What is Rifts®?

The Rifts® Story, Setting and Background Rifts® Story Summary The infinite Megaverse® is filled with magic energy and tears in the fabric of reality. When magic energy came flooding back to Earth it became a world plagued by dimensional anomalies and portals to otherworldly environments. A world where fractures in space and time tear through reality and open doors to supernatural realms, strange dimensions and alien worlds. From these portals emerge mythical gods and Elemental creatures, hordes of demons and monsters, dragons and creatures of magic, Shadow Beasts and the undead from dimensions of darkness, and aliens from countless places across the Megaverse. The Rifts appear where two or more lines of magic energy intersect to create a nexus point where magic and dimensional forces converge and create tears in reality to countless other worlds, dimensions and realities. In Rifts®, Earth itself has become an alien landscape where the people, cultures, technologies and madness of countless alien worlds and realities collide with our own. It is a world that has just become part of the bigger Megaverse® and endless adventure. The Rifts® setting is one of contradiction and juxtaposition. It is an environment that is simultaneously familiar and alien, wondrous and horrifying, good and evil. It is an adventure setting where the magical, supernatural and alien may come to you, or you may find them. An environment where technology and science co-exist and clash with magic and psychic power. Robot warriors and power armored troops battle dragons, demons, and magic users. People of science and technology share a Megaverse® with magic-wielding sorcerers, gods of legend, Elemental beings, demons, creatures of magic, aliens, and the forces of light and dark. The Rifts® Megaverse® is one of constant change, conflict, horror, wonderment, magic, and endless possibilities limited only by your imagination. Everything is possible with the Rifts® Role-Playing Game. The Great Cataclysm: How it all began Two hundred years in our future, human civilization is at the zenith of a Golden Age of Science and Technology. Robots, cyborgs, human augmentation, genetic engineering, advanced medicine and sciences are commonplace. Scientists seem to unveil a new miracle every week. Then, civilization takes a turn. Hostilities, ironic timing, and a random act of violence changes everything. Ley lines ± lines of magic energy ± that have lain dormant for thousands of years suddenly erupt with renewed life. What has been an imperceptible trickle of magic energy surges and erupts with such violent force that it sets off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped. The forces of nature and magic cause cataclysmic destruction that obliterates half of human civilization in a matter of hours. Some cities are toppled by earthquakes, others are buried by volcanic ash, coastal cities are smashed by tsunamis and washed into the ocean. The tidal wave of death only fills the surging ley lines with more mystic energy. The greater the level of energy, the greater the carnage. And this is only the beginning. The Coming of the Rifts®

continued to transform the landscape on a regular basis. By the end of the 200 Years Dark Age. It takes only days for 80% of human civilization to be erased from the surface of the planet. It has joined the larger fraternity of magical worlds in the Megaverse® connected to countless alien worlds and dimensions via the Rifts and realities cross into one another. and the beings that emerged from these tears in the fabric of reality. known as ley lines. portals to random alien worlds and dimensions tear open to unleash wave after wave of demons. and there are many different types of magic.The junction where two or more magical ley lines cross creates a nexus point. While not as active and destructive as they once were. ancient gods and alien beings from across the infinite Megaverse®. Invading aliens. an ongoing series). the Earth has become an alien environment. Even those places and things that may seem familiar are likely to take a twist that carries the player characters on adventures they could never imagine. the dimensional portals continue to unleash new menaces and marvels into the world. Not only had Earth been transformed. from traditional wizardry to the manipulation of the ley lines and the use of the Rifts. A place where magic energy is increased and a tear in the very fabric of reality may open to other dimensions and alien worlds. human civilization as we know it vanished. The practice of magic is commonplace. dimensional energy and weird anomalies from these tears in the fabric of realty work to transform some regions of the planet into alien landscapes and/or the domains of monsters. the dimensional portals. as well as create magical devices powered by the energy of living creatures imprisoned within them. causing more destruction and reshaping the planet. and where too often. It is an epicenter of magic and dimensional forces attracting all manner of men and monsters. swarms of monsters and powerful beings that can only be described as primordial gods emerge from the dimensional portals. magic and technology. Some communities even rediscover lost technology and struggle to reclaim humanity¶s place in the world. The Earth humankind once knew was gone. . Humanity has managed to survive across the globe. monsters. The planet is no longer the domain of humanity. It is a place connected to other worlds and where good and evil are constantly at odds. the forces of magic and all manner of beasts in an environment as bizarre and inhuman as any two dozen alien worlds. but home to humans and aliens. might makes right. but now competed for survival with alien life forms. Men and women ± human and inhuman ± who champion the innocent and fight for justice and freedom. and at some locations. Unchecked magic. zombies. Your heroes. Elemental FusionistsŒ and Warlocks draw their power from Elemental forces and command Elemental creatures. fauna and intelligent life forms transform the environment even more. demon plagues. The Rifts® Setting The Earth we once knew is gone. In the end. as well as the dimensional portals that open to alien worlds and realities. but the magic. Humans not only had to deal with the death and destruction of the Great Cataclysm. The survivors would hang on to face untold challenges and horror from the forces of magic and countless alien worlds (see the Rifts® Chaos EarthŒ RPG. Bio-WizardsŒ merge alien symbiotes and other alien creatures with humans and other living beings. monsters. The Forces of Magic The magic lines of energy. Humanity struggles to hang on while alien flora. That¶s where heroes come into play. During the Great Cataclysm. mortals and gods. and invading realities from across the infinite Megaverse®. flourish. The 200 Years Dark AgeŒ The next 200 years were a dark age in which people slipped into anarchy and savagery. demons. and human beings teetered on the edge of extinction for centuries. glow with blue magic energy.

