Techno-Wizard T-34 Medium Tank:

The T-34 tank was designed before the start of World War II and was produced in huge numbers. It was thought to be the second largest number of a tank model ever produced after the T-55 with almost eighty-five thousand tanks in t total produced. It can be considered the weapon which beat the Germans on the Eastern Front and fought in many wars during the next half century. The Germans even captured some and pressed them into service. It is still considered one of the best tanks of its era and being incredibly effective, efficient, and influential designs. It was not until near the close of the Twentieth Century that the tank was retired from military service. Some ended up in private hands while others ended as memorials. As such, thousands survived until late in the Twenty-First Century.

The magical energies which engulfed the Earth when the Rifts came destroyed much of existing military hardware. Because of the whims of fate, a large number of these surviving T-34 tanks survived the coming of the Rifts. There are many potentially reasons including the fact that many of the tanks were located in places less directly effected. While they might make an interesting combat resource, they were considered extremely fragile compared to designs developed in the later part of the Twenty-First Century. Some techno-wizards thought differently. Magic could reinforce the armor so it could take damage equal to a modern tanks and could repair most of the weaknesses in the design. There are techno-wizards in almost every land of Rifts Earth and what was once Russia is no exception. As with techno-wizards in most places, they often prefer to use designs from the nations which they originate from.

The plan of how to reconstruct the medium tanks was innovated in many respects. The techno-wizards of North America preferred a plan of building a new techno-wizard tank based externally on the Sherman tank but in most other respects a modern tank design. In general, the conversion was meant to be relatively simple but designed to make an effective combat vehicle for the world after the coming of the Rifts. The engine conversion was quite simple with an electrical engine powered by magical energy replacing the original diesel engine. Speed is the same, around fifty kilometers per hour, but has a range of a thousand miles each time it is recharged. As well, magic is used to change the original armor of the tank into the virtual equal of modern composites and alloys. They are stronger than simply replacing with modern alloys would have made the design. While just slightly weaker than modern materials, a techno-wizard force field is mounted on most models to further increase the ability of the tanks to withstand damage.

Upgrading the weaponry of the tank was in many ways the hardest to manage. While most of the surviving T-34 tanks mounted the heavier 85 mm cannon, even with new ammunition types the cannon simply could not inflict enough damage to be truly effective. It would also be extremely hard to mount a heavier weapon in place of the old mount as well. While there is an 85 mm rail gun, it simply is too powerful for the frame of the tank to withstand. Finally, it was decided that a new 85 mm electro-thermal cannon would be developed based on the 100 mm electro-thermal cannon mounted on several New Soviet designs. The design is closely modeled on that design with a total of sixty rounds are carried for the weapon. The cannon lacks an auto-loader which reduces the rate of fire compared to most vehicles which mount the 100 mm electro-thermal cannon. While an expensive option, it seems to mostly solve the problem with the main weapon.

Secondary weapons are more simple with originally machine guns refitted to fire through telekinesis. One is mounted in the bow of the tank with the other mounted beside the 85 mm cannon. Each of them has effectively unlimited payload although the enchantments require being re-enchanted once a month whether used or not. One advantage of the telekinetic machine guns over most techno-wizard weapons is that they are effective against targets which are impervious to energy weapons. Finally, the tank has the ability to mount a mini-missile launcher behind the turret where originally an additional fuel tank could be carried. These have a maximum payload of forty-eight mini-missiles. The mount blocks the turret from firing directly to the rear but can be ejected when discharged of it damaged. The most common enemy for these converted vehicles are not other tanks but various supernatural creatures.

There is not much in the way of new systems mounted although a small fire control computer is added for the main gun. New radio equipment is also added to most converted tanks which vastly improves communications capabilities. Additional optics are added to the tank along with the "See The Invisible" enchantment. In addition, the tank has a number of additional techno-wizard enchantments. The crew usually considers of five although in some cases may be operated by a crew of four. The tank crew is protected by “Breath Without Air” enchantment. In addition, to help conceal the tank, the enchantment of “Chameleon” is added and is considered in many cases more effective than invisibility. As protection against energy weapons, the enchantment of “Impervious to Energy” is also added. There is no techno-wizard battery and magical energy comes from the crew of the tank. Spell caster level on most of these tanks is not as high as on many other designs.

