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Ghost “Mikhail Kutuzov”(Sverdlov class) Light Cruiser:

The sky grew dark and then began flashing in bright colors. It looked like lightning was everywhere but it was every color of the rainbow. Blue, Green, Red, and colors almost undescribable. Forces beyond anything imagined reshaped the Earth. Armageddon had come to the world.

The Mikhail Kutuzov sat at the pier, an ancient memory of times forgotten. Why it had been preserved, nobody really knew. In some cases, tourists still visited her decks and sometimes somebody would have a picnic aboard her. It was one of the last fading remnants of the first Communist revolution built in the heady days after the Great Patriotic War. The ship was slated to be scrapped several times but somehow survived.

Several blue green bolts struck the old cruiser. These same bolts had struck the shiny new ships to either side and they seemed to shatter and melt under the intense energies. Instead though, when the bolts struck the fading grey vessel, the who ship glowed as if energized. When the glow faded, the ship looked almost new, like it had not in decades.

Over a century later, a team of adventurers were exploring what had once been a thriving city on the northern side of the Black Sea. It was once called Novorossiysk but now was little more than ruins. Many cities were now little more than ruins. Still, military hardware often fetched high prices. There was reputed to be a sizeable military base there at one time and perhaps something had survived. Still, from what could be seen, it was bleak.

Their vehicle rolled over shattered ceramic and alloy, the building blocks of the great towers of the Twenty First Century. No natural storm could destroy them but the magical energies released when the Rift Lines erupted dwarfed anything in nature. Going through the rubble clogged city was extremely slow going. It had taken hours to reach as far as they had.

Just then, they passed the ruined shell of a huge building, a huge defense bunker by the looks of it. On the other side, they could see the harbor. Most of the harbor was a shattered ruin as the rest of the city but standing in the distance, appearing almost pristine was an old cruiser. They could only wonder how it had survived. Next to it was the shattered remnants of a Nevskiy class heavy cruiser.

It took another two hours until the team could reach the ship. It had drifted away from the pier but had gotten trapped in the mud. First that they had to reach the dock and then they had to cross to the old cruiser. It was interesting to say the least. As they explored the ships, it was weird. It should have rusted away to nothing but instead looked like it was almost new.

One team member pulled out a rifle and opened fire. Always a bit strange, he had gotten even crazier once he had gotten a cyborg conversion. Why he shot at the ship nobody knew although it was something one might expect from him. The reaction of the ship was what was strange. Suddenly, a lightning bolt rose up and struck him. It was not enough to kill him but it was quite a shock.

Suddenly, the team's techno-wizard grabbed the weapons. Still shocked, he did not fight her when she pushed the weapon away from the deck. It was then that the team noticed something else. The weapon should have melted a hole through the ship and into the mud the cruiser was sitting on. Instead, it has only created a black smudge. It appeared as if the smudge was already fading as well.

The techno-wizard spoke up, "We are keeping this ship. We are going to free her from the mud and make her combat ready."

The Mikhail Kutuzov is the last surviving vessel of the Sverdlov class cruiser and was preserved as a war memorial / museum ship in the city of Novorossiysk. For some reason, the magical energies of the Rifts did not destroy her but instead revitalized her and restored her to her original condition. Rust, the constant enemy of steal ships, seemed to just vanish. As well, the hull seems to change so now it was the equal of the strongest composites and alloys. As a result, it could take damage which would have once shattered the ship.

The ship contains a spirit which nobody has been able to actually define.. It could simply be the collective will of the ancient Soviet people or it could be the crew of the old ship. It is hard to really tell. It does not like anybody trying to attack it and will react quite violently, usually throwing a lightning bolt at that person. Still, the ship does not react to people trying to modify her in the same manner and is fairly accepting. Some weird stuff does happen such as the radio will play music from the old days of the Soviet Union and sometimes bits of speeches will be heard as well. It is hard to know if anything is really meant by any of it.

