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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:47 am


Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 54
I'm "new" to Rifts after ~20 years away from it, and am running a campaign with casual gamers. We're all in our 30s and 40s, some have families, and though we try to make it a regular 5-6 hours a week, not everyone can play every week. So it ranges from one to five PCs, depending on the week. I started a campaign in late 101 P.A. because I wanted to take advantage of all the source material and engage in the timeline, rather than skipping past it to 109 P.A. I also made everyone roll a human and a non-MDC OCC from RUE (i.e. no Full-Conversion Borg or Dragon), because they're all new to Rifts (we played a little TMNT beforehand) and I want them to experience MDC from a squishey's perspective, and to not overwhelm them with the plethora of options before they're even familiar with the core system.

I started them off nearish to Chi-Town, and am having them work their way east to encounter ARCHIE. I'm trying to expose them to a lot of the world in a relatively quick manner, because our gaming time is limited. I have 27 pages of campaign notes, that extend to the Mechanoids, smuggling Naruni gear into Splynn for resale, New West, Mexico, and eventually Africa for the 4 horsemen. And that doesn't even touch on Europe and a ton of other great content. I really just don't know what path to take. I'd like them to gain power holistically, but things don't move that fast. I'm reading through Atlantis now, and Rune Weapons specifically. Now, I'm not saying I'm going to drop a bunch of rune weapons in their laps, but there are so many things in the source material that take so many pages of content, and adamantly stress how limited their availability should be. So what does a GM do? Are rune weapons so rare that only one PC in a thousand would ever get one? What about Tattoos? What about x and y and z? I want to empower my group so that they can enjoy the world of Rifts, but I don't want to overpower them. I also don't want to always have to save their asses with NPCs because the encounters were too much for them. And I want them to experience as much as possible - what's the point in having so much content if the players only experience a tiny fraction of it?

I guess I'm just looking for some guidance on how to fast-track a campaign (from both a story and a player capability perspective) while still playing true to the fantastic world that Rifts is. FWIW, the OCCs (listed from most to least frequent player) are:

Gunslinger (I allowed this exception to RUE because I think they're cool)
Mind Melter

Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:23 am

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Palladium Books® Freelance Writer

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 2:25 pm
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Location: South of the Devil's Gate (St. Louis, MO)
Comment: I am the Alpha of the Omega...
...The First of The Last...
...and this is the beginning of your end.
I think I get where you're coming from. Sometimes as an old hand introducing new folks it's like introducing kids to your favorite genre of music. There are probably so many bands you know and love, and you want to share it all with them at once. But rather than sitting them in front of a stereo for four hours playing them your personal greatest hits mix, it's probably a better idea to play a track or two from your favorite bands and then let them explore what they like most.

I'm not saying it sometimes isn't difficult, because YOU know all the fantastic stuff that's out there waiting for them and probably want to get some vicarious joy through them experiencing it for the first time. The best way I've found to introduce folks is to stay relatively restrained at first and allow them to get their feet under them. Once they're comfortable and can wrap their heads around the elements introduced, then you can start broadening their horizons. Otherwise, you might run the risk of overloading them with all the wild, weird, awesomeness that is the back catalog. If that happens they may be likely to view the setting as a confusing mash-up of conflicting ideas and genres.

Following your example, I'd keep it contained to the East Coast region for at least a few sessions so that they can explore their characters and how they operate as a team. Personally I wouldn't be throwing low-level characters at anything on Atlantis given the likelihood that things go wrong and the group winds up as slaves or monster-food. Not saying you can't, mind you, just sharing my approach. From there, if you're wanting to fast-track some higher level adventure and encounters you might "jump" those same characters ahead a few levels and a year or two in the timeline. Maybe you could even have the players write a little exposition about what their characters have done in the interim to reflect the higher levels. Then you drop those higher level players into a plot hook that takes them to Atlantis and treat that as its own story-arc.

After concluding your mid-level arc you could simply repeat the process to get them to higher levels and start really expanding things out. Maybe then their adventure in Atlantis leads to dimension-hopping with True Atlantean freedom-fighters or joining the Gathering of Heroes to defeat the Four Horsemen. I would worry that this technique might cause players to miss out on valuable role-playing and exploration of character, but perhaps given your time constraints it's not a luxury you have anyway.

Just some random thoughts. Hope they help.

Yeah, everytime I see a blazingly obvious moron walking the streets... I think, "score one for the creationists..." ~ DLDC
Warwolf is right... you can sig that. ~ TGK
I refuse to participate in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. ~ Me

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:45 pm


Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 54
Thanks Warwolf. Your analogy of introducing kids to your favorite music definitely put things in perspective. Thanks for the input.

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