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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:05 pm
  

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D-Bee

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Heya y'all, I'm considering running a Rifts campaign as a side thing for our D&D group. I'm old school Palladium back to the late 80s but haven't played or run it in a good long while. I have a few questions I'm hoping folks can help with me:

1. What electronic character sheets do folks prefer?
Related to this, are there any online solutions ala DnDBeyond or HeroLab for storing characters and data? I know Obsidian Portal and other locations have generic locations. I'm hoping to try to have an electronic data storage game.

2. I have the Ultimate Edition and I'm planning on starting with that since out of the 6 players only 2 of us have any experience with Palladium or Rifts. The other player is excited about trying an Atlantean or something from the England source book. So what is the general consensus on starting with the big Ultimate book and then adding Atlantis and England?

3. Any other advice or tips. I plan on having lots of talks over the main difference in the systems and getting the players to talk with me about the time of campaign they want and try to find a party that doesn't have grossly unbalanced power creep between the players.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:33 am
  

Adventurer

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:08 am
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Howdy, new poster!

I know that Savage Rifts has some HeroLab package development, but don't know if it's up to date with all the recent books that came out. A package for Palladium stuff didn't get much past the planning stage. I don't have an considered opinion on fillable character sheets, but would love to hear from those that do.

One thing to note in using Ultimate Edition with those RMB period books is the increased PPE of primary casters as compared to, say, the Temporal classes. Are you willing to pick through other books? Those books together cover a lot of character bases, but are a little light on things like power armor. If a player wants to make an Atlantean, for example, it might be worthwhile to take a look at dimension book 15: Secrets of the Atlanteans, which adds tattoos, revamps the Stone Master, and adds other options.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:24 pm
  

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betafu wrote:
Heya y'all, I'm considering running a Rifts campaign as a side thing for our D&D group. I'm old school Palladium back to the late 80s but haven't played or run it in a good long while.

Sounds awesome! I hope it goes well for you and them.

betafu wrote:
I have a few questions I'm hoping folks can help with me:

1. What electronic character sheets do folks prefer?
Related to this, are there any online solutions ala DnDBeyond or HeroLab for storing characters and data? I know Obsidian Portal and other locations have generic locations. I'm hoping to try to have an electronic data storage game.


Palladium sells a MS Excel-based character sheet built for Palladium Fantasy. Unfortunately, there's currently no Rifts electronic character sheet. You could adapt it to Rifts, though it would take a bit of work. You could also just make one in Excel yourself (which I've done myself plenty of times), or go old school and print/photocopy some Rifts character sheets.

betafu wrote:
2. I have the Ultimate Edition and I'm planning on starting with that since out of the 6 players only 2 of us have any experience with Palladium or Rifts. The other player is excited about trying an Atlantean or something from the England source book. So what is the general consensus on starting with the big Ultimate book and then adding Atlantis and England?

That's a perfectly viable approach. Those corners of the setting aren't as developed as North America, which is good in some ways and bad with others. If you're doing Atlantis, you might also consider getting Splynn Dimensional Market and Conversion Book 1, since it's an inter-dimensional market. If you're doing England, you might also consider getting Triax 1 and 2 and Mindwerks, since those cover the main sources of equipment in Europe (and in England). I also wrote up a bit on Arenas of Atlantis in Rifter 69, if a gladiator-focused game sounds fun to you.

I'd also suggest you check out the maps in my sig. I've done up maps of both the British Isles and Atlantis in full color that are pretty canon-accurate.

betafu wrote:
3. Any other advice or tips. I plan on having lots of talks over the main difference in the systems and getting the players to talk with me about the time of campaign they want and try to find a party that doesn't have grossly unbalanced power creep between the players.

Sure!

The main thing, especially when you have a big group, is to keep the game moving and avoid getting bogged down with looking stuff up.

+You might want to check out my Disposable N.P.C. generators, linked below. While some of them are geared for the North America part of the setting, some would be useful almost anywhere on Rifts Earth, and they can be a handy tool for quickly generating some antagonists.

+Also, you should consider keeping key information close at hand. Saving Throw tables, regional and local maps of the area (if you use them), key combat rules (strength tables/damages, magic casting times, ranged combat modifiers, and spell lists are handy as a GM.

