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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:03 pm
  

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From the weekly update, this is the next book to come out:

The Weekly Update wrote:
I think this Secrets of the Coalition™ sourcebook is also gonna be a fun surprise for people and is the next book to be completed. It provides a glimpse into the Coalition States’ Psi-Battalion and one of its top secret Special Ops divisions: the CS Manhunters. A group that can be played as new villains/antagonists or heroes depending on your game’s perspective. And I know folks are going to like the psionics. I’m assigning some additional artwork for it this week. Shooting for a March release.


I'm rather fond of the CS Psi-Battalion as a concept. The name almost sounds like some kind of "hunting down the most-wanted" kind of unit.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:16 pm
  

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Pumped for this one, as I am for Disavowed! My no.1 want for RIFTS is additional books set in Europe, but barring that fleshing out the anti-heroes at the center of the North American setting is always something I'm thirsting for!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:09 pm
  

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Greetings and Salutations. In case you missed the more detailed description further down in the update...

Quote:
COMING! RIFTS® COALITION MANHUNTERS™ – MARCH RELEASE – A SECRETS OF THE COALITION STATES™ SOURCEBOOK

A secret division within the Coalition’s Psi-Battalion, the CS Manhunters hunt not only the most dangerous spies and fugitives, but also their own. Coalition soldiers, brass, government leaders, and anyone who becomes designated as having gone rogue, AWOL, or turned traitor (including the Disavowed), become targets of CS Manhunters to be tracked down and brought to justice. This elite force of psychics, Kill Hounds, and manhunters are trained killing machines who follow orders without question and kill without hesitation.

More often than not, the assignment is straight-up find and terminate. If your name has been given to a Manhunter squad, your fate is sealed, and no one is untouchable. The CS Manhunters operate in secret, find their target, terminate, and vanish as if they were never there at all. They don’t seek credit or limelight. They serve their country from the blood-soaked shadows.

  • CS Manhunter squads and special operatives.
  • Manhunter Killhound and Dog Boy O.C.C.s.
  • CS Manhunter Psi-Healer.
  • CS Manhunter Psi-Interrogator (Mind Melter).
  • CS Manhunter Psi-Enforcer (Mind Melter).
  • CS Manhunter Bursters and Zappers.
  • CS Manhunter Slayer (a variation of the Psi-Slayer or Psi-Warrior).
  • CS Manhunter Mind Melter, the most insidious and deadliest of them all.
  • Weapons, gear, and tactics.
  • Some notable Non-Player Characters, adventure ideas, and more.
  • Written by Kevin Siembieda. Art by Nick Bradshaw.
  • 96 pages – $17.99 retail – Cat. No. 894. February or March release.

Not a major fan of Rifts, but I do like psionics so I'll be looking forward to seeing what this book has to offer. Farewell and safe journeys.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:16 pm
  

Palladin

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have to admit, i'm a little confused as to the why and how of keeping these people as some sort of secret.

first off, nobody is going to sit around thinking "oh, well, the CS haven't openly stated that they have a group that hunts down people they consider to be criminals, so i guess they probably have absolutely nothing". furthermore, it's gonna be awfully hard to get cooperation from other organizations if you don't have any authority, and the second you tell everyone that the manhunters have authority to ask questions, review records, requisition supplies, etc, well, there goes the secret.

secondly, these people have to be operating constantly. and kinda overtly. the idea that nobody knows they exist is silly. now, people not having many details, sure, but being completely unaware of their existence? i mean, i sometimes gripe that it feels like the CS has an undetectable force that somehow prevents anything bad happening to them, but the people in-universe shouldn't be thinking the CS has plot armour. at some point you gotta figure people are going to notice that enemies of the CS keep mysteriously dying and put two and two together.

and thirdly, they already have an organization hundreds of thousands of members strong, primarily consisting of powerful psychics capable of tracking people. quite possibly millions strong according to the canon. why do they even need these people? are the obscenely large number of ISS troops really that incompetent that a subgroup of an already very small group is going to be a meaningful addition to their capabilities, especially when they presumably don't even know that group exists and can't coordinate with them?

i suppose, as an alternate way to frame these questions: why aren't they a part of the ISS (a large organization with resources all across the CS) that everybody knows about (without knowing details) with full authority to act in the CS, rather than a part of psi-bat (a small part of an already-small organization that can't meaningfully cover much area or have many bases or resources) that is so super-duper-secret that they can't really even cooperate with other CS operatives?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:31 am
  

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Hey uh, remember how Kevin changed Nightspawn to Nightbane after the Spawn people were like "That's too close to our name. Change it or we'll sue."? Isn't this title kind of the same? We already have a Manhunters book.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:01 pm
  

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Kinda amused that Psi-Battalion is still referred to as Psi-Battlaion despite what Psyscape says about their being multiple battalions, and growing to divisions.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:54 pm
  

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Mack wrote:
Kinda amused that Psi-Battalion is still referred to as Psi-Battlaion despite what Psyscape says about their being multiple battalions, and growing to divisions.


Kind of like how "The US Army" has "First US Army" "Third US Army" "Sixth US Army", ect. yet is still called "The Army?"

