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<<“WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THE FISH ON THIS REEF?! THEY’RE ALL ATTACKING US!!!! FIND WHATEVER ACCURSED MAGE IS CONTROLLING THEM AND KILL HIM!!!>>

“-don’t know where all those damned jellyfish came from, but when they started sticking to our hull and BURNING, our shipdreamers all started screaming like it was them on fire. Plus the whole sea around us lit up bright as day. Painted us like a target in the night. Then the shore apes we were trying to sneak up on started raining artillery on us. Had to pull out quick. Lost a whale raider and over a dozen drones that we sent over the side to try to scrape the fire off. Never encountered that type of jellyfish before; must be something new from the rifts and we were just unlucky enough to run into a drift of them. Only good thing to come of the whole affair was we learned the slave beasts now have weapons capable of hitting us from the shore.”

“Quantity has a quality all its own.”

EcoS-K-107 Stormapod Aquatic Warmount[]

Stormapod.jpg

aka ‘Cruncher’, ‘Deepspawner’, ‘CarrierCrab’

The Stormapod would appear, at first glance, the DarkWaters’ take on the EcoS-K-35 Monstriark, only fitted for deep water operations. Resembling a giant lobster, the Stormapod can serve as a mobile mini-fac and ‘hatchery’ for swarms of smaller e-animals

Like the stomapods that inspired its design, the Stormapod resembles a giant mantis shrimp, complete with hard-hitting jackhammer smasher claws. The Stormapod typically only uses these claws to excavate or cut apart materials to feed its inner factory-workings, to produce more e-animals, but the warmount can also take apart opponents who recklessly come too close. Several batteries of energy weapons insure that the Stormapod can keep trouble at a distance, though, and heavy armor means that the warmount can survive a few hits that get through. Like many DarkWater Warmounts, the Stormapod features a fully enclosed cockpit pod, giving its rider and passengers advanced protection and a dry place to relax in. In an emergency, the pod can detach, and can act as a mini-submersible life capsule (can motor away at 60 MPH, or engage emergency ascent float-bags). 

Stormapod rider pod.jpg

The Stormapod may be slow, but it is heavily armed and armored. In addition, the Stormapod is usually accompanied by an attendant swarm of e-animals, typically of its own manufacture. Like the Unipelta starship corvette (which also seems inspired by mantis shrimp), the Stormapod’s elongated tail section plays host to multiple modular cells, only in this case each segment is assembly and launch module for an e-animal drone.

The real wonder is in the center torso, where the Stormapod houses an Assembly Forge mini-factory, capable of churning out small e-animals. The DarkWaters have been working on creating multiple templates for a range of small e-animals usable in marine environments and distributing them to their Stormapod units. However, a sufficiently talented Tinker (or VatFather) can program in their own e-animal templates, making the Stormapod a favorite mount for these caste-classes.

With their rock-cracking piledriver claws, Stormapods also make excellent underwater mining and excavation warmounts. A favorite tactic is to excavate a burrow in the bottom and several smaller holes nearby, and use them as a base of operations to cache salvage and manufacture schools of surveillance and attack e-animals. 

Since their introduction, Stormapods have begun outfitting DarkWater long range patrols and war parties throughout the oceans of Rifts Earth. They are particularly common in Atlantic waters, where the DarkWaters have been tightening their net against Splugorth maritime concerns. It is rumored that Stormapod ‘warrens’ spot the ocean bottom along oft-used Splugorth and Horune shipping lanes, the better to lie in wait and launch attacks. They are also used as part of the DarkWaters’ underwater mining operations. 

Stormapod2.jpg

The DarkWaters also reportedly have an aquatic variant of the EcoS-K-20 Stone Eater that has been fitted with a similar autofactory setup, but the EcoS-K-107 is regarded as tactically more flexible for smaller units, while the EcoS-K-20Dw is seen as a support element for larger formations. 

