STANDARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE YF-21:
* ACTIVE STEALTH SYSTEM: The YF-21 is equipped with a revolutionary stealth system that when activated renders the craft almost invisible to standard sensors such as radar. Unlike passive stealth systems like those used by the VF-17 Nightmare or the old USAF F-117, the YF-21's stealth system is an ACTIVE stealth system that actually bends radar waves around the mecha rather than reflecting them. When activated, this system gives the YF-21 a +3 on initiative and a +1 to strike at all times.
NOTE: Since the YF-21's stealth capability is a system and not a feature of the design, it can be damaged or destroyed. Once the mecha has lost half of its main body MDC, there is a 50% chance that the stealth system will fail every time the main body of the craft is hit. Once the stealth system has failed, it will not work again until repaired at a UN Spacy base.
* AUTO-PILOT: The YF-21 is equipped with a computerized auto-pilot, allowing the pilot to relax or even sleep during long voyages. The auto- pilot can be programmed with a single destination or a complex flight plan involving multiple speeds, directions, and destinations. The onboard computer will alert the pilot when the fighter is near its destination, and can also be set to automatically signal when sensors detect objects near the mecha. The auto-pilot was designed with long intra-system space journeys in mind.
* BRAIN CONTROL SYSTEM (BCS): This revolutionary and experimental system is one of the most unique abilities of the YF-21. The BCS system allows a disciplined pilot to link his mind with the onboard computer of the mecha, and issue control commands to it at the speed of thought. This allows the YF-21 to move with human-like reflexes and respond with human- like speed. Feedback for the system is transmitted back to the pilot using the brain-direct imaging (BDI) system (see below), providing an interactive control loop that literally makes the mecha a part of the pilot.
The disadvantage of the system is that it requires a fair amount of concentration to use. If the pilot of the YF-21 is suddenly startled or disturbed, he may lose control of the mecha and be unable to regain it until he calms himself down. It requires a fairly dramatic event to startle the pilot sufficiently, such as being physically wounded, seeing a comrade killed in front of him, or (in Chief Bowman's case) being suddenly confronted with a despised enemy and suffering a flashback. If startled, the pilot must roll under his M.E. attribute on a 1D20 to keep control of the plane. If he fails, the BCS fails and the YF-21 will freeze. In order to regain control of the BCS, the pilot must calm himself sufficiently, which requires another successful roll under his M.E. attribute. NOTE: the GM may impose penalties to the above rolls if the pilot is going through a VERY traumatic experience while flying the YF-21.
Another disadvantage of the BCS is that when uncalibrated to a specific user, the system has a tendency to pick up stray thoughts from the pilot and act upon them without his permission. A particularly nasty example of this happened during the Project Super Nova tests when Chief Bowman imagined slamming Pilot Isamu Dyson's VF-11 into the ground, and the BCS picked up and acted on that idle thought. When properly calibrated there is no danger of this occuring, but when an uncalibrated system is being used by a pilot during game play, the GM should roll against the player's M.E. whenever the player makes an idle remark about what he would like to do with the YF-21 (even if he was just mentioning it in jest). If the GM rolls above the player's M.E., the YF-21 will do EXACTLY what the player mentioned, regardless of the consequences.
The cockpit of the YF-21 is equipped with a backup set of standard aircraft controls in case the pilot looses control of the BCS and cannot re-establish contact. Initial versions of the BCS were calibrated specifically for human brain waves, which led to problems when the system was used by non-human pilots such as Chief Bowmann. Zentraedi or other alien pilots using a non- calibrated BCS system receive a +5 penalty to their rolls to keep control of the system.
* BRAIN DIRECT IMAGING (BDI) SYSTEM: This prototype system, along with the BCS, allows the pilot of the YF-21 to essentially control the mecha with his thoughts. The BDI system is extremely important to thought control, as it provides the pilot with visual and tactile feedback from the mecha, including things such as balance and force feedback. The BDI essentially makes HUD (heads-up display) and HMD (head mounted display) technology obsolete since instead of overlaying a display with computer- generated graphics the pilot can receive direct sensory input with computer analysis and highlights directly into his brain. In game terms, this provides the pilot of the YF-21 with a +20% bonus to any skill rolls made to control the mecha, a +2 bonus to dodge and a +1 bonus to strike.
