Gryphon class Monitor (United Worlds Warlock):

The most important systems during the foundation of the United Worlds Warlock had huge system defense platforms built to defend them. At the time, they were considered the “Ultimate” design but were incredibly expensive and they were considered simply too costly to construct for every major star system within United Worlds Warlock spaced. As a result, government leaders looked towards a less expensive solution for important star systems which did not quite warrant a system defense platform.

Instead, it was decided to develop a smaller vessel which was still optimized for system defense roles. The design was designed to have greater acceleration than the huge platform while still having considerable firepower. As these ships do not mount faster than light drives, the usual term used for these vessels is as a monitor. Even those these platforms are tiny comparison to the Ultima class defense platform, there are far larger than most monitor designs, which average around the size of a heavy cruiser, and would be better to be compared to the size of a small battlecruiser.

Because of their simpler construction, these monitors required far less time to built and were considered a far better candidate for mass production. There were a number of systems where originally it was planned to built Ultima class defense platforms but later was changed to building these monitors. A number of these systems have multiple monitors built for system defense. One advantage in these cases is that the monitors can be deployed around the system if required.

In total, hundreds of these monitors were built before production has since ceased.. Over the years, a number of monitors have been destroyed but they are incredibly tough. As a result, the vast majority still survive and remain an important element with regards to system defense. Initially these monitors were all operated by the United Worlds Warlock Navy but a number were transferred to the control of various system defense forces.

Throughout their service lives, many of the monitors have been upgrade in various fashions although concentrating mostly on keeping electronics more or less current. At present, there is no plans to retire these vessels, unlike the Dwarven Iron Ships. Instead, a program for refitting these monitors has been developed with these ships slowly being upgraded and updated. The refit is similar to the refits being performed on the Ultima and Black Swan classes with improved point defense and improved logged range firepower. It is possible that a more modern design may eventually fill the same role as the monitor, likely using mostly conventional materials.

With regards to the monitor’s design, these system defense ships have many features in common with the Ultima class defense platform and the Black Swan class battlecruiser and are use many of the same building techniques. All three designs were born around the same time although actually the Black Swan class battlecruiser was the last of the three ship designs to enter service.

Interestingly, even though the Black Swan class battlecruiser is actually larger than the monitor and mounts a heavier main battery, it actually costs around the same amount as the monitor. In large part this is due to using far more conventional materials in the construction of the battlecruisers. In addition, the battlecruisers were built in full shipyards, reducing construction costs further.

Otherwise, these designs share many similarities in appearance. These include mounting multiple heavy turrets and have the appearance of an ancient naval vessel. If one were to compare the design to historic pre-Rifts naval vessels, one would likely consider the monitors to most closely resemble pre-dreadnought battleships with a large thruster taking the place of the fantail of the ship. In a similar manner to the Black Swan class battlecruiser, different builders constructed these ships with vast differences in appearance even though their performances are broadly similar.

In common with a Dwarven Iron Ship, the hull of the monitor is constructed of enchanted iron plates, generally riveted to the frame. These enchanted plates make the monitors far more expensive to repair than most newer designs generally are. Due to the cost of the enchanted plates, a number of crews have replaced damage enchanted plates with normal high strength alloys and composites. This is especially true with monitors operated by independent system defense forces.

Even though far larger, these monitors mount a magical force field similar in power output to the one mounted on the Dwarven Iron Ship. Not considered quite as critical, the monitor also mounts a similar mystical energy generator to the Dwarven Iron Ship. In comparison, the Black Swan class battlecruiser mounts both a more powerful force field generator and mystical energy generator.

Compared to the Ultima class defense platform, these monitors have far more powerful propulsion. However, most United Worlds Warlock warships, including the Dwarven Iron Ship, have far more powerful propulsion. The relatively low acceleration means that in some cases they may have tactical disadvantage against attackers. Propulsion is conventional contr-grav in design. Power to the ship is provided by a combination fusion and techno-wizardry reactor.

With regard to weaponry, these monitors are similarly armed compared to the Black Swan battlecruiser and Ultima class system defense platform although the monitor does carry less weaponry. In the bow of the vessel is mounted a Rifts Projector Cannon. In the front of the superstructure and aft of the superstructure, the monitor mounts a turret. Each turret has three cannons which can be fired as a single volley. All six barrels can be used as a single broadside with having the combined sixteen inch flame cannon firepower of three Dwarven Iron Ships.

For lighter anti-ship weaponry, these monitors mount six twin barrel medium laser cannons. Four twin mounts are located on the corners of the superstructure with the additional mounts close to amidships on either side. While they do not have the firepower of the flame cannons, they can still be considered quite effective and have a much greater rate of fire than the flame cannons.

