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[Let's Read] Rifts: A Wide Wide World of Weirdness

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  • brentoddbrentodd Registered User regular
    ... It just seemed obvious to me that a Juicer would eschew mechanical trappings in favor of his/her own hyped up reflexes and strength.

    Think about it: being trapped in a walking/plodding tank that has to take the time to kneel down every time it wants to fire off a round is the opposite of what most Juicers would want to be doing with their time. ...

    That was (jokingly) my point though - getting in the power armor doesn't make them slower - it makes them faster! I get what you're saying, and agree - it's just that the rules as written are so silly that they make the opposite of sense.

  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    Look, if wrapping a Buick around yourself to fight faster is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
  • lodgerlodger Registered User regular
    But... but can you even begin to imagine the awesome power of a Juicer in LEAF ARMOR?!?!?!?!111///1?

    Sorry about that.... I was just sad that no one had updated this thread in so long.

  • Xenogear_0001Xenogear_0001 Registered User regular
    I agree. I had almost forgotten about it, to be honest. Still need to get on here and add some stuff, but I find there is so little time these days.

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  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    WE NEED MORE RIFTS.

    OR at least more Palladium sillyness.

    evilthecat wrote: »
    "Bioware I want to suck on your teets of gamingness".

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
  • ElderlycrawfishElderlycrawfish Registered User regular
    I saw someone's trying to make a Rifts conversion out of Fallout: New Vegas.

    Doubt they'll ever get that off the ground, but it would be interesting, to say the least.

    PSN/Steam - Elderlycrawfish
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Fallout: New Vegas isn't NEARLY broken enough for Rifts.

    Even the Deathclaws would be easy meat.

    evilthecat wrote: »
    "Bioware I want to suck on your teets of gamingness".

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
  • Xenogear_0001Xenogear_0001 Registered User regular
    No, they'd need to be bionic deathclaws with missile launchers, built-in plasma/particle beam cannons, and a jetpack... maybe two.

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  • brentoddbrentodd Registered User regular
    No, they'd need to be bionic deathclaws with missile launchers, built-in plasma/particle beam cannons, and a jetpack... maybe two.

    That right there is a metric fuck-ton of awesome. Is Kevin Long still alive? We need him to draw this shit.

  • Boring7Boring7 Registered User regular
    brentodd wrote:
    No, they'd need to be bionic deathclaws with missile launchers, built-in plasma/particle beam cannons, and a jetpack... maybe two.

    That right there is a metric fuck-ton of awesome. Is Kevin Long still alive? We need him to draw this shit.

    It makes me sad inside that the first freaking page of GIS "deathclaw" has Deathclaw-cock on it.

    Thanatos wrote: »
    Goldman Sachs may as well be named COBRA.
  • Xenogear_0001Xenogear_0001 Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    So! I'm finally getting some people together for a proper campaign! I know, madness!

    So far, the group consists of a True Atlantean Headhunter, a Sea Titan Wilderness Scout who's also a Master Psychic (she rolled randomly for that last part), a purely human Operator who's essentially a mix of the guy from Breaking Bad and Gordon Freeman (ie: he's going to be kicking ze ass on a regular basis), and an obsessive compulsive Glitterboy Pilot who's going to just get along so well with the Operator in the party. All in all, a pretty conservative roster as far as the setting goes.

    Whelp, let's see if I can wrangle this broken system into something approximating workable.

    Xenogear_0001 on
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  • PACPAC Registered User
    One of the previous posts offered the hypothetical case of a Phaeton Juicer piloting Glitter Boy power armor to illustrate how the Rifts rules easily permit Level 1 characters to be God-like killing machines.

    I'll share a real world example that I still remember from years ago: A relatively new Rifts player in our old RPG group decided to run his own adventure. He instructed players to create their characters using only OCCs / RCCs from the main manual, but otherwise imposed no restrictions (i.e., skills, equipment, spells, etc. could be utilized from other Rifts supplements). His exact words were, "I think the characters from the first book should be plenty to keep the power level low."

    Big mistake.

