Jab's Rifts Builds (Dinosaurs! Grigleapers! Brontodon! Dream Snakes!)

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Jabroniville
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South American Gear

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:25 pm

SOUTH AMERICA- WEAPONS:
* Making it a mess of a book to try and sort through, as far as Gear is concerned, each nation-state has its own section for weapons, armor, and Power Armor. Here is where it REALLY becomes clear that CJ Carella ramped up the power levels of the setting- the Main Rulebook features guns typically reaching 2-5D6 Mega-Damage. Not too shabby. Rail Guns hit 1D4x10 damage for the most part, but weighed around a hundred pounds, limiting them to Cyborgs & Power Armor guys. But this book features REGULAR GUNS that can reach that kind of damage. The Rocket Auto-Cannon of Colombia can hit 2D6x10 M.D. on a regular long burst, and weighs 70 lbs.! It's expected to be mounted on a support or used by Cyborgs or Anti-Monsters, but HOLY CRAP!

The Armor & Robot Suits are even worse, in fact. Almost EVERY SINGLE THING is both tougher and does more damage than a SAMAS or Spider Skull-Walker (which are the solid-tier "Good Suits" in the Main Rulebook). SAMAS armors are +11, for example, and have Blast 13 weapons, making them weaker than everything on here but the "Light Combat" suit.

Colombia: (Guns) Blast 7-13, (Rocket Guns) Blast 13-15
Manoa: (Guns) Blast 12, also do "Agony" Affliction (Fort; Dazed & Impaired/Stunned & Disabled/Incapacitated) (Feats: Reach +xx) (Extra Condition) (2 pp/rank + Reach Ranks)- Rifts save is 13-14, which I guess is average-ish power in M&M.
Cibola: (Guns) Blast 13, (Heavy Guns) Blast 14 Multiattack

Power Armor:
D-20 Light Combat Exo-Skeleton- +10 Toughness, ST 9, Leaping 1, Speed 3
-One of the most generic Breaux suits ever, but the face mask doesn't look bad. Expected to use that Blast 13 Auto-Cannon.

Image

D-30 "Conquistador" Power Armor- +11 Toughness, ST 10, Leaping 1, Speed 3, Blast 14 Shoulder Gun
-Basically the worst of "take a real-world thing and make a Rifts thing out of it. Has a goofy Conquistador hat and their swooping chest-armor. Has more shooting power than a SAMAS.

Image

G-9A "Jaguar" Light Robot Vehicle- +12 Toughness, ST 11, Leaping 2, Speed 5, Blast 14 Shoulder Gun, Missiles, 21 feet tall.
-Breaux isn't too good at this Kitty Power Armor, making it look dorky and kind of awkward. Fits three passengers, amusingly enough.

G-18B "Aguirre" Heavy Combat Robot- +13 Toughness, ST 12, Leaping 1, Speed 4, Blast 14 Rocket Cannon, Missiles 27 feet tall
-Another dumb Conquistador thing. Insanely huge. Does Rail Gun-level damage with a "Power Punch" (doesn't say "two melee attacks", but probably still takes that).

Hoplite Power Armor- +13 Toughness (w/ Armor or Ithan Field), ST 10, Speed 4, Leaping 1, Comprehend (Languages), Blast 13 Spear, Blast 9 Shield w/ Knockback, Snare 8 Magic Net (6/day), Magic Spells (Flight, Teleport, Detection, Swimming, Chameleon, Impervious to Energy, etc.)
-A ridiculously powerful suit of Manoan tech that looks incredibly plain (it's just a faceless Greek Hoplite, really), yet is SUPER-powerful, with a ton of Magic Spells interlaced into it.

Image

Lictor Assault Robot- +15 Toughness (w/ Force Field), ST 11, Speed 3, Leaping 2, Blast 13 Eye Plasma Bolts, 30 feet tall
-Looks like a plainer version of the first one, but is vastly tougher than a SAMAS. Way less versatile than the Hoplite, but expected to have Blast 14-equivalent gear.

Image

Dragon Death Power Armor- +14 Toughness (w/ Force Field), ST 10, Speed 6, Leaping 2, 30 feet tall
-Another bad-looking Breaux one, it features a cartoony dragon helmet. It's meant for the Pogtalian Dragon Slayers (their force field encircles it), and is actually armor, not a Robot Suit. Expected to use Blast 14-equivalent gear.

Vehicles:
Colombia: Toughness 12 Tank & Helicopter
Cibolan Flying Platform: Toughness 11. Looks incredibly cute in the picture, with these plain-looking flat platforms with some missiles and a gun harness sporting these two itty-bitty bug heads sticking out. Reeeeeeeeeealllly not selling the power of the Gatherers.

