View Full Version : Thoughts on Rifts

2008-06-03, 09:04 PM
So a friend of mine wants to get a copy of Rifts. A half-price books has a copy of th first ed book and the Barnes & Noble has a copy of the Newest edition.

So what would you folks say is your favorite edition of the Rifts game (which do you think is more balance, easier, etc.) and what secondary books might you recommend.

2008-06-03, 09:13 PM
Neat idea. Terrible, terrible set of game rules.

mabriss lethe
2008-06-03, 09:20 PM
Fun game. Even more fun if you ignore a fair amount of the unnecessarily convoluted ruleset.

But to answer your question. The newest version of rifts is a little more consistant from what I can tell. Character generation is a little easier. A lot of the old RCCs have been redone into race specific OCCs. (dogboys and psi-stalkers)

It's basically the same terrible game mechanic. It's just been tweaked in a few places.

2008-06-03, 09:23 PM
Fun game. Even more fun if you ignore a fair amount of the unnecessarily convoluted ruleset.

But to answer your question. The newest version of rifts is a little more consistant from what I can tell. Character generation is a little easier. A lot of the old RCCs have been redone into race specific OCCs. (dogboys and psi-stalkers)

It's basically the same terrible game mechanic. It's just been tweaked in a few places.

Could I ask what rules should be ignored?

2008-06-03, 09:53 PM
Could I ask what rules should be ignored?

abount 1/2 it gets worce with the more books you get too. from want I understand the 2nd just changed what is in the books that come pased it to put it more in line

rifts moto on eratta is that what is said in the last publish book on a topic is always right.

I like the rifts world but this system is so contdictory

2008-06-03, 10:40 PM
I personally love the Rifts system. It's what I grew up playing even more so then D&D. The rules are fairly solid IMO. Most of what causes problems is that since new books advance the timeline, they also advance the tech level. And things that were balanced from the old books become obselete.

Mark Hall
2008-06-03, 10:50 PM
The system is not contradictory... I challenge people to back up their assertion.

What it is, however, is non-unified. There isn't a single, over-arching mechanic for resolving different situations, as has been popular for a while. Skill checks are based on a d%, roll-under. Combat is based on roll-high d20s, with damages being primarily multiples of d6s. Social interaction doesn't rely on dice-rolls, but on role-playing. There are two damage scales... SDC (regular, everyday objects) and MDC (things that are hypertech or magically powerful or simply supertough).

Personally, I would suggest the 1st edition, not the Ultimate edition. The two are completely compatible... RUE includes some rules updates, beefing up spellcasters a little, but the RMB is very playable, and includes some quick stats for monsters.

2008-06-04, 12:02 AM
Neat idea. Terrible, terrible set of game rules.

Agreed. Tried it a few times but I've always hated it. The concept is great, but that whole damage system always screwed me over. Either the monsters weren't doing any damage or they were doing way too much.

Then again, I always had ****ty DMs. So ...

2008-06-04, 01:06 AM
Wonderful concept. Crappy, crappy system.

As for stuff in Rifts that makes no sense? Here's a (shameless swiped from the "Quality in Rifts" website) short list:

(A LOT is due to bad editing, but some is just plain wrong conceptually)

Rifts Main Manual:

* I just wanted to point out that I personally hate that in the Dragon Hatchling section of the Rifts Main Manual, it irks me that they say that dragons are "in fact, mammals," even though they clearly describe that they're born from eggs layed by the mother and that the parents leave them shortly after birth. This defies every biological description of a mammal known to man. [Source: Neil Sinha] Note: Mathew Ignash, and a handful of others who mentioned it, points out the following: "There are several rare species of mammals who do lay eggs - duckbilled platypus and 2 species of spiney anteater. The actual common characteristic of mammals is the presence of mammary glands on the females, and we all have hair. Even whales have a little bunch of hair on their lip babies drink milk. Since Dragons don't seem to breast feed that would be the thing that makes them NOT mammals. Also, all mammals, reptiles and birds have 4 limbs, dragons have 6. They are obviously aliens who are not technically members of any earth animal family."

* In the Operator OCC listing, under the OCC Related skills section it clearly states that the player can choose 'Pilot: any', but as you read under the fourth paragraph of the Equipment listings it says "the character... is limited to Basic Robot Combat." Last time I checked, Robot Combat: Basic was a Piloting skill. [Source: Pure Bedlam :)]

* Everyone knows that the Rifts rulebook (p. 42) declares mini-missiles as unguided, and also declares that PP bonuses are applicable to their use, totally ignoring the fact that Modern weapons are not supposed to receive the PP bonus. The rules for mini-missiles have been printed in this form in all printings of Robotech: Invid Invasion (p. 29 where they are first mentioned), Robotech II: The Sentinels (p. 52), and Rifts. However, on Palladium's "Combat Rules Questions" FAQ page item #116, the PP bonus to mini-missiles is said to be a typo. So, we are left to believe that a rule that has been printed in 3 separate rulebooks (at least) over the course of 12 years, and has been contained in several printings of each, has been a typo?! If it was a typo, then why didn't they fix it at the same time they fixed the +21 to strike in the 1st printing of the Rifts rulebook? [Source: Gabriel Vampyre]

* It states on page 8 of the Rifts Main Book that "if an attribute is "exceptional" (16, 17 or 18) then an additional six-sided die is rolled and added to the attribute." thus no one rolling up a character will have a trait of 16. This must be a genetic flaw of the inhabitants of Rifts Earth. [Source: Jericho?]

