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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:00 pm

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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:37 pm
Posts: 675
Location: Texas Panhandle
Comment: Creator of the best PBP sites online: Explorers Unlimited & Savage Rifts

I think it might just be you, mate. You're the first to mention this since the site started in 2005. But the criticism regarding the "recursive rules" (as you put it) is fair enough. We're constantly working on such things. If you dislike using IM, then EU is definitely not the place for you as the community uses Google Hangouts extensively in order to form those very friendships we all so highly value as well as to communicate out of character about all manner of things. If that's a hang-up you can get over, hit me up on Hangouts. ( If it's not, then the best of luck to you out there, friend.


Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:43 pm


Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:05 pm
Posts: 1
Good Morning, I've been using for almost a year now. For those not aware Savage Rifts is a port of the Rifts Universe to the Savage Worlds RPG system by Pinnacle. The guys aat Explorers Unlimited were cool enough to create a new sister site for playing Savage Rifts. The community here is fairly large and there are at 12-13 Savage Rifts games ongoing right now. In the last six months or so they've also expanded out into some other Savage Worlds settings such as fantasy (Shaintar), Super Heroes and Supernatural Western (Deadlands.) So adding those to the rifts games you have a lot of choices though some games are full there are several that have a couple openings.

There is some turnover as noted in reviews of the Explores Unlimited side but there is a big enough player base and there are always new players coming in that this is not a problem. Like Explorers Unlimited there are post rates which are pretty easy to make as long as you can post at least once a week or so. Higher post rates are rewarded with EP and a little bonus XP at the end of each quarter. EP is a point system that originated in Explorers Unlimited and allows you to do stuff like unlock extra character slots and pick up various one time bonuses among other things. The nice thing about EP is that while it is cool to have it is NOT necessary to enjoy yourself on this site. The most popular use of EP that I am aware of is the unlocking of extra character slots so they can play in more games. You can see the Explorer Points Menu here.

Another unique thing about the site is that is while it does stick largely to RAW there are site adopted house rules, mostly to bring in new content from other Savage Worlds settings or to import stuff from Classic Rifts that did not make it into the first wave of Savage Rifts books. Site wide house rules are adopted by a majority rule of GM's though pretty much anyone can offer an opinion on stuff that is being debated. If you are interested in seeing what house rules are currently in effect you can look at them here. While I am talking about GM's I should mention that anyone can apply to be a GM and start their own game. If you are interested just contact the site admin at for details.

Last but not least like Explorers Unlimited we make use of Google Hangouts for a lot of our OOC chat and what are we going to do next kind of stuff. Groups generally each have their own hangout and there is a community hangout too.

Well that is pretty everything much everything I can think of. Like I said I've been playing here nearly a year now and I have no intentions of leaving anytime soon. This is a great bunch of people and I can't really think of anything really critical I can say about the place. Probably the closest I can come is pretty much standard for PbP games in which they can move a bit slowly though some games move faster than others and you can read through most of the groups past adventures if you want to get a feel for the style and pace of various GM's. The other issue is that if you have an idea you want to adopt as a house rule the fact there are a number of GM's all with their own view can make getting enough votes a challenge but I still think it is a good system as it means new ideas really get put through the wringer before being inflicted on player's.

P.S. There is also a patron system in place at Radio Free Merctown. Again being a patron is good from some nice stuff but it isn't anything you can't get using EP but if you want to help support the maintenance of the site that is worthwhile in its own right too.

P.P.S. Just adding a note regarding character creation on I haven't used EU but from what I understand it is a little different over on the Savage side. If you want to join you can do so immediately and begin creating your character. There is a recruitment forum specifically or posting character builds and for asking questions on creating characters. You don't have to a concept set in stone to create your account and you have to ability to rename your account to match your character's name once you are ready so no pressure there. Once you are ready you can PM a GM to ask to join a group and once the GM has given your character the once over to make sure the t's are dotted and the i's are crossed they will move your character to the proper team forum and you are off to the races.

Last edited by Radecliffe on Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:21 pm


Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:13 pm
Posts: 3
I joined because I had been stuck as the perpetual GM for a very long time and I saw a plug on facebook for it.

Within no time I found it not only worked it worked really well. There is an inherent strength in having the wisdom and advice of so many other GM's readily accessible through hangouts. A consistency of experience by having common rules accepted by everyone following basically the same rules, and not having to learn the table rules for a new group every time. There is a huge strength in being able to look up a rule or ruling before responding or answering a Question from a player that lets things feel consistent as will. The ability to have time to think about a response before posting rather than what I can come up with on the spot allows me to better think how a character will act in a situation. Overall I have found I get more enjoyment out of my PBP games on than I do out of my face to face groups.

But most of all the community, we hangout on hangouts and get to know a little about each other, tell jokes, and interact in the social way you would with any game group. There are a lot of members of my groups I would like to meet in person and just take out for a bear.

Overall I consider it a great experience.


Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:38 pm


Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:20 pm
Posts: 1
My review of Explorers Unlimited:

Firstly, I can only speak to Explorers Unlimited - I have not looked at SavageRifts (primarily due to not wanting to learn another system).

I originally joined EU in 2011, and left at the end of 2012. I felt welcomed to the community and people were friendly. At the time, Yahoo IM was the primary mode of contact between players and peers and/or admins when not engaging in Private Messages on the board. After returning this past summer (2018), some of the feel has changed, but the core is still the same. More on that later.