Image

Splugorth Slaver Raider: Toughness 18 Boat w/ Blast 15-ish stuff.
Splugorth Slaver Mothership: Toughness 22+ thing. Said to be three times larger than a modern Aircraft Carrier! Some of the only Vince Martin art in the book, which is immediately verifiable by the giant swooping lines and rounded edges in a book full of Wayne Breaux's straight-lined, blocky stuff.
Corsair Hydrobike: Toughness 10 water skimmer. Blast 10-ish Multiattack stuff. Basically like the Coalition Speederbikes in the main rulebook.
Piranha Submersible Attack Boat: Toughness 15 Boat w/ Blast 14 Rail Guns.

Image

Black Galleon Gunboat: Toughness 17 Boat. The "Ship of the Line" for Colombia, which is hilarious, given that it has Vince Martin's signature look, making it look like a Coalition vessel (all black & white) in Wayne Breaux's ultra-blocky Conquistador Gear Colombian stuff.

Image

The Black Ships: Toughness 18 Galleons. Blast 13 Kittani Swivel Lasers. Made up as part of the optional battle at the end of the book, with Vince Martin's OTHER signature style- "bulbous demonic spiky stuff".

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Sidious
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Amazons! Headless Men! Anti-Monster!)

Post by Sidious » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:58 pm

Ares wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:59 am
All this Rifts reading actually had me break out my Rifts China books to see what a dedicated martial artist in the Rifts system would look like. It's . . . well, pretty much a mess.
Ninjas and Superspies has a very detailed martial arts system available.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Amazons! Headless Men! Anti-Monster!)

Post by Ares » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:53 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:25 am
Do I even have to check? It’s eighteen shitty powers and two auto-take MDC boosts, isn’t it?
Its one of those "needlessly complicated / not enough function" things. There's like a half-dozen different martial arts character classes, 8 or so "normal" martial arts styles, 8 or so "mystical" martial arts styles, and some classes with some built in powers. Only one class, the Seng Ren Monk, has any real potential for flexibility, having a list of "Chi Powers" to pick from, but they come off as basically a spell list, and the damage really isn't all that impressive, especially since the abilities mostly don't improve with level. The major saving grace of the Seng Ren Monk is that they have an insane ISP regeneration, so they can at least use their abilities often.

Like, for example, there's a Mystical Martial Art based on Bagua-Zhang. Bagua-Zhang is the martial art they based the Air Nomad Bending style off of, being about fluid movement, awareness, a strong focus on defense and the ability to move around your target effectively. They have a practice called, "walking the circle" where you basically develop a means of being able to move around your opponent to evade their attacks, to attack them from any angle, while still being aware of your surroundings, so you can shift your "circle" encompass new target. Its an interesting martial arts form and one of the major internal styles.

In Rifts China, Bagua-Zhang is about . . . walking in a circle to build a magical circle on the ground. Basically you literally walking a circle and that circle becomes this sort of little point where you gain bonuses to offense, defense and awareness while inside said circle, awareness of threats out of it, and the more you level up, the more bonuses and powers you get while inside of the circle.

The problem?

The circle is stationary. You basically walk in a circle to build up a little place of power, and then try to remain in that spot for the entire battle. If you step outside the circle, it automatically starts to break down, and you need to work to repair it. And it takes time to set the circle up, meaning that for a round of combat you'll just be walking in a circle not doing anything else. And the powers it grants aren't anything super spectacular.

It's like, if you were going to try and turn Bagua-Zhang into some kind of Street Fighter/Dragon Ball Z style, that is the least effective, most overly complicated, and most missing the point way of doing it I'd ever even conceive of.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Amazons! Headless Men! Anti-Monster!)

Post by Ares » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:54 pm

Sidious wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:58 pm
Ares wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:59 am
All this Rifts reading actually had me break out my Rifts China books to see what a dedicated martial artist in the Rifts system would look like. It's . . . well, pretty much a mess.
Ninjas and Superspies has a very detailed martial arts system available.
Oh I know, I own both it and Mystic China. There's even some rules in the conversion book for translating the characters to Rifts, but again, needlessly complicated.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Amazons! Headless Men! Anti-Monster!)

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:04 am

So.... Did C.J. Carella Over-Power Rifts?:
* This seems to be the million-dollar question. Carella's work gets called out specifically on TV Tropes and by Kevin Siembieda for this. His work in the early third of the World Books is FULL of stuff that's insanely over-powered, and things that make the early books redundant. So... is it his fault? Does he deserve the blame?

Short Answer: Yes.
Less Short Answer: Yes, BUT...
Long Answer: WELL...

You see, this cannot be blamed ENTIRELY on Carella. Yes, a huge chunk of his stuff is just flat-out over-powered. BUT... somebody was EDITING him and let him get away with all of that. No one playtested any of this crap? And he didn't even START this- he didn't do squat in Atlantis, and that book way out-strips HIS stuff in terms of power.