* Very simple one from the RMB. Under the Borg OCC, it lists "Cybernetics: Starts with none. Tend to avoid implants in favor of natural powers." Huh? (Main Manual, p.49) [Source: Nexx Many-Scars]

* On page 37 of the Rifts main rule book, it states that all characters get two attacks, plus hand-to-hand and boxing. However, I have noticed that NPCs do not get these extra two attacks (or have two fewer attacks than they should). A) Why don't NPCs get this bonus? B) Isn't an NPC villain with the same abilities / equipment / level as a PC that has two fewer attacks than a PC significantly easier to kill? [Source: Sean Froc]

* On page 40 of the Rifts main rule book, you mention a full melee burst, but don't describe it in detail. A) What is a full melee burst? B) How much damage does it do? C) Can you use a full melee burst against a target, and then use different weapons against different targets? [Source: Sean Froc]

* How far can you run in one melee action? For example, take two characters with the same speed but different numbers of attacks. The person with the lower number of attacks would be able to move farther in a melee action as compared to the person with the higher number of attacks. Is this correct? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from [Address Deleted] on Tue, 13 Oct 1998 17:10:15 you state that a character can only parry a number of attacks equal to their number of attacks per melee round. A) Is this true even if a character has automatic parry (as most characters do)? This seems to contradict a rule in the Rifts main rule book (pg. 35). Here it states that any time an attacker rolls a successful hit, the defender can choose to parry (against applicable attacks). B) Have I missed a section in the rule book where it states the maximum number of parries one can have? C) Are there a maximum number of dodges a character can do? D) If there is, does this apply to characters (like the Juicer) that have an automatic dodge? E) This seems like a rule that has a significant impact on the game. Why was it left out of the main rule book? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from Rob on Thu, 15 Oct 1998 17:29:21 you state that, generally, only fast characters like Juicers are capable of dodging energy/rail/projectile weapon attacks. This seems to contradict the dodging rules printed on pg. 35 of the Rifts main rule book, and the notes on dodging made on pg. 10 of the Rifts conversion book. Both state that ANY character can attempt to dodge if they know they are under attack. A) Which is correct? B) Can only Juicers or Crazies dodge these attacks? C) If not, which additional classes can / can not dodge them? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from renato on Fri, 16 Oct 1998 14:01:50 in answer 2 you state that a Triax TX-5 pump pistol, with its payload of five, can shoot a short burst (1/5 of the clip, or 1 shot) and do x2 damage. Was this a mistake? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In the Oops section of your webpage [Palladium's], you state in the standard rate of fire section that weapons with a standard rate of fire can only fire single shots. Yet, you contradict yourselves in the very next sentence by stating that generally energy rifles can fire bursts. To further add to the confusion in response to an email from Gavin on Sat, 10 Oct 1998 13:31:38 in answer 3, you state that weapons cannot fire bursts unless it specifically states they can somewhere in their description. I have not noticed mention of burst fire capability in many of the descriptions of energy rifles with a rate of fire standard. A) Could you clarify / explain this more clearly? B) Can energy rifles like the C-27 Heavy Plasma Cannon fire bursts? C) What are the guidelines for rate of fire standard energy weapons that would determine if they can fire bursts (i.e. is it damage, payload, whether it is ion / laser / plasma / particle beam, whether it is a heavy / non-heavy weapon, etc ...)? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from [Address Deleted] on Sat, 21 Nov 1998 17:21:49 in answer 5 you state that ROF standard denotes no possibility of bursts or sprays. In the Oops section of your webpage, however, you state that energy rifles can fire bursts unless it says it cannot in its description. Which is correct? [Source: Sean Froc]

* On page 69 of the Rifts main rule book, it states that Juicers get an automatic dodge on all attacks, even from behind/surprise. A) How is it possible to dodge an impossibly unnoticeable, long-range, sneak attack from behind made by a person firing an energy weapon? B) Can juicers dodge a volley of four or more guided missiles? C) Can juicers dodge when a simultaneous attack (Rifts main rule book, pg. 36) has been declared? D) Can juicers dodge explosions (e.g. a missile explodes at their feet or they open up a booby-trapped door)? E) What other circumstances might apply where a juicer could not automatically dodge? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from Michael Gomes on Thu, 22 Oct 1998 21:46:10 question 5. Michael implies that normal dodges are used during combat, and that auto dodges are only used when all attacks are used up. It was stated in the answer that this was correct. A) Is it correct to say that auto-dodges (e.g. a Juicer's auto-dodge) are only used when all actions are used up? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from [Address Deleted] on Mon, 12 Oct 1998 16:15:38 you state that a RCC can select an OCC. This seems to contradict the Rifts main rule book. On page 13, under selecting an OCC or RCC, it states that (for the sake of simplicity) one may select one OCC OR one RCC. A) Which is correct? B) If you can select an OCC after selecting an RCC, why would anyone want to be human? C) If you can select both an RCC and an OCC, why not pick a RCC that has significant advantages over human (such as true Atlantean) and then pick an OCC? There is the minor consequence of not going into Coalition territory, but this seems insignificant compared to the super powers one can get from the RCC (avoiding Coalition territory is pretty easy - just don't go there). [Source: Sean Froc]

* On page 203 of the Rifts main rule book, it states that the C-27 Heavy Plasma Cannon has a range of 488 km (I see somebody in England, sir! Should I take him out?). I have also noticed this in the hard cover edition, and in Coalition War Campaign. Is there any plan to release a printing that does not have this mistake (at least I hope this is a mistake!)? [Source: Sean Froc]

* It says in the description of the C-12 Heavy Assault Laser Rifle (Rifts main rule book, pg. 203 and Coalition War Campaign, pg. 91) that it can fire a burst of five shots. It can have a clip of 20 or 30 shots. Since 5 shots is not 1/5 of either clip, how much damage would this burst do? [Source: Sean Froc]

* For weapons firing bursts, what is the difference between having a standard e-clip and a long e-clip? If you fire five short bursts (using 1/5 the clip each time) the clip will be empty, so there is no advantage to having a longer e-clip. Shouldn't there be ammo left in the longer e-clip? [Source: Sean Froc]

* How come the nuclear weapons in the Rifts main rule book are so wussy? They only do as much damage as plasma, and have the same blast radius. Shouldn't they be able to ruin your day with massive damage, and have a tremendous burst radius? (Editor's Note: Pretty much everyone under the sun has wondered this since the inception of the Palladium system. Most Palladium apologists say that the warheads are a special, tactical version as opposed to strategic (ie. ICBMs) missiles, but the ranges seem to suggest otherwise. It is perhaps the most bizarre Palladium paradox. Also note that the table has been reprinted once or twice in the run of the Rifts books and they never correct it, so they obviously don't perceive it as an error -- I just wish we could get an explanation.) [Source: Sean Froc]

