Tell me of your Love (Hate) for the Palladium RPG engine [Mega-Damage!!!]

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,890
Reaction score
3,245
I would totally use the mutant animal generation tables in TMNT and Other Strangeness for other games.

Back in college, I once joined a Palladium campaign just to get the attention of a girl. Made a Mind Mage. It was fun and after a few sessions I got to make out with her. Success!

Hence I have a soft spot for Palladium. Not so much for the rules, but the artwork brings back good memories.

But memories are bittersweet. She somewhat frivolously dumped me for the player who had an explody sorcerer. He sabotaged the party (by blowing up everything) and this impressed the girl so much that she went steady with him. Not making this shit up. Ah well.

I hate wild card PCs now. Especially ones using a class that have lots of "LOL SO RANDOM" powers. In any system, really.

 

The Butcher

horrible cunt
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
6,910
narrative based system,
M&M would be the ideal system for it
A narrative system would be a better fit than any point-but system, because imbalance is at the heart of Rifts.

The most unique thing about Rifts, to me, is not that you get to play a crazy powerful character. It’s that you get to play a crazy powerful character or a mundane character and they adventure together.

IMHO opinion it’s just not Rifts if you can’t have a party with a Vagabond or a Rogue Scholar alongside the the Dragon Hatchling, the Glitter Boy, the Cosmo-Knight and the Mega-Juicer. (And ser which one of these has the easier time passing through a Coalition patrol.)
 

sureshot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
188
Reaction score
248
The Palladium system is as traditional as they come. To suddenly replace that with a narrative system would seem like a finger up to the extremely devoted fanbase that have supported it for decades. It's a small but tightnit community that have, it's worth remembering, on two occassions pooled together to prevent the financial failure of the company.
I get that it's a tight community and resistant to change. Yet it's the same community who then bemoans the fact that they can't find product in stores and no one who either runs or wants to play any PB rpgs. The Palladium community can't have it both ways and eat their cake too. I would not go with a narrative system even just a streamlined, properly edited, using one hopes modern publishing methods version of their own system. Except Palladium and by extension Kevin is highly resistant to any form of change. Refuses to accept any responsibility for poor business decisions and somehow expects a complete turnaround of PB current financial woes.

It's good to cater to the older fanbase when the system is profitable and bringing in new fans. From what I am seeing the only new updates I get on my hotmail is constant sales with barely a mention of any new product. Like Hero System which is also in decline the fanbase is seeking other rpg companies that do actually address flaws in their rules. The negative impressions of the company are not helped when they refuse to spend money on advertising and expect the fanbase to do so by word of mouth. Which in this digital age is both very embarrassing and really shows to me at least that they plan to firmly keep the status quo in place. Aided by fanase who want a miraculous recovery of PB yet want nothing to change.
 

Rogerdee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
134
Reaction score
129
A narrative system would be a better fit than any point-but system, because imbalance is at the heart of Rifts.

The most unique thing about Rifts, to me, is not that you get to play a crazy powerful character. It’s that you get to play a crazy powerful character or a mundane character and they adventure together.

IMHO opinion it’s just not Rifts if you can’t have a party with a Vagabond or a Rogue Scholar alongside the the Dragon Hatchling, the Glitter Boy, the Cosmo-Knight and the Mega-Juicer. (And ser which one of these has the easier time passing through a Coalition patrol.)
I have been working on a narrative system for Heroes Unlimited, and also now on Fantasy.
Rifts and by extension Phase World, is a whole other ball of wax, because they are unfortunately both are creatures (games) of complete extremes. This is shown rather well in DCEU with Batman vs Superman. Without plot device Batman was nigh on useless. So yeah mundane, even a low powered one in Rifts goes down rather hard - and the in-universe justification of everything turning into an MDC creature was typical of Palladium's cannot be bothered to work out how a way to balance it so let's just say magic does everything.

Not the least of which, for such a high magic setting, why is it magic-users can only throw 2-3 projectile spells before running out of juice - yet when faced with a laser wielding individual are going to lose badly. Yet the people on the forum think this is okay.

