MSRD:Future Vehicles

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VEHICLES

NEW VEHICLES

As oil prices rise and consumers insist on more safety measures in vehicles, engineers push the technology envelope. The major motor companies create personal hovermobiles that handle like cars, build cars that drive themselves, and unveil vehicles that can travel over water, underwater, and, in some cases, underground.

VEHICLES AND PROGRESS LEVELS

Although each of the vehicles listed below has a Progress Level associated with it, specifics of the vehicle can be modified to fit into an earlier or later Progress Level. Modify the top speed, initiative, and maneuver scores of vehicles—lower numbers for lower PLs, higher numbers for higher PLs—and adjust the purchase DC accordingly.

CIVILIAN HOVERVEHICLES

Hovervehicles are extremely popular at Progress Level 7, when the ability to set down virtually anywhere allows “hoverists” (hovervehicle enthusiasts) to take the same vehicle into the wilderness that they take to work every day.

Air traffic control restricts hover traffic to 5,000 feet or less. Police and well-marked hoverlanes keep traffic in line. Unless otherwise noted, civilian hovervehicles provide three-quarters cover for their occupants. The operative skill for hovervehicles is Pilot.

Table: Civilian Hovervehicles
Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Hard Hit Points Size Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
AD-Bright police cruiser 1 4 L –2 +0 245 (24) 8 5 32 H 38 Res (+2)
AutoDyn hoverbike 1 1 D +1 +2 410 (41) 10 5 15 M 37 Lic (+1)
AutoDyn hoverbus 1 38 H –4 –4 160 (16) 6 5 45 G 45 Lic (+1)
AutoDyn hovercar 1 4 L –1 +0 250 (25) 9 5 28 L 36 Lic (+1)
AutoDyn hovertruck 1 1 H –3 –4 180 (18) 6 8 35 G 42 Lic (+1)
HydroDyn SeaHawk 1 3 S –2 +0 160 (16) 9 5 30 L 36 Lic (+1)

AD-BRIGHT POLICE CRUISER (PL 7)

The AD-Bright police cruiser uses hover technology to put police on equal footing with the private citizens’ hovervehicles. When driven on the ground, the police cruiser’s top speed drops to 215 (21). It is 3 squares wide and 3 squares long.

The main cab of an AD-Bright police cruiser contains the following equipment:

  • Patrol box
  • CB radio (professional)
  • Maps (road atlas)
  • GPS receiver
  • 2 searchlights (a battery flood flashlight with double the usual range; mounted to the cruiser on either side)
  • Standard flashlight
  • 12 chemical lightsticks

The trunk of an AD-Bright police cruiser holds the following additional gear:

  • First-aid kit
  • Basic evidence kit
  • Basic toolkit (including duct tape, bolt cutters, and a multipurpose tool)
  • Pair of handcuffs
  • 25 plastic zip ties
  • Blanket
  • 2 days’ worth of trail rations
  • 8 road flares
  • 2 strobing traffic cones
  • Roll of crime scene tape
  • Fire extinguisher

AUTODYN HOVERBIKE (PL 7)

The AutoDyn hoverbike can travel as high as 15,000 feet, and that limit is set due to the rider’s inability to breathe at higher altitudes without an oxygen mask. When driven on the ground, the hoverbike’s top speed is 380 (38). The hoverbike is 1 square wide and 2 squares long. It provides its rider with no cover.

AUTODYN HOVERBUS (PL 7)

AutoDyn’s hoverbus provides the flying version of mass transit. The hoverbus’s top speed is 120 (12). A hoverbus is 3 squares wide and 8 squares long.

AUTODYN HOVERCAR (PL 7)

The AutoDyn hovercar is capable of flying up to 30,000 feet when the cabin is sealed. When driven on the ground, the hovercar’s top speed is 215 (21). A hovercar is usually 2 squares wide and 3 squares long, but larger luxury models exist.

