Techno-Wizard Converted Frigate “HMS Iron Duke” (F234):

The Type 23 Frigate was originally designed as an anti-submarine frigate. They were developed just as the Cold War was ending as saw the collapse of the first Soviet Union. The design incorporated many of the lesions learned during the Falklands War. By the time of the great revolution in high tech super strong materials in the Twenty-Thirties, they were considered obsolete however and those remain in British service were soon retired. A few limped along another decade or so in foreign service.

One of the class was preserved as a museum ship however. This was the Iron Duke. With some of the new paints and methods of preservation, she was able to be kept in relatively good shape even though maintenance on museum ships was generally considered a pretty low priority. There was even some talk about activating her when much of the British fleet disappeared in the second Falklands War although never real seriously. She would have needed to be almost completely rebuilt and would have been of limited effectiveness.

How she survived the coming of the Rifts is unknown. The magical apocalypse changed much of the world and destroyed most of the world's navies. Much of the navies of the world were gone including most of the most advanced designs. Old vessels could be considered once again effective. This included the frigate “Iron Duke” She was found by a group of adventures who were able to restore her to some kind of effectiveness. They added a bit of armor so she might survive attacks but did little to her. She changed hands several times over the next few years.

Eventually, she found her way into the hands of a group of techno-wizards. Most of the previous owners has simply patched her back together in a slapdash way. This group however decided to completely restore and refit her. Using the spell of “Mend the Broken,” they were able to almost completely restore her. It was decided that a major effort would be made to make her far more combat effective. It ended up as almost complete rebuilding in many respects.

Originally she was powered by a diesel generators powering an electrical propulsion and a pair of gas turbines for boosting her speed. This whole system was gutted and a pair of extremely powerful electrical motors took their place. These give the frigate a top speed of thirty-two knots. At first a pair of fusion turbines were strongly considered. Many old vessels have been converted in this manner. Instead of being powered conventionally, the electrical motors are powered through magical energy. They give a range of about one thousand nautical miles between needing to be recharged. While only about one eighth the range under the originally propulsion system, it requires only a comparatively small amount of magical energy to keep operating and the ship has almost infinite range in effect. One advantage of an electrical propulsion system is that it is extremely quiet. The electrical generators are similarly replaced by magical system.

Through a series of magical spells, the hull and superstructure of the ship is enchanted so that it can withstand the damage of modern weapons. Some of the lighter weapon systems and other features are replaced by modern composites and alloys. As well, the weight freed up by the fact that fuel is no longer needed allowed the addition of more armor. The ship is actually surprisingly tough for an old converted vessel. For additional protection, the ship has an “Armor of Ithan” force field which can be activated up to three times per day. In addition, there is an enchantment which allows the frigate to become impervious to energy weapon fire. This requires magical energy each time it is activated.

Some of the older weapons were retained while others were replaced. Probably the most important replacement was where the old Sea Wolf missile system had been located. The previous owners had never tried to reactivate the weapon system and plated over it. Instead, it was replaced by a eight cell Mk 41 vertical launch system. Almost as old a system, it is usually loaded with four medium range missiles per cell for a total of thirty-two medium range missiles. While this is the same payload as the original Sea Wolf system, the missiles have a much greater range and have their own active seekers.

The 30 mm gun mounts are also replaced. In this case with techno-wizard telekinetic machine guns replace them. Powered through magical energy, it gives the ability to deal with small targets and can effectively engage both surface and air targets. It can even potentially engage missiles. Periodically, the enchantments need to be renewed but otherwise has a virtually unlimited payload. The only real other change is the addition of a short range missile launcher on the roof of the helicopter hanger. This launcher was mounted by the previous owners where the Sea Wolf launchers were located and is a Pre-Rifts RAM missile launcher.

The other weapon systems are retained largely unmodified although new ordnance was adapted for them including new gun rounds, missiles, and torpedoes. All of the weapon systems were also completely reconditioned. Many of her previous owners used her more as a gun platform, with her 4.5 inch gun mount, than anything else. Her main strike weapon against other ships still was her eight long range anti-ship missiles. Sensor systems are also little modified from her final Pre-Rifts configuration. While in service, her radar and sonar system were upgraded and are relatively good even by the standards of many post Rifts systems, many of which are based on even older Pre-Rifts systems. The frigate crew does have a number of “See the Invisible” optics so that they can see targets which are invisible.

