Shadow Warship (Babylon Five):

As far as starships of war are concerned, this ships only equals are the corresponding Vorlon warships and other First Ones ships. While there was at least one race that older than the first one (A being know as Lorien is the only remaining representative of that race) the Shadows are the oldest race of the group of races know as the First Ones. In many ways, the Shadows are the most technologically advanced of the First Ones. They are certainly the first race from the First Ones to experiment with FTL drives and Hyperspace. Their racial age is at least 100 million years, but they may be more than a billion years old!

The Shadow warship comes in three different sub sizes. The first size is 800 meters long, the second size is 1500 meters long, and the largest are 3000 meters long. All ships have similar ability but the larger one have increased armor. This description describes the 800 meter long design but can be used to represent all three designs by increasing the M.D.C. of various hit locations (Increase hit locations by a factor of 2 for 1.5 km versions and by a factor of 4 for the 3 km versions) and increase the number of fighters (70 for the 1.5 km versions and 100 for the 3 km versions). The shadow warships look very organic and have been described as Spiders or Crabs because of their appearance.

The Shadow Warship is armed with a Shadow type Quantum Gravitic Discharge Cannon for its only normal weapon. The only real difference with the Vorlon weapon of the same type is that the frequency of the Gravity waves it fires is different, which gives the beam a slightly different appearance. This weapon gives the Ship a unexpectedly large fire power. This weapon is so powerful that the Ship can attack a half a dozen warships of any of the younger races and devastate them. The ship is also armed with a special weapon that can actually collapse a Jump Point. This weapon can easily destroy any size ship and it is simply how close to the effect and the luck of the ships crew for the ships to survive.

The entire ship is alive, a single large living organism without any mechanical features. The skin of this creature is a strong adapting armor, not unlike its Vorlon counterpart. Backing up this armor are shields consisting of interwoven energy fields and layers of gravitational distortion. These shields are capable of absorbing large amounts of energy, be it directed energy or kinetic in nature.

The ships sublight propulsion consists of a powerful gravity drive system that is used for maneuvering and main thrust. this gives the Warship superb maneuverability and acceleration. This drive can also be used as a tractor beam. Because of their long experience with FTL physics they have a hyperdrive system that allows them to move in and out of hyperspace at will, at whatever position they wish to appear at. This gives them a great advantage in ambushes etc. they can also use the to pass into being between hyperspace and real space and be virtually invulnerable there.

Since the ship is alive it has an intelligence similar to that of a sentient AI and so can perform difficult maneuvers on its own. It needs a crew, although its more apt to call that single unfortunate individual a computer core. Take note that the smaller and medium sized Warships are usually drones and will normally have no Shadows are onboard (they always have the unfortunate victim or they are inert). On sensor readings the ship will read as built out of organic materials rather than the metal alloys that most starships are built out of. When its ECM is engaged it is almost impossibly hard to detect.

A special trait of these ships is the way they launch their fighters: Unlike the Vorlons, who transfer their fighters through the hull of their ships, the shadow Warship actually splits off a spiked ball of organic matter which is hurled at the enemy at a immense acceleration (3% of light per melee). Once this mass is close to the enemy it "explodes" scattering the Warships fighters in all directions. One minute you`re safe, the next you`ve got 40 fighters buzzing around your ship. This is attack is also very disconcerting and the captain of the ship being attack must make a saving throw against horror factor of 15 or panic.

As the Shadows are agents of chaos, meeting a Shadow Warship is often perilous: they`re liable to shoot on sight and forget about the questions, although if you`re lucky and retreat before the ship decides what to do with you, you may survive.

Notes of game conversion:

For purposes of game balance, there are two different versions of the starship. One is designed with accelerations in terms of gravities (G) which can better interact better with other Babylon 5 ships such as Earth Force and the Narn military. The other is written to operate within the Three Galaxies and operated with Consortium and Kreeghor vessels.

Phase world version uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor fighters. This version is recommended if you with to put them into Phase World as among equals. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.

Moderate version uses Gs of acceleration but does not have reduced weapon ranges except for missiles. This version is useful for Mutants In Orbit, Phase World if used as a lower tech race, used with my Earth Force ships conversions for B-5, and as a possible crash on Rifts Earth. Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the fighters velocity and distance traveled.

Model: Shadow Warship

Crew: One, the ship is flown by a living computer core. Boarding parties have a problem as there are no corridors or open spaces inside of the Shadow Warship! Should the Warship have a crew onboard (for game terms: 200 shadows) it will form corridors and such. Bear in mind that Shadows are as powerful as a low powered supernatural intelligence although not quite as powerful as the Vorlons on an individual basis.

