T.W. "Skystar" class Airship:
There are several well known techno-wizard Ley Line ship designs including "New Ironsides," "Pandora," and "Hornet" classes. On the smaller side is the Ley Line Schooner "Vixen" which is a fraction of the size of the "New Ironsides" class. Still, the vessel carries surprisingly heavy firepower for its size and is comparable to the "Windjammer" frigates operated by Queenston Harbor although the Windjammer is a pure waterborne vessel. As a result, many people call the "Vixen" a frigate even though it is called a "Schooner" by the techno-wizard who built it. Because the "Vixen" is affordable yet still capable, there is a lot of interest in the small vessel.
Some techno-wizards, while they like Ley Line vessels, do not like the fact that they are limited to travel on Ley Lines and bodies of water. They wanted a vessel which would not be limited to where they could travel and could operate anywhere in the air. They did not want a pure aircraft design so other ideas were studied but nothing practical was found. It was not until a techno-wizard found a old Pre-Rifts movie which featured a starship which appears to be an old fashion sailing vessel suspended under a giant zeppelin. This was the source behind the idea of the "Skystar" airship and the techno-wizards studied every source which they could find on rigid airships. The old German airship Hindenburg was studied along with the USS Macon, a rigid airship operate by the United States Navy before the Second World War.
Construction of the airship design was one of the most complex projects every attempted by Techno-Wizards. Only two have been completed so far. A non-rigid design was considered but eventually a ridged design was adopted. The "Skystar" class is the largest airship ever built and is both longer and wider than the largest previous airship, the zeppelin Hindenburg. The larger size was needed to be able to lift the "Schooner" portion of the airship. The "schooner"portion of the airship is a modified version of the "Vixen" class Ley Line Schooner. Unlike the Hindenburg, the "Skystar" is filled with helium which does not ignite like hydrogen.
The body of the airship is made from high strength composites and alloys which allows it to survive at least some abuse before being destroyed. The new composites and alloys allow it to survive weather conditions which would have forced down the older airship designs. It is also heavy compartmentalized so that destruction of a single section will not cause it to crash. There are a total of thirty-two compartments filled with helium and up to eight can be destroyed without the airship losing buoyancy. Any more will cause the airship to slowly drop to the ground. Theoretically, this section can be detached from the ship portion of the airship so it can operate on the water or more effectively on ley lines although this has never occurred. Generally, this would mean the loss of the airship itself.
In addfition to carrying the lift bags to keep the airship flying, the main body of airship has four powerful electric engines mounted on it. These are converted to be powered by magical energy and give the airship a maximum speed of ninety miles per hour. Periodically, the crew has to recharge the engines with lightning bolts. Of course due to the airship relying of helium for flight, it can be flown virtually forever. Only occasionally does the helium have to be added to. In addition, the airship has a pair of hangers along the airship which allows for up to four aircraft to be carried. These are usually used for scouting although are armed as well. Aircraft are launched by a trapeze like system and are landed in the same manner.
The ship hung below the main body of the airship is only slightly altered compared to "Vixen" class Ley Line Schooner and retains the ability to operate on ley lines if detached from the much larger section. While the masts are stripped and are mainly just the connection between the ship and the upper part, they can be fitted with sails if the ship is separated. They are not carried onboard to reduce the weight of the airship because the design is still fairly weight dependent. Weaponry is the same as carried by a standard Vixen although the arc of the Gatling cannon is greatly restricted due to its position and the main body of the airship. The entire crew's quarters are within the schooner portion of the airship. The crew is slightly reduced when compared to the Vixen class Ley Line Frigate although the vessel usually carries six pilots for the fighters. The two Skystar airships normally embark twelve mystic power armors and eight “Angel of War” techno-wizard armors.