* Why doesn't Radio: Scramblers require Radio: Basic? Why doesn't Robot Combat: Basic require Pilot: Robots and Power Armor? Why doesn't Robot Combat: Elite require Robot Combat: Basic? Wouldn't you need Literacy to be a competent Forgerer? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from Eric on Wed, 8 Jul 1998 03:54:38 you state when attempting a task that a character is not skilled in, a percentile vs. the attribute is rolled. As an example, if I had an IQ attribute of 17 and a PS of 18. Would I be able to do A) Basic Math, Radio: Basic, and Computer Operation at 17%, B) Swimming, Climbing, and Prowl at 18%, and C) complex skills like Advanced Mathematics, Radio: Scramblers, and Computer Hacking (even if I did not know what a computer was) at 17%? [Source: Sean Froc]

* In response to an email from michael on Thu, 24 Sep 1998 07:41:09 you state that boxing only gives you one extra non-ranged attack. In my group, we have always played that since boxing increases your overall speed in attacking (similar to hand-to-hand combat training), that it would provide one extra action regardless of whether it was melee or long range. A) Could you confirm whether or not boxing gives you an extra attack with modern weapons? I have noticed that skills, OCC descriptions, bionics, and other things that give you extra attacks do not distinguish between long-ranged and melee attacks. B) How is it determined if extra attacks are just for melee? [Source: Sean Froc]

* Why do my characters always carry the smallest magazine available for their guns? well the burst rules for palladium are based on percentile consumption of ammo. no matter how large or small the magazine is a short burst still only consumes 10% of the magazine's storage capacity. [Source: Jesse Dostal]

* Does it ever seem odd to you that you spent yeah million credits on that northern gun Mobile Gun unit who's main cannon does 2D6 x 10 MD when the NG-P7 does 1d4 x 10 MD, at the rock bottom price of 22,000 credits, in a single shot (or better yet you can still burst with it even though it only has 8 shots, 1D4 x 100)? Further along the same line of flawed scaled reasoning--why the hell would i buy a glitterboy whose exalted boom gun does 3d6 x 10 MD when the NG-57 ion pistol or, if my memory doesn't fail me, wilk's 457, when used to burst do the same amount of damage on an entire magazine burst. while it is true that it takes two melee action and an entire clip, by this line of reasoning your average grunt carries nearly the same fire power as a 25 million dollar piece of equipment. [Source: Jesse Dostal]

* In the Rifts Main Manual, it states that the experimental targeting system on the C-10 was scrapped on all later weapons because it was too fragile. Yet, in CWC, not only do the C-10s still have the laser targeting system, but it has been fixed so it doesn't fail under stress. (Editor's Note: Sounds like a rather routine military project to me... :) [Source: Dan!]

* Both the C-12 rifle and the JA-11 Juicer rifle are capable of firing both 2d6 MD and 4d6 MD blasts at no difference in energy consumption, completely ignoring any possible stretching of physics that I can think of. (Rifts Main Manual) [Source: Mike!]

* If you count in borg reparation in power armor reparation has in the game master reference screen it would cost you 8000 credits per 10 mdc you wanted to fix. That seems fine untill you realize that a heavy borg armor has 420 mdc and sells for 32000 credits(see main rule book p.243). Iif the armor lost 42mdc(10%) it would cost more then the price of a new armor to repair the old suit. Quite strange... [Source: Jean Francois]

* I don't know if any else has noticed but check out the strengths of most rifts giant robots if they ever fell over they couldn't lift their own weight. Example: The teetering in appearance IAR-2 Abolisher (from Rifts Sourcebook One and revised a bit in Coalition War Campaign) has a strength of 60 and weighs 40 tons. Now calculate on page Pg 9 of Rifts "different applications of physical strength" says strong characters can carry 20 times their PS and lift twice that amount in lbs (P.S. 60 X 20 = 1200 lbs carry / 1200 carry X 2 = 2400 lbs lift). Alright now let's say it has supernatural strength since this doesn't work. On the same page it says a supernatural being can carry 50 times their PS and lift twice that amount in lbs (P.S. 60 X 50 = 3000 lbs carry / 3000 carry X 2 = 6000 lbs lift). This is still 74,000 lbs shy of being able to lift it's own weight. Note that it states under the Abolisher that if it falls down it only loses one round of melee attacks til the crew gets it back up. [Source: Gene"XXXCthulhu"Weigel]

Conversion Book:

* How about in Conversion book one where a Rahu-man sits on the council or board of directors at Triax or the NGR (I forget exactly). Then in the Triax and NGR it goes on about how they distrust non-humans, etc. [Source: Sphere]

* In the Conversion Book, pp.91-92. Under the racial description of orcs is says that the make up a full 30% of all the pecos bandits. Then in the last sentence it says that there are "only a thousand or so known to exist in North America." This would mean that there are only, at the very most a mere 3,300 Pecos bandits and probably far less. Then look at the numbers in other books. Also in the conversion book under the description of Loogaroo it states that they are "semi-intelligent". At the same time the number of dice rolled for their IQ is 3D6. This is the same as humans and most other normal D-bees. I suppose in some Rifts games humans and their ilk are just a bunch of "semi-intelligent" boneheads (Conversion book, pg 145). [Source: Kirk Smith]

Rifts: Mercenaries

* In Rifts Mercenaries, items like the NG-LG6 Northern Gun Laser Rifle and Grenade Launcher (pg. 100) have a power pack. If you were to fire bursts with this gun, would you have to drain the whole pack to do an entire clip burst? [Source: Sean Froc]

Vampire Kingdoms:

* In the Bionics Section of the Corebook it tells you that a partial reconstructed borg will weigh roughly 450 lbs and will have 2D4 inches added to height. In addition, it says that no additional appendages are allowed for partially reconstructed borgs. Yet, in the Vampire Kingdoms Book Doc Reid has 4 arms and weight a startling 188 lbs. What's even funnier is that Palladiums response was:

he is a special case, and more of a full conversion borg/cyber-doc.