+I would encourage all your players to tally up their bonuses for common conditions/scenarios. For example, a robot/RPA pilot might tally his bonuses when piloting his suit/robot, when dismounted in body armor, and when "in town" and not packing big, obvious weapons.

+ I like to have a trusted player keep a running tally of actions deserving experience points. I still decide how many points get awarded for the more-significant actions, but this way I can focus on how the game unfolds.

Hope this helps, and welcome to the boards!

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:59 am
  

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Hotrod wrote:
The main thing, especially when you have a big group, is to keep the game moving and avoid getting bogged down with looking stuff up.

+You might want to check out my Disposable N.P.C. generators, linked below. While some of them are geared for the North America part of the setting, some would be useful almost anywhere on Rifts Earth, and they can be a handy tool for quickly generating some antagonists.

+Also, you should consider keeping key information close at hand. Saving Throw tables, regional and local maps of the area (if you use them), key combat rules (strength tables/damages, magic casting times, ranged combat modifiers, and spell lists are handy as a GM.

+I would encourage all your players to tally up their bonuses for common conditions/scenarios. For example, a robot/RPA pilot might tally his bonuses when piloting his suit/robot, when dismounted in body armor, and when "in town" and not packing big, obvious weapons.

Hope this helps, and welcome to the boards!

The NPC generators are great, I use them a lot.

Also, unless your players are experts in Palladium/Rifts...if you need to make a decision about something that is not handy, just wing it. The world is big enough that you can justify almost anything. Keep the action moving, do not slow down for rules or looking up anything...there are just too many little things that can turn into big things if you waste time looking it up. Have it handy or make it up.

-STS

_________________
My skin is not a sin - Carlos Wallace
A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box - Frederick Douglass
I am a firm believer that men with guns can solve any problem - Inscriptus
Any system in which the most populated areas have the most political power, creates an incentive for areas that want power to increase their population - Killer Cyborg


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:19 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 5
Curbludgeon wrote:
One thing to note in using Ultimate Edition with those RMB period books is the increased PPE of primary casters as compared to, say, the Temporal classes.


This is, to me at least, something of a non-issue. The Temporal Mage got higher PPE than RMB-era LLWs, so the fact that they now get potentially less (you can vary a lot with that 3d6x10) is offset by the fact that they get a MUCH better spell selection and can simply start the game with Energy Sphere and/or Talisman (or both!) to offset any potential PPE problems.

OR, if you feel it is a problem, the best way to solve it is probably to just upgrade all Pre-RUE era dedicated-mage classes (Temporal Wizard yes, Temporal Warrior no, as they are -supposed- to have less PPE, same with Mystic Knights, etc) to use the same base as RUE Ley Line Walkers.

If youre going to set the game in North America, Atlantis and England are easily the two best books to add simply because the classes presented in them are meant to be used setting-wide and not in one area like a lot of the others.

I'd also recommend Sourcebook One (revised or not, like a lot of others i kind of find the revised version to be somewhat inferior) as it has a lot of good basic equipment that was left out of RUE/RMB due to space.

Most of the other World Books end up with Classes that are usually limited to (or least, make very little sense to be elsewhere) that area.

Mercenaries is an excellent choice, though the OCCs are kind of dated (as there are basically better versions of every presented class in other books and they are pretty plain), but it has tons of equipment especially for low-rent PCs (Ramjet ammo, Explosive Ammo, rebuilt pre-Rifts vehicles, etc).

Coalition War Campaign is another good choice for any game set in NA (as it has a lot of good tech-based Man At Arms classes that players can use as either CS deserters/retiree's, or simply use the classes as an "equivalent to" the CS class. Lots of good equipment, too, for PCs to get as loot.

I'd add New West to that as well as the OCCs are viable anywhere in the NA setting. It also has a lot of Non-CS equipment (which a lot of the early books were lacking variety in) including a lot of new non-CS body armors and weapons (including a lot of variety for Wilks) and a decent array of new Techno-Wizard gear.

All of those books are -relatively- "time" agnostic; they are all assumed to be around ~105-106PA (with the RMB being 104, and RUE being updated to be vaguely 105-ish) so you dont have to worry about "is this available yet" problems.