I get that it's a tight community and resistant to change. Yet it's the same community who then bemoans the fact that they can't find product in stores and no one who either runs or wants to play any PB rpgs. The Palladium community can't have it both ways and eat their cake too. I would not go with a narrative system even just a streamlined, properly edited, using one hopes modern publishing methods version of their own system. Except Palladium and by extension Kevin is highly resistant to any form of change. Refuses to accept any responsibility for poor business decisions and somehow expects a complete turnaround of PB current financial woes.

It's good to cater to the older fanbase when the system is profitable and bringing in new fans. From what I am seeing the only new updates I get on my hotmail is constant sales with barely a mention of any new product. Like Hero System which is also in decline the fanbase is seeking other rpg companies that do actually address flaws in their rules. The negative impressions of the company are not helped when they refuse to spend money on advertising and expect the fanbase to do so by word of mouth. Which in this digital age is both very embarrassing and really shows to me at least that they plan to firmly keep the status quo in place. Aided by fanase who want a miraculous recovery of PB yet want nothing to change.
^ A thousand times this.
And the fact that some of the books people want, some of the fantasy stuff which can be quite interesting, but in place we get something rather banal Rifts-wise. They have teased some Beyond the Supernatural books, but so far nothing has materialised.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
15,514
Reaction score
35,681
I get that it's a tight community and resistant to change. Yet it's the same community who then bemoans the fact that they can't find product in stores and no one who either runs or wants to play any PB rpgs. The Palladium community can't have it both ways and eat their cake too.
I think there's a big difference between change and an entirely different type of game.

From what experience I have with that community, they would not object to a cleaned-up baseline rules system.
From what I can tell, most of them have been wanting exactly that for years.
 

Panzerkraken

Armored Squid
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
233
Reaction score
368
I've done a lot of hacks of Rifts and other Palladium games over the years. The most successful ones for Fantasy were using a version where I just replaced all the skill %'s with inverse d20 values (since they're mostly 5% chunks anyway) and said you had to exceed 20 to succeed with the roll. For Rifts I've done writeups in Interlock, WEG d6, d20 Modern, and some houserule mishmashes, but I couldn't emulate the feel. We got into Savage Rifts after the Revised edition and it's REALLY close to the feel of the original, so we're rolling with that now.

I don't agree about the Savage Rifts art being bad, it's DIFFERENT, and I can understand the desire for nice, clean B&W line art in a game, that's my preference too, but at least it's all consistent.
 

Steve Dubya

Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
28
What's really bonkers is that - from many accounts - the system that Kevin uses for games he runs at their open houses is WAAAAAAAY more simplistic than anything you'll find in their existing game lines. If somebody could codify that, it would go a long way to making the games less of a mechanical mish-mash of oft-times contradictory or incomplete rules.

It's also probably the reason that the rules look the way they do, because - despite the fact that Kevin is writing most of this stuff - he doesn't really understand how it would work in play, because he doesn't play that way.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
15,514
Reaction score
35,681
From the descriptions I've heard, Kevin is very much an old school "Rulings vs Rules" GM (long before that phrase was coined), and basically just throws in what rules he likes when they fit, and otherwise just handwaves most of the games he runs. I understand this has been a source of frustration for Palladium fans over the years; I recall hearing gribes about it going back almost 20 years; but it does go a long way to explain why he doesn't feel the need to "fix" the Palladium system
 

Gabriel

Legendary Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
1,189
Reaction score
2,471
From the descriptions I've heard, Kevin is very much an old school "Rulings vs Rules" GM (long before that phrase was coined), and basically just throws in what rules he likes when they fit, and otherwise just handwaves most of the games he runs. I understand this has been a source of frustration for Palladium fans over the years; I recall hearing gribes about it going back almost 20 years; but it does go a long way to explain why he doesn't feel the need to "fix" the Palladium system
The thing is, in writing he is completely the opposite. He very much presents things as written in stone. Oh, he may do an aside that players should gloss over the rules, but he always follows that with something that effectively says that he's the game designer with vastly more experience and intelligence than anyone else and the rules he has crafted are absolutely perfect and you will use them if you know what's good for you.
 