    Players showed up with all manner of insanely powerful first-level characters. The GM (to his credit) kept rejecting one after another. When the last player finally presented his character, the GM sighed and smiled when told it was a Vagabond. Poor fool. It was a Vagabond, all right... with the following superpowers from Conversion Book:

    - Gravity manipulation
    - Growth
    - Invulnerability
    - Healing factor
    - Extraordinary physical strength

    As a hint to how off-the-charts this character was, here's a calculation for the average damage done in a single melee action by just lifting and throwing something heavy:

    Extraordinary physical strength affords an average PS of 23, but grants double the typical supernatural carrying capacity (x100 instead of x50).

    Healing factor yields an average PE of 24. Invulnerability increases PE by an average of 3, raising the PE value to 27. Growth increases your PS by 2 points per PE point (27 x 2 = 54).

    So far, base PS of 23 + bonus of 54 = 77. With double the carrying capacity this means you could carry and throw 77 x 100 lbs. = 7,700 lbs.

    Now add in gravity manipulation to further multiply your strength by 100, for a total carrying capacity of 770,000 lbs. or 385 tons.

    Assuming there are some large monsters and/or robot vehicles nearby (and when are there not, in Rifts) you could simply pick one up, throw it, and - if it equaled 385 tons - inflict an average of 11,550 MD... in a single action.

    After similarly working through the above calculation and realizing he was out of players the GM abruptly canceled his session. He never ran his adventure.



  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    "I think the characters from the first book should be plenty to keep the power level low."

    Famous last words!

    I'd say Rifts won that particular adventure.

    evilthecat wrote: »
    "Bioware I want to suck on your teets of gamingness".

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
  • skyknytskyknyt Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I cannot stop laughing (and coughing, because I am sick), over that story.

    If I die from this, put the RIFTS logo on my tombstone.

    Tycho wrote:
    [skyknyt's writing] is like come kind of code that, when comprehended, unfolds into madness in the mind of the reader.
    PSN: skyknyt, Steam: skyknyt
  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    PAC wrote:
    After similarly working through the above calculation and realizing he was out of players the GM abruptly canceled his session. He never ran his adventure.
    Oddly enough, this is how just about every GURPS game I ever played went.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Orca wrote:
    "I think the characters from the first book should be plenty to keep the power level low."

    Famous last words!

    I'd say Rifts won that particular adventure.
    Rifts wins every adventure.

    Usually through some combination of unintelligible rules gibberish and long range plasma missiles.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Or some new splatbook with this awesome sounding new gear you just can't wait to try out.

    evilthecat wrote: »
    "Bioware I want to suck on your teets of gamingness".

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Techno-Wizard Power Armor that runs on souls!

    Of Rifts players!

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Did we ever do an article on the combat rules in Rifts?

    If not, it demands to be done.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • PACPAC Registered User
    While on the subject of the souls of Rifts players, an excellent website that addresses (and attempts to resolve) various issues within Rifts is Pete Overton's, Quality in Rifts:

    http://spleen.mearcair.net/rifts/rifts.htm

    The website presents a diverse collection of essays and opines, many of which prove thoughtful and humorous. IMO, it ranks among the most helpful and entertaining of online Rifts resources.

    A prolonged lack of updates, however, eventually prompted an Internet search that sadly revealed Pete's death. Hopefully his soul fares well.

  • llywelynllywelyn Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Another first time poster. Thanks for a great thread.

    Someone earlier asked about Kevin Long: he's not dead. He's working for Activision on Call of Duty.

    As for the burster scarecrow, there are places like the Library of Bletherad on Palladium that do damage to magical beings just for being there.

    And while Glitterboys needed some serious nerfing (of all the places to use a %ile table in that book, wear-and-tear on a 300 year old hand-me-down should've been at the top of the list; the pylons should have taken actions or rounds to deploy; the barrel of the guns should've needed constant repair), I don't get the hate on MDC at all. Nanotubes are made from ridiculously abundant carbon that simply need the tech to be processed (and one cheap way would be to use GM bacteria from Lone Star).

    You've got to have some common sense that the lasers punching through a pinkie aren't going to kill a guy, but get that down and you're good to go. Juicers being squishy is the balance to other characters not knowing they should have rifted in from Ninjas & Superspies.

    llywelyn on
  • llywelynllywelyn Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Re: CJ Carella.

    I was never interested in South America at all so I never checked out those books, but he's the guy behind GURPS Imperial Rome and that was an absolute blast.

    llywelyn on
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    So apparently Palladium put out a screenplay for a Rifts movie.

    Some guys decided to read it.

    Also Optimus Zed should get back on this.

