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

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
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JDRook
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Re: Xiticix

Post by JDRook » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:18 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:26 am
-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.
Flipped though it a bit. Mostly a deep-dive into how the Xiticix work, life cycles, hive design, and the specialized variants (Digger, Hunter, Leaper, Nanny, Queen, Warrior, Super-Warrior), followed by the ongoing war with the Coalition AND Lazlo AND specialized tribes of Psi-Stalkers with bonus Xi-hunting abilities. (There's even one with necromantic magic run by a Chinese Necromancer who somehow got to North America.) They go more into the war, have some adventure scenarios in the back, and a bunch of NPCs.

The Xi at PL 7 seem like they'd make a nice challenging invading force for a PL10 super team. I'm rewatching Avengers right now and bet they could stand in for the Chitauri in a pinch.

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Rifts Atlantis

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:03 am

RIFTS ATLANTIS (1994):
-When Kevin Siembieda and others throw CJ Carella under the bus for engaging in Power Creep in Rifts, it's apparently because they forgot about THIS book. Rifts Atlantis is only the SECOND World Book, having come out just after Vampire Kingdoms, which explains why everyone in North America is stuck there. And in here, we find piles upon piles of the insanely powerful stuff that the system really has never fully matched since. Atlantis is where the setting's "Big Bads", the Splugorth, live, and most of their minions are incredibly-powerful, surpassing even Dragon Hatchlings or Glitter Boys.

Rifts Atlantis is a pretty full book, with a TON of stuff detailed inside its pages- it's really meant to fully-detail this region, as well as introduce many major aspects of the game world (it even has the stats for the stuff on the first cover of Rifts!). It would almost have been best as World Book One, but I guess the Vampire stuff was easier. This book introduces the True Atlanteans, Tattoo Magic, Bio-Wizardry, and the Splugorth's organization- all HUGE aspects of later World Books. Every other book that details a land must therefore include something about what the SPLUGORTH think of things, contain notes about True Atlanteans being an option for every viable way of empowering humans, and more.

The cover is the kind of thing you probably wouldn't see on a major RPG release today- an elf... a BLACK WOMAN elf... being led via a rope to presumably some slave thing. I still remember buying this at a local used book store, along with some other stuff, and the girl at the register was just doing chit-chat and then just going "What th--?" and double-taking at the cover.

But yeah, this book is our first look at things that have THOUSANDS of MDC. The Metzlas, Splugorth and some of the minions are so obnoxiously powerful as to be invincible to most Player Characters.

This is also perhaps the moment when the in-book art really "leveled up", while still keeping a lot of its trademark "bad early '90s RPG book art". Not so much Wayne Breaux blocky art, a small bit less of Kevin Long trying to draw people (which, remember, was not his strong suit), but a LOT out of Nelson Ewell, a very detail-oriented artist that did not stick around for very long, as I have none of his other work. But he drew without a doubt the most "Rifts-y" thing in the book- the infamous Dragon Dreadnought- a beautiful, ridiculous monstrosity with four robot heads and more details than you could possibly imagine, as well as a dozen other "Sketchpad Character" bugs and other monsters that populate the Carapace and Metzla portions of the book. There's also some unfortunate Kevin Simebieda art on some things that were probably supposed to be scary-looking and instead look stupid (the Dragon-tough Splugorth Conservator & High Lords), and some semi-okay Long art on other important races (sadly, he makes the Slaver & Blind Warrior Woman look pretty dull instead of Steampunk Death Metal like they should).

Curiously, though the book is epic in terms of what it meant for later books- you see a lot of Kittani tech, mentions of the Splugorth, True Atlanteans, and more- a lot of the book gets ignored. The Metzlas, Carapaces and the Splugorth Minions never seem to matter. But this is where the world of Rifts really geled, making it one of the few "Must Buy" books to truly understand the greater setting.

Rifts-y Stuff:
The book contains almost all of the classic features that define Rifts to me. While the Main Rulebook features SOME of it (namely iffy art and blatantly-poor choices), this one runs the gamut.
* Classes that are literally just "the same as the other one, but worse in every way" (Tattooed Men versus Maxi-Men)
* Spectacularly-divergent art, with horrid Siembieda art, weak-ass Long drawings of humans, and more... combined with Newton Ewell's PHENOMENALLY-detailed bug-people and high-tech gear that defies description.
* "This is an important NPC/Monster Race that we don't want people just up and killing, so... Every magic spell, plus thousands of MDC. Done."
* Sketchpad Character upon Sketchpad Character, even when it is 100% unnecessary to have so many nearly-similar things. There is NO REASON to have two Kree Carapaces, and FOUR Metzlas. FOUR!! Their amount of detail means that no ONE stands out, and they're hardly that different from each other!
* 20 masturbatory pages devoted to something that they so desperately want to be popular, but never really took (suck my ass, Tattoo Magic).
* Tons of page-space and powers devoted to aliens that are basically given the description of "Evil Assholes" with no nuance whatsoever.
* Races of D-Bees that are both stupid-looking and have names so horrendously-dumb that nobody would ever play one (... HAWRK-DUHK?!?).