Malleustein

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
351
Reaction score
574
To to those of you who've played/owned/sold/loved/hated/etc. the system what do you think of it as it stands today?
  • How has it changed over the years? I know the Mega-Damage change was a big deal in the fan community with some loving, others hating it.
  • Not to get into to much drama but I've read that "Kevin Siembieda" is somewhat litigious when it comes to fan websites, is that true?
  • Is the engine more or less universal across all the companies various settings? or is it highly tailored to each setting?
  • Does it scale well? that is how well do Average Humans interact with Gritty Commandos with Super Heroes with Godzilla?
  • What do you think of the various settings? Macross, Rifts, Heroes Unlimited, Palladium Fantasy, etc. Which is your favorite setting and why?
The system has changed over time, but not greatly. There are some revised editions. M.D.C. has been around longer than perception rolls, hardly a new talking point.

Kev certainly WAS of the mind that fan sites infringed on something or other. I don't hear any stories about it from the last decade or so. There are some good fan sites that exist with Palladium's permission, if not blessing. House of BtS springs to mind.

The megaversal rules are broadly universal. The basics remain constant, but the specifics change. Primarily, the skills change according to setting and there are no 'universal' classes, like a D&D fighter or rogue.

It scales okay. One of the notable changes over the decades is that everyone and everything got tougher, and traditional firearms have caught up only in the more recent games. The average joe is probably dangerously low on hit points after being shot, but monsters and 'class' characters can take a hell of a beating in most games.

Systems Failure has the best take on the rules. Not a bad campaign setting either. TMNT might be the better introduction to the combat system.

I tend towards the smaller game lines. TMNT/After the Bomb, , Mechanoids, Ninjas & Superspies, Beyond the Supernatural, Dead Reign, Splicers, etc.. I own shelves of RIFTS and Palladium Fantasy, but rarely do anything with them.

I can't call a favourite... It depends on what I feel like refereeing.

My current Palladium project is an 80's "super-vehicle crime fighters" campaign (Knight Rider, Airwolf, etc.) which uses Ninjas & Superspies (core rules, classes and vehicles), Heroes Unlimited (for hardware classes) and Road Hogs (for more vehicle mods).

I'll post some about the settings after I eat.
 

Rogerdee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
134
Reaction score
129
My current Palladium project is an 80's "super-vehicle crime fighters" campaign (Knight Rider, Airwolf, etc.) which uses Ninjas & Superspies (core rules, classes and vehicles), Heroes Unlimited (for hardware classes) and Road Hogs (for more vehicle mods).

I'll post some about the settings after I eat.
I did post a shared universe setting, that would fit I guess.

 

Malleustein

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
351
Reaction score
574
Firstly, as a general opinion of the system, I think it is traditional and simple. D20 for combat, D% for skills. Most complexity comes from powers, spells or equipment. The haphazard editing, poor layout and idiosyncrasies of the writers all contribute to making it seem more complex than it needs to be.

Here's a little on a few of the settings...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness/After the Bomb
The early, anything goes style of Mirage Studios' comic is appealing. After the Bomb takes things in a different direction, but is an interesting setting. Or, more accurately, settings. Each sourcebook reveals a different country, all quite different.

Robotech, Robotech II & Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles
The first appearance of M.D.C. in another slim, stripped down book. The older edition is simpler, but the newer books are more in-line with the continuing storyline. Many argue that the mecha are too tough and take too long to destroy. I agree to a point, but find it easy to fix. While the Macross Saga is the best known, the later eras likely have the wider range of story potential. Campaigns revolving around genesis pits and the expeditionary force's conflicts are both highlighted in the later books, rare as they can be.

Dead Reign
My favourite zombie campaign setting. The nature of the undead is explored in depth, a lot of variety is offered, and over the sourcebooks the apocalyptic world is revealed. Some books are better than others, but the game remains a staggeringly deadly one. It's worlds better than The Walking Dead, that's for sure. The assorted human antagonists are fine, but the more unique zombies are where the fun is!

Splicers
The Guyver vs. Terminator! If that doesn't sell you on this game, I don't know what will. Seriously though, this is a great game. M.D.C. bio-tech vs. insane A.I. robots in a post-apocalyptic future. Surprisingly, much can be made of the rivalry between human houses, noble feuds, and the inhuman monsters they depend on but fear. I Am Legion is a good sourcebook, adding a lot of player classes as well as a fascinating campaign.

