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Monday, August 1, 2011

RIFTS ~Giving it a closer look~

On the surface it seems kind of silly after all this time getting back into Palladium games. Mainly because I have gone to mostly rules lite systems. And Palladium games have a reputation for being complex. But tell you the truth I just reread the rules in Rifts, Chaos earth, Nightbane, System failure and Palladium Fantasy. And I actually find the system rather elegant. And not complex in the slightest.

Here is the basics to combat. Any roll (if you have the weapon proficiency) over 4 is a hit.

Defenders can roll to parry, Dodge or roll with punch/blast.

If its a maga-damage (This is very high tech armor) world, damage is removed from available Maga-damage then strutural damage capacity and next hit points.

If damage is against SDC (structural damage capacity) armor, This is anything from a bullet proof vest to plate mail. It has an armor rating (AR). A roll over 4 but under the AR number the damage goes to armor. If its above the AR number the wearer take the damage.

If the damage is against Natural SDC Like a turtle shell or dragon scale. Rolls below AR do not penetrate the armor. Rolls above AR penetrate and do damage to the armor first. Then to the targets hit points.

I really like this. I like that I can have more than one type of armor. Fighting a dragon with a sword is not the same as firing on a hover tank with a laser rifle. And I know how to resolve a hover tank firing on a dragon.

I'm really digging the fantasy magic systems too. Great to see different flavors of magic.

And yes its a class and level based system. But its doesn't feel like one. There is no real bloat from level to level. Sure you get a few more hit points, Get some hand to hand combat bonuses and your skills get better. But a level one juicer is not really weak compared to a level 10 juicer.

Besides my Unisystem Dresden game I'm really looking forward to some palladium gaming.


  1. I will concede that there is an elegant system threaded through the Palladium books. However, there are a lot of really terrible bits hanging off of it.

    How many attacks per round do you get? This is a perennial question, with multiple official answers.

    Attributes are all but pointless.

    Skills are overly complicated and terribly inconsistent. Like many parts of the Palladium system, though, all they really need is a strong editor to even them out.

    While I do love the magic system, I hate most of the spells. Most especially in Rifts where it is painfully obvious that they cut and pasted the spells from Fantasy and BtS with almost no adjustment. There are a couple examples of spells that do exactly the same thing having different levels or PPE costs.

    You see the trivial growth from leveling up as a good thing. I, personally, don't. Unless you are a mage, leveling up is more trouble than it's worth.

    Personally, I would love to see a serious game designer with some experience with modern systems overhaul the whole thing. There are several good things about the system. I like the early attempt at a universal system. I like that your character is nearly entirely defined by your class. I do think that the combat system has some real strengths and some good flow.

    I just don't find it worth all the effort I have to go through to find the diamonds in the dirt.

  2. Not every game is every ones cup of tea. My theory is if you have fun playing it its a good game. If it is more aggravation than it is fun. Find a game that is fun to you. That is my theory.

  3. That is a good theory.

    Of course, my theory is, if it's broken, we have the technology to fix it. Make it faster, stronger, and worth around $6 million. Okay, I'm probably reaching with that last bit...

  4. I totally agree. But that is up to its owner. I got an old '85 S10 blazer. Sure I could fix it up. For what I need it for (just getting to work and back) It works just fine. No matter how much other people feel it need to be worked on and fixed up, In the end I'm the owner. I see that same thing with RPGs. Until I create my own RPG I'm always playing in some one else's sand box. Sure I bring my own shovel and pail to play in it. But its not my sandbox.


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