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    (Please do not gift. My game bank is already full.)
    lodger
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    You may have thought this thread was dead & defeated. You may have thought that your cheese Psi-Juicer that commands a brainwashed legion of Dog Boys in SAMAS power armor had won the day and rode off into the sunset with beautiful people.

    What you did not know was that this thread had bought a Life Node at Splynn, and bio-regenerates even when comatose.

    Roll initiative, motherfucker.

    combat1.png

    We have talked about Rifts having terrible mechanics but an awesome setting. Many, many people talk about this. Few people - because most people are sane and do not wish to experience agony - actually go to the trouble of explaining in detail why the mechanics are so awful.

    Today, ladies and gentlemen, I have rolled poorly on the sanity table. Thus this service now be rendered.


    We're going to look at the combat rules. I mean, this is a game where some of the most evocative artwork looks like this:

    RiftsWTF1.jpg

    ...So you could hardly be blamed for thinking that this game would be encounter-focused, at least involving entertaining combat even if everything is totally unbalanced. These rules are central to the reason you probably bought the damn books.

    We'll be looking at the rules as printed in Rifts: Ultimate Edition. I feel this is fair given that these are supposedly the most up to date, readily available rules that have been printed. There shall be no accusing me of picking on outdated editions, sirs!


    You've gone and done some Techy & Talky adventuring, bought yourself a robot tyrannosaurus rex to ride around on while wearing your Glitter Girl power armor:

    black_market_robot_trex_by_chuckwalton-d5di9lb.jpg

    ...And, finally, the moment of truth: bad guys appear! They are hostile! There will be no negotiations! Time to use that awesome cybernetic dinosaur and all of your cool guns exactly the way you always wanted to!

    combat2.png

    So here's page one. Everything is broken into Steps, as is the way of every rules explanation in Rifts, without any explanation of, say, an underlying core mechanic. Just 'STEP 1: DETERMINE INITIATIVE'. What, you wanted a basic overview of how this is going to work? Screw off, this is Rifts! Just follow the Steps!

    STEP 2: Attacker Rolls to Strike lets us know that this is a d20 roll over target number system of sorts, where as long as you roll over 4 you will hit the target. Unless they Dodge or Parry. What does that mean and how does that work? Screw you, we haven't got to that Step yet!

    There is long blah blah section about S.D.C. armor and A.R. that nobody could give two shits about because S.D.C. combat never happens.

    combat3.png

    Oh, and now - on page 2 - we do get a tidy little breakdown of the basic system. Roll a d20, hope for anything above 4. 20 is a crit and deals D-D-D-DOUBLE DAMAGE! and can't be dodged or parried unless the defender also rolls a 20. Yes, of course the defender rolls. What are these mechanics I've just tossed in front of you without mentioning before at all? Steps, asshole. We're still on #2, remember?

    Also, natural AR does not apply in this game. Which is so nice to know, because no doubt so many people would be confused about it not being included in the rules if they hadn't mentioned that it's not a supported mechanic.

    The section on M.D.C. combat re-iterates in a much more convoluted fashion what we were already succinctly told about combat, and teaches us how it differentiates from S.D.C. combat. Which God knows is so helpful.

    combat4.png

    STEP 3: Defender May Parry, Dodge or Entangle. Deliver us from our ignorance, Step 3!

    Well, you can do either of the mentioned 3 things, apparently. How do you do these things? Is it like an opposed attack roll? I mean, previous entries did suggest some sort of roll. Is it a d20 roll? Does it adhere to the 1-4 being automatic failure? What does an 'Entangle' actually entail, aside from the vague idea of 'pinning an arm or weapon'? Is it like wrestling the other guy into a behind the back arm lock like in Hong Kong action films? How does that work with projectile attacks? Does it work at all with projectile attacks?

    I can never use my arm to block a weapon without penalty because 'it's dangerous'? What if my arm is layered with cybernetic armor? What if I'm a mega-damage creature? Do I get the parry bonuses then?

    What is a melee attack and what does it mean to give one up (STEPS!)?

    Much like the question of exactly how the pyramids were constructed, these questions are enigmas for the ages. There are many schools of thought into how this basic and completely central mechanic fucking works, because it is so poorly written.


