Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising by Alien Rope Burn
"So strap on your armor and make sure your E-Clips are charged before you join the Uprising in World Book Ten, and enjoy!"Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
So, juicing, or juice fasting is where people decide that the healthiest thing to do is to drink nothing but pulped vegetable.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Violence and the Supernatural
However, in Rifts, ley lines give the process supernatural power, allowing you to gain different magical benefits from kale, pomengrates, blueberries, and other Mega-Foods™, using a special techno-wizard harness to pump them directly into your veins-
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
The fictional World of Rifts® is violent, deadly and filled with supernatural monsters. Other dimensional beings, often referred to as "demons," torment, stalk and prey on humans. Other alien life forms, monsters, gods and demigods, as well as magic, insanity, and war are all elements in this book.
Oh, sorry. I just actually looked in the book and that isn't what this is about at all.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Some parents may find the violence and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.
It's about drug addicts and their revolt against skullmericans. My bad.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Please note that none of us at Palladium Books® condone or encourage the occult, the practice of magic, the use of drugs, or violence.
But can you really blame me for presuming some woo after the magic herbs of England, the bullshido of Japan, or the crystal and pyramid power of Atlantis?
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 1: "So strap on your armor and make sure your E-Clips are charged before you join the Uprising in World Book Ten, and enjoy!"
So, this is writer CJ Carella's swan song for Rifts - it's the last book we'll see him work on for the line before leaving, even though he was just hired on full-time for the last world book. Siembieda, of course, will be poking his face in the door like Jack Torrance to scribble things in. Vince Martin will be returning for art (you can recognize him by the stylized V+M signature), along with Wayne Breaux Jr. (you can recognize him by the "Breaux" signature), and finally R.K. Post (you can recognize him by the heavy photoreferencing). Carella tells us to expect more Juicer types, more equipment, more setting details, and, of course, the Juicer Uprising.
But before we get to that, let's take a look back at my original Rifts review to catch up on Juicers:
F&F: Rifts posted:
The Juicer O.C.C. are on super-drugs, and have a special computerized harness to get roided up. They also have nanobots to heal them. You can only survive five to eight years "juiced up", though. A lot of them are psychopaths, foolish, or desperate. Just like real junkies! Like Crazies, nebulous feudal states give these out in exchange for a short term of service.
Mostly, they just look ready for paintball.
I wonder what keeps a Juicer from running away, though? Apparently they're super-fast. It's not really clear. Anyway, the Coalition hates these guys too. The system costs 300-400k credits.
They get to be super-fast, tough (just S.D.C., who cares), super-strong, and heal fast. They also get bonuses against psionics and drugs. Apparently once they die, even psionic or magic restoration can't help them. Trying to detox early means you switch to another class, but suffer a lot of permanent penalties. I guess it's possible, though, if you were a weakling to start with, your attributes will end up higher . Also, the process has you reduce your Physical Beauty to 8, roll 1d4 and add that, then roll 1d4 and subtract that. Not sure why, but okay. I think they wrote two overlapping penalties.
Since then, we've had Euro-Juicers in Triax & the NGR, which are pretty much Juicer lite - survive longer, but with less power. We've also had Ninja Juicers in Japan, which survive longer and sneak better through the power of
Next: Dead man walking.
"'I'm not a helpless little kid (or woman, or D-bee, or dog, etc.), is that the problem?'"Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 2: "'I'm not a helpless little kid (or woman, or D-bee, or dog, etc.), is that the problem?'"
We start with three quick fiction chunks. The first is a proclamation by "Julian the First", "Commander of the Juicer Army for Liberation". Julian is threatening the Coalition for giving them a false hope, and declares war against the Coalition hierarchy. Good luck with that, Julian!
The second is an anonymous radio transmission about how the Coalition promised to give Juicers immortality through the "Prometheus Treatment", but apparently the Coalition held out on it. But they've found the treatment really works and exists, and are calling for Juicers to raid some place called Newtown.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Graffiti Found on a bunker outside Newtown:
"I don't care who's right — Let's go kill something."
"The baleful eye of the Coalition hangs over Juicers- later in the book! But not yet! Get out of here, skully!"