Abilities[]

Stormapod
Type EcoS-K-107
Class Aquatic Warmount
Crew Robotic Intelligence, Ecotroz Fragment
Number of Riders 1
Number of Passengers 2
Original Tribe Darkwaters
MDC By Location
Head 250
Main Body 860
Antennas 90 (2)
Legs 180 (6)
Small Probe Antennae (4) 50
Cockpit Pod 250
Foreclaws (2) 330
Underclaw Ion Blasters (2) 90
Secondary Legs (4) 120
Rear Paddle-Fin Spines (4) 65
Physical Size
Height 15 ft

Pod sail adds 12 ft

Length 65 ft
Width 36 ft
Weight 37 tons
Physical Attributes
IQ 12
PS 50 Robotic
SPD 60 mph
Swim Speed 35 mph

Crawl bottom 45 mph

Maximum Depth 4 miles
Cargo small space in pod
Power System Nuclear 20 year
Other Attributes
Sensors
Standard Sensors Standard
Addition Sensor1 Sonar 18 mile
Additional Sensor2 Magnetometer
Additional Sensor3 Antennae (6)
Special Systems
Cybernanite Repair 4d6 MD/h4 100 MDC
Special System 1 Sonar Stealth Armour
Special System 2 Drone Assembly
Weapon Systems
Primary Weapon Eye Lasers (2)
Secondary Weapon Foreclaw Ion Blasters (2)
Third Weapon HydroRams (6)
Fourth Weapon Striker Claws (2)
Fifth Weapon Tail Lasers (2)
Sixth Weapon Rear Tail Spines
Seventh Weapon Pod Mast Energy Weapon (optional)
Eighth Weapon Drones

The Stormapod has many abilities to allow it to function as an aquatic drone factory.

Sensors[]

Sonar[]

The sonar has a 18 mile range. 

Magnetometer[]

Detects disturbances in the local magnetic fields, signaling the presence of metal, active electronic hardware, or other EM-phenomenon.

Range: The magnetometer has a range of 4,000 ft and can detect vehicles and other metallic structures with 80% accuracy. Active fusion powerplant containment fields, energetic magnetic anomalies, and powered-up railguns can be detected at TWICE normal range. 

Antennae (6)[]

The Stormapod has four thin antennae, a large pair roughly 12 ft long, and four smaller ones about 8 ft long. The large pair can be laid back across the warmount’s back, while the smaller ones can be retracted into the body. Besides acting as communications aerials and EM detectors, these antennae can be used to test the temperature of the water and feel around in the dark or in silty conditions (penalties for blindness are HALVED and +1 to dodge). 

Special Systems[]

Sonar Stealth Armor[]

The Stormapod is sheathed in acoustically-absorb ant armor skinning. Its EM emissions are similarly shielded. -25% to enemy detection rolls.

Drone Assembly[]

The onboard manufactory can produce EcoS-DUW01 and EcoS-DUW02 drones (or can be programmed to produce other, similar ‘bots) from scratch.

Typical rate of assembly: 

  • EcoS-DUW01 ‘Robofin’ --- Up to 100 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 1 MD or 200 SDC of consumed materials to produce 8 drones.
  • EcoS-DUW02 ‘Grabby’ --- Up to 20 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 20 MD of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • Eco-KRP20/ EcoS-KRPXUW2007 Teuthy --- Up to 1 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 45 MDC of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • EcoS-KaSSc-01/KRP-26 Darkeel --- Up to 1 can be produced every two hours. Typically it takes about 90 MDC of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • EcoS-DUW03 ‘Sharkus’ --- Up to 1 can be produced every two hours. Typically it takes about 65 MDC of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • EcoS-DUW04 ‘Robopus’ ---- Up to 4 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 40 MDC of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • EcoS-DUWAK01 --- Up to 4 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 25 MDC of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • EcoS-DEXUW01 ’Squidpedo’ --- Up to 20 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 12 MDC of consumed materials to produce 1 drone.
  • EcoS-DEXUW02 ’Starfish Mine’ --- Up to 50 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 3 MD or 600 SDC of consumed materials to produce 5 drones.
  • EcoS-DEXUW03 ’Jelly Mine’ --- Up to 120 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 1 MD or 200 SDC of consumed materials to produce 10 drones.
  • EcoS-DEXUW04 ’Sailor Mine’ --- Up to 120 can be produced an hour. Typically it takes about 1 MD or 200 SDC of consumed materials to produce 10 drones.

If not producing drones, the nanofactory has a secondary role of producing ammunition; it can produce 50 high explosive (OR 30 incendiary/ acid OR 5 malnano) grenades/shells/limpet mines, 25 mini-torpedoes, or 100 rounds of solid rail gun ammunition per hour, if properly fed with the right materials.

Weapons Systems[]

Eye Lasers (2)[]

Range 2000 ft
Damage 3d6 MD
Damage2 6d6 MD double blast
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Unlimited

Standard robotic eye lasers, common in the Shemarrian arsenal, only modified for blue-green frequencies for maximum penetration underwater. 