The BDI system does have a drawback, however. Human (and Zentraedi) brains were not designed to accept this type of intense input, and use of the BDI system can lead to stress, fatigue, and headaches. Frequent use of the BDI can even lead to stress-induced tramua-like symptoms manestifying themselves such as sleeplessness, frequent migraines, shaky hands, cold sweats, and short tempers/emotional problems. After each week of frequent use of the BDI system, the pilot must roll under his P.E. stat or the character will begin to exhibit one of the above symptoms (GMs choice). The base medical officer can prescribe drugs to surpress the symptoms, but the only way for the pilot to be cured is to stop using the BDI system. It is not known what long-term use of the BDI system without breaks will do to a pilot.
NOTE: Although the cockpit of the YF-21 does NOT contain any windows except a top-mounted radome (the BDI makes windows unnecessary, theoretically), a backup display monitor is included for the pilot in the event of BDI system failure. This monitor, while acceptable as an emergency backup, is not well designed for a combat fighter, and being forced to rely solely on it imposes a -3 penalty to hit and dodge rolls by the pilot.
* COMBAT COMPUTER: The YF-21 is equipped with a combat computer that can store and analyze data during combat with hostile forces. Data collected by the combat computer can be viewed by the pilot either on standard HUD displays mounted on the cockpit viewports, or using the new BDI system (see above). This allows the computer to display large amounts of data to the pilot and even highlight enemies and missile attacks with overlaid graphics. The combat computer tracks and identifies specific enemy targets, and has a database of over 10,000 images stored in memory. The computer can identify and track up to 250 targets simultaneously.
* DETATCHABLE LIMBS: The arms and legs of the YF-21 are detatchable, so that in the event one or more of the limbs of the mecha are damaged they can be ejected from the main body so as to avoid creating atmospheric drag or preventing transformation. The YF-21's arms and legs don't contain any critical systems so the AVF's performance will be unaffected if they are jettisoned. However, the YF-21 will not be able to hold its GV-17L gun pod in gerwalk or soldier mode if both arms are ejected.
* ESCAPE POD: The entire reinforced cockpit of the YF-21 is a detachable escape pod that can be jettisoned when the mecha is destroyed. The ejected cockpit does not contain thrusters, but does contain a powerful locator beacon and an integrated life support system that can support the pilot for up to 24 hours after ejection. The pod is also equipped with parachutes in case of ejection in an atmosphere. The combat computer is programmed to automatically eject the escape pod if the mecha is destroyed (main body MDC reduced to 0), but this can be overridden if the pilot is feeling suicidal for some reason.
* EXTERNAL AUDIO PICKUP: Range: 300 ft (91.5 m). A sound amplification system that can pick up normal conversation up to 300 feet away.
* HEAT AND RADIATION SHIELDS: Special shielding prevents the penetration of life threatening head and radiation. A radiation detection and alarm system are linked with the shields and will sound an alarm if there is a rupture in the shields and what the levels of radiation are.
* HOMING SIGNAL: The escape pod of the YF-21 is equipped with a homing device that enables rescue teams to locate a disabled craft or ejected life pod. The range of the signal is 400 miles (640 km). Most UN Spacy ships and variable fighters can locate and track homing signals, and the onboard computers will automatically notify their pilots if such a signal is detected.
* LASER TARGETING SYSTEM: Range: 100 miles (160 km). Used for increased accuracy in the striking of enemy targets and is partly responsible for the mecha's strike bonus.
* LOUDSPEAKER: A loudspeaker system is built into the craft, which can be used to amplify the pilot's voice up to 90 decibels.
* OPTICS: WIDE-SPECTRUM SENSORS: Range: 2000 feet (610 m). This new active/passive optical system is able to view and project light from any portion of the visible and invisible spectrum, from infrared to ultraviolet and everything in between. Among other things, this system allows the pilot to see in the dark or through smoke using infrared, through water or fog using ultraviolet, and even detect heat emissions from concealed targets. The sensors can use either an active or passive scanning mode. In active mode, the YF-21 actually projects a beam of light (visible or invisible) and views the reflection off objects. In passive mode, the sensors simply receive data without emitting light. Active mode provides more detailed pictures, but passive mode reduces the risk of detection by IR or UV sensors. The system provides the pilot with a bonus of +10% when tracking or trying to detect an ambush. Results of the scans can be viewed either on HUD displays or using the BDI system.