Nightbane/Nightbane
The world of darkness without the angst, Nightbane creates a creepy world full of secrets, lies and inhuman conspiracies, but without expecting the characters to feel like small fry or squabbling school kids. The full setting isn't really revealed in the core book. Between the Shadows and Nightlands show a lot of the setting omitted from the core book. Nightbane character creation is a hoot, especially if you have the recent Dark Designs sourcebook.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
3,308
Can anyone give a quick rundown on how Savage Worlds: Rifts works? I imagine it would be a huge improvement, has anyone here actually played?
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
1,884
Reaction score
1,559
Can anyone give a quick rundown on how Savage Worlds: Rifts works? I imagine it would be a huge improvement, has anyone here actually played?
I have, and it's pretty much Savage Worlds, for me. The power scale was increased, you start off with more goodies, like Edges and bonuses, (I was playing a technically DB Glitterboy pilot, and had a Ley Line Walker and her Combat Cyborg boyfriend... I didn't ask, and no one else should either.) but in the end it was pretty much what I liked about SW, a high action, pulp game with lasers and railguns.

I think that you have to like the system to really get into it. Yeah, that's a pretty milquetoast answer, but it's also true. If you want a pulp like experience, and are OK with SW's conceits, then I think SW: Rifts will do ya just fine.
 

Malleustein

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
351
Reaction score
574
Systems Failure
A terrible name for rules many hate. Also the best take on the rules. The layout is almost good. Systems Failure is something of a throwback to the early days, a simple set-up, easy to grasp O.C.C.'s and interesting bad guys. Alien bugs have taken over the world, keep Humans as slaves or mind-controlled servants. Their gimmick is that they sense and travel via electricity (power cables), so the resistance has to think low technology to fight them. Out of print for years, it got a fresh run recently, so might be found online.

The Mechanoids/Invasion/Journey/Homeworld
Palladium Book's earliest game and a fascinating one. It's a desperate fight to save a doomed colony world in the far future. The Daleks Mechanoids might be unstoppable foes, but there is a good campaign here, especially if you can get hold of Journey and Homeworld. These books carry the storyline ahead generations, showing the ambitious, anything goes instincts Kev' had even then. You can really tell Kev' was into his comic art, sci-fi and early Doctor Who.

Palladium Fantasy
A playable D&D heartbreaker if you own the core book. A very well-developed fantasy world once you take a look at the source books. It absolutely feels like Kev' just published his years long D&D campaign, which he clearly loves to death. Lots of races and classes, especially if you have the Monsters & Animals book, which lets you play nearly anything. There is NO balance between races and classes and that's not a problem at all. Recent books like Bisantium and Garden of the Gods show Kev' will never give up support for this one.

RIFTS & Phase World
You can play a psionic dragon mage riding a massive robot t-rex...

Jokes about the ridiculous O.C.C.s aside, RIFTS is both insane and amazing. For all people lament the endless production line of source books, they are almost always good! There are so many genuinely cool aspects. I don't just mean cool to your inner 14-year old (well, not just him/her) with all the lasers and monsters. The way the new super powers of the world interact (The Coalition States, The New German Republic, Atlantis, Norther Gun, etc.) and the absolutely staggering array of things to play, buy, fight, or places to go is impressive. I would never dare use more than a handful of books for a single campaign, but there is so much good stuff here.

Run or join a mercenary company, hunt Aztec vampires, escape the gladiator pits of Atlantis, fight for Humanity as Coalition soldiers (are we the bad guys? Our hats have got skulls on them).

Then there is Phase World. It is best illustrated by the fact it has a sourcebook for building other universes. Phase World is what happens when RIFTS decides it wants to stop being reserved and sensible.

Chaos Earth
The RIFTS prequel no-one really asked for, but I actually prefer. Far less intimidating than RIFTS, Chaos Earth covers the apocalypse as it happens, has a far simpler set-up (help Humanity survive) and can be either darkly bleak or rousingly heroic, depending on your referee and players. It is one of the cheaper games and with a couple of solid sourcebooks, as well as the good Resurrection campaign.