This was discovered soon after she was salvaged. A large number of destroyed ships were around where she had gone aground and it was decided that they would salvage what they could from them to upgrade the cruiser. While her 152 mm cannons would give her some serious firepower once shells were made for them, the ship had almost nothing in the way of missile defense. As a result, her eight AK-230 mounts were replaced by CADS-N-6 combination anti-missile defense systems to give her some measure of missile defense. Replacing the mounts was the first experiment to see how she would react.

A second concern rather quickly arrived at was the fact that the team would find it almost impossible to get enough fuel to keep her operational. It would also be next to impossible to strip out her engineering system and replace it with fusion reacts as well. Instead, the techno-wizard, who was by that time considering herself to be the captain of the old cruiser even though she had no naval experience, modified the propulsion system to be magical powered. It took quite a while to both completely dig the vessel out from the mud and get a large enough crew for the vessel but when they finally did, the vessel managed thirty-three knots with all six boilers active. The ship is a magical powerhouse so it is fairly easy to keep the engines at peak. There are stories of ships powered by a magical rift to the elemental plane of fire and there is consideration to eventually do the same with her. Backup electrical power is produced by generators powered by “Call Lightning”

Even though a fairly larger crew was recruited, there is no way that they could operate the ship fully. Originally, the ship needed a crew of over a thousand. As a result, much was done to automate various parts of the cruiser. This included an automated loading system for the heavy guns. This improved the rate of fire slightly although still much slower than most modern vessels. Still, not many ships like being fired at by nine heavy cannons. Shells were adapted from artillery shell designs. The ship needs a crew of a little more than four hundred after being modified. As well, there is generally a troop compliment of about two hundred. Half of these are cyborgs and a good percentage of them are enchanted cyborgs. The ship has a pad on the back. Since the vessel has little in the way of anti-submarine warfare, usually transport helicopters are carried.

It took quite a while for the techno-wizard to really learn the ropes of commanding the cruiser and the ship went through several very hazardous events. What helped eventually is that she picked up a new executive officer. He knew the sea to an extent that can only be considered incredible. Rumors are that he is immortal and had served in something called "The New Navy" Luckily also the ship seems to regenerate any damage it takes although it can take days. This regeneration does not seem to affect any of the new additions however.

The captain has made many modifications to her ship since she first took command. Generally she has about a dozen techno-wizards as part of her crew, one being the chief engineer, and almost as many who are other practitioners of magic. While she does not require the crew to wear such a costume, she had herself made a uniform which looks like an old uniform from the days of the original Soviet Union. She had a magical "Armor of Ithan" force field generator added to give the ship additional protection along with the enchantments to make the ship impervious to energy weapons and to make the ship invisible. “Fireworks” anti-missile defense also gives a bit more protection against incoming missiles. As well, the ship has an enchantment so that the crew can breath without air in emergency. As well, the ship has optics designed to see targets which are invisible.

In addition, the cruiser has gained a bit more in weaponry. All of the 100 mm guns are retained but most of the light guns have been stripped although a few were retained. Six total mounts are retained with the actual barrels were replaced by telekinetic "Gatling" machine guns. These need to be recharged once a month. Additional optics and fire control have been added to give an improved tracking ability. The CIWS mounts are replaced with mounts that combine a pulse laser with short range missiles. Where the ship once mounted torpedo tubes, a medium ranged box launcher has been fitted. From destroyed amphibious missile tanks, each one has twelve missiles contained in them. Finally, the ship mounts a single long range missile box launcher above the aft turret. It is from a destroyed missile artillery tank. All of these mounts give the ship some measure of long range defense against incoming missiles.

The biggest weakness of the old cruiser is that her electronics generally have been little upgraded. She still retains her old radar system which is relatively short ranged and has a fraction of the tracking capabilities of a new radar system. The eventual plan is to replace the radar with a more capable system although it would require a bit more work than the additional weapon systems. In some cases, this might require a complete rebuilding of the superstructure. As well, none of the ships where the old gun cruiser were found had salvageable radar systems. In addition, the ECM system will likely be upgraded sometimes in the future to a more sophisticated system. The sonar system is worse that them by far and is even harder to replace than the radar systems. The crew jokes that the ship could not detect a submarine if a rock concert was going on aboard the sub. The easiest modification might be to mount a towed array sonar system.