Foreclaw Ion Blasters (2)[]

Range 4000 ft
Damage 1d6x10+10 MD
Rate of Fire EGCHH
Payload Unlimited

Each main claw mounts a small, but powerful ion blaster.

HydroRams (2 main, 4 secondary)[]

Range Hydrocutter 200 ft, 50 ft underwater
Range2 Main Jet Foutain 250 ft, 10 ft wide

Punch Jets 50 ft

Damage Hydrocutter 6d6 MD

1d6x10 MD full melee 2d6x10 hit point to vampires

Damage2 Main Jet Fountain blast None, knockdown

2d6x10 HP to vampires

Damage3 Punch Jets non, knockdown

1d4x10 HP to vampires

Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Effective unlimited.

The Stormapod is laced with a series of high pressure water conduits that act to cool and disperse the internal heat of the warmount’s internal manufactory. The high-pressure water can also be vented to assist in propelling the massive warmount through the water, while two large vents on the back of the main striker claws help rocket-punch them forward. In and of themselves, these thrusters can act as weapons at short range, producing a hypersonic stream of water that cuts through metal, ceramic, and stone like a liquid chainsaw.

Four smaller ydrojets are positioned around the lower body and act as maneuvering thrusters and as water jets. Though mainly used for clearing debris and excavation in soft materials, the jets are still powerful enough to raise a camouflaging cloud of silt around the warmount in water, and push away enemies at short range.

  • Main Jet Fountain Blast - None, but human-sized beings struck with the stream but roll versus the ‘cannon’s To Strike roll, or be bowled off their feet/away (lose initiative and 1 APM while trying to get back their bearings). Does 2d6x10 HP to vampires.
  • Punch Jets - None, but human-sized beings struck with the stream but roll versus the ‘cannon’s To Strike roll, or be bowled off their feet/away (lose initiative and 1 APM while

trying to get back their bearings). Does 1d4x10 HP to vampires. Payload: Effectively unlimited when in the water, or able to dangle their tail segments in the water. Out of the water, the internal water reservoirs have only enough for 1 minute of cutting, 4 high pressure blasts, or 12 punch jet blasts.

Striker Claws (2)[]

Range Melee, up to 25 ft
Damage Pincer Nip/Tear/Pry 2d6 MD
Damage2 Full Strength Claw Strike 6d6 MD
Damage3 Lightning-Strike 3d6x10 MD
Rate of Fire ECHH

Lightning strike 1/melee, must be first and only claw attack that melee.

One of the iconic parts of the mantis shrimp, and the Stormapod inspired by it, is the pair of large high-tension, quick release striker claws. Normally kept stowed under and to the sides of the warmount’s main body, the claws can be extended and raised for action, whereupon they can be snapped forward with near supersonic speed, the long-rod armor-piercing claws striking like piledrivers. The Stormapod normally uses this in excavation, to crack granite and other hard rocks, but of course it is also used to crack open enemy hulls, shells, and armored bodies. 

Tail Lasers (2)[]

Range 2000 ft
Range2 1000 ft underwater
Damage 4d6 MD
Damage2 1d4x10 MD pulse
Damage3 Double if both striking targets astern
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Unlimited

The Stormapod mounts two rear-facing lasers in its tail for use defending its rear quarters, or excavating a hole while backing up. 

Rear Tail Spines[]

Range Melee, 10 ft
Damage 1d6 MD

These are fined spines based on the original Monstrex’s back spines, but they act on the Stormapod as maneuvering fins and anchors when the warmount is sitting on hard rock outcroppings, though they can also be used to spike anybody approaching from the rear quarter.

Optional Pod Mast Energy Weapon[]

The top of the submarine sail-like passenger pod can mount a small energy weapon turret, holding either a laser similar to the eyes, or a light ion blaster. This weapon mount is usually manually operated by a passenger.

Drones[]

Arguably the main ranged weapon of the Stormapod is its drones or mobile submunitions. The rear tail segments have 32 assembly/storage cells for launching drones of the types listed above. Each cell can hold 4 drones, for a total of 124 embarked drones, plus additional units can nest attached to the Stormpod’s flanks, charging up via induction, until needed to break off and go on their way. Most Stormapod riders maintain a mix of recon and attack types. 

