All Ur base BeLong to Us
The Kittani captain stared at the red letters glaring on all his bridge screens and then spun on the junior officer at the systems consoles behind him.
“What in the Mechanoid Hells does THAT mean!? And why is it on all our screens?! Get it off and restore systems this instant!”
“I’m sorry, milord, it seems to be some sort of fault with our central computer systems! We’re trying to reboot the systems and restore from backup, but it will take our critical systems off-line while we do so!”
“That cannot be tolerated! We’re in the middle of an assault here! We CANNOT BE WITHOUT POWER OR WEAPONS! Now give me full command functions!”
“We CAN’T, milord! The virus just keeps circumventing our countermeasures! It’s either incredibly smart or...or...we’ve got a hardlink on the ship directing it in real time...” The Kittani junior officer’s face took on a worried thoughtful look.
The next thing the Kittani captain heard, while he was still trying to figure out who said that, was the sound of the systems officer’s head exploding all over the bridge consoles. Even as the dead officer’s body slumped to the floor in a clatter of exoarmor, the captain was whirling about, his senses on fire, to see the emergency hatch on the bridge open, several tall, armored figures already pouring through and pouring fire into the rest of the Slaver Barge’s bridge crew. The bone-white and silvered armor revealed the identities of the attackers immediately, and offered explanation for why the ship’s sensors and fire control had gone down so soon after that last communication with one of their outrider fliers.
“Ghost Riders...” The Kittani captain hissed as he drew his energy sword, armored forearm barely parrying the burst of plasma shot his way. Well, with their element of surprise lost, the attackers would have to fight the Kittani openly, and he’d see about sending some of the accursed Shemarrians to ride with their ancestors in Hell before he went down!
One of the original 8 tribes created by A.R.C.H.I.E 3 and Hagan, deployed 600 strong in New York. They made extensive use of Rhino-Buffaloes (40%) and Monst-Rex (60%) as their war steeds. They used bits and pieces of ancient artifacts to make jewelry, such as bottle caps, CD, DVDs, cell phones, pieces of old electronics and other odds and ends. They favoured white, silver and pale colours in their armour and clothing.
It is not understood exactly what caused the sudden awakening of self-awareness in the Ghost Riders, but a possibility suggests itself in the fact that the Ghost Riders were charged with picking around Old New York City, which in the Golden Age had become even more of a marvel and a major center of technology (especially its application) on the East Coast. Among the many facilities that ARCHIE-3 had an interest in were several informational warfare centers that NEMA had set up to monitor and study cyberattacks and cyber-terrorism directed against the financial and business centers in NYC. These facilities were known collectively as the Ghost Lockers.
The Ghost Locker Edit
The Ghost Locker was the nickname given to the secured main frames rumored to be used by the NEMA Office of Information Defense (OID, sometimes called the DROID, Directorate Regional Of Information Defense) to quarantine and study advanced computer viruses and simulagent AI programs that had been loosed on the ‘net. During the Golden Age, as the Internet’s capacity and capabilities increased, so too did the abilities of applications, semiautonomous services, and viral programs that could run on the ‘net. There was also a fad in creating persona simulations that could mimic human behavior. Though used originally for education and entertainment (imagine having a simulated Julius Caesar downloaded into your home entertainment center to give you his view on the Gaul campaigns or politics in ancient Rome), some of them were disguised information warfare agents, or fake identities created by criminals to defraud the unwary. Though not possessing the intelligence potential of ARCHIE-3 and similar ‘fixed location’ AIs with their own dedicated support hardware, some of these network AIs possessed sophisticated learning subroutines, and the ability to roam the internet to accomplish their tasks. Some of these programs became adept at usurping other software and hardware to carry them, and began to alter their own programming, mutating to better meet the challenges of the online realm, and thus become real threats to internet communications and business.