Model Type: Modified "Sverdlov" class light cruiser
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Ghost / Techno-Wizard Cruiser
Crew: 420 (Original crew was around 1,200) with usually at least 8 to 12 techno-wizard and 6 to 10 other spell casting types.
Troops: 200 (Half cyborg troopers and some mystic cyborg troopers)
Horror Factor: 14

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

2Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (Pad Only)

M.D.C. by Location:

152 mm(5.98 inch) / 47 Caliber Barrels (3 each turret / 12 total):240 each
152 mm "MK-5-bis" Triple Turrets (4):820 each
100 mm / 70 Caliber Barrels (2 each mount / 12 total)100 each
100 mm "CM-5" Twin Mounts (6):280 each
[1] T.W. Gatling Cannons (2 each mount /12 total)100 each
V-11/V-11M "Gatling" Mounts (6):160 each
[1] CADS-N-6 Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems (8):225 each
[1] Long Range Missile Battery (1):250
[1] Medium Range Missile Batteries / Box Launchers (2):125 each
[1] “Fireworks” Magic Chaff and Flare Dispensers (8):20 each
[2] Bridge / Superstructure:1,200
[3] Search Radar Tower:500
[4] Main Body:4,500
[5] Armor of Ithan Force Field (Three Times per Day):1,000

[1] These hit locations are not original systems on the ship. As such, they do not share the regeneration of damage with the rest of the ship.
[2] Destroying Search Radar Tower will eliminate long range radar system. Due to not being an original system, radar system will not regenerate damage which it takes.
[3] If the Bridge / Tower is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but with a -15% to piloting rolls.
[4] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.
Note: The ship will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Only original systems / locations regenerate themselves.
[5] As per the spell “Armor of Ithan” - Magic, fire, lightning, and cold all inflict one-half damage. Each activation lasts for 30 minutes.