If he was a full conversion borg, how could he be a cyber doc? He'd have a sense of touch at 57%. Well, I just hope I don't have a small blood vessel or anything that needs to be removed. [Source: Christopher Walsh]

NGR & Mindwerks:

* Okay, I only noticed this a couple of days ago. In the Mindwerks book, the Kingdom of Tarnow is introduced and we are told of the Tarnow crystal. In it's description it says that it will turn SDC metals into MDC alloys at the rate of two tons a day. Now, in the Mercenaries book, they write up the Chipwell Warmonger suit. The one with no MDC metals, just lots of SDC steel, around 500 pounds worth. Now, would this mean that if Tarnow got a hold of a few of these, he could have a fleet of 4000 MDC suits for around 400,000 credits? I've looked through the descriptions of both and it seems that it would work this way if someone thought of this. What do you think, am I completely wrong or is this a case of a large oversight. (Editor's Note: Yes, this is how it would work indeed. The Tarnow crystal was a terrible idea and I heartily recommend ignoring its existence to everyone who reads this page. If you must use it, scale back its transmutative powers by a huge degree. Someone else also told me that in the game they used to be in the GM ruled that it transformed SDC guns into MDC guns. ::shudder::) [Source: Jordan Pearson]

Rifts: Underseas & Coalition Navy:

* Here's a little bit of annoyance for you to consider. We all know how every point of MDC is equal to 100 points of SDC, right? In Rifts Underseas we are treated to some (offensively brief) write-ups of regular old ships and such. One of these ships is a Pre-Rifts SDC Battleship. You know, like the U.S.S. Iowa. Apparently each of the big 16-inch cannons deals 3D6*100 SDC or 9D6*100 for a three-gun blast. The Iowa-Class Battleship carries 9 guns in 3 turrets. All 9 firing at once deals 27D6*100 Damage to a successfully struck target..... Sounds really impressive, don't it? An NG-57 Ion Pistol set on burst fire can do better. So..... What Palladium is saying is that the damage-equivalent of the 9 sixteen-inch cannons on a battleship, doing enough damage to hull any vessel ever built in a single broadside, and causing more sheer devastation than any non-nuclear projectile yet devised, can be carried by your average street punk in a shoulder-holster in Rifts. Anybody else need an aspirin now? [Source: Mad Rabbit]

* The Super SAMAS is capable of travelling underwater at 70 mph. Yet the Sea SAMAS, the armor actually designed to work underwater, is only capable to travelling 55 mph. [Source: Dan!]

* Borgs in the 100m? Now I've seen it all. Borgs with Swimming as an OCC skill. That's a new one, I guess it's no big deal to swim when you're about 1000 lbs and eight feet tall, probably as buoyant as a rock. I have to say that was one of the more ridiculous Borg skills I've seen. [Source: Hugh King]

* In the Trident power armor description, flying range (underwater range) is given as "overheats after eight hours of continual use; needs an hour to cool." An underwater propulsion system that overheats? And needs an entire hour to cool while submerged? (Coalition Navy) [Source: Mike!]

* And they somehow missed creating a torpedo table similar to the missile table. Or have the CS only created one type of torpedo? [Source: Mike!]

Rifts: Japan:

* On page 116 of Rifts, Japan it states that ion weapons make no noise. Yet in your FanFAQ in response to an email by Wayne on Fri, 10 Jul 1998, 15:30:19 you state in answer 1 that ion blasters are noisy. Which is correct? [Source: Sean Froc]

* The Cyber-Samurai from Japan is supposed to be a partial conversion borg (light, I think), but has the MDC and bonuses of a full conversion military borg. [Source: Hugh King]

Juicer Uprising:

* Lasers and Plasma are supposed to be super-hot right? Well, if that "super- hot" beam was powerful enough to puncture the armor of a Coalition Deadboy on the front of Juicer Uprisings, wouldn't it be hot enough to singe the wound, not letting any blood trickle? Really, you see people that will burn a wound to close it so it won't bleed too much, so why would the Coalition deadboy be bleeding if shot with a super hot beam? [Source: The WildOne]

Coalition War Campaign:

* From the debate on the Glitter Girl in Fre Quebec came this snippet from Mike: "I thought I'd check out the proportions of the female trooper on page 195 of Coalition War Campaign. Now, the "average" (read statistical standard, has bearing on reality) female body has a ratio from bust to waist of 1.4:1, and waist to hips of 1:1.4. (I work in costume rentals, I have to know these things.) Taking a few quick measurements of said locations on the armor and finding what THEIR ratios were, was quite interesting. Bust to waist, 1.85:1. Waist to hips, 2.55:1. Now, before anyone says those aren't HUGE differences, let's plug in the "average" (again, statistical standard with no bearing on reality) measurements into those ratios and see what we come up with. With a 25" waist, this lady would have an impressive 46 1/4" bust, and a whopping 63 3/4" hips. That's 5'3 around the butt, and I have friends who aren't that TALL.... Of course, we could go with the "average" (see above) bust measurement of 35", which would result in a waist of, you guessed it, 19". Hell, my CALVES are 17"...." [Source: Our Buddy Mikey]

* Rifts SB1 lists Prosek's age as 56. This is "circa 102 PA," so let's for sake of argument assume it's late 101 PA. Joseph II is listed as 24. War Campaign lists the Emperor's age as 61 in 105 PA. His son is listed as 29. Apparently the Proseks *are* consorting with mages to have a 1 year temporal gap. :P Likewise is the fact that he gained a level in those years but his HP did not move a single point. [Source: Me, Pete]

