Northern Gun X-12 Super Samson Power Armor:

The NG-X9 “Sampson” power armor has always been considered a flagship product of Northern Gun. Relatively inexpensive, it has excellent firepower and is an all around solid design. Many mercenary companies operate the Sampson as their main power armor. Even today, with cheaper power armors such as those produced by Chipwell, it is still quite popular.

Still, the design has run against some criticism. Of course you get the idiot who argues that it is not flight capable but it was never designed for that. Some of the more reasonable criticisms include that the power armor is lighter armored than the Coalition SAMAS even though larger and not flight capable. Another is that the Samson should be able to mount more mini-missiles easily. Some enterprising owners of the Samson had already had additional missile launchers added to their armor to increase its firepower.

Observing both these owners and the new Coalition power armors, especially the Striker SAMAS, the engineers at Northern Gun decided that they could improve the Samson’s design without any major increase in the cost of the power armor. The development of the Super Sampson took a very short time and was almost a field modification in the ease of development. Electronic and software changes actually were harder than most of the other modfications.

Even though the modifications to the new armor are comparatively minor especially when compared to Coalition new SAMAS designs, it was given the name “Super Samson” and given a new designation the NG-X12. Some have remarked that this in many ways quite an exaggeration, the thoughts are that the Company wanted to suggest that the design compares to the standard Sampson as the Super SAMAS compares to the standard SAMAS.

The actual reality is that the Super Samson power armor uses the same frame, same power plant, and has a ninety percent part compatibility with the original Samson design. With the exception of the armor, Northern Gun offers as an option upgrading standard Samson to the “Super Sampson” configuration. A fair number of owners have upgraded in this manner and are more are likely to. Northern Gun also continues producing the standard X9 Sampson although more and more customers have been switching over to the Super Sampson.

It must be said that even if exaggerated, the Super Sampson is generally an excellent design and is both more survivable and considerably heavier armed. New production versions of the Super Sampson used improved composites and alloys. This results in a thirty percent greater ability to withstand battle damage. Unfortunately, the standard Sampson would have to be stripped to the frame in order to be rebuilt with improved armor. As such, it is simply not considered cost effective.

The NG-202B rail gun of the original Samson is retained unmodified. It is modified though from the machine gun version with a greater rate of fire. With this greater rate of fire, the NG-202B carried on the Samson is able to fire heavier bursts than the C-40R rail gun carried on the Coalition SAMAS. The Northern Gun rail gun is able to inflict about fifty percent greater damage although it is a bit heavier. A total of around six thousand rounds of ammunition can be carried. A second ammunition drum can be carried although it has to be changed out when the first is empty.

The big change and most visible modification to the Super Sampson is in the additional mini-missile launchers. Originally, the Samson only mounted a pair of mini-missile tubes on each forearm. These are retained and the Super Sampson adds six mini-missile tubes on each shoulder and five on each leg. As a result, payload increased from four mini-missiles to a total of twenty-six mini-missiles, almost equaling the Striker SAMAS total of thirty mini-missiles. The missile control system allows volleys of up to four mini-missiles to be fired as a single volley. The modification to the fire control was actually harder than mounting the additional mini-missile launchers on the power armor

With the vibro-claws of the Super SAMAS power armor, such weapons have become popular. As such, it was decided to replace the original vibro-weapons with more powerful vibro-claws. These claws are similar to standard had held vibro-claws except they pull power from the power armor’s reactor. As such, they are nowhere near as powerful as the claws on the Super SAMAS. The reality is that such claws are rarely used anyway.

Externally, the Super Samson power armor looks identical to the original Samson design with the exception of the extra mini missile launchers and some minor cosmetic changes. The additional weight of the weapon systems are not enough to make the Super Sampson really any slower than the original Sampson.

Model Type:


Upgraded Sampson


New Manufacture Super Sampson

Class: Armored Infantry Assault Suit

Crew: One

M.D.C. By Location:



Rear Booster Jets (2):

50 each

60 each

Rail Gun Ammo Drum (Rear):

30 each

40 each

NG-202B Super Rail Gun:



Forearm Mini Missile Launchers (2):

50 each

50 each

Shoulder Mini-Missile Launchers (2):

60 each

60 each

Leg Mini-Missile Launchers (2):

50 each

50 each

Arms (2):

80 each

90 each

Legs (2):

100 each

110 each

[1] Head:



[2] Main Body:




[1] Destroying the head of the power armor will eliminate all forms of optical enhancements and sensory systems. The pilot is forced to rely on his own human vision and senses. Furthermore, all power armor combat bonuses to strike, parry, and dodge are lost! Note: The head is a small and difficult target to hit, shielded by an exhaust tube, wings, and shoulder plating. Consequently, it can only be hit when a character makes a called shot and even then the attacker is - 4 to strike.

