Jab's Rifts Builds (The Four Horsemen! Egyptian Gods! Phoenixi!)

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
slade the sniper
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (The Four Horsemen! Egyptian Gods! Phoenixi!)

Post by slade the sniper » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:12 pm

So, Rifts Manhunter...while not good, isn't really bad either. I just reskin the Manhunters from DC (dopey looking blue faced Sentinel wanna-be's) into Rifts Manhunters to make them far more gory and competent.

As for toeing the company line on the PB forums...there is quite a lot of anti-Palladium sentiment there. There are quite a few posters who seem to post just to troll the company. Rifts, the best setting no one plays...or is that Shadowrun?

-STS

Curbludgeon
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (The Four Horsemen! Egyptian Gods! Phoenixi!)

Post by Curbludgeon » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:49 am

Yes, Jabroniville, I was the person you sent a message to a few months ago. I usually don't log in, and so didn't see it until well after the fact. I appreciate it though, all the same!

Moderation on the Palladium forums stopped being as focused on eliminating opinions opposed to those of management some time ago, in no small part due to employees becoming far less active there. To the degree that those being critical of company decisions were engaging in some cringe-worthy behavior (calling themselves the Cabal of 24 and the like), less moderation proved a moderating influence all around. A lot of the discussion there can be less than useful, and seems occasionally motivated by dissuading new posters. Threads on helping with character creation, for example, are largely discouraged.

There are, however, some interesting threads. Germane to this current discusion is this one about things to do with Africa. As far as potentially the worst squandering of world-building potential, as problematic as the treatment of Africa was, the near refusal to write anything regarding southern Asia from the Middle East to India is perhaps worse. There are a couple of sentences regarding the Arabian peninsula in the Africa book, largely to the effect that orcs are the new Bedouins. Pantheons of the Megaverse talks about India a little bit in its descriptions of currently worshipped Hindu deities, mainly stating there are some naga cults following pretender gods. The Lemuria book might have a sentence or two about interactions with people living on the Indian coast. I believe that to be it. If I'd had my druthers, and wanted to wipe that whole area near clean so as to presumably not offend the Muslim world, I'd take a page from Warren Ellis' Supergod. If you haven't checked out that 5 issue series, it's a pretty excellent take on a Rifts-style Cataclysm, set ~80 years before Rifts canon.

I agree with the above sentiment that the Horsemen would have been better received if presented in their own sourcebook. Related ideas that Palladium has played with can be found in Chaos Earth: Creatures of Chaos, which introduces lesser versions of the horsemen classified as Apocalypse demons, whom travel in groups of four in the 22nd Century. Rifter issue 8 has a number of necromantically-themed OCCs, including a few expressly described as following in the footsteps of the Horsemen. These include the Warborn, whom bonds with military equipment in a similar fashion as War, and the Warbabies, whom are military-themed Mystic Operators.

Given the list of books Jab is placing on the backburner, I might see if I can get up my gumption enough to maybe post in the original thread. Mystic Russia and Psyscape both have ability lists worth converting, and as awkward as Spirit West is some of the classes are fun. If nothing else it would give me a chance to shake the rust off of statting things.

Jabroniville
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Ramen

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:40 pm

Image

Possibly the least-bad drawing Kevin S ever did.

RAMEN R.C.C.: ST +6, STA +8, AGI +2, INT +1, AWA +3, PRE +2, Protection 3, Claws +2, Immunity 2 (Mind Control), Immunity 10 (Psionics, Limited to Half), Improved Initiative, "Psionics" (Empathic Transmission- Super, Empathy, Presence Sense, Nightvision, Bio-Regeneration, Mind Block, Empathy With Animals), "Magic" (40% are mystics w/ 4 Spells to start; 2 more/level) [57 + Psionics + Magic]

-I... yes, "Ramen". Named after the noodles. It's supposed to be "Ra Men", like they're followers of the Egyptian God known as Ra, but... they spelled it "Ramen" and kept it up that way. It's really stupid. Ramen and the Tautons who show up after them are two races who were at war on an alien world- the Egyptian Gods interceded, with the lion-headed ones following Ra and his group, and the crocodile-headed ones following Set and his guys. One potential "Story Hook" is that the Ramen might be descended from Anhur of Set's Pantheon, and hope he returns to them- Anhur in return respects the warrior nature of the Ramen, and has a few thousand in his army.