Many other magicks also exist. are humans augmented to be gunslingers in the New WestŒ. giant robots. and simple platforms that fly. and on and on. or telekinetic rounds that leave no trace. The Forces of Technology The secrets of humankind¶s technology have been rediscovered and reclaimed.Ley Line WalkersŒ cast spells and draw power from lines of mystic energy. .´ They create machines powered by magic and devices that project magical effects: Guns that shoot fire balls or bolts of magical lightning. and have vowed to destroy them. ShiftersŒ summon. Techno-WizardsŒ build weapons and devices that merge the ³twin sciences of magic and technology. . and a vast range of cybernetic and bionic augmentation is available to select player characters. many other forms of magic. Glitter BoyŒ Pilots and their Boom GunsŒ are the most famous heroes who use a particular brand of power armor. reflexes. Some are born from evil. Some are ancient and rediscovered. Combat CyborgsŒ. Cyborgs. magical and alien creatures to do their bidding. strength and combat prowess compliments of their drug harness. Witchcraft and many. well. cyborgs.´ They are human supremacists who hate magic and alien invaders. Rifters® have learned to open dimensional portals. crazy. The magicks described above are only a small sampling of the magical wonders and mystics arts one can find in Rifts®. armor with magical properties and protection. They are also the self-proclaimed ³saviors of humanity. Necromancy. Thus. Some are alien. Stone MagicŒ. CyberSlingersŒ and Wired GunslingersŒ. They also make the character quirky and . HeadhuntersŒ (a particular type of cyborg). heroes clad in power armor. and many more. They are the masters of spell magic and knowledgeable about ley lines. SAMAS pilots are the most famous among the Coalition StatesŒ. as well as minor psionic powers. CraziesŒ have brain implants that provide that character with superhuman agility. fast. goggles that can see the invisible. One uses bionics the other brain implants to make them deadly warriors. but there are many other power armor suits that turn an ordinary man into a superhuman warrior. Other mutants and victims of genetic engineering also roam the land. . but there are many others. enslave and command demonic. Dog BoysŒ are humanoid mutant canines genetically engineered to act as a combat force deployed by the Coalition StatesŒ. SoulmancyŒ. There is Tattoo MagicŒ. travel across the changing streams of reality and cast magic. some from goodness. JuicersŒ possess superhuman speed. Cloud MagicŒ. and a host of other tech-based characters are available as player characters in the Rifts® role-playing game. Ocean MagicŒ. Human augmentation is a running theme throughout Rifts® and covers a wide range of possibilities. full conversion cyborgs. Coalition SoldiersŒ represent the pinnacle of human technology in North America. are available to an array of player characters. Too bad the drugs that make them into super-soldiers are also killing them. ALL of the above. partial conversion cyborgs. reflexes and athletics. as their names suggest.

other realms of Hell. Elementals. demons. others prefer their natural. The Extraordinary There are psychics. There are many worlds and realities in the Rifts® series. Gene-SplicersŒ are aliens from another universe or dimension whose mastery over genetic manipulation is so advanced it seems almost magical. and exoskeletons. In the process. Some help humanity. these aliens ± these ³dimensional beings´ known as D-Bees ± reshape the planet and civilizations of a bold. Dragon Hatchlings are available as player characters. and scores of alien people and planets in the popular space opera series based in the Three GalaxiesŒ. monsters and other supernatural beings walk the Earth. An array of demigods. and all hero. Some wield formidable psionic mind powers.´ Intelligent. Places like the demonic world of WormwoodŒ. giant robots. and do you want to subject your character to their mad whims? . superhuman form. Gods and the Supernatural. deities from ancient mythology and alien worlds. The above are just some of the many military and technological based player characters available in Rifts®. to the very pits of Hades. BurstersŒ wield the power of Pyrokinesis. There are literally hundreds of D-Bees in Rifts®. and evildoers. They wield the famous Psi-SwordŒ and possess a range of powers that make them the nemesis of monsters. others as refugees or explorers. and whisked to Earth. the fantastic alien planet known as Phase World®. do these aliens use their powers for good or evil.Mercenaries and Bounty Hunters of every variety offer their services as guns for hire. Dragons and other creatures of magic are real. Some D-Bees came through the dimensional portals as invaders. With no way to return from whence they came. D-BeesŒ ± Aliens from Infinite Worlds D-Bees is slang for ³Dimensional Beings. or treasure. power. part-psychic. humanoid aliens from other worlds who have come to Earth through the dimensional portals at the nexus points of the magical ley lines. mutants. alien Earth. knowledge. Robot Pilots control walking tanks. and others are just plain weird. They may seek adventure. Cyber-KnightsŒ are part tech. new. monsters and beings that defy imagination. Earth has become their new home. others possess superhuman abilities. most available as player characters. The question is. Some are shape shifters able to walk among mortals disguised as one of them. while still others are victims torn from their home world or alien dimension by magical forces beyond their understanding. OperatorsŒ are mechanics skilled in the advanced weapons and technology of the new age. but most represent trouble for mortals. the Elemental Planes (an upcoming series of new Rifts® Dimension Books). But Earth is not alone. the worlds of superheroes in SkraypersŒ. making fire with the snap of their fingers. and other realms of reality. Each written and designed to be unique and fun to play. outlaws. others seek to use and enslave it.

Kingdom of the SplugorthŒ. like the SplugorthŒ. Faeries. Others. The Vampires of Mexico. China is Hell on Earth and the land of the Yama Kings. Fabled Atlantis has returned as a domain of supernatural horrors known as the Splugorth. Tip of the Iceberg The amazing thing is. Some are gods. More than 80 Rifts® titles (and counting) allow you to start anywhere and go anywhere. he just needs to ask the right person and be willing to pay the price. but all contribute to making Earth a world of constant change and endless possibilities. the Millennium TreeŒ.Mind MeltersŒ are the most powerful and deadly of psychics. Atlantis offers slaves from across the Megaverse® and a Dimensional Market where it is said one can purchase anything. weapons and pieces of gear. England is a realm of enchantment. There are literally hundreds of player characters. secretly plot to seize control of the entire planet and control ALL the dimensional Rifts for their own insidious purposes. Different. Mystics are people with a natural. intuitive connection to magic and the psychic realm. others are demons and monsters. So what can you expect? Atlantis ± Domain of Monsters. some are explorers. some are monstrous invaders or supernatural horrors who draw energy from the suffering of "mortal" life forms. This brings a seemingly endless parade of inhuman visitors to Earth. Some are curious adventurers and heroes in their own right. hundreds of monsters and thousands of magic spells. And these are only some of the psychic and inhuman characters you can play or battle in Rifts®. no matter how terrible. There is nothing quite like Rifts®. hundreds of D-Bees/aliens/mutants you can play. The Rifts ± Dimensional Portals The tears in reality are two-way doors in space and time. Mexico is the Vampire KingdomsŒ. Mind BleedersŒ use psionic powers to steal knowledge. thus they are able to cast spells as well as wield psychic powers. Alien. some are villains. gods and spirits. all of the above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Rifts®. ancient magic. skills and power from their opponents. And unique. Vampires walk the Earth and it is said there are entire kingdoms of vampires who dominate the living and wait for the right moment to invade the rest of North America. Psi-StalkersŒ are human mutants who live off the land and use special psychic abilities to control animals and slay monsters. and dark secrets. . Magical. The entire planet Earth is very different from the world you think you know.

