Gryphon class Monitor (U.W.W.):

The most important systems during the foundation of the United Worlds Warlock had huge system defense platforms. At the time, they were considered the "Ultimate" design but were incredibly costly and military leaders decided to go with a less expensive solution for some might consider less important systems. This was to design a heavily armed yet more mobile starship especially designed for system defense. Because the ship did not mount faster than light drives, the vessel was termed as a monitor. Even those these platforms are tiny comparison to the Ultima class defense platform, there are much larger than most monitor type designs, which average around the size of a heavy cruiser, and are the size of a small battlecruiser. Because of their simpler construction, these monitors were often built in systems that would have previously had an Ultima class defense platform built. Another advantage was that with multiple Monitors, more threats could be dealt with at a time than with a single Ultima class platform.

In total, hundreds of these Monitors were built and most still serve in the systems which they were built. A number have been destroyed over the years but they are extremely tough. A number have been transferred to system control from the United Worlds Warlock Navy. They are an important part of the system defenses on many United Worlds Warlock systems and electronics have been upgraded throughout their service lives. Because of this, there are no plans to remove these vessels from service. Instead, the Monitors are slowly being refitted. The refit is similar to the refits being performed on the Ultima and Black Swan classes with improved point defense and other upgrades.

In design these ships share much with the Ultima class defense platform and the Black Swan class battlecruiser and are constructed in much the same way. All three designs were born around the same time although actually the Black Swan was the last of the three ship designs to enter service. It is actually cheaper to built than the Monitor due to using more conventional materials. The similarities includes features such as multiple heavy turrets and have the look of ancient naval vessels. If a close comparison was made, the ships would likely be considered most closely resembling pre-dreadnought battleships with a large thruster taking the place of the fantail of the ship. Many vessels have differences in appearance depending on the stylist approach used when constructing the monitors.

The hull is constructed of enchanted iron plates which makes the ship more expensive to repair than most newer designs. Some crews have replaced damage enchanted plates with normal high strength alloys and composites due to them being far less expensive. The ship is also protected by a magical force field similar to those carried on other United Worlds Warlock vessels. The Monitor uses a contra-grav propulsion system and is a fair amount faster than the Ultima class defense platform but still much slower than the Dwarven Iron Ship.

Like on the Black Swan battlecruiser design, the monitors mount a Rifts cannon in the front. Before the superstructure and aft of the superstructure, the Monitor mounts a turret with five sixteen inch flame cannons. When fired in broadside, it gives the monitor three times the beam weapon firepower of a Dwarven Iron Ship. On either side of the superstructure, the ship mounts four twin barrel laser cannons. They do not have the firepower of the flame cannons but are still extremely effective. Around the ship is a scattered number of point defense mounts. There are six point defense telekinetic cannon mounts and eight point defense sub-particle acceleration cannons mounted around the ship. Like most United Worlds Warlock designs, the Monitor mounted bottled demon missile launchers. Two are mounted on each side of the hull in what almost looks like a series of portholes.

The Gryphon class Monitor is designed with the ability to carry a large fighter compliment. The fighter compliment is identical to the Arcadia class carrier and is housed in hangers which are on the sides of the ship. This allows the ship to act as a light carrier as well as a heavily armed warship. This has been criticized by some that it would be better to operate fighters from a non-mobile platform or from a planet itself. The comment of "Jack-of-All-Trades, Master-of-None" comes up often. The ship also carries a a large marine compliment which are outfitted for boarding actions.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.

Model Type: UW-SM-22
Class: Space; Monitor (techno-wizard)
Crew: 475, including a magic team of 40 techno-wizards (levels 2-6).
Troop Capacity: 100 Marines (Typically 50 stay on board for ship defense), 175 fighter pilots, 200 Warlock Combat Armor pilots, and can carry up to 20 passengers in addition.

Power Armors & Robots:

120W-1 Warlock Combat Armors
80W-F1 Flying Warlock Combat Armors
Fighter Compliment:
96WF-F15 Shadow Bolt Strike Ship
24Naruni NE-SF10 Broadsword or FB-49 Fire Eater Fighters
6WF-P60S Black Widow II Heavy Starfighters

M.D.C. by Location:

Rift Projector Cannon (1, in front):2,500
Flame Cannon Barrels (6):900 each
Flame Cannon Turrets (2):2,000 each
Medium Laser Cannons (8)800 each
Bottled Demon Missile Batteries (4):600 each
Sub Particle Acceleration Cannons (8):100 each
Twin Telekinetic Machine Gun Turrets (6):140 each
[1] Main Bridge:20,000
[1] Auxiliary Bridge:20,000
[2] Main Body:85,000
Hangar Bay (2):10,000 each
[3] Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field:10,000

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are taken out, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the Monitor out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[3] This is not a variable force field, but a magical shield that must be completely depleted. Once the shield has been knocked down, it will cost 1000 P.P.E. and require one minute ( 4 melees) of spellcasting to restore the force field.

Driving on the ground: Not Possible.
Water Surface: 35 knots (64.8 kph / 40.3 mph)
Underwater: 25 knots (46.3 kph / 28.8 mph)
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.6 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 200 mph (321.9 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight
Maximum Effective Range: Life support will keep crew alive for up to ten years, as long as the P.P.E. generators are kept in working order.

