Laika Station L-12 Star Raven:

In many ways, the L-7 Adventurer is a very good vehicle but it is not very fast or very well armed. These weaknesses have been a problem since Laika station first began production of the vehicle and it was decided that a new vehicle that filled the same role would be produced to replace the L-7. The leaders decided that it would be easier than modifying the existing design. The leaders of the Station asked a group of engineers to come up with a new vehicle design and the eventual result was the L-12 Star Raven. It took several years for the L-12 to be developed but the new design passed all the tests with flying colors. The design was accepted and has begun entering service in their military. As units have their L-7 Adventurers replaced, the surplus L-7 Adventures are being sold for half their original cost. All manufacturing facilities that were producing L-7 Adventures have been retooled to produce L-12 Star Ravens with the exception that some production of repair parts. The present plan is to replace all L-7 Adventurers in the Laika station military forces over the space of two years with the L-12 Star Raven robot vehicles. Once replaced, the plan is to sell the new design to all other interested parties. The new shuttle / robot can be purchased on the open market but it presently costs about three times what they will sell for when they begin large scale selling of the vehicle.

The L-12 Star Raven looks completely different than the L-7. The body of the vehicle is shaped much like what would be expected for a jet fighter or atmospheric shuttle. Outside the fuselage are two pods that house both the vehicle's arms and the legs. The arms fold into special compartments to protect them when they are not in use. On top of the same pod are mini missile launchers. Between the main body and the pods are laser cannons. Because the vehicle is often used for various labor jobs as well as combat, it has four forward lights and two light that point in each direction. The exact direction of the lights can be manipulated.

The L-12 Star Raven carries over twice the firepower of an L-7 Adventurer. The laser cannons are a new model designed by a previously unknown engineer that no one on the station knows where he is from. The design was so excellent that when he presented it, he was immediately placed on the design staff for the L-12 Star Raven. The Cannons have a new feature not available to orbital weapon systems prior to the manufacture of this vehicle. The laser cannons are capable of a three round burst setting. The weapons are also variable frequency and draw less power than the original gun for the L-7 for the same damage. Housed in the top of the pods are mini missile launchers with forty mini missiles each for a total of 80 mini missiles. Finally, the vehicle has a special rack under the body that can carry missiles.

The electronics in the Star Raven are more like those in a fighter than a robot and can track and target at a longer range. The life support is increased as well and this robot vehicle is capable of moderate range inner system travel. The thrusters are one of the major modifications and the vehicle is capable of much higher space accelerations and atmospheric top speeds than previous models were capable of. The robot / shuttle is actually capable of trans-atmospheric travel. The maneuvering thrusters are placed all over the vehicle and are used to control the vehicle while in space.

Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the Vehicle / Shuttle's velocity and distance traveled:

Model Type: L-12
Class: Combat Robot / Shuttle
Crew: Two and can fit two passengers

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Rear Fusion Pulse Thrusters (4; 2 main body & 2 on side pods): 120 each
[2] Variable Frequency Pulse Laser Cannons (2):50 each
Mini Missile Launchers (2; one each side pod):50 each
[2] Spotlights (14; 4 front and 2 on other sides):2 each
Retractable Arms (2):65 each
Legs (2):150 each
Feet (2):50 each
Reinforced Pilots Compartment:200
[3] Main Body:450
Side Pods (2):225 each

[1] The Destruction of one engine reduces the ship’s acceleration by one quarter. The destruction of two Engines reduces the ship’s acceleration by one half. Destruction of three engines reduces acceleration by three quarters. Destroying all four fusion pulse thrusters means that the maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
[2] 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.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the robot down completely, making it useless.

Walking, Using Magnetic Boots: 10 mph (16.1 kph)
Running: 40 mph (712.6 km) maximum. Note that the act of running does not tire out its operator.
Leaping, in an Atmosphere: The powerful robot legs can leap up to 20 feet (6 m) 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 m) across without actually attaining flight.
Flying, in an Atmosphere: The Star Raven can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 24,170 mph / 38,900 kph) but will only do this when trying to escape a planet. The vehicle has a maximum acceleration of 4.8 G. When the shuttle is operating within an atmosphere, pilot will normally keep velocity below Mach 5 (3,707.3 mph / 5966.3 kph). The Star Raven can also hover in place.
Flying, Space: The vehicle does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The Star Raven can reach a top acceleration of 4.8 G but will normally travel at .6 G to conserve fuel. The vehicle will often travel at an acceleration of 0.6 for extended periods for patrol and shut down the engines and use inertia. Because the Star Raven is mostly unshielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles, the vehicle is not operated at speeds exceeding 20% of the speed of light.
Maximum Effective Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion rector gives power for two decades of service, the Star Raven is limited by the vehicles reaction mass. The reaction mass consists of mainly Deuterium (Hydrogen 2) and Helium 3. The Robot / Shuttle can be refueled at ground based facilities, space stations, and star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The vehicle can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The Star Raven carries 2 days (48 hours) of reaction mass for travel at 0.6 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for every 0.6 G of acceleration. This means the shuttle will burn 128 times faster at 4.8 G than at 0.6 G. This allows the Star Raven shuttle just over 22 minutes of fuel at 4.8 G. The vehicle will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the shuttle velocity. If the vehicle uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the vehicle will be unable to decelerate fully and the vehicle will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem. If the Star Raven runs out of fuel then it must be recovered by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.
The shuttle also carries supplies for pilot and crew for a period of two weeks and the life support will support the pilot and crew for up to four weeks before needing to be recharged.
Underwater Capabilities: Although not designed for underwater use, it can walk along the bottom of the sea at about 25% of its normal running speed. Using the jet thrusters, the Star Raven can travel on the surface of water at 50 mph (80 km/42.5 knots), underwater at 40 mph (64 km/34 knots) or fly above the water surface an normal speeds.
Maximum Ocean Depth: 3000 feet (915 meters).