Atlantis Itself:
-The world of Atlantis in Rifts is rather epic, actually. It's HUGE, first of all- almost as big as the United States, and only barely off its coast! It's the only spot on Earth entirely dominated by monsters- no enclaves of humanity are to be found. Almost all the known humans are slaves. The Splugorth, specifically Lord Splynncrith (a particularly-cunning Splugorth who rules the continent) realized that they could never hope to hold all of Earth, so instead chose one very important region. The nation is split into various cities and sections, with the ape-like Kittani having some cities, the dragon-led Dragcona (with a religious cult-leader charlatan ruling that), a region for the Metzla, and even a "Gargoyle Kingdom"- all races are allies or slaves of the Splugorth. Dragons in particular are given a lot of respect- the book says it's mysterious (expect to read that a lot as a justification for things, by the way), but possibly because the Sploogs love magic, and Dragons are among the most magical beings in existence.

Atlantis itself was once a regular part of Earth, with rift-travelling Atlanteans being a favored race on Earth. Aliens gave them great technology and made them into a race of supermen, but one day, their hubris and experimenting with rifts kicked them in the ass- a gigantic rift nearly destroyed Earth, killing thousands. Atlantis itself eventually went out of phase with our dimension, the Atlanteans moving on as hermits out of shame. Atlantis did not return until the Coming of the Rifts, at which point it was settled by the Splugorth and their agents. "True Atlanteans" now wander the globe, doing good where they can.

The book is somewhat careful in making it "Un-Player Friendly"- there's TONS of stuff to see and do, but Monster Intelligences run free, humans are all slaves, and even Dragon Hatchlings, part of the "respected" race, are gladly preyed upon by the Splugorth Minions, resentful of their treasured place. This seems, to me, to be a pretty clear attempt at "Don't let any PCs just wander around without disguises", as even the Hatchling R.C.C. is a dangerous thing to be.

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True Atlanteans

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:33 am

TRUE ATLANTEAN R.C.C. (31):
Abilities: ST +4, STA +4, INT +1, AWA +3, PRE +3 [30]
Powers: Immunity 2 (Aging, Disease, Limited to Half), Immunity 5 (Transformation Effects), Senses 4 (Vampire Detection- Radius, Ranged, Recognize on Sight), "Sense Magic" Senses 2 (Magic Awareness- Ranged), "Sense Rifts" Senses 3 (Rift Awareness- Ranged 2), "Protection From Vampires" Immunity 4 (Vampire's Bite, Vamp's Mind Control), "Ley Line Phasing" Teleport 10 (Extras: Extended, Accurate) (Flaws: Limited to Along Ley Lines, Source- 15-60 Second Ritual -1/2, Unreliable- 4/hour -1/2), AE: "Flaming Sword" Damage +3 [40]

-The True Atlanteans are ALWAYS called that, I guess to prevent the books from referencing someone who lives in Atlantis today as being "Atlantean" and confusing people, but this literally never happens; it comes off like how it's always written "Ishpeming (Northern Gun)". They are the descendants (sometimes the original survivors) of the Atlanteans that were true supermen in ancient times. They are long-lived and physically superior to ordinary humans, and are somewhat legendary, being figures of awe even today. However, the cataclysm of centuries past was caused by Atlanteans, and an eternal sense of guilt and shame befalls them- they now wander the Earth as do-gooding hermits, never gathering into large groups (feeling that they lost the right to have an empire). They instead behave like Cyber-Knights, but are said to be mostly Magic-related O.C.C.s.

-Atlanteans are said to be confident, determined, and more, but also very "superior" (ie. arrogant, though the book seems to indicate this among their positives). Physically, they are better than humans in almost every way (adding a 70-point Template), but are still flesh & blood SDC creatures until Magic Tattoos get involved.

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Sidious
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by Sidious » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:27 pm

Very nice. I loved World book: Atlantis but felt really let down by the Splynn Dimensional Market book, though the Dimension book: Secrets of the Atlanteans (more info on the Sunaj!) brought it back up a bit.

The bit on Rune weapons and bio-wizardry are the real gold mines in this. Kittani make a nice minion race in a Terra Primate sort of way (a great book by Eden studios btw, just as cheesy as it sounds.) I don't recall is the Blind Warrior Women become a playable rcc in this one or the Merc book, but if you are looking for a female Daredevil to fill out your extradimensional Avengers, they fit the bill nicely.