Those will add a LOT of variety for gear and OCC choice, though it does leave magic users a bit out in the cold.

Psyscape and the Book of Magic both add a ton of choices for those types of characters. (Seriously, how did Warlock not make it into RUE, despite being all over the setting by the boatload...). A lot of people might also say to add Federation of Magic if you want to give your guys some more options, but the spells (and TW gear) from it are in Book of Magic and the OCCs themselves are somewhat lackluster, so you can get by without it.

If i had to put them in order of what i'd buy/acquire first, i'd go something like this:

RUE/RMB (core rulebook of choice; ironically, you might find the RMB to be more friendly to new players, as RUE - somewhat notoriously, around here - is EXTREMELY poorly laid out for new player friendliness and if they aren't already familiar with making a Palladium character, trying to follow the creation rules in RUE can make it impossible to actually be able to create a character)

- Sourcebook One (revised/non-revised, your choice)

- Atlantis (Atlanteans are a great race, Tatoo'ed men are great, simple-to-use, powerful combatant characters)

- England (Useful for the Temporal Magic classes alone)

- Mercenaries

- Coalition War Campaign or New West

- whichever one of the two above you didn't pick first
- Psyscape (move this up above Mercs if people are super interested in Psionics)

- Book of Magic (move this up below Mercs if people are super interested in Magic; Magic users are already well represented so they can get by without it, but Psyscape is really what makes playing something other than a Mind Melter even viable, so id rather that higher).

- Conversion Book One (non-Revised); i suggest non-revised because the revised version actually has less content in it and some nonsensical changes. The changes are meh, live with or without, whatever, but the cutting of the additional Dragon Hatchlings, etc, makes the revised version less useful for what you're doing. You can move this book up to right under Sourcebook One if you want to give the PCs lots of options for races (as it has tons of the Palladium Fantasy races and, as noted, more Dragon Hatchlings). If this isn't that important, then you can do without, though it does also a decent bestiary of supernatural menaces as well. Youll probably have to buy this used.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:59 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
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Actually, i'm going to straight-up replace my recommendation for Sourcebook One with The Game Master's Guide.

Its almost useless for the GMing tips and rules examples (they are almost all no longer relevant) but its basically a giant item bonanza. Its got the basic stats (but not illustrations or the apocryphal info/descriptions/flavor text) for pretty much every piece of tech equipment produced at the time it was published.

So, as long as you dont need that stuff (or can wing it, or look up fan art for PA suits, etc) the GMG is a way better investment than SB1. Super useful. You could probably forgo New West at that point as well (unless the OCCs are interesting to you; they are quite good and useful anywhere in NA and most could be transplanted (stats-wise, at least) into other settings (just not played as Old-West gunfighter types, but gun-wielding specialists of whatever culture), and could easily drop Mercenaries (all the equipment is in the GMG).

I'd still get Coalition War Campaign, though. It really fleshes out the CS as villains and as usable characters (the OCCs are really decent and you can be a CS deserter/retiree, or as i said above, use it as an "equivalent to" OCC from some other government) and it even has a decent number of D-Bee races in the back that are interesting player characters.

Also, if someone is actually, truly interested in playing a Juicer... Juicer Uprising is a must-have. The variant types are all interesting and good, with one of them even being what i'd call "the one for PCs to play" (Dragon-Juicer) since with GM cooperation they dont have a finite shelf-life unlike every other Juicer. Otherwise, though, its definitely a book you can leave for later. Its probably one of the better World Books though, with a well written take on the OCC that really gets you into the head of a Juicer and the story-adventure in it is actually quite well written.

The Bionics Sourcebook is also a good situational book to keep an eye on; its not necessary to play a good Cyborg (particularly if you just use one of the pre-built Chasis types), but if someone's really interested in it its got a lot of great options. If they aren't then it can definitely wait/isn't ever necessary.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:41 am
  

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I've made a semi automated excel spreadsheet character sheet. It is a work in progress but if you want it PM me your email. Just let anyone who uses it know where it came from and if you have any suggestions or modify it drop me a line so I can see if I would like to do that too.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:38 pm
  

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First I want to second the suggestion that you check out Hotrod's Maps and NPC generator. I wish I had these when I was GMing regularly.

