Jab's Rifts Builds (The Famous Rifts Ad Picture, A.R.C.H.I.E.-Three)

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
Jabroniville
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New Camelot

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:39 am

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MRRLYN & NEW CAMELOT:
-So yes, as others have pointed out, the "Merlin" in this book harkens back to the earliest days of Rifts, because BY GOD this character is an Alien Intelligence. For whatever reason, alongside Rogue Scholars and Millennium Trees, Kevin & Co. just LOVED Alien Intelligences in the early days of the setting, creating multiple such beings as Master Villains. Most of them failed to become popular, and fans naturally gravitated to more human, understandable villains like the Prosek family and others, because, well... they're people. You can throw all the extra powers you want on something, but when it comes right down to it, nobody wants to read stories about "Unknowable Ancient Cosmic Gods"- they want their flawed human villains- Thanos the InCel, the lunatic Joker, greedy Luthor, etc.

-"Mrrlyn" here is actually Zazshan, an Alien Intelligence that split its energies across many dimensions, reanimating the dead body of a man named Merlin and gaining power in Ancient England. But then the old world was destroyed when Atlantis fell, and he was trapped on Earth! Finally reawakened after the Great Cataclysm, he now plays the "long game"... but completely bringing back Arthurian England, but moving chesspieces around like a master plotter. It's one of those Grand Chessmaster things that... just falls completely flat, because Kevin & Co. didn't bother to actually give this guy a CHARACTER. He's just "I'm evil and want to control things" and that's it. So the entire Arthurian Mythos, with which they could have done literally anything, is now just a smokescreen for a guy with no personality. The Lady of the Lake, who could have inspired a new generation of heroes, is just another splintered offshoot of the same Intelligence, meant to be able to carry on if Mrrlyn is killed. Lady Guinevere? Also the same guy, but as a sexy lady who is seducing King Arr'thuu!

-The Alien Intelligence itself has high stats, 20,000 M.D.C. (probably Toughness +22-ish), all the Ley Line Walker & Stone Master stuff, plus many of the new Temporal Magic spells. "Mrrlyn" is Toughness +18, and his other selves are a bit weaker than that- all have high Regeneration and the same spells as the Intelligence.

Others in New Camelot:
-King Arr'thuu is at least as noble as his forebear, but is manipulated by Mrrlyn, whom he deeply respects. He has a psionic sword called Caliber X, which was made just for him and does +13 Damage, being one of the more powerful Psi-Swords in the setting at this point. He also has decent psionics and mediocre armor (only 100 M.D.C.). Sir Prrcyvel (they all have annoying-ass names like this) is actually a Chiang-Ku Dragon, and genuinely admires Arr'thuu. He distrusts Mrrlyn and tries to steer Arr'thuu the right way, but himself doesn't realize that Guinevere is in on it. Sir Dred is snotty and arrogant, but not bad- but he's hopelessly led by Mrrlyn and might turn bad. Sir Galahad is an Atlantean Undead Slayer with a goofy mohawk.

-New Camelot itself is pretty weaksauce- a 16,000-person city that looks part-medieval, part-modern and part-Victorian, which means that it really has no identity and the writers just wanted everything at once. Late,r smarter writers would take the "Real Nation Exaggerated" stuff and make three DIFFERENT cities, each with its own concept. It mentions some loyal Dragons that live there and a few streets, but it's all pretty generic and we see neither parts of the city nor its inhabitants. Later books would do a lot better work with this.

Jabroniville
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The Knights of Camelot

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:17 am

THE KNIGHTS OF CAMELOT:
-The Knights are the celebrities and heroes of New Camelot, but are themselves unknowing pawns of Mrrlyn (who increases their likelihood of winning battles, hoping to lure more people to the "safety" or New Camelot). Heroes of the people, they are both beloved and the target of envy or scorn by punks & other troublemakers, and are thus both respected and challenged. Their ranks are made of up multiple O.C.C.s, with a lot of guys in Power Armor making up the 100 Mechanized Troops, 200 Knights (I guess the O.C.C. they include later?) of human & D-Bee origin, allied troops (60% D-Bee), and more.