Jabroniville
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (The Four Horsemen! Egyptian Gods! Phoenixi!)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:18 am

Ares wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:08 pm
Rifts: Africa is just a mess of a book, something that should have been broken up into multiple books and each book then fleshed out properly.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocylpse really should have been it's own book, similar to the Juicer Uprising book, possibly a Source Book or Conversion Book about running more High Level adventures, with the Four Horsemen being an example of an adventure that requires multiple groups of high powered heroes to thwart. The concept of the Four Horsemen and their merging into the Apocalypse Beast is VERY cool and would make for a great story, as well as a chance to showcase some of the more high level heroic NPCs of Rifts Earth. However, I'd say at most of the Horsemen other than War need a visual design overhaul, and the group in general need to be more powerful and menacing.
MORE powerful? I find that rather surprising, given both myself and Batgirl would put them at PL 16-18. They have thousands of MDC, so much Regeneration that fighting them is always a losing battle, and they can do EVERY SPELL. Even as bad as Magic is in Rifts, they are extremely tough to beat.
They likely should have opened with a Rifts: Egypt to get a lot of the pantheon stuff out of the way, really build up some new Egyptian Empire that feels like a fun nation, etc. I'd say borrow heavily from TORG's Nile Empire and make it this awesome pulp-y place where there's this evil nation ruled by an Imhotep-style sorcerer mummy, while there's other nations that are technological, magical, or a mix of both.

Then have a Rifts book called Rifts: Greater Africa or something similar that deals with the rest of Africa, possibly breaking it up into two books like Rifts South America. Go bonkers with it, Rifts is one of the few places where a land like Wakanda would actually make sense, super technology from alien space rocks, functional magical traditions, and racist ethnostate include.

Overall, Rifts once again shows why the setting, or at least the concept of the setting, is so popular, and why the world remains played in, even if it's likewise one of the heaviest home-brewed settings ever.
Yeah, as I noticed while going through, HALF THE BOOK is just a few stereotype O.C.C.s about Africa, and a tiny bit of stuff about tribes and whatever- no "I want to play this" factor at all, while the other half involves stuff that has either nothing to do with Africa (the Four Horsemen, who just happen to be there), and Egypt, which could easily have been a whole book... if it wasn't kind of already ripping off Rifts Atlantis's deal.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (The Four Horsemen! Egyptian Gods! Phoenixi!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:42 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:18 am
Ares wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:08 pm
Rifts: Africa is just a mess of a book, something that should have been broken up into multiple books and each book then fleshed out properly.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocylpse really should have been it's own book, similar to the Juicer Uprising book, possibly a Source Book or Conversion Book about running more High Level adventures, with the Four Horsemen being an example of an adventure that requires multiple groups of high powered heroes to thwart. The concept of the Four Horsemen and their merging into the Apocalypse Beast is VERY cool and would make for a great story, as well as a chance to showcase some of the more high level heroic NPCs of Rifts Earth. However, I'd say at most of the Horsemen other than War need a visual design overhaul, and the group in general need to be more powerful and menacing.
MORE powerful? I find that rather surprising, given both myself and Batgirl would put them at PL 16-18. They have thousands of MDC, so much Regeneration that fighting them is always a losing battle, and they can do EVERY SPELL. Even as bad as Magic is in Rifts, they are extremely tough to beat.
I think I meant more in terms of visual design and scope. War is the only one that looks even remotely cool, the two of them look like skinny dudes with fugly heads and one that's suppose to be a collection of bugs looks more goofy than anything. Vince Martin or the Splicers artist could have come up with something more dynamic and impressive.

A lot of their menace comes from the Rifts mechanics of "give them every spell and psionic power in the book" and "a lot of MDC plus regeneration" as well as a couple of unique abilities. It basically turns everything into a battle of attrition and the least cinematic thing ever. But that's just the Rifts concept being undermined by its own system.

It's also been a while since I've read the book, so I might be mis-remembering exactly the kind of threat these guys pose, but I don't know. These guys have the flavor to be a lot more than presented. As it stands, they're basically big walking piles of MDC and Rifts style magic, which is more utilitarian than combat oriented. I feel like I should do a mini-campaign layout for how I think the Horsemen should be handled.