AUTODYN HOVERTRUCK (PL 7)

The AutoDyn hovertruck is frequently used by emergency services personnel (with modifications) for rescuing stranded hoverists or reaching hikers and mountain climbers lost at high altitudes. When driven on the ground, the hovertruck’s top speed is 145 (14). A hovertruck is 3 squares wide and 4 squares long.

HYDRODYN SEAHAWK (PL 7)

Unlike other hovervehicles, the SeaHawk is only capable of landing on water or on specially constructed brackets (purchase DC 23).

When piloted on the water, the SeaHawk’s top speed is 140 (14). It has a 5,000-foot legal ceiling, but it doesn’t trouble with traffic lanes when used over open water. The SeaHawk is 3 squares wide and 5 squares long.

CIVILIAN CARS

Civilian automobiles of the future are required by law to carry remote shutdown systems in the event the vehicle is involved in a high-speed chase. Cars can be equipped with options like heated side mirrors, power seats, and sunroofs; each of these added features increases the vehicle’s purchase DC by 1.

Unless otherwise noted, civilian cars provide three-quarters cover for their occupants. The operative skill for cars is Drive.

Table: Civilian Cars
Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Hard Hit Points Size Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 6: Fusion Age
AutoMac taxi 0 6 L –3 –2 175 (17) 8 5 34 H 31 Lic (+1)
Kirsch Sunflower 1 2 S –4 –2 160 (16) 9 5 25 L 27 Lic (+1)
Nakazawa Delta-9 1 4 L –2 –1 245 (24) 8 5 34 H 31 Lic (+1)
SKG Lamplighter 1 4 M –1 –1 210 (21) 8 5 32 H 28 Lic (+1)
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
Bendel Motors Spirit 1 4 M –2 +0 290 (29) 8 5 36 H 29 Lic (+1)
Stradtler Hlidskjalf 1 4 L –1 +1 255 (25) 8 5 35 H 36 Lic (+1)
TM Willow 1 4 M –2 –2 205 (20) 8 5 35 H 28 Lic (+1)
Progress Level 8: Energy Age
SKG Metropolitan 1 7 L –2 –2 215 (21) 6 6 41 G 42 Lic (+1)

AUTOMAC TAXI (PL 6)

The AutoMac is a computer-driven taxi equipped with a driver autocomp (see Vehicle Gear). It features two facing bench seats with room for six passengers, and a small view screen and speaker that hang down from the ceiling. The friendly voice of “Mac” requests destination information as well as displaying the question on the view screen. The computer calculates the fare and pre-charges the passenger. In case of emergency, a manual stop button mounted in the middle of the speaker allows passengers to safely halt the vehicle. Although there are no manual controls, the computer is equipped with an access jack behind the front seat. A notebook computer or PDA with the appropriate interface program can be plugged into this jack to override the computer and allow an occupant to manually control the vehicle with a successful Computer Use check (DC 20).

The AutoMac taxi is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long. Its drivercomp has a Drive skill modifier of +8.

KIRSCH SUNFLOWER (PL 6)

The Kirsch Sunflower is a solar-electrical economy coupe and its performance is abysmal in comparison to other cars. It is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

NAKAZAWA DELTA-9 (PL 6)

The Delta-9 from Nakazawa is a mid-size family wagon with a hatchback rear door and plenty of cargo space. It uses the popular hybrid gas/electrical engine developed in PL 5. It is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

SKG LAMPLIGHTER (PL 6)

The Lamplighter four-door economy sedan offers comfort and performance for a reasonable price. Slower than most civilian automobiles, the Lamplighter offers all the usual luxuries included in the base price—keeping the cost down by selling budget components, rather than the high-end electronics usually installed. The Lamplighter is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

BENDEL MOTORS SPIRIT (PL 7)

The Bendel Motors Spirit is a comfortable, four-door, midsize sedan with a powerful minireactor engine. It is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

STRADTLER HLIDSKJALF (PL 7)

The Hlidskjalf sedan is widely recognized as the finest four-door luxury sedan in production during its age. The Hlidskjalf is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

TM WILLOW (PL 7)