The Evidence Against Carella:
* Amazons, Headless Men and other R.C.C.s in South America are RIDICULOUSLY superior to humans in every way. Amazons even LOOK human, and are basically like playing a "better human" in effect.
* The Felinoids in the same book contain at least one class that's "Like a Burster, but better".
* The armor and weapons in South America, Juicer Uprising (that damn chainsaw, especially), and Mercenaries are far more powerful than the mainstream stuff in the Main Rulebook, and were game-changers.
* Carella rarely made powerful Wizards, instead ramping up other classes. This left Wizards as very under-performing in firefights.
* Juicer Uprising, which was basically a book that's "Like a Juicer, but each class does one thing better", and then four Mega-Damage-dealing classes that are better than a Juicer in every possible way. Had the effect of making a major class in the Main Rulebook a weaker option.

The Evidence On His Behalf:
* Rifts Atlantis contains all that Kittani crap that's way better than any of Carella's gear. And that came FIRST.
* Kevin Siembieda and co. could have checked over his work at any time and fixed it. Surely they can't have missed EVERYTHING, given how commonly-powerful his stuff was. Obviously somebody saw a Mega-Juicer before it was printed.

Basically, Carella is responsible for making "better versions" of many Main Rulebook classes, and for upgrading the baseline weapons available to PCs. But Rifts Atlantis came first, and he was really just following THAT lead. So you can't put that all on him.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Amazons! Headless Men! Anti-Monster!)

Post by Ares » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:06 am

I decided to actually go through my old Rifts sourcebooks again, and compare the Cyber-Knight to the Mind Melter in regards to the Psi-Sword, because I remembered the damage being very unequal.

Holy SHIT. The Cyber-Knights Psi-Sword does 1d6 MDC at Level one, and goes up a d6 in damage a levels 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15, for a total of 6d6 damage at the last level. That's not bad for a melee weapon, where vibro-swords tend to only do 2d6 or 3d6 damage. Unfortunately there human-sized hand held plasma weapons that do 6d6 damage right out the bat. Whoops.

Meanwhile the Mind-Melter's Psi-Sword STARTS at 4d6 MDC at level 3 and gains 2d6 MDC damage at levels 4, 7, 9, 12 and 15. That's 14d6 damage, more than twice the damage of Cyber-Knight. That's just . . . wow.

So I thought maybe the Cyber-Knight gets to make more melee attacks per round, right? If they get more swings in, it evens out, right? Nope! Both Mind Melters and Cyber-Knights have the same number of attacks per round at level 1, and wind up with the same amount of attacks per round at level 15.

I might have to rethink my former thoughts about Rifts Martial Arts. It is still needlessly complicated, but they're probably better off than the poor Cyber-Knight. Someone using the White Crane Mystic Martial Art is doing 1d6/2d4 damage at level 1 while in a stance, gets a Hadouken attack at level 2 that does 4d6 for 10 ISP, 4d6+4/6d6+8 MDC while in a stance at level 7, and then gain a special anti-dragon/reptile attack at level 11 that deals 2d6x10. They don't wind up doing a while lot more damage than Cyber-Knights, but they do get them quicker.

The Seng Ren Monk's actually dealing decent damage if you assume this power that turns it into MDC creature makes its normal hand-to-hand attacks MDC as well.

Again, it's just kind of a mess to build.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Amazons! Headless Men! Anti-Monster!)

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:34 am

LOL, it's like you knew the Cyber-Knight was being posted right away :).

The "Psi-Sword" disparity is a bit odd, given how that's sort of THE Cyber-Knight weapon, I agree. However, the Mind Melter is basically the Uber-Tier Psionic anyhow, and they pretty much ramp it up with everything. It's more or less categorically unbalanced in every way (compare it to the other Psionic Classes). At least the Knights get a free one, spending no ISP on it.

The problem is, 1D6 (and the later book upgrades it a tad to 2D6 if you do certain things) just isn't dangerous enough, even in the FIRST Rulebook, let alone once Siembieda & Carella had spammed super-tech all over the setting. Right from the beginning, a City Rat could do more damage than a Psi-Sword with the right gun.

Never mind that the Cyber-Knights don't even get their own Fighting Style, so there are no combat boosts. And their Armor isn't even that good. A Juicer with a Vibro-Weapon is a MUCH more dangerous opponent, boosting his attacks in number and accuracy, and his defenses as well.

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Cyber-Knights

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:36 am

ImageImageImage

"OMG we finally got good art YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!"

CYBER-KNIGHT O.C.C.
Role:
Cybernetic Psychic Paladin Jedi, Noble Knights
PL 10 (198), PL 11 (198) to One Opponent
STRENGTH
3 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 2
FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 3
INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Athletics 5 (+8)
Expertise (Cyber-Knight) 8 (+10)
Expertise (Demonology) 8 (+10)
Expertise (Survival) 5 (+8)
Insight 3 (+6)
Intimidation 2 (+5)
Investigation 3 (+6)
Perception 3 (+6)
Technology 6 (+8)
Treatment 4 (+7)
Vehicles 2 (+7)

Advantages:
Defensive Attack, Equipment 12 (Laser Guns, MDC Armor, Anti-Demons Stuff), Improved Critical (Psi-Sword), Improved Initiative, Quick Draw, Move-By Action, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 5, Sidekick 14 (Robot Horse)