* I wanted to use General Marshal Cabot (age 83 in 105 PA), and a prospective family in a post about Coalition troops rifted in from the time of the great battle against the Federation of Magic, which took place in 12 PA. The texts blithely state that Cabot was helpful in Joseph the First's campaign, but he would have been negative 10 years old at the time. Who is this mystical prenatal military genius, and why can't he be a few years older, in a country that has a phenomenal life expectancy, for it's social elite. [Source: Jason Starin]

* In response to an email by [Address Deleted] made on Mon, 16 Nov 1998 16:10:40, you state in answer 8 that the breakdown of body armour is 15% for each leg, 10% for each arm, and 5% in the head. In Coalition War Campaign, however, the Coalition's body armour has MDC values for the head that exceed 50% of the main body. Why such a huge (x10) descrepancy? [Source: Sean Froc]

* How come huge weapons, like the dual P-Beam system on the IAR-3 only does 1D4*10 MD per shot (it is huge and weighs a TON!!!), but a 10 lb rifle from the Juicer Uprising (one man army rifle) Does 1D6*10+10!!!!!!! How the heck is a puny rifle going to outshoot a 1 ton mega-gun?!?!?!?!?!?!? Obviously Seimbeda is simply interested in giving people more powerful guns and not a more powerful story, which seems to be the case in all the subsequent books (no story just weapons and vehicles). [Source: Chris Fines]

* In War Campaign, the tank shown is supposed to have hover capabilities, but the picture of the tank has treads! (War Campaign, p.56) [Source: Tim Piatek]

* On the nicely improved CP-40 and CP-50 rifles, laser targeting is mentioned but the bonuses that gives are nowhere to be found. (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]

* The new pistols and rifles can be connected to an energy canister for additional shots via a power cable, however *nowhere* is it suggested that the cable can be connected to a suit of power armor, thus giving unlimited payload. Maybe they hoped we wouldn't think of that. (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]

* The CTT-P40 Particle Beam Cannon is described as "A giant-sized rifle with a dual weapon system", goes on to refer to the particle beam as the main weapon, then has no mention whatsoever of another weapon system built into the rifle. (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]

* The C-200 rail gun is a miracle of technology! It is half the length of the original C-40R SAMAS rail gun, less than half the weight, does the same amount of damage (considering the burst is half the number of rounds), and *contains an integral nuclear power source!!* We're talking something the size of a bulky sub-machine gun here, folks. (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]

* The Mauler power armor is described as being 8' tall, 4.5' wide, 4' long, main body MDC 280, and weighing 1800lbs. The original SAMAS power armor is described as being 8' tall, 3.5 feet wide, 4.5' long, main body MDC 250, and weighing *640lbs, including rail gun and full ammo drum!* What the heck is that Mauler made of, lead? (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]

* The Glitter Boy Killer power armor has 10 mini-missile tubes, each has 10 MDC, each holds a mini-missile. This is as much as we are told, as they are completely left out of the weapons systems section. Also, it is said that the weapon arms can be synchonized with the main arms, to fire at the same time at the same target; yet we are left in the dark as to if this counts as one or two attacks, and how this affects damage. (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]

* I'm not even going to get into the concept of the non-human skelebot designs. (Editor's Note: I've ranted on this elsewhere on the page somewhere, I'm sure. :) (Coalition War Campaign)[Source: Mike!]

* The IAR-4 Hellraiser is apparently of a low-budget design. The left hand is completely useless as a hand, and the right is occupied with a Quatro-Gun. The electrical stunner gives no rules on stunning opponents, and states "If the damage exceeds the victim's damage capacity, he is electrocuted rather than stunned." Duh! All in all, this one was an attempt to make a working design out of a nifty picture. (Coalition War Campaign) [Source: Mike!]


* I noticed a thing about the Psi-Nullifier in Psyscape: Why does this P.C.C. get the 'Alter Aura'-Power when no one can read the Nullifier's aura anyway? And why does he get 'Mind Block' together with 'Mind Block Auto-Defense'? The Auto-Defense makes the 'Mind Block' superfluous. [Source: Martin Volkmann]

* Most of you will have heard me yell about this before, but it so stuns me that I need to repeat it. While reading Psyscape and compiling data for the timeline file, I noticed that they claim that Psyscape was established in 2086 A.D., which the fanatics among you will recognize as 12 YEARS BEFORE THE CATACLYSM! :P As if this weren't enough of an insult to us, they sell it as the first major kingdom to rise AFTER the Cataclysm. I mean, okay, really, is it that hard to look up a date before writing something? :P {Psyscape) [Source: Me]

Lone Star:

* In Lone Star, page 44, the RCC Killhound has a minimum requirement for IQ of 5. Killhound attributes are listed, for IQ, as being 2d6+3.. so.. literally, there isn't any way to have less than five. Like I said, not really a goof, but why are they making something which is the absolute minimum for this a requirement? (Long as you can breathe, you're okay with us!) [Source: Chromednight]

* When describing Zimchex's tribe, it says: "2% of the tribe are mutant animals...", yet in the next paragraph it says "...and is composed entirely of Simvan and a small percentage (3%) of renegade CS mutant animals." Another example of Palladium's tendancy to contradict themselves. (Lone Star, p.143) [Source: Dwanye Ings]

* In Lone Star, p.157, it talks about the Psi Stalker. In one statement (bottom paragraph), it says that they are 6 to 6.6 INCHES tall! I never knew Psi-Stalkers were that small! I could keep an entire tribe of them in my character's back-pack! [Source: NeepZeep]

* On page 26 of Lone Star, it states that Dog Boy pups are taken from their mothers at approximately 20 days after birth. Yet on page 27 (just a few paragraphs away!), it states that they are taken away from their mothers at 8-14 weeks. [Source: Dan!]

