TW-F-19 Ghostrider class Techno-Wizard Stealth Fighter:

Capt. Anna "Grey" Mauser, NGR Luftwaffe, watched as the Coalition Talon fighters preparing to make a bombing run on Tolkeen lines. It had been interesting at first but had been getting boring after a few days even though the feel of being the aircraft was incredible. The only really interesting thing had happened in the last few missions to North America had been that stealth fighter that seems to come from an unknown source. If it had not looked like an American pre-rifts Lockheed SR-71 she would have believed it was alien in design. The ground personnel had compared the design to their files and had found a match in their database. Even she could not catch that thing and it seemed to take no damage from any attacks that the Coalition fighter seemed to be able to throw at it. It did not even show up on her infra-red sensors. If she was not a cyborg with the fighter an extension of herself, she would surely be yawning.

Aurora Earhart decided that the best place to test her fighter was on the Coalition front against the city of Tolkeen. She had been waiting carefully using invisibility so that no one would be able to see her fighter. She saw two Coalition Talon fighters heading in her direction. She allowed them to pass and dropped behind one of them. They seemed to see nothing. She locked on with her mini-missile launchers and fired eight mini-missiles towards the rearmost of the fighter. As soon as the missiles were fired, the Ghostrider became visible. The eight tiny missiles blew away the rear of the Coalition fighter. At the same time she went active on her radar to get a lock for her medium range missiles on the other fighter as the Coalition pilot brought it to full thrust in an attempt to escape.

The Grey Death’s radar detector went crazy as Captain Mauser detected the radar of the Ghostrider tracking on the second Talon fighter. It had appeared from nowhere and had blown away one of the Talons before she even detected. Four medium range missiles came from under the new fighter and chased the second Talon which was trying to make a run for it. The new fighter was black and sort of bell shaped. The radar emissions seemed to be those of radar system built by Metalworks Industries. The problem was that there was no known Metalworks' design of this configuration. It was but a few seconds before that fighter went down in flames as well. As suddenly as it began, the fighter shut off its radar and began a run for wherever it called home. The NGR captain could detect the powerful search / fire control radars of Coalition Striker fighters. It might be a good idea to leave the area. While it was doubtful that the Coalition fighters could detect her there was always the possibility. It would not be good for the Coalition to find out that the NGR is spying on them or blame her for the attack on the Talons.

Apparently one of the Talons had managed to send a help message back to base because Aurora could detect the high powered radars of the Striker fighters. It was possible they could penetrate her stealth and the fighter’s intangibility is strictly limited. It was time to leave the area. She brought the Ghostrider's engines to full power. If she was detected, she would activate the Intangibility and escape that way. She saw out of the corner of her eyes a flash. It was the engines of another fighter pulling away at about a ninety degree course to hers. She looked and saw that it looked nothing like any she had seen before. On an impulse she decided to follow it. If the Coalition had a new fighter, others would need to know of it. It was traveling at just over mach 2. She could just barely follow it if she went intangible.

"Great", thought the Capt Mauser. The fighter had decided to follow her. She kicked herself to full power to attempt to escape. She was rewarded by the other fighter immediately falling behind. Someone now knew her aircraft existed. She turned her fighter back towards the east for her long flight home. She thought about what type of report she would have to write when she got back to her side of the Atlantic.

While not as fast as the Black Ghost, the Coalition is deeply concerned with this fighter due its stealth and special abilities similar to the Black Ghost. While the speed of the fighter allows them to be pursued by most Coalition fighters, each time they have simply disappeared from radar and been unable to see visually. The techno-wizard fighters have been damaged in attack runs but none have been destroyed and in most cases they seem to be invulnerable. There are stories of shots going through these fighters as well. It is obvious that the Coalition has a shoot on sight order with these fighters as well and that the orders do little good. It is believed than even Triax may have taken note of this design.