Powers:
"Cybernetic Armor" Protection 4 (Extras: Impervious 5) [9]

"Psi-Sword" Damage 10 (Feats: Split, Variable- Any Color, Shape or Weapon Type) (Extras: Penetrating 6) [18]
"Psi-Shield" Enhanced Parry 2 [2]
"Meditation" Healing 4 (Flaws: Limited to Self, Source- Meditation) [2]

"Basic Combat Awareness"
"Know When You're In Their Sights" Senses 7 (Technology Awareness- Acute, Analytical, Radius, Ranged, Danger Sense) [7]
Concealment 10 (All Senses) (Flaws: Limited to Technology, Unreliable) [5]

Enhanced Fighting 2 (Flaws: Limited to Technological Opponents, Limited to One Opponent) [1]
Enhanced Dodge 2 (Flaws: Limited to Technological Opponents, Limited to One Opponent) [1]
Enhanced Skills 4: Perception 4 (+10) (Flaws: Limited to Technology) [1]
Enhanced Advantages 6 (Extras: Improved Initiative 2, Ranged Attack 2, Seize Initiative) (Flaws: Limited to Technological Opponents, Limited to One Opponent) [2]
"Confuse Operators" Affliction 6 (Accuracy; Impaired & Vulnerable/Disabled & Defenseless) (Extras: Reaction +3, Perception-Ranged +2, Extra Condition) (Flaws: Limited Degree, Limited to Technological Opponents, Limited to One Opponent, Limited to Against the Cyber-Knight) [18]

Equipment:
"Body Armor"
Protection 2 (Impervious 2) (4)

"NG-L5 Northern Gun Rifle" Blast 10 (Extras: Multiattack, Penetrating 5) (35)
"Laser Pistol" Blast 6 (12)
"Assorted Gear" Gas Masks, Radios, etc. (4)
"Anti-Demon/Supernatural Gear" Crosses, Holy Water, etc. (4)

Offense:
Unarmed +8 (+3 Damage, DC 18)
Psi-Sword +8 (+10 Damage, DC 25)
Basic Combat Awareness +10 (+10 Damage, DC 25)
Guns +8 (+6-10 Ranged Damage, DC 21)
Basic Combat Guns +10 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
Confuse Operators -- (+6 Perception-Ranged Affliction, DC 16)
Initiative +6 (+14 Basic Combat Awareness)

Defenses:
Dodge +8 (+10 Combat Awareness, DC 18-20), Parry +8 (+10 Psi-Shield, +12 Combat Awarerness, DC 18-22), Toughness +4 (+10 Armor, +4 Impervious), Fortitude +7, Will +8

Complications:
Motivation (Doing Good)- The Cyber-Knights are based around idealized knightly virtues, such as defending the weak, protecting people, fighting evil, and more. They will always attack evil supernatural beings.
Responsibility (Knightly Virtues)- Cyber-Knights will not use their Psi-Swords on unarmed/non-powered opponents, and must abide by certain other regulations.
Power Loss (Powers)- Psychics require their inner psychic potential to utilize their powers- this will eventually run out, even for the best Psychics. Psi-Swords are free, but Psi-Shields are not.
Enemy (The Coalition, Etc.)
Power Loss (White Blades)- For no adequately-explored reason, making a white blade will lower a Knight's ability in combat by some degree. There is no benefit to a white blade. I guess... a challenge?

Total: Abilities: 56 / Skills: 50--25 / Advantages: 37 / Powers: 66 / Defenses: 14 (198)

Cyber-Knights- Adored Yet Under-Powered:
-Cyber-Knights are clearly one of the favorite O.C.C.s of the game designers, as shown through their prominence in parts of the backstory, the romantic idealism of them broadcasted throughout the books, and the whole Cyber-Knights book release (one of a handful of classes to get their "own" book). There's a big bit on them being into Knightly Chivalry, their rules, the whole "Lawful Good" thing, etc.- basically, they're D&D's Paladins, but in the ultimate Sandbox Setting, meaning they're also Psychics and Cyborgs, too. They are pretty easily the biggest of the "Big Good" stuff in the Rifts Main Rulebook, being outlined as morally-superior defenders of the downtrodden, meaning that they're enemies of the Coalition and will defend hapless D-Bees wherever they find them.

-The class fundamentally is based around melee combat with their signature Psi-Sword, but they also get energy weapons, are expected to have a mount (either a real horse or a mechanical one- maybe a motorcycle), some Psionics (either minor or Major, depending on how you roll), and more.