The Juicer Revisited
So, we start out discussing the origins of the Juicer. It is, as mentioned in previous books, a pre-rifts form of human augmentation originally developed by a German company named Uberchem Incorporated. While it was originally only used by "Third World dictators and other madmen" who didn't care about sentencing their troops to death to make them more radical. However, as the augmentation race (also involving Mindwerks' "crazy" technology and genetic augmentation) went on, nations developed secret units of Juicers. However, when the effects of Juicer technology went public, Uberchem wasn't able to survive the public backlash and collapsed. However, the technology was revived elsewhere covertly by governments and corporations, particularly in America... shortly before the rifts arrived.
Many pre-rifts Juicers used the "JAEP" (Juicer Augmentation Enhancement Program, detailed in Triax & the NGR) that allowed long-term survival. Those who went the more severe, lethal treatment that's now the norm were seen as victims or mad. However, there was a subculture that romanticized the Juicers' abilities and their short life. They were a frequent fixture of genre fiction, most notable in Reginald Wallzek's novel trilogy known as The Deathdance Saga. Mmm. Edgy. The Deathdance Saga chronicled the adventures of the entirely fictional Julian Amici, a doomed and misunderstood badass who took down secret government conspiracies. The franchise was rediscovered and revived following the rifts, and there has even been
After the rifts, people managed to rediscover Juicer technology, and it was at times instrumental for people to sacrifice their longevity to keep communities alive. Still, it took centuries for the technology to become more widespread. Though many communities have used Juicers, the Coalition rejects them as "the needless sacrifice of human life". However, even the Coalition may have used them during its early years - their destruction of their own history makes it unclear. However, despite this, Juicers are relatively numerous outside of the Coalition states.
"Four against one! I like these odds!... um, if three of you walk away."
Why do people become Juicers? Well, they're dumb.
Okay, Carella has a more nuanced set of answers than I do. During the hard times after the cataclysm, Juicing was seen as a sacrifice for the community, the modern ethos is more self-centered. Juicing is often offered for a few years of service, about half of their "lifespan". Many become Juicers with a plan to detox after three years, but most become addicted to the effects of the drugs and the power... while others die in combat. Some go in for revenge and other obsessive quests, and might steal or cheat their way to augmentation. Some are just crazy and either don't believe that they will die or don't particularly care. Some poor people sign up for indentured service hoping to get rich. Lastly, sometimes slaves are converted for Juicers for use as warriors or gladiators, particularly in Atlantis.
The Juicer Procedure
So, we get the nitty-gritty in terms of how long the treatment takes to apply. Installing the Juicer harness takes two treatments with a two day rest inbetween, and it takes "2d4" weeks for the full abilities to manifest after the installation is complete. It notes that the procedure has a 98% chance of working under ideal conditions, but many rush the procedure, reuse old equipment, and the book suggests giving a 50% to 92% chance of success for PCs getting the treatment. Yep, it's a random chance of fuckery for those PCs hoping to swap classes to "Juicer", with some of the effects being:
- Higher attribute boosts but 1d4 less years... out of 6. Yep, you can be a two-year wonder.
- "Hyper-Strength Syndrome" which can cause spasms or clumsiness that gives major penalties or skills or combat.
- "Metabolic-Induced Gluttony", where you have to eat 10,000 to 20,000 calories a day. "There are stories of some MIV gluttons resorting to cannibalism to satisfy their urges!"
- "Juicer Psychosis" which is includes death obsessions, superiority complexes, paranoia, panic attacks, or the classic Siembieda "Jekyll and Hyde" syndrome.
- Going straight to a rejection where the harness has to be removed or you die, then you get all the drawbacks of late Juicer detox.
But if that amount of risk isn't enough for you, you could try playing:
Yep, some nonhuman types can become Juicers too, mostly those that are close to human, but there are some exceptions we'll see.
- True Atlanteans: The superior human race for Rifts Atlantis gets to survive longer (10 to 16 years) as Juicers, but given they have a 500 year lifespan, most don't undergo the process unless forced or tricked. "Hey, free pizza and Juicer conversion in here!" "FREE PIZZA?!"
- Dwarves: Dwarves only survive slightly longer as Juicers (only about a year more) but can't take anything that makes them into speedy Juicers (the "Hyperion" and "Phaeton" treatments) since those apparently burn out their nervous system. I figured dwarves would have more nerve!
