Techno-Wizard M551 Sheridan Assault Vehicle:


In many ways, the M551 can be considered a "Light Tank." It was designed to be able to be deployed by air and be amphibious. Many of them found their ways into the hands of museums and into collectors. It served in Vietnam, Panama, and in Iraq in the first of the wars in the Persian Gulf which the United States got itself entangled in. A number were also converted to look like other combat vehicles for training purposes.


While not as well armored as the M60 and M48 tanks, these vehicle could take abuse which would destroy any non military design. The aluminum of the hull also was less vulnerable to the environment than steel would have been. Techno-Wizards have found a number of these combat vehicles and with the use of the spell "Mend the Broken." These vehicles are upgraded through the application of magic. Much lighter than tanks, these designs have gotten a mixed reception because they are much less able to withstand damage than true tanks are. As well, the main cannon lacks in its rate of fire compared to conversions of the M60 and M48.


One advantage these designs have is that it is far less expensive to modify and upgrade one of these assault vehicles than it would be to construct a new combat design. Of course, it does pay for this in a number of ways as well. The upgrade is similar in many ways to the upgrade to the M60 and M48 tanks.


The hull and turret of the "Assault Vehicle" are upgraded using new composites and alloys so that it can survive in the deadly world after the coming of the Rifts. A truly modern design though could withstand far more damage than the converted design could. In fact, many power armor designs can actually withstand more damage than the vehicle can. This is augmented to some degree by an “Armor of Ithan” force field which can be activated up to three times per day. The force field is just as powerful as the field carried on the tank models.


Like most military vehicles of the era, the Sheridan was powered by a powerful diesel engine. In this case, the six cylinder motor produced about three hundred horsepower. Like many techno-wizard conversions, this is replaced by an electric motor which is powered by lightning bolts. This gives the vehicle a range of around a thousand miles compared to around three hundred originally. Improvements in the transmissions also improves the top speed slightly with the ability to travel up to fifty mines per hour on roads and up to around forty-five miles per hour when traveling off-road. It also retains the ability to travel over the water although that is not improved compared to ground speed.


The 152 mm combination cannon / missile launcher was considered a bit of a problem. On the M60A2, armed with the same weapon, the replacement was a 140 mm cannon. Due to the weight of the cannon, this was not a viable option for the M551. Instead, the designers decided to retain the weapon. It does pack a huge punch, espcially the HEAT and Plasma rounds, but rate of fire is limited and range is also shorter than the 140 mm cannon and certainly the 90 mm electro-thermal cannon. Payload is only twenty rounds. As well, eight missiles are carried. These are short length medium ranged missiles. They don't have quite the range of full length medium range missiles.


Secondary weapons are more similar to the conversion of other tank designs. The coaxial machine gun is replaced by a techno-wizard telekinetic weapon. This has effectively an unlimited payload although it has to be recharged once a month. The mount which is controlled by the vehicle's commander can be replaced by a second telekinetic weapon or can be replaced by a fully automatic grenade launcher. Similar to the M60, six mini-missile launchers are mounted on either side of the turret. These look similar to smoke grenade launchers. For defense against incoming missiles, the vehicle also mounts a pair of magical “Fireworks” chaff and flare systems.


There are a number of techno-wizard additions to the vehicle. These include a "Breath Without Air" enchantment to protect against hazardous environments, the ability to be unaffected by energy weapons, and the ability to blend into various terrain. In addition, the vehicle mounts magical optics designed to see invisible targets.


Model Type: M551 "Sheridan" Techno-Wizard Assault Vehicle
Vehicle Type: Magical Assault Vehicle / Light Tank
Crew: 4 (Driver, Commander, Gunner, and Loader)


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):60 each
Weapons Turret:160
152 mm Gun-launcher M81E180
[2] Coaxial Telekinetic Machine-Gun:40
[2] Commander Telekinetic Machine-Gun:40
[2] Mini-Missile Tubes (12, 6 each side of turret)10 each
[2] “Fireworks” Magic Chaff / Flare Dispensers (2):20 each
Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 x day):100
[3] Main Body:280


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the combat vehicle until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a "called shot," but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[3] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and unsalvageable, but crew may survive in their reinforced compartments.


