Shadow Scout (Babylon Five):
The last of the Shadows warships to be seen, it is also the most remarkable looking: a flat wedge with two spikes jutting out of the narrow front end and a total of twelve spines that curve forward coming out of the rear top and bottom. It is like all Shadow constructs a entirely organic ship and as such is alive. Like its larger brothers it needs a living being to act as computer core, with all the advantages and disadvantages that brings with it.
The skin of this creature is a strong adapting armor, like that of all Shadow ships. Backing up this armor are shields consisting of interwoven energy fields and layers of gravitational distortion. These shields are capable of absorbing large amounts of energy, be it directed energy or kinetic in nature.
The armament of the Scout consists of a Shadow type Quantum Gravitic Discharge Cannon which fires bursts of energy rather than the normal continuous beam usually seen. This does not mean that it is less powerful, for it is every bit as destructive as the gun of its Vorlon counterpart, the Vorlon Cruisers Quantum Gravitic cannon.
The ships sublight propulsion consists of a powerful gravity drive system that is used for maneuvering and main thrust. this gives the Scout superb maneuverability and acceleration. This drive can also be used as a tractor beam. Because of their long experience with FTL physics they have a hyperdrive system that allows them to move in and out of hyperspace at will, at whatever position they wish to appear at. This gives them a great advantage in ambushes etc. they can also use the drive to pass in between hyperspace and real space and be virtually invulnerable there.
Since the ship is alive it has an intelligence similar to that of a sentient AI and so can perform difficult maneuvers on its own. It needs a crew, although its more apt to call that single unfortunate individual a computer core. Take note that the smaller and medium sized Warships are usually drones and will normally have no Shadows are onboard (they always have the unfortunate victim or they are inert). On sensor readings the ship will read as built out of organic materials rather than the metal alloys that most starships are built out of. When its ECM is engaged it is almost impossibly hard to detect.
Normally this ship is escorted by 7 shadowfighters, but apart from that it is alone. Its job is after all to scout ahead of any major Shadow warships and to bring back information regarding the target area. Because of this it is often far away from reinforcements and it tends to flee rather than engage multiple enemies. Destroy it and its escorts and a Shadow attack will be stalled: there will first be more scouts to investigate. If it escapes, run: a group of Shadow Warships is likely to arrive soon!!
Notes of game conversion:
For purposes of game balance, there are two different versions of the space fighter. One is designed with accelerations in terms of gravities (G) which can better interact better with other Babylon 5 ships such as Earth Force and the Narn military. The other is written to operate within the Three Galaxies and operated with Consortium and Kreeghor vessels.
Phase world version uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor fighters. This version is recommended if you with to put them into Phase World as among equals. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.
Moderate version uses Gs of acceleration but does not have reduced weapon ranges except for missiles. This version is useful for Mutants In Orbit, Phase World if used as a lower tech race, used with my Earth Force ships conversions for B-5, and as a possible crash on Rifts Earth. Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the fighters velocity and distance traveled.
- Velocity = Acceleration x Time + Initial Velocity
Distance Traveled = Acceleration x ½ x Time ² + Initial Velocity x Time
1 G = 32 feet (9.8 m) per second ²
Model: Shadow scout / assault fighter
Crew: One, the ship is flown by a living computer core. Boarding parties have a problem as there are no corridors or open spaces inside of the Scout! Should the Scout have a crew onboard (for game terms: 15 shadows) it will form corridors and such. Bear in mind that Shadows are as powerful as a low powered supernatural intelligence.
M.D.C. by location:
Quantum Gravitic "Burst" Cannon:
 Gravity Drive Spines (12):
 Main Body:
 Variable Force Field:
8,000 a side (48,000 Total)
 Destroying a gravity drive spine means that sublight acceleration and maneuvering are reduced by 7 percent -1 penalty to dodge) Add on penalties per destroyed spine. Even with all spines gone the scout still has 15 percent of its engine power. The main hull has to have taken at least 20 percent damage (8,800 M.D.C.) for the drive to shut down.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the body will destroy the scout, putting it out of commission. The scout will be a unsalvageable floating mass of scorched organic matter. Useless for anything. Both the hull and the ships systems have the ability to repair themselves. These repairs are effected at 1D4x100 M.D.C. per minute. The scout can only regenerate up to half the M.D.C. per system.