- Elves: ... survive about two years longer on average, but usually don't go in for the process for the same reasons as True Atlanteans. (Unless there's free pizza.)
- Ogres: As basically just another member of the homo genus in Rifts, ogres can juice up normally.
- Gargoyles and Brodkil: Normal Juicer treatments don't work on these "sub-demons", but Atlantis has developed equivalent bio-wizard harnesses that work the same on them. Or maybe not. The book contradicts this later.
- Mutant Animals: There's an 80% chance of death or or "near-lethal" consequences for mutant animals that try and Juice up normally. However, Los Alamo (later in this book) has developed a treatment that works on psi-hounds (but with an "over 20%" failure rate), but it eliminates all their supernatural sensing powers and they have a slightly reduced Juicer lifespan. In addition, it notes mutant animals with explicitly supernatural powers (like the mutant animals from the South America books) can't undergo the process because (ha ha ha) reasons likely to do with game balance (heh).
- Wolfen: Los Alamo and Kingsdale have developed the normal, Hyperion, and Titan Juicer treatments that all work functionally on the wolfen, coyle, and kankoran. For those that may have forgotten, they're basically canine Romans from the Palladium Fantasy setting. Wolfen are split between thinking it's a glorious way to go out and thinking it's a dishonorable abomination.
Oh, right, they're from Phase World. I guess I was spared typing the words "Pleasurer Juicer" oh shit I fucked up-
"I'm starting to wonder if I got ripped off on these Crazy implants!"
The Rise & Fall of the Juicer
Hey, it's time for another table of random Palladium fuckery. Juicers on the way to die get side effects termed their "Last Call", and Juicers on their last year of life roll 15% each month to see if they have to roll on the "Last Call Symptoms" table, adding 1% for each month after the first. Symptoms include migraine headaches, nosebleeds that cause vertigo, shakes, reduced healing, muscle cramps, and addiction (to secondary substances). All of these, of course, come with troublesome penalties. Most Juicers try and find a way to go out in a blaze of glory when this happens, but those that don't essentially have their cells break down and their internal organs liquefy. Others under Last Call either try and just amp up their drug feed to overdose, or just overdose on some external drug.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Soon embraces the darkness...
A Juicer lives life.
— Haiku written on the gravestone of Achilles Smith, Juicer
Is the edge sharp enough? Don't worry, it'll get sharper. Sharp enough to kill.
Next: This time, I'll finish the job.
"Her reflexes take over her, and before I can get to the door the kid's gotten his neck broken."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 3: "Her reflexes take over her, and before I can get to the door the kid's gotten his neck broken."
I cut the last update off in the middle of a section because the section on Juicers was too long.
I'll repeat that: the section on Juicers was too long for one part.
Again: the section on Juicers was- you get the idea, let's get back to livin' on the edge (as sung by Aerosmith).
It's cooler when nobody can tell what you're shooting at.
Juicers & the Law
Ha, you're a Juicer, like you give a fuck.
Seriously, though- can I be serious?- generally the law applies to Juicers, so if you had to ask, punching off a person's head still gets you murder charges in most places. The Coalition bans them, as if it need be mentioned. In particular, if the Coalition catches one, they generally either execute them on the spot or take them in for forced detoxification and propaganda usage, parading around films of wasted-looking ex-Juicers and telling people this is your somebody else on drugs. Other places require registration. And some places are essentially run by Juicers who use their superhuman abilities to seize power. Of course, sometimes that'll get Juicers offed by a Cyber-Knight or have their food poisoned. That's because this is CJ Carella, who realizes the Rifts theory of one thug taking over a town with a mega-damage pistol is pretty flawed as long as they still have to sleep.
they don't have to be asleep you can just hold the fucker down and take off his mega-damage armor and hit him with a rock
Making a Living
The price given for a Juicer conversion ranges from 50K credits to 400K credits depending on the location and legality, and their systems can hold enough drugs for nearly a year, with a refill running from 2K to 50K. Many get it in a deal with a small kingdom (Rifts loves the term "kingdom" whether or not there is an actual king) to get converted for 1-3 years. There's no mention of explosive collars or anything, so not much to keep them from running away. Others make a living as adventurers, bodyguards, spies, assassins, bandits, enforcers, or... blood sports. We'll be getting a lot on those blood sports soon enough.