Vehicles: 40 Fighters

M.D.C. by location:

Dimensional Disruptor (situated in upper hull)


Quantum Gravitic Discharge Cannon(situated in lower hull):


[1] Gravity Drive Spines (14):

10,000 each

[2] Main Body:


[3] Variable Force Field:

15,000 a side (90,000 Total)


[1] Destroying one of the spines means that sublight acceleration and maneuverability are reduced by 5 % each. In order to completely destroy its drive system all the spines have to be blown off and main body must have sustained 20 % damage. Blowing one of the spines off also means that there is a 10% chance (not cumulative) the ship will go berserk with pain, obsessed with chasing and destroying its tormentor at all costs (additional +3 to strike -5 to dodge, ECM halved)

[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will destroy the Dreadnaught, putting it out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck. Both the hull and the ships systems have the ability to repair themselves. The ships hull and ships systems regenerate damage at the rate of 2D4x100 M.D.C. per minute. The ship can only repair up to half the total M.D.C. of a system or the main body.

[3] Shield positions are variable and can be combined into one shield. The shields regenerate at a rate of 5% (4500 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.


Phase World Version: Gravity drive allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. The ship can accelerate/ decelerate at a whopping rate of 1.5 percent of light per melee round.

Moderate Version: The Shadow Warship does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The Warship can reach a top acceleration of 15 G but standard is 7.5 G to reduce stress on engines.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is mach 10. Can enter atmosphere and leave the atmosphere of a planet easily.

Stardrive: Unlike the Vorlons, the starships of the Shadows do not need to use or create a Jump Point to enter into hyperspace. Instead they can create a tiny effect that passes the ship into hyperspace without any jump point being formed. The ship can also travel into a pocket dimension that the ship is between normal space and hyperspace. The ships can use this to evade mines or missiles. The Shadow Warship is incredibly fast in hyperspace. The ship can travel the equivalent of 200 light years per hour in distance in real space. This means that the ship could actually cross the Galaxy in about three weeks. The shadow warship can pass into and out of hyperspace within the atmosphere of a planet as well as in space. Shadow Warships will occasionally use previously established jump points to deceive an enemy into thinking that they cannot pass out of hyperspace without a jump point.

The Shadow Warship has enough power to make the transition to or from hyperspace every round, should this be desired. The entire phasing takes just seven seconds, and always occurs as the LAST action that round.

Maximum Range: Unlimited by all drive systems. It is not known how much supplies it carries with it, but it is safe to assume several years worth.

Statistical Data:

Length: 1330 feet (400 meters)

Height: 660 feet (200 meters)

Width: 2,660 feet (800 meters)

Weight: 16 million tons (14.5 million metric tons)

Power System: Hyperspace Tap with an unknown duration.

Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 200,000 tons of Cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition

Market Cost: No Shadow ships have ever been for sale anywhere. Should someone get their hands on one, they will probably die (see the series). Actually any race would pay hundreds of trillions of credits for a living Shadow Warship (although they will probably regret it Very Much a little later)


  1. One (1) Shadow Quantum Gravitic Discharge Cannon: This weapon is virtually identical to those mounted on the Vorlon Dreadnought but has three setting instead of two. The setting must be selected at the start of the melee round and cannot be changed during the melee. The weapon is focused and aimed through the manipulation of gravitic fields. This gives it a very large field of fire (a cone of 180 degrees in front of the ship) and makes it possible to swing the beam through the entire field of fire in a single melee turn. This weapon system functions by firing a beam of coherent gravity waves at a target, which disrupts the very molecules of the target at a quantum level. Any target area hit by the beam is literally torn apart at the subatomic level, reducing the affected area to a very hot cloud of quarks and mesons. The first beam is low powered and can be used against fighters without size penalties and has +4 to strike and can be aimed at up to six targets per melee. The second setting can be aimed at up to three targets per melee but is far more powerful. The second setting is the standard setting and has normal penalties to strike small targets. The final setting involves shutting down the engines that allow the ship to pass into hyperspace. If this is done, the hyperdrive needs 3 minutes to recharge. The weapon can only be aimed at one target and the setting also has standard penalties to strike small targets. The advantage is that the weapons damage is greatly increased. Also This Quantum Gravitic Discharge Cannon is far more powerful than those mounted on the Minbari and Ranger White Star class gunboats and Drahk Raiders. This weapon does have standard penalties to use against small targets such as fighters. Due to the weapons nature it does full damage to targets protected by the spell "Invulnerable to energy".