Several magical features were added to the frigates in addition to those previously listed. One of the most impressive in the enchantment of “Globe of Silence.” While the frigate design was already extremely quiet, this put the vessel at an entirely new level. Carried on several techno-wizard submarine designs, the enchantment renders the frigate effectively undetectable while the enchantment is active. The hull sonar is not effective with the enchantment, sound unable to reach the system, but the towed array is still quite effective. This makes the frigate an incredibly dangerous opponent for a submarine. A fight between a submarine with this enchantment and the frigate would be extremely interesting with neither side likely able to target the other.

Other enchantments include making the ship invisible although if the ship attacks, the enchantment dissolves. For crew comforts, the enchantment of “Sustain” allows the crew to be protected from gas attacks and also means that they do not actually have to eat. To allow all of the enchantments to be powered, the frigate has a magical energy battery. The magical energy battery does not recharge when the ship is on a ley line but can be charged from spell casters and does recharge on ley lines and nexus points.

One advantage of all of the magical systems is that the ship requires a crew only about one third of what it did originally. In addition to the frigate being extremely comfortable for the crew, this allows a large troop compliment to be carried with a common compliment of two dozen with mystic power armors and another two dozen with more conventional flying power armors. There is a small hanger and the frigate usually has a single helicopter used for anti-submarine warfare. A number of the crew need to be techno-wizards and / or other spell casters. These make up the senior officers of the crew. In addition, there usually are a number of apprentice techno-wizards training as part of the ship’s crew.

Model Type: TW Converted Type 23 DD-710 Frigate
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Magically Enchanted Frigate
Crew: 65 with usually at least four (4) techno-wizard and four (4) other spell casting types.
Troops: 4 Helicopter / VTOL Pilots / Crew, 24 Mystic Power Armor Pilots, and 24 Conventional Power Armor Troops.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
Power Armors:

24Mystic Power Armors (Or other Light Power Armors)
24Conventional Flying Power Armors (Gypsy Moth, Flying Titan, SAMAS, Predator, etc)
Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:
1Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft

M.D.C. by Location:

4.5 inch (114 mm) /55 Mk 8 Naval Gun Mount (Forward):180
4.5 inch (114 mm) / 55 Barrel60
Telekinetic Gatling Machine-Gun Mounts (2, Sides):100 each
Mk 41 Tactical eight cell Vertical Launch System (1, Forward):80
Mk 141 Missile Canisters (8 total, Behind Mk 41 VLS):100 each
GDC Mk 49 Rolling Airframe Missile Launcher (1, Above Hanger):150
Twin Fixed 12.75 inch (324 mm) Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):25 each
“Fireworks” Magic Chaff and Flare Dispensers (2, superstructure):20 each
[1] Type 997 Artisan 3D Radar System (Superstructure):200
Hanger (Aft):300
Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):60
[2] Main Body:1,500
[3] Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (Three Times per Day):500

[1] Destroying the Type 997 Artisan 3D Radar System will eliminate the ability to track air targets at long range. The ship still has backup systems equal to those on robot vehicles.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the ship’s structural integrity, causing it to sink. There are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.
[3] As per the spell “Armor of Ithan” - Magic, fire, lightning, and cold all inflict one-half damage. Each activation lasts for 30 minutes (120 melee rounds.)

Surface: 36.85 mph (32 knots/59.30 kph).
Range: 1,000 nautical miles (1,151.5 miles / 1,853.2 km) for each full recharge (requires four castings of “Call Lightning” for 60 P.P.E. due to size of engines.) Life support is “Sustain” spell and has effectively virtually unlimited duration (Requires 24 P.P.E. or 48 I.S.P. and has a duration of six days per activation.) The frigate carries about twelve months worth of supplies on board (“Sustain” provides all food requirements.)

