Jab's Rifts Builds (Ninja Crazy! Ninja Juicer! Dragon 'Borgs!)

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
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Ares
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Mega-Juicers, Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster!)

Post by Ares » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:33 am

According to at least on source I've read, the M.O.M. (Mind Over Matter) implants that give them their enhanced abilities and psychic powers? Supposedly they could fit on the head of a pin. The tubes on their heads are purely cosmetic. They choose to look that stupid on purpose.

Now, if it was just "they have coin-sized metal disks on their skull and forehead", that would be one thing. You could make that look cool. But those exposed tubes that stick out several inches just look at a poor attempt to be edgy and cyber-punk-y.

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Re: Crazies

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:39 am

Davies wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:31 am
Jabroniville wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:23 am
-Kevin Siembieda absolutely LOVES this idea, though- every Palladium book I've read features the exact same charts of "rolling for psychosis" (my personal tale of the guy who insisted on spinning on his head instead of going on the mission is from Heroes Unlimited, making his guy nuts), as if this is an ideal, enjoyable aspect of role-playing. It's quite odd to me that the "Rogue Scholars Are Awesome/Power-Gamers Suck!" Kevin is the kind of guy who actually thinks THIS kind of role-playing is awesome, considering it's a notoriously-annoying type to play with.
I suspect the disconnect might be from your lack of interest in Call of Cthulhu. A Rogue Scholar with a history of serious mental illness is your typical CoC character in a nutshell ...
heh- possibly.

As Batgirl mentioned, "Rogue Scholar" is fine in a low-power game, or a movie, and some role-players get a kick out of it. Obviously, KS himself is a HUGE fan of Scholars, and the prime NPC of Rifts, Erin Tarn, is a Rogue Scholar. He LOVES it. But in this insane world of Rifts, it comes off as so hilariously mundane. It's like playing a librarian with no powers in a Marvel Comics game, or a Protocol Droid in a Star Wars game. It's like... okay, these can be interesting NPCs and supporting characters in the support material, but why are you playing one in an ACTION GAME?

I always got the impression KS thought Rifts was idealized as a "how you survive when everything can kill you" game, while not realizing that he gave players the option to "be the thing that can BE the everything that kills you" in the game.

But yes, I always looked at my friend jerking off over his Call of Cthulhu books as a bit of a weirdo. "It's so awesome! You end up messing with all these cults of the great Old Ones, and in the end, you ALL GO INSANE!". I just can't fathom how any of that could be interpreted as fun.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Ares » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:47 am

Yeah, I like Call of Cthulhu, but I never run it as presented in the books. I always use it for source material either for my modern urban fantasy/supernatural horror games, or as part of my Pulp Adventure games. I find the Pulp games let you do the detective work, explore the unknown, and face weird threats from beyond the veil of sanity, often in ways that require you to run and which can be scary . . . but you can also still kick a lot of ass and be heroes.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Curbludgeon » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:45 pm

As I understand it KS doesn't play by his ruleset much at all, cleaving far closer to an OSR style freeform with occasional d20 rolls and handwaved adjudication. The main reason he likes tables where one rolls for random stuff is for page bloat via reusing stuff. Most of the pseudo legalese in the books is printed many times more than necessary, and large swaths, like insanity tables, can just get pasted with no reflowing on his Gutenberg.

I think the only crazy variants are Japan's Ninja-crazy (a couple more minor psionics, trade expertise:survival and mercenary for a couple ranks in technology, less stringent complications), China 2's Lightning Warrior (a couple of ranks more in Vehicles and expertise: demon lore, a couple of advantages to demonstrate having drunken/dog/monkey style kung fu as well as Favored Foe:Chinese demons, a summonable low protection armor, less stringent complications), the Mindwerks Psynetic Crazy (lower physical, more psionics, fewer skills, but can have a skill implant to partially compensate) and South America 2's Ultra-Crazy(with a bump in strength, toughness, psionics, and regeneration).
Last edited by Curbludgeon on Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Batgirl III » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:14 pm

The Crazy is an interesting concept, but hoo-boy does it depend heavily on having a decent player who won’t quickly devolve into a “LOLZ! I am so wacky!” annoyance.