Programming[]

The Ecotroz have installed robotic AIs, then infected the matrix with a low-level Ecotroz sentience. Stormapods are patient, diligent, predators, perfectly at ease either lurking in ambush, or toiling away, digging cave hideouts, mining materials, and pumping out drones. 

Has the standard Monstrex base programming, plus the following: 

  • Excavation 90%
  • Mining 90%
  • Salvage 80%
  • Trap/Mine Detection 80%

The Ecotroz entity can also pick up one Secondary skill at levels 2, 6, and 12 of experience, though the nature of the Stormapod intelligence and design is such that it is limited to skill selections from Technical: Language (understanding) and Lore (Cattle & Animals, Indians, Juicers, Magic, Demons & Monsters, D-Bees, Faerie --- at least with regards to identifying their relative threat level), and Wilderness (Hunting).

Combat[]

Attacks Per Melee 6
Bonuses
Initiative +3 (+2 +1 Ecotroz Entity)
Dodge +2, +3 underwater
Parry +4
Auto Dodge Unknown
Strike +3, +4 w/ranged weapons
Roll +3
Pull Punch Unknown
Disarm Unknown
Entangle Unknown
Knockout/Stun Unknown
Critical Strike Unknown
Attacks
Bite/Nip 1d6 MD
Grinding Bite 5d6 MD
Restrained Claw Strike 2d6 MD1d6 MD
Double Lightning Strike 1d6 MD6d6x10 Md (1 attack)
Secondary Claw (underside of main body) 2d4 MD
Tail Spine Stab 1d6 MD
Body Block/Ram 4d6 MD
Tail Swat 1d8 MD

The Stormapod is not a combat unit, but can defend itself. Its primary purpose is to build and deploy drones which it, or its riders, can direct for surveillance or combat.

Ecotroz[]

The Ecotroz intelligence fragment inhabiting the ‘bot gives the Stormapod an aura and behavior more befitting a sentient being than a robot.

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 (most Warmounts, unless otherwise noted, have an effective IQ rating of 8, and the Stormapod has an IQ of 12 ), 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).

Drones[]

Sample Drone-Types Producible by the Stormapod:

EcoS-DUW01 ‘Robofin’[]

Basic underwater fish, 8-18 inches long. 25 SDC main body, swims at a Spd of 22 (15 MPH), and has an onboard powercell life of 6 months. The primary role of the EcoS-DUW01 is as a sensor platform, warning of changes in the local environment, intruders in specific areas, spying on enemy activities, and sensor-sampling the acoustic, electromagnetic, and chemical ‘signatures’ of enemy units, making the programming of IFF systems and ‘smart’ munitions (such as the DEXUW02 and EcoS-DEXUW03 described below). Some versions, fitted with ‘lamprey pads’, can attach to vessels and act as tracer beacons. May be fitted with a small kamikaze charge for attacks (2d6 MD to a 5 ft area) or sonic grenades

  • Sonic grenades (High Power Mode) 4d6 MD to an 11 ft radius (Low Power Mode) 2d4 MD to an 8 ft radius, for 3+1d4 melees

The vibrofield will do 1/2 SDC damage through most body armors (100 MDC or less), 1/3 through heavier armors and power armor (250 MDC or less), and 1/4 through small robots and vehicles(400 MDC or less)

  • Sonic Shock: (25 ft radius, DOUBLE underwater) - Beings with Enhanced Hearing or Sense Vibration abilities will be overcome and disoriented; Make a save versus Psionic Attack or lose initiative and be -8 to strike, parry, and dodge, and lose 2 APMs for 1d4 melees (continues even after the sound has been cut off). Beings who navigate by echolocation or motion detection will be effectively blinded. Even a successful save will leave the victim -2 to strike, parry and dodge for 1d4 melees, with a ringing in their heads. Beings without enhanced sonic senses will only suffer HALF penalties in either case). 

EcoS-DUW02 ‘Grabby’[]

Aquatic version of the EcoS-D07LE ‘Chitterling’; essentially a robotic crab, pressure rated for 3 miles. Can be fitted with mini-vibroblade claws that do 1d4 MD per nip. 

EcoS-DUW03 ‘Sharkus’[]

Larger dogfish or barracuda-sized underwater drone. Roughly 4-5 ft long, 45-60 lbs. 30 MDC. Swims at a speed of 25 MPH. Basic weaponry is bite that does 1d6 MD. Has a 3 year energy life. 4 attacks per melee, +2 strike, +3 dodge underwater. Has the option of being fitted with a mini-torpedo warhead as a kamikaze weapon. 