Model Type: T-34 Techno-Wizard Medium Tank
Vehicle Type: Magical Battle Tank
Crew: 5 (Driver, Communication, Commander, Gunner, and Loader)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):40 each
Weapons Turret:120
85 mm Electro-Thermal Cannon (Turret):80
[2] Coaxial Telekinetic Machine-Gun:40
[2] Bow Telekinetic Machine-Gun:40
[3] Ejectable Mini-Missile Launcher (Behind Turret)80
Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 times per day):100
[4] Main Body:260

[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
[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] Once the missiles have been expended, or in an emergency, before they have been fully expended, the launcher can be ejected from the tank. Though disposable, they do not have to be disposed, and can be re-used indefinitely.
[4] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and unsalvageable, but crew may survive in their reinforced compartments.

Ground: Cruising speed on land is 34.1 mph (55 kph) on roads and 21.8 mph (35 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Maximum Range: 1,000 miles (1,610 km) before needing to be recharged. Can be recharged with a“Call Lightning” spell (15 P.P.E.) which gives another 1,000 miles (1,610 km) range.

Statistical Data:
Height: 8.92 feet (2.72 meters)
Width: 9.84 feet (3.00 meters)
Length: Main Body: 20.01 feet (6.1 meters) and With Gun Forward: 26.74 feet (8.15 meters).
Weight: 32 tons (29 metric tons)
Power Source: Techno-Wizard Electrical Engine Conversion - Replaces Original Engine(Powered by “Call Lightning” spell)
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilot’s compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and two hand-held missile launcher with four loads each.
Black Market Cost: 8.5 million credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. 85 mm Electro Thermal Cannon (1): Mounted in the tank’s main turret in place of the original 85 mm ZiS-S-53 cannon. The replacement cannon has a special recoil system to reduce felt recoil. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a “propellant,” which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to “switch” directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. Since the cannon is built into a turret, it can rotate 360-degrees and can aim upwards 18 degrees - allowing it to engage low-flying aircraft and creatures in some cases. The cannon is controlled by a gunner inside the turret compartment.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,562 feet (2,000 meters) for direct fire, and 19,685 feet (6,000 meters) for indirect fire.
    Mega Damage: A single round inflicts 2D6x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration). Can use High Explosive rounds that does 1D6x10+10 M.D. with a blast radius of 15 ft (4.6 m). High Explosive Anti Tank does 2D4x10 M.D. with a blast radius of 8 ft (2.4 m). Mega-Damage for missiles is as per short missile type; almost always Armor Piercing.
    Rate of Fire:Maximum of three per melee.
    Payload: 60 rounds maximum - Normal payload is 30 Anti-Tank Rounds and a mixture of other rounds. Techno-wizard battery contains enough charges for 50 shots before needing to recharge. Recharging requires the casting of “Call Lightning” and costs 15 P.P.E.
    Bonuses: Has a special fire control computer that helps to aim the cannon. Gives +2 to strike with the cannon and vehicle does not have minuses to fire when tank is moving.
  2. Coaxial Mounted T.K. Machine-Gun (1): Mounted beside the 85 mm Electro-Thermal Cannon. It is enchanted by a series of spells so the cannon acts as a more powerful version of the T.K. Machine-gun. This increases the weapon's damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannon must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 50 P.P.E. each once per month. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 6D6 per shot
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the observer / gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
  3. Bow Mounted T.K. Machine-Gun (1): Mounted in bow of tank and controlled by communication operator. It is enchanted by a series of spells so the cannon acts as a more powerful version of the T.K. Machine-gun. This increases the weapon's damage and instead of being reloaded, the cannon must be recharged by the spell Telekinesis and 50 P.P.E. each once per month. The cannon does full damage to targets that are impervious to energy.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 6D6 per shot
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the observer / gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Unlimited, although the spells must be renewed every month whether the cannon have been used or not.
  4. Disposable Mini Missile Launcher (1): Mounted on the hull of the tank behind the main turret and prevents the turret from rotating directly to the rear while mounted. The launcher has 3 sets of 16 tubes on launcher. The launchers can be ejected when no longer needed or if they are in danger of exploding.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, mini missiles only (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), eight (8), or sixteen (16) missiles.
    Payload: Launcher carries a total of 48 Mini-missiles.
  5. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The techno-wizard T-34 has the following techno-wizard modifications built into the tank. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot.
    Special Features:
      Breath without Air (5th Level) - 5 P.P.E. or 10 I.S.P.
      Chameleon (5th Level) - 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.
      Impervious to Energy (5th Level) - 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.