Speed:
Ground: Cruising speed on land is 50 mph (80.5 kph) on roads and 45 mph (72.4 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Water Capabilities: The Sheridan assault vehicle is designed to be amphibious and can cross small bodies of water. It is not designed for deep water use. The Sheridan can travel in this manner at 3.6 mph (5.8 kph/3.1 knots).
Maximum Range: 1,000 miles (1,610 km) before needing to be recharged. Can be recharged with a“Call Lightning” spell (15 P.P.E.) which gives another 1,000 miles (1,610 km) range.


Statistical Data:
Height: 7.5 feet (2.3 meters)
Width: 9.1 feet (2.8 meters)
Length: 20.6 feet (6.3 meters) - Gun does not extend beyond hull
Power Source: Techno-Wizard Electrical Engine Conversion - Replaces Original Engine(Powered by “Call Lightning” spell)
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilot's compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and two hand-held missile launcher with four loads each.
Black Market Cost: 8.5 Million Credits.


Weapon Systems

  1. 152 mm Gun-launcher M81E1 (1): Since the cannon is built into a turret, it can rotate 360-degrees and can aim upwards 20 degrees - allowing it to theoretically engage low-flying aircraft and creatures. Rate of fire is quite slow. The cannon is controlled by a gunner inside the turret compartment. The vehicle has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when the vehicle is moving. The weapon can fire both standard 152 mm rounds as well as special cut down medium range missiles. Most common missile types are armor piercing and plasma.
    Maximum Effective Range: Standard Rounds: 4921.3 feet (1,500 meters) for direct fire and indirect fire range of 14,763.8 feet (4,500 meters). "Short" Medium Range Missiles: 10 miles (16 km)
    Mega Damage: Standard Rounds: Fragmentation 2D4x10, High Explosive 2D6x10, Armor Piercing 3D6x10, Plasma 4D6x10. "Short" Medium Range Missiles: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Once per melee round.
    Payload: Standard Rounds: 20. "Short" Medium Range Missiles: 8
  2. Coaxial T.K. Machine-Gun (1): Mounted beside the 152 mm and used against targets which the main gun is considered to heavy to engage. It is enchanted by a series of spells so the cannon acts as a more powerful version of the T.K. Machine-gun. This increases the weapon's damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannon must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 50 P.P.E. each once per month. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 6D6 per shot
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
  3. Commander Cupola (1): Mounted above the main turret in a protected mount is an independent gun mount. This mount is manned by the vehicle's commander. The commander is not fully protected by armor but is protected by the vehicle's magical force field when active. Most commonly carried is the telekinetic machine-gun but an automatic grenade launcher is sometimes carried instead of the enchanted weapon. Even though the grenade launcher has a limited payload, it is popular with crews due to its incredible firepower.
    1. T.K. Machine-Gun (1): It is enchanted by a series of spells so the cannon acts as a more powerful version of the T.K. Machine-gun. This increases the weapon's damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannon must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 50 P.P.E. each once per month. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 6D6 per shot
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner / commander.
      Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
    2. Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted on a spindle mount.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 m)
      Mega-Damage: 4D6 for single shot of Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft, 1D4x10 for a single shot of Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, 2D6x10 for a burst of ten rounds of Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft, and 3D6x10 for a burst of ten rounds of Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner / commander.
      Payload: 400 Rounds.
  4. Turret Mounted Mini-missile Launcher (12): Mounted on the sides of the vehicle's turret are twelve mini-missile launchers. Six are on each side and appear to be smoke grenade launchers. These launchers are designed for rapid fire use to engage heavy vehicles and giant robots. These weapons are designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads are often carried for special purpose uses. Weapon is mainly controlled by the vehicles gunner but the pilot and commander also have controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or plasma are carried (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), eight (8), or twelve (12) missiles (all).
    Payload: Each launcher carries one mini-missiles for a total of twelve Mini-missiles.
  5. Fireworks Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispensers (2): The system is mounted on either side of the vehicle behind the main cannon. 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.
    Effect:
      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.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half.
    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.).
  6. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The M551 Sheridan has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the vehicle. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot or crew
    Special Features:
      Breath Without Air (6th Level) - 5 P.P.E. or 10 I.S.P.
      Chameleon (6th Level) - 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.
      Impervious to Energy (6th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.


Sensory Equipment:





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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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