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:47 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
have to admit, i'm a little confused as to the why and how of keeping these people as some sort of secret.


i just assume "coalition secret" has the same implications as "military intelligence" these days. lil' joey prosek's never been far enough down the totem pole to understand that his "secret psychic force" is known to everyone operating within 15 miles due to logistics (and his fancy little ranking cloaks) but he's ALSO the emperor's only son and head of propaganda so almost nobody has anyway to argue with him so this kinda nonsense will go on until there's a disaster and karl finally finds out and gently explains the military realities of things to him. i mean these guys had isolationist tolkeen buffering them from an established alien menace and the openly hostile FoM zone intruding on their ability to conduct internal commerce and they spent like twelve years focusing on how to fight tolkeen. the coalition is very lacking in the strategy department.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:03 pm
  

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Another interpretation of their "secret" status would that all their missions fall under a special access program that would be routine but especially-sensitive. It sounds like these guys are Psi-Bat's own version of a cross between special forces and the CIA, tailored for a specific mission set. So while some in the CS military might know that Psi-Bat has some 'unique' teams running around, they would have no idea what their up to.

Hmm... Maybe the Treadstone program from the Jason Bourne series is a better analogy.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:30 pm
  

Palladin

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Mack wrote:
Another interpretation of their "secret" status would that all their missions fall under a special access program that would be routine but especially-sensitive. It sounds like these guys are Psi-Bat's own version of a cross between special forces and the CIA, tailored for a specific mission set. So while some in the CS military might know that Psi-Bat has some 'unique' teams running around, they would have no idea what their up to.

Hmm... Maybe the Treadstone program from the Jason Bourne series is a better analogy.


again, it's not going to take long to figure out that all those people that the CS hates who inexplicably keep dying can be very easily explained by the CS having something that they very obviously would want to have.

particularly since if you want those agents to be able to access coalition resources, they can't exactly show up at a CS base and say "oh, trust me, i'm *definitely* a coalition super-secret agent, part of an organization you've never heard of, and i can't tell you what that organization is or what i'm doing., now can you please give me 10 long e-clips and a few million credits' worth of vehicle and body armour replacements so i can do the things that are definitely for sure in the coalition's best interests? i promise i am *totally* not just a black marketeer trying to get my hands on some high-value coalition equipment, i'll even pinky swear and everything!"

and these guys are also constantly hunting people within the CS too, if you read that description. so they're also going to want to be able to give the various CS police forces evidence that they are CS operatives so that they don't get shot by their own allies while they're busy trying to murder people, and so that they can interact with police that have investigated their target and get more information. it would also be incredibly useful if they could call on CS operatives as muscle when needed, especially within the CS.; you could double or even triple the number of missions this group could do if they only needed to do some investigating and then lead a couple regular squads of dog boys and grunts in for the kill on occasion.

something like treadstone sort of works if you've got a tiny handful of operatives who mostly sit around and wait for orders, and rarely actually do anything. there were something like half a dozen treadstone operatives in all of europe from what we could tell... if that's the case, those OCCs should be specific named individuals ("Lt Robert Stone, psychic assassin disguised as a barkeep", not "CS Manhunter psi-enforcer"). it has to be a pretty tiny group, operating with pretty minimal resources.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:09 pm
  

D-Bee

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Nekira Sudacne wrote:
Mack wrote:
Kinda amused that Psi-Battalion is still referred to as Psi-Battlaion despite what Psyscape says about their being multiple battalions, and growing to divisions.


Kind of like how "The US Army" has "First US Army" "Third US Army" "Sixth US Army", ect. yet is still called "The Army?"


Nothing like that at all.

A field Army is a troop formation.

Like a Battalion.

So... no, nothing like that.

A Battalion is a specific term relating to a unit size. It doesn't have multiple uses like the word "Army" does.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:12 pm
  

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The Beast wrote:
Hey uh, remember how Kevin changed Nightspawn to Nightbane after the Spawn people were like "That's too close to our name. Change it or we'll sue."? Isn't this title kind of the same? We already have a Manhunters book.


Its a bit harder to sue over a term that is not a proper name ("Spawn" was the proper name of the character, and could therefore be trademarked and copyrighted. It wasn't being used in its lower-case sense.) "Manhunter" is a generic term that has centuries of use, and in this case (by Palladium) is being used in its lower-case, dictionary definition - I.E. - guys who hunt men. There's almost no chance a lawsuit would even see the inside of a courtroom.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:23 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
have to admit, i'm a little confused as to the why and how of keeping these people as some sort of secret.

first off, nobody is going to sit around thinking "oh, well, the CS haven't openly stated that they have a group that hunts down people they consider to be criminals, so i guess they probably have absolutely nothing". furthermore, it's gonna be awfully hard to get cooperation from other organizations if you don't have any authority, and the second you tell everyone that the manhunters have authority to ask questions, review records, requisition supplies, etc, well, there goes the secret.


Not really. A group of guys shows up, wearing CS Armor/uniforms. They say they are taking over this operation. You ask them for authorization, they hand over their ID card, you swipe it, it says "give these guys whatever they want" or the equivalent. They do their work, get the info they want, and leave.

You never know if they were simply Special Forces/Commandos, Psi-Bat, etc. They dont tell you. You have no need to know.

So sure, you know that -some- group of people with high security clearance and authority came in and shook your command down, but you have no idea who they ultimately report to, what part of the military they are part of, nothing.

Quote:
secondly, these people have to be operating constantly. and kinda overtly.


Sure.

