oh boy here i am reviewing this cluster bomb. Rifts is often called the greatest game no one ever plays. there is good reason for that. Many of the ideas in the games setting are cool and exciting unfortunately the game mechanics are a badly house ruled version of Ad&d 1st edition (seriously they are a version of Kevin Siembieda’s 1e house rules). in a prior post i mentioned two kinds of balance and I derailed 4e a bit on how it is a bad example of balance via sameness well here is an example of balance by opportunity that is bad. unless the GM can say no this game can have a party with such a difference in power that the only opportunity anyone has is the opportunity to suck and die.
the combat is awful from my experiences with it. the inclusion of mega damage into the game makes battles take forever. for example in my first session playing this game my group fought a glitter boy (a heavily armored soldier) he had several hundred MDC resistant armor. the strongest gun we had did only about 1D4 mega damage. after an hour of battle my group got fed up used some rope to lasso him in and removed his helmet so we could head shot him.
no conversation about rifts is is complete without mentioning Palladiums penchant in the 90’s and 2000’s of suing their fans who dared to take what they wrote and convert it to a playable system online. I am a strong foe of creators who sue their fans. the company was also known for policing there own boards and banning anyone who did not praise the system as perfect. I never went to their boards so this info is heresy and should be taken with a grain of salt. I honestly am wondering if Palladium is going to send me cease and desist for this blog,.
the book is nothing to write home about from what i can remember with average art, and a basic readable layout. they released several editions of Rifts, but from what i can tell with some minor changes like taking out the horrendously out of date and offensive mental illness chart the editions are identical. I have looked through two different editions of this game and saw zero changes. college maths text books change more between editions and they do it for the money just as Palladium does.
Honestly do not get this book, Savage worlds has just gotten the okay to do a conversion to their system which is light years beyond palladium’s system so if you want rifts as a setting go get the Savage worlds edition.