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Atlantean Nomad

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:51 pm

ATLANTEAN NOMAD O.C.C.
Role:
Totally Not Jedi
PL 7 (127)
STRENGTH
4 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 1
FIGHTING 5 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Athletics 4 (+8)
Expertise (World Traveller) 8 (+9)
Expertise (Survival) 4 (+7)
Intimidation 2 (+5)
Perception 3 (+6)
Technology 4 (+4)
Treatment 4 (+5)
Vehicles 1 (+5)

Advantages:
Equipment 11 (Gear)

Powers:
Immunity 2 (Aging, Disease, Limited to Half) [1]
Immunity 5 (Transformation Effects) [5]
"Tatoo- Protection From Vampires" Senses 4 (Vampire Detection- Radius, Ranged, Recognize on Sight) [4]
"Sense Magic" Senses 2 (Magic Awareness- Ranged) [2]
"Sense Rifts" Senses 3 (Rift Awareness- Ranged 2) [3]

"Protection From Vampires" Immunity 4 (Vampire's Bite, Vamp's Mind Control) [4]
"Ley Line Phasing" Teleport 10 (Extras: Extended, Accurate) (Flaws: Limited to Along Ley Lines, Source- 15-60 Second Ritual -1/2, Unreliable- 4/hour -1/2) (20) -- [22]
  • AE: "Tattoo- Flaming Sword" Damage +3 (3)
  • AE: "Tattoo- Eye of Knowledge" Comprehend 3 (Languages) (6)
"Two More Tattoos"

Equipment:
"Body Armor"
Protection 3 (Impervious 5) (12)
Immunity 6 (Radiation, Vacuum, Hot, Cold, Suffocation 2) (6)
Mini-Computer (2)
Tinted Visor (1)

"Energy Rifle" Blast 10 (Extras: Multiattack) (30)
"Assorted Gear" Gas Masks, Radios, etc. (4)

Offense:
Unarmed +5 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Assault Rifle +4 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
Flaming Sword +5 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
Initiative +1

Defenses:
Dodge +5 (DC 15), Parry +5 (DC 15), Toughness +4 (+9 Armor), Fortitude +7, Will +6

Complications:
Guilt- The Atlanteans feel shame for their past mistakes, and resolve not to gather once more.
Power Loss (Tattoo Magic)- All powers coming from Tattoos do not last an infinite amount of time; the more experience Atlantean can keep them up for longer.

Total: Abilities: 50 / Skills: 30--15 / Advantages: 11 / Powers: 41 + Tattoos / Defenses: 10 (127)

-The True Atlantean Nomad is basically the "Generic Class" for an Atlantean, having no Magic Class. Only 9% of the entire race are said to be these Nomads, however- less than almost any spellcasting class. They don't get any cool bonuses to hit or anything, but retain the Atlantean vigor and strength. The sheer breadth of the Atlantean Template is shown here, as a generic guy with nothing special about him costs more than a PL 8 Player Character.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:10 am

oh- haha. I just realized that several Magic Powers operate simultaneously and not Instantly, meaning they're not Alt-Effects of each other. HOWEVER, upon trying to find a way to make Wizards not cost 9,000 points as a direct result of that, I discovered the "Standard Action" Flaw, usually used for "Colossus" types who have to activate their powered-up form, also effects all of this stuff. And, as all these effects have to be activated SEPARATELY, you can also apply that Flaw separately. Meaning that many of the Immunity, Concealment, and Sensory powers that Wizards get as part of their spells can all have that -2 points reduction. It saves a BIT of points, while still making the Mage crazy versatile and expensive.

For example, my Line Walker O.C.C. was 151 points, but with the other powers separated, he's now 170 points.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:14 am

Sidious wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:27 pm
Very nice. I loved World book: Atlantis but felt really let down by the Splynn Dimensional Market book, though the Dimension book: Secrets of the Atlanteans (more info on the Sunaj!) brought it back up a bit.

The bit on Rune weapons and bio-wizardry are the real gold mines in this. Kittani make a nice minion race in a Terra Primate sort of way (a great book by Eden studios btw, just as cheesy as it sounds.) I don't recall is the Blind Warrior Women become a playable rcc in this one or the Merc book, but if you are looking for a female Daredevil to fill out your extradimensional Avengers, they fit the bill nicely.
Wow- never heard of Secrets of the Atlanteans.

I really wish there was more "Behind the Scenes" info about Palladium and who came up with what. Though Kevin notoriously splashes his name across everything he touches, I'd be curious to see the thought process behind Atlanteans & Tattooed Magic, and why they all became obsessed with them.

The Splugorth Weapons are VERY pricey, as you might imagine- stuff with Magic Spells placed in them? Crazy. I'll probably have to make smaller notes on some of them, but the Overlord Weapons and Slaver gear are taking FOREVER to stat.

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JDRook
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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by JDRook » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:11 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:10 am
oh- haha. I just realized that several Magic Powers operate simultaneously and not Instantly, meaning they're not Alt-Effects of each other. HOWEVER, upon trying to find a way to make Wizards not cost 9,000 points as a direct result of that, I discovered the "Standard Action" Flaw, usually used for "Colossus" types who have to activate their powered-up form, also effects all of this stuff. And, as all these effects have to be activated SEPARATELY, you can also apply that Flaw separately. Meaning that many of the Immunity, Concealment, and Sensory powers that Wizards get as part of their spells can all have that -2 points reduction. It saves a BIT of points, while still making the Mage crazy versatile and expensive.

