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Next Message: Stinger deck plans - gif version.
Month Index: January, 1996

From:     beilby@??????.???.??.au
Date:     Thu, 4 Jan 1996 16:31:36 +1100 (AEDT)
Subject:  Re: Stinger Class Medium Fighter - Description
Hail Jammers,

   Here's the new ship I mentioned a couple of days ago in my plea for
a unified ship tonnage formula.  Which there doesn't appear to be.

   What follows is the description of the Stinger, its weapons, and a little
about the group that make and use them.  In the 2 posts following this one
will be a uuencoded gif of the deck plans, and a gziped and uuencoded
postscript file which contains a much better version of the deck plans, since
I had to cut some of the info out of the gif version, and even so its 990x639.

  If anybody wants them I will post the plans for a fighter carrier spelljammer
that is used to get the fighter to the battle site.  Once I finish it.  :)

Stinger - Medium Fighter.

Tonnage:          3 volumetric tons
Hull Points:      5 (From heavy armour and good design)
Crew:             1/3
Manouver Class:   A
Landing:          Land Only
Armour Rating:    2 (0 if taking evasive manouvers)
Saves As:         Hard Metal (+1)
Power Type:       Fighter Helm or Force Helm
Ships Rating:     As Helsman / Special
Standard Armaments:
                  2 Fixed Ballistae (Forward Facing)
                     Crew: 1 each
                  1 Modular Weapon (Rear Facing)
                     Crew: special
                  2 Weapon Mounts on the belly.

Cargo:            0 (personal items only)
Keel Length:      20'
Beam Length:      20' (30' with fins)
Height:           5'  (9' with fins)
Created By:       Dougal Beilby (beilby@??????.???.??.au)

   The Stinger is the main combat spelljammer of a group of ex-adventures
who call themselves the Guardians, that have taken on the task of
protecting their home land (a series of floating "islands" in an air
world) from pirate attacks, and an ever increasing number of hit and run
raids by goblinoid forces.

   The Stinger was designed to allow the groups limited amount of man
power to cover a wider area of the planet.  And as the primary function of
the Stinger is to act as a planetary defence fighter, it was designed to
operate as well in the soup, and in space.  Shortly after the Guardians
began active operations, a large influx of volunteers occured, along with
donations of money, and even some magic items.  This has lead to the group
expanding to such an extent that the Guardians are now classed as a small

   Physicaly the Stinger appears similar to a discuss fitted with two
triangular tail fins protuding from the top surface at the rear of the
craft, and two traiagluar wings projecting from the outside edges of the
disc. Both the tail fins and the wings are made of the same high quality
steel alloy as the hull of the Stinger, and have sharpend leading edges to
allow shearing attacks.  The only other external features are a glassee'd
viewport at the front of the vessel, on either side of which are the exit
ports for the ballistas; an entry hatch at the center of the upper hull;
and a pair of doors on the trailing edge of the disc, which when opened
reveal the rear weapon bay.

   The increase in the Stingers number of hull points from 3 to 5 is due
to the high quality material used in it construction, and the fact that
the carfts armour is not plates of metal layed over a wooden or metal
frame, but is in fact one solid piece of metal ranging from 2 to 6 inches
thick.  The wings and indeed all other permanent features have been
magicly bonded to the hull.  Evasive maneuvers are when the helmsman is
activly attempting to avoid enemy fire by continuously making slight
changes to the crafts trajectory and speed.  This makes no overall change
to the crafts movement for the round, but precludes any other actions by
the crew except holding on, even with the restraint system in the helms.
(described below).

   The Stinger comes in three different varieties, standard as listed
above, which is limited to tactical speeds, the second variation being an
officer's, or ace's fighter which has an IMS unit (Intergrated Magic
System, described below), and a helm capable of spelljamming speeds.  The
third variant has two IMS units and has had its hull enchanted to +4
equivelent, giving it a -2 AR, and 4 extra hull points.  Only two of the
third varient are known to exist at this time, due to the massive increase
in cost, triple that of the standard Stinger.

   Stingers are not available on the open market.  The Guardians feelings
about others having Stingers are pretty much the same as the elven
attitude about non-elves having armada's.  To ensure that a crippled
Stinger can't be captured, a self destruct has been built into the force
helms that will vaporise anything inside the Stinger 5 rounds after its
   As an added precaution all members of the Guardians have their
knowledge of the workings of the force helms and weapon systems protected
by magical mind blocks that will only allow discussion of such matters
with others also under the effect of the block.  These mind blocks also
allow the Guardians members to reconise each other on sight, making
insertion of spies into their openeration almost impossible.  Successful
attempts to remove the mind block, will also remove the guarded knowledge.

