different ideas. Some think that it is the presence of the huge number of crew which served on the ship during her three hundred year service in the United States Navy while others think that she was a focal point for the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans. There are stories of other focuses becoming possessed by otherworldly forces. These include the Statue of Liberty and the Gettysburg Battlefield.


There are stories of crews of distressed sailors being rescued by the crew of the frigate. They tell of a feeling of extreme peace and safety while on the ship although there is still a sadness. They also tell of ghostly and half transparent figures in ancient appearing uniforms who crew the vessel. Some of the figures seem to be ancient and beared while others appear to little more than children. A variety of languages and dialects are spoken onboard although the language is very archaic. Crew work onboard scrubbing the deck, working the rigging, and the other numerous tasks on an ancient sailing vessel. Often one of the ghosts, who appears to be an officer, will try and talk the passengers into joining with the crew while others will talk about how the British keep impressing the crew of American vessels for their ships. After a few days at most, the passenger will find themselves near a safe harbor and will be dropped off on shore. A psychic claims to have scanned the ship while being onboard and hearing numerous voices almost to the point of being overwhelming. There are also tales from mages having been rescued. They feel like their magical energies are being syphoned and being unable to get them back until they debark from the ship. Even so, most are glad to have been rescued.


Stories tell that she was sitting in Boston harbor before the coming of the Rifts. While forgotten by most, enough remembered her to keep her alive. It seems that not only did "Old Ironsides" survive the coming of the Rifts but she was reborn by the magical energies and looks like the day she was built. Her black paint seems absolutely perfect with a glorious gloss to it with white lines perfectly painted on the old frigate. Her sails glow white and appear in perfect condition along with her rigging. Off her aft mast flies the old American flag in glorious red, white, and blue. Just looking at the ship seems to inspire an awe. The USS Constitution was considered one of the finest "Sail Frigates" ever built and was feared by many British Captains.


The Constitution was originally armed with thirty-four twenty-four pounder long guns and twenty thirty-two pounder carronades. They have often been heard firing with glowing blue balls being fired which appear to create massive damage even to modern high strength alloys and composites although the range is rather limited compared to modern weapons. Lightning appears to dance all over the target when hit and the crew of the target vessel are often effected by extreme disorientation as well. Thousands of rounds appear to have been fired over the various encounters witnessed and the ship seems to never run out of ammunition. The crew also appears to have fired various small arms from time to time and have even boarded several enemy ships with swords. "Old Ironsides" seems to have kept her reputation with her hull actually bouncing five in gun rounds fired from a Coalition destroyer. Still, she does not appear to be invulnerable and has been badly damaged several times. Each time the damage was fully repaired within a few days at worst.


Model Type: Sail Frigate
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Sail Frigate
Crew: Approx 400 (Haunting Entities)
Troops: Approx 55 (Haunting Entities)
Horror Factor: 16


M.D.C. by location:

24 pounder Long Guns (34, 2 Bow, 16 each side):250 each
32 pounder Carronades (20, 10 on each side)200 each
[1] Foremast (Forward Mast):400
[1] Mainmast (Middle Mast):600
[1] Mizzenmast (Rear Mast):400
Sails (15)120 each
Rudder:650
[2] Main Body:8,000


Notes:
[1] Destruction of a mast reduces speed (Both normal and on a ley line) by 1/3 for each mast lost.
[2] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink if in the water. There are various predictions of what would occur. Some believe that the ship would simply come out of the water after a few days once it has restored itself.
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. Even if a hit location is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored.


Speed:
Ocean Surface:
Off Ley Line: 13 knots or higher depending on the wind (approximately 14.95 miles per hour or 24 km per hour)
On Ley Line: 26 knots (29.9 miles per hour or 48.2 km per hour)
Ley Line Phasing: The USS Constitution has the ability to teleport to a specific different location on the same ley line. In order to travel to a location on another Ley Line, the ship must teleport to a nexus with the ley line that the target location is at and teleport on that line. The ability requires 2D6 minutes (average of three times longer than a ley line walkers ability) and the number of teleports is also limited to four per hour and eight per 24 hour period.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Ship is driven by sail and magical energies. The Ghost Crew does not need provisions to survive.


