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[OSSR] Rifts World Book 9 - South America: 2
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: [OSSR] Rifts World Book 9 - South America: 2 Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Set the wayback machine to 1995, True Believers, because we're making a deep cut. Rifts World Book 9 - South America: 2

You might legitimately ask: why does anyone care what Kevin Siembieda thinks? You might specifically ask why CJ Carella:
http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?p=474139
http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=29458&start=0
http://tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=55486&start=400
cares enough to write the best supplements for his dumpster fire of a gaming system?

Well, when the Palladium RPG came out in 1983, it was one of the few available games (RuneQuest came out in 1978, with derivatives such as Stormbringer and Call of Cthulhu coming out in the early 80s) where players had access to magic that did something other than let them zap people. If you wanted a game where magic was interesting, it had something going.

The key selling points were the Summoner and Diabolist classes, combined with a game engine that, while a dumpster fire by modern standards, was at least better than RuneQuest. Your chance of identifying unknown fruits and berries was 62% + IQ bonus + 4%/level, but at least it wasn't 18%.

That is how bad the engine under Call of Cthulhu is, people.

Kevin, when he isn't trying vainly to out-douche Gygax, also comes up with some cool stuff. Future wizards in rebreather masks who teleport along magic ley lines? Those are cool. Psi-stalkers are cool. The war between Chaotic Evil demons and Lawful Evil devils was, I believe Kevin's idea that D&D stole back?

In 1994, Kevin Siembieda released the second volume of his post-apocalyptic South America gazetteer, which is also the ninth volume of the gazetteer series (now up to Rifts-World-Book-35-Megaverse-in-Flames - which includes an update on the aforementioned Minion War); because his organizational grasp on supplement titles makes as much sense as the way he organizes these volumes of D&D house rules that he binds and sells. Well, officially, he "edited" it, because the universe is a sick joke at your expense: it was written by Carlos J. Martijena-Carella ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.J._Carella ) who I know has been mentioned on the Den before, but he grew up bouncing around South America, so he gave South America all kinds of awesome stuff.

Like every Palladium book, we will start with a:
Quote:

Warning!
These books are stream of consciousness and written by people who don't bother to understand their own rules. In fact, I think CJ didn't use them but ran his own Rifts games using GURPS.
None of us at the den endorse a lack of editorial oversight, inaccurate indexes or a total failure of structure or typesetting.


On the plus side - because Kevin hasn't changed typesetting practices since 1980, everything is in a cleanly spaced, serif typeface. No slanted gray-on-gray background fiction in these books!

The book starts with an introduction in which CJ laments what isn't in it, including the second part of the adventure they started in the previous gazetteer which would've pissed me off if I'd been trying to run it.

Actually, no, it starts with a *table of contents*. Let me explain. No, there is too much: let me summarize. Rather than doing real indexes, Rifts books have a second, alphabetical order table of contents which will enable you to find specific robots or character classes. It's better than *not* having such a Quick Find Table, but it's not great; they serve as a useful summary for what these books contain.

In this OSSR, you can look forward to Blood Lizards (who are an entire species of post-morality psionic velociraptors that nonetheless want to ridden around on by dinosaur knights), True Inca Demigods, and cybernetic Fishmalks! Enjoy!
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koz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yay, Rifts (R) (TM) (Fuck You We'll Sue) madness strikes again! I look forward to reading more of this. This actually came out at the same time as Nightbane, so it probably explains CJ Carella's involvement.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Carella was the primary alternate writer for much of Palladium's existence (along with Wujick). His name is on a lot of shit, and his work is in more.

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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Both Rifts South America books (as well as some other Rifts books; Lone Star, Warlords of Russia, Triax & NGR, Mindwerks, Mechanoids: 2, Phase World, & Wormwood) got added to my collection of RPG books some time in the mid 2000's when my LFGS was getting rid of old stock. I really never planned on playing Rifts, but the books just had so much detailed fluff and crunch that seemed linked to a global narrative. I was also ignorant as hell, as to how bad the quality of Rifts books actually are.
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Empire of the Sun

As with most Rifts material, the meat of the book opens with an in-universe blurb with an overloaded continuity.

Rifts has, simply, too many armies of aliens and tentacled eldritch horrors (and the Splugorth, who are both) trying to invade and dominate the earth at the same time.

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In this book, we get Arkhons - who are Kzin, but for some reason they fight in one-eyed cyclops robots? They get their own chapter, which includes some advice that lets you in on the real game: ignore the orbiting faction of this new alien race if you've already been running a game in orbit and haven't been fighting them. The reason Rifts supplements seem to continuously stomp over their own continuity with different alien threats is because there isn't a real continuity, there's just a smorgasboard of stuff and you're expected to fit it together your own damn self. Anyway, like all Rifts books, this is poorly organized, but I'm going to impose some structure and talk about the Arkhons when I get to their chapter.

This chapter is about the returned civilization of the True Inca. Before I start channeling Frank and pointing out all the ways this is racist, I should briefly answer the question: in this chapter, what do you get? 11 pages of fluff.

So it ties into the stupid Atlantis continuity.

but something of a plus: the Nazca rule, and Atlantis drools. The Atlanteans triggered a cataclysm that destroyed their magic civilization; this pissed the Nazca off substantially. They've also been fighting the monsters of the book for centuries of secret history, but went into decline. IMO, the Nazca are pretty cool - the Nazca line drawings are real magic, they're visible from space because they're magic anti-orbital defenses - this part holds together.

Then the suck begins.


So the Inca Gods are actually the good guys from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mechanoid_Invasion - who fled to earth and entered a coma and then - reviewing this entire supplement is going to be exhausting - their descendents who are godlings and need less mana to walk around founded the Inca empire. Sometime around 1400, these deities wake up and leave, leaving the Inca under the impression that they're descended from these Inca Gods (and it's implied that there was some hanky-panky?); then we switch over to real history for a bit, explaining that the Inca thought that Spaniards were Inca godlings because they were white (groan), and then it's future history.

So magic comes back, and the Inca Gods therefore go to Earth, "their place of origin", except it totally isn't, they were in a coma the entire time they were here, so what the hell?!?!

page 12 wrote:
[After returning to earth and fighting some laster tanks] Viraocha soon realized that technology was something to be respected.

WHAT THE FUCK YOU JUST SAID HE WAS FROM A PLANET THAT WAS EXTERMINATED BY ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT CYBORGS IN... argle-bargle... cough... you know, fuck it. Whatever.

Anyway, at the same time, a bunch of the Nazca Line Maker wizards also return to Earth because magic is back.



and it gets worse, because the Nazca and the Inca Gods team up against... yet another faction of invading aliens, the Larhold, also introduced in this book. They look like the the thing from Predator and... anyway, the Inca Gods and the Nazca and some of the surviving technology-having Peruvians all team up to be the Empire of the Sun. I'm going to try and stay on topic now... no, not possible, because also there were Dakir slavers who are, sigh, yet another group of invading aliens? But they were overthrown by their own mercenary slaves.

Then this chapter includes about a page introducing the Arkhons, who again are the Kzin in cyclops robots that the Nazca shot out of orbit in 100 BC using the nazca lines as orbital defense cannons; that page is enough information on the Akrhons to be distracting but is at the same time useless for running a game, so I'm glossing over it. The impetus is clear that you're supposed to be running missions against these Kzin things.

Now, we get the Rifts worldbook gazeteer template, which consists of:
  • 1. A population breakdown (for the country, planet, whatever), a map, and A hodgepodge of stuff potentially relevant to making a character from this place. Credit where credit is due - this type of product should always have such sections; it's a good template element.
  • 2. Some organizations
  • 3. A "foreign affairs" section giving the relationship among the various nations in the game; this isn't a bad template element to have, but it varies a lot in usefulness.
  • 4. A list of cities, which may or may not have good adventure hooks.

    So if your character is from the Empire of the Sun, you should know that it's:
  • 1. A constitutional theocracy - there are nobles, you can become a noble by taking a test (in some area). No-one else can have private property... this society sounds awful. Everyone has to train in the militia 10% of the time... the villages all have armories, which is relevant game information.
    There are also "free cities" which aren't agricultural communes full of serfs. The author points out that this is a better deal than being exterminated by invading aliens, but basically this country is North Korea.

  • 2. There is info on (all of these get a write up as a character class or monster in the next chapter): Sun Priests, who are recruited at age 12 to be magic-powered clerks; other magicians, who if they're evil types get executed, otherwise are forced to be in the reserves; and the Inca mummies, who were made into undead while the Inca Gods were out of town in imitation of the Inca Gods habit of slumbering for centuries. All these get their own full sections later, if you're noticing a pattern.

  • 3. The foreign affairs section includes 10 entries, several of which are "no contact". In a vain effort to impose order on this book, I'm going to put off most of this to the sections for these various powers, but - why are the Inca not allied with the Columbians, whose main thing in life is that they fight vampires just to the north? The reason is: because when Rifts America I was written, the author hadn't decided what he would put to the south, so no contact. Ugh. That said, this section has a few usable adventure seeds, calling out several foreign governments who have statted-out agents in this or another book that are trying to harm the Inca.