For example, my Line Walker O.C.C. was 151 points, but with the other powers separated, he's now 170 points.
This was one of the reasons I was trying to set up a Wide Array for spells, so you could potentially have several (usually smaller) spells active simultaneously without it getting too expensive. I tried applying it to your Walker build below.

BTW - I don't know if it's updated rules in the UE or different interpretations or both, but what I found about casting times for Invocations was that Levels 1-5 take only 1 attack to cast, 6-10 are 2 attacks and 11-15 are 3. Palladium PCs have several attacks, of course, but they have to since usually they need to use them to Parry or Dodge, where in M&M it's essentially free unless you do a full Defend Maneuver. I interpret this to mean low level spells you can just whip off like any attack, mid-level require a Move-Action to Actiivate, and high-level the Standard Action, meaning they won't go off until your next round without Extra Effort.

Jab's Ley Line Walker - PL 8 (150p)

Strength 1, Stamina 3, Agility 3, Dexterity 4, Fighting 5, Intellect 3, Awareness 3, Presence 3

Advantages
Equipment 6, Ranged Attack 3, Ritualist

Skills
Athletics 6 (+7), Deception 2 (+5), Expertise: Demon Lore 4 (+7), Expertise: Magic 8 (+11), Insight 3 (+6), Investigation 3 (+6), Perception 5 (+8), Persuasion 3 (+6), Stealth 2 (+5)

Powers

Ley Line Powers [21]
. . Ley Line Observation Ball: Remote Sensing 4 (Affects: 2 Types, inc. Visual - Vision & Hearing, Range: 500 feet; Flaws: Medium: Within Ley Lines) [8]
. . Line Drifting: Flight 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Source: Within Ley Lines) [2]
. . Read Ley Lines: Senses 5 (Ley Line Awareness: Acute, Analytical, Direction Sense, Extended 1: x10) [5]
. . Sense Magic: Senses 3 (Awareness: Magic, Extended 2: x100) [3]
. . Sense Rifts: Senses 3 (Awareness: Rifts, Extended 2: x100) [3]

Magic Invocations: Wide Array 1 - 21p power pool [36]
. . 1 Blinding Flash: Cumulative Burst Area Affliction 8 (1st degree: Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, 3rd degree: Unaware, DC 18; Extras: Alternate Resistance (Dodge), Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 18 [4 ranks only], Cumulative, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Sense-dependent: Vision) [20]
. . 1 See Aura: Senses 12 (Acute: Fight, Acute: Psionics, Analytical: Fight, Awareness: Possession, Detect: Fighting Capability 2: ranged, Detect: Magic 2: ranged, Detect: Aberration 2: ranged, Detect: Psionics 2: ranged; Extras: Sustained) [12]
. . 1 See the Invisible: Senses 2 (Counters Concealment: Vision, Invisible; Extras: Sustained) [2]
. . 2 Befuddle: Affliction 8 (1st degree: Vulnerable, Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, Defenseless, Resisted by: Will, DC 18; Extras: Extra Condition, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited Degree) [16]
. . 2 Fear: Affliction 8 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Defenseless, Resisted by: Will, DC 18; Extras: Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited Degree) [8]
. . 2 Turn Dead: Burst Area Affliction 8 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 18; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 18, Increased Range: ranged, Sustained; Flaws: Limited 2: ,One Command: Leave,only affects "animated" dead) [8]
. . 3 Armor of Ithan [16]
. . . . Armor: Protection 4 (Linked; +4 Toughness; Extras: Impervious [1 extra rank])
. . . . Resistant: Immunity 20 (Linked; Very Common Descriptor: Energy; Flaws: Limited: Magic sourced only, Limited - Half Effect)
. . 3 Energy Bolt: Damage 6 (DC 21; Extras: Increased Range: ranged) [12]
. . 3 Invisibility: Simple: Concealment 2 (Sense - Sight) [2]
. . 4 Energy Field: Create 5 (Volume: 30 cft., DC 15; Flaws: Diminished Range 3) [7]
. . 4 Ley Line Transmission: Mental Communication 3 (Flaws: Limited 2: Broadcast Only, Only on Ley Line) [6]
. . 4 Magic Net: Cumulative Affliction 7 (1st degree: Hindered and Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Defenseless and Immobilized, Resisted by: Dodge, overcome by Damage or Sleight of Hand, DC 17; Extras: Cumulative, Extra Condition, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited Degree) [21]
. . Ley Line Phasing: Teleport 10 (4 miles in a move action, carrying 50 lbs.; Extras: Accurate, Extended: 1000 miles in 2 move actions; Flaws: Custom: 15-60 Second Ritual, 4/hour, Limited: Within Ley Line) [20]
. . Ley Line Rejuvenation: Healing 6 (Flaws: Limited 2: Self, Within Ley Lines) [3]
. . Read Ley Lines: Remote Sensing 12 (Affects: 1 Type - Touch, Range: 16 miles; Flaws: Limited 2: Natural Disasters, Along Ley Lines) [4]
. . Seal: Transform 2 (Affects: Broad > Broad - Entrance to Unopenable Entrance, Transforms: 3 lbs., DC 12; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous) [10]