Jabroniville
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (The Four Horsemen! Egyptian Gods! Phoenixi!)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:36 am

Curbludgeon wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:49 am
Yes, Jabroniville, I was the person you sent a message to a few months ago. I usually don't log in, and so didn't see it until well after the fact. I appreciate it though, all the same!
Oh, neat! I remember you reading it the first time through, and I caught your posts when I re-started the thread! In the stuff you haven't commented on so far, what were the stand-outs to you? Which books were your faves? Anything you disagree on regarding my takes on what the books had?
Moderation on the Palladium forums stopped being as focused on eliminating opinions opposed to those of management some time ago, in no small part due to employees becoming far less active there. To the degree that those being critical of company decisions were engaging in some cringe-worthy behavior (calling themselves the Cabal of 24 and the like), less moderation proved a moderating influence all around. A lot of the discussion there can be less than useful, and seems occasionally motivated by dissuading new posters. Threads on helping with character creation, for example, are largely discouraged.
ah, the "Dissuading new posters" thing. I recall that very well from a site I used to visit called HeroChat, which after a point fell to the trolls who wanted another 4chan. Eventually the poster base just dwindled as people moved on, because there was no way a newbie was going to stick around, the way they'd get treated there.

Super-interesting that Palladium would eventually run out of enough staff to care about their forums, and that'd actually IMPROVE things, lol.
Given the list of books Jab is placing on the backburner, I might see if I can get up my gumption enough to maybe post in the original thread. Mystic Russia and Psyscape both have ability lists worth converting, and as awkward as Spirit West is some of the classes are fun. If nothing else it would give me a chance to shake the rust off of statting things.
Yeah, that'd be fun! I'd look forward to seeing more stuff, especially as I wasn't planning on getting around to that stuff any time soon, and certainly haven't read any of those books- it'd be informative AND give me a hint of anything positive I could glean from those books.

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Tautons

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:30 pm

Image

TAUTON R.C.C.: ST +7, STA +8, AGI +2, FIGHTING +2, Improved Initiative, Protection 3, Extra Limb, "Scorpion Tail" Weaken Stamina 11 (Progressive), AE: Unarmed +2, Low-Light Vision, Vision Counters Concealment, Morph (Large Venomous Snake- Metamorph), Regeneration 2, Immunity (Poison), "Magic" (7 Spells from 1-4) [91 + Magic]

-Bipedial crocodile-men with scorpion tails, the Tautons are named for Set's group, which keeps mentioning "Taut" but doesn't say what that is as far as I can tell (it's some demonic thing in Palladium's setting). Pledging allegiance to Set, they eventually fell out of favor through no fault of their own, as he greatly wasted them in foolish or reckless campaigns. This has made them bitter, hateful, and angry, and gives them a chip on their shoulder, so they have become savage opponents, desperate for validation from their masters.

-Tautons are actually MUCH more dangerous than Ramen, sporting the same durability but adding an extra attack from their Tails, which does a humongous 4D6 Damage PER ROUND (about Damage 11!), which I utilize as a Weaken effect (Palladium doesn't use stat-affecters like that, simply having all poison and venom do regular damage).

Jabroniville
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The Children of Amon

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:13 pm

CHILDREN OF AMON TEMPLATE:
"Transfortifiers" ST +1, Protection 9, boosted Damage if none before, Immunity 20 (Cold & Heat Effects) [31 - Natural Toughness + Boosted Damage]
"Chest Amalgamate" Protection +1, FIGHTING +1, Dodge +1, Immunity (Fatigue Effects, Poison, Drugs), Regeneration 3 [11]
"Zombitron" Turns Victim into a Mindless Zombie That Lives for 1D4 Months- reduced to FIGHTING 4 & Diminished Skills [-X; tons of points lost]

-Amon's minions are all said to be misshapen monsters, twisted by Bio-Magic (just new in Rifts Atlantis, remember). 75% are unwilling slaves, while the others are just evil and gladly serve their "mistress of evil". It lists about a dozen monsters that willingly might serve her, but I've never heard of most of them (I'm assuming they're from Palladium Fantasy, but... "loogaroo"? Really?). The "Children of Amon" thing is actually a Template of sorts you can add to any character, typically a human or monstrous humanoid- Orcs, Gigantes, Harpies, Boogiemen, Loogaroos, Goblins, etc. are given as examples. Notably, though, everyone stops gaining experience as soon as they become one!

-The Transfortifier turns them into a powerhouse that is highly-durable, though maxes out at +9. The Chest Amalgamate boosts them a bit further and makes them better, more tireless fighters. The Zombitron (a tiny, black, fuzzy spider that attaches to the neck) is only for the most rebellious slaves, and turns the creature into a short-lived zombie.

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