Quote:
the idea that nobody knows they exist is silly. now, people not having many details, sure, but being completely unaware of their existence? i mean, i sometimes gripe that it feels like the CS has an undetectable force that somehow prevents anything bad happening to them, but the people in-universe shouldn't be thinking the CS has plot armour. at some point you gotta figure people are going to notice that enemies of the CS keep mysteriously dying and put two and two together.


Again, sure. But.. do you know who or what this thing is? For all you know, its undercover ISS agents and Military Special Forces units. You have no idea its some more-elite-than-the-elite super-special team of "Manhunters". There are lots of OTHER potential possibilities (including the Vanguard).

Quote:
and thirdly, they already have an organization hundreds of thousands of members strong, primarily consisting of powerful psychics capable of tracking people. quite possibly millions strong according to the canon. why do they even need these people? are the obscenely large number of ISS troops really that incompetent that a subgroup of an already very small group is going to be a meaningful addition to their capabilities, especially when they presumably don't even know that group exists and can't coordinate with them?


I'd imagine the Manhunter group has access to everyone's data. They dont need you to interface with them; they already know everything you know. They show up, flash their ID card that says "do whatever this guy says", and you do it. That simple. Thats all the coordination they require of you. Also, the ISS doesn't operate outside CS territory, and i can tell you right now without even reading a single word of the book that these guys definitely do. In fact, i'd hazard that they operate almost entirely outside of CS territory and only come back into CS territory when their quarry does.

Quote:
i suppose, as an alternate way to frame these questions: why aren't they a part of the ISS (a large organization with resources all across the CS) that everybody knows about (without knowing details) with full authority to act in the CS, rather than a part of psi-bat (a small part of an already-small organization that can't meaningfully cover much area or have many bases or resources) that is so super-duper-secret that they can't really even cooperate with other CS operatives?


Because these guys aren't hunting Joebob the Mind Melter who killed a few dudes. Regular Psi-bat (outside of CS cities/towns) or Psi-net (inside cities/towns, working with the ISS/NTSET) operatives have that handled. These guys are the guys out hunting down Ancient Dragons, fallen Tolkeenite Warlords who have killed tens of thousands, and other mega-threats. They dont need bases everywhere. Theyll just use yours. Dont like it? What exactly are you going to do about it? They have (likely) unlimited authority to requisition whatever they want from any CS resource/base. They almost assuredly already have access to every file you have or can with the wave of a key card.

Gonna send someone to assassinate Plato? You send these guys.

To be clear: im not actually endorsing this idea. I think the CS has enough BS on their side and this is not remotely needed (and, in fact, the Minion War should be used as a soft-reset that reduces the CS' power down to "can maintain their borders but the days of conquering are over for a generation or more").... but the logic of it fits fine.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:59 pm
  

Palladin

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if there's a card you can get that gives you cart blanche to do anything anywhere in the CS, that is a massive exploitable weakness. you don't even need the card really; you can hack the reader or the operator, too.

furthermore, you're going to need people to know that such a card exists, otherwise it's going to be constantly questioned. your card can say whatever it wants, but if the base commander says "no, that would be a massive security weakness to let some random person do whatever they want when i know absolutely nothing about them", it's not going to do you any good. until you go through 20 layers of bureaucracy and bother a 4 star general or something, that is.

and really, if everyone knows the CS has a "secret" group of assassins that they send out to murder everyone they don't like (which they will, because it's gonna be pretty damn obvious), then it isn't really a secret anyways. who cares if they don't know the exact unit? it isn't like they're going to feel favourably towards the CS just because they don't know the exact unit that violated their sovereignty and murdered someone in their territory. like, how do you expect the conversation to go? is some nation going to complain that they don't like the CS murdering people in their territory, and the CS ambassador is going to counter with "oh, but do you know the *exact* organization within the CS that they work for?" and then they both share a laugh because everyone knows if you don't have the exact unit that performed the assassination it's ok?

plus, having access to someone's data *after* all the paperwork has been done isn't going to do squat for you when what you want is up-to-the-minute information on their location, associates, etc. you're going to need to be able to interact with people doing the investigation now. or waste precious time duplicating work.

also, they're sent after a lot of people, most of whom are or were part of the CS. logically, a lot of those people are going to be in CS territory. so yes, they'll be spending time there, doing their thing.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:04 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
if there's a card you can get that gives you cart blanche to do anything anywhere in the CS, that is a massive exploitable weakness. you don't even need the card really; you can hack the reader or the operator, too.


on the one hand, it's a real easy counter argument to say "there's no way they wouldn't be tracking that stuff by the higher ups" but on the other the coalition is dedicated to keeping everyone else in the dark which means that even if you do things that get tracked you're probably going to be able to do more than enough damage to force them to play damage control more than catch you so long as you actually use it sparingly. i doubt they're auditing themselves closely enough on that level to catch these things before the black market is able to find out they exist either.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:19 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
Mack wrote:
Kinda amused that Psi-Battalion is still referred to as Psi-Battlaion despite what Psyscape says about their being multiple battalions, and growing to divisions.


Kind of like how "The US Army" has "First US Army" "Third US Army" "Sixth US Army", ect. yet is still called "The Army?"


Nothing like that at all.

A field Army is a troop formation.

Like a Battalion.

So... no, nothing like that.

A Battalion is a specific term relating to a unit size. It doesn't have multiple uses like the word "Army" does.