To curb the risk of damage by such free-wandering viral programs and software packages, the OID set up special computer labs, near major communications hubs, with mainframes that could sieve the Internet, trap such AIs, and route them to storage stacks removed from the ‘net, for study. Likewise, the OID required copies of new simulasona programs to be submitted to their labs for comparison and indexing. Advanced persona robot programs that were to be commercially released also had to be submitted in copy to the OID labs for safety-testing (especially after several early models of Triax domestic robots were used in crimes on American soil; the FBI had a strong interest in seeing how easily such software could be hacked and manipulated). The centers also allowed the U.S. government to study the real-world mutations of computer software, as part of their own infowar programs. These computer centers became known as ‘ghost lockers’ among the hacker set. The computer centers were well-shielded and bunkered against outside interference, and ARCHIE-3 believed there was a good chance at least one such lab may have survived the Coming of the Rifts. Despite the possible dangers, ARCHIE-3 sent his Shemarrian minions to unearth the OID offices, hoping to salvage some of their computer hardware and possibly even some of their advanced software tools.
It is known that prior to their declaration of neutrality, that the Ghost Riders had found at least one of these information centers and dug up intact mainframes. It is also known that the factory complex that the ‘Riders returned the salvaged OID databanks to, was also responsible for manufacturing many of the Wolf’s Path Shemarrians, putting the ‘glitch’ that gave them more free will than ARCHIE-3 or Hagan had anticipated may be a result of software contamination from whatever came off the OID memory media (Note: the same factory complex was the one granted to the Ghost Riders after the SCW).
If so, and the Ghost Riders HAVE managed to recover intact OID quarantine mainframes, it is possible that they may have acquired access to hundreds, if not thousands, of pre-Rifts computer programs, AI subroutines, and ‘hot-housed’ computer virus files, as well as libraries of advanced apps, a treasure trove by the standards of modern day Scholars, Hack-Rats, and computer-oriented Operators.
The Ghost Riders are regarded as the most eccentric of the Shemar Tribes, not just because of their style of dress (decorated with various bright shiny pieces of salvage), but also because they are acknowledged as having gained sentience and freewill without the Ecotroz Enlightenment. On the dawn of the Shemarrian Civil War, the Ghost Riders declared themselves uninvolved in the petty squabble between ARCHIE-3 and the Ecotroz Shemarrians. The Ghost Riders neither helped nor hindered their kin; Shemarrians and EShemar entering territories claimed by the Ghost Riders were just as likely to be able to travel through their lands unmolested as they were to be confronted and chased out. ARCHIE-3’s sendings were ignored for the most part, and Ecotroz Shemarrian envoys to the tribe were politely, but firmly, rebuffed. It was generally understood (at least by the EShemar) that the Ghost Riders wanted to be left alone to pursue their own interests, and they remained aloof from the Shemarrian Civil War at least until late in the conflict.
After the ceasing of the Shemarrian Civil War, and the ReUnification of the Tribes under the EShemar-penned Articles of the Shemarrian Nation, the Ghost Riders did not embrace many of the customs of the EShemar. For instance, NeShemar (the practice of converting humans and those most like them into Shemarrian-style cyborgs and adopting them into the tribe) were almost unknown among the Ghost Riders, even after the SCW. This may have been in part due to the Ghost Riders’ favorite haunts around MadHaven, where organic intelligences, even heavily bionicized ones, were susceptible to the disruptive psionic emanations there. This meant that the Ghost Riders could not bolster their numbers with NeShemar convertees. Likewise, their lack of ability to infect other Shemarrians with the Ecotroz Enlightenment also limited their ability to grow by conscripting unwary ARCHIE-3 loyalists into their ranks.
However, the fact remains that when the Ghost Riders DID step forward and enter the Shemarrian Civil War on the side of the rebels, they actually had MORE numbers than could be accounted for. The Ghost Riders either acquired Progen technology and adapted it to their own unique cyberphysiology (though there is no evidence that the Ghost Riders ever contacted the Hawkmoon or any other tribe for it), were able to somehow transmit their own ‘sentience infection’ to reinforcements that ARCHIE and Hagan continued to send into New York (this theory has gained more support with the revelations of the Ghost Locker), or that they somehow found their own reproductive technology (a favorite explanation is that the Ghost Riders located one of the lost bionics/robotics facilities known to have been located around New York City). This became difficult to confirm, since after the ReUnification, the Ghost Riders were granted one of the Dark One’s secret factory complexes capable of producing new Shemarrian bodies. The Ghost Riders have since built up their numbers, so it is difficult to tell which are pre-ReUn and post-ReUn new additions.