-The book elaborates upon multiple different "levels" of Knight, though the three "evil" ones are given the exact same design, which indicates to me that Kevin S wanted some padding, and thus decided to make three classes out of three pieces of Kevin Long's art- you've got the human-faced Nexus Knights, the faceless Supreme Nexus Knights, and the faceless Ghost Knights- all of them have the same kind of blocky featureless "Kevin Long Armor" (though this is more fitting of medieval-style guys, so I don't mind), but with a lot of spikes added to the shoulder pads, and scary stuff on their helmets.

-The organization here is of course a MESS- Supreme Nexus Knights are explained first, then we get a big thing on chivalry and the knightly codes, then Ghost Knights (who are evil alien elementals and thus have nothing to do with chivalry), and then we get REGULAR Nexus Knights- humans who are beneath the Supreme Nexus Knights, and also evil. And finally we see the regular Knight O.C.C., which has a class description that makes them more like vigilantes than allies of New Camelot. And then the Royal Knight O.C.C., which is the same thing but richer, but those Knights actually ARE listed among the New Camelot guys- Arr'thuu and another guy are Royal Knights!

Jabroniville
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Knight

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:18 am

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KNIGHT O.C.C.
Role:
Generic Do-Gooder
PL 7 (79)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 5 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 2

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+8)
Deception 2 (+4)
Expertise (Knight) 8 (+9)
Expertise (Survival) 5 (+7)
Insight 3 (+5)
Perception 5 (+7)
Persuasion 2 (+4)
Stealth 2 (+5)
Technology 3 (+4)
Treatment 4 (+5)
Vehicles 2 (+6)

Advantages:
Equipment 4 (Vibro-Weapons, Magic Gear, M.D.C. Armor +5), Ranged Attack 1

Powers:
"Power Armor and/or Cybernetics"

Offense:
Unarmed +5 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Vibro-Weapons +5 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Laser Guns +5 (+8 Ranged Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +3

Defenses:
Dodge +5 (DC 15), Parry +5 (DC 15), Toughness +4 (+9 Armor), Fortitude +5, Will +6

Complications:
Responsibility (Doing Good)- Most Knights fight in defense of others.

Total: Abilities: 46 / Skills: 42--21 / Advantages: 5 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 7 (79)

-Here called "the Average Warrior", the Knight O.C.C. is more of a travelling "Musketeer" instead of the member of English nobility like the original Knights of yore. Idealistic do-gooders, they travel about England fighting off evil monsters and protecting innocents from harm. Effectively, they're Cyber-Knights minus the "Cyber". So... just a Knight. In any case, there are multiple ways to be one- being a squire (assistant of sorts) to a Knight, being trained as an "Apprentice Knight" (which is the first thing, but they don't fix up the horse & armor and stuff), or just being self-taught, since this is a loose conglomeration of guys. A bit is made out of how the New German Republic and others view these guys (like vigilantes, more or less), and are concerned about their growing popularity, as they're now extending past England and developing elsewhere, and some are making national "Knights In Name Only" that are really more like private armies.

-These Knights are altogether jacks of all trades, having a lot of skills to choose from (eight is pretty high), and multiple options for gear- Magic Weapons, melee stuff (often Vibro-themed so it's actually useful), regular Mega-Damage Armor, and even cybernetics. Kind of a "pick what you can get out of your generic dude" thing, almost as if it were a basic Fighter class. There's even a "multiple choice mount" that's either a vehicle, bionic or robotic horse, Power Armor, or even GRYPHONS AND PEGASI HOLY SHIT.

-Actually... you know what? I don't hate these guys. They seem more of like what Rifts was supposed to be about- "Making Do With What You Can". Before the setting was overrun with Super-M.D.C. Giga-Monsters and everything was over-powered, THIS was what a lot of PCs were expected to be like- maybe you're a cyborg! Maybe a farmer with a gun! Maybe a melee guy or a gunfighter! So you got your basic gear and you went on your way! By "Knight", they effectively mean "Guy in armor who fights, and probably for a good cause", and that doesn't have to suck. Also, they totally snuck in that bit there where "15%" may ride a pegasus, or dragondactyl or whatever. And there's nothing other than the GM to tell you that you can't!

