“If you can hear them, it’s already too late. And if you’ve got your sensors up, you’ll only see what they WANT you to see, until it’s too late for you.”
- 1 EcoS-K-51 Nightscream Aerial Warmount
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Cargo
- 2.2 Sensors
- 2.3 Special Systems
- 2.4 Weapons Systems
- 2.5 Programming
- 2.6 Combat
EcoS-K-51 Nightscream Aerial Warmount
aka ‘Bloodwing Blackbird’
The Nightscream is a Ghost Rider aerial Warmount. Despite its name, the Nightscream is actually designed for quiet stealth, and was developed to meet the Tribe’s need for an effective aerial espionage and electronic warfare platform.
The Nightscream looks like a large flattened-out blackbird, with enclosed lift fans in its wingroots, and variable-geometry outboard wings. It is believed that the Ghost Riders studied the Nechbet for inspiration, adapting the basic design to their own purposes. Like the Nechbet, the Nightscream has an enclosed cockpit, the better to improve airflow and stealth characteristics. The Warmount is sheathed in advanced stealth materials that deflect or absorb radar radiation and reduce the Warmount’s thermal signature. Two underslung legs allow for walking (awkwardly) along the ground, or, more often, to deliver talon strikes.
Nightscreams are meant as flying electronic warfare platforms and stealth fighter-bombers, performing strike-and-fade attacks under the cover of their electronic jamming. The Warmounts effectively have secondary brains dedicated to running the onboard electronic warfare systems, under the supervision of a Ghost Rider specialist. They are also occasionally used to deliver up snatch-and-grabs, snapping up targets on the ground and taking them away to be inspected/interrogated.
The Nightscream tends to remain out of melee range, as the Warmount is relatively delicate and clumsy in close combat. The Ghost Riders assigned to these Warmounts prefer to use it in a support role, and engage enemies from long range, engaging in close combat only in emergencies or against ‘soft’ targets. Wings of Nightscreams are typically deployed to take out key enemy systems, such as air defense sites or communications facilities, in advance of more general strikes against personnel and material.
Nightscreams almost all belong to the Ghost Rider Tribe, though it is rumored that a few have appeared in other Tribes (mainly the Hawkmoons and Wayfinders) as well. Whether these were given to the other Tribes by the Ghost Riders, or are the result of shared Assembly Forge templates is unknown.
|Class||Robotic Warmount, Aerial|
|Number of Riders||1|
|Number of Passengers||1|
|Original Tribe||Ghost Rider|
MDC By Location
|Main Wings||(2) 120|
|Main Wingspan||64 ft|
|Flying Speed||1400 mph
|Power System||Nuclear 20 year|
|Addition Sensor1||Radar Detector|
|Additional Sensor2||Laser Designator|
|Cybernanite Repair||4d6 MD/hr 100 MDC|
|Special System 1||EMP Shielding|
|Special System 2||Advanced Stealth|
|Special System 3||Jamming Systems|
|Special System 4||Ghost Spoofer|
|Special System 5||Typhoon Hacking System|
|Primary Weapon||Eye Lasers (2)|
|Secondary Weapon||Leading Edge Weapon Mounts (4)|
|Third Weapon||Missile Launchers/Ordnance Bays (2)|
|Fourth Weapon||Tail Gun (1)|
|Fifth Weapon||Optional Overwing Modular Hardpoints (2)|
|Sixth Weapon||Chaff/Flare Countermeasures (2)|
Small space inside/beside the saddle-seat for a few personal possessions and sidearms.
Picks up enemy radar emissions and weapons locks.
The Nightscream mounts a head-mounted laser designator for ‘painting’ targets for laser-guided ordnance (such as that carried by other Nightscreams). The laser has a 50,000 ft range.
Extensive use of nonconductive materials, shock barriers, capacitator-sponges, redundant systems, and energy-dissipation technology protects the aircraft from the damaging effects of electromagnetic pulse, Triax Lightning Cannon, and other anti-electronics directed energy weaponry (Note: this construction technology is being incorporated throughout EShemarrian industry and design, and being retrofitted to existing hardware as time and resources allow, typically through Rituals of Upgrade).