 Shield positions are variable and can be combined into one shield. The shields regenerate at a rate of 5% (2,400 M.D.C.) per melee round.
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Phase World Version: Gravity drive allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. The ship can accelerate/decelerate at a rate of 1.5 percent of light per melee round.
Moderate Version: The scout does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. Scout can reach a top acceleration of 15 G.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is mach 20, has reasonable handling qualities in atmosphere. Can enter atmosphere and leave.
Stardrive: Unlike the Vorlons, the starships of the Shadows do not need to use or create a Jump Point to enter into hyperspace. Instead they can create a tiny effect that passes the ship into hyperspace without any jump point being formed. The ship can also travel into a pocket dimension that the ship is between normal space and hyperspace. The ships can use this to evade mines or missiles. The Shadow scout is incredibly fast in hyperspace. The ship can travel the equivalent of 200 light years per hour in distance in real space. This means that the ship could actually cross the Galaxy in about three weeks. The scout can pass into and out of hyperspace within the atmosphere of a planet as well as in space. Shadow scout ships will occasionally use previously established jump points to deceive an enemy into thinking that they cannot pass out of hyperspace without a jump point.
The Shadow Scout has enough power to move in or out of hyperspace every round, if so desired. The entire phasing takes just seven seconds, and always occurs as the LAST action that round.
Maximum Range: Unlimited by all drive systems. It is not known how much supplies it carries with it, but it is safe to assume several years worth.
Because the gravity drive is used for maneuvering, the entire scout can turn around and fire in every direction at will. However, making a turn or a evasive maneuver at high speed (above 5 percent of light, roughly 15,000 km/s or 9,300 miles/s) costs enough energy that the scout loses energy to the cannon. This means that power is less, halving the M.D.C. done that round.
Length: 350 feet (105 meters)
Height: 200 feet (60 meters)
Width: 267 feet (80 meters)
Weight: 16,540 tons (15,000 metric tons)
Cargo: 496 tons (500 metric tons)
Power System: Hyperspace Tap with unlimited life span.
Market Cost: Not for sale, however, should you have one to sell, most races will pay billions of credits for a undamaged scout. (and get a visit from its larger cousins a bit later. Talk about a hot potato.)
One (1) Quantum Gravitic 'Burst' Cannon: This weapon has excellent power and range. This weapon system functions by firing a burst of coherent gravity waves at a target, which disrupts the very molecules of the target at a quantum level. Any target area hit by the burst is literally torn apart at the subatomic level, reducing the affected area to a very hot cloud of quarks and mesons. Other than the fact that this weapon fires in bursts and has slightly less range than its Vorlon counterpart it is just as powerful. The first burst is low powered and can be used against fighters without size penalties and has +3 to strike and can be fired six times per melee. The second setting can fired three times per melee but is far more powerful. The second setting is the standard setting and has normal penalties to strike small targets. The final setting involves shutting down the engines that allow the ship to pass into hyperspace. If this is done, the hyperdrive needs 3 minutes to recharge. The weapon can only be aimed at one target and the setting also has standard penalties to strike small targets. The advantage is that the weapons damage is greatly increased. Due to the weapons nature, it does ful damage to targets protected by the spell “Invulnerable to energy.”
Maximum Effective Range: 156 miles (250 km) in an atmosphere and 156,152 miles (250,000 km) in space.
Mega Damage: low: 2D6x100 MD. Medium: 2D6x1,000 MD. Overcharge: 2D6x10,000 MD.
Rate of Fire:
Low: Six (6) times per melee.
Medium: Three (3) times per melee.
Overload: Once (1) per melee.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Adaptive Hull: The Scout has the ability to adapt to attacks on it. Once a specific attack has been used against the ship, it will adapt to that attack and any attack of that type that is encountered afterwards will only be at twenty percent effectiveness in the next engagement. Variable frequency weapons such as variable frequency lasers can be reset to do full damage once this is discovered. The adaption takes about five hours to be completed.