* RADAR: 200 mile (321 km) range.
* RADIO/VIDEO COMMUNICATION: Long range, directional communications system with satellite relay capabilities. Range: 600 miles (960 km) or can be boosted indefinitely via satellite relay.
* SELF-DESTRUCT: To prevent capture of a Variable Fighter fighter by the enemy, the pilot can activate the YF-21's self-destruct system, which will cause the fighter to explode after a delay of up to 60 minutes (time is set by the pilot). The explosive damage is contained within a 20 foot (6 m) area and inflicts 1D6x10 M.D. to everything within the radius of the explosion. All internal systems are obliterated. The escape pod will be automatically ejected prior to the explosion unless the pilot overrides the ejection sequence.
* STANDARD SURVIVAL KIT: All UN Spacy Variable Fighters come equipped with a portable survival kit. Inside the small reinforced box is a medium-sized flashlight, two hand flares, one rocket flare, a compass, infrared distancing binoculars, a small mirror, a pocket knife, dehydrated and concentrated food (can be stretched into a five day supply for one person) and basic first aid items (aspirin, bandages, disinfectants, etc.)
* TACTICAL LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM: The YF-21's cockpit is pressurized, and also provides additional air feeds to the pilot's flight suit that provides him with pressurized breathing. The UN Spacy flight suit also contains an upper and lower g-suit that promotes blood circulation even during high-g turns, thus decreasing the possibility of pilot's blacking out in combat.
COMBAT BONUSES FOR YF-21 FIGHTER TRAINING:
NOTE: Due to the prototype nature of the YF-21, it is highly recommended that no player be allowed to start the game with YF-21 BDI/BCS combat training (unless the GM is running a very unusual campaign). Untrained pilots should get bonuses equal to Basic Variable Fighter Combat Training when piloting the YF-21, and military pilots with no prior YF-21 experience should get full bonuses from Advanced VF-11 Variable Fighter Combat Training. However, this only applies to players trying to fly the YF-21 with conventional controls; characters trying to fly a YF-21 using the BDI/BCS systems for the first time only get Basic Variable Fighter Combat Training bonuses regardless of their experience! The BDI/BCS systems take immense amounts of training and discipline to be used at maximum efficiency.
The below bonuses only apply to trained characters piloting a YF-21 using the BDI/BCS systems. Players should only be allowed to get this training when their characters have accumulated enough experience to acquire new skills. Pilots trained on non-BDI/BCS versions of the YF-21 should use the bonuses for VF-22 Sturmvogel combat training.
ADVANCED YF-21 BDI/BCS AVF COMBAT TRAINING
* Advanced training for pilots specializing in the YF-21 and trained to take full advantage of the Brain Control System and Brain Direct Imaging systems of the prototype.
* 4 attacks per melee (plus those of the pilot).
* Add one additional action/attack at levels two, five, seven, and ten.
* +2 on initiative (+5 when using Active Stealth System)
* +3 to strike (+4 when using Active Stealth System)
* +4 to parry
* +3 to dodge in solder mode, +5 in gerwalk, +7 in jet mode.
* When using BDI/BCS, add +2 to dodge and +1 to strike to above bonuses.
* +3 to roll with a punch or fall with an impact, reducing damage by half.
* +4 to leap dodge. A leap dodge is an automatic dodge which causes no loss of attacks per melee. The new generation AVFs are so maneuverable that the pilot can dodge an attack while moving to counterattack an enemy.
* Critical strike same as pilot's hand-to-hand.
* Body block/tackle/ram - 2D4 M.D. plus a 50% chance of knocking an opponent down, causing him to loose initiative and one attack that melee round.
REFERENCES USED IN THIS DESIGN
* "Doe's All The Worlds' Mecha Guide: General Galaxy YF-21 Reference Entry"
* Macross Plus episodes 1-4
* This is Animation Special: Macross Plus
* This is Animation The Select: Macross Plus Movie Edition