Techno-wizard enchantments are retained although the cost of activating the enchantments due to the huge size of the airship are greatly increased. Still, the airship is not heavily armed and escape is often preferable to actual combat. The most commonly used enchantment is invisibility and the techno-wizard batter has enough magical energy stored for two activations with the assistance of the crew. Other enchantments include the ability to become impervious to energy and meld with the shadows. The ability to shadow meld is extremely useful at night and costs less in terms of magical energies than invisibility. As partial protection against missiles, the airship has a magical chaff and flare launcher. Finally, the airship is equipped with a shockwave defense system. As such, it is one of the few "Aircraft" which is fitted with the system. The ability of the ship to create a force field around the schooner has been removed in the design as a measure to reduce the cost of the ship.
Model Type: "Skystar" class Airship
Vehicle Type: Techno-Wizard Airship
Crew: 85 with usually at least two techno-wizard, two air warlocks, and two other spell casting types recommended but not absolutely needed.
Troops: 26 (Normal of six fighter pilots, twelve pilots for Mystic Power Armors, and eight pilots in body armor)
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|12||Mystic Power Armors|
|8||T.W. “Angel of War” Body Armors / Power Armors|
|4||TW-PL-51W “Wildstorm” Thunder Mustang|
M.D.C. by location:
|18 pounder Carronades (12, 6 each side of schooner):||100 each|
|T.W. Gatling Cannons (1, schooner):||100 each|
|Foremast (Forward Mast, schooner):||180|
|Mizzenmast (Rear Mast, schooner):||220|
|Hangers (2, airship):||400 each|
| Engines (4, airship):||250 each|
| Lift Cells (32, airship):||100 each|
| Airship Main Body:||3,000|
| Schooner Main Body:||1,500|
 Destruction of engines will reduce top speed by one quarter per engine destroyed. If all four engines are destroyed, the airship will be unable to move under its own power but due to being lighter than air, the airship itself will not crash.
 Destruction of up to eight lift cells can be sustained while maintaining buoyancy. Destruction of more cells will mean that the airship will slowly descend. The more lift cells destroyed, the faster the airship will descend. The destruction of the airship main body will cause the Schooner to crash to the ground unless on a ley line
 Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink if in the water. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats (one of the few items of technology added) to accommodate everyone on the ship. The ship does have the Techno-Wizard addition of impervious to energy. Specifics are listed in Weapon systems.
Ocean Surface: Schooner, airship detached: If rigged with sails, 15 knots or higher depending on the wind (approximately 17.27 miles per hour or 28 km per hour)
Flying: Airship: 90 mph (144.84 kph)
Ley Lines: Schooner, airship detached: 150 mph (240 kph). Requires the Telekinesis Spell (double cost at 16 P.P.E.) or 20 I.S.P. to initiative take off and Telekinesis Spell (double cost at 16 P.P.E.), Levitate Spell (double cost at 10 P.P.E.) or 20 I.S.P. to land the ship. Otherwise, the ship will float away slowly (2 mph) at about 100 feet (30.5 meters) off the ground. The ship can only travel through the air along ley lines and can switch directions at ley line nexus points.
Height: Airship: Maximum altitude of 8,000 feet (2438.4 meters.) Schooner, airship detached and on Ley Line, maximum of 1000 feet (305 meters) and minimum of 200 feet (61 meters) without landing.
Maximum Effective Range: Airship, Flying: 1,000 miles (1,610 km) on conventional propeller driven flight. Can be recharged with a“Call Lightning” spell (15 P.P.E. per engine for 60 P.P.E.) which gives another 1,000 miles (1,610 km) of flight before .needing to recharge. The ship carries two months worth of supplies on board.
Length: Airship: 945 feet (288.0 meters), Schooner: 83 feet 6 inches (25.5 meters)
Beam: Airship: 185 feet (56.4 meters), Schooner: 23 feet 2 inches (7.1 meters)
Height / Draft: Airship: 208 feet (63.4 meters), Height: Schooner, Draft: 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 meters)
Displacement: Schooner: 175 tons
Cargo: 20 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies. Most of the ships spaces are take up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, other equipment.