Unlike the Techno-Wizard SR-71 and AV-8 aircraft, the F-19 is based on a fictional aircraft from novels during the Nineteen-Eighties. For that reason there are no airframes to build the aircraft on and the techno-wizards building the other designs have been having problems producing the enchantments on their aircraft without using pre-rifts aircraft frames. The designer of the Ghostrider, a female techno-wizard that goes by the name Aurora Earhart, has had not such problem. She believes that the whole reason that the designers have been unable to put the enchantments in the aircraft have been due to psychological reasons. This may be so but while she does not a pre-rifts frame, she uses as many pre-rifts components in her aircraft for what she considers aesthetic reasons. The designers of the other aircraft claim that her use of pre-rifts components is what allows the enchantments to work on her aircraft. Still, it is much easier to find old components of aircraft than intact aircraft or even just the aircraft's frames. She also did work on both the Merlin and Black Ghost where she got the knowledge necessary to enchant the aircraft. She has used the best of both designs for her fighters. Although only three have been built, potential purchasers are very interested in the design and she has orders for several dozen more. One group that is extremely interested is the Texas Irregulars mercenary company.

The Ghostrider design involves a lot of advanced technology in addition to the magic used in the fighter. While the aircraft looks basically like the bell shaped design showed for the F-19 design, all of the angles have been calculated by computer to give maximum stealth and the angles are subtly different. The basic airframe is believed to have been developed by Metalworks Industries along with the engines of the fighters. The engines allow the fighter to reach Mach 1.4 normally and have VTOL thrusters built into the wings of the aircraft. They do not appear to be as advanced as the engines carried on the Black Ghost and are far less powerful. The actual body is molded from mega-damage composites and while it does not have the special features of the body of the Merlin or the Black Ghost, it is far easier to repair.

All weapons on the fighter are of conventional origin. The main weapon is a modified version of the laser portion of the JA-12 juicer assault rifle. The mount pulls power from the fighter reactor and appears identical to those carried on many Metalworks' fighter designs. The weapon mount is far lighter than any rail gun and requires only a small amount of space. Mounted behind the cockpit and above the fighter’s engines are mini-missile launchers on either side. While only fairly small number of mini-missiles are carried, they add much to the fighter’s combat capabilities. Under the main body of the fighter is an ordnance bay that can carry larger missiles or bombs. Up to four long range missiles or heavy bombs can be carried. The laser mount seems to indicate te connection between the Ghostrider and Metalworks Industries. The mini-missile launchers appear similar to those carried on the Nightfox fighter that Iron Heart Armament planned to produce and it is believed some of the engineers at Iron Heart Armament defected to Metalworks.

The most important magical enchantment on the aircraft is the ability of the fighter to become intangible in the same fashion as the Black Ghost. The fighter cannot be intangible while attacking but still useful when approaching targets and when trying to escape. All sensors work while the fighter is intangible. The fighter can travel through solid objects and can travel about 50% faster than normal while intangible. When the fighter’s engines are not providing thrust, the aircraft will slow down until it glides like a feather. Because it is expected that the Ghostrider will end up fighting more often than the Black Ghost, Aurora provided a magical force field to protect it from damage while in combat. Finally, the fighter has magical chaff and flare dispensers to trick missiles. The fighter has normal techno-wizard additions than need to be activated by the pilots magic energy as well including invisibility.

Like stated previously, many of the components are salvaged from material found in pre-rifts aircraft graveyards. Most common components come from F-22 and F-35 fighters but can come from many different designs including as old fighters as the F-4 Phantom and the newest pre-rifts fighter designs. Most common pre-rifts parts used on Ghostrider fighters include the flight stick, displays, computer components, and the flight seat. No two cockpits of the Ghostrider fighters have been identical. Like the other fighter designs, the Ghostrider's body and frame are laced with enchanted silver alloys and meteoric iron with imbedded quartz crystals.

