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NightShade

The NightShade started out as an experimental assault/blockade runner vessel. It has a small crew of 7 to 10 people, though it only requires 1 person to run at full efficiency. NightShade is a collaborative effort of KM Enterprises, The United Worlds of Warlock, and The Consortium of Civilized Worlds. It uses the most advanced technologies available at the time of its construction, most of which were developed in parallel with the NightShade itself.

For starters there is the instance of the first hybridized Rift/Contragravity Drive. This drive is capable of creating a Rift Jump Gate which will allow it to travel to alternate dimensions as well as other locations within the current dimension. The only problem with the Rift Drive, is that it relys heavily on ambient magic energy (space based ley-lines and nexi), and has difficulty being used in areas where the magic energy is low (such as the palladium world, a place space farers shouldn't be going anyway). This is where the Contragravity Drive comes in, it relys only on technology, and can be used at any time (subject to safety limitations of course).

The drive also has a third mode that allows it to traverse extremely large distances in a much shorter time than would be expected, which is called by most people who use the NightShade 'Hyper-Glide Mode', which is an apt description. The Quantum Displacement Drive opens a rift at both the starting point of the shunt, and at the destination, similarly to a Rift Drive. The main difference between the QDD and a Rift Drive, is that the QDD is only in effect for a split second. The QDD opens the portal, the ship enters the portal, and the ship rides a quantum bubble to it's destination, at which point it exits the quantum bubble in the same fashion as it entered, except that the energy was already expended at the beginning of the trip, which means that the bubble will open at a predetermined time and place (the energy necessary to allow this rides along with the ship in the form of the quantum bubble).

A few points on Quantum Bubbles:

The Quantum Displacement Drive takes advantage of a little-known theory of particle physics, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. This principle allows a subatomic particle to be created temporarily from borrowed energy of the quantum vacuum, for a very short time. The more energy it borrows, the sooner it has to be returned before it becomes a real particle. This part of the theory is an accepted scientific theory, but the addition of magic to this theory allows astronomically larger energies to be borrowed from the quantum vacuum , for vastly longer periods of time (the area around the ship temporarily has it's physical laws changed to allow the Quantum Displacement Drive to function). What this means is that the drive allows the NightShade to travel between galaxies about 100 times faster than would normally be expected for a Contragravity Drive ship of it's size (1200 Lightyears per hour! Speeding ticket anyone?).

There is only one problem with the Quantum Displacement Drive, it can be used only for travel between galaxies, the energy density within a galaxy makes the drive too unstable for it to run reliably (KM Enterprises is still working on this one). For every attempt to run the drive within any galaxy, the following things could happen:

The player characters will be held responsible for finding (if necessary) and returning the 'lost' Quantum Displacement Drive, before their ship is repaired (no, KM Enterprises will not put the 'faulty' unit back in the ship, they want to study the drive so they can determine why the Quantum Displacement Drive did what it did, this doesn't mean the new drive won't do the same thing, it just means the player characters should be more careful where they engage the Quantum Displacement Drive).

When the Player Characters purchase this ship they will be trained in the use of it's special abilities, and warned of it's limitations, this takes about 6 months for a complete training session, at which point they will gain a new skill: Pilot NightShade Class Starship (base skill: 60% +4% per additional level.

The following are the statistics for The NightShade:

Ship Class: NightShade

Ship Type: Blockade Runner with Gunboat capabilities

Ship Crew: 7, Captain/Pilot, Co-pilot/Navigator, Communications Officer, Technical Officer, 3 Gunners (run their guns from the bridge via Virtual Reality), and can optionally handle up to 4 passengers.