Surface: 38 mph (33 knots / 61.2 kph). The ship can operate at three quarters speed on half boilers (three boilers), two-thirds at one third boilers (two boilers), and one third at one sixth boilers (one boiler)
Range: 875.2 miles (750 nautical miles / 1408.5 km) for each full recharge (requires 100 P.P.E.) One boilers are charged per casting and each can propel the ship for up 125 nautical miles (requires 25 P.P.E each). The ship normally carries four months worth of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 688.97 feet (210 meters) overall and 672.57 feet (205 meters) at waterline
Draft: 23.81 feet (7.26 meters) full load
Width: 72.17 feet (22 meters)
Displacement: 16,200 tons normal load and 17,790 fully loaded
Cargo: 200 tons (181.4 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Was original steam propulsion (4 boilers / oil fired) but has been converted to a Magical power supply.
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Four (4) Triple Barrel 152 mm/57 (5.98 inch) Pattern 1938 Mk5-bis Turrets: The ship has two turrets forward and two turrets aft. These turrets have a 150 degree rotation and can angle up to 45 degrees. Rate of fire is slow, only about eight rounds per minute even after improved automation. Most for use against surface targets although can engage aircraft (-4 to strike / gets automatic dodge.) Plasma rounds are available which inflict greater damage than other rounds. No extended range projectiles have been developed for gun mount.
    Maximum Effective Range: 18.77 miles (16.30 nautical miles / 30.215 km)
    Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for High Explosive, 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 ft (2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for Plasma. Use the statistics for 155 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information when using artillery rounds.)
    Rate of Fire: Two per barrel per melee round (maximum of 6 rounds per turret or 24 rounds per melee round firing all turrets)
    Payload: 2202 rounds total. (558 rounds each turret for all but turret four / turret four has 528 rounds total)
  2. Six (6) Twin 100/70 mm (3.9 inch) CM-5 Twin Mounts: The ship has three mounts of each side of the ship’s superstructure and the mounts serve dual purposes - both against aircraft and surface targets. Only three mounts can generally engage a single target. The barrels can be elevated up to 85 degrees and the turrets can rotate 200 degrees to engage targets on the forward and after quarters.
    Maximum Effective Range: 9.94 miles (8.63 nautical miles/ 16.0 km)
    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D4x10+10 M.D.C. with 12 ft (3.7 m) blast radius. High Explosive Armor Piercing: 1D6x10+10 M.D.C. with 5 ft (1.5 m) blast radius. Plasma: 2D6x10 M.D.C. with 15 ft (4.6 m) blast radius.
    Rate of Fire: Four shots per barrel per melee (Firing both barrels counts as one attack)
    Payload: 3,840 rounds (640 rounds per mount)
  3. Six (6) Twin V-11/V-11M Telekinetic "Gatling" Mounts: The ship has two mounts above the front main turrets and two mounts to either side. While the mounts are original, the telekinetic machine guns replace 37 mm gun mounts. Weapons 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. Both fire together at a single target.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 for both cannons on a single mount (12D6 per barrel)
    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.
  4. Eight (8) Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS Systems: Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems which combines both a rapid fire laser and a short range missile launchers. Mounted on the superstructure replacing the AK-230 mounts. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking systems. Short range missiles are designed to be able to track and target multiple missiles simultaneously. Laser system fires four shot bursts and is capable of destroying missiles and inflicting serious damage on aircraft. Laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle with extended range. System can be targeted against surface targets and ground targets.
    Maximum Effective Range: Laser Cannons: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Laser Cannons: 1D6x10 MD for four shot burst. Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type - Usually fragmentation. (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Laser Cannons: 6 attacks per melee. (+2 to strike aircraft; +3 to strike missiles.) Short Range Missiles: Can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) short range missiles per launcher. Can fire up to six times per melee in place of gun fire.
    Payload: Laser Cannons: Effectively unlimited. Short Range Missiles: 32 short range missiles per mount.
  5. Long Range Missile / Rocket Launcher: Located above the aft turret, this mount is stripped from a wrecked TM-262 missile artillery tank. Launcher has the ability to carry a total of twelve long range missiles. Unlike the launchers on the American "Morgan" missile vehicle, the launchers cannot fire medium range missiles. Missiles can be used against both surface targets and against aircraft. The launcher can rotate 360 degrees.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: Twelve (12) Long Range Missiles.
  6. Two (2) Medium Range Missile / Rocket Launchers: One is mounted on either side where torpedo tubes were originally mounted. These weapon mounts are stripped from destroyed amphibious tanks. Each one has a capacity for twelve medium range missiles. Missiles can be used against both surface targets and against aircraft. The launcher can rotate 360 degrees.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire:Each launcher can fire one at a time or in volleys of two or four.
    Payload: Twelve (12) Medium Range Missiles Each Launcher (24 Medium Range Missiles total.)
  7. 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.
      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.). The cost for all launchers to be recharged is 280 P.P.E. All launchers must be activated at the same time to operate correctly.
  8. Magical “Cloud of Fog” Generator: This system is built into the ship’s smoke stacks and unlike most magical systems, does not require magical from a spell caster and instead uses the steam from the ships engines to produce the cloud of fog.
    Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) in all directions
    Effect: Produces a fog bank that obscures vision. Visibility is reduced to 60 feet inside the cloud and even with thermal sensors, a penalty of -2 to strike parry and dodge
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  9. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The vessel has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the ship. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the ships crew or the ship itself. The P.P.E. and I.S.P. values listed inside of the parenthesis are if using higher P.P.E. costs for larger vehicles.
    Special Features:
      Breath without Air (8th Level) - 5 P.P.E. or 10 I.S.P. (20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.)
      Impervious to Energy (8th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)
      Invisibility-Superior (8th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)

Special Systems:

The ship can be considered to have all systems standard on a robot vehicle (no life support though) plus the following special features:

Special Abilities / Quarks as a Haunted Vehicle:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr 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. ]

Image drawn and copyrighted by Gollevainen and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). Click on line drawing for a better view.

Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill ( for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.