wacked-out cyborgs. or another dimension. South America is a land of alien magic and technology. giant robots. It is a splintered land where humans wage war against nonhumans. super-heroes. fantasy. horror. and the dimensional portals themselves are doorways to endless adventure and discovery. alien invasion. The Rifts® RPG defies convention.com). mutant animals. Everywhere you turn is something amazing. gypsies. empires of technology and much. new dangers can emerge from the Rifts at any time. or a parallel world. There are dinosaurs. limited only by your imagination. . or an exotic place somewhere else on the planet. much more. magical or unearthly. monsters. videogames. As if that were not enough. post-apocalypse. mystery. It crosses and combines most game genres ± science fiction. fantasy. monsters and magic. Walk through one of these tears in reality. horror. superheroes and even space opera (see the Dimension BooksŒ series and Phase World®) ± into one seamless and plausible setting. weird beings. The possibilities are endless. bandits. monsters. A huge number of gamers have already played Rifts® since it first came out in 1990. It masterfully blends a myriad of genres ± science fiction. kingdoms of magic. the environment is constantly changing.The New German RepublicŒ is a high-tech power with robots. and one never knows what lies around the next corner. millions more are about to discover Rifts® through film. mutants. magic and civilizations. the supernatural. and more ± in a wild. That means you can easily customize your Rifts® game to suit your own tastes. online and other mediums. Not only that. comic books. Under the Seas adventurers can find new wonders. North America is home to the Coalition States and many fledgling kingdoms of humans and D-Bees. Rifts® the role-playing game Rifts® is a fascinating. dimensional travel. but the game lets you play any type of character and engage in any type of adventure. power armor and giant robot combat vehicles locked in a war against the Gargoyle EmpireŒ that literally surrounds them. Russia is a realm of warlords. magic. monsters and strange dimensional phenomena. demons. secrets of the past wield dangerous power. post-apocalyptic setting limited only by the imagination of the players. technology is pitted against magic. With any luck. and you may find yourself on an alien world a million light-years away. digital downloads (pdf books are available from DriveThruRPG. pen and paper role-playing game that has delighted gamers for 20 years. adventure.

).The characters agility. Games set on modern Earth tend to favor the second.). * Potential Psychic Energy (PPE) .C. with other species' determined by more or less depending on how they compare to humanity. which are randomly generated and depend upon the character's race: * IQ * Mental Affinity (MA) .). * Physical Beauty (PB) . sometimes known as the Palladium system. which focus around psychic powers. [edit] Other system variations .). O. and uses differing amounts of d4s.The character's personality and how well they can deal with others. which describe abilities and skills which are primarily a function of race. Other stats that may be used are: * Structural Damage Capacity (SDC) . * Hit Points (HP) Most of these stats are determined by a roll of three six-sided die (D6) for humans.The character's basic level of toughness. are assumed to be human. d8s. they very often are not). [edit] Classes The game (and the character's race and attributes) will impact their selection of one of a few types of classes: * Occupational Character Classes (O. * Mental Endurance (ME) .s within a profession that could be made generic (such as six or seven specialized mecha pilot classes in Rifts which could easily be boiled down to a single "Robot/Power Armor Pilot" class).Energy used for Psychic abilities.C. depending on the game (all characters in Ninjas and Superspies.C. * Inner Strength Points (ISP) . * Physical Strength (PS) . * Psychic Character Classes (P. or can come from a character's educational or occupational background. Also serves as hit points to nonliving objects.D. roll-high d20 combat checks and roll-high d20 saving throws. Structural Damage Capacity (S.s tend to be more specific than character classes in other games.C. all others favor the first. d6s. [edit] Skills Depending upon the game.C.The character's running speed.C.The character's willpower. with a wide number of O. is a role-playing game system which involves rollunder percentile skill checks.C. which describe skills and abilities based on a person's training.). Players may or may not select a race.D.C.The character's physical attractiveness.The character's strength.Often used as a supplemental to hit points. skills can come exclusively from the character's O. and d10s for damage. in Palladium Fantasy. All games share the same eight attributes.C.The Megaversal system.C. * Physical Prowess (PP) . and MegaDamage Capacity (M.C.C. for example.C.C. * Racial Character Classes (R. * Physical Endurance (PE) . Character creation Character creation varies across the games. which is applied to Hit Points. or are limited to members of a certain race.Energy commonly used for magic and other non-psychic supernatural abilities. and a related list. * Speed (Spd) .

and Rifts use a special category of damage called Mega-Damage.C. how they view the law. the archetypical example of Mega-Damage is a tank.e. whether they will lie. and Evil. Taoist. The seven core alignments are: * Principled (Good) * Scrupulous (Good) * Unprincipled (Selfish) * Anarchist (Selfish) * Miscreant (Evil) * Aberrant (Evil) * Diabolic (Evil) An eighth alignment. and stems from the idea that a truly neutral character would not do anything particularly interesting. as used in Dungeons & Dragons. was introduced for Mystic China. Splicers. . and normal weapons cannot damage a Mega-Damage structure at all. MegaDamage is 100 times more powerful than normal damage (i. but has not seen wide use.C. The alignments are organized into three broad categories: Good. This is stated in most core rulebooks in the alignment section. how much force they will use against innocents. and so on. Palladium Fantasy assumes that non-humans will be routinely played. Selfish. games with super-technology.s. like fight or adventure.: 1D6 MDC = 1D6x100 SDC). and so most races will use normal O.C.Each game has its own variations to make the system better suit its genre. and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness RPG use 'BIO-E' (for 'Bio Energy') to purchase mutations. like Robotech. Splicers. Kevin Siembieda has a noted distaste for "neutral" alignments.C.s instead of R. unless they are capable of inflicting 100 SDC or more in a single shot/burst. which can only be effectively destroyed through the use of powerful weapons designed to overcome its armor. After The Bomb. [edit] Alignment Palladium's alignments are described in detailed terms with alignments describing how a character acts in a certain situation.