    Alright, fuck these 'Steps' - let's just look at the Sequence Overview and see if we can figure this out:

    combat5.png

    So we roll for initiative, and this initiative lasts for a 'Round', and Rounds are about 15 seconds long. Everyone has a certain number of Attacks per Round; it works like a normal game with everyone acting on their initiative turn until someone runs out of Attacks, at which point they get to twiddle their thumbs and pretend to still be interested in the game while playing Angry Birds as everyone who who power-gamed as many attacks as possible onto their character because they knew the system beforehand and understood how important Attacks per Round were (because the game sure doesn't fucking tell you ahead of time how boned and bored out of your mind you will be if you only have a handful) continues to fight.

    When everyone is out of Attacks, you re-roll Initiative and start over again.


    I cannot express enough how boring, frustrating and badly explained this system is. Someone will get the shaft and end-up sitting around with nothing to do for most of an encounter. Someone will have a rules question, like, "Hey, @Optimus Zed told me that Adhesive Carpet is so OP and I picked it! I want to cast it! How many attacks does that use?" and you will have to come up with a fiat answer that seems reasonable because the fucking game sure won't tell you how magic is supposed to work during these 15 second action pieces. Or Psionics. Or basic athletic moves (although, admittedly, these are easier to improv because you have an intuitive sense of how much time a given athletic move might take, and most athletic moves aren't going to be horribly imbalanced if improperly scaled with the amount of Attack resource required).

    Here is what you will do: You will pick your best weapon and always use it because there is no reason to use anything else unless you run out of ammunition, and you will do this over and over and over because everything in this fucking game is a bullet spongey heap of steaming Splurgoth shit. You will do 20-100~ points of damage to something with 1,500 HP and bio-regeneration and a magical shield and resistance to your plasma guns and oh just fucking end this Goddamn boring combat already, where is the guy with the Runic one-shot weapon?

    It is the single greatest failing I think I have ever seen in an RPG. Rifts doesn't just miss the mark on making it fun to use all of the cool toys and powers it enticed you with, it sprays a hail of failure out into a crowded street and force you to incarcerate it for it's crimes just as surely as it's alluring charms forced you to pick it up in the first place.

    combat6.png

    No game with that illustration in it's combat rules section has any right to be this boring.

    If rules could be held accountable in criminal court for murdering their source material, Rifts would been swinging in gallows as we speak.

    The Ender on
    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
    OrcaAuralynxchiasaur11BoozerAssuranOptimusZedForarcaptainkdresdenphileskyknytblahmcblahLeperXenogear_0001ElderlycrawfishShortylodger
  • AuralynxAuralynx Harry Caul We'll be listening to you.Registered User regular
    Ender, you should know better than to read Rifts while drunk. At least I hope you were drunk, because damn that's a lot of bile.

  • chiasaur11chiasaur11 Never doubt a raccoon. Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Auralynx wrote: »
    Ender, you should know better than to read Rifts while drunk. At least I hope you were drunk, because damn that's a lot of bile.

    That's nothing.

    You should see me when I get going on "Match Point". And I can do that dead sober.

    Great to see this back. Those are bad rules, and no mistake. A pleasure to see them torn to ribbons for our benefit.

    chiasaur11 on
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Magical Attacks per Melee

    Psionic Attacks per Melee

    Attacks per Melee

    "one extra attack per melee" for that bionic arm/tail/tentacle that can apparently fire ship-board weapons systems or swing the sword you're holding in your main hand. Because rules.

    Note that those first two are never explained, nor are any starting values given other than the statement that you can do less of them than punching or shooting your shiny laser gun. Because magic takes longer, you see, and defining things would require creating extra steps and we hit quota on those in the Character Creation chapter. Then there are the classes that have, as a feature, "+X additional Magic attacks per melee", which is an addition to an undefined set and has caused many a 14 year old head to explode.

    And Ahriman help the GM whose characters spend their first turn casting Carpet of Adhesion, then want to switch to their Boom Gun, which is every GM because that's how Rifts works. What's the exchange rate between any number of normal melee attacks and "less than that because magic"? The world may never know.

    This is especially pertinent because activating a magical battery (i.e. sacrificing an orphan) must be at least one generic "attack action", meaning that mixing action types is extremely common.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I had one friend with an immense hard-on for magic, and made it his life's work (at the time) to break the Magic system wide fucking open. He toyed with some alternative rules proposals, adjusted systems, and in the end I believe we just abandoned the system at the time (I recall there basically being "half a melee round spells", "full melee round spells" and "multiple melee round spells", and made the former 2 attacks, the middle 4 attacks, and the latter didn't come up very often, because standing around casting a spell for more than a melee round in Rifts was asking to get your tits shot off.