Jabroniville
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Royal Knight

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:35 am

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King Arr'thuu- a Royal Knight.

ROYAL KNIGHT O.C.C.
Role:
Richer Knight
PL 7 (82)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 5 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 2

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+8)
Deception 2 (+4)
Expertise (Knight) 8 (+9)
Expertise (Survival) 5 (+7)
Expertise (Music) 4 (+6)
Insight 3 (+5)
Perception 5 (+7)
Persuasion 2 (+4)
Stealth 2 (+5)
Technology 3 (+4)
Treatment 4 (+5)
Vehicles 2 (+6)

Advantages:
Equipment 4 (Vibro-Weapons, Magic Gear, M.D.C. Armor +5), Languages (A Few), Ranged Attack 1

Powers:
"Power Armor and/or Cybernetics"

Offense:
Unarmed +5 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Vibro-Weapons +5 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Laser Guns +5 (+8 Ranged Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +3

Defenses:
Dodge +5 (DC 15), Parry +5 (DC 15), Toughness +4 (+9 Armor), Fortitude +5, Will +6

Complications:
Responsibility (Doing Good)- Most Knights fight in defense of others.

Total: Abilities: 46 / Skills: 46--23 / Advantages: 6 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 7 (82)

-A Royal Knight is basically the Knight O.C.C., but a member of actual nobility. This gives him access to a few more skills, money, and gear (a 5% bonus to getting a special snowflake mount). This could have easily just been included with the other thing with optional choices for money, but whatever. The dumb thing is they had the option for Super Awesome Magical Knight RIGHT THERE, but wasted it on this same-y class.

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Sidious
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Temporal Beings! M.D.C. Bugs! Knights!)

Post by Sidious » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:13 pm

We really need "Like" buttons.
This is a great write-up of England and Camelot.

Jabroniville
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Temporal Beings! M.D.C. Bugs! Knights!)

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:15 am

Sidious wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:13 pm
We really need "Like" buttons.
This is a great write-up of England and Camelot.
Thanks :)! With the negative reviews, I was a bit shocked that I liked the Knights as much as I did, but I can see why anyone hoping to play Superhuman Knights of Good would be disappointed. This whole book, in fact, reeks of Kevin's weird idea that the "Best Way To Play" is to play Rogue Scholars and low-powered Wizards trying to survive in a world where everything is better than you.

How that mixes with the original idea of Rifts being called Boomers and being about Glitter Boys is beyond me. He's a hard person to figure out.

Jabroniville
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Supreme Nexus Knight

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:23 am

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SUPREME NEXUS KNIGHT O.C.C.
Role:
Mrrlyn's Malicious Men, The Mole, Secret Police
PL 11 (138 + Magic & Psionics)
STRENGTH
6 STAMINA 8 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 9 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 3 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Athletics 2 (+8)
Deception 6 (+6)
Expertise (Alien Intelligence) 4 (+7)
Insight 3 (+5)
Intimidation 8 (+8)
Perception 5 (+7)

Advantages:
Close Combat 3, Equipment (Armor +2), Improved Initiative, Languages, Ranged Attack 5, Startle

Powers:
"Life Essences"
Protection 2 [2]
Regeneration 4 [4]
Senses 5 (Low-Light Vision, Vision Counters Concealment) [5]
Immunity 4 (Cold, Heat, Transformation Spells) [4]
Immunity 10 (Fire Effects) (Flaws: Limited to Half-Effect) [5]
Movement 1 (Dimensional Travel- Dimension of Origin) [2]

"Flaming Sword" Strength-Damage +5 (Extras: Penetrating) [10]

"Psionics" (Telepathy, Empathy, Psi-Sword, See Aura, Sense Magic, Mind Block Auto-Defense, Psi-Shield, All Physical Powers)
"Magic" (All Spells Level 1-15, cannot cast more than 80 P.P.E. worth)