Yes, I know that, the point was there's nothing stopping the CS from giving it multiple meanings the same way.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:23 pm
  

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:57 pm
  

Palladin

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Orin J. wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
if there's a card you can get that gives you cart blanche to do anything anywhere in the CS, that is a massive exploitable weakness. you don't even need the card really; you can hack the reader or the operator, too.


on the one hand, it's a real easy counter argument to say "there's no way they wouldn't be tracking that stuff by the higher ups" but on the other the coalition is dedicated to keeping everyone else in the dark which means that even if you do things that get tracked you're probably going to be able to do more than enough damage to force them to play damage control more than catch you so long as you actually use it sparingly. i doubt they're auditing themselves closely enough on that level to catch these things before the black market is able to find out they exist either.


as i said, the existence of such a card can't stay secret for very long. if it's a secret, nobody is going to believe you when you pull out your card. even if it's real. the person commanding a base is going to need to know that yes, there really is such a thing as a card of "do whatever i say no questions asked", or else the person trying to use it is probably going to get put in a very secure place surrounded by lots of people with guns and pointy things, waiting for someone who actually does know and has the authority to do something about it to get you out. by which time, there goes the person you were trying to chase.

heck, even with them knowing that it's a thing that actually exists, you'll probably *still* get a lot of pushback when you use it.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:28 pm
  

D-Bee

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Orin J. wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
if there's a card you can get that gives you cart blanche to do anything anywhere in the CS, that is a massive exploitable weakness. you don't even need the card really; you can hack the reader or the operator, too.


on the one hand, it's a real easy counter argument to say "there's no way they wouldn't be tracking that stuff by the higher ups" but on the other the coalition is dedicated to keeping everyone else in the dark which means that even if you do things that get tracked you're probably going to be able to do more than enough damage to force them to play damage control more than catch you so long as you actually use it sparingly. i doubt they're auditing themselves closely enough on that level to catch these things before the black market is able to find out they exist either.


More precisely:

Such "cards" already exist. You think a General doesn't carry an ID saying he's a General? That shows you what security clearance he has?

I assure you, he does. Same exact result. He comes in and tells you to do something, you do it.

Everyone in the CS Military carries some kind of ID card showing their clearance and rank, be it an actual card, or built into their armor, or (more likely) a simple sub-dermal implant.

As for the Black Market knocking them off:

1 - they have to know they exist.
2 - they have to know who has them
3 - they then have to get one from said people, without them knowing (because if they know you got one, they simply change all the codes immediately).
4 - they then have to be able to copy the card completely and have it work. Given that its entirely possible to create encryption that can take literal centuries to break, this isn't a given.
5 - as these are Psi-Bat operatives (or a division thereof), the cards could be Psi-tech and tied to the owners' Psionic Profile. It will only work for them and in their presence. And thats just one example of security that could be applied.

I find the entire argument of "ID Cards that let you do whatever you want are a giant security hole!!11!!1@2:"21!" to be a complete farce.

They already exist.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:42 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
More precisely:

Such "cards" already exist. You think a General doesn't carry an ID saying he's a General? That shows you what security clearance he has?

I assure you, he does. Same exact result. He comes in and tells you to do something, you do it.

Everyone in the CS Military carries some kind of ID card showing their clearance and rank, be it an actual card, or built into their armor, or (more likely) a simple sub-dermal implant.

As for the Black Market knocking them off:

1 - they have to know they exist.
2 - they have to know who has them
3 - they then have to get one from said people, without them knowing (because if they know you got one, they simply change all the codes immediately).
4 - they then have to be able to copy the card completely and have it work. Given that its entirely possible to create encryption that can take literal centuries to break, this isn't a given.
5 - as these are Psi-Bat operatives (or a division thereof), the cards could be Psi-tech and tied to the owners' Psionic Profile. It will only work for them and in their presence. And thats just one example of security that could be applied.

I find the entire argument of "ID Cards that let you do whatever you want are a giant security hole!!11!!1@2:"21!" to be a complete farce.

They already exist.


Is there a book citation for this? I ask because if the CS's ID cards are based off of the US military's ID cards then no, those cards won't show any sort of security clearance level.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:31 am
  

Palladin

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
More precisely:

Such "cards" already exist. You think a General doesn't carry an ID saying he's a General? That shows you what security clearance he has?

I assure you, he does. Same exact result. He comes in and tells you to do something, you do it.

Everyone in the CS Military carries some kind of ID card showing their clearance and rank, be it an actual card, or built into their armor, or (more likely) a simple sub-dermal implant.

As for the Black Market knocking them off:

1 - they have to know they exist.
2 - they have to know who has them
3 - they then have to get one from said people, without them knowing (because if they know you got one, they simply change all the codes immediately).
4 - they then have to be able to copy the card completely and have it work. Given that its entirely possible to create encryption that can take literal centuries to break, this isn't a given.
5 - as these are Psi-Bat operatives (or a division thereof), the cards could be Psi-tech and tied to the owners' Psionic Profile. It will only work for them and in their presence. And thats just one example of security that could be applied.

I find the entire argument of "ID Cards that let you do whatever you want are a giant security hole!!11!!1@2:"21!" to be a complete farce.