Mounted between the heavier weaponry, the monitor mounts the mixed point defense battery. These include eight point defense telekinetic cannon mounts and twelve point defense sub-particle acceleration cannons. Many captains have criticized this battery for being easily overwhelmed by long range missile attacks. Upgrading this battery is an important component of the modernization of these vessels.

In common with most United Worlds Warlock warship designs, the monitor mounts a number of bottle demon missile launchers. A total of six bottle demon launchers are mounted with three on either side of the hull. Some have even described them as looking like the portholes on an ancient naval vessel. Because these missiles continue attacking until destroyed or the target itself is gone, these missiles are feared by enemies. Of course, many crews do not like these missiles very much either.

One of the saving graces of the monitor has always been that it has quite a large fighter compliment. The fighter compliment is basically identical to the Arcadia class carrier and is housed in hangers which are on the sides of the ship. Many operators use these ships more as carriers than they do line warships. This is not without its criticism with some arguing that it would be better to operate fighters from a moon or a planetary base. The comment of “Jack-of-All-Trades, Master-of-None” comes up often. Otherwise, the system defense vessel also carries a large marine compliment which are outfitted for boarding actions.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: UW-SM-22.

Class: Space; Monitor (techno-wizard).

Crew: 475, including a magic team of 40 techno-wizards (levels 2-6).

Troop Capacity: 100 Marines (Typically 50 stay on board for ship defense), 175 fighter pilots, 200 Warlock Combat Armor pilots, and can carry up to 20 passengers in addition to troops and crew.


Power Armors & Robots:



U.W.W. W-1 Warlock Combat Armors.



U.W.W. W-F1 Flying Warlock Combat Armors.

Fighter Compliment:



Naruni NE-SF10 Broadsword or FB-49 Fire Eater Fighters.



U.W.W. WF-F15 Shadow Bolt Strike Ship.



U.W.W. WF-P60S Black Widow II Heavy Starfighters.

M.D.C. by Location:


Rift Projector Cannon (1, in front):



Flame Cannon Barrels (6):

900 each.


Flame Cannon Turrets (2):

2,000 each.


Medium Laser Cannons (12):

800 each.


Bottled Demon Missile Batteries (6):

600 each.


Sub Particle Acceleration Cannons (12):

100 each.


Twin Telekinetic Machine Gun Turrets (8):

140 each.


[1] Main Bridge:



[1] Auxiliary Bridge:



[2] Main Body:



Hangar Bay (2):

10,000 each.


[3] Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field:



[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are taken out, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.

[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the Monitor out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.

[3] This is not a variable force field, but a magical shield that must be completely depleted. Once the shield has been knocked down, it will cost 1,000 P.P.E. require one minute (4 melee rounds) of spell casting to restore the force field. Magic, fire, lightning, and cold all inflict one-half damage.


Driving on the ground: Not Possible.

Water Surface: 35 knots (64.8 kph / 40.3 mph).

Underwater: 25 knots (46.3 kph / 28.8 mph).

Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.6 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 200 mph (321.9 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight.

Range: Life support will keep crew alive for up to ten years, as long as the P.P.E. generators are kept in working order.

Statistical Data:

Height:                240 feet (73.2 meters).

Width:                 280 feet (85.3 meters).

Length:                1,250 feet (381 meters).

Weight / Mass:    1.8 million tons (1.63 million metric tons)

Power System: Combination Fusion & Techno-wizardry with 20 year life span. The monitor also has a P.P.E. generator that produces 6,000 P.P.E. per hour / 25 P.P.E. per melee and can hold up to 20,000 P.P.E. in storage. This P.P.E. can be used to power spells cast by the monitor’s crew.

Cargo: Cargo holds can hold up to 50,000 tons (45,360 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. 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 extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.

Market Cost: The Monitor originally cost 34 billion to construct. Most are still operated by the United World Warlock navy although there is a small number which have been transferred to system defense forces. If sold, would likely sell for around twice construction costs. Cost does not include embarked craft.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Rifts Projector Cannon: In the nose of the ship is large opening which is the main barrel of the cannon. When not in use, the cannon has a cover to protect it from combat or debris. The cannon creates a huge rift in front of the cannon that has a variable effect. This weapon can become a danger to the ship if it fails. The cannon has a 0.5% cumulative chance of failure (i.e., becomes 1% after two shots, 2% after four, and so on) if fired multiple times within a twenty four hour period. This cannon has penalties to strike small targets. For more information on the Rifts Projector Cannon, refer to page 155 of Dimension Book 2: Phase World (Except ranges are 1,000 times range in book in space.)

    Maximum Effective Range: 50,000 miles (80,000 km) in space and 50 miles (80 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega-Damage: Roll on table in Dimension Book 2: Phase World page 156.