New West/Spirit West:

* Quick question with a short preface. In New West, there are finally revised and un-wussified dinosaurs, though apparently none of them are the creatures that roamed the Earth 65+ million years ago, they just look like them. Now one of these critters is called a Tri-tops. It is said to resemble a triceratops, though the picture looks more like a trike's cousin, Chasmosaurus. Now in the description it says that these creatures give gallons of milk, their eggs make omelets for ages, and they make great steaks. Now ignoring the fact that no lizard, bird, or conceivable crossbreed thereof will have mammary glands, how in the name of Splynncryth do you eat a steak made out of an MDC creature? Pass the salt and the lightsaber, please, this is a tough one..... [Source: Mad Rabbit] Editor's Note: Ed Paul recently sent me a mail stating that somewhere in all of Rifts canon there was mentioned a spice that made MDC into SDC for eating purposes. Yes, this is also an inconsistency...

* On p.207 of Spirit West, it states that Fort Dakota, with over 87,000 natives, is in North Dakota and that Fort Dakota itself sits north of Fargo. The traditionalists claim all of eastern North Dakota as their preserve. On p.25 of Xiticix Invasion, it states that the Fargo Hive runs from Fargo to Grand Forks. And that bugs control most of North Dakota. Sorry Palladium, which is it? [Source: Canadian Liberator]

* On pp.12-13 of New West in a note to players and GMs it states that "the nearest town in any given direction could be hundreds, even thousands of miles away." I like the THOUSANDS and note that plural. [Source: Roydon Brackenreg]

Warlords of Russia:

* On p.23 of Warlords of Russia, it states that the NGR has limited trade agreements with the Sovietski. But on p.202, it says that they aren't even aware of their existence! I know diplomacy can be fickle, but... [Source: JR Webber]

* Now...Warlords of Russia...p.178...a G-clip, short, with 20 rounds costs 4500 credits. A G-clip, long, with 50 shots costs...you guessed it ! 4500 credits. Guess what all my characters started packing all of a sudden, and I had the damndest time trying to figure out how they could afford it. [Source: Thomas A Eybl]

* Well, the heavy bike, the Tek-20 YY210 "Borgbike", whic is depicted with 2 forward facing rail guns, 1 forward facing laser, and 2 rear mounted, forward facing missile launchers, actually only has:
1. rail gun somewhere behind the rider
2. the forward laser
3. ONE missile launcher ( with only one MDC listing...so if I shot of the right side, the left will fall, too )
4. Vibro Lane ( we won't even go there...)
[Source: Thomas A Eybl]

Rifts: Canada:

* I don't know, this seems just a little petty to me, but whatever. On page 8 of Rifts Canada, theres a picture of a couple guys camped out in front of a trolley, watching T.V. Just out of general puzzlement considering the time-line involved, why does the trolley have an advertisement for Star Wars: Episode 1: the Phantom Menace? Doesn't the world get blown up like a hundred years in the future from the release? [Source: Jordan Pearson]

Free Quebec:

* Well, this one is from me directly, and if you were on the Quality in Rifts list, you heard me bitching about it, although others have pointed out the same thing with Coalition War Campaign. In Free Quebec, the Glitter Girl pictured (pp.88-91) wouldn't allow anyone but an anorexic 12-year old girl to get into it, and the thing has 650 MDC on its main body. Take a look at that picture and tell me that either of those statements are supportable. This stands true for the chick armor in CWC as well. [Source: Me, Pete.] Editor's Note: I think a fair test for future armor designs would be for Kevin to walk up to Maryann and see if she'd be able to fit into it...

* In Rifts: Free Quebec, there are two mecha of note, the QR-3 Guardian on p.66 and the QPA-201 Power Trooper on p.105. Is it just me or do their weapons systems seem to match those of the image of the other mech? Did the mouse slip during the typical Palladium cut and paste publishing procedure? [Source: Gabriel Vampyre]

* In Free Quebec, p.128, under the description of FQ naval units. They DON'T have any CSN Wasp-Class Amphibious Warefare ships, yet on the same page in the same column they DO have CSN Wasp-Class Amphibious Warfare ships! Maybe if you paint them blue and white they become entirely different ships... [Source: Braden]


* And also, there is something that doesn't seem right in Wormwood. Everyone born there has MDC... but very few have the capability to deal out Mega-Damage with their bare hands. So two people on Wormwood could punch, kick, bite, claw, and fight until the cows come home and not even put a scratch on each other! [Source: Maverick]

Phase World:

* An interesting, but major, goof can be found in the listing for the Warlock Marine Magic Specialist OCC (Rifts Dimension Book 3: Phase World Sourcebook pp.39-40). The OCC in question is a spell caster of some decent ability. Unfortunately, the OCC apparently only receives the default allotment (2d6) of PPE, because nowhere in the description is the amount or progression of PPE even mentioned. This omission has not been covered to this date in any errata notification by Palladium to my knowledge. [Source: Gabriel Vampyre] Editor's Note: Palladium actually released a Phase World errata sheet that corrected this, but it still stands here.

* In the last paragraph of description, it states that the system's 'most fearsome weapon' is a two-handed energy blade, 'an artificial version of the psi-sword'. The energy blade is not mentioned again, and on page 130, the GR-Rifle is mentioned as the armor's 'main weapon'. (Phase World, pp.129-130) [Source: Barb Rude]

* It mentions in the Kreegor Bloodhound description that they are very similar to the Kreegor but larger, however their listed weight is 200 lb. while the Kreegor weigh in around 180-250 lb., for a median weight of 215 lb.- perhaps the hounds have a considerably lower density which would explain their being "larger" while actually weighing less. [Source: Wade Hudson]

* While reading up on the history of the In'valins (not a particularly imaginative name) it describes their experiment with a 10 mile long rift and a huge eye that was peeking through that filled the entire length of their 10 mile long rift. In'valin scientist speculate from the size of the eye that the creature must be "several miles" long - perhaps their minds are more enfeebled than their bodies. [Source: Wade Hudson]


* Animals have parries. How does a Triceratops parry? (this one could be stretched to work - armor plated head, horns - though it would still seem ridiculous for a creature with animal intelligence) But, a lion? How does it parry, with its teeth? Or does it execute a karate style block by lifting one leg and blocking the guy's sword swing? (which would get the leg chopped up or off anyway) [Source: Hugh King]