  • 4. Useful stuff for adventures from the city section: Cuzco has a sun temple where each Inca deity gets a pocket dimension portal; Cuzco also has a magic college where summoned stuff sometimes goes on rampages and a lazy DM can have wizard-professors hand out fetch quests; Nazca is made of cool energy buildings but no adventure seeds are really provided; Arequipa has a special arrangement with the Inca Gods where it gets to be a cool modern city rather than a magical feudalist bumfuck, but it has slums full of undocumented peasants that are infested with demon predators - this is an acceptable adventure seed, but what the hell, supposedly benevolent Inca deities? Finally, there's the City of the Dead which is in a dimensional pocket or something full of Inca mummies and vampires and suchnot - but, frankly, no information useful to the obligatory dungeon crawl is actually provided. The place is evil but you can't go there because of the dimensional mist defenses so what's the point?


    Here are some key weaknesses:
  • Why are the Inca pantheon good guys? They've come from another universe and set up a constitutional theocracy - like Iran. Their enemies are evil (mostly by definition), but the whole political economy ties itself in knots and the peasants specifically sometimes revolt against their harsh rule.

    the efforts to make them good guys but also Inca traditionalists (except see below...) are highly contrived.

  • All this history stuff is not relevant to running games in the present day, but the current state of cool places to adventure (such as the various magical ruins and such) are highly relevant, and get short shrift.
    We don't care which Dwarf King built Moria but we need to know what orcs and treasures and traps it contains now.

  • It involves Atlanteans. Atlanteans are lame and Rifts Atlanteans are double lame, being an entire species of do-gooder DM penis NPCs with stupid crystal pyramids.

  • The divine "True Inca" are lighter skinned.... why now? That was legitimately an Aztec thing but even then, giving it a factual basis in the game is totally un-needed; the whole thing with aliens building the brown people civilizations is deeply problematic even if you don't make the aliens white.
    On top of this, the actual brown Inca people are all evil undead mummies. Not cool, bro.


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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    O.C.C.s and R.C.C.s of the Empire

    Yes, this is a separate chapter, but it should be faster to review.

    It's heavy on both crunch (Rifts *CCs stat blocks are formatted to take a bit over a page, which I used to think was bad until I saw 4th edition D&D) and artwork.

    The art in this book is actually quite good. This guy R.K. Post really likes drawing Inca, they uniformly look much better than the robot fighting a wizard on the cover. I think his girlfriend (she? Is R.K. Post a lady?) may have decided to cosplay as Inca goddesses and warrior babes for this book. Siembieda also did some of the interior art himself, and he's a pretty good illustrator too, for what it's worth. Some of it gets used on multiple pages which is a rip-off, but I'd rather have good art more than once than lousy artwork.


    Rifts isn't game-balanced. We all know this.

    True Inca R.C.C. Demigods

    They're "slightly lighter skinned" so they're played by white people in bronzer. I won't belabor this further, but, groan.
    The True Inca are no longer rulers, but instead (this takes a about a page of rant), are all adventurers now. So that's easy.
    So you get +4 or more to your stats, you get free MDC (typical value ~180) which is nice but not broken (the Cyborg in the main book gets about the same amount), you regenerate but not super-fast, you get some spells and minor psionics for your deity of choice.
    Anyway, while clearly better than "a guy with a rifle", the Demigod class isn't a power option. You're not that big, you don't do that much damage, you don't get high level magic powers either. On the numbers, fairly comparable to some of the dragon hatchlings, in fact.
    One oddity - you get +1D4 to initiative. Does this mean you roll 1D4 during character generation, and that's how big a bonus you get to one of the most important die rolls in the game? Or do you roll 1D4+1D20 instead of 1D20 like everyone else? Who the fuck knows?

    Inca Warrior O.C.C.
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    There's a bunch of fluff about not being technologically-inclined, which is true you don't get the radio and electronics skills that most soldier OCCs get. You do get power armor combat, though - which matters a lot if you have power armor.
    This is a standard grunt-with-rifle class, except you start with some magic items; and, "on dangerous missions", you get power armor (which doesn't suck in Rifts) and the specialized training to kick ass in it. Rifts isn't fair, so I want to point out that you get only marignally more skills than the Demigod and you aren't one, although if you get the power armor you'd probably win in a fight.
    Anyway, this is better than you might expect - Rifts has a lot of OCCs that are basically the same, but without the magic items - but again, not a power option; if you get the magic power armor (see a later section) it's decent, but the magic power armor isn't that hot compared to (obvious example) the Glitter Boy.

    Inca Sun Priest O.C.C.
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    This OCC is for the troubleshooter/adventurer subtype of priest, it is explained. They have some magic powers.
    You get a bunch of low-level spells, some of which are elemental (depending on your patron deity.) Low level spells are mostly pretty wank and you don't care. You get a magic symbol which enables some more spells, of which the high-level force field matters a bit and the others don't.
    Taken together, this class is notably weaker than the Mystic in the basic book - in later books, priest OCCs are written up with substantially better/more stuff but this guy is wank.

    Nazca Line Maker O.C.C.

    You have to able to do something cool with these.

    In the fluff part, along with some more secret history spiel which is definitely in the wrong place, it informs you that if you have an ME of 23 (which requires you to be non-human, or to cheat) you can cast your Nazca spells without writing them on the ground but this takes the same amount of time.
    All the Nazca spells are described later but:
    - You don't get very many of them.
    - Other spellcasters can learn them, just they're not as good as you at them, but you don't learn regular spells.
    - Your PPE total is mediocre.
    - You don't get any of the cooler non-spell freebie abilities that some spellcasting OCCs get in Rifts (like teleporting on ley lines or sensing evil or commanding summoned demons, that sort of thing.)
    Anyway we'll get to the line magic. It's a very cool idea - ritual magic, in various forms, has been the historical strength of Palladium games - but the implementation is lacking.

    Rune Warrior O.C.C.
    Oh, hey - we forgot another race of evil invading aliens! The "red people" - that's who Rune Warriors fought originally.
    You get some MDC, but not enough to matter (typical value ~50); you get some stat bonuses. You actually depend in your force field, but more to the point, on your broken staff beam. You can spend PPE to do 1D6/PPE damage with your staff energy beam (also maybe you hit people with the staff, but it doesn't say how much damage it does?) - but it's pretty easy to do 100D6 which will one-shot one of the aforementioned Demigods.
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    FrankTrollman
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I remember when we used to think it would be a good idea to have a setting with everything in it. We were what, twelve?

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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I was around 18 because I got into roleplaying later than most, and I think I went through all the typical growing-up phases kind of late (with the exception of the mid-life crisis at around 25-ish). But it's the same thing.

    Still, you're the one with the Robot-Piloting Lava Warlock Wolverines From the Moon story. You know how settling in with some gin and a completely fucking retarded game can be fun with your friends when you want to do something dumber than the usual "DDR then get kicked out of a bowling alley for bouncing the balls and winning 1000+ tickets on the arcade machines and trying to cash them all in on 3-ticket candy".

    Ideally RIFTS (TM) would have an option for 5-minute character generation (4 of those minutes are choosing what to be and finding the books), 5-minute plot generation, single-session drunken antics. So basically reduce yourself to 12 year olds for the night.
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Koumei wrote:
    I was around 18 because I got into roleplaying later than most, and I think I went through all the typical growing-up phases kind of late (with the exception of the mid-life crisis at around 25-ish). But it's the same thing.

    Still, you're the one with the Robot-Piloting Lava Warlock Wolverines From the Moon story. You know how settling in with some gin and a completely fucking retarded game can be fun with your friends when you want to do something dumber than the usual "DDR then get kicked out of a bowling alley for bouncing the balls and winning 1000+ tickets on the arcade machines and trying to cash them all in on 3-ticket candy".

    Ideally RIFTS (TM) would have an option for 5-minute character generation (4 of those minutes are choosing what to be and finding the books), 5-minute plot generation, single-session drunken antics. So basically reduce yourself to 12 year olds for the night.

    What I'm getting from this is that there's a market for a RPG which delivers the following experience:


    It should:

    • Be over the top.
    • Have a fast, possibly randomized character and adventure creation
    • Focus on one-shot adventures
    • Have mechanics that ensure at least one fucking awesome moment to each player per game.
    • Have rules simple enough that won't mess up too much playing while drunk.

    But can we get this without trap options and racism?
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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    One-shots are fine, but you need to be able to support other awesome adventures, like:
  • Let's go on a bar-crawl with our laser-toting dinosaur cavalry.
  • Let's get serious for a moment and have our T-rex deliver a melodramatic speech about family.

    With the same characters. This is absolutely crucial, Zoltan the brooding T-Rex needs to go, as the same character, on zany adventurers only some of which are combat or espionage related.

    So, yes, there is a market for such a game, but in addition to your list, it needs to be Fast and Furious 6 with wizards and genetically-engineered intelligent dinosaurs.

    Right now, I'm trying to find something funny to say about the spell and equipment lists in the next two chapters.

    If you don't have anything mean to say, don't say anything at all.