Endzone, a little-known member of Slaughter's Marauders.
The Juicer Culture
Yes, because this is the '90s, Juicers have a subculture. But first, just evidence that my edgelord jokes aren't actually jokes:
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
It's like this.
Imagine you're walking down the street, minding your own business, and then two street scum decide to screw with you. Maybe they don't notice the drug harness — myself, I hide it under my cloak; I don't like to advertise — or maybe they are just high on something, or just plain crazy. They ask you for money, you tell them to go play with themselves, and one of them reaches for a gun or a vibro-blade.
That's when it starts to happen.
That little computer they built into you starts pumping chemicals into your bloodstream. The world slows down around you, and everything feels sharper, clearer, more real than anything you'll ever feel, before or after. You can count every hair in the young punk's face, you can smell his fear and anger, you are aware of everything around you. I guess that's how a god would feel.
You have all the time in the world. The punk's weapon is only halfway out of its holster, and you still have time to think of a battle plan, enjoy the scenery, and even think of a snappy joke, before you need to make your move.
Finally, you decide it's time to act. The punk is ten feet away. You close in. To the punk and his friends, it's like you just teleported. They are flies trying to swim through molasses, and you are a hawk soaring through the sky. What to do, what to do... You could draw your gun and drill the punk between his eyes, but you are feeling artistic, so you just wind-up and give him a good haymaker, powerful enough to dent ballistic armor. So the punk manages to clear his weapon, but you just batted his head clean off his shoulders. The other punks try to run. You can catch them — they'd need a car to get away from you — or you can let them go, enjoying the high while it lasts.
Finally, the danger is over, and you come down. Things stop being so clear and beautiful anymore. You may even get the nagging suspicion you are back to being a human. Sometimes, I need to remind myself I'm not, and I have to leap off a building just to get the rush going again.
You never feel so alive until you spit into the face of Death.
—From A Juicer's Diary,
by Crazy Lou, Juicer. Printed by Kingsdale Books.
Yyyeah. Also, he's a Juicer named Crazy? Isn't that just confusing? Shouldn't he be Juicer Lou? Oh well. So, yeah, a lot of Juicers deliberately get into dangerous situations to trigger their bio-comps and get a high. I guess just programming your bio-comp to keep you high is out of the question.
A lot of kids think Juicers are cool and look to them for life lessons, but most Juicers just espouse a sort of hedonistic nihilism, though some instead use their limited time to try and leave a better world behind. Others just don't give a fuck, mannn.
"And for our next show, uh... just me being really creepy, mostly..."
Juicer Bars & Clubs
Some of the more "tolerant" places have Juicer establishments, which are often also hangouts for augmented humans of all types and superhuman D-Bees. They often have fights, of course, because they're hardass adrenaline addicts that go punch-for-punch just to feel alive. Often they have plaques or walls depicting famous and fallen Juicers. They're supposed to be neutral grounds in general, though, where Juicers are supposed to stick together regardless of their relationships on the outside.
Of course, some teens and other young folks outright emulate Juicers, forming gangs where they take drugs and get in fights to emulate the enhanced edgelords. Some might even mock up equipment and get mistaken for Juicers, for better or (more usually) worse. Naturally, the Coalition frowns on this sort of thing, and usually sentences wannabes to hard labor or (a Coalition favorite) execution on the spot.
With the amount of on-the-spot executions I feel like a Coalition judge has got to be the most boring job. "This person is accused of being a Juicer wa-" "Wait, why haven't you shot them yet?" "Oh, I forgot. *blam*" "Trial adjourned, next case, make sure your weapon is loaded, baliff, I have a round of skull-golf to get to. It uses a tiny skull instead of a ball. For Prosek."
Next: That which doesn't kill you... makes you stronger.
"A normal human being, as in: 'Two achy-breakys got in my way, so I greased them.'"Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 4: "A normal human being, as in: 'Two achy-breakys got in my way, so I greased them.'"