Aliens Unlimited
Heroes Unlimited doesn't really have a setting, but Aliens Unlimited and the Galaxy Guide detail a big galaxy full of alien species (and rules for making more), interstellar superpowers and a decent amount of tech too. It's like Phase World without the M.D.C. ducks.

The strength lies in the interplay between species, factions and political powers. You could use it to inform your adventures on Earth, but I think the bigger galaxy it presents is far more interesting.

-

That's it, I think. Neither Beyond the Supernatural nor Ninjas & Superspies really have settings and Heroes Unlimited has the Century Station city, which while good, doesn't really need a write-up.

There is more I could say about any of them, probably less pimping and more specifics. But I still get a kick out of the Palladium Books games. All the faults are there, but the relentless negativity you find online does overshadow the fact that they've turned out a hell of a lot of great stuff over the decades.
 

David Johansen

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
2,164
Reaction score
2,872
So, here's what I'd do with the Palladium System:

Attributes are rolled on 3d6, some races get more and less, we keep the list of attributes because it should still be Palladium. I don't know about the +1d6 6o 17 and 18, I guess it's a Palladium thing so we'll keep it but I don't care for it. I'd rather add 1d6 to a prime attribute for each OCC.

The attributes do the same things but the bonuses are a consistent +1 per point over 15.

Skills all start at Intelligence + one other attribute and increase by 5% for the first five levels, 4% for the next five levels, 3% for the next five levels and so on.
Weapon Skill bonuses use the charts from The Palladium Fantasy Roleplaying Game first edition but damages are from second edition, so a broadsword does 2d8 damage not 1d8.
Hand to Hand combat skill is customizable or by class. So, there should be a subsystem where you fill in the slots with a prerequisite requirement like +2 to strike requires +1 to strike be on the chart first. We can put all the special kicks and strikes into the list of options rather than a tacked on section of the combat system. There is also a Vehicle combat skill that has maneuvers and such.

Each OCC gets two career skills which get a +10, four electives from a list of eight career related skills, and four secondary skills. Special abilities eat up a skill slot. This is basically the Mechanoid Invasion Book 3 where an OCC takes up a quarter of a page.

The combat rules are no longer than two pages. The don't need to be, they shouldn't be any longer. Scrape off the cruft and the core is a thing of beauty.
Organisms have Hit Points and machines have Structural Damage Capacity, end of story.
The strike / parry / dodge thing and initiative are kept for combat. Everything else is streamlined or dropped outright.
Armor Rating is dropped entirely. Anything over a 5 hits. Unarmoured locations can be targeted with a penalty to hit.
There is no point at which a kick from a mundane human does as much damage as a 9mm pistol.
Mega Damage Capacity is reserved for tanks and Kaiju.
Giga Damage Capacity is reserved for Star Destroyers, Death stars.
Tera Damage Capacity is for Mechanoid motherships and (spoiler alert!) universe destroying bombs.
There is a consistent scaling mechanism for these scales and they represent factors of 1000 not 100.

There is a consistent system for assigning and rating vehicles, armour, weapons, and cybernetics. It probably looks a bit like Heroes Unlimited Vehicle design. There is also a consistent rationale for assigning spell levels. Spells cost a fixed amount of PPE per level so you know if you cast a 5th level spell it costs 25 PPE or some such.
 
Last edited:

Fenris-77

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
952
Reaction score
1,361
Too much crunch that doesnt add anything to the play experience for my taste. Blech. I do love the setting though. Ive extensovely read, but not played the SW stuff and it looks really solid to me.
 

Moonglum

Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
599
Reaction score
1,043
The only part of the Simbada extended universe that connects with my gaming history is 1E Palladium RPG. To me, this is maybe the only one of the 50 billion fantasy heartbreakers emulating D+D that really succeeded at presenting a class and level system that is both still recognizably a D+D-like game and that has a genuinely better take on classes and levels. The ranges of fighter-types and wizard-types in particular feel very fresh, and my better than standard D+D at describing quasi-historical character types.
 