    RK Post has an artwork webpage, I can't hotlink the picture but it is pretty nice:
    http://www.rkpost.net/_p/prd1/768045941/product/pachamama-y-viracocha
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Nazcan Line Magic
    Common Line Drawings
    Secret Line Drawings
    The Secrets of the Nazca Lines
    These are in here as four "big headings", but I'm going through them all at once.



    ???

    No, more typically:


    The Nazca are much better than the Inca, thematically speaking. First, the line drawings themselves are 1) awesome, 2)obviously magic, and 3) a real, historical thing; and, second, the Nazca are not depicted as ancient white aliens, which is a refreshing change given their signature drawings are mainly visible from up in the air. On that strong pitch, they've built a magic system which has some good ideas, but is vaguely written and hugely unbalanced, and really doesn't have many spell effects that make you go, "oh, yeah, that's something a wizard who does magic by drawing minimalist to abstract artwork would be able to do."

    For one thing, other casters can (in addition to everything else) learn these rituals, but they cast them at half-effective level. Depending on the ritual, this may not matter at all.


    So, I'm going to keep a running tally of all of the rules that aren't explained:
  • ??? Line drawings can be re-activated later without taking the time to redraw them, including line drawings on items or other people.... on the same target only? How many combat actions does it take to reactivate the drawing? How close do you have to be to the drawing to activate it? Oh, also - other mages can't use this drawing-reuse trick, but that's only mentioned in the Line Drawing OCCs powers not in the block describing the drawings.

  • Some line drawings allow saves, but it's not specified what the base save DC is. Presumably it's 12+bonuses in combat and 16 if used as a ritual (just like regular spell casting)? If it's 16+bonuses than the save or die symbol of pain is way better.

    These line drawings are divided into two tiers, 19 common and 7 secret, you start with 8 of the common ones, which I'm going to go ahead and math-hammer where it matters at all.

    Close Rift costs 200 PPE and permanently reduces your PPE total by 2. Many Rifts scenarios are basically, "aiieee! Demons are coming out of the Rift to threaten the town!" so you can short-circuit those. Fuck you, even assuming the DM gives you 300 XP for a sacrifice - your next level costs roughly 3K x your current level (but these tables are a mess) so you're being punished with a loss of character power if you use this power.

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    You have some utility spells for healing and feeding people, and you can draw doors on things like you're a cartoon, setting any of your other drawings as magical traps (for an extra 30 PPE), walls of force,

  • ??? The animal summoning is costed out by the size of the animal, and includes a list of animals without specifying their sizes. Is a Rhinocerous *large* or *huge*?

    You have monster summoning, which costs 25/50/75/120 PPE and 3/4/6/8 actions (depending on how many MDC the monster has) for 1 minute of monster / level, vs. (looking this up in the Atlantis sourcebook) 50/80/100 PPE and 1 action for the magic tattoo for 1 *hour* of monster / level - the break points are slightly different, but tattooed men generally have at least twice the PPE that nazca line walkers get. This is weak sauce.

    EDIT:
    Quote:

    So, it occurs to me, this is what you actually do with the monster pattern.

    You weave it into a rug, which you wear as a cape and re-use. Then you can spawn as many monsters as you have PPE for (including from your canteens, see next), and that's pretty good as soon as your middling level. 3 minutes is 12 combat rounds, at 3rd level you can probably scrape together 225 PPE one way or another, and make three Beast Dragons, who would together make 27 attacks for 3D6 MD, which is respectable and the energy dragons are, of course, totally disposable.

    This still not a power option but it would at least be playable.


    Energy Jar is completely broken. So this lets you store 2D6/level PPE in a canteen, which you can then sell for PPE * 50 credits. Rifts uses "millions of credits" as a synonym for infinity dollars, and you can make 12 of these per hour, which is 700 * 12 * 8 > 50K credits per normal working day.

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    On top of that, having a heap of stored magic points is broken, so they introduce encumberance rules unique to this spell, which still don't help that much because you can carry around "no more than 4-6" of them without being encumbered (seemingly regardless of how super strong you are?) which is like 120 PPE at third level, more than doubling your base. A non-line drawer who learns this spell can only store half as much PPE per canteen, but even a PPE battery with 30 PPE in it is pretty good.

  • ??? There's a wall of fire pattern and it's not clear how it's supposed to work, because no duration is given. Also it doesn't say this doesn't allow a save, but damage dealing spells almost never do so this is presumably an oversight.

  • ??? The other blaster patterns are also hard to understand. They aren't competitive with various energy rifles anyway, but it's not clear if you pay the PPE cost once per shot, or once for the duration of however many shots it gives you - and some of them let other people shoot energy blasts and it's not clear if they pay PPE or if you do or...

    You get a force field, which is fixed at 100 MDC / 45 PPE, but it only lasts 2 minutes. Comparables: Tattoo magic gives 20 MDC x level / 25 PPE, for 0.5 h x level; or 75 MDC x level / 40 PPE for 10m/level; Armor of Ithan is 10 MDC x level / 10 PPE, and lasts 1 minute x level. So at low level this force field is nice but very expensive (and lots of people get better force fields without making a big deal of it), then at higher levels it's just weak sauce. Also notably, this is the ritual that you don't care if you're a line drawer or not.

    You have a cheap save or incapacitate spell, which you will know and presumably cast a lot. Rifts doesn't really have rules for tying someone else or etc. while they are writhing in agony only able to make 1 attack / round, so it's magic tea party though.

    At 6th level, if you are good and loyal to the North KoreansInca, you can then learn secret rituals, which for some reason get their own chapter heading.


    You can start ley line storms (for 800 PPE, which by 6th level you can carry around in 20 canteens if you have, I dunno, a truck to put them in), and you can do various permanent stuff with either the other line drawings or with ley lines but fuck you it costs permanent PPE!

    Supposedly, the Nazca are burning permanent PPE points to build glowing energy buildings but this is obviously bollocks.

    EXCEPT, there is a warrior pattern, which makes an energy warrior who obeys commands but has limited independent intelligence, is permanent unless destroyed, and you can make roughly 3 / minute if you have the 40 PPE they each cost? There's no permament PPE cost on these guys, so by all means raise an army of (integer overflow) energy warriors by drawing them on the ground.


    Then we get another chapter heading for the big lines.
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

    Yeah, those. CJ has listed the ones that actually exist and provided stats for all of them, so that's nice. You can summon energy Kaiju that do 100s of MD and have 1000s of MD - is that really big enough to take on an alien fleet? Probably not, but the statistics of various ships and suchnot don't make sense compared to the statistics of the robots that they carry and I'm not going to try to dig those out. Certainly, these are big enough numbers that conventional opposition will get completely plastered.

    So the idea of doing magic by doing Nazca style line drawing, along with similar weaving and pottery designs, has been completely failed in execution. That's a disappointment. BUT - at least this part isn't racist!


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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvssomC2zVs
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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The Pantheon of the Sun
    So Rifts is trying to be both a kitchen sink setting and a gritty western.

    This means that there's a preacher OCC - http://rifts.wikia.com/wiki/Preacher - who is clearly Christian.

    Also there are Priests of Ra and they get magic spells from Ra because Ra is real, and he's over there, battling Apep.

    In later products, Rifts moves away from being a kitchen sink and towards being more of a buffet; so the Deities and Demigods conversion book has alternative "pretender" pantheons that you can use and maybe the main pantheon isn't even real.

    But at this point, Kevin et al. were just stuffing everything into their setting without worrying about continuity.

    the-spectre-of-continuity:
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    At the same time, it was clear that pantheons of Gods of Light were a bit hard to square with evil Alien Intelligences.
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    So at least in this particular book, the various good gods are eldritch energy things, but they very explicitly gain power (although this mainly seems to mean bonus MDC) from being worshipped.

    Viracocha
    So Viracocha is a ball of energy who originally manifested as a white guy, but learned his lesson I guess and now he's been recast as an actor who looks native American and I can practically hear the producer saying, "see? We cast a brown guy! Are you happy now?" Viracocha is a God of "dimensional energies" and they stat him up - well, he's a God, he'd win most fights. His power is officially diminished but this just seems to reduce his hit points, he still knows all the spells.
    In addition to losing a previous homeworld to the Mechanoids, he's also a veteran of some thousand year old cosmic war called "The Shattering" and he might be the same type of critter as the villains in this war? I've read a lot of Palladium stuff and even I don't know what this is supposed to be about. I think it must have been something of AJs that didn't make it into the rest of the Rifts continuity.
    Anyway, his alignment is Principled and it's explained that he's cultivating the Inca empire because, as his worshippers, they might give him another 10,000 mega hit points. That's totally a reason why a moral being would set up an economically exploitative theocracy, you go guy.