-Though hotly-hyped, they're a bit befuddled in the first book by a handful of things. First off, the art is pretty poor- a lame Kevin Long pic of a guy wearing a dildo-tip on his head and sporting some generic armor. The middle of the book features some great painted artwork of "A Cyber-Knight and his D-Bee Companion" that is very brutally-clearly a Fantasy picture of a generic knight and an Orc. A lot of the early Cyber-Knight stuff just seems to be repurposed Fantasy art, in fact- robbing the class of its modern trappings. And secondly, the Cyber-Knight is a bit under-powered, even for the first book. It's supposed to be this solitary defender, but the MDC is pretty mediocre (adding up to around 200-ish if you're lucky), and it's a pretty low-end fighter. The fabled "Psi-Sword" so central to the class only deals 1D6 MD at first, and gains power VERY slowly (every third level adds 1D6)- meaning it's usually doing less damage than guns that ANYONE can use! Basically, this purported super-heavy-duty melee fighter and defender of the weak is lower-grade than your average Full Conversion 'Borg, Glitter Boy, or even a SAMAS! He's just... not as GOOD as you'd imagine he could be.

The Cyber-Knights Book- "Oh, They Were Just Hiding This Power, I Guess":
-The Cyber-Knights book pretty clearly showed that the game designers had acknowledged this- what was sort of under-powered in the Main Rulebook was now MUCH WORSE given the countless new suits given to everybody in later books (especially the Coalition & Juicer upgrades). And so the Cyber-Knight added this whole "Basic Combat Awareness" thing that made them enhanced against tech-sporting opponents. +3 to hit, and the enemy has minuses to hit them. However, it only worked if they were using gear (so Cyborgs, Robots, anyone with a Gun, etc.), and it only worked against one chosen opponent at a time. But it kind of made them "Tech-Fighters" in a sense. It's a bit funny, because for like ten years the Cyber-Knights didn't have that, and then all of a sudden they just Retcon them in. No new edition, no nothing- it's just like "Hey, we've always had this!". Very funny.

The Cyber-Knight's Capability:
-All in all, a Cyber-Knight is an adequate, but not extraordinary, fighter. Okay-ish armor (well below a 'Borg or anyone in Power Armor), a weak melee weapon (STILL doing less damage than most Guns, in a game that isn't much about the difference between dodge & parry), and more. Worse still, it's kind of assumed that you have a ton of high stats across the board, or you're a pretty weak Cyber-Knight- kind of a lot of pressure, you know? However, the "Basic Combat Awareness" thing (given to Knights over a certain level) provides some GREAT bonuses and an Affliction against one opponent of your choosing at a time. The "Technological" descriptor is so broad that anyone with a gun, laser sighting, Armor, etc., is vulnerable, ironically meaning that Cyber-Knights suck the worst against Evil Demons and what-not. But overall, they're PL 9 on offense, PL 10 on defense, upgrading a full PL to one tech-using opponent at a time.

-The build above thus represents an EXPERIENCED Cyber-Knight, while a lot of my other builds kind of imply starter-characters. Otherwise I'd have to leave all that stuff off, and he'd probably be -3 to all his attacks & defenses, being much worse overall.

-The "BCA" effect is unusual, in that the Knight himself gains extra skills in combat, but the enemy gains minuses to hit and dodge. Basically, he's Impaired & Vulnerable, but the Action is at "Reaction", because it's automatic (the Knight requires no action to activate it). This makes it 3 pp/rank, even though it affects only one opponent at a time. At later levels, the BCA is actually DIMINISHED in rank (probably to Affliction 4), but now extends to every enemy in the melee (swap Perception for Area at probably a huge Range, given how much range weapons have in this game).

ROBOT HORSE
Role:
Standard Mount For Heroes
PL 6 (77)- Minion Rank 4, Sidekick Rank 14
STRENGTH
7 STAMINA -- AGILITY 1
FIGHTING 4 DEXTERITY 0
INTELLIGENCE -4 AWARENESS 1 PRESENCE -2

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+11)
Close Combat (Unarmed) 1 (+5)
Expertise (Survival) 2 (+3)
Insight 3 (+4)
Intimidation 6 (+4, +5 Size)
Perception 6 (+7)

Advantages:
All-Out Attack, Attractive (To Women), Great Endurance, Improved Critical (Hooves), Power Attack

Powers:
"Robot"
Immunity 30 (Fortitude Effects) [30]
Protection 8 (Extras: Impervious 5) [13]

"Animal Senses" Senses 3 (Acute Scent, Low-Light Vision, Radius Sight) [3]
"Animal Physiology" Speed 3 (16 mph) [3]

"Natural Size" Growth 2 (Str & Sta +2, +2 Mass, +1 Intimidation, -1 Dodge/Parry, -2 Stealth) -- (10 feet) (Feats: Innate) (Extras: Permanent +0) [5]
Strength-Damage +1 (Feats: Reach) [2]

Offense:
Unarmed +5 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +1

Defenses:
Dodge +2 (DC 12), Parry +4 (DC 14), Toughness +8, Fortitude --, Will +4

Complications:
Disabled (Animal)- Horses cannot speak to humans, nor use their hooves to easily manipulate objects.

Total: Abilities: -4 / Skills: 24--12 / Advantages: 5 / Powers: 56 / Defenses: 8 (77)

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (South America Done! Cyber-Knights!)