Model Number: TW-F-19 Ghostrider
Vehicle Type: Double Engine Stealth Fighter
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

Ordnance Bay (1):100
[1] Nose Mounted Pulse Laser Cannon (1):50
[1] Side Mounted Mini Missile Launchers (2, behind cockpit)50 each
[2] Forward Canard Wings (2):30 each
[3] Wings (2):120 each
[4] Rudders (2):65 each
Cockpit / Reinforced Pilot Compartment:100
Pilot Seat (2):2
[5] Engines (2):150 each
[6] Main Body:320
Landing Gear (3):30 each
Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 times per day):150

[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot;” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] Destroying one or both Canard Wings will result in reducing bonuses to strike, dodge, and initiative by 4 and giving a -20% penalty to piloting the aircraft.
[3] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[4] Destruction of rudders will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but the fighter has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
[5] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a -15% penalty to piloting. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[6] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircraft's stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircraft's stealth by 10% of its total.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing.
Flying: Unlike the Merlin but like the Black Ghost, the Ghostriders engines are pure technological in design. Unlike the Black Ghost, the Ghostrider can hover. The TW-F-19 has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 (1,038.0 mph / 1,670.6 kph) while solid and Mach 2.1 (1,557.1 mph / 2505.8 kph) while Intangible. The aircraft must slow down to Mach 1.4 before becoming solid or piloting is at -20% while above that speed. The fighter’s cruise speed is up to Mach 1.0 (741.5 mph/ 1193.3 kph) and has a maximum altitude is about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters). Due to the fact that all ordnance is carried in internal bays, the aircraft's performance reduction when fully loaded is negligible.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Unlike most Coalition and other governments fighters, the Black Ghost does not overheat and can run indefinitely

Statistical Data:
Height 13.1 feet (4.0 meters)
Wingspan: 31.7 feet (9.65 meters)
Length: 59.0 feet (18.0 meters)
Weight: 11.0 tons (10 metric tons) empty and 16.5 tons (15 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include ordnance bays. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 4,000 lbs (1,816 kg) of cargo.
Black Market Cost: Only two have been sold. Each has cost around 80 million credits but there have been offers for as much as 120 million credits for the fighters.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Pulse Laser Cannon: The aircraft's laser cannon is from the barrels and inner working of the JA-12 Assault Rifle. The laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the aircraft. It is mounted on the fighter’s nose and is fixed forward. Unlike most Metalworks' fighter designs, the fighter only carries one laser cannon.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega-Damage: 4D6 for single shot and 1D6x10+10 for three round burst from cannon.
    Rate of Fire:Equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A small mini-missile launcher is mounted behind the cockpit over the fighter’s engine. The launchers are retractable to reduce the fighter’s drag. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger punch than the laser cannons.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
    Payload: 16 total; 8 mini-missiles in each launcher.
  3. Internal Ordnance Bay: The fighter has a large bay in the main body that can carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance types include missiles or bombs. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. An equivalent number of torpedoes or depth charges to the number of missiles and bombs may also be carried.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two to thirty two but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
    Payload: 16 short range missile or light bombs, 8 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 4 long range missile or heavy bomb. Ordnance can be mixed and torpedoes and depth charges may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  4. Magical “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (1): In many ways this system is similar to technological versions of the Chaff/Flare system. 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 identical to the Triax Anti-Missile chaff but instead of being reloaded, it is recharged by spells.
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 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. The dispenser is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.).
  5. Magical Intangibility Field: Very unusual enchantment that give the aircraft the ability to become intangible or be unaffected by most normal attacks. While intangible, the fighter is only affected by magical and psionic attacks. The aircraft can actually pass through solid objects and will glide slowly to the ground instead of crashing if it has no forward velocity. The aircrafts speed is greatly boosted (Mach 2.1) and can glide for vast distances while intangible. The aircraft must slow down to Mach 1.4 before becoming solid or piloting is at -20% while at that speed. While systems on the aircraft all work, weapon systems cannot be used to attack targets that are solid. Sensor systems work on the aircraft itself but the Black Ghost is undetectable by radar and the engine noise is reduces to a small fraction of normal.
    Duration: 30 minutes and can be activated up to three times per day
  6. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Black Ghost has the following techno-wizard modifications built into the aircraft. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot.
    Special Features:
      Shadow Meld (6th Level) - 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.
      Impervious to Energy (6th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.
      Invisibility-Superior (6th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.

Special Equipment:
The TW-F-19 Ghostrider has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed. The special equipment is a combination of both magic and technology.

COMBAT BONUSES: The Ghostrider is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill. These bonuses are in addition to those from the piloting skill.

[ 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. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.