Offense:
Unarmed +12 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
Flaming Sword +12 (+10 Damage, DC 25)
Initiative +8

Defenses:
Dodge +10 (DC 20), Parry +10 (DC 20), Toughness +10 (+12 Armor), Fortitude +8, Will +6

Complications:
Responsibility (Mrrlyn's Will)- Supreme Nexus Knights are loyal only to Mrrlyn.
Reputation (Vicious)- Many in New Camelot have learned to hate or fear these obsessive, dark Knights.

Total: Abilities: 70 / Skills: 28--14 / Advantages: 12 / Powers: 32 + Magic & Psionics / Defenses: 10 (138 + Magic & Psionics)

-The "Supreme Nexus Knights" are animated alien life force in the form of Knights, and act as Mrrlyn's eyes and ears across the land, loyal only to him. King Arr'thuu trusts them, but they will turn on him the second Mrrlyn gives the word, too. They are mistrusted by some of the populace, either being seen as a police force or the Gestapo, and they will be merciless to anyone they deem worthy of questioning. Many other Knights or nobles dislike them, and fights have occurred.

-Supreme Nexus Knights are actually EXTREMELY dangerous and have tons of powers, but limited P.P.E. worth, and will run out before casting too many spells). But 180 M.D.C., four attacks, +5 to hit & parry, 4DC Mega-Damage Flaming Swords, etc.- they're bad news. Overall, they're PL 11 with their Swords and Defenses.

Jabroniville
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Nexus Knight

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:47 am

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NEXUS KNIGHT O.C.C.
Role:
Mrrlyn's Malicious Men, The Mole, Secret Police
PL 9 (83)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 7 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 1

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+8)
Deception 5 (+6)
Expertise (Knight) 4 (+5)
Insight 3 (+4)
Intimidation 5 (+6)
Perception 3 (+5)

Advantages:
Equipment 5 (Triax Pulse Rifle, Silver-Edged Weapons, Armor +6), Ranged Attack 3

Powers:
"Plasma Lance" (Flaws: Easily Removable) [8]
Blast 11 (Flaws: Unreliable- 5/day) (11) -- (12 points)
  • AE: Strength-Damage +7 (Flaws: Unreliable- 5/Day) (4)
Offense:
Unarmed +7 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Pulse Rifle +7 (+9 Ranged Damage, DC 24)
Plasma Lance +7 (+9 Damage, DC 24)
Plasma Lance Blast +7 (+11 Ranged Damage, DC 26)
Initiative +8

Defenses:
Dodge +7 (DC 17), Parry +7 (DC 17), Toughness +3 (+9 Armor), Fortitude +5, Will +4

Complications:
Responsibility (Mrrlyn's Will)- Nexus Knights are loyal mostly to Mrrlyn.
Reputation (Vicious)- Many in New Camelot have learned to hate or fear these obsessive, dark Knights.

Total: Abilities: 46 / Skills: 26--13 / Advantages: 8 / Powers: 8 / Defenses: 8 (83)

-Called "Nexus Knight- Human" without any O.C.C., these are considered "Optional Player Characters" and are like the Supreme Nexus Knights... only they're just normal humans. Still allied mostly to Mrrlyn over the King, they take orders directly from him, and Arr'thuu tends to only give them orders VIA the old Wizard. Then the book repeats a ton of the information already listed in the Supreme Nexus Knights section ("You must talk to Mrrlyn" when questioned; others stepping in when they act like Gestapo, etc.). Then they LITERALLY repeat two paragraphs from the S.N. Knights, including all the stuff about their 4D6 Flaming Swords.

-Nexus Knights are given no real statline or Skill List, being "NPCs" who are meant to be generic foes with "Three to five attacks", so I made this somewhat generic guy. The Plasma Lance is a Techno-Wizard device created by Mrrlyn that only gives five uses of anything, making it utterly useless. There's two other T-W weapons, both of which also offer Blasts, so are kinda redundant, though Nexus Knights & S-N Knights are said to enjoy them. There's also an "All-Seeing Helmet" with the Psionics (See Aura, See the Invisible, See Infrared Light, See Radiation, Detect Magical Concealment, Recognize Illusions) attached to it.