EcoS-DUW04 ‘Robopus’[]

Robot octopus, roughly 25 lbs and 3-4 ft long, with 12 MDC main body and 2 MDC each of its eight tentacles. Swims at a speed of 8 MPH, plus brief 30-second bursts at 12 MPH, and can crawl across dry land at a Speed of 4 (2 MPH). Has a P.S. rating of 10. Features suction cups on its eight arms that grip with an effective P.S. of 25. Basic weaponry is bite/vibro-stilleto jab that does 1 MD, and possible strangulation attacks doing 3d6 SD. 10-shot ink reservoir that will, depending on local water conditions, cloud the water in a 8 ft area for 1d4 melees (sometimes Kittani-derived gill-glog chemicals are substituted). Has a 2 year energy life. 4 attacks per melee, +2 strike, +3 dodge underwater, +3 parry, +4 entangle. Sometimes modified with a drug/venom injector with 18 doses, or a plastique explosive charge (4d6 MD). Sometimes used by the DarkWaters as ‘living’ handcuffs/fetters on prisoners.

Eco-KRP20/ EcoS-KRPXUW2007 Teuthy[]

A variant of the Selen with 8 tentacles.

EcoS-KaSSc-01/KRP-26 Darkeel[]

An eel or sea snake-like drone.

EcoS-DUWAK01[]

Essentially a lighter-weight version of the AA-03 Avian Spy, modified and disguised as a robotic duck, cormorant, or other seabird, able to fly (at 30 MPH, maximum altitude of 5,000 ft) and swim (paddle on the surface at 6 MPH or underwater at 8 MPH, maximum depth of 180 ft). 3 year nuclear energy life. MDC: 8 Main Body, 3 each wing, 6 head. No weapons, aside from a possible ability to perform a pecking attack (2d6 SDC) or a power dive (3d6 SDC). 4 actions/attacks per melee, +1 strike, +4 dodge in flight. Basically an aerial recon platform. 

EcoS-DEXUW01 ’Squidpedo’[]

This is essentially a mini-torpedo tricked out to look like a small squid, with both an advanced sensor package (including optical sensors) and a long endurance electric powerpack with loiter capability fitted. The squid’s tentacles are actually part of the steering mechanism. 8 MDC Main Body, high explosive charge does 1d4x10 MD and a 6 mile range. +5 to strike, swims at 75 MPH, and can actually make a second attack run if it misses the first time. 

EcoS-DEXUW02 ’Starfish Mine’[]

This is a mobile limpet mine that resembles a starfish; the munition crawls slowly into place (speed roughly Spd 2, and has a mobile battery life of 6 hours), securing itself using multiple suction cup suckers, and then waits to explode. The standard types are a high-explosive (4d6 MD to a 6 ft blast radius) and a ‘crown of thorns’ fragmentation type (2d6 MD to a 20 ft blast radius). Though shaped-charge ‘cutter tape’ and thermal explosive versions exist, the DarkWaters have also had great success with slow-release corrosives, the plastic starfish releasing a slow-acting acidic compound that eats away at stone, metal, and other materials (does 2d4 MD per melee for 3d6 melees, or 1d4 MD per hour over 18 hours). If tampered with, the starfish releases the acid all at once, destroying itself. The DEXUW02 can be deployed by other e-animals, such as fish-drones. Supposedly, waterfront facilities along the coastline of Atlantis have been infested with hundreds of these mines, waiting to explode, or slowly weakening pilings, quays, and marine structures. 

EcoS-DEXUW03 ’Jelly Mine’[]

This is essentially a robot jellyfish. Freefloating for the most part, the DEXUW03 floats along and can act as a water current sensor and hydrophone, but it can also react to predetermined target profiles and activate to swim towards a target using pulsing action (swimming speed of 6/4 MPH, and can maintain this speed for 1 hour). On contact with a target, it sublimes into a coating of explosive goo. Upon a timed chemical decay trigger, or remote signal, the thermite gel bursts into high-temperature flame, ideally melting through hull materials (4d6 MD +2d6 MD for 1d6 melees).

EcoS-DEXUW04 ’Sailor Mine’[]

This is another jellyfish mine that floats along the surface and resembles a Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish. Because of its shape, it is easily wind-driven, making it useful for covering larger areas of ocean, or drift-attacking enemy positions. Same damage as for the DEXUW03.

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