The Nightscream is sheathed in radar-invisible materials and insulated against excessive heat emissions; only a 22% chance (-78% to enemy detection rolls) of showing up on enemy radar, thermal-imaging or laser imaging systems. The Warmount is also very quiet at speeds under 200 MPH; it has an effective airborne Prowl ability of 78%.
A broad area jamming suite that gives the craft a -6 to be struck by radar-guided weaponry and enjoys a -50% on enemy sensor rolls to be detected by radar. Jams and distorts radar returns in a 20 mile radius of the aircraft, and communications in a 40 mile radius.
A powerful EW system that can create up to EIGHT sensor ‘ghosts’ and project them up to 5 miles away from the fighter.
Typhoon Hacking System
A larger and boosted version of the ‘Tempest’ hacking system carried by many Ghost Riders. This includes the ability to read computer displays (cathode or plasma screen) from as far away as 7,000 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 2,000 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).
Eye Lasers (2)
|Damage2||6d6 MD double blast (both eyes)|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
Standard robotic eye lasers, common in the Shemarrian arsenal.
Leading Edge Weapons Mounts (4)
The leading edge wing ‘glove’ section has provision for being fitted with fixed-forward firing weaponry. When firing, sometimes the wing section glows, giving the Nightscream its nickname of ‘Bloodwing Blackbird’.
|Damage2||1d6x10 MD double (1 attack)|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
|Range2||2000 ft shotgun|
|Damage2||6d6 MD shotgun 20 ft area|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
The Ion cannon can fire a ‘shotgun’ blast that does 6d6 MD to a 20 ft wide area, though range drops to 2,000 ft. This makes the ion cannon an attractive alternative for anti-infantry roles, or an anti-aircraft weapon.
Particle Beam Cannon
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
50% more damage on a Critical strike of a Natural 19-20.
Improved Shock Cannon
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
(copy of the Triax TX-275 ‘Lightning’ Arc Charge Blaster
- 01-15: No damage
- 16-30 Instruments flicker out, before coming back online in 1d4 seconds. Target loses Initiative.
- 31-45 All weapons temporarily out, and minor electrical fires. One system comes back online in 1d4 melee rds.
- 46-60 All systems temporarily out, and minor electrical fires. -30% to piloting skills if target is a manned vehicle. Systems come back online after 1d4 melee rds.
- 61-75 Communications, radar, and targeting are disabled, but weapons systems are unaffected. -3 to strike and no initiative. Damage requires physical repair.
- 76-90 Instruments are completely totaled. If a manned vehicle, the following skill penalties apply; -25% at one-third of maximum speed, -50% at HALF maximum speed, and -75% at full speed. NO initiative roll, -3 to dodge (-5 if an AI), -3 to strike (-5 if an AI), and lose one action per melee round (2 if an AI).
- 91-00 Total knockout. Controls do not respond, and machine is out of control. Crash/collapse/total shutdown within 2d4 minutes.
Missile Launchers/Ordnance Bays (2)
Recessed into the underside of the Warmount are two ordnance bays that can hold missiles or bombs. Typically, precision-guided weapons such as HARMs (Homing Anti-Radiation Missiles) or ‘smart’ guided bombs are carried, as the size of the bays dictate the size of the ordnance carried, and thus the most must be made of them.
The bays are also occasionally used to hold prisoners for transport; in which case they are fitted with special restraint cage pods. During ‘bodysnatcher’ raids, the Nightscream can reach its talons up into its own underbelly bays to deposit captives to be sedated and restrained.
- Mini-Missiles---19 shot pod
- Short Range Missiles---5 shot pod per hardpoint
- Medium Range Missiles---1 per hardpoint
Bombs (Free-fall or ‘Smart’)
Multiple bombs can be slung on a single hardpoint. Up to 2,000 lbs of ordnance can be carried in each bay. The Ghost Riders often use other people’s purloined or copied ordnance (such as PS-made standoff weapons pods or Triax ‘Slammer’ bombs) to confuse enemies as to the exact nature of their assailants (from post-strike forensic analysis of bomb debris).