    We also tweaked the combat to have the number of attacks per melee divided between the seconds in a round, with everyone attacking together in the first part of the melee, and then staggering the attacks throughout the remainder. We made a handy chart to keep the bookkeeping down to about the same as normal (just a modified initiative chart, really) and it worked for us, but obviously it wasn't flawless. People with 3 attacks per melee still had significant time between actions compared to someone with 6 or 8, but at least they didn't act a few times and then have to sit through 10 or 20 or 30 actions between the remaining combatants either.

    As I recall, unless noted otherwise (or they had a meditation period necessary), psychic abilities generally took one melee action to utilize. Yes, that meant that learning to box or picking up hand to hand training caused you to be able to utilize your psychic powers more often in a given 15 second period, why? Because Rifts, duh.

    It's sad/funny, I've had a good dozen Rifts books up for sale for the past two months, and despite cutting a few bucks off an already significant discount, all I've had were a few nibbles here and there.

    sigtwo.png
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Magical Attacks per Melee

    Psionic Attacks per Melee

    Attacks per Melee

    "one extra attack per melee" for that bionic arm/tail/tentacle that can apparently fire ship-board weapons systems or swing the sword you're holding in your main hand. Because rules.

    Note that those first two are never explained, nor are any starting values given other than the statement that you can do less of them than punching or shooting your shiny laser gun. Because magic takes longer, you see, and defining things would require creating extra steps and we hit quota on those in the Character Creation chapter. Then there are the classes that have, as a feature, "+X additional Magic attacks per melee", which is an addition to an undefined set and has caused many a 14 year old head to explode.

    And Ahriman help the GM whose characters spend their first turn casting Carpet of Adhesion, then want to switch to their Boom Gun, which is every GM because that's how Rifts works. What's the exchange rate between any number of normal melee attacks and "less than that because magic"? The world may never know.

    This is especially pertinent because activating a magical battery (i.e. sacrificing an orphan) must be at least one generic "attack action", meaning that mixing action types is extremely common.

    "I'm holding four guns, one in each hand. Can I use all of them in one attack?"

    "I want to mentally dominate the CS guy, but neither my O.C.C. or R.C.C. list any psionic attacks per melee even though I have the power. Do I just use a normal attack or...?"

    "My vehicle has multiple weapons systems and the description suggests I can fire at least a few of them simultaneously. How many can I shoot per attack?"

    "It says I can bio-regenerate at will. Does that just use one of my attacks or...?"

    "I want to activate my power armor's flight mode and start flying around. How does that work in combat?"


    When you consider how much asinine detail is sometimes tossed into the books, including information about rules (Presumably covered in other Palladium books) that Rifts doesn't use, it baffles the mind that none of the above questions can be answered without significant GM fiat.


    And the Palladium guy that decided on the 'roll to Parry/Dodge/Entangle' system can go straight to Splynn. I mean, at first you might think, "Hey, this is pretty cool. The defending player gets to participate in deciding their fate during the attacker's turn." But then you will play it, and you will welcome any and all efforts to completely disregard Parry/Dodge/Entangle rolls, because it takes too much time. You wouldn't think so at a glance at it on paper, but when you realize that the lion's share of the Parry/Dodge/Entangle rolls will be made by the GM, and oh dear that die didn't land quite right, re-roll it, and oh no that die went off the table, go get it and re-roll it, oh what is your modifier again? Oh we accidentally knocked the die onto a difference face while checking, re-roll the stupid son of a bitch again.

    It adds so much unnecessary extra time to encounters that are already bloated and unwieldy and boring.


    Kids these days with their 4E and their Mutants and Masterminds have no idea how good they have it. :/

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • AssuranAssuran Is swinging on the Spiral Registered User regular
    No lie, I once played a 2 round fight in Rifts that lasted 4 hours.

    Combat is borked.

  • skyknytskyknyt Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I am so glad this thread is back.

    Sadly, since Siembieda decided he wanted to pull back the power creep in the game, a lot of what made the sourcebooks fun to read is gone. Most of them are just about as exciting as old school Palladium RPG books, which is to say, you only get a couple cool ideas per book.

    Sigh.