Wing Board: Flight 6 (Easily Removable, Speed: 120 miles/hour, 1800 feet/round; Flaws: Limited: Along Ley Lines) [4]

Equipment
Energy Rifle [Energy Rifle: Damage 7, DC 22; Extras: Increased Range: ranged, Multiattack], Light Body Armor [Light Body Armor: Protection 4, +4 Toughness; Extras: Impervious [3 ranks only]]

Offense
Initiative +3
1 Blinding Flash: Cumulative Burst Area Affliction 8 (DC Dog/Fort/Will 18)
2 Befuddle: Affliction 8, +7 (DC Will 18)
2 Fear: Affliction 8, +7 (DC Will 18)
2 Turn Dead: Burst Area Affliction 8 (DC Will 18)
3 Energy Bolt: Damage 6, +7 (DC 21)
4 Magic Net: Cumulative Affliction 7, +7 (DC Fort/Will 17)
Energy Rifle: Damage 7, +7 (DC 22)
Grab, +5 (DC Spec 11)
Seal: Transform 2, +5 (DC Dog 12)
Throw, +7 (DC 16)
Unarmed, +5 (DC 16)

Complications
Enemy (The Coalition): The CS actively hate Magic, and will kill any sorcerers they can find.
Power Loss (Magic): Magic requires the internal energies of the Sorcerer to work- too many Spells will wear them out.

Defense
Dodge 6, Parry 7, Fortitude 4, Toughness 7, Will 8

Power Points
Abilities 50 + Powers 61 + Advantages 10 + Skills 18 (36 ranks) + Defenses 11 = 150

As written, your Wide Array can run spells up to 21p, so it can have just Magic Net, or for a free action you can reconfigure to have See Aura[12], See Invisible[2], and Invisibility:simple[2] all active to do some scouting.

You can also widen the Array by just putting points in the pool. If you added 20p (bringing your total even with the 170 you have for your last edit) you could have up to 41p active, so you could run Armor of Ithan[16] and Invisibility[2] and still have enough points to rotate through all of your offensive spells. Actually, a great way to emulate the Line Walker using the Line's energy would be to Flaw the added pool points to only work on a Line, so the 20p could cost only 10p.

The other point-saving way to do it would be just a Variable, bought up to Free Action and Limited to a Pre-defined List of Spells for 8p/rank. The tipping point is when you have your array slots costing as much as 60% of your pool; at that point you can just swirch to Variable and add spells to the list without it costing any more (unless the next spell is bigger than anything you currernly have). This is handy for a system that allows you to acquire spells "whenever" instead of waiting for accumulated experience.

I've been finding a bunch of weird little details about spells and keep wondering whether to incorpoate them or ignore them. Most spells are essentially Perception Range with a range limit, or at least no Attack check needed since all a target can do is save. It''s not too big a deal when most spells are at Rank 2 to match Spell Strength 12, but that only works if you either keep Fortitude low to match Rifts save bonuses, or else make Magic its own save. You seem to be matching Spell Ranks to PL (although I'm not sure if it's not the other way around), which is probably easier and would make the PCs more portable to other game settings.

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Tattoo Magic

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:20 am

TATTOO MAGIC:
-Dear God... the Rifts designers LOVE Tattoo Magic! They just LOVE IT! As soon as they invented it, they gushed about it like crazy, shoved it into a ton of books, and constantly had to bring it up. And... I don't know WHY. They're not cool-looking, not that useful (it's like they had NO IDEA that summoning even an Elephant is worthless in this game), and cost too much P.P.E. to do anything really good. It's clearly them trying to be "Edgelord" because it's a way to create some hyper-aggressive, rage-filled rebel freedmen who HATE AUTHORITY, MAN, but the tattoos are just dorky. The best overall thing about them is the MDC boost you get.

Tattoo Magic is an additional "way to boost your power" in Rifts, introduced in Rifts Atlantis. Said to be invented by the possibly-extinct Chiang-Ku Dragons, it only affects Humans, Ogres, True Atlanteans, and the aforementioned Dragons, with Elves suffering greatly from the effects and getting only half power. The powers are rather varied, and MANY later NPCs gain a couple of "Magic Tattoos".

Tattoo Creation is one of those "NEVER LET A PLAYER DO THIS!" things, explicitly laid out as such, with the Splugorth, True Atlantean nobles, and a handful of others having that power- no one else. Makes sense- these are basically permanent powers. Also, the specific racial requirements means that guys who power-gamed the tough MDC races can't get any, and the Tattoos also diminish the power of spellcasting classes dramatically.