Picaroon Jack

And the Brothers Slack
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
1,318
Reaction score
2,577
On a side note, I really like those Naruni weapons. The basic pistol was 1d4X10 MD (which is the same as a vehicle launched missile). I noticed that in later supplements (the Tolkeen war?) they phased them out. Too late, Kevin, my gunslinger stockpiled those plasma cartridges!

download.jpeg
 

sureshot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
188
Reaction score
248
The Naruni weapons are still around. They still exist in Rifts Earth. Just that the Coalition States hurt their operations you can still get their equipment. Just don't be caught using their equipment in CS territory.

I was not impressed with how Kevin tried to shift the blame to Carella because of how powerful the Narauni and South america books were powerful. When imo Carella stuff is what the damage values should have been from the start. When they way the company runs he is the person who endorses the material which is in the books.
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
1,884
Reaction score
1,559
On a side note, I really like those Naruni weapons. The basic pistol was 1d4X10 MD (which is the same as a vehicle launched missile). I noticed that in later supplements (the Tolkeen war?) they phased them out. Too late, Kevin, my gunslinger stockpiled those plasma cartridges!

View attachment 23342
The reason for the Naruni power boost was that it was often WAY TOO LONG to put anything down, from monsters to bandits. So (I forget who created the Naruni and their weapons) they upped the power level to make the combat more enjoyable and faster.

That's the main problem I have with Palladium's combat, everything is too hard to kill. Even with just the old S.D.C. rules. Which is why back in my TMNT and N&S days, I house ruled 'lethal' weapons (like guns and blades) went STRAIGHT to hit points. Sure, it still took about 4 magnum rounds (The BTS supplement's .44 Magnum did about 6d6) to put the average joe down, but at least, it wasn't 150 of them per goon.
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
8,286
Reaction score
12,680
Too bad Kevin is stubbornly adamant about trying to fix the issues of the rules. As short of Torg Eternity no other rpg imo cpatures the kitchen sink feeling like Rifts does.
Torg is a great example of a game where the majority opinion was 'great setting, poor/mediocre rules' that was relaunched with a new streamlined ruleset and seems to have done well. I picked up the new core in a Bundle and it looks like fun, hope to run it sometime in the future and plan on getting the revamped Cyberpapacy supplement for sure.
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
1,884
Reaction score
1,559
Oh, what makes a RIFTs Glitter Boy so scary is not really the main cannon (more on that below, though), it's that it'll (hopefully) outlast everything else. I mean, sure the main cannon does the most damage at 3d6x10MDC, but in reality it can remove about one solider per shot on average and maybe tickle a robot's paint job. Which is still leagues better than the average Robot weapon, mind you.

What most people don't realize is that the RG-15 "Boom Gun" is actually a hyper sonic SHOT GUN with a two meter (about 7ft) spread. Which means, that in theory most Power Armour are also toast. I mean, sure, it's damage is just 90MD~ on average, but you need to apply it to every part of the target.

So sure, that SAMAS's torso will likely be intact (250MDC) but it's likely now a wingless, armless, legless rocket engine on an average damage roll. A blast to the back does the same thing, but removes the engine AS WELL (50MDC).
 

Picaroon Jack

And the Brothers Slack
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
1,318
Reaction score
2,577
Sure, it still took about 4 magnum rounds (The BTS supplement's .44 Magnum did about 6d6) to put the average joe down, but at least, it wasn't 150 of them per goon.
I'm leery of any game system that an average person cannot take down another average someone with a single gun shot or two (I'm looking at you Shadowrun 1E). 1d4X10 MD can do that. LOL
 

Rogerdee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
134
Reaction score
129
Too bad Kevin is stubbornly adamant about trying to fix the issues of the rules. As short of Torg Eternity no other rpg imo cpatures the kitchen sink feeling like Rifts does.
You mean not fixing them?
Lords of Gossamer and Amber rule set can do that too.
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
1,884
Reaction score
1,559
I'm leery of any game system that an average person cannot take down another average someone with a single gun shot or two (I'm looking at you Shadowrun 1E). 1d4X10 MD can do that. LOL
To be fair, in real life we have had wild and TRUE stories of people taking multiple rounds, like criminals and average joes alike and SURVIVING. As well as other tales where a trained and bulked up man takes a bullet to the arm and dies of shock. So I'm more lenient with the swinginess of damage, but it's when EVERY single target requires three full magazines of 30 rounds to kill I get twitchy.
 

sureshot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
188
Reaction score
248
The reason for the Naruni power boost was that it was often WAY TOO LONG to put anything down, from monsters to bandits. So (I forget who created the Naruni and their weapons) they upped the power level to make the combat more enjoyable and faster.
I think it was CJ Carella.