Because extreme sports needed to be extreme-er, there are Juicer sports, generally held in places like Los Alamo, Kingsdale, and Fort El Dorado (described later). Similarly, they're becoming big in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez (of Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms). While many feel they're overtly brutal, it turns out a lot of post-rifts people have a much more jaded attitude towards human life. And since it's all voluntary or close enough to it, most people don't worry about it. The Coalition outlaws them, but even Coalition States have underground games and a brisk trade in "video chips" of various games. Lazlo and New Lazlo similarly ban them but aren't able to entirely stop them. There are even rumors some Coalition officers have overlooked or pulled strings to keep some underground sites going due to being fans. The New German Republic has similar sports, but they're more regulated and safe, and have an accordingly smaller fanbase because all people want is blood. Atlantis has adopted them, but often in more brutal or fixed games. Naturally, gambling and organized crime play a major part in nearly all venues.
Sometimes other enhanced humans are allowed, like Crazies, though attempts to form a "Crazy League" have failed for relatively obvious reasons. Sometimes D-Bees are allowed that are superhuman without being mega-damage - so minotaurs, trolls, wolfen, psi-stalkers, simvan (with riding animals), and some giants. The general test is to fire a low-powder bullet into a would-be contestant, and if it doesn't break their skin, they can qualify. However, Kingsdale (a city that will get a lot of detail later) has put together a "Unlimited League" with Mega-Juicers, dragons, gargoyles, and other mega-damage contestants or contestants in mega-damage armor. The UL is becoming more and more popular, because if juicer vs. juicer is rad, werewolf vs. dragon is even more rad.
Yeah, this is a looong section, which is why it got its own update. I guess Carella really intends this as a hook for players to get into if they want to be playing post-apocalyptic drug warrior sportball.
So, this is a sport with a 60' enclosed room divided into a two fields, one for each player. (Usually there are plexiglass walls to allow viewing.) There's one super-bouncy ball, and the goal of each of the players is to throw or bounce it into a small hole on the opposite side of the court. However, at random intervals the ball extrudes spikes, though not when held. Players are usually not allowed to hold the ball longer than six seconds - some games rig the ball to pop the spikes out if held longer. Body armor is banned and lacerations from the ball when caught or hit with it are expected. First throw is drawn by lot, and whenever a goal is scored the player who was scored on gets the next throw. Actual physical contact between the players is banned.
We get rules for it, where there's apparently a 40% chance the spikes are out during a catch or hit. You can do rebound shots to hit the other player at minus damage but also with a penalty for them to dodge it. Lastly, there are combat penalties listed for being low on S.D.C. that I can only presume apply to games of this to give a point to occasionally trying to do anything other than goal shots (which takes a extra-difficult attack roll, and the other player can try and counter with a catch).
"I call this my red shell punch!"
This is essentially a marathon where contestants are allowed to fight. Getting in a fight that goes on for more than 15 seconds (coincidentally, the length of a Palladium combat round) or getting knocked off the field are both grounds for is a disqualification. Weapons are allowed - generally, two throwing weapons no later than a knife, and one hand weapon of choice. Weapons that can't be disarmed (like spiked gloves or arm blades) are common, as are knives, shuriken, or bolas. Slower players generally win by causing severe enough injuries to passing contestants to knock them out of the race. There's a story about a Titan Juicer (it's all in the name) placing second by just taking down most of the other contestants as they passed, and the Titan treatment being largely banned afterwards due to just being too lethal.
The rules actually just expect you to track the distance each character moves with their speed, with attacks being the only thing that really makes a difference other than your Speed attribute. Attacking slows you down, but hits that do enough damage reduce a character's Speed attribute temporarily for the run. There are detailed manuevers, like clotheslines, sidewipes, trips, body blocks, and back attacks. Generally you want to clothesline or trip all the time, since those cause a speed penalty at little or no risk. "For Game Masters and players for whom a detailed Murderthon game feels like a tough SAT question...", there are optional rules. In those, you just add some combat bonuses together, modify them with a bonus from the Speed attribute, then roll 1d20 and highest roll wins.
Drugs and pigskin, the ultimate American pasttime.
This is essentially just American football with legal punching and without field goal kicks (since Juicers usually make them every time). Armor (S.D.C.) is allowed, and Titan Juicers are allowed as long as they don't use their full strength (seems like a hard thing to measure...). There is an actual JFL league with a number of smaller southern kingdoms, and some companies sponsor it - with Naruni being one of the biggest advertisers.
There are no actual rules for how to play this out.