They already exist.


bull crap.

if a general that is your direct commander shows up, you take their orders. if some other random general shows up at your base, unannounced, they'd better be able to convince you to do what they want, because being a general gives you specific people that you command, it doesn't just make you the boss of every person in the army with a lower rank than you. now, if a general asks for something pretty small (borrow a vehicle and driver to get them to a place they're supposed to be, for example), you'll probably do it because it's low cost, low risk to lend a hand, and potentially a high cost to your career if you prove to be a total jerk to them. depending on how suspicious a base commander feels, some random unknown general showing up at their base with no notice that they're supposed to be there may be detained (somewhat politely, but still detained), especially when the military is paranoid from constantly being warned against shapeshifting wizards and demons and someone can literally just steal the general's body and try to walk into your base while wearing them like a halloween costume.

even if you're pretty sure they're the real deal, if they show up and inform you that they're taking 3/4 of your men to search for a bad guy, well, good luck with that. they may be *a* general, but unless they're *your* general, i don't see it happening. a command structure where any person can command any person of lower rank would be absolute chaos. they'd be the laughingstock of the village militia of podunksville (population 200 peasants armed with pointy wooden sticks and the contents of grany hill's silverware drawer to share between the lot of them), never mind an actual professional military force.

if a general is going to show up and take command of your unit, it is not going to be in the form of showing up at your base with a card and informing you that you now work for that general. most of the time, you'll know at least somewhat in advance, there'll be a ton of paperwork involved, and proper channels will be used to spread that information to those that need to know it. there are things a military might want to hide. who your direct superior is would not be one of those things.

anyways, to the specific points:

1) everyone already does. they have to, otherwise you're not requisitioning the right to use their toilet, let alone commandeering troops and/or supplies, access to records, interrogating (or even seeing) their prisoners, etc.
2) again, everyone already does. this cannot be hidden information. people have to know who they have to obey. if that is "anyone who has a card, no matter what responsibilities they may or may not have" then everything is going to go straight to hell in short order, and not just because of fake cards; conflicting orders in a war zone is not something any remotely competent military is going to go on for very long.
3) nope. for example, the reader has all the information they need, otherwise it can't tell you whether the card is the real thing. they could also simply record what information is broadcast, get pictures of what the card looks like, etc. the card doesn't have to be real, it just needs to be a good enough fake.
4) there's literally a skill that any random schmuck can take for breaking codes. now you may argue that secure codes *should* be trivial, but for whatever reason, they aren't in palladium games.
5) nothing remotely indicates this to be the case. certainly there is nothing that remotely implies any card reader could detect their psionic presence, so frankly, who cares? all you need is for whatever fake you make to broadcast whatever the widely-available readers that every single military unit in the CS is apparently supposed to have thinks it is supposed to hear. it doesn't matter if it's real or not. it doesn't matter if that broadcast from the real card normally samples your blood and sequences your entire genome before it broadcasts, so long as your fake can be made to do it on demand.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:20 am
  

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Greetings and Salutations. Okay, I'm curious enough to ask: How did we get from "as if they were never there," "don't seek credit or limelight" (which implies they don't get it), and "serve their country from the blood-soaked shadows" that's in the official write-up to showing up at army bases to take control of 3/4 of the army and giving everyone orders to help do their job?

Side note: I figure they're not actually going after the C.S. most wanted list (such as Tarn), but lesser known threats. They mention spies. If everyone knows you're a spy, you're probably not a very good one. Also, if you get randomly killed, then that implies that the only group you've ever spied on is the C.S. and you didn't make enemies anywhere else. Also mentioned are fugitives. I doubt everyone is familiar with every single fugitive of the C.S. I'd personally suspect if they have a military assassin sent after them (and not general troops), they probably saw or did something the C.S. doesn't want others to learn about. Someone who just tot unlucky, but they can't risk letting the person live. They also mention brass and government leaders. If, for example, General Unibrow has been letting magic users operate in his territory and giving them a free pass (or working with them), this might be the kind of thing the C.S. wants to keep quiet and NOT be a public wanted criminal. Kill him quietly, then blame evil magic using D-Bees.

These would probably be the targets the C.S doesn't heavily advertise. And to trace back definitively to the C.S. means Rifts Earth is an otherwise safe place without bandits and monsters, and the only enemies these victims ever make are the C.S. Will there be occasional suspicions or rumors? Probably. But can you separate the truth from every other conspiracy theory out there? Farewell and safe journeys.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:51 pm
  

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Prysus wrote:
Greetings and Salutations. Okay, I'm curious enough to ask: How did we get from "as if they were never there," "don't seek credit or limelight" (which implies they don't get it), and "serve their country from the blood-soaked shadows" that's in the official write-up to showing up at army bases to take control of 3/4 of the army and giving everyone orders to help do their job?


Yeah, im not sure, because that isn't what i was intimating.

At most, i was intimating that they act just like any other CS Special Forces unit. I.E. they show up on their own mission, requisition what they need locally, and go on about their day. The average guy on the ground has no way to know that they aren't just Special Forces.

Quote:
Side note: I figure they're not actually going after the C.S. most wanted list (such as Tarn), but lesser known threats. They mention spies. If everyone knows you're a spy, you're probably not a very good one. Also, if you get randomly killed, then that implies that the only group you've ever spied on is the C.S. and you didn't make enemies anywhere else. Also mentioned are fugitives. I doubt everyone is familiar with every single fugitive of the C.S. I'd personally suspect if they have a military assassin sent after them (and not general troops), they probably saw or did something the C.S. doesn't want others to learn about. Someone who just tot unlucky, but they can't risk letting the person live. They also mention brass and government leaders. If, for example, General Unibrow has been letting magic users operate in his territory and giving them a free pass (or working with them), this might be the kind of thing the C.S. wants to keep quiet and NOT be a public wanted criminal. Kill him quietly, then blame evil magic using D-Bees.

