Viper Scout Statistics

Tonnage: 45 tons

Hit Points: Armor Class: 5 (Improved Military) Weapons: 1 Kandori mark 2 pulsed laser cannon, 1 gyro cannon Crew: 4 nominal, 8 maximum
Speed: 6 (Special; see below)
Reaction Bonus: -2
AC Defense Bonus: -5

Special: Flight mode Howler. Only available in the uppermost layers of an atmosphere (there must be an atmosphere, but not enough to slow the ship down appreciably), the Howler mode of the engine allows the Viper's Maw class cruiser to scoop up some of the trace atmosphere, shunt it into the engine compartment where it is superheated, and release it as superheated plasma - a process quite similar to the scramjet design.

The Howler flight mode increases the speed of the cruiser to 9 and its AC defense bonus to a whooping -9. The disadvantages are twofold: first of all, the laser cannon cannot be fired (as the Howler mode consumes immense amounts of energy), and second - the engines might be damaged. The residing Engineer must make an Average Repair Nuclear Engines every round the Howler mode is in effect - a failure means that the engines has sustained 1d6 points of damage due to the immense stress. A critical failure (96-00) indicates that not only has the engines sustained 3d6 points of damage, but they have also "flared out", or stopped. An Easy Repair Nuclear Engines or an Average Pilot Rocket (only one try each round) will relight the engines - usually a good idea when you are jamming along the upper layers of atmosphere of some planet or other (the Viper's Maw has the excellent gliding characteristics of a streamlined brick without its engine on). However, the Howler mode will be unavailable until the engines have been refitted with new laserpulsors (the design innovation that allows the Howler flight mode), as they will invariably have been rendered useless because of the flare out.


    The Viper's Maw is one in a new line of so-called Assault Scouts. It is designed as a heavy fighter rather than a light cruiser, and is amazingly agile for its size. Much of this is due to its revolutionary engine design which incorporates a more powerful and efficient form of laser-assisted fusion, a design by dr. Kandori. However, not only is the engine designe quite delicate (reflected in a 20% lower Engine hit point value than normal), it is also quite fond of fuel (reflected in a 20% lower Fuel hit point value than normal).

    Its armament also sports one of dr. Kandori's designes - the pulsed laser cannon. The pulsed laser cannon is an inspired compromise between the pumped laser (or capacitor laser that fires powerful, but short bursts of energy) and the beam laser (which fires longer bursts of energy, thereby allowing easier targeting) utilizing an intricate cascading capacitor design in which the multiple barrels of the pulsed cannon fire a "continuous" beam like a beam laser, but consisting of short, powerful bursts similar to those from a pumped laser cannon. The other weapon is also a new design, but not from dr. Kandori - a firelinked twin gyro cannon. Although not as easy to aim with, it can do significant amounts of damage.

Layout: (drawn by
Viper's Maw deck plans