Statistical Data:
Draft: 16 feet 5 inches (5.0 meters) hull, 18 feet (5.5 meters) screws, and 24 feet (7.3 meters) under sonar dome.
Length: 436 feet 4 inches (133 meters) overall
Width: 52 feet 10 inches (16.1 meters)
Displacement: 4,000 tons standard and 4,900 full 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. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by aircraft, extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Was original combination Diesel / Electric and Gas Turbine but has been converted to a magical power supply (Electrical.)
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale. Such a vessel, if available for sale, would probably cost 150 or more million.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Royal Armament 4.5 inch (114 mm)/55 MK 8 Mod 1 Naval Gun: Based upon a naval gun from the mid twentieth century, this design has changed little, except for a stealthy gun shield and improved reliability and firepower. It is fully automated, and is usually aimed by radar. The gun can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft. The use of rocket assisted projectiles is also possible.
    The turret can rotate 360 and has a 90 arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: 17.4 miles (28 km)
    Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 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. Rocket projectiles: 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for High Explosive, 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 4 ft (1.2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for Plasma. Use the statistics for 105 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate.)
    Rate of Fire: Up to six single shots per melee.
    Payload: 800 rounds total.
  2. Two (2) Telekinetic Gatling Cannons: These mounts are on either side of the ship’s superstructure, replacing the original 30 mm mounts. Mounts 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 weapon's 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 systems have been added to enable the system to track and target aircraft and missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 12D6
    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.
  3. One (1) Short MK 41 Vertical Launch Missile Launcher: Mounted behind the 114 cm gun mount, the launcher has eight cells for missiles. Replaces the “Sea Wolf” vertical launch system. These are the smaller “short” version of the missile launcher and cannot carry the longer cruise and long range missiles. From the beginning, the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable. The launcher was originally design for the ESSM Missile. On Rifts Earth, the launchers have been adapted to hold four medium range missiles per cell. Missiles are used for defense against aircraft and missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per long range, or medium 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), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: Eight (8) cells for missiles in vertical launcher system [Ppossible total of thirty-two (32) medium range missiles.] Only medium range missiles can be carried and the ship carries no reloads.
  4. Eight (8) Mk 141 Long Range Missile Canister Launchers: These launchers are special canisters mounted behind the vertical launch system and in front of the ship’s superstructure. These canisters were copied from Old United States Harpoon canister launchers. While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily jettisoned if damages. While any long range missile type can be carried, usually special surface skimming missiles will be carried in launchers and are used against surface targets only.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (Surface skimming missiles have 25% less range than normal long range missile, 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), four (4), or eight (8 - All launcher operates together) missiles.
    Payload: One missile each launcher for a grand total of eight long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
  5. One (1) GDC Mk 49 Rolling Airframe Missile Quad Launcher: This is a Pre-Rifts RAM missile launching system and has been modified to use 21 Short Range Missiles. Mounted above the hanger, this missile mounts main purpose is for inner anti-missile point defense and was originally designed to deal with cruise missiles. Short Range Missiles are usually a mixture of 50% Armor Piercing and 50% Plasma. Launchers can lock onto multiple targets at the same. The systems missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per short 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 and can be used up to twice per melee.
    Payload: 21 missiles.
  6. Two (2) Twin 12.75 inch (324 mm) Torpedo Launchers: There are two fixed launchers on each side of the ship. Each tube can launch 12.75 in (324 mm) torpedoes. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines but can be targeted on surface targets as well. Ship carries 40 reloads for torpedoes. Treat warheads as medium range missile warheads.
    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32 km).
    Mega Damage: By Medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) torpedoes per side. Reloading takes two (2) full melees.
    Payload: Two (2) torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of four (4) Four (4) torpedoes (Has 24 torpedoes for reloads.)
  7. Two (2) “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispensers: 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 70 P.P.E. All launchers must be activated at the same time to operate correctly.
  8. Magical “Globe of Silence” Silencing Feature: Unlike on the Nautilus class submarine, this enchantment is not always active but instead needs to be activated when needed. The enchantment is an application of a modified version of the spell “Globe of Silence.” The hull, propellers, and all exterior features are protected by this spell which extends outward by 1 foot (0.3 meters). This blocks all interior noises (including the launching of torpedoes) as well. This renders the frigate completely undetectable using active sonars and can only be detected by passive sonar by trying to find an area which there are no sounds (close to impossible, 5% chance with an incredible sonar operator). Torpedoes fired against the vessel have penalties of -10 to strike the submarine and lose all bonuses. The hull sonar of the frigate does not extend out from the silencing system but the towed array sonar does. Without the “Globe of Silence,” the frigate has standard penalties to be detected.
    Duration: Ten (10) minutes per activation.
    P.P.E. Cost: 40 each activation.
  9. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The “Iron Duke” has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the ship. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the ships crew or P.P.E. battery. 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:
      Sustain (6th Level) - 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P. (24 P.P.E. or 48 I.S.P.)
      Impervious to Energy (6th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)
      Invisibility-Superior (6th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. (80 P.P.E. or 160 I.S.P.)

Special Systems:
The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle (non environmental) plus the following special features:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.