    Tycho wrote:
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    PSN: skyknyt, Steam: skyknyt
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Yeah. I complain about D&D 3e requiring too many rolls, but Palladium is another thing altogether.

    Roll for initiative each round.

    Roll to attack.

    Roll to autododge/parry.

    Roll to dodge/entangle/do missile point defense.

    Roll buckets of dice for damage.

    SHEESH.

    And I can't tell you how happy I am this thread is back from the dead.

    evilthecat wrote: »
    "Bioware I want to suck on your teets of gamingness".

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
    Xenogear_0001
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    'Entangled' is maybe the world's greatest mystery, aside from the Vegabond's IS skills. How does it work? There's not a single combat example where 'Entangled' is used by the defender.

    But if it blocks an attack and also 'pins' the weapon of the attacker... shouldn't you absolutely always use Entangle?

    "Well, obviously you can't use Entangle if someone is shooting you with a laser gun,"

    But what about situations like when Han Solo shot Darth Vader, and Vader just used psychic power to block the shots and grab Han's gun. Isn't that an 'Entangle'?

    "Well but that's not official Rifts canon, so obviously that doesn't count,"

    What about situations like the illustrated scene where the Shifter is fighting the Spider Walker, and summons Cthulhu from the void to literally entangle the vehicle with tentacles so it can't shoot him in the face? Is that not an 'Entangle'?

    "Well maybe that's an Entangle. But if you're playing a Vegabond without psychic powers or magic or power armor with mechanical tentacles..."

    THIS IS RIFTS. NOBODY PLAYS THE FUCKING VEGABOND.

    The Ender on
    TOG Solid wrote:
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    Forar
  • AssuranAssuran Is swinging on the Spiral Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    So, I actually own the Rifts Ultimate Edition Rulebook because nostalgia, screw you, don't judge me.

    Anyways, the best thing about this book is that inter spread throughout the book are game designer notes in which Kevin explains his thought process. Pretty much, it's exactly what you think.

    Here are a select few quotes:
    Page 70:

    "I thought you might also find it interesting to know the Glitter Boy and his Boom Gun was the very first character I created for Rifts. The GB was a pivotal image that helped inspire the entire Rifts saga. In fact, the original title for the Gitter Boy and the RPG was Boomers..."

    Given the absolute slobbering Glitter Boys received, especially later in the game's life, this shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.
    Pg 73:

    "At some point, someone, somewhere in game-design-land must have decreed, 'All characters must be equal' and a bunch of game companies jumped on the bandwagon to even out the power level of every character. How Tragic. That's like expecting every opponent in a videogame to offer the same level of difficulty. Talk about boring."

    Ah. Well, that explains so much then. Kevin goes on to explain that game balance IS important, but that basically falls on the shoulders of DMs. Attack Glitter Boys when they're out of their armor. Or make them fight on soft ground so their blown off their feet.

    MMMMMM. I see.

    Moving on, this actually helps explain this quote after explaining Crazies and Juicers were two of his early designs:
    Page 56:

    "I also see Crazies as seeing themselves as rivals to Juicers. Consequently, they like to tease, pester, annoy, challenge and compete with Juicers to prove they are better. Unfortunately, Juicers are just a tad superior, so nine out of ten times, the Crazy comes in second. Not that it sops the Crazies from trying over and over again."

    On Techno Wizards and the hoops one has jump through to build their devices (and warning earlier that mostly it's DM fiat as to what works or not):
    Page 130:

    Personally, I think I would have tried to come up with something a little simpler. However, based on the multitude of fan comments, suggestions, pleas and requests sent to Palladium, it seems many fans want rules like those in the pages to follow.

    Thanks Kev, you're the best. Who needs ease of use when tedium and DM fiat can be used instead (no really, the rules actually state "the final call is up to the Game Master on what the device function actually does. This information should be kept in the Game Master's notes on the device, and may be discovered by the player upon testing"). Oh, by the way, building a TW device is a 12 stage process, in which multiple stages have to be repeated for each spell chain.

    HOORAY!