My suggestion? The GM should choose the psychological illness(es) himself, with some input from the player as to what they’d be comfortable with. Don’t let the player pick and don’t let the dice pick either.
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by MacynSnow » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:25 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:14 pm
The Crazy is an interesting concept, but hoo-boy does it depend heavily on having a decent player who won’t quickly devolve into a “LOLZ! I am so wacky!” annoyance.

My suggestion? The GM should choose the psychological illness(es) himself, with some input from the player as to what they’d be comfortable with. Don’t let the player pick and don’t let the dice pick either.
That's what my GM for Weyland-Yutani(tm) did for....90% of the time.He also worked with us individually to make our characters.It's safer that way,imo,as it doesn't force the player to rp something that's uncomfortable for them.

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Rifts Mercenaries

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:38 am

RIFTS MERCENARIES (1994):
-This peculiar outlier to the Rifts scene came about very early- 1994. CJ Carella starts around here, and does most of the book without being edited to death by Kevin Siembieda, so you KNOW it passed muster! Or Kevin just didn't have time to edit it "properly" (read further). Unlike most books in the series, it doesn't showcase part of the world, nor is it just a List Of Gear- it's more or less an explanation for how a Mercenary Company works. The mechanics, the gear, the size, the resources they need, etc. Given how many RPG campaigns are essentially "You're a band of mercenaries for hire", this is pretty invaluable stuff, actually- especially in a world that uses "Mercenary Group" as one of the Default Campaign Concepts. Hell, that's practically THE Campaign Concept- Juicers, Crazies, Headhunters and Glitter Boys are some of the top OCCs, and expected to all be work-for-hire.

The O.C.C.s given in the book are pretty minor. Some are so specific as to be absurd- you have a SAFECRACKER as an Optional Character Class! Ooh- or a FORGER! It's honestly pretty hilarious, and sure enough, there's that Editor's byline on them. The two big ones are really just modifications of existing classes- the Bounty Hunter O.C.C. is a Headhunter with more Wildnerness Skill, and the Special Forces O.C.C. is a Coalition Military Specialist with the labels scratched off (the book more or less says this outright). There's also a Master Assassin O.C.C., whose specialty is either sniping or martial artsing people to death.

The book is notable for a HUGE "Pile Of NPCs" in the middle portion of the book, taking up the majority of it, in fact. It's actually pretty good, and features a lot of the "Disparate Parties of Weirdos" that help make Rifts Earth such a fun, ridiculous campaign setting. There's a group made up of a PARAPSYCHOLOGIST leading a band of a Juicer, a Priest (with an MDC Medieval Sword!), a Burster, a Heroes Unlimited transplant, a Dragon and a friggin' immortal woman from the time before the Rifts. EVERY GROUP is like this! One group even has a FAIRY as one of their key operatives! There's one that's a bunch of Robot Fighters being bankrolled by the evil Naruni Enterprises- they're good people, but Naruni are using them as glorified ad-men, showcasing Naruni's high-tech gear so they can get a good customer-base. Carella really thinks of everything.

Another band are actually Demons. The Demon Ahriman actually gives us some of the book's only real "Power Creep", with some high-end Robot Suits that pack 900 MDC- some of the highest in the setting at this point! And much of their damage output rivals that of a Glitter Boy- you see a lot of 2D6x10 and 2D4x10 shots by the end of the book. This may actually be the start of Rifts' infamous creepage, as little things like that add up, resulting in Coalition War Machine and other books ramping up the baseline technology levels.

One of my favorite bits of the book is actually something entirely contrary to the game's setting- a whole line of gear (there's a big Tech Section in the back showcasing new weapons, including some Aircraft, which is typically left out of Rifts) that's DELIBERATELY AWFUL. I mean, who would expect THAT in a Rifts book? But there it is- Chipwell Armaments, who create the cheapest, most breakable stuff on the market. Their gear is explicitly made up of poor SDC stuff surrounded by MDC hardware, cutting costs but making for some piss-poor armor. One suit even runs on BATTERIES! This is not only hilarious, but well-explained- they're essentially the "K-Mart" of tech designers, building the cheap-o, easily-replaceable stuff for people on a budget. Mercenaries just starting out can find a suit of MDC Armor here, and poor communities can have a whole BAND of MDC Suits, instead of relying on just one or two "Superstars" to defend the whole town. It actually makes sense to the setting, AND it's funny.