M.D.C.™ by Location (numbers in parentheses are for the enhanced version of NightShade only):

***Main Body: 5000 (7500)
Variable Force Fields (hardened so that Silverhawks and similar can't penetrate): 3000 (4500) per side
**Crew Compartment: 1500 (2250)
*Bridge: 1500 (2250)
*Airlocks (4, double chamber): 600 (900) each
**Anti-Matter Reactor: 2000 (3000)
*Heavy Paticle Beam Cannons (6, 3 front arcs, 3 rear arcs): 600 (900) each
*PC-200 Heavy Phase cannons (2, 1 mounted in each wing): 300 (450) each
*Cruise Missile Launchers (2, 6 missiles each): 400 (600) each
*Long-Range Missile Launchers (1 top, 1 belly, retractable turrets, can fire 4 at a time): 450 (675) each
*Short-Range Missile Launchers (sliding door launched, up to 8 at a time): 450 (675) each
*Sub-Light Drives (2): 750 (1125) each
**Rift/Grav Drive: 1000 (1500) deep inside ship
*Rift/Grav Drive Mesh (integrated into the ships hull): 1500 (2250)
**Quantum Displacement Drive: 1000 (1500) deep inside ship
*Quantum Displacement Drive Mesh (integrated into the ships hull): 1500 (2250)


Items marked with an (*) are difficult to hit and are -5 to hit, even on a called shot. Items with (**) are not able to be hit from outside the ship. (***)Reducing the Main Body M.D.C. to -2000 will cause the ship to explode, doing 6D6X1000 M.D. to a 100 mile radius around the ship.

Speed:
Sublight: 60% lightspeed without 'overdrive' engaged, 99% lightspeed with 'overdrive' engaged.
Faster Than Light: 12 with Rift/Grav Drive, 1200 Between Galaxies with Quantum Displacement Drive (120 Between galaxies if QDD lost)
Atmosphere: Mach 8 cruising, Mach 12 Maximum.
Life Support Duration: Indefinite, please see
note 1 .

Height: 25 Feet (31.25 Feet)
Length: 160 Feet (200 Feet)
Body Width: 60 Feet (75 Feet)
Overall Wingspan: 110 Feet (137.5 Feet)
Weight: 750 Tons (900 Tons -more open space-)
Cargo: Up to 100 tons (300 tons -more cargo for same crew size-)
Power System: 50 year Anti-Matter (both versions)
Market Cost: 4,000,000,000 CR (6,000,000,000 CR for the enhanced version, which has additional capabilities, and is 25% larger), just opened to semi-public sale. It is an act of treason and a felony to sell or deliver this vehicle to the Kreeghor Government or its allies, affiliates, citizens, and any other establishment, individual, government (with the single exception of The Machine People Republic, who donated technology for the development of the enhanced version of the NightShade) or other entity that has dealings with them.

Weapon Systems:
Heavy Particle Beam cannons (6, 3 nose, 3 rear)
Weight: 24 tons per triple cannon mount
Mega-Damage: 1D6X1000 per 3 cannon group
M.D.C.: 600 (900) per cannon
Range: 35 miles underwater, 70 miles in an atmosphere, 70,000 miles space!
Payload: 200 shots before needing to recharge for 1 hour.
Rate of fire: up to 5 attacks per melee, or 25 AP's per melee (if you're using Gromek's combat system, 5 AP's per shot).

PC-200 Heavy Phase Cannons (2, 1 in each wing, facing forward 30 degree firing arc, in all forward directions)
Weight: 2 tons each
Mega-Damage: 4D6 to all targets in a 50' radius, or 6D6 to creatures 10' or taller, or a forcefield. This is S.D.C. Damage to S.D.C. beings, or M.D.C. damage to M.D.C. beings and forcefields.
Range: 2 miles underwater, 4 miles in atmosphere, or 2000 miles in space.
Payload: 400 shots, then the weapon must recharge for 30 minutes.
Rate of fire: up to 7 attacks per melee, or 28 AP's (if you're using Gromek's combat system, 4 AP's per shot).


Please see the Note on Missiles, Note 2 .