- 250-lb Bomb----2d4x10 MD to 50 ft blast radius
- 500-lb Bomb----4d4x10 MD to 60 ft blast radius
- 750-lb Bomb----4d6x10 MD to 65 ft blast radius
- 1,000-lb Bomb----1d4x100 MD to 70 ft blast radius
- 2,000-lb Bomb----2d4x100 MD to 80 ft blast radius
Note: The Nightscream can engage in dive-bombing maneuvers; doing so means that the Warsteed approaches the target in a dive (45-degrees or better), releases its bomb (at 5,000 ft or less distance from the target), and then pulls out. A successful dive-bombing attack requires a Piloting roll at -10%, but the dropped ordnance is +2 to strike, and gets a +2d4 MD for the extra speed assist in penetration.
100 MDC and sometimes fitted with electronic stun or drug-injection gear to control prisoners.
Tail Gun (1)
The Nightscream can mount a modular weapon similar to those available to the Monstrex, only this mounting is in the tail, and intended to dissuade close pursuit.
(Optional) Overwing Modular Hardpoints (2)
These can each be fitted with a modular weapon similar to those available to the Monst-rex. Unless specially fitted with a stealth faring, however, mounting these weapons will reduce the effectiveness of the stealth sheathing by -15%.
Chaff/Flare Countermeasures Launchers (2)
Mounted in the tail are two flare/chaff launchers.
Damage: None; similar to Triax-style chaff
- 01-50 Enemy Missile or volley detonates in chaff and threat is neutralized
- 51-75 Missile/Volley diverts and may pursue/lock on to other targets
- 76-00 No Effect! Missile(s) still on target!
Will also temporarily blind and impede flying monsters who fy into it. Reduce APMs/combat bonuses/ speed by half for 1d4 melees
Payload: 12 per launcher, 24 total.
The Ecotroz have installed robotic AIs, then infected the matrix with a low-level Ecotroz sentience, though only in the case of Nightscreams given to other Tribes; the Ghost Riders themselves do not Awaken their Warmounts with the Ecotroz). The Nightscream has an effective animal I.Q. of 11.
Typically has the same programming as for the Monst-rex and Monst-crane, plus the following:
Pilot Jet Fighter 70% (+5% per level of experience) (for maneuvering purposes).
50% (+5% per level of experience for Ecotroz entity*)
Electronic Countermeasures 94%
*In those few cases where a Nightscream is ‘awakened’ by an Ecotroz Tribe. The Ecotroz entity can also pick up one Secondary skill at levels 2, 6, and 12 of experience, though the nature of the Nightscream intelligence and design is such that it is limited to skill selections from Technical: Language (understanding) and Lore, Espionage (Detect Ambush, Detect Concealment), Wilderness (Track Humanoids, Track Animals, Hunting, Identify Plants and Fruits)
|Attacks Per Melee||7|
|Initiative||+2 (+3 if Awakened)|
|Dodge||+3/+7 in flight|
|Strike||+3, +2 w/ ranged weapons|
|Beak Strike||2d6 MD|
|Power Beak Strike||1d4x10 MD (2 attacks)|
|Claw Strike||3d6 MD|
|Wing Strike||2d4 MD|
The Nightscream is not a good melee combatant, but can defend itself.
Note: The Ghost Riders do NOT ‘Awaken’ their hardware with the Ecotroz energy essence, but their skill in programming still manages to give the Nightscream behavior more like a living creature than a robot.
In those cases where a Nightscream is “Awakened’, the Ecotroz intelligence fragment inhabiting the ‘bot gives the Nightscream an aura and behavior more befitting a sentient being than a robot.
In both cases its personality is of a patient stalker and hunter, and it follows the commands of its riders loyally. It prefers to strike a target from above and behind, and from surprise.
The Ecotroz fragment does occasionally need sleep/rest...though they only need 2 hours of rest/meditation per 24 hours...they can push this, going without for as many days as they have I.Q. points, but will have to go dormant for 4d6 hours after such exertion.
Note also that the Ecotroz-possessed ‘bot can infect other bots with the Ecotroz viral-entity, by bite or sustained touch (takes 3 attacks).