    Inti
    Inti is the same ball of energy type thing as Viracocha, but he has light powers instead of dimension-bending powers.
    He hates the Nightlords, who are the villains of another Palladium product people are reviewing on the board. He's tempted to turn evil because he wants more mega hit points - I suppose this is a plot seed since some of the villains have elaborate plots to "tempt" him, but if I'm going to Jiminy Cricket one of these deities it would the previous one.
    Also, side note, apparently they don't care about offending Hindus because Shiva and friends are occasionally mentioned in these games, although Yahweh is not.
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    Pachamama
    Was the leader of a planet full of earth elementals, now is a nurturing mother goddess after her planet was destroyed by - not the mechanoids - but yet another race of plundering cybernetic aliens, becuase ugh.
    Anyway, Viracocha and Inti rescued her from the dying remains of her planet and now she's part of their pantheon. She gets all earth magic instead of all conventional spell magic (which isn't as good), but she's able to merge with the entire planet Earth and sense everything in the whole world, with some limitations? That's much better than shooting big energy blasts that either teleport you at random or do double damage to undead.
    She has some agricultural powers and no excuse for why she tolerates peasants being kept in slums.
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    Illapa
    Has the same origin story except the other gods rescued him from demons instead of robots and his planet wasn't destroyed? So why did he leave, is it still there?
    Anyway he gets air/water instead of general spell magic, but also for some reason he can suck his physical body into the astral plane and he hates Tlaloc.
    Also for some reason he's got extra-strong astral projection.

    Manco Capac
    Is a Godling so much smaller than the real gods. He's got a sword and some spells, and he's the leader of the Heroes of the Sun which, and I've seen worse suggestions, the player characters could join.
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    So was any of that useful? Well, the suggestion that the players could be troubleshooters for Manco Capac is not groundbreaking, but nicely supports an actual Rifts party, so it's not a bad conceit.
    BUT, instead of giving example seeds or anything, it's a bunch of game stats for Gods which, if you use them at all, your game will suffer.

    Forces of Darkness
    The Ancient RCC
    Yahuar Huacac
    So there's a rant about how mummies go insane from being trapped in their bodies, for which reason they hate all life, but also were able to astrally project during the centuries before magic came back, so they woke up knowing lots of necromancy.
    This was long after the point that "all undead have to be evil" had ceased to be a universally assumed rule, but they're sticking with it anyway.
    Game mechanically, they're middling level wizards who also have 1000-4000 MDC, which is a lot. They need to feed on life force but the damage from their draining touch isn't permanent, so whatever.
    Decent enough stat up for a boss-monster - still powerful, but more realistically killable than the various evil gods and great old ones.
    Yahuar Huacac is their leader based purely on the evil-sounding translation of his name ("Blood Weeper"), and there's a page and a half about his life story that I can't really see working into a game in any way.
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    Pucara Red Giants
    So these are the ancient enemies of the Nazca... they're giant, red and psionic. They've been... living in caves under the Andes from about 1000 BC to 2500 AD or whenever the Rifts happen? So, I'm sorry, they're not invading aliens, they're pre-human inhabitants of South America. A small % of them are very long lived, so some of them are still alive to remember being banished underground by the Nazca. Now they're back - and they want revenge! But good aligned characters will figure out some way of working this out.
    Are these drawn from Inca folklore? If so, I can't find them on the interwebs.
    But Puka does mean "red" in Quechua.
    They have the ability to be psychic earth moving equipment, and they're quite big (~400 MDC), and they make their weapons and armor out of psychically hardened stone. So they're pretty big but they do no damage at range.
    Some of them are Mind Mages who - in exchange for having more psionics, also have more and better skills? They get real master level psionics which enables you to do fancy things like mind control and fear waves and such.

    So we ge an okay boss monster template and some reasonable opposition that you aren't supposed to kill on-sight but may very well attack you. That's okay, it's usable.
    The mummies are adequate but not inspired - if you swapped the serial numbers on the template and said it was an Egyptian mummy, no-one would notice.
    The red giants... are they from that Sun Beneath the Sea cartoon?
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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    So Rifts supplements have a lot of future gun and robot porn. These are largely about selling the drawings, and while they waste some space on large font template elements, it's mostly art and crunch, which aren't bad things to have.

    The sections tend to be broken up by faction, however, which makes sense if you're patterning it off of one of those books full of pictures of military aircraft, but I'm going to combine them all into a single chunk for this review. This may mean I forget stuff about how the equipment is handed out which I'll then have to get back to in other sections if-it's-important.

    Thus, this is unavoidably a bit of a long laundry-list - and it's difficult to say anything entertainingly snarky about it but it goes entertainingly bonkers right at the very end, so stick with it!

    To give you a sense of what you would've been buying, these are the mostly future war porn sections with page ranges:

    Weapons and Equipment of the Empire pp. 56-66

    Arkhon Weapons & Equipment pp. 79-83
    Robots & Power Armor pp. 83-92
    Other Vehicles pp. 93-98

    Weapons & Equipment of the Legion pp. 113-115
    Armor & Power Armor pp. 115-117
    Vehicles pp. 117-121

    Weapons pp. 163-166
    Body Armor pp. 166-168
    Power Armor pp. 168-183

    I want to call out a couple of formatting and consistency fails. First, everyone gets subdivided for vehicles and robots but the empire; second, the long title spells out "and" but the shorter titles use "&" symbols, which bugs me perhaps more than it should.

    This takes about 50 pages out of a 200 page book.

    So, a standard rifle does about 10 MDC (3D6, but close enough) - but the the bigger gun in the basic book does 25 (1D4 x 10), and one of the early sourcebooks has a rifle that does 35 (1D6 x 10).

    The real damage output is from robots: the Boom Gun is the signature attack of the Rifts game system and inflicts ~100 MDC (3D6 x 10); smaller/lighter rail guns do less damage, and there's an unofficial rule that other weapons don't generally get to out-damage the Glitter Boy's boom gun.



    Given there are 50+ rifts sourcebooks which are like 25% guns and armor, finding the best stuff is going to be a chore... oh, here's a discussion if you care:
    http://www.palladium-megaverse.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=138011&view=print

    Now, Rifts equipment is variously templated. This wastes a lot of space because it's all spelled out (in both US and SI units) with a lot of white space, instead of put in tables - which would also be a lot more functional because then you could compare the equipment? You get a drawing of almost every item, so in spite of being 25% of 50 books I don't think Rifts has as many different guns as, for example, a typical edition of Shadowrun. But, if you add up all the books, it's roughly comparable.

    The drawings - especially of the robots - are useful for a sci-fi setting because you have lots of pictures to show the players.





    Those are from two other Rifts books but you get the point.

    Anyway, the gun template has six entries:
    Weight
    Damage
    Rate of Fire
    Range
    Payload
    Cost

    all of which are straightforward except for Rate of Fire, which is completely inconsistent. Sometimes it specifies that each shot counts as a normal attack, but that's the default - sometimes various firing modes are specified but they don't consistently map to any rules. It's a complete mess and probably some of these guns are meant to work in a non-standard way, and I'm missing it or have forgotten the rule.


    Weapons and Equipment of the Empire
    For example, the first two weapons in the book are the Inti-10 Variable Laser Pistol and the Inti-20 Variable Laser Rifle.

    Both of them "defeat laser-resistant armor 1D4 attacks after the first hit", which is a failed effort to defeat Arkhon force fields (we'll get to that) - the thing with laser resistant armor that you care about is the Glitter Boy, whom you are not beating with small arms fire so this rule doesn't matter much.

    Anyway, these two weapons are:
    Quote:
    Mega-Damage: 2D4+2 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Standard.

    and
    Quote:
    Mega-Damage: 2D6+6 M.D. per single shot or 1D4x10+10 M.D. for a triple pulse.
    Rate of Fire: Standard.


    So a "Standard" rate of fire is both single shots and also a triple pulse. It gets better - when you get to the rocket rifle.
    Quote:
    Mega-Damage: 4D6 M.D. per shot. A three round burst does 1D4x10 M.D., and a 10 round burst inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Selective fire; single aimed shots, 3-round bursts, and 10-round bursts. The weapon has a disengage mechanism that prevents full-automatic fire (the gun stops cycling after 10 rounds have been shot and until the soldier releases the trigger and presses it again).


    The rules for this are on pp. 361 and 362 of Rifts Ultimate:
  • The "pulse" gets smaller bonuses if aimed but is otherwise just like shooting once.
  • The "short burst" counts as only a single attack but your bonuses to strike are halved.
  • The "long burst" counts as two attacks and your bonuses to strike are halved.

    As a consequence, it's impossible to hit dodgy characters with autofire. This is the 103rd most absurd thing about Rifts. Anyway, you can probably guess how all that stuff is supposed to work but it's not what anyone would call obvious.

    Okay, so the Inca, in spite of being officially a low technology high-magic faction, have slightly-superior small arms.

    They also get totally standard personal body armor (45 M.D.C. for the cheap suit and 70 M.D.C. for the expensive suit; compare this to the small arms damage above and you'll see that Rifts is actually quite lethal for infantry without magic force fields or whatever.)

    The Inca get regenerating magic power armor. It's tough with 600 main body MDC (I don't want to repeat the above for robots but that isn't bad) and regeneration is obviously nice. They also get a magic amulet that let's you Ultron into a golem with a fire aura (also 600 MDC), a power suit that is weak which they build themselves, a power suit that's pretty good that they buy from one of the later countries, and a tank which is, of course, very weak because it isn't a robot.



