Space Superiority Fighterby Paul Westermeyer and Mario Puleo
Aware of their inadequecies versus small fighter type craft, the Imperial Gnomish Navy has recently purchased a new fighter design from an eccentric gnomish designer. Gnomish shipwrights have managed to produce 15 of these little fighters todate, the greatest flaw in the design seems to be their unusual fuel and ammo.
The Spudnik operates off of a revolutionary drive design. Battery packs of gigantic potatoes produce an electrical current which is then run through the complicated array of wires and rods which extends from the vessels bow.
By altering the rods and wires attitudes towards one another the pilot manipulates the elctromagnetic field of the craft and causes it to be propelled through space. This can produce an impressive amount of speed through wildspace, fails to work within the gravity well of any planetoid of class C or larger. It also fails to achieve Spelljamming speeds. For it's limited role as a space superiority fighter, however, it works surprisingly well. The potatoes are fairly hard to acquire (they must be grown in specially fertilized soil) but are storeable for upto a year within airtight barrels. The drive is somewhat unpredictable, each time the vessel changes speed or direction there is a 5% chance of a break down, which someone with engineering and a familiarity with the system can usually repair with a successful proficiency check. A given set of potato batteries can power the vessel for appox. 48 hours. This time may be split among multiple flights (periods during which the drives are shutdown do not count against the 48 hours).
The weapon system of the Sudnik is equally unusual. The ship contains a long tube with wires running along it's length, exiting from the front of the ship. A magazine of 20 potatoes rests at the tubes end. When fired a charge is sent down the tube's wires, propelling an oppositely charged potato ahead of it. This potato achieves incredible velocity and shoots out of the tube towards the target, charged with electricity. Stats are below:
Gnome Guided Ionized Potato Gonne:
Hull Damage: 1d2
Crew: 1 (pilot can fire and fly at same time)
Thaco: 17 Crit 18+
Cost: 500 gp
If a 1 is rolled on the to hit roll, the gonne jams and may not fire until repaired.