   The cost to produce the basic Stinger is around 17,000gp, including
materials and workmanship, sale price if they where available would be at
least 25,000gp.

The Force Helm.

   Force helms come in two variaties, a tactical speed only version,
commonly called a Fighter Helm, to distinguish it from the other version
that is capable of spelljamming speed, which is just refered to as a Force
Helm.  Appart from this difference, both versions have the same

   Force helms can only be used by helmsmen that have been attuned to
them.  The spells nessasary to do this are a closely guarded secret.  The
use of a force helm is not automatic uppon touching it, the helmsman must
will the helm to activate.  A non attunded mage or priest attempting to
utilise a force helm will recieve a shock (1d6) a second attempt by a non
attuned spell caster within 10 rounds will activate the self destruct
mechanism.  If the spell caster makes a succesful wisdom check they will
gain an intense desire to get out of the Stinger in a hurry.  Any attempt
to remove a force helm without an attuned mage or priest to disarm the
helm, will also activate the self destruct mechaism.

   The physical appearence of the helm is 3 linked couches on which the
helsman (primary helm) and two optional weapons crew (secondary helms) lie
face down on.  The couches are shaped such that such that the people lying
on them are positioned as if they where lying on a flat surface,
supporting their upper body off the ground on their forarms.  ie the couch
narrows at the shoulders to the width of the torso, allowing the arms to
hang down, resting on a lower surface, and ends shortly after in a U
shaped section on which the person's collor bones rest.  This allows the
helmsman to easily reach the weapon release controls, and the two weapon
crew to acces the mechanism to reload the ballistas.  Once the users of
the helms are lying down, an upper section of the helm lowers down,
rendering the body below the waist imobile, and reducing movement of the
upper body to that needed to opperate the controls.  This prevents the
crew from being thrown about when performing combat maneuvers within the
atmosphere of a planet.  The temperature inside these coccoon like helms
is maintained at a level the user finds comfortable.  As long as the users
don't attempt to wear armour while using the helms, they are so
comfortable that the only thing stopping these craft from performing
extended patrols, is the need for food beyond the small amount provided in
overhead lockers, and the need to dispose of bodily wastes.  The interior
cushoning of the helms needs to be custom fitted individualy.

   The magic of the force helms is a combination of standard helm
technology, the illithid series helm and the lifejammer helm.

   If both of the secondary helms are manned, the helmsman can activate
the the secondary helms.  If either of the users of the secondary helms
resists the activation, the activation fails.
   When activated the helms drain 1d4 hit points per round, and uses this
energy to increase the SR of the craft.  Each secondary helm raises the SR
by 10% per level, to a maximum of 50%.  So if two 5th level fighters where
in the secondary helms, the SR of the carft would be doubled!

   The force helm will not drain a persion below 0 HP, and does not
require a saving throw verses death.  The HP drained by the force helm
heal naturaly at the normal rate, but can't be regained by magic of lower
than a heal or limited wish, (though a regen ring will work as normal).

   Use of the secondary helms does not effect a mages spell casting
ability, except that when activated the mage can't cast due to the damage
being taken.

   It is not uncommon for a Stinger with a high level helmsman, and two
high level fighters in the secondary helms to make attack runs, at an SR
of 10 or higher!  Though the use for which the system was designed was to
allow escape in a hurry from an enemy to tough to handle.

   The other additional ability of the force helm is that it allows the
users of the secondary helms the same visual conection with the ship as
the helmsman.  Utilitising this fact allows three sets of eyes to watch
for danger, usually distribulted so that the helmsman watchs a 60 degree
arc of space centered on the front of the ship, while the other two take a
60 degree arc of space on their respective sides.  This makes an
opperational Stinger almost impossible to supprise.

   The maximum ship size moveable by the helm under normal conditions is 5
tons.  Though up to an additional 5 tons can be towed, but the SR of the
craft will be a maximum of 1, and it will be unable to attain spelljamming
speeds.  Appart from the weight limit, and for the fighter helm variant
the lack of spelljamming speed, all other factors such as SR progression
are that of a major helm.