deriving elements from cyberpunk. characters and elements from different games can interact and combine in new ways.1. with five published between April and December 2005.8 The Oceans o 1. science fiction.7 Australia  1. times.5 Africa  1.1."[2] Palladium continues to publish books for the Rifts series.2 Character Classes o 2. and realities. Rifts takes place in a post-apocalyptic future.1. mythology and many other genres.3 Europe  1. Rifts describes itself as an "advanced" role-playing game and not an introduction for those new to the concept.[3] Contents [hide] y y y y y 1 Setting o 1.1 Rifts Movie 4 References 5 External links [edit] Setting .4 Asia  1. changes in the game world. Rifts Ultimate Edition was released in August 2005 and designed to update the game with Palladium's incremental changes to its system.1. The web site is quick to point out that this is not a second edition but an improvement and expansion of the original role playing game.1.1 Earth  1.2 Other settings o 1. fantasy. horror.5+ million gamers have played Rifts and many times that number have heard of it.3 Damage and firepower o 2.2 South America  1. western.1.3 Weapons and technology 2 System o 2. Palladium estimates that "1. and additional information and character types.6 Atlantis  1. Rifts serves as a cross-over environment for a variety of other Palladium games with different universes connected through "rifts" on earth that lead to different spaces.1.1. Since its creation.1 Conflict o 2.4 Character classes o 2.Rifts is a multi-genre role-playing game created by Kevin Siembieda in 1990 and published continuously by Palladium Books since then. Through Palladium's universal combat and conversion system.000 copies of the original Rifts rule book have been sold[1] and over 60 books have been created. over 250.5 Skills 3 Spinoffs o 3. resulting in a completely unique role-playing setting that Palladium calls the "Rifts Megaverse".1 North America  1.

the PPE of billions of human beings dying nearly simultaneously. Many creatures. and society. the very fabric of space and time can be torn thus creating a rift.The setting of Rifts forms a unique backdrop for story-telling and role-playing. Second. Alien magic far beyond the fairy tales of Earth's past exists alongside futuristic hyper-advanced technology capable of giving the user something of a chance against these supernatural forces. both mythical beasts and alien beings. which uses Lovecraftian storytelling techniques for a role-playing experience based on horror fiction. and animals. 2.. almost anything can happen in a Rifts game. humanity's wars will end. Ultimately. energized the ley line networks criscrossing the globe and caused many rifts to open. a hole in space-time leading to another place. The U. Ley lines. but one of its greatest sources is human beings. In the Rifts game. Magic energy exists. a multi-planetary alignment combined with the naturally higher levels of mystic energy present during the Winter Solstice at exactly midnight) changes what would "normally" be the deaths of a few million living beings into a psychic energy flood that triggers the eruption of ley lines and triggering natural disasters across the world and also causes the return of Atlantis which raised the water levels causing even more death. technology. If the PPE nearby is extremely strong the Ley Lines could be seen during the day too. and then released into the surrounding environment. they become visible at night as massive bands of blue-white energy half a mile wide. The additional deaths in turn releases even more mystic energy in a vicious cycle. called a nexus.S. Ley Lines are normally invisible. 4. and Rifts stories can be anything from dark and haunting to odd and whimsical. Supernatural events today are rare. this golden age will be followed by an apocalyptic nuclear war that starts with a border incursion by NEMA (North American Military Alliance. upon a human's death. Much of the solar system will be conquered. time or a new or parallel dimension. The foundations for the Rifts world were originally developed in the Palladium game Beyond the Supernatural (first released in 1987). Another unique factor. The special circumstances of Earth's mystic position in the Universe at that time (namely. This period is covered in Palladium's Rifts: Chaos Earth spin-off series (Which was originally slated to be an alternate reality rather than Rifts' history where the Golden Age survived because the first nuke hit 1 . The rifts allow characters to travel through time and space to new worlds or to parallel universes. allowing magically powered weapons. armor and vehicles. While this has a variety of applications. Some of the important concepts upon which the Rifts setting is based: 1. multiplied by the mystic alignments mentioned earlier. and Mexico) forces in South America during the year 2098. [edit] Earth Rifts begins with two future-historical premises: first. objects. but hundreds of years into the future. The Rifts world is Earth. that there will be a golden age of humanity with tremendous advances in science. are places of powerful magic. the energy is doubled. such as the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. criss-cross the earth forming supernatural geographic areas such as the Bermuda Triangle. and difficult or impossible to prove. points where ley lines intersect. It is not uncommon for a game of Rifts to involve a wizard battling a fleet of flying robots. comprising Canada. This setting is very versatile. both on Earth and throughout the Megaverse -while simultaneously ripping untold millions of alien beings from their own homeworld and alerting the Great Powers of the megaverse of a new planet to conquer. but in the magic-saturated world of Rifts Earth. and stretching for many miles. Humanity as a whole will get along as a majority of earths nations decide to stop a world war and begin to share ideas and technology freely. PPE can be found in certain places. known as "Techno Wizardry" is a bridge-point between modern technology and ancient magic. lines of magic energy. generally discounted by science. and harmony will reign. come through the Rifts -some of them now permanently opened and incapable of being shut down again -to wreak havoc. and is called potential psychic energy (PPE). nor unthinkable for an elf or dwarf to receive a bionic arm. 3. military. If a ley line nexus grows very strong.