Statistical Data:
Height: 240 feet (73.2 meters)
Width: 280 feet (85.3 meters)
Length: 1250 feet (381 meters)
Weight / Mass: 1.8 million tons (1.63 million metric tons)
Power System: Combination Fusion & Techno-wizardry with 20 year life span. The Monitor also has a P.P.E. generator that produces 6,000 P.P.E. per hour / 25 P.P.E. per melee and can hold up to 20,000 P.P.E. in storage. This P.P.E. can be used to power spells cast by the Monitor's crew.
Cargo: Cargo holds can hold up to 50,000 tons of additional material. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: The Monitor originally cost 42 billion to construct. Most are still in United World Warlock although there is a small number which have been transferred to system defense forces. If sold, would likely sell for around twice construction costs.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Rifts Projector Cannon: In the nose of the ship is large opening which is the main barrel of the cannon. When not in use, the cannon has a cover to protect it from combat or debris. The cannon creates a huge rift in front of the cannon that has a variable effect. This weapon can become a danger to the ship if it fails. The cannon has a 0.5% cumulative chance of failure (i.e., becomes 1% after two shots, 2% after four, and so on) if fired multiple times within a twenty four hour period. This cannon has penalties to strike small targets. For more information on the Rifts Projector Cannon, refer to page 155 of Dimension Book 2: Phase World (Except ranges are 1,000 times range in book in space.)
    Maximum Effective Range: 50,000 miles (80,000 km) in space and 50 miles (80 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: Roll on table in Dimension Book 2: Phase World on page 156.
    Rate of Fire: Can fire once per minute (4 melee rounds/ 60 seconds).
    Payload: Requires 1,000 P.P.E. each time fired.
  2. Two Triple Barrel Turrets with 16 Inch Flame Cannons (6 Cannons Total): While the cannons are virtually identical to those on the Dwarven Iron ship, the heavy battery of cannons gives the ship a very powerful punch. Each top turret can rotate 270 degrees and has a 60 degree arc of fire upwards and 15 degree arc of fire downwards. The bottom turret can rotate 360 degrees and has a 15 degree arc of fire upwards and 60 degree arc of fire downwards. All the cannons in a turret can be fires as one or each barrel can be fired separately. The ship can fire three turrets forward, two turret aft of the ship, and can fire four turrets to the side of the ship. The ship will often engage attacking with the sides to increase the ships firepower. The cannons fires giant fireballs which can travel enormous distances. The cannons fire control is not designed to lock onto targets smaller than frigates but the cannons can be used to bombard planets as well.
    Maximum Effective Range: 20,000 miles (32,200 km) in space and 20 miles (32.2 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 1D4x1000 M.D.C. each cannon and all three cannons in a turret can be combined for a total of 3D4x1000.
    Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee per cannon (A total of 12 individual blasts or 4 triple blasts).
    Payload: Needs 1000 P.P.E. per day to function.
  3. Four (4) 5 inch Double Mount Laser Cannons (8 cannons Total): On some versions of the ship class, the guns are in double mounts in Casemates. Weapons in casemate mounts have a 150 degree rotation and a 60 degree arc of fire. Other vessels of the class have the lasers in two turrets on each side of the deck. Top mounts mount can rotate 360 degrees and have a 80 degree arc of fire up and a 45 degree arc of fire down. In any case, these are a modern weapon system that are powered by the ships reactor. The cannons are not quite as powerful as the cannons on the CAF classes but have a higher rate of fire. Weapon has standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets for a large starship weaponry. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range:  16,000 miles (25,000 km) in space. and 16 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 1D6x100 M.D.C. each or both cannons in a turret can be combined for a total of 2D6x100.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Sub Particle Acceleration Cannons (8) in Single Mounts: Mounted on top and bottom of the ship along the sides of the ships hull in turrets. Cannons turrets can fire at up to a 90 degree angle up or down and can rotate up to 180 degrees side to side. The gun does not have penalties to strike small targets. Uses the spell of the same name from page 143 of Federation of Magic. The spells must be renewed every two months (costs 400 P.P.E. and 20,000 credits per Cannon) but during that period the weapon can fire unlimited blasts.
    Maximum Effective Range:  200 miles (320 km) in space. 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10+10 per cannon.
    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 two months whether the cannons have been used or not.
  5. Twin Telekinetic Machine Gun Turrets (6): These cannons are identical to those mounted in the Shadow Bolt Starfighter but are in twin mounts. Mounted on the sides of the ship in turrets. Cannons turrets can fire at up to a 90 degree angle up or down and can rotate up to 180 degrees side to side. The gun does not have penalties to strike small targets. Because the cannons do damage by impact, they do full damage to targets that are using the spell impervious to energy. The spells must be renewed every two months (costs 400 P.P.E. and 20,000 credits per cannon) but during the period the weapon can fire unlimited blasts.
    Maximum Effective Range:  200 miles (320 km) in space and 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 12D6 per burst for both cannons in a turret.
    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 two months whether the cannons have been used or not.
  6. Bottled Demon Missile Batteries (4): On each side of the hull the Monitor has two bottle demon missile batteries. The missiles are literally demons summoned and bottled into a missile and are an aggressive and intelligent guidance system. The evil demons will continue to chase its target until destroyed (50 M.D.C. to the missile.) Bottled demons are slightly larger than mini-missiles and require special launchers. Missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Missiles are super smart and have +4 to strike and +5 to dodge. Unlike normal missile, the bottled demon does not explode and keeps striking at its target over and over. If the target is destroyed or vanishes, the missile disappears. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each.
    Maximum Effective Range:  Effectively Unlimited! Once fired, the demon controlled and powered missile will fly and pursue the designated target until its target or the missile is destroyed (or the target vanished from sight, jumps away, or gets away by another means.)
    Mega-Damage: 3D4x10 M.D. of magical energy every time the missile strikes (3% chance of releasing the demon every time it hits.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or eight (8) per battery.
    Payload: thirty two per battery for a total of 128 bottled demon missiles.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2006, Kitsune. All rights reserved.