Statistical Data:
Length: 204 feet (62.16 meters) (billet head to taffrail); 175 feet at waterline (53.32 meters)
Beam: 43.5 feet (13.25 meters)
Mast Height: foremast, 198 feet (60.33 meters); mainmast, 220 feet (67.03 meters); mizzenmast, 172.5 feet (52.56 meters)
Displacement: 2,200 tons
Cargo: 200 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies. Most of the ships spaces are take up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, sails, and other equipment.
Power System: Magic and 42,710 square feet of sail on three masts.
Market Cost: Not for Sale, due to the haunted nature of the ship it is doubtful anyone would want the ship and the ship is completely independent.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Thirty Four (34) “Balefire” 24-Pounder Long Guns: Original cannons but "Ghost" energies cause the cannon to fire rounds constructed from magical energy instead of standard projectiles. The ghosts crewing the ship will reload the cannon from the magazines each time it is fired and rounds never seem to run out. Rounds will effect both the target hit and any crew inside as if they are hit by the spell "Havoc." Virtually any target which finds itself under the guns of the ghost ship will find itself a wreck within just a few minutes. The ship has two bow chasers and sixteen cannons on each side.
    Maximum Effective Range: 5,400 feet (1,645.9 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 per round or 2D6x160 for a complete broadside. Round also inflicts 1D6 Direct to hit points per melee (Inflicts double M.D.C. to Supernatural Creatures) to the crew and the target also needs to save vs magic or are -3 to initiative, strike, parry, and dodge. (has no sense of direction or time.) Secondary effect goes direct through power armor and vehicles. Havoc effects a 20 foot (6.1 meter) radius area. Duration of secondary effect is ten melees.
    Rate of Fire: One shot per cannon per melee (all cannons can be fired at the same time). Cannon can be loaded and fired quickly due to not needing to load gunpowder.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited, cannon balls are created magically
    Notes: If the cannons are used against small targets (personnel, aircraft, missiles, etc) the cannons have a -4 penalty to strike) with no bonuses to strike to strike for hand to hand or physical prowess
  2. Twenty (20) “Balefire” 32-Pounder Carronades: The Carronades are shorter ranged but inflict greater damage per cannon. Original cannons but "Ghost" energies cause the cannon to fire rounds constructed from magical energy instead of standard projectiles. The ghosts crewing the ship will reload the cannon from the magazines each time it is fired and rounds never seem to run out. Rounds will effect both the target hit and any crew inside as if they are hit by the spell "Havoc." Virtually any target which finds itself under the guns of the ghost ship will find itself a wreck within just a few minutes. The ship has two bow chasers and sixteen cannons on each side.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,510 feet (1,069.8 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 3D6x10 per round or 3D6x100 for a complete broadside. Round also inflicts 1D6 Direct to hit points per melee (Inflicts double M.D.C. to Supernatural Creatures) to the crew and the target also needs to save vs magic or are -3 to initiative, strike, parry, and dodge. (has no sense of direction or time.) Secondary effect goes direct through power armor and vehicles. Havoc effects a 20 foot (6.1 meter) radius area. Duration of secondary effect is ten melees.
    Rate of Fire: One shot per cannon per melee (all cannons can be fired at the same time). Cannon can be loaded and fired quickly due to not needing to load gunpowder.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited, cannon balls are created magically
    Notes: If the cannons are used against small targets (personnel, aircraft, missiles, etc) the cannons have a -4 penalty to strike) with no bonuses to strike to strike for hand to hand or physical prowess.


Special Abilities as a Haunted Vehicle:

Quirks:



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[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]


Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2005, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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