Power System: Dual Flight System, Techno-Wizard Electrical Engine Conversions (Powered by “Call Lightning” spell) and Ley Line flight system for flight on ley lines.
Market Cost: 180 million credits, there is a long waiting period for "Vixen" Schooners and the cost to get one will often involve many extra costs as well.
- Twelve (12) T.W. 18 Pounder Carronades: Carronades fire a larger ball for a smaller cannon when compared to long guns but have a reduced range when compared to long cannons. The cannon balls look like standard Iron balls but in reality come in three different types. The first is Thunderball which inflict considerable damage and creates a thunderclap that effects everyone within 10 feet (3 meters) of the cannon balls impact. The second is called Thunderfire and it erupts into fireball and inflicts greater damage than Thunderball ammunition but does not have the Thunderclap. The Third type of ammunition is Magic Grape Shot. This shot is designed to be used against a wide area and is very effective against personnel. The ship has two mounts which can fire with the broadside or act as bow chasers. The cannons use telekinesis to throw the rounds and does not use any gunpowder.
- TK Gatling Cannon (1): This cannon is the only know non-period weapon on the ship. The cannon is mounted near the bow of the vessel on the main deck and can fire forward as well as to the side. 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
- Magical “Shockwave” Defense System: When it is activated, a circular energy wave is emanated from the airship in all directions. The blast is semi-spherical and effects travel upwards and downwards as well. It is longer ranged version of the eight level spell shockwave. Unfortunately, the spell can only be activated once per melee and requires magical energy every time it is activated. It is mostly used to destroy incoming missiles. The system does not effect people and equipment on the deck of the ship
- 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: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
Mega-Damage: Thunderball Ammunition: 1D6x10 per round or 6D6x10 for a complete broadside. Each Thunderball will also release a thunderclap as per the spell (thunderclap effects a 10 feet (3 m) radius. Thunderfire Ammunition: 2D6x10 per round or 12D6x10 for a complete broadside. The Thunderfire will often also ignite flammable materials. Magical Grape Shot Ammunition: 6D6 per round or 3D6x10+20 for a complete broadside. Each Magical Grape Shot will effect all targets within a blast radius of 20 feet (6 m).
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: 400 rounds (100 per cannon), 200 rounds of Thunderball ammunition, 100 rounds of Thunderfire ammunition, and 100 rounds of Magical Grape Shot ammunition
Notes: If the cannons are used against small targets (personnel, aircraft, missiles, etc) the cannons have a -4 penalty to strike (Grape shot has +4 to strike and can be used against small targets) with no bonuses to strike to strike for hand to hand or physical prowess. As well, only a single cannon can be targeted against a small target.
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: 1,000 feet (305 meters) in all directions
Mega Damage: 1D4x10 to all targets within radius of effect (S.D.C. objects will be completely destroyed). The system also inflicts knock down as per the spell “Shockwave” on page 144 of World Book 16: Federation of Magic. (General Guideline: If the shockwave does not destroy the incoming missiles then missiles of medium range and smaller have an 88% of being knocked from the air, long range missiles have a 50% chance of being knocked out of the air, and cruise missiles have a 20% of being knocked out of the air)
Rate of Fire: Once per melee
Payload: One, requires 35 P.P.E. to be activated again
- 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. The dispenser is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.).
- Shadow Meld (8th level) 80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.
Impervious to Energy (8th Level) - 160 P.P.E. or 320 I.S.P.
Invisibility-Superior (8th Level) - 160 P.P.E. or 320 I.S.P.
- 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.
- P.P.E. Battery: The ship has a special P.P.E. battery, unlike similar systems in Phase World, it does not generate magical energy but stores magical energy. The system will store up to 300 P.P.E. and can be stored by crew members and absorbs P.P.E. from Ley Lines and Nexus Points. It will absorb P.P.E. at the rate of 10 per hour on ley lines and 20 per hour on nexus points.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.