   Production of the force helms requires at least 1 mage to cast the helm
creation magic, and four priests combining there effeorts to create the
underlying enchantment, and provided the environmental control of the

   Material and construction costs for the two helms are in the region of
30,000gp for the Fighter Helm, and 50,000gp for the force helm.  Again the
helms are not available for sale, but would exceed 120,000gp and 200,000gp

The Fixed Balistae.

   The two ballistas are relitivly standard light ballista that have been
designed to fit into the cramped conditions of the Stinger, and have been
automated to the extent that reloading is a simple matter of turning a
crank and shoving a new bolt in.  The bolts for these weapons are smaller
than normal, but are made of dwarven steel so they still do the same amout
of damage as a normal light ballista bolt.  Additionaly these bolts are
capable of doing hull damage if the damge rolls yeild 10 or more HP.

   The THAC0 of these ballistas is that of the helmsman, who gains the
standard fixed weapon bonus of +2 against targets directly in front of the
Stinger.  Once the helmsman has achieved crack status, he is considered to
be a weapon specialist in the use of the ballistas and thus gains a +1 to

   On occastion when going up against a vastly superior foe (if known in
advance) officers and aces are provided with one or two enchanted ballista
bolts that provide +2 to hit, and carry a spell effect that "goes off"
when the bolt hits.  Standard spells used on these bolts include fireball,
disintergrate, web, cloudkill, and ice storm.  The type used depends on
the goals of the mission.

  These weapons cost 500gp to produce, which is 100gp more than a normal
light ballista`s sale price.  The bolts used are custom designed and cost
1gp each.

The Modular Wepons System (MWS).

   The modular weapon system is a set of weapons designed to fit into a
special bay (5' long, 5' wide and 3' high), behind the heavely reinforced
door in the rear of the Stinger.

   All the weapon packs for the MWS consist of single shot weapons, once
they are fired they can't be reloaded until the Stinger has landed at a
resupply base.  Some such as the jetisons need specilised machinery to
reloaded the weapon pack, and as such reloading in the feild, is actually
a replacement of the weapon pack.  The greek fire and smoke powder weapons
are considered to dangerous to carry more than a single load for those to
be so equiped, as such no reload is possible unless at a land base.
Reloading or replacing a weapon pack is a complex task and takes a team of
4 skilled technicians 5-10 rounds.

   All the weapon packs have safety devices which prevent the weapon
fireing unless the bay doors are open.  In fact the fireing controls
themselves can't be accessed until the bay is opened.  This causes an
inititive penalty of 1 when fireing these weapons.  For the greek fire and
smoke powder weapons additional safety devices must be disengaged
resulting in an initative penalty of 2 for these weapons.

   Existing weapon packs include:

   - Twin single shot light jetisons. (Most common)

	This weapon pack is basicly two spring loaded tubes which when used
	fire their contents out the back of the ship as per a light jettison.
	As noted above this weapon can not be reloaded while the craft is in

	Production cost of this weapon pack is 400gp, and uses the
	standard jetison shot.

	One of the favoured tactics for the jetisons is to attack
	in a similar style to a Stuka (sp?) dive bomber. ie fly at the
	expossed deck of the enemy to within 3 hexes, spin 180 degress
	without changing the direction or speed of travel, and then
	fire one or both jetisons.  This imparts the ships momentum to
	the jetison shot.  In the following round the course of the
	craft is diverted to one side to miss the enemy ship.

	This tacktic tends to be successful only if the helmsman of the enemy
	ship has not seen the move before, or is otherwise prevented from
	rotating his ship to interpose the hull.  You also should make sure
	that the enemy ship it not capable of turning quickly enough to ram

   - Greek Fire Bomb. (Uncommon)

	Using a reduced power version of the jetison outlined above as a
	launch medium to project the bomb beyond the gravity feild of the
	launch craft.  The bomb is a caramic casing filled with greek fire,
	and contains triggering devices similar to the anti-shipping mines
	used during WWII. ie its covered in spines that when they impact
	create a spark which lights the greek fire, just as it is being
	splashed over everything in a 5 foot radius, doing the same dammage
	as a greek fire projector (3d10 HP save for half, 1d3 hull points
	+ fire). Each bomb contains half a greek fire projector charge.
	If the craft recieves a Large Weapon Damaged critical to the MWS,
	while a bomb is in the bay, the is triggered, and the craft takes 1
	point of hull damage

	Production cost for the weapon pack is 600gp; each greek fire bomb
	costs 150gp.