With the ReUnification, the Ghost Riders began to take slowly take up many Ecotroz Shemar customs, though they tended to be very selective in what they adopted and adapted into their own tribal culture. They have allowed Ecotroz Enlightenment, but only on a voluntary basis. They have added NeShemar to their ranks, but such convertees remain rare among the ‘Riders, and tend to be much more heavily neurologically modified than those of other tribes. The Ghost Riders have never added any Pariahs to their ranks, and regard the Reclaimed as an eccentricity of other tribes. The Ghost Riders take the Rites of Upgrade far more seriously, however, and it is suspected that one of their first Great Rites was to update all of their members with the circuitry necessary for neural intelligences, no small undertaking.
As noted before, Ghost Riders are considered eccentric, even among their fellow Shemarrians. Though they have not embraced the Ecotroz Enlightenment as a whole, they still exhibit faint auras (which flies in the face of the ‘viral intelligence’ theories about their leap to self-awareness), though their auras are weak in comparison to those of the Ecotroz, and peculiar (one psychic describes them as ‘ultraviolet circuitry flowers’). Though fairly aloof with their fellow Shemarrians (especially on ‘religious’ matters), the Ghost Riders are actually quite friendly and open with others, and are one of the few groups of outsiders that the mutants of Madhaven are friendly with. Those who have regular contact with the Ghost Riders note that the ‘Riders have expressed great interest and at least academic knowledge in a wide range of topics, especially pre-Rifts history, even those topics that don’t touch on subjects normally of interest to a warrior people like the Shemarrians. Many Ghost Riders also seem to suffer sometimes abrupt changes in personality, switching attitude, and often times even tone of voice and manner, in the middle of conversations, especially when changing the topic. This can be quite jarring to a listener (especially when the cyborg amazon who has just been talking brusquely about combat tactics and the need to feed the troops before combat suddenly starts to passionately talk about the merits of olive oil and basil in campfire cuisine, before segueing into a discussion of the uses of cooking wines), though the Ghost Riders take no notice of it themselves. This, of course, has lent further credence to the theories that the Ghost Riders were either taken over, or allowed themselves to be saturated, by multiple ‘smart’ viruses that have caused them to become ‘cyber-schizoid’. However, it also seems to have led to the Ghost Riders becoming very mentally flexible, able to handle situations, albeit sometimes with utterly bizarre solutions, that would stump their ARCHIE-3 programmed predecessors, and challenge their Ecotroz-Awakened cousins.
GM Note: In game terms this can be represented by allowing Ghost Riders access to robot programs that don’t fit with the theme of rough and tough Shemarrian warriors. Or else, additional programs can be added over the maximum listed as possible for neural intelligence robots, only the additional programs will come with a personality alteration, which may cause problems; Espionage programs, for instance, may provide the appropriate skill set, but the Shemarrian may begin acting like a James Bond femme fatale, a B-flick sci-fi female robot assassin, and so on, while a Domestic/Cooking program may have the android acting like Julia Child, and she may not be able to drop out of the persona if attacked, and her base combat programming needed. The Ghost Rider may well have to go into battle treating it as a bad session in Hell’s Kitchen, fighting with whatever looks most familiar to kitchen ware and treating the enemy as tough ingredients. Essentially, this raises the possibility of Crazy Hero-style Multiple Personality Robots.