Advanced Sensors: The shadows are masters of FTL physics. The Shadow Scout has sensors that can see from hyperspace into normal space, but these are -20% to all Read Sensory rolls to detect targets that are in normal space. The Shadows also have a 30% chance of being able to detect a Jump Point forming before the actual formation of the jump point. The sensors can also detect any ship using any non magical cloaking or ECM without penalties. This included the most advanced Earth or Centauri ECM. It includes all ECM systems used in the Three Galaxies, Rifts Earth, and other alternate universes.
ECM: The Scout is, like all Shadow ships, fitted with advance ECM. This ECM prevents targeting systems from ships of the younger races from being able to lock on. An attacker would be at -12 to strike the ship and only if within visual range (approximately 500 miles). Missiles would have a 95% chance of being unable to achieve a lock on target as well. Rifts Earth and Mutants in Orbit would be treated to be at the level of most of the younger races. The only exceptions among the younger races are the Minbari and Centauri races who are far more advanced than any of the other younger races but are still no where close to the First Ones level. The Shadow Fighter would be detected as little more than a ghost on either races sensors and they would have penalties of -9 to strike beyond visual range and -5 to strike at visual ranges. Missiles would also be more effective, at first engagement missiles would have a 80% chance of being unable to achieve a lock. After several engagements the jamming could be partially adjusted for, with missiles being able to achieve lock with a 30% chance of being unable to achieve lock. Phase World, Macross 2, and Robotech would be treated to be at the level of technology of the Minbari and Centauri. The same goes for Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and Star Wars. The sensors of the races of the First Ones would not suffer any penalties and would be able to strike normally. This includes the Minbari / Ranger White Star class and the Drahk Raider as well.
Hyperspace Phase Cloaking Device: The Shadow Warships have the ability to phase between real space and hyperspace. While in this state, the Shadow Scout is immune to all weapons (In Phase World, they can still be effected by Phase Beams and some spells) and is almost impossible to detect. In this cloak form, the ship cannot be detected by any races except for the first ones (Included The Minbari / Ranger White Star and the Drahk Raider).
Sentient Ship: Unlike the Vorlon, the Shadows use actual sentient living being as a core for sentient computers for their starships. Without this being melded to the computer, the ship is inert and will not function. With a sentient living being in the ships computer, the ship is both alive and sentient but the mind of the being that is acting as the ships computer is destroyed although memories of the being will remain. The only exception to this is a master psionic with Mind Block auto defense. When they are put into the ships computer, the psionic gets a save vs possession, if they make their save, they are in control of the ship. The ship will only take orders from the Shadows and only the Shadows can remove a being from the ship. In these cases though, the person loses all identity and is a puppet of the shadows (except in the above case). Supernatural and magical being cannot be merged with the ship and in Rifts, some of the incredibly powerful supernatural being can remove a being from a Shadow Warship and restore their personality. The weakness of having a living sentient is that the ships computer is that the functioning of the ships computer may be disrupted through telepathy. Only major and master psionics with telepathy can effect the ship but have much greater range than normal. Give the telepathy a range of 4,000 miles per level of the telepath for purposes of effecting the functioning of the computers core. This is because the ships computer is hypersensitive to telepathy. The telepath must make a saving throw against psionics each melee round in order to disrupt the Shadow Warship. This is because the telepath will see horrible visions of a living being that has been partially imbedded within the Shadow Warship and is suffering greatly (This might actually be someone the character knows, but who has mysteriously vanished). If the ship is disrupted, the ship will be mostly inert (the Shadow Warship will not dodge and the attacker on the shadow ship will have half penalties to strike and will have half normal penalties to achieve missile lock).
The ship should be to be a combination of a powerful neural intelligence and a transferred intelligence in terms of Rifts. This computer can pilot the ship at 98%, has 6 attacks per round, and has +10 to strike, +15 to dodge, and +5 to initiative (these include all bonuses). If a full crew is onboard it will be able to fire at will and will have +12 to strike, +16 to dodge and +7 to initiative.
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Technical information sourced partially from Babylon 5 Technical Manual!
Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, 1999, & 2013, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.