The Rifts Megaverse just got SAVAGE
Before I get into the meat of this article, or if you don’t feel like reading my ramblings – the TL;DR version is that Rifts is now available in the Savage Worlds rules set and the Kickstarter is now live. It funded in about 3 minutes and is currently hovering around the $170,000 mark. If you are familiar with Rifts or Savage Worlds, please consider backing this project. Not to help it succeed (It’s more than done that already) but to get your hands on what promises to be an amazing game. If you’re not familiar with either, and even if you’re not familiar with table top role playing games at all — read on to see why this is amazing and a great jumping on point for the hobby.
In addition to toy collecting, playing table top role playing games has been one of my life long joys. Usually, when thinking about these type of RPGs people tend to think of Dungeons and Dragons, but there are a lot of other great games out there from a variety of publishers. One of my all time favorites of these games was Rifts by Palladium Books.
Imagine a world that is the Earth in ruin, but on this Earth portals, or Rifts, have opened across space-time and have unleashed chaos on the planet. Set in the distant future, where mechs and power armor go toe-to-toe with monsters from other dimensions and anything from any genre imaginable can exist in your game world.
When I was 15 and began thumbing to the core rule book when it came out back in 1990 I immediately fell in love with what I saw. Cyber-Knight, Techno-Wizard, Juicer and Crazy were some of the stand out classes available to players. You could pilot power armor or operate giant robots as a team stomping your foes as you went.
It was, and is, the single greatest setting to grace the pages of role playing games. Given that Transformers was my other passion it stands to reason that I was also able to include home-brewed Transformers in my games using the mechs and robots as templates – because why not? Everything and anything was possible.
There were, however, downsides. In particular, the rules system that made the game so great was also a bit of a roadblock to new or casual players. Characters took a substantial amount of time to generate (as in HOURS just to roll up a level 1 character), Game Masters had an incredible burden in preparation due to all the number crunching, skills, inconsistencies and general “bloat” of the system itself.
Make no mistake, there is a very dedicated following of Rifts fans. But there are legions more who would miss out on an amazing setting where imagination was the only limit due to the outdated and often times messy rules system.
That all changed when Pinnacle Entertainment obtained the long sought after license to the Rifts universe. By contrast, the Savage Worlds rules system, which is Pinnacle’s flagship game, is simple, fast and amazingly cinematic.
It is virtually classless and without the trappings of traditional ‘leveling’ found in many games and has quickly risen to be one of the most popular gaming rules systems in the modern era. It’s almost certainly responsible, in part, for the resurgence of table top role playing games’ popularity due to it’s ease of play.
I admit, I was skeptical at first, but always excited. Having seen what I’ve seen so far with the preview of the Glitter Boy archetype I’m very pleased that the essence of the Rifts world is being taken to heart by the developers over at Evil Beagle Games.
If you want a taste of the Savage Worlds system there is a free PDF “test drive” available on their site here — you can also download the Glitter Boy class preview PDF.
While I haven’t gotten to play the game yet at conventions, I am already counting the days until the June release of the PDF documents (and later the physical print copies of the books). To learn more about Rifts and Savage Worlds, visit the links below.
Of course, when I get my hands on the books you can expect a full review – until then you’ll have to settle for the HYPE!
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