such as elves and dwarfs. Augmentation of the human body has become common with three basic categories: the "Juicers" do it chemically. the current date is around 110 P. almost always becoming pawns of the beings they dared turn to for power. who continue to arrive through the Rifts both accidentally and deliberately.A. The old world is gone. crisscrossing the globe.(2396). The planet's mystical energy has added untold numbers of alien beings from other dimensions. Brain implants cause mental instability ranging from mild phobias to crippling neurosis or psychosis. a new dark age has dawned and humanity's shrinking population is reduced. supernatural. endurance and dexterity to superhuman levels. and Iron Heart which consists of the eastern half of Ontario. Magic abounds on Rifts Earth. In some rare cases. Missouri. a calendar established at the formation of the Coalition States. Some turn to other means to become "more" than human. The governing body of the Coalition States is based in the arcology city of Chi-Town and lays claim to northern Illinois (the southern part being controlled by the "Federation of Magic") and all of Iowa. or "Post-Apocalypse".A. causing those with multiple limb and organ replacements to become more machine than human. The most powerful (and a common theme in the Palladium Megaverse) are the "Alien Intelligences. and dedicate their lives to discovering the abilities of their own minds. The largest can even be seen from space. appearing as massive lines of bluish energy half a mile wide. even the ancient gods of mythology have returned to reclaim their former lands. Also now sharing the planet are monstrous creatures and mystical demons with hides as strong as tank armor. The Ley Lines. [edit] North America The strongest power in North America is the Coalition States (CS). Although different story lines may begin before or after. speed. By this time most of the disasters have quieted down Earth is still bathed in the released PPE." Lovecraftian. Some are required to receive these augmentations either for self defense.A. many of them borrowed from the technological developments of the lost golden age. according to the New German Republic. described as 103 P. This is equivalent to the year 2389. they all come at great cost. needy and weak are often forced or coerced into these roles to serve their rulers.minute after midnight). due to catastrophe and domestic failure. immeasurably. such as with the invasion of Chi-Town by the Federation of Magic (before) or as the Four Horsemen appear in Africa (after). others have never before been seen (created specifically for the game setting). To cope with these natural. decreasing life span to a few short years.. Another popular theme used by humans to combat the dangers of Rifts Earth are powered armor suits. who specialize in mutating animals into talking servants considered by many players as cannon fodder but is one of their primary weapons against the supernatural as without them they would have to rely solely on human psychics. Those people who choose to be augmented in these ways accept these risks in order to become powerful. formerly invisible. Canada. and alien menaces. Chemicals cause the body to wear out faster. Other member states consist of "Lone Star". Mechanical Borg augmentation causes a loss of humanity. Others form pacts with alien intelligences or deities in exchange for great magical knowledge. living mountains of flesh. or for work. Rifts game play takes place roughly 300 years after this event. Some are familiar fantasy races. The minimalistic. However. now dominate the landscape. These creatures include humanoid Dimensional Beings (called D-Bees). also making use of magic impossible. the "Borgs" do it mechanically. and giant robot vehicles. Still others discover that they have great psionic potential. At the latest World Books. and many people turn to the magical arts. and the "Crazies" make use of performance-enhancing brain implants. some twice that tall. formed from the Texas Panhandle. or even against their will by another individual. stretching thousands of miles. The Coalition States are most often described as a technologically advanced fascist human supremacists with a . the human race has tried to change in a variety of ways. most of the series "World Books" are described with a kind of snapshot of 103-109 P. All such augmentations boost strength. lidless eyes and wriggling tentacles with great supernatural powers.

and do so by attacking anything and everyone that is foreign to Earth as it was before the cataclysm. Arkansas is home to the independent CS ally "El Dorado". he isn't an idiot though and allows some of the less threatening inhuman scum live around Chi-Town with lesser privileged humans in the burbs. cyborgs prospect for gold and other minerals. sent to another dimension to prevent their extinction. the city welcomed users of magic. has managed to survive even as Flagstaff. However. and Cottonwood). "Tolkeen" was a major city in the former Minneapolis region in early Rifts books. Mexico is ruled by a group of vampire kingdoms. Wilmington. "New Lazlo" is one of the largest cities in Michigan's southern portion. restrictive education (such as enforced illiteracy). though not much else. home to the city-states of "Whykin" (Poplar Bluff) and "Kingsdale" (West Plains) are in constant opposition to the CS and claim independence. Lazlo and New Lazlo from using any strategic initiatives to scour Chi-Town off the map. Jerome. Southern Illinois and the Ohio Valley is home to the "Federation of Magic". and Magic. His ultimate goal is to control the Earth by humans and for humans. and Charity. though Canada itself did not. is home to most of North America's population. "Emperor Sabre Laser" is attempting to unite the city-states under his banner. The second greatest power is "Free Quebec". restrictive internal media. its unofficial capital. The Mounties have become an independent law enforcement force called the Tundra Rangers. use of mutant animals. both Coalition allies. have returned to the plains in the millions. where outlaws ride hovercycles into battle. human mutations. Los Alamos (formerly Austin) and "Houstown". The Royal Canadian Mounted Police managed to survive the great cataclysm. At one time it was a Coalition State. are among the biggest weapons manufacturing areas on the continent. North of the Rio Grande. The Manistique Imperium and Northern Gun in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. but distrust has remained. preferring the old ways. only to be "contained" by his former comrades).totalitarian government. The pockets of civilization include the "Colorado Baronies". and is genocidally opposed to all aliens. Dbees (Dimensional Beings. in order to deter forces like Tolkeen. The Coalition is ruled by Emperor Karl Prosek. patrolling the northern wilderness. and wild buffalo. and the days of the Wild West. a military campaign made by the Coalition States (which is the primary event of 109 PA) resulted in the magic-user kingdom being wiped off the map (this is covered in the highly debated six-volume series of source/storybooks "Coalition Wars: Siege on Tolkeen"). but constant disagreement with Chi-Town over issues like Glitter Boy production. The Midwest. . the "Clarkdale Confederacy" (Clarkdale. to include humans from other times and even unlucky CS troops that have traveled through a Rift and survived to return. they refuse to use most items of technology. Then there is the modern camp which have designed many technological marvels of their own. Chillicothe in Missouri is a large supplier of Coalition food processing and growing. In Arizona. a collective of small and a few large towns. founded by the survivors of the Denver area. and a massive military. cowboys are as likely to raise dinosaurs as they are cattle. Hope. Testament. Much of the western United States has more or less willingly reverted to a mix of modern and past technology. education level of the populace led. North Dakota is home to the Wilk's firearms corporation. A cease-fire was signed (mainly due to the CS's bigger problem with Tolkeen). Missouri's southern half. there is also the town founded and run by mercenaries known as "Arzno". who treat humans as little more than cattle to feed upon.. Also in the Ohio Valley is "Psyscape": a city-state founded by Psychics. American Natives have taken up two banners there are the Traditionalist which were also taken my the spirit people and returned to Earth with the Bison. Recently. Prescott and Phoenix have collapsed around them. Though the nation is not part of a cohesive power structure or political organization. west of Texas and roaming most of the American Southwest are large nomadic bands/tribes of bandits who collectively form the "Pecos Empire" which incorporates the cities of El Paso. both upper and central. all thinking that they may eventually gain citizenship so they can live inside the protective walls of the arcology.. secession and eventually a short civil war.