This mid-size, two-door sedan from Toner Motors is a common car model. It has improved air filters to keep out the kind of dust found in the environments of other planets. They are less popular on Earth, except when they are adapted to desert driving. The Willow is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

SKG METROPOLITAN (PL 8)

The Metropolitan is the ultimate in chauffeured luxury. Powered by a particle reactor, it is loaded with every available luxury feature. A partition divides the driver’s seat from the rest of the vehicle. The solid construction lends the Metropolitan a slightly higher hardness than other civilian vehicles, and armored versions with hardness 10 are available (increase the vehicle’s purchase DC by +1). The Metropolitan provides three-quarters cover for its occupants. It is 2 squares wide and 5 squares long.

CIVILIAN MOTORCYCLES

Mounting a motorcycle is a free action, and the motorcycle provides no cover to its occupants—except as noted below. The operative skill for motorcycles is Drive.

Table: Civilian Motorcycles
Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Hard Hit Points Size Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 6: Fusion Age
Harris-Musselman dirt bike 1 0 F +0 +1 180 (18) 10 5 19 M 24 Lic (+1)
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
Stradtler Valkyrie 1 1 F –2 +1 295 (29) 9 5 24 L 28 Lic (+1)

HARRIS-MUSSELMAN DIRT BIKE (PL 6)

Known as the “Muscleman,” the H-M is a popular recreational motorcycle that also happens to enjoy wide use by military recon units. It is 1 square wide and 2 squares long.

STRADTLER VALKYRIE (PL 7)

Stradtler’s version of the street bike upholds the Norwegian motor company’s reputation for high performance and luxury. Constructed on the “chopper” frame, the Valkyrie has a triple-wide rear tire and a center of gravity set slightly further back than normal street cycles, enabling it to get up on the rear wheel for impressive displays of motorcycle riding. It is 1 square wide and 2 squares long.

CIVILIAN TRUCKS

Trucks usually have the same features as civilian cars, with the same luxury options. Trucks provide three-quarters cover to their occupants, except as noted below. The operative skill for trucks is Drive.

Table: Civilian Trucks
Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Hard Hit Points Size Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 6: Fusion Age
Cretan Motors “Hecaton” 1 4 H –1 –1 190 (19) 6 5 39 G 31 Lic (+1)
Cretan Motors Kentaur 1 3 L –1 +0 210 (21) 8 5 36 H 30 Lic (+1)
Gaia Motor Company Virgo 1 6 M –2 –2 215 (21) 8 5 35 H 29 Lic (+1)
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
Zhang Motors XRL (SUV) 1 3 L –2 –1 245 (24) 8 5 40 H 32 Lic (+1)

CRETAN MOTORS “HECATON” (PL 6)

The national automobile company of Crete came late to the industry, but has made impressive strides toward winning over truck buyers. The Hekatoncheires pickup truck—inaccurately referred to as the “Hecaton” by its target market—combines impressive power with high durability and generous cargo room in the bed. The sixwheel design includes puncture-resistant tires and is popular with construction companies. The cab can be sealed against harsh environments—ads show them driving into lakes and being pulled out with the interior dry as a bone and the occupants casually listening to the stereo. The Hekatoncheires is 3 squares wide and 4 squares long.

CRETAN MOTORS KENTAUR (PL 6)

Cretan Motors produces a smaller, faster, “light-duty” pickup with many of the same features of the larger Hekatoncheires but without all the cargo space. The Kentaur is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

GAIA MOTOR COMPANY VIRGO (PL 6)

The Gaia Motor Company developed a line of automobiles powered by the popular fusion minireactor. The Virgo minivan is a top seller, capable of high speeds yet comfortably easy to handle. It is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

ZHANG MOTORS XRL (PL 7)

The XRL is designed to operate using a less expensive particle reactor, rather than t he s lightly more stable fusion minireactor. This gamble ultimately paid off when an XRL won the Australian Rally Challenge. The XRL comes only in a two-door style. It is 2 squares wide and 3 squares long.