* On the covers of the Rifts sourcebooks Mechanoids and Juicer Uprisings, there is an illustration of a Coalition soldier getting killed with a single shot to the head. In the sourcebook Coalition War Campaign, the MDC value of the head of even the old style body armor is around 50 MDC. Wouldn't it be impossible to deplete this value with only one shot? [Source: Sean Froc]

* Is it just me, or do the most of the cybernetics throughout Palladium the same? I mean, shouldn't technology have the habit of improving? But just about every cybernetic implant you see in Heroes Unlimited or Ninjas and Superspies which shows up in Rifts has the exact same bonuses and limitations. Sooner or later things should get better and more advanced, right? [Source: Maverick]

* Lasers that are powerful to vaporize a 20th century tank in a single blast are not silent; they are REALLY REALLY loud, like thunder (not to mention the 3d6x10+whatever laser in South America 2...). When they hit tissue, there would be a crack as the laser heats the water in the flesh into vapor. [Source: Tim Piatek] Editor's Note: This is a longstanding and ongoing debate, so some of you might not think it is an error. However, it stands. See the FAQ for more information.

* And just a few more things...in a number of places plasma weapon discharge is referred to as laser blasts; some of the OCC's have radiation suits in their equipment lists, reason cited that dead boy armor isn't environmental--yet it is; and as for gatling-gun style rail guns? Whoever thought that one up obviously doesn't realize how a rail gun works. Another flat-out contradiction are mini-missiles; in the Rifts core book they are *not* guided missiles, and PP bonuses apply; in CWM they *are* guided missiles, although the guidance system bonus is not listed. And the way that some of the PA and 'bots are designed, those missiles *need* to be guided, unless you're planning on firing them at someone leaping down on you from behind. =) [Source: Mike!]

* Hey, I've noticed another blatantly obvious oversight that occurs in Rifts Sourcebook One. I love Kevin Long's art as much as the next guy, but on page 19 there is a picture of a drunk D-Bee sitting propped up next to a wall that is covered with Coalition propaganda. Apparently, this does not go against the Coalition's edicts against literacy (not to mention the sheer amount of graffiti that also is plastered all over the wall). So if citizens with real psychic powers are to report to the IC center, and if they are true, upstanding Coalition citizens, how would they figure out what the notice was about??? [Source: Paul MacNevin] Editor's Note: "If you can read this, come tell us..." :)


* The True Atlantaean RCC states that 4% of True Atlateans are Mind Bleeders. Sadly there is no Mind Bleeder class given when this book came out. When the mind bleeder did come out in Rifts England it stated that Mind Bleeders are a race of d-bees not a psychic character class. Later on in Rifts Psyscape they seemed to switch back to them being a psychic class not a race. [Source: Mathew Ignash]

* In Rifts South America, the write up for the Pogtal is generally based on Bonecruncher from Rifts Vampire Kingdoms. Sadly there seems to be several things missing in the South America lots of material, including how much PPE it has, Damage from their bite, their innate magical powers, etc. You have to look back in Vampire Kingdoms to get enough information to play it. [Source: Mathew Ignash]

* In Rifts Mindwerks, the Tarnow Crystal can only convert pure metals, not advanced alloys. Therefore it could not convert the Chipwell Warmonger, unless it's made of pure lead, gold, tin, etc., which it is not, and if it was then it would have a lot less MDC. [Source: Mathew Ignash]

* In Psyscape, the Amorph RCC, an SDC creature, is said to be a native of the Astral Plane, and the book recomends reading Between The Shadow for information on the Astral plane and it's creatures. In Between The Shadows it states that all natives of the Astral Plane are MDC creatures when they come to Rifts Earth. [Source: Mathew Ignash]

* In the Conversion Book 1,pg.59, the number of spells available to a Warlock drove me crazy. It first states under Warlock Powers 2 that a Warlock with 1 Elemental Force gets 3 spells per level. Then under Warlock Powers 3, it says they get 2 per level. Then, just a few sentences later, it goes back to 3! [Source: Max Harker]

* Nuclear jets are often called "rockets" in nearly every flying vehicle description (e.g. can run for 12 hours at top speed before the rockets need to cool). There's a minor flaw in this thinking; how do you stop all that radioactive material from flying out the ass-end of said rocket? According to theories and an actual project (http://www.merkle.com/pluto/pluto.html) started in the 60's, everyone in Rifts who got buzzed by even a SAMAS would die of radiation poisoning! Maybe the CS paid for global radiation shots? :-) [Source: Flakbait]

* Regarding the cover of Triax, the problem that I have is the firing of the weapon the TX-2000 has there. As we know from its description, these tiny arms hold railguns. And we all also know that railguns use electromagnetic force to accelerate metal shards to fast (and even sonic) speeds. So, I have to ask, why is there a MUZZLE FLASH coming out of this weapon while it doesn't uses combustile materials to speed up the slugs??? I would understand sonic "rings" (like from the cool Railguns in the film "Eraser"), but fire? And why are there also shell casing flying away? You need metal casings for metal shards accelerated by electromagnetic force? Why not accelerating the casing also and delivering a greater punch? Or is this again something like "we have a picture of a huge, cool robot, and now lets find some stats for it."? [Source: Dyotron]

* In Triax, page 131, the XM-288 Supersonic Transport. I worried about the big differences in MDC the thing has:

Pulse Laser Turrets (2) - 100 each
Thrusters (4) - 500 each
Landing Gear (3) - 75 each
Forward Cargo Bay Door / Hatch (1) - 500 each
Tail Section - 800 each
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment - 175
Main Body - 200

Well, first about this, why an "EACH" at tail section? Isn't there only one? And in the text under it they write something about destroying the fins of the plne makes it difficult to fly, but where is the MDC for the fins? And destroying a wing makes the plane crash, but again no MDC for the wings. Second, why has this plane a tail section stronger than a Glitter Boy, while it has a Main Body (which we can hit fare more easily than every other part of it) that is less durable than a mere SAMAS? The door to the cargo bay is also weird, being more than twice as strong than the main hull ("Sir, they locked the door, should we blast it?" - "No, take the wall instead, its easier!"). I asked Palladium if this is a typo, and really means "Main Body - 2000", but they said no, it's correct, because "it's a civilian plane and not military, so it has not so much armor" (I accidently deleted the mail). [Source: Dyotron]