Aliens. Arequipa and Lima. with assistance from the Triax corporation. The gods of the Inca have returned to their ancient holdings in the Andes.In the Northeast. possessing pre-rifts technology equal or exceeding any other human nation on Rifts Earth. The only major civilized nation is the "Sovietski". and is the home of Techno-Wizardry. Russia is presently ruled by a collection of Warlords. fighting to free their nation from the grip of the Yama Kings. In Germany. Santiago (one of the most tolerant Human nations on Rifts Earth). named after the great 20th century supernatural researcher and writer Victor Lazlo (from another Palladium RPG. In what was once Argentina. Coming together as one. the NGR. and is seen by most denizens of Rifts Earth as a refuge of demons and madness. stranger beings. all that truly remain of the pre-Rifts Russian Empire and a trade partner of the NGR. Japan has become a mixture of tradition and technology. to Mutants. are in constant battle with the Gargoyle and Brodkil Empires. New Camelot. the "Silver River Republics" of Cordoba (the "South American Chi-Town"). one of the New Empire's closest allies is the Republic of Japan. the "Empire of the Sun" has created a wide range of technology and magic. giving it the nickname "The Land of a Thousand Islands". "Mad Haven" is what the ruins of Manhattan Island is now know as although tectonic forces during the cataclysm have moved it into the coast creating a peninsula. including "Nazca Line Magic". complete with a New Camelot and a new King Arthur. corrupt oligarchies. Nazca. Achilles (a nation founded by Mutants) and New Babylon (a nation where Humans and a race of Aliens live side by side) have thrived and created nations whose strength rivals that of the CS. [edit] Europe y y y y England has become a vast wilderness again. battles against an empire of Gargoyles that has apparently conquered much of Europe. In what was once Bolivia freed Human and D-Bees slave soldiers. Their Inertia Beam weapons are truly one of a kind. In Colombia. [edit] Asia Much of China has been overrun by demons. [edit] South America The return of Atlantis has caused the Amazon River basin to flood most of the western part of South America. Much of the rest of the continent is a wide collection of states ranging from democracies. D-Bees and other. was built upon the ruins of the Canadian city of Toronto. and communist guerrillas known as Shining Path. of the race called "Dakir". partially being manipulated by the ethereal extension of an alien intelligence (disguised as the wizard Merlin). France has already been overrun by Gargoyle hordes and other monsters and cults. allowing them to keep the edge over all opponents they face. Transdimensional Mercenaries. have formed the "Megaversial Legion": a mercenary company with one of the highest levels of technology on Rifts Earth (possibly even the Megaverse). a nation of humans and Dwarves fight against a kingdom of Vampires. The Samurai and warrior monks of the New Empire battle Oni demons and high-tech raiders from the Otomo Shogunate. The Empire incorporates the cities of Cuzco. exclusive to the Empire. "Beyond The Supernatural"). and fight a battle against alien invaders know as the "Arkons". The remnants of the People's Republic of China live in the preRifts subterranean city Geofront. and the Gargoyle Empire are all making moves into the territory as well. the city-state of "Lazlo". Despite their ardent anti-technology sentiments. broken up by the occasional giant Millennium Tree or feudal kingdom. pre-historic creatures and dozens of others. Amazons. This major center of civilization is well known as a melting pot of humans. Also the magic of Druids and Faeries has become commonplace. who like them. an alliance centered on three pre- . who rule through the use of vast armies and Cyborg troops. the New German Republic.

the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (the powerful supernatural beings legends named War. a race of Supernatural Intelligences. Korea . which criticize the Coalition States). including humans. [edit] Africa Much of Africa has gone back to nature. Atlantis is a land ruled by magic and monsters. (See Rifts: World Book 4: Africa) [edit] Atlantis Cover of Rifts first edition: a splugorthian slave barge The lost continent of Atlantis appeared after the cataclysm that caused the rifts. Now controlled by the Splugorth. The rest of the archipelago (which now has the pre-Rifts main island of Honsh divided into two islands from the risen sea levels) is dominated by smaller breakaway governments. In Egypt. mysterious Dark Continent again. seeking to reunite and combine their powers into an ultimate destroyer of a monster. but a group of powerful adventurers is hot on their tails. making the land a wild. a significant portion of the northern half of Japan is dominated by Oni and other denizens from Rifts called the one.Rifts cities (Hiroshima. and Death) are traveling across the continent. and Kure) accidentally rifted off the planet at the exact moment of the Great Cataclysm.A. Victor Lazlo (whose writings were so popular among P. and even the disguised (and unfortunately amnesiac) Egyptian Goddess Isis. magic-users that they named a kingdom after him). but more accurately it returned from an alternate dimension which it had shifted to ages ago. and sent hundreds of years into their future. are bought and   . Meanwhile. where only those foolhardy enough to ignore the cautionary tales would willingly go. including the legendary rogue scholar Erin Tarn (marked for death by the Coalition States for her writings. and the 20th century's most accomplished time-displaced expert on the paranormal. an evil oriental-type Dragon who has conquered the locals and established the Phoenix Empire (with him leading it as Pharaoh). An inter-dimensional marketplace where any number of creatures. Iwakuni.has been completely overrun by demons with nothing remaining of the pre-Rifts nations. According to some it rose from the sea. the ley lines coursing through the pyramids have brought Rama-Set. Pestilence. Famine.both North and South .