Of course there are three different O.C.C.s that utilize the Tattoos, one of which is explicitly better than the other. Because Rifts. Most Tattooed Men (some are female, said to be "more prone to magic and more submissive") are slaves of the Splugorth. Most (having been expendable, easily-caught humans) were forced to take the tattoos, and can be a bit rebellious and dangerous. It's said that they're the "pit bulls" of the modern day, with owners wanting to look tough and cool for having such dangerous property.

How Tattoos Work: The initial process is agonizing and takes days to recover from. A Tattoo is permanent (you have to remove the LIMB to get rid of one), and you have to touch it and spend some P.P.E. (your "Magic Points/Mana") to utilize it. It sticks around for however long, based off of your level. If you dismiss a Tattoo early, you have to spend twice the P.P.E. to get it back. Some are pretty piddly, while others are quite good- the "Power Creep" of Rifts is definitely apparent here. Getting a LOT of Tattoos can drastically increase your points-cost, as many stick around.

Tattoos:
Weapons:
* Weapons are easy to summon, and stick around for a while; they can be disarmed and used by others. The SDC ones are of course useless in this world, but could be handy in a bar that doesn't let you bring your gear, and cost a REALLY tiny amount of P.P.E. If you min/max them, you can do 3D6 damage with a Bow, Sword, Axe, etc.- not too shabby.
"All Simple Weapons" SDC simple weapons- utterly useless.
"SDC Shield" Haha, really?
"Weapon Dripping Blood" Double-damage SDC weapons.
"Two Weapons Crossed" +1 to strike and +2 to Parry with any weapon of that type.
"Weapon Covered in Flames" MDC version of the SDC weapon.
"as above, with Coiled Serpent" Triple-Damage MDC version if used against reptilian stuff like Dragons & Dinosaurs.
"Weapon With Wings" Ranged weapon gets three times on distance and returns to you automatically.
"Flaming Shield" +2 to Parry.

Animals:
* Summons. Really, REALLY expensive if you stack them up. Six can be active at a time. However, if the animal is killed, the user takes some pretty severe damage right to his Hit Points- this can easily be fatal (kind of a Side-Effect). One hour per level (so basically Continuous in M&M terms), and Controlled entirely by the summoner. Seems awesome, except every single weapon a first-level player can have could wipe out an elephant in one melee round.
"Animal Summons" a HUGE list, offering Chimps, Gorillas, Monkeys, most Big Cats, Bears, Badgers & Wolverines, Birds of Prey, Boars, Canines, Elephants, Horses, Ferrets, Rhinos, Scorpions, Spiders (poisonous and NON-poisonous- humorously, these tiny animals still do damage), Snakes & Wasps/Bees.

Monsters:
* Summons. Like Animals but actually useful, since they're Mega-Damage creatures. Basically, any dumb animal, like a Gryphon, Peryton, Manticore, etc. Same rules apply from the "Animals" set. These are useful, but they cost a TON of P.P.E. to activate- something with the MDC of a Player Character likely costs 80-100, which is WAY beyond that of any Starter PC (who get 5D6 for males and 1D4x10+8 for females, plus 6 per tattoo) to create more than one and do literally anything else. You have to basically be a really high level to even have a hope of doing this and still using any other power. Of course, reading the T-Monster Man O.C.C. makes me realize that these become useful for THOSE guys due to the lowered-cost.
"Monster Summons" They don't actually give you the list- you have to read the Rifts Conversion Book, as most of the Palladium Fantasy creatures are upgraded to MDC in this world. Different costs for 50, 150 and above 150 MDC creatures.

Powers:
* The most complicated section, more or less working like Magic Spells do. Mostly Powers with slight time-based Drawbacks or Unreliable (because of the cost in P.P.E.).
"Chain Encircling Skull" Immunity to Mind Control (one minute per level)
"Chain With Broken Link" Boost Strength to Supernatural Strength, hitting Mega-Damage levels (up to +13 Damage in M&M!)
"Chain Wrapped Around Cloud" Various wind spells, also Call Lightning & stuff.
"Cross" Turn Dead.
"Eye With Dagger in It" Victims are blinded for 1 melee/level.
"Eye of Knowledge" Comprehend All Languages.
"Eye of Mystic Knowledge" Detect, Read & Cast Magic Spells & Scrolls.
"Eye With Tears" Empathy Psionic power.
"Three Eyes" Enhanced Vision, Detect Invisible, Detect Aura.
"Heart w/ Wooden Stake" Impervious to Bite & Mind Control of Vampires.
"Heart Encircled By Chains" 75 M.D. Force Field (about +8-9 Toughness total). Costs 40 P.P.E. (ie. a lot), lasting ten minutes per level.
"Heart With Large Wings" Flight 5 (60 mph).
"Heart With Tiny Wings" Speed 4 + 10kmph per level of experience.
"Knight in Full Armor" 20 MDC Armor per level (so usually +5-6 total, but can hit to +10).
"Lighting Bolts" Blast 9 (plus a bit per 2 levels of XP). Costs a fair bit (30 P.E.E.).
"Phoenix Rising From Flames" Healing of a very high level, as well as restorative stuff. Even Resurrection! HUGELY expensive (124 P.P.E.!).
"Rose & Thorny Stern" Healing spell.
"Shark/Dolphin" Swimmiing at fish-speeds.
"Skull w/ Bat Wings" Animated & Control Dead.
"Skull Coiled by Thorns" Saves against various deadly things (poisons, coma, death), Self-Healing, Death Touch (1D6 damage to Hit Points or 3D6 MDC to MDC creatures).
"Skull in Flames" Impervious to all Fire & Heat. 1D4/level Fire Blasts (Blast 6+).
"Thorns" Impervious to Poisons & saves vs. Drugs.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by Ares » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:19 am