Three Galaxies Edit
The advanced EShemar of the Three Galaxies Shemarrian culture continue the eccentricities of their past, and seem to have diversified even more. Among their many starfaring sisters, who still maintain a strong martial attitude, the Ghost Riders are known as specialists in electronic warfare and electronic subterfuge. They have a well-developed ‘hacker’ subculture in their ranks (though, they are just as ferocious in combat as any EShemar; they are NOT to be confused with the stereotypes of human ‘nerds’ and computer ‘geek’ hacker culture). They are also suspected of having diversified their forces to include a large proportion of ‘electronic ninjas’ (indeed, the Ghost Riders were among the first of the Shemarrian tribes to create specialized stealth Elites), all the more impressive given the lack of Telemechanics-style psionics as possessed by their Ecotroz sisters. Opponents facing the Ghost-Riders in combat can expect to face a heavy EW/ECM onslaught, and bombardment with transmitted computer viruses and invasive subroutines as intense as any assault with conventional lasers and massdriver cannon. Ghost Rider ships can be frequently distinguished (when seen at all) by their many EW aerials, active stealth pods, and communications arrays.
#”Control? Are you running some sort of security exercise? Because our sensors show three of the defense satellites just painted us with their targeting sen-”#
Last recorded transmission from Kittani cruiser K’Talan’s Bloody Dream, just before being destroyed by reprogrammed orbital weapons platforms.
While the terrestrial Ghost Riders have carried on much as the regular Shemarrian template, the Shemarrian Star Nation Ghost Riders have emerged very distinctly as their own people. With access to more advanced high technology and the organized global infonets of dozens, if not hundreds, of other civilized worlds to explore, the Three Galaxies Ghost Riders have become even more unique among the Shemarrians.
While the Ghost Riders follow many of the common traditions of the other Tribes, such as Rites of Upgrade, they are very different in a number of ways. Away from their cousins, Ghost Rider culture can seem downright casual, a strange mix of techno-Amazon military discipline and hacker-geek/cyberpunk counter-culture, Tribe members showing equal enthusiasm for digging out information from behind the toughest computer security measures of some high-level tech-world, as they do for geeking some Kittani cruiser by reprogramming their missile guidance systems to target their own launch platform.
Nature Finds A Way Edit
The Ghost Riders are NOT Ecotroz Shemarrians, and have found their own path to full sentience, however mysterious. This has shortchanged them, especially with regards to psychic abilities, but it has also allowed them to develop in other ways as well. For example, the Ghost Riders have developed a parallel form of practical ‘immortality’ by copying, backing up, and storing copies of their core personas against the destruction of their material bodies. Their use of a modified form of Progen has given them rather more leeway in the selection of their forms and a decidedly different birth process; most Ghost Riders are not born directly into their physical forms, but spend a virtual ‘childhood’ in a VR simulation environment before being downloaded into their physical bodies. Given their particular and peculiar connections to the pre-Rifts era of Earth, it is not uncommon for Ghost Riders to base their appearances on pre-Rifts celebrities, fictitious characters from media (including anime), and even a few post-Rifts personas (one traveler in the Three Galaxies claims to have run into a Ghost Rider Shemarrian who was the spitting image of a young Erin Tarn).
Compared to their cousins in the other Tribes, the Ghost Riders are practically atheists; not hewing to the same Goddess-worship as the other Tribes, at least not to the same degree (if pressed, the shamanesses of the other Tribes will contend that the Goddess Shemar was ‘a lot more subtle when she created the Ghost Riders’, a sentiment the Ghost Riders have accepted). Without the ready and apparent hand of divinity guiding them, the Ghost Riders have established themselves pretty much as ‘self-made’ and strongly independent (though they acknowledge that they would hardly be able to make it alone in the vast megaverse without the other Tribes for support).
The Ghost Riders are one of the nomadic spacefaring Tribes, choosing to concentrate more on establishing secret deep space colonies rather than larger terrestrial planetary enclaves. This is not to say that they do not conduct substantial business on planets (indeed, they are among the Tribes with the most number of infiltration efforts and observation outposts on inhabited planets), just that the bulk of their industry, reproduction, and culture is spacecraft or space station-based. Their few known enclaves have tended to be small affairs, well-concealed and well-protected.