    Arkhon Weapons & Equipment
    Robots & Power Armor
    Other Vehicles


    The KzinArkhons have cyclops predators on their homeworld - which makes no sense from an evolutionary standpoint, but I like the schpeal about how this causes them to think one-eyed battle robots are super scary so I'll let it slide. They also have tri-beams which are stupid (there's a schpeal about how they look all twisty and pre-ionize the atmosphere - I assume they're supposed to look like the streams from Ghostbusters?). Weapons with the special tri-beam tag do double-damage to everything except cerasteel (from which Arkhon armor is mostly made) and force fields. Player characters don't want to die and have force fields.

    Cerasteel actually takes half damage from tri-beams and double damage from physical attacks, which is why the Inca make sure to have plenty of boltersrocket rifles and missile pods and such. Fine.

    Special rules aside, their weapons do mediocre damage - 5D6 for the rifle which doubles to 1D6 x 10 against many targets, which is above average for infantry grunts but not a power option.

    They also have backpack mortars which, for some reason, can fire 6 bomblets as a single attack action, doing 6D6 x 6 = 1D6 x 36 which is actually more than the boom gun? But it only has 18 bomblets before needing to be reloaded and is supposed to be used from a mile away. They have some missile launchers and physical guns and things.

    They get a bunch of cyclops power armor which I think looks cool including a flying suit that can turn invisible and gets a heavy tri-beam that does 2D4 x 10 - which doubles to ~100 MDC against many targets. Otherwise, they get robot power armor in a range of sizes with slightly more MDC than the equal-weight default stuff in the basic book but nothing striking.

    They get a hover tank which is about as good as the robots (which is really good for a tank), and a really stupid-looking fighter which is unusual in a Rifts product (which include some flying robots of but generally very few aircraft.)

    Weapons & Equipment of the Legion
    Armor & Power Armor
    Vehicles
    So these guys officially have superior technology. I'll review the schpeal when I get to the corresponding section, but most of their stuff is (in spite of going on about how the legion will hunt you down to recover it) game-mechanically standard. Brief explanation so that this makes any sense: they're descended from US soldiers who were kidnapped by aliens to become cyborg war thralls, who then overthrew their masters but decided to stick with the mercenary cyborg thing. You can play these guys but you don't get to keep the toys in this section if you leave.

    Equipment which really is better than you'd expect includes their plasma rifle, which does 1D6 x 10 + 10 per burst, and is recoilless so it can fire aimed bursts if you wanted to give up attacks for +3 to hit (you don't; but, do you also not halve your other bonuses? Your guess is as good as mine.)

    They get the shields from dune, which automatically parry incoming bullets. It can only parry three projectiles per round, but it can parry railguns (which are high autofire robot weapons), so I don't understand how that is supposed to work game-mechanically? Anyway, it's built into their above-average armor (90 MDC for humans, 150 MDC for the muskatoon-wielding big aliens) and into their superior flying power armor (which gets 550 main body MDC and a gatling gun that hits for 2D6 x 10, which is decent.)

    They get a super-technology version of the Abrams battle tank. It's a hovertank that takes four supersoldiers to crew it so this is not something the players are going to have, but it hits for 5D6 x 10 (yes, more than the boom gun), it has a force field (total main body + force field MDC is 1300) as well as super-science versions of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Apache Helicopter which is supersonic (?) but otherwise comparable to the flying robot.

    Weapons & Equipment of the S.R.R.
    That's "Silver River Republics", which is post-apocalypse Argentina. We'll get to them, but first, their gear.

    The NP-10 Plasma Net Launcher entangles enemies in fire bolas, for some reason. Anyway, this causes things you hit to lose turns, and doesn't specify things like how big targets can be or any of that jazz. Even if it only works on human-sized targets it's simply broken when used against opposition otherwise superior to our heroes.

    Other than that, you get a bunch of laser rifles and stuff with more or less standard numbers (one weapon has a 4000 ft. range and does decent damage, stuff tends to be extensive).


    Rifts charges you a premium for this power because it looks cool, even though it isn't game-mechanically effective.

    There have been a bunch of melee weapons which I've mostly been glossing over. But for some reason, in spite of the fact that everyone and his little brother has better things to do with his time, Rifts thinks that the ability to create a psionic sword that does like 15 MD is super-important and impressive. So the weapon that is a sword, but that adds bonus damage to whatever your psionic sword does normally, is likewise considered a huge deal. Oh boy, you can do 20 MD! With a laser sword! So what?!?!?!

    There's a huge anti-tank laser rifle that does 3D6 x 10 + 20, but which you have to use an action to reload.

    There's a bunch of mediocre personal armor.

    Mecha-lizard power armor. Now we're cooking with gas. It's a killer robot that's modeled after a psychic dinosaur that you would otherwise ride. If you're good, I'll finish the review and we'll get to those guys - in the interim, the picture is nice (although, with a robot dinosaur carrying a flash gordon rifle, it better be). In most ways it isn't very good, but the sonic breath weapon (sigh) stuns enemies unless they save at 16+ (if "unprotected", which means also they're dead because this is a mega-damage attack, right?) or 8+ even if they're inside environmental armor including power armor. This is a save vs. poison for some reason, but anyway this is actually totally broken - because on a failed save the target is stunned for 1D4 rounds (not 1D4 attacks!) and you can attack with this Sonic Pulse Cannon on every one of your attacks, and it's an area of effect thing so it always hits?!?!?! This enables you to juggle people pretty easily if you're at all competent.

    There's also minotaur armor (which is disappointingly vanilla) and a region-specific glitter boy that, for some reason, has a shorter range on it's rail gun because the rail gun is split into a bunch of little tiny guns that fire from all over the robots body to... reduce recoil? And there's a Mastodon robot which is pretty tough - sure, whatever - it has a boom gun (3D6 x 10 MDC), not bad, and, of course, it has epilepsy-inducing laser mirrors in the ears. As you do.

    Let's pause for a moment and consider this. So the seizure inducing "Death Mirrors" have a range of 500 feet and effect 25% of people in a 100 foot radius, who then have to make... poison saves. Also this weapon can only be fired once per round. Polarized goggles give a +5 to save vs this attack. The epilepsy-inducing lasers in the ear-mounted "Death Mirrors" of the mastodon robot are thus clearly inferior to the "Sonic Pulse Cannon" of the allosaurus robot.


    In case you were wondering.

    There's a giant turtle submarine robot which is insanely tough (1,850 main body MDC), but has a crew of 14. I was disappointed that it wasn't a ninja in any way. There's a tank which has an anti-missile disco ball laser (but no epilepsy mirror ears, so what's the point) and finally an APC, neither of which are as tough as the robots.

    Overall thoughts
    This was long and something of a chore, and I think whoever wrote it felt the same way because it goes completely bonkers right at the end. To the extent that Rifts has some game balance among the basic types, wizards generally get save or incapacitate effects, and technology gives you range, damage and heaps of MDC. So giving save or die effects to team giant robot is... unbalanced, I guess?

    Obviously, in a typical Rifts game, people are going to tend to pour over the equipment catalog portions and if there's good stuff (and there's a bunch), it's something for the robot pilots and cyborg soldiers and suchnot to chase after.

    This is what passes for good quality stuff as far as Rifts products go. The art is nice, only a few items are obviously broken or nonsensical - and the laser ears are worth writing this entire review - is it useful? The opposition is statted up to use lots of it, but if you gave the opposition similar equipment from the basic book it would seldom make much of a difference, although there is some visible power creep in the infantry rifles for some reason. Do we really need a two page writeup on the Hussar Armored Personnel Carrier which had different numbers than the APC in the basic book but this makes no qualitative difference? One of the artists did a nice drawing of some soldiers chilling out with APCs, I suspect the art was submitted and then they wrote up equipment to match their favorite pictures.
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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    As far as damage values go, I'm pretty sure this is one of the books where Kev stepped in later (either in a future printing or in another book or a RIFTER (TM) or something) and said the author, "while otherwise good", had gone rogue and overdone it (it's not the fault of the base game for being all over the place, hard to look things up in, with no regard for power to begin with, and generally pushing for power creep). He then recommended reducing damage values by something like 20%. No I don't know how he intends for people to do that either, does 5d6x10 become 5d6x8 or 4d6x10? Now tell me what you do for 3d6+3 damage, do you roll normally then remove a fifth of the total?

    There are other things out there that are basically man-portable weapons that give 4d6x10 damage per attack (the CTT-M20 Coalition missile launcher for juicers and borgs, loaded with plasma mini-missiles), similarly you can even get melee weapons and pistols that do 1d6*10, and there are quite a lot of E-Rifles and heavy weapons that do something like 2d4*10+10. Then there's my personal favourite, the NE-700 Vulcan. A controlled six-round burst is 1 attack, and deals 4d6x10 MD.

    DrPraetor wrote:
    and, of course, it has epilepsy-inducing laser mirrors in the ears. As you do.


    Best line in the review, and possibly for just summing up the entire fucking game.
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    OgreBattle
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Post a photo of the mirror dinosaur robot if you can.

    I think South America II is known for 'power creep' because there's weapons that out damage the boom gun
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The dinosaur armor is split between two pages.


    Note that the seizure-inducing mirror ears are lovingly rendered.