    On the Coalition States:

    Actually, this is one of the best designer asides and explains his thought process on them. They are both good guys and bad guys, a good nation corrupted by evil men.
    Pg 230:
    "Rifts is supposed to offer limitless possibilities and cover every possibility. The CS is one of those possibilities. An adversary that is not black and white, but every shade of gray. A villain (and I do see the CS as villains) who can be rotten to the core or surprisingly heroic and compassionate, sometimes even to those they are supposed to hate and destroy. A villian who has the prmoise of redemption and the potential for true greatness. If you think about it, the CS reflects our own duality and capacity for good and evil. They reflect the worst and best humans have to offer, and the promise of greatness so often left unrealized."

    Heel face turn, anyone?

    On combat:

    Just know, per his own writing, Kev doesn't even follow his own rules.
    Pg 342:

    I hop from one set of combatants to the other, trying to leave the most dramatic or decisive clash for last. This means I let the first villain and player character take a whack or two at each other (i.e., one or two melee attacks) and say something like 'okay, you guys are going at it hot and heavy', or, 'you're holding your own for now.' Then I turn to the next player to give him a turn... I let two melee attacks unfold, put him on pause and turn to the next player and repeat.

    This creates a sensation of simultaneous action for all the players. And psychologically, because each player is waiting for their next turn while watching the rest of the team, it creates a sense of anticipation, excitement and camaraderie... Use this pause, switch, return method along with cliffhanger suspense and try tot build to a satisfying climax. For example, as one of the free player characters, having vanquished his adversary, looks on, he sees one of his teammates losing his fight. Things look bad.

    The free character tells the GM that he is running over to help his buddy or taking aim at his buddy's opponent. The GM says okay, but seems to otherwise ignore him, or says something like, "okay you're charging over there (or taking aim), but in the meanwhile..."

    The GM turns to the player whose characters is under brutal attack and faring poorly. THE Gm allows another exchange between the villain/monster and the beleaguered player character, after all, one melee attack and counterattack takes only two or three seconds.

    If played out right, the free character is shouting, "I leap at the villain" or "I strike with my sword" or "I shoot, I shoot" But the GM still looking at he beleaguered character, says, 'The villain, caught in a blood fever, doesn't see or hear the free character. All he can think about is finishing you off. He raises his clawed hand and...'

    And that's when the GM turns to the free character and says, "roll to strike." Cool, huh? Very dramatic.

    WHAT. THE. HELL.

    I mean, if that is how you envision combat working, why not actually write rules to match that effect instead of the unholy mess you wrote in the first place? It's not like you're the Game Designer of the system.

    OH WAIT. YOU TOTALLY ARE.



    This is why I get so frustrated with Rifts. Awesome concepts, crap rules. Made that way on purpose, it seems.





    Assuran on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    This is why I get so frustrated with Rifts. Awesome concepts, crap rules. Made that way on purpose, it seems.

    90s / late 80s game design in a nutshell (and playtest philosophy, too. 'Playtesting' meant grabbing some hyped people, sit down with someone who knew what they wanted the game to be like and have the person in the know run the experience to create a bunch of fanboys. Rather than, y'know, actually make sure the rules can be fucking read and understood by a total stranger to the franchise).
    "Rifts is supposed to offer limitless possibilities and cover every possibility. The CS is one of those possibilities. An adversary that is not black and white, but every shade of gray. A villain (and I do see the CS as villains) who can be rotten to the core or surprisingly heroic and compassionate, sometimes even to those they are supposed to hate and destroy. A villian who has the prmoise of redemption and the potential for true greatness. If you think about it, the CS reflects our own duality and capacity for good and evil. They reflect the worst and best humans have to offer, and the promise of greatness so often left unrealized."

    OH HO! HOW COMPLEX!

    -.-

    This is every SatAM villain / villainous organization ever. And the Coalition War Campaign book implicitly states that Prosek models himself after Adolf Hitler (which is retarded, but whatever; at least the author is self-aware, I guess). How is that a 'shade of grey'? If he set-up a society that was akin to the Nixon-era United States or Gorbachev-era Soviet Union or even the Mao-era Chinese Empire, okay, fine - but fucking Nazi Germany? This is morally ambiguous now?
    "At some point, someone, somewhere in game-design-land must have decreed, 'All characters must be equal' and a bunch of game companies jumped on the bandwagon to even out the power level of every character. How Tragic. That's like expecting every opponent in a videogame to offer the same level of difficulty. Talk about boring."

    These mysterious law-givers in game design land are known as, 'The People Who Play Games,' and the reason they want balanced things is so that when they are given choices by a game, the choices have roughly equal weight. Also so that things like combat in your combat focused game does not become repetitive, monotonous and boring.