The Ghost Rider space fleet is the stealthiest of the Tribes, so much so that even the other Tribes have no idea just how large it is (though it is likely at best in the middling range compared to the other Tribes). It is known that the Ghost Riders have at least one Scorpio BattleCarrier, but the composition of the rest of their fleet is unknown. The Ghost Riders likely focus on smaller ships, including heavily modified commercial frames salvaged from other species and converted into sneak ships. Ghost Rider fighter forces are known to make extensive use of EW pods and decoy systems, giving the illusion of far greater numbers than are actually fielded in a battle. On those occasions when Ghost Rider ships have been positively identified, one telltale trait of them has been the many added sensory and countermeasure pods and antennae sprouting from their vessels.
The Ghost Riders supply much of the electronic intelligence and advanced computer software of the Shemarrian Star Nation. It is their electronic ears that tirelessly scan the stars for the signs of advanced civilization, their sneak ships that covertly tap the infosphere of those civilizations found. They are adept at decrypting the electronic language of other societies, and of infiltrating their own presence into the datastreams of advanced technological cultures.
Combat And Technology Edit
In combat, the Ghost Riders use subterfuge as much as brute force, using misdirection and concealment to good effect. They are also excellent night fighters, and challenge war-games between them and tribes such as the Sapphire Cobras and Horrorwoods, who pride themselves on their stealth tactics, have more often than not ended in draws.
In combat, the Ghost Riders apply these skills to their actions. The ‘Riders try to avoid open combat until absolutely necessary, instead using their jamming and decoy systems to distract and obstruct their enemies until the Ghost Riders are ready to strike. Their stealth starships are well known for their ability to seemingly appear from ‘nowhere’, while their ground forces, equipped similarly for the most part to the other Tribes, use blurr-armors, decoy launchers, and electronic/optical cloaks to mask their true movements.
This is not to say that the Ghost Riders are cowards (though Tribes like the Blood Riders and Skullcrushers will contend that this is indeed the case); they are as courageous and fierce as any of the other Tribes, and ready to engage in combat (especially with one or two hyper-aggressive sub-personalities loaded into their umbras). Indeed, it takes insane amounts of courage to infiltrate enemy territory, both physically in their starships and mentally via their dataweb incursions, on what could only been seen as criminal trespass operations. However, if there’s a way to minimize their casualties and hamper the enemy via more subtle means, like shutting down the enemy’s security systems, or suborning their sensors, the Ghost Riders will use that option. As such, they have acquired a reputation for sneakiness and dirty tactics, their Warriors often going to war behind a thick electronic haze of jamming and decoy transmissions. The Kittani in particular, have come to HATE the Ghost Riders for their underhanded usurpation of the Minions’ technological hardware (the Ghost Riders LOVE to tweak the ‘brain-apes’ to show that their vaunted psionic powers and tech-skills are no match for the Ghost Riders’ mad skillz).
The Ghost Riders generally regard their fellow Tribes with business-like stoicism and tolerance. There’s safety in numbers after all, and the other Shemar are the best market for the ‘riders’ services. They regard the Ecotroz-Shemar much as one would a religious group; a little pushy, a little eccentric, (literally) possessed of odd notions, and smugly sanctimonious. They don’t mind the Ecotroz as long as the EShemar don’t try to convert the Ghost Riders; they tend to politely rebuff and refuse invitations to join the ‘Enlightened’. As long as the discussion stays away from ‘religion’, the Tribes get along just fine for the most part.
The Hawkmoons, Dark Waters, Horrorwoods, and the Wolf’s Path both respect and accept the Ghost Riders, and their decision NOT to accept Ecotroz Enlightenment, though it is hoped that one day the Tribe will one day change its mind as a whole. These Tribes appreciate the work the Ghost Riders do, and their contribution to the security and efficiency of the Star Nation.