    Rate of Fire: Can fire once per minute (4 melee rounds/ 60 seconds).

    Payload: Requires 1,000 P.P.E. each time fired.

  2. Two (2) Triple Barrel Turrets with 16 Inch Flame Cannons (6 Cannons Total): While the cannons are virtually identical to those on the Dwarven Iron ship, the heavy battery of cannons gives the ship a very powerful punch. There is a triple mount forward and aft of the main superstructure with each turret having the ability to rotate 270 degrees. In addition, each turret has a 60 degree arc of fire upwards and 15 degree arc of fire downwards. All the cannons in a turret can be fires as one or each barrel can be fired separately. The ship will often engage attacking with the sides to increase the ship’s firepower. Firing giant fireballs, these cannons have enormous range in space. With regards to fire control, these cannons are not designed to lock onto any targets smaller than frigates. While these cannons are able to be used to bombard planets as well as well, they have comparatively limited range in an atmosphere.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20,000 miles (32,200 km) in space and 20 miles (32.2 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 1D4x1000 M.D.C. each cannon and all three cannons in a turret can be combined for a total of 3D4x1000.

    Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee per cannon (A total of 12 individual blasts or 4 triple blasts).

    Payload: Needs 1000 P.P.E. per day to function.

  3. Six (6) 5 inch Double Mount Laser Cannons (12 Cannons Total): On some versions of the ship class, the guns are in double mounts in casemates. Weapons in casemate mounts have a 150 degree rotation and a 60 degree arc of fire. Other vessels of the class have the lasers in two turrets on each side of the deck. Deck mounts can rotate 360 degrees and have an 80 degree arc of fire. In any case, these are a modern weapon system that are powered by the ship’s fusion reactor. The cannons are not quite as powerful as the cannons on most Consortium warship classes but have a higher rate of fire. Weapon has standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets for large starship weaponry. These weapon systems cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16,000 miles (25,000 km) in space and 16 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 1D6x100 M.D.C. each or both cannons in a turret can be combined for a total of 2D6x100.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  4. Twelve (12) Sub Particle Acceleration Cannons in Single Mounts: Mounted on top of the ship along the sides of the ship’s hull in turrets. Cannons turrets can fire at up to a 90 degree angle up or 55 degree angle down and can rotate up to 360 degrees side to side. The gun does not have penalties to strike small targets. Uses the spell of the same name from page 143 of World Book 16: Federation of Magic (although has far greater range.) The spells must be renewed every two months (costs 400 P.P.E. and 20,000 credits per cannon) but during that period the weapon can fire unlimited blasts.

    Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (320 km) in space and 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 1D6x10+10 per cannon.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (Usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effective Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every two months whether the cannons have been used or not.

  5. Eight (8) Twin Heavy Telekinetic Machine Guns Turrets: These heavy machine-guns are identical to those mounted in the Shadow Bolt Starfighter but are in twin mounts. Mounted on the sides of the ship in turrets. Heavy machine gun mounts can fire at up to a 90 degree angle up or down and can rotate up to 180 degrees side to side. The machine guns do not have penalties to strike small targets. Because the machine guns inflict damage by impact, they inflict full damage to targets that are using are using the spell “Impervious to Energy.” The spells must be renewed every two months (costs 400 P.P.E. and 20,000 credits per machine gun) but during the period the weapon can fire unlimited blasts.

    Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (320 km) in space and 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 12D6 per burst for both machine guns a turret (6D6 per heavy machine gun.)

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effective Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every two months whether the machine guns have been used or not.

  6. Six (6) Bottled Demon Missile Batteries: On each side of the hull the monitor has three bottle demon missile batteries. The missiles are literally demons summoned and bottled into a missile and are an aggressive and intelligent guidance system. The evil demons will continue to chase its target until destroyed (50 M.D.C. to the missile.) Bottled demons are slightly larger than mini-missiles and require special launchers. Missiles have a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere have an acceleration of 2% of light per turn in space. This is slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration. Missiles are considered super smart and have +4 to strike and +5 to dodge. Unlike normal missiles, the bottled demon missile does not explode and keeps striking at its target over and over. If the target is destroyed or vanishes, the missile disappears. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each.

    Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited! Once fired, the demon controlled and powered missile will fly and pursue the designated target until its target or the missile is destroyed (or the target vanished from sight, jumps away, or gets away by another means).

    Mega-Damage: 3D4x10 M.D. of magical energy every time the missile strikes (3% chance of releasing the demon every time it hits).

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per battery.

    Payload: Thirty two (32) per battery for a total of 192 bottled demon missiles.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2016, Kitsune. All rights reserved.