Then some of the fanbase cried that power creep hit the game and it some cases it did. In this not really. As before when you had the large tank or Robot whose main gun did a pitiful 5D6 to 1D4X10. Carella creations changed many to a mimimum of 2D6X10 if not higher. So the players whose tactic was to rush an enemy knowing that the main weapons would scratch their armor or power armor. Were in for a rude surprise when the PC was blown to atoms. Rifts especially MDC was advertised as being dangerous and deadly, don't complain when the product now does as advertised on the box so to speak.

Looking through the core some of the explanations given for the restrictions on only the Glitter Boy OCC can fully use the GB armor imo seem weak. Apparently it's considered old and obsolete. Which given how iconic, symbolic and just cool unit makes no sense. If anyone besides the GB OCC uses it they take penalties. If I put a restriction it would be some kind of genetic code in the pilot that during peacetime is removed by the military. When the Rifts came and many still having that code in their bodies and it may be passed to their children and so on. Claiming that the old is "old, obsolete tech" it just makes no sense.

That's like saying car collector who buys new Mustang models given the chance to buy and own 1968 Ford Mustang GT from the movie Bullit would refuse because of the same reason. Rogue Scholars used to have access to Heavy Body armor which makes sense as they go into danger very often. Apparently the fans thought that was broken. Yet the Body Fixer can wear it.
 

Picaroon Jack

And the Brothers Slack
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
1,318
Reaction score
2,577
To be fair, in real life we have had wild and TRUE stories of people taking multiple rounds, like criminals and average joes alike and SURVIVING. As well as other tales where a trained and bulked up man takes a bullet to the arm and dies of shock. So I'm more lenient with the swinginess of damage, but it's when EVERY single target requires three full magazines of 30 rounds to kill I get twitchy.
It seems like Deadlands was like that. Which was tricky with 6 shooters.
 

TNMalt

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
7
Played Robotech back in the day and it was a blast. The system could use some editing to get the core consistent. And rifts is everything dialed to 11. Some great, some headscratchers. But at its core, it is the love child of d20ish and BRPish games and also the lead singer in 60s girl group to boot.
 

Malleustein

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
351
Reaction score
574
Going back to Mechanoids Invasion, you see what the game was like before natural S.D.C. was a thing. It makes for damn deadly play, but combat is exciting and quick.

I find Beyond the Supernatural and Dead Reign don't suffer from overly long combat. Most player characters are fairly ordinary and firearms do a substantial amount of damage, especially rifles and shotguns.

I kept thinking I needed to fix M.D., until I played in a RIFTS Ultimate campaign a few years ago. Even low mega-damage guns are frightening when you have a few attacks per melee! Our squad took to focussing fire on gargoyles whenever we could, worked a treat.

Now, I'm not saying the damage-to-armour ratio is right. It isn't, but it is often less an issue than it looks on paper. A single shot from most M.D. guns can be underwhelming, but a burst or squad gunline can put out a frightening amount of damage.

Honestly, if I were to referee a M.D. setting tomorrow, I'd likely drop the M.D.C. values of almost everything by half. It's what I do with Zentraedi pods in Robotech anyway, under the rational they suck at maintaining their gear.

Kev' and crew clearly write the games how he likes them, but no referee is obliged to run them that way. If S.D.C. or M.D.C. are too high, half them.
 

sureshot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
188
Reaction score
248
The Rifts fan base has always needed to put on their big boy pants.:fu: No one was ever being forced to use a book, or even any part of a book. Have some self respect and admit that as a GM you have agency.
Agreed and seconded. It was like how once Paizo started releasing more material fir Pathfinder 1E some complained about too many new releases. Rather than blaming poor impulse buying. It was somehow Paizo "fault" they had to buy thew new book. Paizo did make the mistake of saying they would try to not release too many books. Yet really don't make that kind of promise as a publisher that chances are good one is going to break almost immediately. It's the same way if I owed the rifts IP I would try to make it backwards compitable for the fans, yet I did not just spend money on the IP to keep the status quo. To then continue losing money.