Note: This is part of the start of the infamous "Power Creep" inherent to Rifts, and apparently went contrary to KS's wishes. KS was FURIOUS over this apparently, as CJ has noted that "some in the office" didn't care for his executive decision to beef up all the Blasters in the game (he noted that it took too many shots to finish off the high-toughness characters in the game, and wanted to revise the "baseline" gun damage; no editors clued in to this until it was too late), and Kevin himself apparently threw CJ under the bus in an editorial about the Power Creep.

The most obvious blowback to this was that, as soon as CJ Carella was off the Palladium roster (under circumstances most don't talk about- CJ's a pro in the biz, and knows you don't talk smack about your bosses), his "baby", the high-tech Naruni, were systematically wiped out in the margins of the very next book- Coalition War Campaign. Like, they just greased the group from the face of the earth. No mention of Carella's NPC armies was ever made again in any other book, as far as I can tell, making that giant section of Mercenaries completely pointless to the game's history.

The Arts:
-The art is pretty much mostly "misses"- the main artist is a guy named Scott Szczesniak, whom I've never seen in these books before or since- a bad sign. He could politely be described as "K-Mart Jim Lee", clearly aping Jim's "thin-bodied women" art style, but having nowhere near the same level of talent to pull it off. His people are stiff, overly-lined in the faces, and have a Liefeldian issue with pouches at points. Some pictures have WAY more time and effort put into them than others, with some looking like he just scribbled them out right before the deadline.

Wayne Breaux handles many of the weapons & suits in the back, leading to some very boxy-looking tanks. And then we have our hero, Vince Martin, dragging things out of mediocrity with his Naruni designs, though it's mostly really sharp-looking Naruni Flying Craft.
Last edited by Jabroniville on Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by MacynSnow » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:14 am

RIFTS Mercenaries was practically The Holy Bible in importance to Weyland-Yutani(tm),as we used this book every game session.In fact,our group book got so beat-up with use that we had to all pitch in and buy the GM a new one.

As for contents,the only group we tended to have problems with(Combat-wise at least,non-combat we disliked the 'Holier-than-thou' Parapsychologist's Group greatly) was the Demon Crew...

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:24 am

MacynSnow wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:14 am
RIFTS Mercenaries was practically The Holy Bible in importance to Weyland-Yutani(tm),as we used this book every game session.In fact,our group book got so beat-up with use that we had to all pitch in and buy the GM a new one.

As for contents,the only group we tended to have problems with(Combat-wise at least,non-combat we disliked the 'Holier-than-thou' Parapsychologist's Group greatly) was the Demon Crew...
Yeah, I figured your group would find a lot of uses for that book- it's part of why I went right to them instead of stopping for the Wizards :).

Do you still play that game?

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Woodclaw » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:37 am

Batgirl III wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:14 pm
The Crazy is an interesting concept, but hoo-boy does it depend heavily on having a decent player who won’t quickly devolve into a “LOLZ! I am so wacky!” annoyance.

My suggestion? The GM should choose the psychological illness(es) himself, with some input from the player as to what they’d be comfortable with. Don’t let the player pick and don’t let the dice pick either.
Also known as the Malkavian Effect in most Whote Wolf games.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

WareHouse W (main build thread for M&M)

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by MacynSnow » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:58 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:24 am
MacynSnow wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:14 am
RIFTS Mercenaries was practically The Holy Bible in importance to Weyland-Yutani(tm),as we used this book every game session.In fact,our group book got so beat-up with use that we had to all pitch in and buy the GM a new one.

As for contents,the only group we tended to have problems with(Combat-wise at least,non-combat we disliked the 'Holier-than-thou' Parapsychologist's Group greatly) was the Demon Crew...
Yeah, I figured your group would find a lot of uses for that book- it's part of why I went right to them instead of stopping for the Wizards :).

Do you still play that game?
No,we were all going different directions after High School so the last game(Weyland-Yutani's(tm) Assault on the Lonestar Complex) was a Whole Night affair. We all died,but took Lonestar and Bradford down with us....
Here's how we each went out:
HALF CS DOG BOY/ALIEN WOLF: Managed to destroy the Dog-boy Breeding/brainwashing Facility befor he got swarmed and killed by Major Claval....
THUNDER-LIZARD HATCHLING: Detonated over half of the above ground Facility(and herself along with it) by activating an untested 'Ley-line Bomb'(basically a Magical Hydrogen Bomb)....
LEY-LINE WALKER: Died in Hydrogen blast whilst battling Brigadier General Kalpov and Col.Collins....
EDUARDO "THE MONTEBANK" SANTIAGO: Died in an underground explosion after killing both Major Claval and his "Genetic Father" Desmond Bradford....