The general feel was the same then as it is now - a place to play Rifts and all things Palladium in a Play By Post format, where groups of players band together and state their characters' intentions by making posts in a forum not unlike this one. A GM adjudicates the intentions, plays the roles of the NPCs, and keeps the story rolling.

The players I encountered then and now were helpful, friendly, and felt genuinely like they want(ed) to help. I was originally made part of one of the oldest (if not the oldest) running groups on EU at the time (still is, I believe!), the Heroes for Hire, lead by Sir Ronith, an Asgardian Elf Cyber-Knight. This time, upon returning to EU, I chose a different group to begin. My characters were generated using the EU generation process, which is detailed and, at times, tedious - but effective, and has worked for over a decade successfully. It involves running your concept by the Dimension Master. Different Palladium games, such as Nightbane, Palladium Fantasy, Heroes Unlimited, etc. each have their own Dimension Master who oversees the house rules and makes decisions for that dimension. In addition, Rifts: Phase World, although it uses the same core ruleset as Rifts, is counted as a separate dimension with its own Dimension Master. Once your concept is approved by the Dimension Master, you follow a detailed process including rolls (were not, at that time, available on the website itself but were the "honor system" - this has since changed and rolls are made directly on the site now using the [dice] mechanic), skill and spell/power selection (where applicable), a backstory, and a brief character history/background. EU is pretty particular about the formatting and look of character sheets, and requires that players use a template and follow the rules to a "t" - and it's in your interest as a player to do so, because starting equipment selection is done a bit differently here, and how well you do on the character sheet affects your starting equipment to some degree. Characters began at 3rd level at that time.

When it's time to choose your equipment, you began with most of the "starting equipment" entries in the relevant book's description of your class (O.C.C., R.C.C., P.C.C. etc). The things you do not get to begin with from that book description are: armor, weapons, and transportation. A player must make a "wish list" for each of these categories, and enter three selections for each category: an "Cadillac" (most desirable) choice, a "Subaru" (mid-range, neither amazing nor terrible) choice, and a "Yugo" ("I'll settle for it, if I have to") choice. Once your 3 selections are made for each category, you rank the three categories in order of importance. There is an optional "other" category, for people who get things like special other choices (say, bionics/cybernetics, or a familiar, etc), and you have the option to "sacrifice" one of the primary three (armor, weapons, transportation) categories and swap in one of the "other" categories, if appropriate for your character. You also get a Secondary Weapon category, which cannot be sacrificed or ranked (and is typically a 1 handed option), to add your requisite Cadillac, Subaru, and Yugo selections to. Once finished and your character is ready for review, you submit it and the Dimension Master reviews it and assigns equipment. Remember how I mentioned earlier that if you do well (follow the format, correct any mistakes, and submit a "clean" sheet), you get more favorable equipment choices? This is where that comes into play. The less the Dimension Master has to fix, or question you on, the more likely you are to get the gear you want.

Next, you start looking at groups and find one you want to join. You contact the GM of that group (either PM or instant messaging client) and let them know you're interested in joining up, and they'll run it by the other players (who can see your finalized and approved character sheet) who will take a look and see if you seem like a good fit, matching group needs, attitudes, and whatever other factors they think will make a cohesive group. It should be mentioned that Miscreant and Diabolic alignments are not allowed for starting characters, and if they gained during gameplay, you must correct your path by the end of the quadrimester (EU runs on a system of quarterly, 3 month blocks to calculate and award XP) or your character will no longer be under your control (becomes an NPC). Aberrant is allowed, however, so playing an "evil" character by the Palladium alignment scheme is allowed.

Once a group deems you a good fit and accepts you (provided they have room - there is an 8 player maximum per group), your character begins play. It used to be the case that if you were playing in the Rifts Earth dimension, in North America, you began play in Merctown (99% identical to the Rifts book) and were able to "find work" and peruse around, run some pre-game errands, etc., but that has been done away with now. It was always the case that if you began play in other locations on Rifts Earth, or in other dimensions, your GM found a way to work you into the story (which is how it's done site-wide now).

A major change which was implemented during my absence from the site is the "rebooting" of the site using a system called "Explorer Points". These are a sort of currency involved in gaining special privileges, such as playing a character starting in one place but originating in a different one (say you want to play in North America, but come from South America - you can do so by spending EP). Other benefits purchasable via EP are things like (limited) attribute boosts, new psionic powers, spells, and in-game contacts who can sometimes help a player out or otherwise provide special boons. Characters who choose things like spells or psionic powers (or super powers, if a super-powered mutant character, for example) must be of the appropriate type already (already has powers, the capacity to cast spells, etc) - sorry folks, no spellslinging 'borgs or other egregious violations allowed! The list of things available via EP is updated regularly, as is the ways to earn them as a player (or GM, admin, etc). Good roleplaying, a high post rate, and otherwise making positive contributions to the community and website are rewarded with EP.

Overall, EU is a welcoming experience for anyone who wants to play Rifts or other Palladium games. The primary site owner and admin has invested (along with several other players, Game/Dimension Masters, and other administrative staff) a lot of time and effort into making revisions/house rules and putting other systems in place to address many common complaints about Palladium's rule systems and less-than-desirable writing present in many books.

In short, if you like the setting of Rifts or other Palladium games, but find the system and mechanics lacking, EU resolves this admirably and provides a great and shared experience for folks who want to run, play, and oversee games.

Give it a try! Highly recommended! :D

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