Jabroniville
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Ghost Knight

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:22 am

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"So Kevin, I drew two different images for the Supreme Nexus Knights, since you said they're appearing in two sections."
"...."
"... You're going to make the second picture a separate class, aren't you?"
"(taps his nose repeatedly)"


GHOST KNIGHT
Role:
Bodiless Suits, Air Spirits
PL 11 (117 + Psionics)
STRENGTH
10 STAMINA -- AGILITY 2
FIGHTING 9 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 0 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Deception 6 (+6)
Insight 3 (+3)
Perception 5 (+5)

Advantages:
Close Combat 1, Ranged Attack 5

Powers:
"Ghostly Armor"
Immunity 30 (Fortitude Effects) [30]
Protection 9 [9]
"Supernatural Strength" Strength-Damage +2 (Extras: Penetrating 6) [8]
"Energy Form" Flight 4 (16 mph) [8]

"Psionics" (Empathy, Mind Block, See Aura, See the Invisible, Sixth Sense, Presence Sense, Telepathy, Telekinesis)

Offense:
Unarmed +9 (+12 Damage, DC 27)
Initiative +2

Defenses:
Dodge +9 (DC 19), Parry +9 (DC 19), Toughness +9, Fortitude --, Will +4

Complications:
Responsibility (Mrrlyn's Will)- Ghost Knights are controlled by Mrrlyn.

Total: Abilities: 40 / Skills: 14--7 / Advantages: 6 / Powers: 53 + Psionics / Defenses: 11 (117 + Magic & Psionics)

-Ghost Knights are... well, pretty much just like the drawing and description of the Supreme Nexus Knights, except they're emptier, and only semi-allied to Mrrlyn, who can control them only on English soil- elsewhere, these "Tectonic Energy" beings are prone to even more destructive behavior, acting chaotically and even with some evil. They are generally "defenders of New Camelot, traveling about in pairs or groups of four, and ask only simple questions of mysterious travellers. Refusal to answer, or looking too weird, will result in attacks, and they will fight to the death.

-Ghost Knights are actually BRUTAL fighters, having only 100 M.D.C. (+9 Toughness) but remarkable hitting power- a Supernatural Physical Strength of 36 is about equivalent to ST 12 in M&M stats, so these things are absolute brutes in melee, hitting at PL 10.5 levels, but are only PL 9 defensively.

Jabroniville
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Fomorians

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:26 am

FOMORIANS: ST +2, STA +6, AGI +1, FIGHTING +6, Improved Critical (Unarmed) 2, Improved Initiative, Protection 4, Regeneration 2, Growth 2 (Innate), Low-Light Vision, Vision Counters Concealment 4, Immunity (Cold, Drowning, Suffocation), Immunity 5 (Fire, Limited to Half), Morph 1 (Eel, Metamorph), Dodge +3 [64]

-Named for the evil giants of Celtic Mythology, the Fomorians here are giant, deformed demons who rule the Scottish Highlands. Their stats are so remarkable they end up as PL 10-11 melee warriors, boasting five attacks per melee and over a hundred M.D.C. on average. They ride gross Fomorii War-Horses with 1D6x100 M.D.C. but not real statline given aside from some basics (imagine Toughness +12). Fomorians plot on invading England itself in the very near future, giving you a plot hook.