    Maximum Effective Range: Low Powered Setting: 19 miles (30 km) in an atmosphere and 18,700 miles (30,000 km) in space. Standard and Overcharged: 187 miles (300 km) in an atmosphere and 187,000 miles (300,000 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Low Power Setting: 3D6x1,000 Standard: 2D4x10,000 M.D. Overcharge: 8D6x10,000 M.D.

    Rate of Fire: Special, Beam can only be fired once per melee but Low Powered setting can be directed at up to six different targets per melee, Standard Setting can be directed at up to three targets per melee (Damage is tripled if concentrating on one target for the full melee), and Overcharged setting can only be directed at one target.

    Payload : Effectively Unlimited.

  2. One (1) Dimensional Disruptor: This weapon disrupts a dimensional transfer point, or places of high space/time distortion. A ball of energy that looks like ball lightning is formed between the forward spines of the Shadow Warship. This is launched into a Jump Point. Any ship passing through the disturbed Jump Point undergoes massive dimensional shear and can easily be torn apart by these forces. to a lesser extent this also applies to other methods of FTL-flight like the Macross space fold machines. This weapon draws so much energy that for two melees the Hyperspace Fusion beam cannot be used, the ship cannot leave real space, and the ship will only have half the normal number of dodges.

    Maximum Effective Range: 93,300 miles (150,000 km) in space, 93.3 miles (150 km) in atmosphere

    Mega-Damage: Unlike most weapons, this weapon targets the whole starship and only by luck can a ship survive the collapse of a jump point. The damage is a percentage of the damage the main body of the ship has if the ship is undamaged. This damage is then applied to the ships shields first and all remaining damage is passed to the main body. If the ship does not have shields, the ship takes full damage. If the damage exceeds the main body, which is very likely in most cases, the ship is completely obliterated. If the ship survives, damage is applied to all hit locations on the ship. This is done by taking the damage to the main body and dividing it by the undamaged main body of the ship. This is the percentage all hit locations will loose in damage.

    For example, a Centauri Vorchan Cruiser is caught in a collapsing Jump Point. The weapon does 120% of the Main body of the ship. This is 144,000 M.D.C. for the Vorchan. The shield protection is then subtracted from the damage (144,000 - 36,000 = 108,000). The ship received 108,000 M.D.C. of damage to the main body. All other locations will then be reduced by 90% of their original values (108,000 / 120,000 = 90%). The ship will effectively be almost a wreck.

    This weapon will also effect ships using many other means of FTL propulsion. The weapon is aimed at the fold area for fold drives but must be aimed at the ship itself for CG Drives and Warp Drives. The worst effected other than ship that use jump points are those that use fold engines such as those that Macross and Robotech use. CG engines and warp drives are not effected as much as Jump Point or Fold Engines are. Because of the Unique nature of Phase Drives, they are not effected, and Rifts Jump Drives are not effected because they are magical in nature.

    Percentage of Damage taken:

      Jump point physics (B-5): 3D6 x 10%

      Fold engines (Macross, Zentraedi etc.): 2D6 x 10%

      CG Drive, warp engines (Phase World, Star Trek ): 1D6 x 10%

    Rate of Fire: weapon can be fired once ever 20 melees. The weapon takes the full melee to charge. During this time, the ship may no pass into or out of real space or fire the Hyperspace fission gun. Consider the weapon to be able to be fired on the first melee that the ship enters combat.

    Payload : Effectively Unlimited.

Special equipment:

[ Brodkil TM, Bushido Industries TM, CAF TM, Catyr TM, CCW TM, Consortium of Civilized Worlds TM, Free Worlds Council TM, Gene Splicers TM, K-Hex TM, Kittani TM, Kreeghor TM, Machine People TM, Mega-Damage TM, Monro TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Noro TM, Paradise Federation TM, Phase World TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Seljuks TM, Splugorth TM, Trans-Galactic Empire TM, Tri-Galactic Military Service TM, United Worlds Warlock TM, UWW TM, and Wolfen TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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

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[ Babylon 5 is copyrighted © Warner Brothers Television. ]

Technical information sourced partially from Babylon 5 Technical Manual!

CGI of Ship by Evelio Perez-Albuerne. More of Evelio's CGI pictures of B-5 Ships at Evelio's Babylon 5 3d Model Index.

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, 1999, & 2013, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.