    Here's an unpopular thing to say. coming from someone who must admit that he is bad at math: game unbalance is a result of an unwillingness or inability to do the often complicated math involved in making a balanced framework for a game. The guys at Palladium didn't want to have to do the math, and it shows (...not that it would've necessarily mattered anyway, since the core system is dreadful - balanced or not).

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Hello, my name is lowlylowlycook and I approve of this thread resurrection.

    steam_sig.png
    (Please do not gift. My game bank is already full.)
    Elderlycrawfish
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2013
    It's funny, the Palladium forums were, on further retrospection, probably the forum I really got into for the first time. The net was still young, various flavours of forum and chat programs were developing, but I never really bothered posting anywhere for the longest time. Eventually I got right into their stuff for a few years, but it only really lasted until the system fell out of favour with my usual game crew. Hell, I even lurked on the old PA forums for a while, but never even registered until they were removed and then the new ones were created. And I believe I lurked some more even then.

    Anyway, the point being that having moved onto other systems and other forums, the launch of Palladium's Robotech Miniatures Kickstarter back in May got me to go check out their forums again. Ye gods. There are people there who take pride in owning not just their entire product line, but multiples of them, 2, 3, 4+ copies of some books. Entire shelving units dedicated to their apparent need to have a simply absurd number of these products. People who vehemently argue that the game and combat systems are flawless, that their minimal evolution/updating over the years are an advantage of Rifts and Palladium systems. At which point I start backing away slowly and distinctly avoid making eye contact.

    Sure, you have some vocal proponents of change as well, but it's almost like the small and insular community has led to some kind of self reinforcing feedback loop where the idea of changing things and seeking out new ways to do things better are seen as practically heretical by some.

    Not to mention reading up on the "crisis of treachery" when one guy embezzled a big pile of cash from them (figures range between hundreds of thousands and a million or more), a bunch of dirty laundry and outdated info wrapped up in old sub forums and 'sticky posts' from literally years ago (ye gods, their forums need someone to go to work with hip waders and pruning sheers), and a tucked away sub forum called the 'political arena' which seems to be primarily one hardcore Republican posting random shit about guns and stupid Dems and whatever.

    There was a discussion on the nature/utility of MDC in the Rifts subforum, and I brought up some of the points we've discussed on the application/realism of damage capacities and resilience that have come up in D&D and whatnot, at which point a few of the more... enthusiastic posters simply went for the jugular.

    More backing away slowly, no eye contact, no sudden movements...

    Edit: and don't get me started on the Kickstarter campaigns comments thread.

    I literally had a guy tell me that he and his group played Rifts with no adjustments and found that all the rules were perfect and flawless.

    Any statements to the contrary were met with 'well, that's just your opinion'.

    Err, it doesn't take a genius to begin finding inconsistencies in this line.

    Palladium Books attracts some of the most frustrating and blindly loyal followers, I swear...

    Forar on
    sigtwo.png
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    You'll find the same thing among proponents for Ye Olde School D&D.

    It was a fundamental part of how the products were promoted back in the day: build up a base of loyal - rabid, foaming at the mouth loyal - customers who are taken under the wing of Club Palladium.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
    Leper
  • AuralynxAuralynx Harry Caul We'll be listening to you.Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    You'll find the same thing among proponents for Ye Olde School D&D.

    It was a fundamental part of how the products were promoted back in the day: build up a base of loyal - rabid, foaming at the mouth loyal - customers who are taken under the wing of Club Palladium.

    Yeah. 4E has suffered considerable, and very similar, hostility from the D&D old guard in a lot of places.

  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Auralynx wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    You'll find the same thing among proponents for Ye Olde School D&D.

    It was a fundamental part of how the products were promoted back in the day: build up a base of loyal - rabid, foaming at the mouth loyal - customers who are taken under the wing of Club Palladium.

    Yeah. 4E has suffered considerable, and very similar, hostility from the D&D old guard in a lot of places.

    My issue with 4E is that it has taken too many cues from WoW and moved even further towards its origins--namely, as a miniatures-based game.

    Some bits of it are nice, but overall I prefer 3e variants, despite the utterly ridiculous combat.

    Note: not as ridiculous as Palladium.

    evilthecat wrote: »
    "Bioware I want to suck on your teets of gamingness".

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
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