These would probably be the targets the C.S doesn't heavily advertise. And to trace back definitively to the C.S. means Rifts Earth is an otherwise safe place without bandits and monsters, and the only enemies these victims ever make are the C.S. Will there be occasional suspicions or rumors? Probably. But can you separate the truth from every other conspiracy theory out there? Farewell and safe journeys.


I'd also say they go after high-profile CS enemies that aren't necessarily on the "Wanted List" - because you dont even want your citizens to know that these threats exist in the first place.

Fugitive Tolkeen Warlords and the like seem like prime targets for these guys.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:04 pm
  

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It can also be they are used to kill local heroes and political figures that do not fit the CS profile but the CS wants to win over the local populace.

Send a team of CS troops to kill a cyber knight that champions a town, that bad mouths CS and you risk turning him into a martyr for anti CS. Kill him in a way that looks like the CS was not involved, or better yet one of the CS enemies did it you do not alienate a town.
(so when the CS does not want credit.)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:57 pm
  

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The Beast wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
More precisely:

Such "cards" already exist. You think a General doesn't carry an ID saying he's a General? That shows you what security clearance he has?

I assure you, he does. Same exact result. He comes in and tells you to do something, you do it.

Everyone in the CS Military carries some kind of ID card showing their clearance and rank, be it an actual card, or built into their armor, or (more likely) a simple sub-dermal implant.

As for the Black Market knocking them off:

1 - they have to know they exist.
2 - they have to know who has them
3 - they then have to get one from said people, without them knowing (because if they know you got one, they simply change all the codes immediately).
4 - they then have to be able to copy the card completely and have it work. Given that its entirely possible to create encryption that can take literal centuries to break, this isn't a given.
5 - as these are Psi-Bat operatives (or a division thereof), the cards could be Psi-tech and tied to the owners' Psionic Profile. It will only work for them and in their presence. And thats just one example of security that could be applied.

I find the entire argument of "ID Cards that let you do whatever you want are a giant security hole!!11!!1@2:"21!" to be a complete farce.

They already exist.


Is there a book citation for this? I ask because if the CS's ID cards are based off of the US military's ID cards then no, those cards won't show any sort of security clearance level.



I seem to recall in the original Rifts Main Book there was a section concerning ID card's - in the Black Market section maybe? Been a long time since I've opened up that book and it's boxed up right now. The Forger OCC I thought talked a little about forging ID cards and might be some more info there.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:23 pm
  

Palladin

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Prysus wrote:
Greetings and Salutations. Okay, I'm curious enough to ask: How did we get from "as if they were never there," "don't seek credit or limelight" (which implies they don't get it), and "serve their country from the blood-soaked shadows" that's in the official write-up to showing up at army bases to take control of 3/4 of the army and giving everyone orders to help do their job?

Side note: I figure they're not actually going after the C.S. most wanted list (such as Tarn), but lesser known threats. They mention spies. If everyone knows you're a spy, you're probably not a very good one. Also, if you get randomly killed, then that implies that the only group you've ever spied on is the C.S. and you didn't make enemies anywhere else. Also mentioned are fugitives. I doubt everyone is familiar with every single fugitive of the C.S. I'd personally suspect if they have a military assassin sent after them (and not general troops), they probably saw or did something the C.S. doesn't want others to learn about. Someone who just tot unlucky, but they can't risk letting the person live. They also mention brass and government leaders. If, for example, General Unibrow has been letting magic users operate in his territory and giving them a free pass (or working with them), this might be the kind of thing the C.S. wants to keep quiet and NOT be a public wanted criminal. Kill him quietly, then blame evil magic using D-Bees.

These would probably be the targets the C.S doesn't heavily advertise. And to trace back definitively to the C.S. means Rifts Earth is an otherwise safe place without bandits and monsters, and the only enemies these victims ever make are the C.S. Will there be occasional suspicions or rumors? Probably. But can you separate the truth from every other conspiracy theory out there? Farewell and safe journeys.


commandeering troops was one out of a list of reasons they're going to need to be known as something that exists to a rather large number of people in the CS. and they probably do on occasion just want to get together a bunch of troops to cover more ground. but simply not getting shot by their own people for committing murder is also a good reason, as would be getting access to equipment they need to complete their mission (psi-bat doesn't have the numbers to have bases all across CS territory in addition to all the other things they're supposed to be doing), among other things.

and frankly, i rather think that if enemies of the CS die twice as often to "bandits" as anyone else does, it's still gonna be pretty obvious. particularly since the number of suspects that *have* the resources to hunt down their enemies like that would be extremely slim. nobody is going to assume that juarez sent a highly-trained kill team three quarters of the way across the continent to hunt down anyone; juarez doesn't have the resources, and frankly probably doesn't *care* enough even if they *did* have the resources.

the list of nations or organizations that even *could* be sending out highly trained squads of assassins to take out their enemies is very limited. then look at that group and ask yourself who might even *care* enough to do it rather than use the resources for something else. if tolkeen's warlords are all mysteriously dying to "bandits" that are so competent as to vanish into the shadows without a trace and come heavily armed enough to even be *able* to take out a warlord's entourage (rather than avoiding them entirely and instead searching for lightly armed merchants and travelers), anyone who isn't dumb as a post is going to figure out in short order that something is up if they pay even the tiniest amount of attention.

i suppose we could assume that every other organization in north america are composed entirely of the most incompetent morons incapable of gathering even the most basic information. but i can't imagine why that would be the case.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:41 pm
  

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My main concern regarding a "Manhunters" book is......do we really even need it?