    Google image search on the above takes you to this rather funny review of Rifts generally on Penny Arcade's board:
    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/134404/lets-read-rifts-lets-read-something-else/p10

    And a systematic comparison of the combat stats of Rifts robots, in French, if that's something you want (search the page for Amérique du sud to find the turtle robot)
    http://xanatosrifts.ogameunivers.com/t283-robots-combat
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    PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    There is some unbalanced stuff in this supplement, but picking on the giant cannon of the modified Abrams Tank - which has a crew of 4! - for being bigger than the shot from a single Boom Gun is... not it.

    The next two factions are the current and former antagonists of the Empire of the Sun. Arms and equipment (which I just covered) aside, the corresponding text is spread out a bit:

    The Arkhons pp. 13-14
    The Arkhons pp. 67-78
    The Megaversal Legion pp. 98-103
    Common R.C.C.s and O.C.C.s pp. 103-112

    The Arkhons

    No, sorry, that's a totally-different warlike invading cat alien.

    So the Arkhons get a page of history stray in the beginning, 9 pages of culture, factions and character classes, then 17 pages of equipment. It's clear where our priorities lie.


    So 74 years after magic comes back, the KzinArkhons reinvade, but they didn't send a single scout first, so they're devastated by our orbital defenses they didn't expect us to have (built in the two thousand years since they last attacked and were hit by magic) as well as dimensional anomalies that apparently make it very dangerous to travel to earth using a warp drive.

    That last bit makes the entire Rifts setting make a lot more sense since in addition to lots of parallel universes there are clearly a great many high-technology aliens in this universe who - for some reason - are not showing up on Earth.

    Anyway - the survivors managed to land, established a base in Ecuador, and the book takes another half page describing one major Arkhon vs. Inca battle. These details are not useful or important - although the Inca city of New Quito is surrounded by Arkhons and supplied only by sea. That's a bit of an adventure seed.

    Resuming at pp 67, we learn that the Arkhons have, in fact, been sending UFOs, probes and cattle mutilators to the Earth for the past several thousand years. Those probes stopped working after magic came back, and the current wave of Arkhon invaders are actually desperate outcasts who invaded Earth because they had nothing to lose. I was going to complain that their seeming ineptitude strained my suspension of disbelief, but this will do, barely.

    Anyway, the Arkhons fought against the mutants in orbit (who have their own supplement), and mostly crash-landed in Ecuador, but there are another 100K Arkhons in China and Asia, it says - but I don't remember seeing them in the later sourcebooks.

    We now get a one-page aside on using Arkhons in an orbital campaign, which explains that the Arkhons are attacking in order to secure resources to survive. Not a terribly inventive suggestion, AJ. Also, ships full of Arkhons periodically blink into existence in orbit because the "dimensional anomalies" sometimes projected them forward in time when they warped here.

    This conceit sounds oddly familiar...


    We get a half-page of detail about why this particular clan of Arkhons are outcasts (they're too vicious) and their culture: they're a family-oriented warrior race, but they're neither barbarians nor honorable. Lots of planning and treachery, it says (well, except for the part where they decided to warp to and invade the earth blind in order to recover from the humiliation of being kicked out of the planetary council back home for attempted genocide?)

    There's some demographic information - for some reason, Rifts (and other Palladium supplements) always provide demographics, which I'm going to take a moment to appreciate.

    300,000 Arkhons; 200,000 Fallam (we'll get to them); 100K others. Of the 300,00 Arkhons, ~100,000 live in the main crashlanded ship and ~10K of them in each of the therefore 20-or-so other ships which are at most 100 miles apart - so that reinforcements can arrive quickly. 37 ships would make a hex-grid 600 miles in radius, just under 360K square miles, Ecuador is 110K square miles, the map shows the Arkhons controlling a territory 2-3 times as big as Ecuador.



    Palladium products put actual thought into the demographics, much more than they put into the damn rules. Still, giving the population sizes for the individual spaceship fortresses is useful for running a game.

    The Arkhon army engages in a lot of terror raiding in order to demoralize their various neighbors, which is clearly not working or going to work - but, I suppose that qualifies as an adventure seed. Anyway, they spec out the sizes of various Arkhon military formations (useful but goes on too long), then we get a half-page rant about how ruthless and evil their leader is, and foreign relations.

    They've never met the Splugorth (who aren't in this book), and they're considering not-being-at-war with the Achilles Republic, since Achilles and the Arkhons both hate Cordoba - we'll get to those countries later in the book. Mostly this section just repeats the military formation sizes from the previous section.

    Rifts South America 2 wrote:

    The Arkhons are alien humanoids with a mix of feline and reptilian characteristics.

    http://riftsimcn.weebly.com/uploads/5/6/8/7/56872659/1243382.jpg
    (I can't embed the picture)

    They're hairless and tan colored, and they suffer -4 initiative, -2 to all combat rolls and -1 attack per round when it's humid, and then there's rant about how their culture = obedience + winning is everything. There are some good aligned Arkhons who are outcasts (and you could certainly play one.)

    vs Humans they get They get: ~+3 to IQ, ~+9 to PS and PP, +4 to PE, +6 to PB*, +10 to Spd; and +1 initiative, +2 to save vs magic.
    * It's not at all clear what the PB attribute means for non-humans; it's used very inconsistently.
    They also get savings throw bonuses and a much higher chance of psionics, with the caveat that if-and-only-if you roll Master psionics (6% chance) you are forced into the Arkhon ESP specialist O.C.C.

    So there's
  • an Arkhon R.C.C., which has similar skills to any grunt O.C.C.
  • a Borg O.C.C. - which is somewhat tougher than human borgs and has a stealth suit that penalizes enemies detect ambush and detect concealment by -20%; no-one knows how stealth in Rifts is really supposed to work
  • an Arkhon ESP Specialist O.C.C. - who actually doesn't get very many powers or skills?

    And we're back to a general Rifts formatting issue. Which of the Arkhon RCC bonuses are lost if you take an OCC? Nobody knows for sure (you clearly lose the skills).

    So, now, on page 76, we mention the Fallam in their R.C.C. entry. Fallam are MDC Ogres with a small bonus to PP, and some racial bonuses to boot. They are evil-but-honorable and mostly they accept their place in the Arkhon hierarchy, but some are good/rebels and you can play them. They're okay.

    They get a Battlemaster OCC who gets +1 attack per round (which is a big deal) and can take a melee round to enter into a battle trance for 4 x level melee rounds; afterwards you are fatigued (huge penalties, don't even bother.) This would be a power option if you could be in the battle trance instantaneously (it gives you +2 attacks among other things) - but as is, I think the basic book Juicer is better.

    Thus concludes the Arkhons. As opposition, they're okay - we went over their robots, which are the star of the show, and I rather like them. There's some effort go give them nuance, but mostly it involves declaring that they are merely extremely vicious and personally evil, rather than somehow existentially evil - which means there might be some token good cat aliens but basically you can just shoot them in the face without worrying about it.

    Also, I'm not as jaded as I thought, because I've been google-image-searching for Kzin, and:


    The Megaversal Legion
    This starts with a map, a brief explanation (former war thralls, now mercenaries!) and two pages of fiction, in which a bunch of Gulf War II soldiers are kidnapped in the futuristic year of 2004 (not bad) while fighting Turkey (close but no cigar), by aliens (the Dakir) and turned into cyborgs. The human war thralls revolt, and now work as mercenaries; they're probably from an alternative earth, not the one on which Rifts happens? This information is then repeated in a bit more detail as descriptive text rather than as in-universe fiction. There are some references to the Ojahee and Men-Rall aliens, but not enough to make much sense so I'll save that for their respective sections.

    Rifts South America 2 wrote:

    The Legion has been an independent organization for almost 40 years now... In recent years, the former members of the 7th Cavalry have discovered they are back on Earth, although it is not the world they grew up in, and they have become more interested in its affairs. The megaversal legion may soon become involved in the conflicts ravaging Rifts Earth...




    I don't know where to start. First, if I were teleported to Bolivia I think I (or one of the other thousands of soldiers with me, who might also speak Spanish) would figure out that I was on Earth pretty fucking quickly. Second, this is a visibly contrived effort to prevent the continuity from tripping all over itself.

    Anyway, they have a bunch of portals and their descendents continue to participate in the family business of being interdimensional mercenaries. They've been so busy doing that for forty fucking years that their knowledge of earth affairs is extremely limited. I suppose this is an adventure seed in and of itself, in that like the Foreign Legion anyone can join? So an entire Rifts party could just enlist?

    Then we get foreign relations:
    Inca - Apparently, even post-apocalypse, South Americans are still pissed about Gringo meddling in their affairs, so relations are cool. While I approve of the commentary viz a viz current events, I find this somewhat implausible.

    Arkhons - periodic war.

    (relations with other teams can wait).

    and some plot seeds related to teams from other books - the Megaversal Legion might like to merge with the New Navy (who are basically the same schtick, but they're U.S. Navy instead) and this would require ambasaddors who can reach the water.

    We get the organizational structure of their regiments: 1,000 troops, plus about a few dozen each of tanks and flying robots and... wait a second...


    We get the demographics on Fort Desperado and on Peace City (new La Paz) - Desperado has the portal system that the Megaversal Legion uses to fight for freedom, wherever there's trouble. La Paz is a booming mine town with a red light district and plenty of brawls, which is a decent framing scene if not really an adventure seed.