Personal note have not been impressed with Rifts GMs. If it was not the GM who never engaged with the players. It's the other whose company I did not participate in yet complained that the players did not follow the adventure he planned to run. Yet ran the campaign as an open concept sandbox style of company. It's the type of campaign where anything and everything goes yet the GM is complaining because the players did exactly that. It's not to say when I played other rpgs I had perfect GMs. Just way too many horror stories at least in my experience
 

sureshot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
188
Reaction score
248
Another issue is how Kevin edits his rpgs especially when updating old to new. Take for example Robotech when the were given the license. The same issue Chris Brady mentioned is made worse. In the TV show the enemy is destroyed on one shot or at least the lower level enemies. In the updated robotech he increased the amount of MDC the enemies have yet the hand weapons the veritech use still jsut scratch the enemy. Depending on the era played the mecha may carry more missiles yet I want to be able to use my mecha hand weapons to do decent damage .Not just toss out a volley of four missles each time. Another oddity is it every explained why a volley of four missiles cannot be dodged? Or is it just some arbitrary wonkiness thrown into the rules by Kevin. I houseruled that missles no matter the amount can be dodged.
 

Malleustein

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
351
Reaction score
574
Another issue is how Kevin edits his rpgs especially when updating old to new. Take for example Robotech when the were given the license. The same issue Chris Brady mentioned is made worse. In the TV show the enemy is destroyed on one shot or at least the lower level enemies. In the updated robotech he increased the amount of MDC the enemies have yet the hand weapons the veritech use still jsut scratch the enemy. Depending on the era played the mecha may carry more missiles yet I want to be able to use my mecha hand weapons to do decent damage .Not just toss out a volley of four missles each time. Another oddity is it every explained why a volley of four missiles cannot be dodged? Or is it just some arbitrary wonkiness thrown into the rules by Kevin. I houseruled that missles no matter the amount can be dodged.
That the universe will end if someone dodges a fifth missile seems like such a weird, arbitrary rule. He's used it for years, seems convinced it is right and I have no idea why... I guess a player annoyed him in a game one day by dodging every projectile in a volley and Kev' went "Screw that guy! I'm gonna right rules that'll ruin his day."

I can accept the "my way or high way" writing of Kev' and co (his company, his books, his rules), but there are a few here and there that just baffle my brain. It's like the supposedly difficulty of knocking people out he insists upon in Heroes Unlimited, yet both boxing and martial arts have automatic knockouts...
 

Gabriel

Legendary Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
1,189
Reaction score
2,471
I am relatively convinced Siembieda originally wrote the "can't dodge 4 or more missiles" rule because he saw it in Airwolf. There is an episode of Airwolf where there's a super high tech missile system which launches four missiles at the target. As a character is describing it, he describes it in a similar wording to what Siembieda used for the infamous Robotech rule. The Airwolf episode would have originally aired in the period of time before Siembieda had started writing, or perhaps concurrently, but it definitely aired a full year before the Macross RPG was released.

Also, at the time there were these odd asides in his writings about how helicopters could definitely not fight jets.

Robotech RPG Tactics also has a variant of the rule, which I'm sure is deliberately put in there to troll Robotech fans.

Edit: Found it. The Airwolf episode is "Fight Like a Dove" from the first season, and was originally aired March 10, 1984. From a transcript the line is:

Kruger: Good. Gentlemen, if you glance into the courtyard here, you will see the latest American surface-to-air missile system. Codename: Thor. It is unique, in that its four simuItaneously fired missiles have both heat-seeking as well as radar-targeting systems. Two missiles cover the higher aItitude and two the lower. And the penetrating aircraft might be able to evade one, or two, or even three missiles, but, never four, which makes Thor the uItimate defense weapon at $10 million only a unit.
And Robotech Book One: Macross on page 37 reads:

It is possible to dodge one, two, or even three missiles. However, it is impossible to dodge a volley of four or more missiles.
 
Last edited:
Top