[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the power armor down completely, making it useless.


Running: 150 mph (240 kph) maximum. Note that the act of running does tire out its operator, but at 10% of the usual fatigue rate thanks to the robot exo-skeleton.

Leaping: The powerful robot legs can leap up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) high or across unassisted by the thrusters. A jet thruster assisted leap can propel the unit up to 100 feet (30.5 m) high and 200 feet (61 meters) lengthwise but cannot maintaining flight because the thrusters do not produce enough thrust for flight.

Underwater Capabilities: Swimming: The NG-X12 can swim by using the same types of paddling leg and arm movements as a human at a maximum speed of roughly four mph (6.4 km/3.4 knots). It can also walk along the bottom of the sea at about 25% of its normal running speed. Using the jet thrusters, the NG-X12 can travel on the surface of water at 10 mph (16.1 kph/8.7 knots), underwater at 15 mph (24.1 kph/13 knots).

Maximum Ocean Depth: 1,000 feet (305 meters).

Statistical Data:

Height: 11 feet (3.35 meters)

Width: 5 feet (1.5 meters)

Length: 4 feet, 6 inches (1.4 meters)

Weight: 480 lbs (217.7 kilograms) without rail gun, ammunition, and missiles. 1075 lbs (487.6 kilograms) fully loaded.

Physical Strength: Equal to a P.S. 30

Cargo: Small storage area for small equipment, supplies, and personal weapons. Compartment is the size of a small footlocker.

Power System: Nuclear, average energy life is 15 years.

Black Market Cost: 1.05 million credits. Upgrading a normal Samson to Super Samson configuration (With the exception of armor) costs 300,000 credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) NG-202B Super Rail Gun: This rail gun is identical to that carried on the original Samson with a higher rate of fire and higher payload than the machine gun version of the NG-202. For power, the rail gun is hooked up to the power armors nuclear power supply. Heavier than the rail gun on the Coalition SAMAS, it is also more powerful.

    Weight: Gun: 210 lbs (94.5 kg). Ammo Drum: 300 lbs (135 kg).

    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)

    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds. Each round inflicts 1D6 M.D.C.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to pilot’s hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).

    Payload: 6,000 rounds (100 Bursts). A second drum can be hooked to the undercarriage of the rocket jets, but must be manually removed by another Samson or character with a strength of 26 or higher can replace the used drum. Reloading a drum will take about five minutes for those not trained, but a mere one minute by somebody trained in the use of Samson power armor.

  2. Twenty-Six (26) Mini-Missile Tube Tubes: The power armor retains the two missile tubes on each forearm from the original Sampson but adds six tube launchers on each shoulder and five tube launchers on the outsides of both legs. Each tube launcher carriers and can launch one missile before needing to be manually reloaded. All missile types may be carried but most common is plasma and armor piercing warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per mini-missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega Damage: As per mini-missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: On at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4).

    Payload: Twenty six (26) mini-missiles, two (2) each forearm, six (6) each shoulder, and five (5) on outside of each leg.

  3. Two (2) Vibro Blades: On each arm, the power armor has a triple bladed vibro blade. The vibro-claw is basically just the standard hand held vibro-claw which is powered by the armor’s fusion reactor. Replace the original knuckle blades.

    Range: Close combat only (Hand to hand)

    Mega-Damage: 2D6 + Punch Damage

    Number of Attacks: Equal to combined attacks (Usually 5 or 6).

    Payload: Tied to power supply so duration is effectively unlimited.

  4. Energy Rifles or Light Rail Gun and other hand-held weapons can be substituted in an emergency or used as a back-up weapon. Space limitations and the bulk of the armor limit additional weapons to one physically carried externally. The power armor also has a compartment the size of a small footlocker for additional weapons.

  5. Hand-to-Hand Combat: Rather than use a weapon, Pilot can engage in mega-damage hand to hand combat. See Power Armor Combat Training in Robot Combat section of Rifts. All abilities are the same as those on page 45 of Rifts.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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