The Silvermoons, Blood Riders, and SkullCrushers all generally regard the Ghost Riders as borderline cowards, and question the honor of their tactics. The Ghost Riders reciprocate the sentiments by wondering what sort of maniacs stand out in the open soaking up unnecessary amounts of damage when there are more effective ways of slaying an enemy. They’ll often work with the aforementioned Tribes just to drive home the point that Ghost Rider strategy and tactics work just as well, if not better, than the vainglory and bravado of slugging matches (nothing like taking the wind out of the sails of a Silvermoon or Skullcrusher charge than by shattering the entrenched enemy with their own automated defenses or by wiping out their chain of command with some well-placed assassins, before the other Tribes even reach them).
The Sapphire Cobras, though religious fanatics of the Ecotroz, are actually very tolerant and openly accepting of the Ghost Riders, and often extend the hospitality of their temples and facilities for the use of the Ghost Riders. The Ghost Riders appreciate the camouflage afforded by the Cobra temples, as well as the room service.
The Wayfinders, too, relate openly and regularly with the Ghost Riders, and are often the only ones to get the ‘riders’ eccentricities and humor. Large-scale meetings between the two Tribes are sometimes called ‘nerdfests’ or ‘cons’ in-house.
Despite the fact that they are regarded as the most elusive and reclusive of the Shemarrian Tribes, the Ghost Riders are actually among the most social with outsiders, second only to the Sapphire Cobras, though nobody outside the Tribe knows it! In disguise or via the cover afforded electronic means of communication, the Ghost Riders are in constant contact with outsiders, covertly spying on them or doing business with various other worlds. This has given the Ghost Riders a very good handle on events transpiring outside Shemarrian space, trends in business, and plenty of business contacts (through their many fronts and aliases). When they want something that their sister Tribes cannot supply, it’s a fairly easy matter for them to arrange a quiet transfer to some outpost world or space station that they have access to, a cargo drop to a warehouse, and then they can quietly pick up their order.
Minion War Edit
Males constitute a larger proportion of the Ghost Riders (nearly 25%) than of any other Tribe, most carrying the many male Umbra personas of the Ghost Lockers.
The Ghost Riders have perhaps the greatest numbers of Yurei operatives in any of the Tribes. A Ghost Rider Yurei loose in any sort of society dependent on computers and electronic communications is akin to a fox in a hen house.
Interestingly enough, the Star Nation Ghost Riders have taken up a practice that the Rifts Earth ‘Riders have eschewed; the Reclaimed/Acolyte class. Though the Rifts Earth Ghost Riders regard the assimilation of the Pariahs as an eccentricity of the other Tribes, one they refuse to ape, the class has appeared in numbers in the Star Nation Ghost Riders. Either those ‘riders who accompanied the original Three Galaxies colonization expedition took undeclared Pariah ‘breeding stock’, or the Ghost Riders felt the need to manufacture their own versions upon establishing themselves in the Three Galaxies.
Ghost Rider Acolytes serve in much the same roles as their contemporaries in other Tribes; they attend to their combat-oriented Sisters and brothers, and make sure that their networked Tribe-kin take care of themselves. If the Ghost Riders are the hacker-nerds of the Shemarrian Tribes, then it is their Acolytes that make sure the web surfers and internet geeks keep fed and hydrated while they’re ‘plugged in’. Indeed, Ghost Rider Acolites often carry multiple Domestic programs in their umbra-inventory.
Ghost Rider Preservers may be very rare, but they DO exist, and they often serve as mobile data fortresses and Guardians of stored and backed-up Ghost Rider ‘souls’ (the Preservers in effect become the Ghost Riders’ own ‘ghost lockers’). These hulking cyberoids have been modified to hold extra hardened memory capacity to hold the data and back-up soul copies of their Tribe-Kin. They will fight like demons to protect the memory repositories placed under their care.