    Then we get some "rumors" about the Dakir (who explode when defeated), and the Megaversal-Legion specific OCCs.

  • The Megaversal Trooper is... not that hot? You're MDC, you get some stat bonuses, you look mostly human. If you were tempted to play a partial conversion borg, the Megaversal Trooper is probably better (but you weren't.)

  • The Ojahee are... another race of ogre warrior thralls? They're different from the Fallam in the previous section in that they...started out warlike before being enslaved, and are good guys now, I guess? Game mechanically, they get +1 attack per round, they tend to have 100 MDC, they get a decent kit of skills - but not the PP bonus that Fallam got.

  • Destroyer 'Borg - there are a lot of different flavors of Borg in different Rifts sourcebooks. This is probably one of the better ones since it gets +1 attack and a choice of two force fields (one automatically parries bullets - the Megaversal Legionaire armor does the same thing; the other just has a bunch of MDC), and they get the same stealth bonuses (albeit only at -15% instead of -20%) as the Arkhon borg above. So someone was re-using a lot of ideas.

  • Ojahee Cyborg - is bigger and better than a base Ojahee, but not really different.

  • Men-Rall - so the technologically advanced Men-Rall were slaves of the Brodkil, who are one of the far-too-many villanous races in Palladium/Rifts.
    Before continuing, watch this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a1LV1IeG8U
    we'll be watching that again when we get to the section on the Larhold.
    The Megaversal Legion rescued the Men-Rall, so the Men-Rall expressed their gratitude by disabling the cranial bombs and suchnot that were keeping the Megaversal Legion enslaved. Now they're friends and they live in Le Paz and all wear labcoats. This might be meant as a joke race: they have supernatural PS (which means they do mega damage when punching) but only 2D6 of it (so they can't lift heavy things.)

    Why does this faction exist? I don't have a good answer for you, and neither does this book. They've been tacked in in such a way that you could delete them from the setting and not notice at all.

    So there was some useful stuff in there:
  • If, for some reason, you want to play either an Arkhon or a Megaversal Legion veteran, you have the requisite instructions to do so. However, no really striking reason is provided why you would wish to play either.

  • There are a few adventure seeds scattered around, although I don't find them particularly compelling. As just places to visit during your adventures both Arkhonistan and new La Paz are pretty generic evil towns and mininig complexes, respectively.

  • Both of these factions have some really nice equipment (unless Kevin has retroactively nerfed it all), but the character options tend to be generic to mediocre grunts.

  • Both of these factions have ogre war thralls and scary-skinny looking stealthy cyborgs for some reason.
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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The Ojahee Cyborg looks pretty awesome. I mean, it's a big Viking guy in Space Marine power armour with a chest-mounted beam and a gatling gun, nothing really out there, but it's a solid piece of artwork that looks good and could make you go "I want to play that".
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    PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I find it too busy (another picture I can't embed):
    http://www.angelfire.com/in3/roleplaying/ewellong.html

    But, fair point, if you want to play an ogre who is also a cyborg this fills that niche and I'm not sure there are other/better options.

    http://riftsimcn.weebly.com/uploads/5/6/8/7/56872659/6818906.jpg
    I like this picture better, but the fact remains, Rifts has a surplus of ogres and giants.
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    PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I find that one to be more like regular armour, not power armour, in design, and the creature that wears it has proportions that are (intentionally) too weird.

    So if you're appealing to people who want "Dino Riders vs Power Rangers" and everything, the Ojahee Borg is the kind of awesome you want. Meanwhile, if you just want to be "a cyborg" and powerful, I imagine there's something better somewhere. Hell, the Naruni Repo-Bot looks like a cyborg (being a robot), and is pretty powerful.
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    PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Quote:
    Rifts has a surplus of ogres and giants.


    I don't think that's actually a thing. I mean, you could have a hundred kinds of giants in a kitchen sink game, and have that be OK. The real issue is that RIFTS by concept is a setting where you don't actually care about any of the shit that's going on, and as such you don't really care about any of the Ogres or Giants. They might as well be an equipment list.

    But of course as we've seen with Feats in D&D or Guns in Shadowrun, you could just have equipment lists with a hundred entries or more. That would be fine. Combing through it would be fun sometimes.

    The issue with RIFTS Ogres is that the mechanics are a flaming mess, so combing through the lists of RCCs actually isn't fun. And combined with the fact that we are anti-invested in saving whatever villages are threatened by Ogres today, there's very little reason to care.

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    PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    One aside on the Metaversal Legion: I recall that their guns are....odd. Both for being "more" advanced than any other weapon tech (gee in a Rifts game? Sounds like every fucking faction tbh), but also having glaring weaknesses that aren't in conventional weapons (Metaversal Legion arms have shorter ranges than comparable arms, iirc).

    Due to being some sort of "tractor beam" based weapon, wherein projectiles are accelerated along the length of the beam at speeds higher than other firearms are capable of reaching (i.e. turning the entire distance between the shooter to target into a tractor-beam "barrel"). When the projectile leaves the "end" of the tractor beam... it just stops (maybe it even falls down).

    I remember first reading that weapon entry and thinking how the writer for it basically failed to grok inertial physics.

    Although, to be fair; most of the Metaversal Legion is bullshit. Their "masters" are arms merchants of the highest technology; but only offer them for use by their own cyborg mercenaries created from enslaved species. Possibly all of this being due to religious/spiritual reasons; but likely also to prevent their tech being reverse engineered by clients or rivals. While a ML trooper can leave their home unit; I think that the ML doesn't allow discharged members from walking off with their proprietary weapon tech.
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FrankTrollman wrote:
    Quote:
    Rifts has a surplus of ogres and giants.


    I don't think that's actually a thing. I mean, you could have a hundred kinds of giants in a kitchen sink game, and have that be OK.


    Okay, yeah, you can't have too many of anything, but, Rifts has a relative surplus of:
  • basically ogres (although few are cyborgs?).
  • basically lizardmen.
  • basically elves.
  • basically gargoyles.
  • dog people (although most Rifts furries lack free choice of OCC).
    So if the war-thralls of either the Arkhons or the Dakir had been something other than a "big muscly mega-damage guy", that would be more value added for the kitchen sink setting.
    They could be... crystal aliens, bird aliens, insect aliens, fish aliens, shapeshifters... whatever gnolams are?
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

    They could be robots that look like Kermit the Frog, for some reason?
    and it would have been less redundant.

    Koumei wrote:

    So if you're appealing to people who want "Dino Riders vs Power Rangers" and everything, the Ojahee Borg is the kind of awesome you want. Meanwhile, if you just want to be "a cyborg" and powerful, I imagine there's something better somewhere. Hell, the Naruni Repo-Bot looks like a cyborg (being a robot), and is pretty powerful.

    Rifts mechanics are a dumpster fire, so the Ojahee Borg would be your best option if the artwork of the viking ogre cyborg appealed to you. There aren't a lot of cool pictures of ogre cyborgs, so the Ojahee Cyborg is value added. There are some pictures of ogre ninjas in other books, so the Fallam Blademaster is less value.

    Since we're talking about that, I'm going to review the OCCs and RCCs in the balance of the book, and then talk about the places they live, if we still care. It's all downhill after the Mastodon Robot... although there are some bits of insanity still to go through.



    Common O.C.C.s pp. 127-137
    R.C.C.s & O.C.C.s pp. 141-151
    New Babylon pp. 154-158 **
    The Lardhold Barbarians pp. 152-158 **
    ** Both of these section headings contain a page or two of loose schpeal as well as the O.C.C. and R.C.C. entries.

    So, as I pointed out in the entries for Sun Priests and Line Drawers, Rifts makes no attempt whatever to keep fluff content in fluff sections and crunch content in crunch sections, or to otherwise structure the entries for their alphabet soup of playable types.

    But I'm going to structure my review. In this part, I'm going to answer three questions for each entry:
  • Would you want to play one of these?
  • Is it any good? Do the rules make sense?
  • Does it make an interesting antagonist, Mr. Johnson or sympathetic victim?

    and in the next part of the review, if my fortitude holds out, I'll talk about whether this book gives you enough information to play as (people or monsters or whatever) who are from these places, the quality of story seeds, whether or not the setting makes a lick of sense (it doesn't) and so on.

    Common O.C.C.s
    We open with a list of what O.C.C.s and R.C.C.s from other books live in post-apocalypse Argentina.

    Paladiumogy I: in various Rifts sourcebooks, Technowizards are said to be a North-America-specific phenomenon; and yet, every sourcebook has technowizards: in Japan, in Argentina, in a multi-galactic civilization of trillions. (I had a longer rant about this but I've deleted it for length.)
    Paladiumology II: we're about to talk about classes that heavily focus on horseback riding, but the horseback riding rules aren't really developed until 5 books later http://rifts.wikia.com/wiki/New_West.