Jabroniville
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Fomorian/Celtic Gods

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:27 am

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Bres the Beautiful

FOMORIAN & CELTIC GODS:
-Balor II (possibly descended from the first, who died in an invasion of Earth 4-5,000 years ago) of the Fomorians is Toughness +19 but only has a Blast 11 Eye-Beam. Bres the Beautiful has Toughness +20, eight attacks (around FIGHTING 14), and more. Beaten back by Lugh during the last invasion, he longs for a rematch. Lugh is even tougher and better at fighting. Dagda, the All-Father, may have gone insane, and acts as a gluttonous, chaotic hermit, despite having the best stats overall.
Last edited by Jabroniville on Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jabroniville
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Other Places in the Isles

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:27 am

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OTHER PLACES:
-Rifts England gives an almost contemptuously short description of the rest of the Isles. The Eternal City is a "friendly rival" to New Camelot; Mrrlyn does not trust them, but they get along with most people and have a heainlg spring there. Berwynmoore Kingdom is more greedy and adversarial. "London of Splynn" is the homebase for the European operations of the Splugorth, who are opposed to Mrrlyn- Splugorth Slavers may be encountered across Britain as a result. There's a Goblin Kingdom in Southern Wales, and it plans on invading. Scotland is ruled by Fomorians. Ireland is "avoided by big people" because it's the land of Faeries. Yes, that's right- the entire nation is pretty much given over to beings that aren't even described in this book, because Palladium Fantasy has Faeries in it and by god, there's nothing Palladium hates more than copy & pasting the same material across books.

Jabroniville
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Blood Druid

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:34 am

BLOOD DRUID O.C.C.
Role:
Evil Mage
PL 6 (111)
STRENGTH
1 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 6 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 3 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+7)
Deception 2 (+5)
Expertise (Mystic Herbology) 6 (+9)
Expertise (Survival) 6 (+9)
Expertise (Science) 4 (+7)
Insight 3 (+6)
Investigation 3 (+5)
Perception 5 (+8)
Persuasion 3 (+6)
Stealth 2 (+5)
Treatment 4 (+7)

Advantages:
Equipment 5 (Druid Gear), Ranged Attack 1, Ritualist

Powers:
"Blood Magic Powers"
Senses 4 (Precognition) (Flaws: Source- Entrails) [2]
Senses 4 (Postcognition) (Flaws: Source- Dead Victim, Limited to the Past of the Victim) [1]
Regeneration 2 (Flaws: Source- Blood) [1]

"Turn Dead" Mind Control 6 (Extras: Area- 30ft. Burst) (Flaws: Limited to Ranged, Limited to Animated Undead) [18]

Offense:
Unarmed +6 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Staff +6 (+3 Damage, DC 18)
Initiative +3

Defenses:
Dodge +7 (DC 17), Parry +7 (DC 17), Toughness +3 (+5 Leather Armor), Fortitude +4, Will +6

Complications:
Power Loss (Magic)- Magic requires the internal energies of the Sorcerer to work- too many Spells will wear them out.
Responsibility (For the Evulz)- Blood Druids like to do things just to create war, death, and destruction.

Total: Abilities: 52 / Skills: 44--22 / Advantages: 7 / Powers: 22 / Defenses: 8 (111)

-Mages aligned only to "the forces of evil", these guys foment chaos wherever they can. They will typically have two Wands, a Staff, poisons, and more. They have almost zero spells and little combat Magic, but get a bunch of Magic Items and impressive fighting skills for "Druids".

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Knight! Supreme Nexus Knight! Ghost Knight!)

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:44 am

And that does it for Rifts England! That was actually a little more fun than I expected- the Knight O.C.C. seems fine, though again it's a bunch of "Overwhelming Bad Guy Organizations You Can't Fight" because Kevin & Co. haven't figured out that players want to play the POWERFUL classes yet. This book overall has about two good ideas in a book of fifty, so I can definitely see why it was completely ignored and glossed over in the line. It feels like there's COUNTLESS things that could have been improved- powerless shroom-eating forest hippies and stuff making up half the book was a horrendous mistake, and the different cities have no personality or inventiveness to them at all. They made themselves a "kitchen sink" setting and were making tofu for three or for books until they "got it".

Effects on later books? Well, this is where the meat of the "Millennium Tree" concept came from, and MY GOD does Kevin love those. Chiang-Ku Dragons appear frequently in the other early books in the setting, though not so much later. Mrrlyn, all the Knights, the various Druids, the hippies, and more? All disappear and never matter again.