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:10 am

Oh right- you told me about their glorious death before, and I forgot. I didn't know the specifics, though! That's awesome- a great campaign send-off, making you all heroes :)!

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by MacynSnow » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:30 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:10 am
Oh right- you told me about their glorious death before, and I forgot. I didn't know the specifics, though! That's awesome- a great campaign send-off, making you all heroes :)!
I would've perfered it not being Posthumously,but with the GM going to Marine Corps. Advanced Training the next day i took what i could...:)
As an added note,he did a very brief one-shot involving Weyland-Yutani's Support Staff having their own Adventure back in Houstown while we were all dying Gloriously...

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Bounty Hunter

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:15 am

Image

BOUNTY HUNTER O.C.C.
Role:
Bounty Hunter, Mercenary, The Baseline Guy
PL 9 (119)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 4
FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 5
INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 2

Skills:
Athletics 4 (+6)
Expertise (Bounty Hunter) 8 (+10)
Expertise (Streetwise) 4 (+6)
Expertise (Survival) 4 (+7)
Insight 3 (+6)
Intimidation 4 (+6)
Investigation 4 (+7)
Perception 3 (+6)
Technology 3 (+5)
Vehicles 1 (+6)

Advantages:
Diehard, Equipment 13 (Gear), Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Aim, Improved Critical (Laser Rifle), Ranged Attack 3, Tracking

Powers:
"Makeshift Cybernetics"
Senses 1 (Infravision) [1]
"Radio Jack" Communication 2 (Radio) [8]
 
Equipment:
"Body Armor"
Protection 6 (Impervious 5) (12)
Immunity 6 (Radiation, Vacuum, Hot, Cold, Suffocation 2) (6)
Mini-Computer (2)
Tinted Visor, Loudspeaker, etc. (3)

"NG-L5 Northern Gun Rifle" Blast 10 (Extras: Multiattack, Penetrating 5) (35)
"Laser Pistol" Blast 6 (12)
"Assorted Gear" Gas Masks, Radios, etc. (4)
Knife +1 (Feats: Improved Critical) (2)

Offense:
Unarmed +8 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Bionic Arm +8 (+5 Damage, DC 20)
Vibro-Blade +8 (+9 Damage, DC 24)
Laser Pistol/Finger Blaster +8 (+6 Ranged Damage, DC 21)
NG Rifle +8 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
Initiative +4

Defenses:
Dodge +9 (DC 19), Parry +8 (DC 18), Toughness +3 (+9 Armor), Fortitude +5, Will +6

Complications: 
Motivation (Greed)

Total: Abilities: 58 / Skills: 38--19 / Advantages: 22 / Powers: 9 / Defenses: 10 (119)

-The Headhunter O.C.C. of the Main Rulebook is a class you'd think would be ideal for a Bounty Hunter, given, you know, the word "Hunter" being IN THE NAME, but Rifts Mercenaries pops up with another one. It conflates it with Spy, Wilderness Scout & City Rat as well, with the implication that this guy is more Tracker/Survival/Streetwise-oriented. Which is odd, because a Headhunter could really be any of those things as well. It's a pretty solid example of "Palladium Pile-On" as far as Classes go- you'll find dozens of unnecessary or redundant classes out there.

-The Bounty Hunter carries pretty much identical gear to a Headhunter, identical options for Cybernetic Implants, etc. HOWEVER, he's given a boost as far as his options go- you can pick one of four: Armor & Cash, Power Armor, Magic Armor (including Bio-Wizard Parasites and stuff from Rifts Atlantis), or a Special Vehicle with double the normal MDC. So possibly a bit more variable than the Headhunter. The only real boost the Headhunter gets is "Detect Concealment" as a Class Skill (more Perception, really), and a Bionic Implant, which makes a Bounty Hunter a bit cheaper since you don't automatically get that.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Dragon & Splugorth Juicers! Burster! Mind Melter! Crazy!)

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:36 am

Oh man- this next group was fun. I mean, the builds are simple and boring. But taking the piss out of Siembieda and his goofy OCC ideas will never not be funny to me :).

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