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:23 am

So actually, only JUST NOW have I completed the full Main Rulebook's list of classes. It's interesting how they play off of each other, and how they've held up over time. Some are still pretty hardcore, while others have been Power Creeped into worthlessness.

I get the impression that some classes were meant to be tougher than others, but perhaps the designers didn't realize HOW much better some classes might have been. The Glitter Boy being the powerhouses was clearly lost on nobody, and quite deliberate- even LATER books fail to really make them redundant. But I think the Cyber-Knight was perhaps intended to be a bit more bad-ass. Wizards, too.

Most Bad-Ass:
Glitter Boys- Still the gold standard. INSANE MDC & Damage output. Typically matched in other books only by GB Variants, or the giant Super-Mechs of Triax. Many/most of the '90s books includes at least one thing set up as a potential rival/killer, but even then is rarely as equal (T-Rex Robots, literal Glitter Boy Killers, etc.). Palladium still LOVES these.
Dragon Hatchlings- Still one of the most elite things you can roll up right from the get-go (though the 1D4x100 MDC will ALWAYS strike me as drastically unfair- one dice roll making such a staggering difference at CHARACTER CREATION is insane). Trumped mainly by a handful of NPC-style races- generally, most books will include something tougher, but rarely as a PC.
'Borgs- Positively MONSTROUS MDC totals allowed, as well as huge stats and access to the best weapons in the game.

Still Really Bad-Ass:
Mind Melter- Clearly intended to be the power-gaming "Death Psychic" type, still with lots of damage potential right from the beginning. Weak without good armor, though.
SAMAS Pilots- A really solid MDC Armor with a 1D4x10 Rail Gun. The upgrades in Coalition War Campaign improve them. Most books, especially in Carella's work, do include superior Robot Armors, though.
Juicers- +2 Attacks and "Automatic Dodge" are basically the God Stats of Palladium, making Juicers absolutely eat the lunch of any other combat class, outside of the big armors. Even most of the "Elite Juicers" In Juicer Uprising are only better at maybe one or two things... but the four MDC Classes are INCREDIBLY superior.

Okay, I Guess:
Crazies- Basically "Worse Juicers", though I think the designers intended them to be more on an evil keel.
Headhunter- Suffers from being the "Generic Class" of Men-At-Arms, but good enough skills and theoretical access to plenty of stuff.
Cyber-Knights- Probably intended to be superior to what they are. Cyber-Knights boosted them into being MUCH scarier for most opponents. As it stands, they're worse at fighting than Juicers and most guys in Power Armor.
Wilderness Scout- Great skills and access to decent stuff. Kind of overwhelmed by similar "Survivalist" characters in later rulebooks, though (Juicer Scout, Simvan Monster Riders).

Versatile, But Weak:
Line Walker, Mystic, Shifter, Techno-Wizard- All Spellcasting classes suffer from the same thing- low damage output (especially early on), weak armor, and great vulnerability, with their only real bonus being plenty of different kinds of spells, many of which are utilitarian. A Techno-Wizard being able to give super-weapons to TECHNOLOGY makes them probably the best of the bunch. But for heavy-hitters, look elsewhere. The Federation of Magic ended up creating a ton of classes superior to this in terms of muscle.

Weaklings:
Burster- Probably the worst case of "We wanted this to be tough" ever, it's weak in the FIRST Rulebook, and only gets worse with all the supplements. "Burster, but Less Sucky" is basically a thing later (the Flame Panther, for instance). Has a decent-hitting Psionic Attack, but runs out faster than an E-Clip and isn't any harder-hitting.
City Rats- Actually not THAT bad for what they arer, but they're clearly the low-end guys, being more bad-ass than the below, but getting way poorer skills.
Rogue Scholars, Scientists, Cyber-Docs, Body Fixers & Operators- Non-Combat Classes.
Vagabond- Clearly designed to be the worst of the worst.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (South America Done! Cyber-Knights!)

Post by Ares » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:00 pm

Any easy fix for the Cyber-Knight would be to have their starting Psi-Swords do 4d6 damage, and then let them get the 1d6 bonus at the appropriate levels, giving them a 9d6 weapon at 15. Maybe give them access to a few other Psionic power choices at other levels, with the option to burn one choice to get the full Mind-Melter version. Also let the Psi-Shield work against ranged attacks.

It just kind of seems weird to think of a Mind-Melter using a Psi-Sword in the first place. You'd figure them to be the guys in the back row where most of their damage would come from focused telekinetic energy blasts or throwing a car at someone.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (South America Done! Cyber-Knights!)