    Gaucho
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  • As a character conception, yes, you might want to play an argentine cowboy. But you'd take some Rifts power option instead of using this O.C.C.. Also, something about this O.C.C. seems racist? I'm not sure what it is.
  • You get some endurance bonuses, some mounted combat bonuses, and combat bonuses when fighting with paired vibroknives. You can start with a robot horse, if that's something you care about. You get a few minor cybernetics but Rifts cybernetics were written in the early 1990s and it shows (I have a 64kBaud modem in my head! It required them to surgically remove a quarter of my brain!)
    You might very well want to fight mounted, but the bonuses are otherwise not-compelling. So this turns into another "dude with rifle" O.C.C. The mounted combat bonuses and minor cybernetics are better than nothing but you won't care.
    You get some of the energy bolas that I mentioned previously in the review; and those are kinda broken.
  • I suppose some antagonists or allies might be gauchos, and you could give them fiddly bonuses with knives or mounted combat but the PCs wouldn't even notice.

    Plains Borg
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  • Now we're cooking with gas. These guys are formerly gauchos who gave up their humanity to become badass robots: they trade a skill, the horsemanship and knife fighting bonuses for being a cyborg.
  • It's a default borg with some misc. bonuses and skills moved around. There are much better borgs in other books, and the bionic conversion rules have changed a bunch since this came out.
    In spite of being a former gaucho, and of the cool picture above being the best thing about this O.C.C., you do not start with a robot horse. Fuck that noise. You do start with some of the energy bolas.
  • Meh. If I were going to have the PCs fight/team up with a cadre of robot-horse riding gauchos, I'd make them full-conversion borgs rather than have them wield (expletive deleted) vibro-knives, but for that we could dispense with the entry and just keep the picture.

    Ultra-Crazy O.C.C.


    Paladiumology III: I'll try to brief. Rifts has fishmalks, but they're psychic supersoldiers with lumps of metal sticking out of their heads. The Gary Oldman with pistons stuck in your brain part is kinda cool, otherwise it's another dumpster fire. They get crazier as they gain levels and the bonuses for gaining levels are mediocre, so basically you don't want to gain levels. It doesn't end well and both juicers and the better flavors of borg get bigger/better bonuses, so it's a non-power option that explodes during play (instead of a power option that explodes in some theoretical future after the game ends.)
  • No you don't want to play one. You may think you do, but you're forced to interact with Palladium insanity rules that will make you an NPC or worse within the reasonable lifetime of a campaign.
  • Game-mechanically, pretty similar to the basic book crazy (Rifts Ultimate gets some more/different skills but it's comparable), except you get more psionic powers and you're MDC. So it's an upgrade on the default crazy, but crazies aren't a power option (their biggest bonus is just +1 attack per round!) even before you consider that they're unplayable.
  • As allies, wacky combat cyborgs are not good. If the insanity isn't played for laughs they can be pretty terrifying, as frighteningly deranged enemies or allies - again, the pitch, "furniture chewing villain/anti-hero with pistons in his brain" is not a bad one.

    Blood Rider O.C.C.
    Master Blood Rider R.C.C.
    Blood Lizard

    No, really, this is the actual picture from the book:

    Psst! Hey, mister! You look stupid!
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  • Fire your costume designer. These guys are supposed to wear black tights reinforced with mega damage monster claw bones, which is: 1) insulting, in that it's supposed to bounce anti-tank weapons and 2) looks really stupid. I suppose it's funny as a criticism of the entire Rifts MDC schpeal, but it's not something you'd want to play. On the other hand, you get to ride a telepathic carnasaur! The Blood Lizard is telepathically bonded and loves you, but has a cynical disdain for everyone not in your clan - not a bad conceit. In theory you could play one of the Blood Lizards but since you get one as a sidekick for taking these O.C.C.s, you wouldn't.
  • You're a guy with a rifle, and you have a telepathic dinosaur and some small combat bonuses while mounted. It's not a power option even after you take off the eyesore bone armor.
    Is the Master Blood Rider R.C.C. really an R.C.C. or is it - as the internal header claims - an O.C.C.? The Master Blood Rider gets a below-cost telepathic force field and is a master level psionic although you have to wait until level 2 to take some of the better psi powers. The Master Blood Rider is obviously better than the base Blood Rider: trades a couple skills (including exotic horsemanship: blood lizard, which I think is a typo) for psi powers including a decent force field. If you can also be a space elf or something, this is a pretty powerful option.
  • Well, how about the blood lizards themselves? As mentioned earlier in the thread - yes we want to be friends with Jurassic Park Velociraptors, who like it when we ride them into battle, so that's good. Mechanically, they're a bit too fragile (~130 MDC) especially given they're outdoors-only and thus have to tangle with giant robots.


    R.C.C.s & O.C.C.s of Achilles

    So Achilles is a utopia of engineered human/animal hybrids who are variously described as "mutants". If you want to play some mutant or mutant animal from another book, and be from South America, they're represented in various numbers and you are given license to do that.

    Serpentoid R.C.C.

  • Meh. There's no picture. You're a (by default honorable and evil) lizard man with mediocre psionic powers.
  • The force field is nice (strength varies tremendously with your M.E. roll), the psychic venom is insulting (it does a moderate amount of damage but involves savings throws and you have to bite the monster to inflict it.)
  • Coooooobraaaaaa! Well, it's a mostly-written-up evil psychic serpent man, so if for some reason the serpent men in every other Rifts supplement don't do it for you, you could fight this one.

    Mutant Capybara R.C.C.

    Clairvoyant capybaras have deep World Cup insight

  • The... capybara-human hybrid in the book is wearing platemail and a cape, looking heroic. As a natural extension of capybara physiology (they're giant swimming rats), the capybara has psychic mastery of time and space. If you want to be a furry, and also have psychic as opposed to magical mastery of spacetime, this is your only option.
  • The Haste power is probably straight-up broken (you spend some ISP to give someone +3 attacks / round for a while and some other bonuses), so there's that.
    Otherwise you get a grab-bag of teleportation powers that various magicians get but don't care about?
  • They're intrinsically-good, so probably they don't show up as opposition. A whole group of them would presumably spam Slow (which they also get; it's not a power-option as far as save-or-debuff powers go, but being slowed is still pretty bad) as well as Haste and things would go poorly.

    Equinoid R.C.C.
  • It's a centaur with an adequate picture. Do you want to be a centaur? You can if you want.
  • Mechanically, you are lame. You can fly, you get a below-average force-field, and a psychically-created energy bow that is inferior to any rifle you would bother owning. You get a few other mediocre psychic powers.
  • Meh. The backstory is that these were the result of forbidden experiments on humans, so I guess that's a story seed or something?

    Condoroid R.C.C.
  • It's a vulture-man with a pretty decent picture where he's turning invisible.
  • Mechanically, you are lame. You can fly, you get a quite-weak force-field, and a psychically created shield. You get psionic invisibility which would be a big deal except that mages get invisibility for free just by asking. You get a psi-sword at first level, because they'd forgotten that's supposed to be forbidden! But it doesn't matter because psi-sword isn't actually good just because Rifts makes a huge deal about not letting you have it.
  • You might want to fight some invisible mutant bird-men assassins (or team up with them on a commando raid), but the stealth rules in Rifts are such magical tea-party that I cringe at the thought.

    Falconoid R.C.C.

    This is another picture from the book

  • I like the picture, anyway. I kinda do want to play a falcon-headed guy with grenades, chilling with my power-armor rakishingly partway removed.
  • Mechanically, you are better than the previous two options, because your force field is bigger and you get stat bonuses large enough to provide Rifts combat bonuses. You also get psi-blasts that you... don't use. Hardly a power option but with an adequate force field and large enough bonuses to important die rolls, playable if that's what you wanted to do.
  • A bunch of falcon knights show up encased in glowing force fields? That would work, sure, and the picture is good.

    Achilles Neo-Human R.C.C.

    This writeup includes a lot of fluff that I will need to review if I'm going to finish the gazeteer portions of the book.

  • So as I mentioned, Rifts has a lot of things that are basically elves. The picture for the neo-human has pointed ears, even. Do you want your elf do be a... genetically engineered, psychic, 80s glam rocker who transforms into a super-hero? You very well may, and that is now an option.
  • You get between +6 and +12 to all of your stats, you get the ability to psionically transform your SDC+hp into MDC, which makes you about as tough as a Cyborg (250 MDC or so), you get a pretty good save or die power that explicitly sends people on acid trips, and then you get the same psionics as a Mind Melter, more or less.
    This is probably a power option; you'd get comparable powers by starting as some kind of superhuman alien and then choosing the Mind Melter as your O.C.C, for example.
  • These guys are pretty powerful straight out of the box, and some of them are explicitly evil, so that works. They've got a Magneto-esque "the humans hate us for being superior" thing which they can deliver while dressed like David Bowie; I'm liking these guys as a major antagonist.

    New Babylon
    The Amaki Stone Men are living marble statues that dig human women. Yes, really.

    ... I'm going to put these last few O.C.C.s in a different post, though.
    _________________
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    When you talk, all I can hear is "DunningKruger" over and over again like you were a god damn Pokemon. --Frank

    Last edited by DrPraetor on Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    OgreBattle
    Prince


    Joined: 03 Sep 2011
    Posts: 4961

    PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I totally did not know there were capybara people in RIFTS South America. That's amazing.

    And they're psychic time masters, I should buy this book and play one.
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