Cruise Missile Launchers (2, 1 top, 1 belly, retractable and fully concealable)
Weight: 1917 pounds per missile (11.5 tons with a full load of 12 missiles).
Mega-Damage: 4D6X100 (heavy anti-matter) per missile.
Range: 8000 miles in atmosphere, 4,000,000 miles in space. Max speed in atmosphere is mach 25, in space it accelerates at 10% of lightspeed per round (this level of acceleration would turn a human into jello in less time than it takes light to travel the thickness of a dime, without proper inertial shielding).
Payload: 6 missiles per launcher.
Rate of fire: 1-12 missiles at once , up to 6 attacks per melee, or 18 AP's 3 AP's per attack (a volley of 12 is capable of destroying almost any light to medium ship, if it hits.)


Long Range Missile Launchers (2, 1 top, 1 belly, retractable and fully concealable)
Weight: 23.5 tons with a full load of 96 missiles).
Mega-Damage: 2D4X100 (light anti-matter) per missile.
Range: 3600 miles in atmosphere, 1,800,000 miles in space. Max speed in atmosphere is mach 20, in space it accelerates at 8% of lightspeed per round (this level of acceleration would turn a human into jello in less time than it takes light to travel the thickness of a dime, without proper inertial shielding).
Payload: 48 missiles per launcher.
Rate of fire: 1-24 missiles at once , up to 6 attacks per melee, or 18 AP's 3 AP's per attack (a volley of 24 is capable of destroying almost any light ship, if it hits.)


Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, 1 on each side of the fuselage, retractable and fully concealable)
Weight: 20 tons with a full load of 192 missiles).
Mega-Damage: 3D6X10 (light anti-matter) per missile.
Range: 160 miles in atmosphere, 80,000 miles in space. Max speed in atmosphere is mach 15, in space it accelerates at 6% of lightspeed per round (this level of acceleration would turn a human into jello in less time than it takes light to travel the thickness of a dime, without proper inertial shielding).
Payload: 96 missiles per launcher.
Rate of fire: 1-24 missiles at once , up to 6 attacks per melee, or 18 AP's 3 AP's per attack (a volley of 24 is capable of destroying almost any light to medium fighter ship, if it hits.)



Additional Information for the Enhanced Version:

Regenerative Capabilities:
The Enhanced NightShade is considered by the Machine People to be almost alive. The ship can heal like it was a member of the Machine People, by consuming matter. What this means is that the ship uses its bussard collectors to collect hydrogen and other space gasses and particles so that it can be converted into any material that the ship needs to repair itself. Any material left over after the ship has repaired itself can be stored for later use, or converted into items for the crew (same limitations as above). In game terms, this allows the ship to repair itself at a rate of 20% of its current undamaged total per round (i.e. if the main body of the ship is brought down to 1000 points, then the ship can heal 20% of 1000 points or 200 points to the main body that round). If the ship takes no further damage the rate of healing will gradually increase (i.e. continuing the previous example; the new current total would be 1200 points of main body M.D.C. an additional 20% -of the new current total- would raise the total to 1440 points). Also, if the ship is in a nebula or other area with a high concentration of matter, the rate of healing can increase to up to 80% per round, but no more, as it still takes time for the ship to distribute the repair materials. If you're wondering how it does that, just think of lots of nano-machines running around fixing things, and you have the idea. This healing is not only effective on the main body of the ship, but on all parts of the ship, everything from workstations to weapons, this does not include things like ammunition or missiles, or people's personal belongings or other vehicles, just the ship and its systems are affected.