Post by Sidious » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:27 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:23 am
Most Bad-Ass:
Glitter Boys- Still the gold standard. INSANE MDC & Damage output. Typically matched in other books only by GB Variants, or the giant Super-Mechs of Triax. Many/most of the '90s books includes at least one thing set up as a potential rival/killer, but even then is rarely as equal (T-Rex Robots, literal Glitter Boy Killers, etc.). Palladium still LOVES these.
Dragon Hatchlings- Still one of the most elite things you can roll up right from the get-go (though the 1D4x100 MDC will ALWAYS strike me as drastically unfair- one dice roll making such a staggering difference at CHARACTER CREATION is insane). Trumped mainly by a handful of NPC-style races- generally, most books will include something tougher, but rarely as a PC.
'Borgs- Positively MONSTROUS MDC totals allowed, as well as huge stats and access to the best weapons in the game.

Still Really Bad-Ass:
Mind Melter- Clearly intended to be the power-gaming "Death Psychic" type, still with lots of damage potential right from the beginning. Weak without good armor, though.
SAMAS Pilots- A really solid MDC Armor with a 1D4x10 Rail Gun. The upgrades in Coalition War Campaign improve them. Most books, especially in Carella's work, do include superior Robot Armors, though.
Juicers- +2 Attacks and "Automatic Dodge" are basically the God Stats of Palladium, making Juicers absolutely eat the lunch of any other combat class, outside of the big armors. Even most of the "Elite Juicers" In Juicer Uprising are only better at maybe one or two things... but the four MDC Classes are INCREDIBLY superior.

Okay, I Guess:
Crazies- Basically "Worse Juicers", though I think the designers intended them to be more on an evil keel.
Headhunter- Suffers from being the "Generic Class" of Men-At-Arms, but good enough skills and theoretical access to plenty of stuff.
Cyber-Knights- Probably intended to be superior to what they are. Cyber-Knights boosted them into being MUCH scarier for most opponents. As it stands, they're worse at fighting than Juicers and most guys in Power Armor.
Wilderness Scout- Great skills and access to decent stuff. Kind of overwhelmed by similar "Survivalist" characters in later rulebooks, though (Juicer Scout, Simvan Monster Riders).

Versatile, But Weak:
Line Walker, Mystic, Shifter, Techno-Wizard- All Spellcasting classes suffer from the same thing- low damage output (especially early on), weak armor, and great vulnerability, with their only real bonus being plenty of different kinds of spells, many of which are utilitarian. A Techno-Wizard being able to give super-weapons to TECHNOLOGY makes them probably the best of the bunch. But for heavy-hitters, look elsewhere. The Federation of Magic ended up creating a ton of classes superior to this in terms of muscle.

Weaklings:
Burster- Probably the worst case of "We wanted this to be tough" ever, it's weak in the FIRST Rulebook, and only gets worse with all the supplements. "Burster, but Less Sucky" is basically a thing later (the Flame Panther, for instance). Has a decent-hitting Psionic Attack, but runs out faster than an E-Clip and isn't any harder-hitting.
City Rats- Actually not THAT bad for what they arer, but they're clearly the low-end guys, being more bad-ass than the below, but getting way poorer skills.
Rogue Scholars, Scientists, Cyber-Docs, Body Fixers & Operators- Non-Combat Classes.
Vagabond- Clearly designed to be the worst of the worst.
I've found that if you drop the Mega-damage from the equation things tend to shift a bit. In a SDC world like Nightspawn or HU, there's an all new power curve. Things like the burster and wizards jump up in power level a bit. I guess that is what I've always why I had an issue with Mega-damage.

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Cyber-Knights (Book)

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:03 am

RIFTS- COALITION WARS: CYBER-KNIGHTS (2000):
-Printed in the midst of the Coalition Wars set of narrative books that capped off the first decade of Rifts, this one is half the size of most other books, and involves only one class- the Cyber-Knights. It threads them into the narrative about the Coalition/Tolkeen war, as well as updates the Cyber-Knights Occupational Character Class for what the game had shifted into- namely, it powered them up a little bit, as the Power Creep had hit the setting even by the mid-90s.

Very unusually, the book is the only one in the line not really packing any O.C.C.s, races, or monsters. Instead, it's just a new Cyber-Knight description, a bunch of NPCs (the Cyber-Knights organization is detailed), and a story at the end. Kevin Siembieda, who clearly ADORES the idea of Good Knights Doing Good, and has put them into many of his settings, wrote the book, with Bill Coffin handling some of the other bits. The art is almost entirely by Freddie Williams II (a lot of cartoony, comic book-y stuff, with sharp shading lines and good mechanical stuff) and Michael Wilson (overly-scratchy, cross-hatchy stuff). It at least provides a different visual motif than the poor Wayne Breaux or "clearly Fantasy art but we said it's a Cyber-Knight" stuff from the Main Rulebook.

Sadly, most of what I remember is a much-too-long, REALLY boring description of Erin Tarn, an experienced Cyber-Knight, and a young padawan having a long, pithy argument after fighting some Coalition goons. Most of the "Tarn bits" in the books are usually full of moralizing and "well maybe this is what is going on..." kind of stuff, but this was just some REALLY bad dialogue. I particularly remember being annoyed at the Knight's smirking and tossing apples while relaxing, then occasionally tossing them at the kid when he asked dumb questions. It was just... I don't care for that style of writing. It wasn't particularly informative about their lifestyle, and it made everyone come off as immature.