   - Smoke Powder Bomb. (Very Uncommon)

	Using a reduced power version of the jetison outlined above as a
	launch medium to project the bomb beyond the gravity feild of the
	launch craft. The bomb is a cast-iron casing (fragments really
	well) filled with smoke powder, and contains the same triggering
	devices as the greek fire bomb.  The bomb contains 10 charges of
	smoke powder (a bombard charge, 3000gp), and as such will do 10d2
	hit points of damage to those within a 5' radius from the explosion
	and shrapnel.  If the bomb is used on a ship, it will take 1 hull
	point of damage per 10 hit points damage caused (1-2), and wll
	automaticly recieve a fire critical hit.

	As per the bombard rule, any critical hit while a smoke power bomb
	is on board has a 10% chance of ignighting the smoke powder.  A Large
	Weapon Damaged Critical on the rear wepaon bay will automatically
	cause the bomb to explode.  The weapon pack has been designed to
	channel the damage of an exploding bomb outwards through the bay
	doors, and thus protecting the crew from harm, but the ship will
	still take damage from the blast.

	Production cost for the weapon pack is 600gp; each smoke powder bomb
	costs 3200gp.

   - Additional storage/waste disposal equipment.

	This pack is not a weapon, it contains food and water supplies, and
	a means of disposing of bodily wastes for extended missions.  The
	pack holds enough supplies for 3 weeks.

	Production of this pack costs, 100gp, cost of the food and water
	will depend of local conditions.

The Integrated Magic System (IMS).

   A IMS unit allows a wand or rod with a distance effect to be used from
within the safety of the craft.

   The IMS unit consists of a small rod at the end of which is mounted a
metal ball, the other end of the rod isatached to the outer hull, just
below the view port.  If a single unit is instaled it is placed centraly,
if two are installed they are placed one foot on either side of the center
line.  Internally each unit has a pair of clamps into which the wand or
rod is placed.  The helmsman can utilise any distance effects of the item
as normal, with the effect being projected from the section of the IMS
unit mounted on the hull.

   Replacing one wand or rod with another takes 2 rounds, during which the
helmsman can't change either speed or direction.

   The most common wand used is a wand of magic missiles (at 9th level)
which is used to attack the weapon crews. The magic missile wand is
provided, and recharged as part of the standard equipment of an IMS
equiped ship.  Though heavy use of the wands is discouraged as the cost of
recharging items is high.

   The IMS will most often be used against ballistas and turret mounted
catapults as these present the most threat to the Stingers.

   Any other wands or rods that are used are the personal property of the
helmsman, the most common being wands of fire, lightning, and

   The material cost of an IMS unit is 5,000gp.

The Belly Weapon Mounts.

   The hard points on the belly of the Stinger are designed to allow for
special purpose equipment to be mounted on the craft for specific
missions.  Any equipment mounted on the hard points will increase the
tonnage of the craft by one, and the first hit to the bottom of the craft
doing hull damage will destroy the mounted equipment.  Some equipment will
decease the MC of the craft to B, which will often cause a scroll with 2
Increase Manouverability spells on it, to be included in the crafts
equipment if combat is expected.

   - Landing Struts.
	For when the craft needs to land on uneaven surfaces.  The extreme
	weight of the Stinger means that these struts have to be very stong,
	with large pads at the end, which causes a drop in MC to B while in
	a planet of other ships atmosphere.  A magical version of the landing
	struts has been desinged that allows the struts to fold flat against
	the hull when not in use, eliminating the MC loss.

   - Cargo Pods.
	Capable of holding 1 ton of cargo.  Incurs the loss of MC.

   - Search and rescue equipment.
	Consists of a frame that extends around the front of the Stinger, and
	coveres the leading edges of the wings and fins, creating hand holds
	that crew members of destroyed ships can hold onto.  Often an extra
	crew member with clerical abilities is taken on when the equipment is
	installed so that injured people can be treated, and still leave both
	of the weapon crew at there stations in case utilitisation of the
	lifeforce drain is needed for a quick get away.

   - Advanced Weapon Systems.

   A number of advanced weapon designes have been made to mount automated
   heavy weapons, but have not been implemented as the high cost of these
   systems, and loss of MC is considered to to high a price for the added

        / / / /     __   And how can this be?
   )--/+-+-+-+---  '  \   - Because HE IS THE KWISATZ HADERACH!!!
     (8| Scorpius>\___/                                             //
   )--\+-+-+-+---                                               \\ //   RETINA
        \ \ \ \   Dougal Beilby (beilby@??????.???.??.au)        \X/ A4000/030

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