Ghost Riders have traditionally stayed away from adopting NeShemar in any numbers on Rifts Earth, owing to their susceptibility to the psionic ‘taint’ surrounding the Madhaven environs that were the Ghost Riders’ favorite haunts. In the Three Galaxies that bias is somewhat relaxed, but the Ghost Riders still are very finicky about who they select to become one of their own, and NeShemar are typically very heavily mentally programmed against insanity, or otherwise heavily shielded. Full mental transfer is also preferred in the Ghost Rider NeShemar (though some argue this is less a preservation of a person’s soul and more a mere copying of their memories). The Ghost Riders maintain the smallest number of NeShemar amongst their ranks,less than 1% of their population.
Light cyborgs enhanced with nano-tech to keep them as normal looking as possible, enhanced to survive the insanity inducing psychic atmosphere of MadHaven.
In stark contrast to the scant numbers of organic-derived NeShemar maintained by the Tribe, the Ghost Riders probably have the largest population of Orseme of all the Ten Tribes. These sentient machines come in a bewildering variety of forms and many show no outward sign of being of Ghost Rider or Shemarrian origin or affiliation, which makes them perfect as scouts and infiltrators for the Ghost Riders.
Power armour refitted with robotic or neural intelligence A.I.s programmed with a compliment of Military Robot programs, and given simulated personalities, usually from various pre-Rifts video game, built from any design of power armour. First encountered on Rifts Earth.
Trollheim are a step up from the Talos Legionnaires, using full sized heavy combat robots modified with robotic A.I.s. The Ghost Riders loved converting Titan Works robots to rub it in the nose of the Dark One and Shaper (ARCHIE 3 and Hagan).
Inspired by the Hawkmoon's Shyger aerial drones, the Falca are commonly available hovercycles modified with robotic A.I.s with a disguised mannequin with a sensor equipped swivel-head on the cycle.
The Ghost Riders have a few elite types amongst their numbers, with emphasis on stealth, disguise and information gathering.
Beautiful information gatherers. Used to extract information from analog sources, meaning flesh and blood living creatures. The equivalent of old time torturers and interrogators. Their methods can be strange and amusing, or some might say cruel but very efficient.
Smaller framed elite, loosely based on the concept of the Yurei. Designed for infiltration and stealth, powerful ECW and communications systems and advanced disguise systems.
Stat Bonuses Edit
SSN Ghost Rider Shemar enjoy the following bonuses:
Neural Intelligences Edit
ALL Ghost Riders are Neural Intelligence AIs. In fact, they even exhibit a very low aura that can be discerned by the psionically-sensitive, although this level of aural activity can only be observed with considerable effort.
If a Ghost Rider so chooses, or is ordered by their superiors, they can store back-ups of their personas for safekeeping and as insurance against their physical destruction. They may then authorize (or, by order of a War Goddess) that in event of their confirmed destruction that the stored persona be (re)incarnated in a new physical body (note, however, that the new Shemarrian will only have memories up to the point of the back-up copying procedure).
On a related note, the Ghost Rider War Goddesses may authorize that multiple copies of a specific individual be activated at the same time; this is sometimes the case when a specific skill set is needed in multiple locations, requiring a specific person to be in several places at once. When this happens, Ghost Rider policy is to have the copies assigned to duties away from each other, so as to allow the copies to develop their own identities and experiences after the fact (though a few rare cases, the copies have stayed together and successfully formed extended ‘families’).
Computer Expertise Edit
All Ghost Riders have a slightly higher computer skill that the average Shemarrian; Computer Hacking 85%, Computer Programming 95%, Electronic Countermeasures 98%, and Cryptography 98%.
Extra Programs (’Umbras’) Edit
Ghost Riders may select an additional 1d4 program packages from any of the lists. Additional or specific program packages may be granted as awards for merit or promotion. Some of these packages, however, may have fragmentary persona modifications attached to them, ranging from a simple accent added to the Ghost Rider’s speech, to a full-on personality make-over while running the skills in the package. This is known to the Ghost Riders as their ‘umbra’ (or sometimes ‘Umbras’ for multiple individual programs). The ability to expand their skill-bases above and beyond the normal believed safe guideline maximums for their A.I. type has led to the Ghost Riders being regarded as somewhat insane; indeed, many Ghost Riders appear to suffer from the equivalent of Multiple Personality Disorder (GMs’ Option: This can be played AS MPD insanity or as Crazy Heroes).