(For use with Rifts & After The Bomb. pirates including the ruthless aliens known as the "Horune". [edit] The Oceans Deep within the Marianas Trench. a form of mysticism that involves the use of parasites and symbiotes to enhance one's abilities. a powerful artifact that is said to have created the universe. including many Moreau-style mutant animals. trans-dimensional conquerors that are reminiscent of supernatural entities described in the works of H. and often serve as fodder in gladiatorial arenas. the hunger (often literal) of Atlantis' extradimensional visitors. the Aborigines have enjoyed resurgence and many practice Dreamtime magic.) .Several Space Stations and Colonies existed in orbit at the time of the Great Cataclysm. The Splugorth are evil. P. monstrous creatures. Skraypers is designed for both Rifts (where it is set in the Three Galaxies). Like Mutants in Orbit. The Splugorth minions are a particular threat on the coast lines of adjacent North and South America. Enhanced by parasites or other magic. a massive. an offshoot of Bio-Wizardry. fighting against each other. tentacled monstrosities with a giant eye atop their massive. with Melbourne and Perth the most technologically advanced. monsters.Knights and symbiote-bearing warriors fight against demons on a living planet. [edit] Other settings Further supplements to the Rifts game have expanded the setting to include: y y y y y Mutants in Orbit . still survive in space. They are an evil power that spans many dimensions and are the sworn enemies of the True Atlanteans who have been banished from Atlantis. and in some cases. Lovecraft. and trying to prevent any force from entering or leaving Earth.Superheroes lead a resistance movement against alien conquerors amongst the massive cities of their home planet. The descendants of their inhabitants. amorphous bodies.Earth as it was during and immediately after the devastation of the Apocalypse. With the return of magic to the land. Wormwood . and another Palladium game. Skraypers . evil Alien Intelligence known as the Lord of the Deep (sometimes mistakenly believed by survivors of its rampages on Rifts Earth to be the Kraken or Leviathan) slowly grows ever larger in size and may someday try to devour every living thing on the planet. (Was supposed to be an alternate Earth where the governments and civilizations of the Golden Age were able to stay intact all because the first nuke strike was one minute after midnight. In the "Northland" exist the races known as the Mokoloi and Shadow People. and the descendants of the United States Navy. they are then pitted against one another or bizarre. The Splugorth are also masters of Rune Magic (such as the creation of the fabled rune weapons). rebellious creations of the monster. in this case Heroes Unlimited. now called the "New Navy". conducting slave raids against human and D-Bee settlements to feed the insatiable hunger of the Atlantean slave markets. They are huge. It is opposed by the Whale Singers. cults.an alternative space opera setting of a series of galaxies centered on the planet and dimensional nexus of Phase World. Other forces above and below the waves include a floating city known as Tritonia. dolphins/orca/whales. [edit] Australia A vast inland sea has flooded the centre of the continent leaving notable landmarks like Uluru completely submerged. and interstellar and intergalactic states are presently involved in the search for the Cosmic Forge.) The Three Galaxies . Chaos Earth . and extradimensional invaders. The Splugorth rule through the use of subject races enslaved by Bio-Wizardry. The "civilized" world has devolved into often competing city-states.sold as slaves. Several explorers.

it is all up to the GM. Anything . .. are energy weapons. The most prolific weapons on Rifts Earth. System Failure. vibro-blades are the weapon of choice for hand to hand combat. In this dimension. Technology is in fact instrumental to the continued survival of mankind in a world where many creatures now can survive being struck by the main gun of a battle tank. ammunition belts/drums/clips. and are used in a way similar to machine guns in modern times. and are usually restricted to Powered Armor. However.. Thus. in nearly all regions.though the above sourcebooks are more specifically related to Rifts all of Palladium's games are considered to be within the same "megaverse" and so all of their other games can be used as source books. the weapon. It should be noted that Rifts is one of the few universes that recognizes that laser weapons do not produce visible flying projectiles of colored light. However. and miniaturized rockets appropriately called Mini-Missiles. silverplated melee weapons and silver plated bullets have also risen in popularity. But Palladium Fantasy RPG or Recon happen in entirely different dimensions so could be source books but not Rifts' past. may or may not be an alternate reality or a completely different dimension so as Kevin likes to point out so often. ion beams. Consequently lasers are often more accurate than other types of energy weapons of a similar size and weight. and energy packs to power the weapon make most rail guns very heavy. 'Borgs. Also the Plasma/Flamethrower has once again becoming a useful weapon due to its effectiveness against certain types of supernatural demons who are vulnerable to the basic element of fire. One of the most famous rail guns on Rifts Earth is the RG13 Rapid Acceleration Electro-Magnetic Rail Gun known as the"Boom Gun" used famously by the USA-G10 Glitter Boy power armor.an alternative dimension to Rifts:Earth. It is a weapon so powerful that it creates an immensely deafening sonic booms whenever it is fired that shatters glass for hundreds of yards around. Additionally any other Palladium RPG can become the setting for a Rifts style campaign. it also mentions that people tend to dislike the relatively quiet snapping sounds that powerful lasers generate. While Splycers on the other hand is intentionally a big mystery and may or may not be Earth or another planet. presumably because they do provide sound and recoil unlike lasers. and particle beams. Heroes Unlimited. and the beams travel at the speed of light. Also popular are rail guns. most of the powerful technology managed to survive the centuries. Conversions are encouraged but due to copyright issues Kevin doesn't want any conversions that have a basis copyrighted by someone else posted on the Palladium Forums. and do not have recoil in real life.y Manhunter Universe . For more conventional opponents. in-universe. convert it. published as a sourcebook under license from Palladium Books by Myrmidon Press. and vehicles.if you like the system but you have an old favorite character. Though the canon incarnation of Chaos Earth is Rifts' past it is also commonly accepted that Beyond the Supernatural is the distant past (due to the presence of the same mystic energy AND use of Lazlo's name) which may or may not include Ninjas and Superpies. Dead Reign and even Nightspawn/bane or Robotech or Macross II. weapon manufacturers such as "Wilk's" and "Northern Gun" actually install devices into their weapons that provide appropriate sound effects when the trigger is pulled for an "intimidation effect. plasma cannons. After the Bomb (or if you have the books Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). humankind fights an intense battle against artificially intelligent robots bent on human extermination." Rail guns are highly advanced in Rifts. Due to the proliferation of supernatural monsters such as vampires. y y ALL Palladium Books" . Ion weapons are also popular. The most common are lasers. [edit] Weapons and technology Despite the near-total collapse of human civilization.