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Re: Cyber-Knights

Post by JDRook » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:10 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:36 am
...
CYBER-KNIGHT O.C.C.
Role:
Cybernetic Psychic Paladin Jedi, Noble Knights
...
Powers:
...
"Psi-Sword" Damage 10 (Feats: Split, Variable- Any Color, Shape or Weapon Type) (Extras: Penetrating 6) [18]
...
Power Loss (White Blades)- For no adequately-explored reason, making a white blade will lower a Knight's ability in combat by some degree. There is no benefit to a white blade. I guess... a challenge?
I've been converting the basic spells (Invocations) from the Rifts Ultimate Edition book--which incorporates a lot of material from the world books--and just came across either what this might be all about, or else is just another backhand at Cyber-Knights.

There's a 7th Level Spell called Lightblade that is obviously designed to be the Mage's Psi-blade. It actually starts at 1D4x10+1/lvl, so about equal to Mind Melters at Level 7 and Cyber-Knights at Level NEVER. They mention its brilliant whiteness and how it does double damage to vampires, Shadow Beasts and other light-sensitive demons, so it's possible the Cyber-Knight's psi-sword was intended to do something similar with its detailed variable colour scheme, but I guess between the 4 paragraphs just on the color of the sword, not to mention the 4 paragraphs on the shape, they either forgot or ran out of room.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (South America Done! Cyber-Knights!)

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:16 am

LOL, that is just so PALLADIUM to do that. ALL THAT FLAVOR TEXT FOR NOTHING!!!

Unless they just expected players to really, really want to play a "special" blade and wanted to penalize them for it. Reminds me of their Mutant stuff and how all the cool animals had HUGE "Bio-E" penalties on them, so they sucked worse than if you played sparrows or terrapins.

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Xiticix

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:26 am

Image

XITICIX R.C.C.
Role:
Massed Horde
PL 7 (128)
STRENGTH
7 STAMINA 6 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 6 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE -2 AWARENESS -1 PRESENCE -2

Skills:
Close Combat (Unarmed) 1 (+7)
Expertise (Survival) 6 (+5)
Intimidation 7 (+5)
Perception 6 (+5)

Advantages:
Equipment 6 (Weapons), Ranged Attack 2, Startle

Powers:
Senses 6 (Ultra-Vision, Infravision, Acute & Extended Scent, Internal Compass, Tracking) [6]
Flight 5 (60 mph) (Flaws: Winged) [5]
"Exoskeleton" Protection 2 (Extras: Impervious 3) [5]
Regeneration 1 [1]
"Venom" Linked to Strength-Damage; Affliction 5 (Fort; Dazed/Stunned/Incapacitated) (Extras: Progressive +2) Linked to Weaken Stamina 5 (Extras: Progressive +2) [30]

"TK-Rifle" (Flaws: Easily Removable) [16]
Blast 10 (Extras: Penetrating 6) (26 points)

Equipment:
"Melee Weapons" Strength-Damage +1 Linked to Affliction 5 & Weaken Stamina 5 (See Above) (31)

Offense:
Unarmed +7 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
Venom +7 (+5 Affliction & Weaken, DC 15 & 15)
TK Rifle +4 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
Initiative +3

Defenses:
Dodge +6 (DC 16), Parry +7 (DC 17), Toughness +8 (+2 Impervious), Fortitude +8, Will +2

Complications:
Motivation (Multiply & Kill)- The Xiticix are a genocidal race, taking over vast regions and killing any non-Xiticix they encounter.

Total: Abilities: 42 / Skills: 18--9 / Advantages: 9 / Powers: 62 / Defenses: 6 (128)

-A somewhat large part of the setting is the "Xiticix" (Zye-TICK-icks... which I've terminally mispronounced as "Zih-ti-kicks" my whole life) race of insectoid aliens. Mega-Damage creatures, they're said to inhabit massive hives all over Canada, and encroaching further. This seems to have a major purpose on Rifts Earth- the reason why the atlas isn't expanding past a certain point. Essentially, they're "filler" or "Here Be Dragons" material to explain why they haven't written anything about certain other areas. It's actually rather convenient and brilliant, because they weren't gonna get to Western Canada for a long time. AND it justifies why these human civilizations in the world haven't expanded their empires any further than they have.

-Kevin S has since stated that the name was created by Kevin Long, who designed them. And he's regretted it ever since, as NOBODY can pronounce it correctly- it's just too unwieldly. But they've been suck with it for almost twenty years.

-The Xiticix even feature in their own "World Book", indicating a much more varied, dangerous threat, though I haven't heard much of that book, myself. It came out REALLY late in the line compared to the stuff most people care about.

-Xiticix are very powerful for a "Horde Race", making PL 7 with their durability and ranged weaponry. They're less durable than the Coalition troopers, but have a lot more attacks per round (giving them more accuracy in my stats). And they almost NEVER attack solo.

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