OTHER CIVILIAN VEHICLES

Some civilian vehicles are highly specialized, and so don’t truly fit into any other category. The operative skill for these vehicles is Drive, unless otherwise noted.

Table: Other Civilian Vehicles
Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Hard Hit Points Size Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
AutoDyn hoverboard 1 0 F +2 +4 50 (5) 14 2 8 D 17 Lic (+1)
WGM Wyoming 1 0 D +1 +2 120 (12) 9 5 25 L 26 Lic (+1)

AUTODYN HOVERBOARD (PL 7)

The AutoDyn hoverboard is a 3-foot-long board held aloft by a tiny but powerful forced-air system. A hoverboard is 1 square wide and 1 square long, and it provides no cover to its rider. The operative skill to control a hoverboard is Tumble.

WGM WYOMING (PL 7)

The Wallace General Mechanics Wyoming is essentially a four-wheeled dirt bike powered by a minireactor. It provides no cover for its rider. The Wyoming is 1 square wide and 2 squares long.

MILITARY VEHICLES

Despite being grouped together under the military vehicle heading, some of these vehicles are used by law-enforcement and emergency services. The operative skill for these vehicles depends on their mode of travel. Generally, the Drive skill is used for vehicles that travel on the ground or on water; if the vehicle flies or hovers, Pilot is the operative skill.

Table: Military Vehicles
Name Crew Pass Cargo Init Maneuver Top Speed Defense Hard Hit Points Size Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 6: Fusion Age
Appel-Siems Gyrocopter 1 0 F –3 –2 360 (36) 8 5 23 L 38 Mil (+3)
EU2A1 Mendez APC 3 8 M –1 –1 95 (9) 6 15 56 G 421 Mil (+3)
UN-500 Turtledove 3 12 L –3 –2 360 (36) 6 10 46 G 48 Mil (+3)
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
IS-2000 Ifrit APC 4 11 L –3 –3 100 (10) 6 15 58 G 461 Mil (+3)
M-300 Hovertank 4 0 M –4 –3 120 (12) 6 20 62 G 501 Mil (+3)
  1. The vehicle’s purchase DC does not include its mounted weapons.

APPEL-SIEMS GYROCOPTER (PL 6)

Appel-Siems created its one-seat helicopter for the military, but many exist in the law enforcement roles and in the corporate sector. The mostly enclosed cockpit gives its pilot three-quarters cover. Its body is 1 square wide and 3 squares long.

EU2A1 MENDEZ (PL 6)

The Mendez armored personnel carrier is fusion-powered and fully enclosed. The crew consists of a driver and two gunners. The vehicle has three topside hatches, located directly above each crew position, with a large door/ramp in the back for infantry troops to board or disembark. Entering or disembarking through a top hatch requires a full-round action. The Mendez is 3 squares wide and 4 squares long, and it provides full cover to all its occupants.

The EU2A1 Mendez has a pair of mounted twin thunder machine guns mounted near two of the three topside hatches.

UN-500 TURTLEDOVE (PL 6)

One of the last military helicopters in use by the United Nations before they were replaced with hovervehicles, the Turtledove was a familiar sight over the battlefields of PL 6. It is 4 squares wide and 10 squares long.

IS-2000 IFRIT (PL 7)

The IS-2000 Ifrit APC is faster, more durable, and carries more troops than the Mendez APC. The Ifrit is crewed by a commander, a driver, and two gunners, each of whom has a topside hatch located directly above them. Entering or disembarking through a top hatch requires a full-round action. The rear door is not built for fast deployment, requiring a full round to open or close. The Ifrit is 3 squares wide and 4 squares long, and it provides full cover to all its occupants. The IS-2000 Ifrit has a mounted twin thunder machine gun near one topside hatch and a mounted rail gun near another. The twin thunder fires PL 6 plasma-coated rounds, while the rail gun fires rail gun shards.