An interesting side-effect of the ship's regenerative capabilities is that if a Machine Person spends an extended amount of time on an enhanced NightShade (such as an ongoing campaign), the Machine Person will start to think of the ship as an extension of themselves (some theorize that the nano-machines in the Machine Person, and the ones in the ship, have intermingled and communicated, thereby allowing the person to feel everything the ship does). This allows a Machine Person pilot to control the ship with even greater abilities than when the person 'merges' with a ship. Also any Machine Person on the ship will not have to 'eat' while they are on the ship, the nano-machines of the ship are apparently not able to distinguish between the ship and the Machine Person very well, so they automatically 'feed' the Machine Person whenever they need it (KM Enterprises was pleasantly surprised when they first noticed this, they are trying to improve the 'bond' between the Machine Person and the ship, in the hopes that they can get the ship to change shapes to suit its environment, and to also, eventually, redesign its weapons while in flight. But this is, at best, several years off). Needless to say, those who own an enhanced NightShade will almost always go out of their way to hire a Machine Person pilot for their ship.

Magical Sensing:
This ship's sensors are based on a combination of nano-technology, and advanced bioengineering technologies. These technologies were combined in the hopes that they would allow the ship to sense magical emanations as well as normal energies. It worked, the ship can sense magic as the equivalent of a tenth level Ley Line Walker (KM Enterprises is trying to improve that to a tenth level
Arch-Mage ), except for the ranges. In space the ranges are expressed as thousands of miles (50 miles becomes 264,000,000 miles, 300 feet becomes 300,000 miles, but only in space... 1 foot becomes 1000 miles), on a planet they are the same as a Line Walker. Great for sensing space borne ley lines and nexi.

Stealth Systems: How far can you see in space? Better yet. How far can a ship's sensors see in space? Well, that depends on what they are looking for. If the ship is looking for another star, theres really not much of a limit. But if that same ship is trying to find a single ship, the difficulty goes up astronomically. Stealth makes a hard object to find, harder to find. This ship has three kinds of stealth: visual, sensory, and magical. The visual stealth is the easiest to understand. With it you simply make it easier to hide from whoever is trying to find you with just their eyes. So you make yourself look different, and try to blend into your surroundings. Sensory stealth is a lot like visual stealth, but it has a lot more tricks to hide you with, it can try to mask electronic noise generated by your systems, exhaust generated by your engines, distortions generated by your ship's CG drive, and all sorts of other things. Magical stealth is the hardest to get right, but it's also the hardest to defeat. you can do anything from turn invisible to blending into shadows, to making someone believe you're not there.

Now that we've established the problem, we need to find a solution. NightShade uses a combination of magical, visual, and technological stealth. The visual stealth consists of billions of fiberoptic micro-camera/micro-projector elements strewn throughout the skin of the ship. You look at one side of the ship, it looks as if you were standing on the other side of the ship looking away from it (kind of like looking through a window). That essentially makes the ship invisible, to human eyes. If someone opens the hatch, it looks like they have opened a door in the air in front of you, and you can see into the ship. If it's high noon where you're looking at the ship, you would notice something strange... The ship doesn't cast a shadow, the visual stealth compensates for the variations in light in the vicinity around the ship.Technological stealth is dealt with by masking all of your ships signature by making them seem like something else. Magical stealth just alters the assumed reality around the ship.

Stealth bonuses: +20 to prowl as appropriate, -50 to detecion rolls made by other ships trying to detect you while in space (this takes all forms of stealth into account), +9 to dogfighting rolls, +5 to initiative, +5 to roll, +9 to dodge, +4 actions per melee (+20 AP's) for the pilot (+1 per additional 3 levels) while piloting the ship.


Note 1 :
Due to bussard collectors on either side of the ship, which collect interstellar hydrogen and feed it to matter converters, which in turn convert that matter to whatever is needed by the crew (short of ultra high-tech items and phase technology). Basically, if someone in the crew can design an item, then the replicators -ala Star Trek tm - can create the item. If for some reason, the bussard collectors are damaged or destroyed, the ship has enough storage space for 3 years of supplies (this excludes air and water, the ships of the Phase World universe are sufficiently advanced to continuously replenish and refresh air and water indefinitely).

Note 2:
I tend to believe that missiles should have much greater ranges and speeds all around. So I am using Kitsune's Revised Rules for Phase World Starships .

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