If your PC's do something that warrants a "super-secret group of CS psi-ninja-killers" to hunt them down, then GM's have plenty of book resources to build something like that for themselves (between Psi-Battalion, ISS, CS Intelligence, Special Forces, etc).

To devote an entire NEW BOOK to it feels (IMO) redundant and a waste of Palladium's resources. How often in any give campaign is a group like the CS Manhunters going to be a factor? Depending on your group (even a CS based campaign), even if they do show up, do we need a whole new sourcebook (based on ANOTHER CS sourcebook) for this comparatively tiny sub-faction.......especially given the wealth of info available on the Coalition for GM's to resource?

It may make for some fun "world building" within the CS itself (which has had plenty of "building" so-far in the books), but the book seems largely unnecessary to me..........

...new CS versions of older OCCs (like Mind Melters, Psi-Slayers, Psi-Warriors, etc) seem redundant. "The CS has 'em too, only better!"
...new twists on older RCCs (Kill Hounds and new Dog Boys) seem redundant. "The CS still has 'em, only better!"

......that being said, I do hope the new psionic abilities are worthwhile and the book may have more than a few gems tucked away within it's pages, but it's not a book that's getting me very excited (based on the preview).

Mainly, I'd muuuuuuch rather see other aspects of the Rifts world fleshed out than getting deeper and deeper into ONE specific (though important) faction's exploits and resources (especially when said Faction has had so much book space already devoted to them).

My .02 credits


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:51 pm
  

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H.P. Hovercraft wrote:
My main concern regarding a "Manhunters" book is......do we really even need it?

If your PC's do something that warrants a "super-secret group of CS psi-ninja-killers" to hunt them down, then GM's have plenty of book resources to build something like that for themselves (between Psi-Battalion, ISS, CS Intelligence, Special Forces, etc).

To devote an entire NEW BOOK to it feels (IMO) redundant and a waste of Palladium's resources. How often in any give campaign is a group like the CS Manhunters going to be a factor? Depending on your group (even a CS based campaign), even if they do show up, do we need a whole new sourcebook (based on ANOTHER CS sourcebook) for this comparatively tiny sub-faction.......especially given the wealth of info available on the Coalition for GM's to resource?

It may make for some fun "world building" within the CS itself (which has had plenty of "building" so-far in the books), but the book seems largely unnecessary to me..........

...new CS versions of older OCCs (like Mind Melters, Psi-Slayers, Psi-Warriors, etc) seem redundant. "The CS has 'em too, only better!"
...new twists on older RCCs (Kill Hounds and new Dog Boys) seem redundant. "The CS still has 'em, only better!"

......that being said, I do hope the new psionic abilities are worthwhile and the book may have more than a few gems tucked away within it's pages, but it's not a book that's getting me very excited (based on the preview).

Mainly, I'd muuuuuuch rather see other aspects of the Rifts world fleshed out than getting deeper and deeper into ONE specific (though important) faction's exploits and resources (especially when said Faction has had so much book space already devoted to them).

My .02 credits


I'm pretty much in the same boat.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:44 am
  

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It's the psychic Inquisition/Gestapo/KGB. Sounds fun!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:33 pm
  

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Can't disagree with H.P. Hovercraft. I don't really see this subject taking up 96 pages.

I wish PB would take small topics (like this one) and just publish a 20-30 page pdf for download, which would alleviate the need to create an entire book's worth of material. Then maybe once a year (or every other year) collect up 4 or 5 of them and publish them as an anthology. And based on the electronic sales, they'd know which ones to print.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:54 pm
  

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That actually sounds like a really good idea.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:12 pm
  

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Had a thought for a character to add to the above list (not that another OCC is needed). Take a Psi-Tech and give him some of the training/implants from the Skelebot Specialist. Give him either a set of Skelebots or a set of Triax Dyna-bots.

Or let him cut loose with Telemechanics… "Sadly, we'll never know why the toaster slaughtered poor Bob."

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:26 pm
  

D-Bee

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H.P. Hovercraft wrote:
My main concern regarding a "Manhunters" book is......do we really even need it?

If your PC's do something that warrants a "super-secret group of CS psi-ninja-killers" to hunt them down, then GM's have plenty of book resources to build something like that for themselves (between Psi-Battalion, ISS, CS Intelligence, Special Forces, etc).

To devote an entire NEW BOOK to it feels (IMO) redundant and a waste of Palladium's resources. How often in any give campaign is a group like the CS Manhunters going to be a factor? Depending on your group (even a CS based campaign), even if they do show up, do we need a whole new sourcebook (based on ANOTHER CS sourcebook) for this comparatively tiny sub-faction.......especially given the wealth of info available on the Coalition for GM's to resource?

It may make for some fun "world building" within the CS itself (which has had plenty of "building" so-far in the books), but the book seems largely unnecessary to me..........

...new CS versions of older OCCs (like Mind Melters, Psi-Slayers, Psi-Warriors, etc) seem redundant. "The CS has 'em too, only better!"
...new twists on older RCCs (Kill Hounds and new Dog Boys) seem redundant. "The CS still has 'em, only better!"