Heh, yeah, Tattooed Magic just always seemed weird to me. I get the idea of something that burns some PPE and then you get an effect you can use for a time, but it seemed like such an overall waste of a magic type. I feel like it's the kind of thing that'd be invented at a magic college. The actual mages are studying various ways to break the laws of physics with their minds, and some leathered up edge lord walks in with all of these magical tattoos to show off how badass he is. He presses a tattoo and summons an elephant, only for one of the Shifters on scene to open a portal and basically Cthulhu pokes his head out and eats the elephant before departing.

"Well," the Shifter says, "You sure showed us."

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:20 am

It honestly feels more like a way to give Non-Magic characters a use for their P.P.E., which doesn't really do anything otherwise. So, like, Johnny Juicer can throw on a Magic Tattoo and suddenly he's got a use for the lucky roll of P.P.E. he got at Character Creation. The book implies that Cyber-Knights can make use of it.

All in all, though, I think Kevin/Palladium seems to think you spend a LOT of time being disarmed or having your gear broken. Because then, the Magic Tattoo guys (and all Magic O.C.C.s, really) become a lot more useful, self-generating weapons.

"Call Lightning" isn't a bad spell, though. Once you get it (it's a bit up there in level), you can do some serious damage. An 8th Level character doing 8D6 MD is a LOT. Though... still less than a first-level Glitter Boy.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:24 am

JDRook wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:11 am
This was one of the reasons I was trying to set up a Wide Array for spells, so you could potentially have several (usually smaller) spells active simultaneously without it getting too expensive. I tried applying it to your Walker build below.
Oh, neat!

Where does "Wide Array" come from, again? I know others have mentioned "Array" or "Wide Array" and I don't see it in my rulebooks. I'm assume it's the same thing as Dynamic Alt-Effects, but where's the best power?

While I'm trying to more or less capture how Rifts works in M&M terms, you're right- a capturing of the "feel" would work just as well with all these Dynamic Powers as part of a pool.
BTW - I don't know if it's updated rules in the UE or different interpretations or both, but what I found about casting times for Invocations was that Levels 1-5 take only 1 attack to cast, 6-10 are 2 attacks and 11-15 are 3. Palladium PCs have several attacks, of course, but they have to since usually they need to use them to Parry or Dodge, where in M&M it's essentially free unless you do a full Defend Maneuver. I interpret this to mean low level spells you can just whip off like any attack, mid-level require a Move-Action to Actiivate, and high-level the Standard Action, meaning they won't go off until your next round without Extra Effort.
Hm, interesting. Possibly a thing to note for later guys. But the whole "this takes X Attacks to do" thing is SUCH a big difference between the two systems- in Rifts, all shots more or less hit automatically, and the Juicer's ability to get an Automatic Dodge (that is, not waste one of his attacks dodging incoming fire and being able to do so automatically) is treated as a "God Stat". In M&M, EVERYONE has to have their active defenses rolled over.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by JDRook » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:20 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:24 am
JDRook wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:11 am
This was one of the reasons I was trying to set up a Wide Array for spells, so you could potentially have several (usually smaller) spells active simultaneously without it getting too expensive. I tried applying it to your Walker build below.
Oh, neat!

Where does "Wide Array" come from, again? I know others have mentioned "Array" or "Wide Array" and I don't see it in my rulebooks. I'm assume it's the same thing as Dynamic Alt-Effects, but where's the best power?
Wide Array was introduced in the Gadget Guides:
characters have the option of paying a higher base cost in order to “widen” the array to mix-and-match alternates from it, so long as their total doesnot exceed the increased base cost. This differs from a Dynamic Array (Hero’s Handbook, page 138) in that each alternate is fixed; the character must assign all the necessary points to the alternate or none of them, whereas Dynamic Alternates vary.
It's largely intended for use with collections of equipment or Devices, the point being that each slot contains a fixed-cost power. Each slot still costs 1p as per a regular array, but the Wide Array allows for several slots to be active simultaneously and at full rank (unlike a Dynamic Array, you can't use partial slots) as long as the total cost of all active powers doesn't exceed the Array point pool.