In all, Rifts England is a book that's badly in need of a re-do- they could easily wipe this slate clean and say "okay, this is what's happened since then". Like... you could make a whole army of Magic-Powered Knights. Or Knights in Power Armor that merge together. A kingdom led by a Dragon. A nation where common folk are subordinate to their Faerie overlords. A druid that could maybe defeat a single Mook in a fight. There's a LOT OF POTENTIAL in a setting that includes England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and this book couldn't have glossed it all over more quickly- you can tell they didn't really know the land, nor the myths that well, and didn't have the imagination to expand it like later books would.

Next up.... another very early Rifts book, as I'm trying to be more thorough- Vampire Kingdoms!

Jabroniville
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Vampire Kingdoms

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:35 pm

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RIFTS WORLD BOOK ONE- VAMPIRE KINGDOMS (1991):
-Yes, we're not going way, WAY back to the original World Book in the setting, Vampire Kingdoms! Now, if you've read my stuff for a while, you'd probably know that I HATE VAMPIRES, and think they're kind of a dumb, overdone storytelling gimmick. So while I've no real interest in this book conceptually, I'm kinda interested in the "early phase" of Rifts now that I went through all the cool shit like Dragon Juicers & Tech-Ninjas.

"Vampires Rule Mexico" was thrown down in the Main Rulebook as something that appears a LOT in the setting, in a "HERE BE DRAGONS" kind of way. In other words, "we don't want you travelling too far because we haven't detailed all that yet"- it's always "There's Random Monsters Here" and "Vampires Rule Here" and "A Demon Lives Here" stuff that combines with all the "Air travel is impossible because reasons and nobody goes on the oceans anymore except for these 9 armies that do it all the time with no trouble" stuff in the setting. Basically... they want you to live in one area and not jump around too much, or else it messes with their ideas for the setting. Like the Coalition States only work as a thing if they have this "corridor" in the U.S., they're held off by the Federation of Magic and/or Tolkeen, and they can only slowly expand elsewhere; it falls apart if they're interacting with the South American nations, the NGR, etc. Everyone kinda needs to be closed-off in their tiny little hidey-holes for the setting to work.

So... this book is actually ABOUT those Vampires, who rule most of Mexico, thus preventing your American PCs from ever venturing southwards to the two South America books. And it's, to be fair, a LOT of detail about Vampires. Like, more than any other single monster, race, class or species gets in these books! I dunno who got the bug up their butt about what Vampires needed to be, but this is STACKED- there are entire chapters devoted to the nature of like, one single power that vampires have. There are 3-4 different types of Vampires, and because it's an early Rifts book, YES, they are ruled by "Alien Intelligences". Jesus the early books have a lot of that- they definitely got it out of their system later, but Kevin S seemed to love those things SO FREAKING MUCH, as they pop up everywhere in the setting in the early days.

There's not much here in terms of "Stuff I can do builds for", which makes it a nice little thing, and I'll probably skim over MANY of these chapters, so feel free to tell me if I've missed anything. Of note are the three types of Vampires, two R.C.C.s that are Vamp-related, a couple of monsters, three O.C.C.s themed around Vamps (usually hunting them), and some dinosaurs. You'll also see "City Bios" for little towns you can visit. My version of the book that I totally acquired 100% legally is clearly from a later edition that has a lot of Ramon Perez art in it, with some dinosaurs, as they were clearly aping some of the New West visual motif.

I don't think this book had much of an effect on the rest of the setting- as a "World Book", it mostly explained why you can't visit South America, and the setting never expanded them outwards. Rifts Lone Star detailed the Lone Star Complex and the Dog Boys, and a bit of the Coalition's Western frontier, and it mentions how they underestimated the Vampire threat... but the setting put them both in permanent stasis so it's not been developed. Reid's Rangers, detailed for the first time here, definitely appear in a lot of other books, typically as a "Roving Band of Ramshackle Do-Gooders". Alien Intelligences obviously recur, but most are unrelated to the ones here.

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