......that being said, I do hope the new psionic abilities are worthwhile and the book may have more than a few gems tucked away within it's pages, but it's not a book that's getting me very excited (based on the preview).

Mainly, I'd muuuuuuch rather see other aspects of the Rifts world fleshed out than getting deeper and deeper into ONE specific (though important) faction's exploits and resources (especially when said Faction has had so much book space already devoted to them).

My .02 credits


Cant say i disagree with any of this, but welcome to Palladium.

This isn't a "we work on stuff that the setting/game really needs" kind of company. This is a "Kevin makes what Kevin thinks is cool, even if people really dont want it" thing.

Where's the Arsenal Book for the Minion War stuff?

Where's a book that actually makes the Minion War even remotely a danger (to Rifts Earth)? (that doesnt do so by simply declaring "because they are dangerous")

Why did Hades and Dyval ever see print as separate books, when the ability to even adventure there is near-zero? (Because Demons and Deevils dont mind guys in Power Armor wandering around, apparently).

Where is a revised/actually function set of rules? (never gonna happen, i know; both because Kevin doesn't think they are broken/still believes "just change it how you want" is a legitimate way to do business in the RPG world in 2020 and it would take a long time that would mean other products dont happen)

Etc.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:41 pm
  

D-Bee

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The Beast wrote:

Is there a book citation for this? I ask because if the CS's ID cards are based off of the US military's ID cards then no, those cards won't show any sort of security clearance level.


In the modern world, cards dont need to show Security Clearance. Nor do they need to (potentially) carry your file with you.

If you show up someplace and claim some kind of command authority, the base you've just walked into is one sat-phone conversation away from confirming your identity (or at least that yes, they should be doing exactly what you say).

That isn't true in Rifts.

There's no reliable long-distance communication. In the past (WW2, for instance), in the terrestrial military we'd give people papers (almost always in code) if they were OSS/special forces. They could show those to people of high enough rank and they could confirm that said person was who they said they were. We've gotten away from that in modern day because you can almost always (90%) of the time, except maybe in the field, behind enemy lines kind of stuff where you have to keep transmissions down) instantly verify someone's credentials.

In Rifts, though, ANY Special Forces are going to have to be able to verify who they are to CS Forces they run into, WITHOUT those forces being able to call into base (because they likely literally cannot do so) or HQ. This wouldn't apply just to these Manhunter folks, it would apply to anyone who needed to be able to come and go and requisition supplies and the like without the local CO/buerocracy slow them down/ask questions they arent allowed to ask.

So its something of an inference that something like this MUST exist, though we do have confirmation that ID cards exist (from various books) - just not exactly what's on them, and there is precedent in the Courier OCC from Heroes of Humanity (OCC Ability 3, "Travel Papers") - he can go anywhere he wants, and his pass extends to his team, even getting them into cities (just not areas that require security clearance) even if they aren't typical soldiers, and is verified by an ID chip implanted under the skin. He can even tell Generals to bugger off (politely) and refuse to give his info to them if he deems it is too sensitive, in which case the General in question is obligated to give the Courier whatever aid he needs to get his info into Command (specifically, the DoP - Department of Propaganda).

It stands to reason the Manhunters would have something similar.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:36 pm
  

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1 US active duty ID cards contain files called certs. A secrete cert is required to access a secure computer network.
2 Rifts does have reliable long range communications that would cover CS basses. A back pack radio has a range of 300-500 miles. It would simple to connect all CS cities and basses.-So the CS special forces literally can call in to the base.
(If I recall there are electronic credit cards. Can't remember what book had the Problem with credits.)

3 traveling papers are basically a permit to travel. The problem is that a under cover agent can not carry something that can be found.

4 they could use a special id code/phase to let the base commander/troops know that they are a agent. We have a system in place for quite some time to approach field sites. (Halt who goes there.- X with Y. -Advance and be recognized. challenge word/phase. Pass word/phase. --That is how field identification can be done.)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:06 am
  

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I was pumped at the title, thinking that the Manhunters had infiltrated the Coalition as part of a devious new plot to contain humanity through taking over the government with sophisticated fleshcoats, or some other way of having Manhunters and the Coalition working together. I'm a little underwhelmed after seeing what it actually is.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:11 pm
  

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Is Myrmidon Press even still around?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:59 pm
  

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IIRC, they went under sometime after releasing the Manhunters book.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:41 pm
  

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That would make future Manhunter books difficult. who knows who owns the IP at this point, if it's not simply abandoned IP.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:58 pm
  

D-Bee

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Nekira Sudacne wrote:
That would make future Manhunter books difficult. who knows who owns the IP at this point, if it's not simply abandoned IP.


whoever owned the company has it by default.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:18 pm
  

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
That would make future Manhunter books difficult. who knows who owns the IP at this point, if it's not simply abandoned IP.


whoever owned the company has it by default.


Myrmidion Press was independant, I don't know if they were ever bought out.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:56 pm
  

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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:00 pm
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Location: a west coast
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
That would make future Manhunter books difficult. who knows who owns the IP at this point, if it's not simply abandoned IP.


whoever owned the company has it by default.


Myrmidion Press was independant, I don't know if they were ever bought out.


i looked it up and i think C.J. Carella would be the person to ask there. partly because he might have whatever rights might have been left over from myrmidion and mostly because he's the only one between them and Kingslayer Productions i can find any sort of contacts for :-P price he pays for having his own website i guess.

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