Rifts Spells (and Psionics, and arguably whatever energy-limited power they come up with) can be treated as individual fixed-cost powers (which for short I refer to as "tools") and just be added to the Wide Array ("the Toolbox") for 1p each, with the size of the point pool as the limit for how many tools you can use at once.

If by "best power" you mean the largest one in the Array that's usually used as the "base power" you don't strictly need one; the point pool is generally going to be at least the same size as your largest tool, but you can put more points in it so that it's large enough to run more than one. (n theory, you could have tools bigger than the pool, you just wouldn't be able to use them until your pool got bigger, which could be a justification for having a spell you're not strong enough to cast (although the slot would still cost 1p), or having conditional pool points like "Limited to on a Ley Line."

For the Ley Line Walker I figure a 40p pool is wide enough to allow almost any two spells to be active, plus another 10p spent for a Flawed 20p for the pool for on the Line, which would cost 50p plus 1p/spell. You could tune it more carefully, though, figuring out which spells you might want to have ongoing (like a defense) and use the largest of those plus your largest offensive spell as your working pool size.

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Tattooed Men

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:45 pm

ImageImage

haha, oh jesus. This looks like they just "Poochied" up a bad-ass new class.

THE TATTOOED MEN O.C.C.
Role:
Enraged Slaves, Crazy Heroes
PL 8 (73 + Tattoos)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 2
FIGHTING 5 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 0 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Athletics 5 (+7)
Expertise (Slave) 4 (+4)
Expertise (Survival) 4 (+6)
Intimidation 6 (+6)
Perception 4 (+6)
Technology 3 (+3)

Advantages:
Equipment 4 (Assorted Gear), Languages (A Few)

Powers:
"MDC Creature" Protection 4 (Extras: Impervious 5) [9]

"Tattoos"
(2 Simple Weapons, 2 Magic Weapons, 2 Animal, 2 Monster, 2 Powers)

Offense:
Unarmed +5 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Assault Rifle +4 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
MDC Weapons +5 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
MDC Weapons vs. Dragons +5 (+11 Damage, DC 26)
Magical Blasts +4 (+6 Ranged Damage, DC 21)
Initiative +2

Defenses:
Dodge +6 (DC 16), Parry +5 (DC 15), Toughness +4 (+8 Tattoos, +10-ish with Tattoos), Fortitude +7, Will +6

Complications:
Responsibility (Slaves)- Tattooed Men are marked by their ink as slaves. Most are bitter, full of rage, and hostile to everyone. Basically you are a Linkin Park song.
Power Loss (Tattoo Magic)- All powers coming from Tattoos do not last an infinite amount of time.

Total: Abilities: 38 / Skills: 26--13 / Advantages: 5 / Powers: 10 + Tattoos / Defenses: 7 (73 + Tattoos)

-Siembieda and co. are CLEARLY in love with their precious Tattooed Men, giving them all kinds of space in the book (almost as much as the Splugorth Minions get; about 17 pages). You can tell they love them because 70% of them have an insanity and 95% (you can tell Kevin is writing when they throw in bullshit percentages right in the middle of descriptive fluff text) are full of pent-up rage. So yeah, these guys are expected to be like Crazies and roll on that ridiculous "you can only fight at night" Insanity Table that's reprinted in every Palladium Rulebook ever (though these guys DO get their own one as well), but be the "Bad-Ass Anti-Hero" guys as well, all angry about it. T-Men are considered slaves, and were forcibly abducted and indoctrinated. This means that most are resentful and hateful.

-T-Men start with twelve tattoos, and you're forced to take two of the terrible "Simple Weapons" ones, two "Monster" ones (which no starting T-Man can even use without any Ley Lines being nearby and still have a hope of using many other powers), etc. Every Tattoo above the sixth adds to the MDC of a T-Man, making them potentially tougher than any human short of one of the Super-Juicers- 60 MDC for males and 66 MDC for females. Though tough as hell, they are way more limited in power than I think the developers realized, given that Animal Summons & SDC Weapons aren't that useful, and the Magical Blasts don't make you any better than a spellcasting class (who are notably weak in Rifts). However, the auto-take "MDC Weapons" make you okay at fighting, and a real terror against Dragons and the like, especially as you can stack up two different MDC-boosting Tattoos. Ultimately, a T-Man is PL 7 in melee and PL 8 defensively if he boosts his MDC.

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Re: Jab's Rifts Builds (Cyber-Knights! Xiticix! Rifts Atlantis!)

Post by catsi563 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:28 pm

Yeah I had to house rule that all Tattoo magic was auto MDC or magical nature so even the SDC animals and weapons were basically still useful even in an MDC world
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