Statistical Data
Height: 26 feet 3 inches (8.0 meters) with legs extended, 14 feet 9 inches (4.5 meters) with legs retracted
Width: 16 feet 5 inches (5 meters)
Length: 27 feet 11 inches (8.5 meters)
Weight: 17.6 tons (15 metric tons)
Physical Strength: Equal to a P.S. 25
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 4 ft x 4 ft x 3 ft (1.2 x 1.2 x .9 meters) compartment and storage for three rifles, three pistols, first aid kit, and small personal items.
Power System: Nuclear Fusion with average life span of 15 years
Market Cost: 36 million IOU because of the newness of the design and the fact the models are being presently used to replace L-7 Adventures. Eventual cost will be 12 IOU each

Weapon Systems

  1. Variable Frequency Pulse Laser Cannons (2): Mounted on either side of the cockpit. The weapon has 12 different possible frequencies to counter laser resistant armor. Setting seven counters USA-10 Glitter Boy and all other setting are designed to counter other laser resistant materials. These laser cannons have the ability to be positioned up or down 30 degrees. High powered lasers are controlled by the pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 3D6 for one cannon, 6D6 for both cannons, 1D6x10 for three round burst from one cannon, 2D6x10 for three round burst from both barrels (6 total shots)
    Rate of Fire:Equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  2. Mini-Missiles Launchers (2): On each side pod, the vehicle has a mini missile launcher. Each side pod carries twenty mini missiles for a total of forty missiles. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the vehicles speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself but penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini missile type, assume powered range is 8 x normal in space (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), eight (8), twelve (12), or twenty (20) mini-missiles.
    Payload: Each pod has 20 missiles for a total of 40 mini-missiles.
  3. Ordnance Rack: The Star Raven has missile racks on the bottom of the body. These racks can carry any missile from short range missiles to long range missiles. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself but penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range. Missiles can be mixed and matched at the rate of four shot range missiles or two medium range missiles for one long range missile.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, assume powered range is 8 x normal in space (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with missile types (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.
    Payload: 2 long range missiles, 4 medium range missile, or 8 short range missiles
  4. Forward Grapples (2): the shuttle / robot has two grapple that is used for docking with vehicles that do not have landing bays and to grab items. The Grapple is fired at a target and uses a claw to grab the target and the grapple has a breaking strain of 100 tons.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,640 feet (500 m)
    Mega Damage: None (S.D.C. Targets will take 1D4x10 S.D.C.)
    Rate of Fire: Once per four melees rounds each
    Payload: 1 shot but may be retracted an used again
  5. Energy Rifles & Other Rail Guns: The L-12 Star Raven can fire any other robot sized weapon currently in use in the orbital community including the rifles used by the robots of Moon Colony. Most noticeable this includes the VX-20 Super Cannon of the VRRDS-200 Mikado power armor.
    6. Hand to Hand combat: Unlike many other Robot designs, the L-12 is not very strong and has low hand to hand damages when compared to them. The Star Raven has decent kick damages.
      Restrained Punch: 1D4x10 S.D.C.
      Full Strength Punch: 1D4 M.D.C.
      Power Punch: 2D4 M.D.C. (Counts as two attacks)
      Full Strength Kick: 2D6 M.D.C.
      Leap Kick: 4D6 M.D.C. (Counts as two attacks)
      Body Flip /Throw: 1D4 M.D.C.

Special Equipment:
The Star Raven has all the systems standard to all Rifts Robot Vehicles with the following modifications:

Hand to Hand Combat: L-12 Star Raven Elite:

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Image drawn and copyrighted by Roman Kochnev ( .

More Roman Kochnev artwork at The Science Fiction Art and Design Portfolio of Roman Kochnev.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1998 & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.