Monday, August 24, 2009

Ancient Armory: Helipack

Maximum Weight: 400 lbs.
Movement: 100 ft/turn; 60 miles/day
Armor Class: 7
Structural HP: 75

The helipack was a personal transportation device created by the Ancients that was used for quick travel over very short distances. Unlike a jetpack that can cover large distances very quickly, the helipack was used for local within a limited distance. (Think of it as an aerial motorized scooter.)

The helipack is fairly simple in design: an back-mounted encased motor is strapped on via shoulder straps and a belt strap. A set of twin 9' rotors are attached to a spindle that is approximately 3' over the pilot's head. A simple tail fin sticks out of the rear for stability's sake. (there is also an internal gyroscope that assists with this as well.) The helipack is powered by a Power Beltpack attached to the belt strap. A single handle grip with a trigger mechanism is attached to the pack via a thick cable. There are no other handlebars or controllers attached.

The helipack is simple to operate. The handle grip's trigger is the on/off switch as well as the throttle. When initially squeezed, the rotors will begin turning. The tighter the grip on the trigger, the faster the rotors will turn, creating an upward lift. The lighter the passenger and cargo, the quicker the rotors will be able to become airborne. By slowly releasing the trigger, the rotors will slow and the assembly and passenger will descend. (Letting go of the trigger completely will shut the engine off, which is not advisable once airborne.) Steering the helipack is similar to a accomplished by simply shifting your center of gravity and leaning in the direction you wish to go, much like a Segway PT.

The helipack was never designed for anything other than recreational flying and quick trips to the store and such. It has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. More than that and the helipack cannot get airborne. It is also extremely fragile and will take only 75 hp of damage before it is rendered unusable.

It is expected that the PC party that finds this device will be enthralled with the ability to fly. But remind them that they do not know how to properly control it; the item may or may not be flightworthy; and someone will eventually have to test it out. Entire adventures can be based around trying to get their new-found treasure in the air - as well as determining who gets the "honor" of taking it up first. (I'm not suggesting you let them get to 3,000 feet then cut the power, but getting an Ancient flying device working properly is dicey at best. There may be armed mutants on the ground who wish to take a shot at this "weird bird." There may be other airborne creatures who view this new flying being as a threat to its territory. And there are no Helipack Driving Instructors in the Mutant Future!)

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