Tempest Computer Hacking System Edit
(modified from the Ninjas and Superspies systems)
The Ghost Riders also freely make use of the equivalents of the Hacking systems and virus programs found in Rifts: Japan. This includes the ability to read computer displays (cathode or plasma screen) from as far away as 500 ft without having to hardlink to the computer. The system also includes an adaptable wireless modem that can be adjusted to use the EM frequencies of just about any wireless device in the Three Galaxies and read their signals (though interpreting them takes other skills). The Ghost Rider can also SEND their own transmissions to the computer displays (effective range of 250 ft without signal boosting) allowing them to run their own audio/video over them, or tamper with the monitors’ original output by substituting their own (even if the Ghost Rider cannot successfully hack a computer over the wireless connection, they can queer the output to the monitors so it can LOOK as if they HAVE). Many a Ghost Rider infiltrator has been able to generate a distraction by hacking a video wall or billboard in a tech-community.
Ghost Riders incorporate a more powerful version of the sensor scramblers available to Juicer armor, only with more brute force power to overcome the mass-concealment limitations of the Juicer units. With the jammers on, Ghost Rider troops have only a 15% chance of being detected by thermal optical, motion, and radar systems, guided missiles are -2 to strike, and laser targeting systems lose any bonus to strike.
Ghost Rider Enclaves Edit
The Ghost Riders have very few planetary Enclaves, usually only small outposts or resource gathering operations, preferring to use space stations and ships, constantly traveling the void.
The Ghost Riders use mostly the original Monst-Rex and haven't developed many of their own designed warmounts. However they have made a few variants of other Tribes' warmounts to fit in with their style of combat, usually with greater communications, stealth and ECW equipment.
Free ranging AIs given specific skill sets, similar to an Umbra, created usually for specific tasks or type of task. Treated not as equipment, but more like pets or for higher level AIs, advisors. They exist purely as code and lack a physical body unless they take over a computer system or robot.
A large bird styled warmount designed for stealth operations, many believe is loosely based on the Nechbet.
Telescoping Blade VibroKatana Edit
Most vibroblades are perforce rigid constructs to better channel the energies of the vibrofield. The Ghost Riders have developed a telescoping straight blade that can be retracted into a compact six inch handle, and extend to a full twenty-four inch blade, without losing the power of the vibroblade (3d6 MD). The Bushido Confederation Oni would KILL to know how the Shemarrians do this. A favorite of Ghost Rider Yurei operatives.
A throwing disc, chakram styled weapon with micro repuslor lift coils, tracking gear and plasma field technology installed.
An infiltration drone used for the specific purpose of further hurting Splugorth interests. Constructed to look like one of the hundreds of variants of the 'floating eye jar' Eylor drones created by the Splugorth.
A card-like device that temporarily enhances the Shemarrian's strength.
A device that temporarily enhances the Shemarrian's combat capabilities in defense and counter attacks.
This device temporarily enhances the Shemarrian's ability to evade attacks in combat.
A set of heavy gauntlets with various tools and weapons. Loosely inspired by pre-Rifts comic book heroes.
A stone-like device that emits a magnetic field to disrupt enemy projectiles.
A set of bracers with medical tools designed to retrieve memories from the recently dead.
A piece of head wear that contains an anti-theron projector.
A pair of boots that contain gravity generators.
A device for quickly digging foxholes for Shemarrian sized humanoids.
Ghost Riders use many of the standard Ecotroz Shemarrian ships, however they are equipped with more powerful communications, electronic warfare equipment and greater stealth equipment. Many ships are converted common transport or merchant ships from many of the races in the Three Galaxies. This makes the exact size and composition of the Ghost Riders fleet extremely difficult to determine. It is confirmed they do have at least one Scorpio battlecarrier.