but a group of classes that were born with their powers. The ultimate in magic are Rune Weapons. racism (or species-ism). the Glitterboy powered armor pilot (the Glitterboy named for its laser proof chrome alloy armor). giving players a great variety between "hackand-slash" style role-play against the more cerebral problem-solving or political games. the rogue scientist. 3. the Burster with psychic powers over fire. In addition to their role as war machines. talks. freelance warriors called Headhunters. a common vehicle used in battle in Rifts Earth is the Giant Robot. but must also feed on mystic energy which a Dog-Boy does not. and even a vagabond who has minimal gear and skills.Heavy weapons are generally Plasma or Particle-beam weapons. the rogue scholar. capable of tearing the soul out of their victims. the original game book contained four overall character groups with approximately 4 to 5 character classes per group. Its backdrop allows for a great variety of storytelling and exchange. Techno-Wizardry also encompasses the creation of more traditional magic weapons. They include hatchling dragons. which have great stopping power. factions. demons. treachery. selfish or evil). irrevocably killing them with only the slightest scratch. the Dog-Boy from the Coalition which is a mutated dog that walks upright. the Coalition Army. often with many of the same components and spells. extremely powerful weapons with the life-force of an intelligent being driving them. Scholars and Adventurers. Alongside hover vehicles and Powered Armor. Some of the strongest Rune Weapons. The include cyborgs. City-Rat street punk and computer hacker. and turned out to be good in combating very large supernatural creatures (such as dragons. Rune weapons are capable of communicating with their wielders. . and all shades inbetween. indestructible. and the Mind Melter with large amounts of psychic power. Men of Arms are the combat specialists of the game. but also generally have a short range. It employs many concepts of enormous evil. but to make it more effective than it was prior to magic infusion. the Cyber-Knight psychic warrior. Giant Robots are also intimidating. are Soul Drinkers. which is a fusion of magic and technology. and may harm potential users if they don't like their motives and personality (based on the RPG tradition of assigning and "alignment" to a character of good. These are not trades or skills you learn. 2. so a Techno-Wizard can make both a flaming sword or a plasma cannon. the Psi-Stalker which is more powerful than a Dog-Boy. [edit] Character Classes While the game books rapidly expanded the number of character classes to a large number. and giants). and can psychically detect the supernatural. the drug enhanced Juicer who will die in a few years as a side effect. The aims of Techno-Wizardry are to use magic not only to power technology. These are the wilderness scout. 1. the Cyberdoctor. casting magic. and can bind themselves psychically to those they do. and interests. and more to tell a story of enormous change. the Operator (a mechanic second to none). animating and fighting by themselves. [edit] System [edit] Conflict Rifts is an environment embroiled in conflict between different groups. and the Crazy who has microchips installed into their brains to force higher performance and psychic abilities at the expense of their sanity. An increasingly popular use of technology is Techno-Wizardry. Racial Character Classes. reminiscent of Michael Moorcock's fictional sword Stormbringer.

[5] But a pistol that fires projectiles in our time fires the same bullets with the same effects during Rifts times and is effectively useless in most combat situations. enough to destroy a small car.C. Each character. requiring players to buy the most recent supplement to keep up with the power curve (This is parodied in an 8-bit Theater episode fittingly titled "Glitter Boy"[4]). then the use of the skill is considered to be a success.C.C. are a Character Class in and of themselves. intelligence. Yet even a basic Rifts-era laser pistol will cause between 100 and 400 points of damage (more than enough to totally destroy a small car in one shot). for which many automatically gain increased benefits due to the magic-rich environment.C. and their MDC can soar into the thousands. or anything else in the line of fire would meet a similar fate. in Rifts and other Palladium games. For example. while some. uses percentile dice to calculate skill success.[citation needed] often magic.C. For example most personal body armor in the Rifts setting has on average 40 to 80 MDC. and armored vehicles start around 200 MDC and go up from there. Exceedingly powerful beings such as Dragons. As Rifts has no systematic method of designing weaponry. Rifts Conversion Books are designed to help facilitate the transition of magic and psychic characters into this new landscape. This means someone shot by such a laser pistol would be literally cut in half without protective armor and trees. This point system makes sense when considering a small animal killed has between 1 and 4 "hit points. the game is criticized frequently for severe power escalation. [edit] Skills Rifts. Some criticize this as being more cumbersome than the D&D D20 System while Palladium defends their method as allowing for a wider variety of skills.4. While modifiers are suggested in cases of unusual difficulty or proficiency.C. a simple knife inflicts between 1 and 4 "points" of damage. Men of Magic. Thus. bystanders. the Mystic who is instinctive and self taught and half psychic. Both indicate a character's training and learned skills. on top of their race. It does retain certain value as an antique.C.C. . An R. To accommodate this scale. and character classes from new books are drastically more powerful than those from an earlier one(Sometimes even with the same character class). level towns. the Shifter who is taught their magic by an external supernatural creature and specialize in travel magic. has a base percentage chance of success." which make it realistic that it could be killed by a single strike. and from a survival standpoint can be desirable as a hunting weapon. gods and alien intelligences have mega-damage skin caused by the high levels of magic energy present in this game setting.C. and Racial Character Classes (R. based on training. and experience level. usually reserved for special skills. the Techno-Wizard who can install magical properties into technological devices [edit] Damage and firepower One important note about Rifts versus other game systems is scale: weaponry and combat in Rifts are far more destructive than in traditional gaming systems. equipment. [edit] Character classes Character Classes are divided into two categories: Occupational Character Classes (O. indicates that the character's racial background prevents the selection of an O. If a number equal to or below a player's percentage is rolled on percentile dice. an average player character in Rifts Earth with standard-issue armor and weapons has the effective durability and firepower of a modern tank. Each point of mega-damage is equal to 100 points of "Structural Damage" or SDC.). these are rare in the system.). These are the Ley Line Walker with special abilities when on Ley Lines and normal magic spell casting. and kill many bystanders. like other Palladium games.: some races (such as human) may choose an O. usually due to culture or other conditions (such as game balance).C. if not tens of thousands. as well as specifying one's initial weapons and equipment. Mega Damage Capacity or MDC is an important game concept. Even minimal skirmishes may leave deep craters.

One character will generally be offensive. the other defensive. with additions and subtractions for character skills and evironmental factors. In its most basic form the combat system is an opposed roll of two dice. . Combat is determined through the use of 20 sided dice.However. and the highest dice roll will determine if the defender is struck by the offensive character's attack.

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