Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Rifts

While Champions was my first RPG, the Magic of Palladium Books was the first "house organ" I was exposed to.  And even though we were already playing a superhero game, I bought Heroes Unlimited, based on that publication .  From there it was a hop, skip, and a jump to Rifts.  Magic and technology in equal parts, on a post-apocalytpic Earth, where each region gets deadlier and the stakes get greater...does it get any better than that?  And it had a Conversion Book (only 1 at the time)!

From a game system and editing point of view, I could level some heavy criticism at Palladium.  But, in alot of ways, they are one of maybe two companies that haven't changed much since the "Good Old Days".  Kevin Siembieda runs the company the way he likes, for good or ill, and thats his right.  He's the founder and owner.  It's his baby.  For many years, his company attracted a number of talented artists and writers.  I'd say Palladium, at one point, was tied for best covers in the industry.

But system aside, Rifts books pack sweet art with gonzo writing and setting, and that is what sells the books for them.  Even before I owned a copy of the rules, I brainstormed a campaign in mere seconds.  Victor Von Doom, stranded from a fight with the FF again, has uncovered Protoculture from the remains of some mecha.  He defeated and enslaved a squad of  Invid, who came to acquire it.  His main opponent was some dimensional being or D-Bee, from somewhere called Krypton who was trying to incite his workforce (villagers) into revolution.  The PC's would end up working for whoever had the most convincing recruitment speech.  Like so many games, I never ran that one, but it still sticks with me.  And though I'm taking time to work on story and setting these days, the back of my mind is always thinking about Rifts.

I'm thankful Palladium is still around and hope that they remain a publisher for years to come.  I may never be able to repay them for all of the inspiration they've provided me.
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