Second book Recommendations:
- before you do character creation I would suggest getting Conversion Boon 1 Revised and/or World Book 30 D-bees of North America. There are great player races in both books where RUE has basically humans, dragons, and dog boys.
- Rifts Adventure Guide I love this book and of all the books that have come out since I started running Rifts this is the one I would like to have had.
- If you are going to move between continents WB 7 Rifts Undersea. While this is mainly in the Pacific it has stuff to use in the Atlantic as well
- Choose an area with your players and build your library out from there. You are starting with RUE, Atlantis, and England so you could go in 2 directions
- 1. North America so start with books Free Quebec, Shemarian Nation and of course SB 1 Revised.
- 2. Old World so go to Triax and Triax 2 WBs plus Mindwerks SB then you can go south to Africa or East to the Russia books

Third have a session zero or even a group email discussion to about what they want to do in the game and what kind of characters fit.
- I give experience points for a good backstory that includes the following
- 1. An enemy that I can use in the future campaigns
- 2. Reason for adventuring or PC goals
- 3. How the party met and why they are adventuring together
I found this to be really helpful and in my last group the first campaign wrote itself

Finally a few tips to keep the game moving
- I agree with the above to create lists of basic rules and penalties. The Rifts GM Kit has most of this stuff but I largely copy paste my own together but this is a great place to start. Also if you search this forum several people have posted there own sheets for GM screens
- Create a list of NPC with a name, species and 2 to 4 characteristics (hair/eye color, scar, weird tattoo, scar, unusual weapon, etc.) that you can describe to players that will make them more three dimensional and memorable. These can be used for those random people that PCs encounter that you might have forgotten about when you were creating the scenario or to fill in when the PCs do something unexpected.
- Combat tends to slow a game down the most so if I were you I would look through the GM's Forum for some ways to speed it up that fit your style of play.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:05 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Third have a session zero or even a group email discussion to about what they want to do in the game and what kind of characters fit.
- I give experience points for a good backstory that includes the following
- 1. An enemy that I can use in the future campaigns
- 2. Reason for adventuring or PC goals
- 3. How the party met and why they are adventuring together
I found this to be really helpful and in my last group the first campaign wrote itself

DO THIS! Rifts has a tendency to 'outgrow' the original group idea, so session zero is really, really helpful for the GM.

-STS

_________________
My skin is not a sin - Carlos Wallace
A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box - Frederick Douglass
I am a firm believer that men with guns can solve any problem - Inscriptus
Any system in which the most populated areas have the most political power, creates an incentive for areas that want power to increase their population - Killer Cyborg


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:27 pm
  

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I agree too, one of the things I started doing a while back (gods.... don't ask how many years now, I'm soooo old) was ask the players what type of characters they wanted to play and where they were interested in playing and then either making the game up based on that, or take what I was going to do and tweak it based on what they wanted.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:04 pm
  

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Daniel Stoker wrote:
I agree too, one of the things I started doing a while back (gods.... don't ask how many years now, I'm soooo old) was ask the players what type of characters they wanted to play and where they were interested in playing and then either making the game up based on that, or take what I was going to do and tweak it based on what they wanted.


Daniel Stoker

Heck I have taking in a step farther in games where the PC get to choose jobs from a list they find and then weave the jobs they do into a larger stories. Cities players can find a list of jobs people need help with small villages would have fewer options.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:03 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Daniel Stoker wrote:
I agree too, one of the things I started doing a while back (gods.... don't ask how many years now, I'm soooo old) was ask the players what type of characters they wanted to play and where they were interested in playing and then either making the game up based on that, or take what I was going to do and tweak it based on what they wanted.

Daniel Stoker

Heck I have taking in a step farther in games where the PC get to choose jobs from a list they find and then weave the jobs they do into a larger stories. Cities players can find a list of jobs people need help with small villages would have fewer options.

I've never gone this far but something I enjoyed was I took requests from my players. We had a private game forum and players could make requests of places they wanted to visit, creatures they wanted to meet/fight, even just events that could happen. One player wanted to visit certain parts of Center, another wanted a hover car chase through a big city.

Little things like this made it easier to write my adventures and the PCs usually had a better time.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


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