* Triax, page 139, "Super Cargo Hauler" and "Mini Cargo Hauler". The Super Hauler has double the MDC of his little brother, can carry 135t of cargo (the small one only 10t), is four times longer than the small version, has more special features, etc., and guess what: BOTH of them cost the same amount of money, 45 million credits. Palladium said (I also wrote a mail about this) it has something to do with the markets demands, because the big one is sold rarer than the small one (weird, both are equally good available), so the prices have been adjusted. Well, I think this is only a little copy&paste-mistake :). [Source: Dyotron]

Sir Biscuit
2008-06-04, 01:22 AM
Honestly... Rifts works best if you play it diceless. You'd need a good GM for that, though. Otherwise, the rules get a little to weird a little to fast to follow.

Don't get me wrong, I love Rifts, been playing it for over ten years... but they really do screw up sometimes. When issues come up, do what you think is right, remember how insane the setting is, and just try to have fun. It's worked for me all these years...

2008-06-04, 07:26 AM
RIFTS is a great game, but the reason, I think, that it is so unpopular any more, is that it was built on completely different assumptions than the modern crop of RPG's. Specifically, balance is not in the mechanic, but in the individual game and as the manual itself points out repeatedly, it's up to the GM and the players to come to an accord on how the game works and what rule to follow, change, or ignore completely in order to enjoy themselves.

The most common complaint I hear (other than "It's not D20 therefor it sucks!") is the MDC/SDC issue, but most people who complain about it never bother to read the third sentence of the paragraph that says that if you don't like the idea of MDC in addition to SDC, get rid of it and just multiply out the MDC accordingly.

Holy snot batman! Basic math skills strike again!

Tough_Tonka: The best rule of thumb while playing Rifts is to have a GM who's concious of what the system can and cannot do, what it was designed for, and who can work with its elements to build a good game. Not all the classes are even close to being on an even power level with each other, EVER, but that's not the point as the designer himself said. A guy with a pistol cannot and should not be equally powerful as the guy using Glitterboy armor. However, there are always ways to meet the challenge that don't involve the D20 style stand up fight.

2008-06-04, 07:35 AM
My feelings on RIFTS is strange because I feel the same about all the Paladium books. All have the Palladium settings have absolutely wonderfully well thought out storylines and backgrounds.

The problem is the rules. They're just horrid. I've played RIFTS, and Nightbane, as well as Heroes Unlimited and I just can't get past how truly awful the rules are. What also strikes me is Kevin Sembeida's utter refusal to adapt and change the rules to a more fluid system.

Other people's mileage may vary but I give RIFTS a +10 for setting and background, but minus, like, a million for poor rules execution.

2008-06-04, 08:16 AM
Isn't RIFTS the game the most awful RPGs in existence (FATAL, etc.) were inspired by, mechanics-wise?

2008-06-04, 08:53 AM
The rules of RIFTS are rather complicated if you want to play it straight, out-of-the-box. The solution is simple: Don't do that. If the rules are cumbersome or overly complex, ignore them and make something up. If something doesn't make sense "by the rules", go with the logical interpretation. Write it down, if you have to, for consistency, but really, you should be more worried about having a good time (something that's surprisingly easy to do in Rifts).

The only other concern you should have is with player balance. In a party with (say) a Glitterboy, combats will tend to revolve around him. This is an intentional feature of the game system - not all classes are supposed to be balanced in combat. But if this will be an issue with your players, make sure you address it during character creation.

2008-06-04, 08:59 AM
My feelings on RIFTS is strange because I feel the same about all the Paladium books. All have the Palladium settings have absolutely wonderfully well thought out storylines and backgrounds.

The problem is the rules. They're just horrid. I've played RIFTS, and Nightbane, as well as Heroes Unlimited and I just can't get past how truly awful the rules are. What also strikes me is Kevin Sembeida's utter refusal to adapt and change the rules to a more fluid system.

Other people's mileage may vary but I give RIFTS a +10 for setting and background, but minus, like, a million for poor rules execution.

Kevin has specifically refused to "adapt to a more fluid system" specifically becasue more fluid systems do not support the design conceits of his setting or his gaming style.

It is a concious choice on his part, and a really good one as far as RIFTS is concerned, especially when you understand why. Go and ask him, it'll enlighten you.

2008-06-04, 09:13 AM
My feelings on RIFTS is strange because I feel the same about all the Paladium books. All have the Palladium settings have absolutely wonderfully well thought out storylines and backgrounds.Indeed. The Palladium Fantasy world is excellent, with interesting conflicts and nations. The After the Bomb supplements for England and Australia are some of the best campaign settings, conceptually, I've seen. And RIFTS can be played successfully in tones ranging from humor to horror.

But the rulesets are not well-constructed and the books themselves are either unedited or very poorly edited. I snag ideas from them all the time, but I haven't played a Palladium game in their own system for years now.

Lady Tialait
2008-06-04, 10:02 AM
I love Rifts, but I keep getting annoyingly lazy, bad or otherwise GMs for it. My last charitor was a Mystic Japan Tengu...who got killed by SD poison...when Tengu are MD Creatures...but, other then bad GMs..i've understood the rules really easy and never had any complaints, yes, there are alot of random weird rules involved, but I enjoy them. And no system is perfect.

2008-06-04, 10:10 AM
I played a little Rifts and disliked it. I much preferred "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness" from the same publisher.

2008-06-04, 10:22 AM
I love the setting behind Rifts, but as people have said the rules can be a stumbling block for most players. If you have the time to put into learning the system and a good GM then you can have some good nights with the game.

Just remember everyone has been trained in Boxing...dont question the logic just go with it.