M-300 HOVERTANK (PL 7)

The M-300 Hovertank is powered by a particle reactor and crewed by a pilot, gunner, gun loader, and commander. It comes equipped with a fully turreted M-300 Rhino mass cannon as its main gun and a T-95 Cavalcade chaingun in a separate turret located above the commander’s hatch. (Modified versions of these weapons designed for mecha also exist.) Each crew position has a topside hatch located directly above it. Entering or disembarking through a top hatch requires a full-round action, and starting the Hovertank requires another full round action.

The M-300 Hovertank is 3 squares wide and 6 squares long, and it provides full cover to all its occupants. A more expensive version of the Hovertank comes equipped with neovulcanium armor and an onboard tactical assist system (see Vehicle Gear, below).

Statistics for the Hovertank’s M-300 Rhino mass cannon and T-95 Cavalcade chaingun are presented in Table: M-300 Hovertank Weapons.

Table: M-300 Hovertank Weapons
Weapon Damage Critical Damage Type Range Increment Rate of Fire Magazine Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Progress Level 6: Fusion Age
T-95 Cavalcade chain gun 7d6 20 Ballistic 60 feet S, A Linked Huge 185 lb. 21 Mil (+3)
Progress Level 7: Gravity Age
M-300 Rhino mass cannon 8d12 20 Ballistic 100 feet S Huge 450 lb. 29 Mil (+3)

VEHICLE GEAR

The following equipment can be purchased and installed on any vehicle of Progress Level 6 or higher (unless noted otherwise). In most cases, purchasing vehicle gear requires a Wealth check separate from the Wealth check to acquire the vehicle.

ANTI-ACCIDENT SYSTEM

Anti-accident systems use airbags, fire-retardant foam, no-skid brakes, gyroscopic stabilizers, and other safety features to improve a driver’s chances of surviving or averting accidents.

The system reduces collision damage by half, though this only applies to the vehicle equipped with an anti-accident system.

Further, the operator of a vehicle so equipped gains a +2 equipment bonus on Drive or Pilot checks to make hard brake or hard turn maneuvers.

Purchase DC: 17.

Restriction: None.

AUTOCOMP, DRIVER

A driver autocomp consists of an onboard computer with AI software capable to operating a vehicle, thereby removing the need for a driver or pilot. Most vehicles equipped with a driver autocomp still retain a driver’s seat, allowing the vehicle to be controlled manually if the autocomp is deactivated or disabled. Disabling a driver autocomp requires a successful Disable Device check (DC 15).

The driver autocomp’s modifier on all Drive or Pilot checks, as well as its purchase DC, depends on the quality of the system’s AI software; see Table: Driver Autocomps for details.

Purchase DC: See Table 8–8.

Restriction: None.

Table: Driver Autocomps
Driver Autocomp Drive or Pilot Check Modifier Purchase DC
Roadlord AI-DA +0 12
Pegasus AI-200 +2 15
Dervish AI-400 +4 18
Twister AI-800 +8 21
Zephyr AI-1200 +12 24

AUTOCOMP, GUNNER

A gunner autocomp is an onboard computer with AI software capable of automatically aiming and firing all of a vehicle’s mounted weapons, thereby removing the need for one or more gunners. Most vehicles equipped with a gunner autocomp still allow the vehicle’s weapons to be controlled manually if the autocomp is deactivated or disabled. Disabling a gunner autocomp requires a successful Disable Device check (DC 15).

The gunner autocomp’s attack bonus, as well as its purchase DC, depends on the quality of the system’s AI software; see Table: Gunner Autocomps for details.

Purchase DC: See Table, and increase the purchase DC by +1 for each additional weapon after the first. Restriction: Licensed (+1).

Table: Gunner Autocomps
Gunner Autocomp Attack Bonus Purchase DC1
Marksman AI-GA –2 15
Rattlesnake AI-GX +0 18
Adder AI-G2 +2 21
Deadeye AI-G4 +4 24
Hotshot AI-G8 +8/+3 27
  1. Increase the purchase DC by +1 for each additional weapon after the first.

REMOTE SHUTDOWN SYSTEM

This public safety feature, introduced at Progress Level 6, is required by law on all civilian vehicles. The remote shutdown system consists of a microcomputer attached to the vehicle’s electrical system plus a microantenna. At a coded signal from an authorized law enforcement officer (via a dashboard-mounted unit installed in most police cruisers), the remote shutdown system switches off the vehicle, bringing it to a slow, safe stop (and, in the case of flying or hovering vehicles, a safe descent).

Law enforcement agencies maintain huge databases of codes for civilian vehicles, enabling officers to quickly determine the code for a vehicle by make, model, year, or license plate. Searching for a code requires a full-round action. Entering the code to shut down the vehicle is an attack action.

This system is installed on all civilian vehicles. Acquiring a civilian vehicle without a remote shutdown system or acquiring a vehicle with an altered code (so that the owner can shut it down, but no one else can) is treated like buying an illegal item. Removing the system—an illegal act—requires a successful Disable Device check (DC 15). Changing the code—also an illegal act—requires a successful Computer Use check (DC 30).

An installed remote shutdown system does not increase a vehicle’s purchase DC.

VEHICULAR ARMOR

Armor can be welded or otherwise fixed securely to a vehicle’s chassis, providing an equipment bonus to the vehicle’s Defense. Vehicular armor also makes a vehicle more ungainly, imposing a penalty on the vehicle operator’s Drive or Pilot checks. Vehicular armor does not require a special license to purchase.

Installing armor on a vehicle requires 12 hours and a Craft (mechanical) check (DC 20). Armor can be removed in half the time with a successful Repair check (DC 20).

Different types of vehicular armor are described below, complete with the following statistics:

Equipment Bonus: The equipment bonus that the armor provides to the vehicle.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: Apply this penalty to the vehicle operator’s Drive or Pilot checks.

Purchase DC: The cost of the vehicular armor.

ALUMISTEEL ARMOR (PL 5)

This easy-to-acquire alloy is lightweight and reasonably strong.

Equipment Bonus: +5.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –3.

Purchase DC: 15 + the vehicle’s hardness.

DURAPLASTIC ARMOR (PL 5)

Duraplastic armor is made of advanced plastic polymers, like carbon fiber and high-grade fiberglass. Although relatively cheap and light, it doesn’t offer tremendous protection.

Equipment Bonus: +3.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –2.

Purchase DC: 10 + the vehicle’s hardness.

DURALLOY ARMOR (PL 6)

Duralloy is harder, heavier, and more durable than alumisteel.

Equipment Bonus: +8.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –4.

Purchase DC: 15 + the vehicle’s hardness.

RESILIUM ARMOR (PL 6)

Resilium is more malleable alloy than duralloy, although not as strong.

Equipment Bonus: +6.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –2.

Purchase DC: 10 + the vehicle’s hardness.

CRYSTAL CARBON ARMOR (PL 7)

“Grown” in orbital laboratories, crystal carbon is a composite fiber material that narrowly outperforms neovulcanium (see below) on the battlefield.

Equipment Bonus: +10.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –4.

Purchase DC: 20 + the vehicle’s hardness.

NEOVULCANIUM ARMOR (PL 7)

Similar to duralloy, neovulcanium uses plasma-forging techniques to create an alloy of surprising resilience.

Equipment Bonus: +10.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –5.

Purchase DC: 15 + the vehicle’s hardness.

MEGATANIUM ARMOR (PL 8)

Sandwiched layers of crystal carbon and neovulcanium held in a magnetic matrix, megatanium is exceedingly hard and durable.

Equipment Bonus: +12.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –5.

Purchase DC: 20 + the vehicle’s hardness.

REACTIVE ARMOR (PL 8)

Consisting of layers of insulating gel or compressed gas between cerametal sheets, reactive armor provides the same protection as crystal carbon armor but is considerably cheaper and easier to produce.

Equipment Bonus: +8.

Drive/Pilot Check Penalty: –2.

Purchase DC: 15 + the vehicle’s hardness.




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