There are a two other types of game mentioned:
- Combat Racing: These are vehicle races, most allow ramming but only some allow weapons. Racers generally have to rely on wealthy sponsors who enjoy the sport, since the actual payouts aren't nearly enough to pay for vehicle repair and maintenance.
- Free-For-All: This is just a "Grand Melee" between several Juicers with no weapons or armor allowed, and Titan Juicers are generally banned due to their strength. Death is less common than expected since most Juicers' healing powers will ramp up once knocked out. There are Unlimited League games with Titan Juicers, dragons, etc.
Popeye the Juicer Man.
But before we get to the new Juicer parade, we've got a glossary of Juicer slang. Yes, this wouldn't be the '90sest Rifts book without some fancy words to sling at the gaming table... even if, like with most such lists, half of the slang terms will be forgotten going forward. Terms that will not be used again include...
... once again, these are terms that will not be used again...
- Achy Breaky: Well, that dates this book, doesn't it? Juicer term to refer to a normal human being.
- Big'Un: Titan or other particularly large Juicers.
- Black Lobsters: Coalition soldiers. (Lobsters? Why lobsters?)
- Doing a Juice: Getting away with a criminal act.
- Doing a Double-J: Doing a fancy getaway or death-defying stunt (named after Julian, Juicer).
- Moron Boy / Moron Girl: A Juicer wannabe.
- Tank: A mega-damage creature or person.
- Tank o' Juice: A mega-damage Juicer.
The heart and soul of the Juicer revolution.
Next: You've got to be kidding me.
"There is no known cure for the burnout; most Mega-Juicers who start showing symptoms will be killed (from a safe distance) or exiled into the wilderness."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 5: "There is no known cure for the burnout; most Mega-Juicers who start showing symptoms will be killed (from a safe distance) or exiled into the wilderness."
New Juicer Variants
Yes, this is a Rifts book about Juicers, so get ready for some new Juicer types. Like, a lot of them. So many Juicers. It's too much juice. It's too much. So much juice.
We're told 74% of Juicers in North America are the corebook type, with 6% being Hyperion Juicers, 5% being Titan Juicers, 5% being Phaeton Juicers, and the rest being 2% or 1%. What are those kinds of Juicers? Well, read on. It also mentions that the New German Republic only has 10% of their Juicers being variants, while Japan only has the Ninja Juicer process.
It's time to enhance performance.
Some people were really upset when they remade Robocop with a female cast.
Hyperion Juicer O.C.C.
So, once upon a time a Juicer messed with his bio-comp harness to see if he could get a bigger rush, and became amazingly fast before he died three hours later. Medical researchers discovered the body and used the findings to make a faster Juicer. And so we get the Hyperion Juicer, who can run at 60+ MPH.
Compared to normal Juicers, they have lower strength and toughness and need to consume extra calories, but get extra speed and agility. There's also fluff about how they literally overreact to things, and have a "30% chance" of attacking somebody or drawing their weapon if surprised. They also have a 30% chance of flat-out having Metabolic Induced Voracity even if the Juicer treatment went perfectly. Oh, and they only give five to six years instead of six to ten years like normal Juicers. In general, they're kind of lousy compared to normal Juicers unless you just gotta go fast.
"The drugs go STRAIGHT into my fucking NIPPLES, YEAH!"
Titan Juicer O.C.C.
Developed by generic researchers in Los Alamo trying to develop a mega-damage Juicer, they ran into a small issue where they developed subjects' muscle until their tiny human bones couldn't take it and they died under the weight of their own beef. So they found a way to lace human bones with metal, making them into the ultimate meatlords. They're so strong they generally have to wear armored gauntlets in combat, lest they mash their own fists into hamburger. That's realism! I have no idea why realism showed up to this! They're so poorly dressed for this party!
So, this is a meat tank with 1000+ S.D.C. (enough to take 10+ Mega-Damage, as a reminder). They're the strongest Juicer type, naturally, and can do mega-damage with punches. Of course, given they're doing at least 3d6 Mega-Damage, two Titan Juicers having a punch up will explode one another in one or two punches, because Mega-Damage is dumb! They suffer very minor damage if they go around punching without protection, as previously mentioned. They're naturally the slowest and least agile of the Juicer types, and they lose out on the Automatic Dodge (arguably one of the best Juicer features) as a result. That, and they only live 5-6 years, like the Hyperion. Ironically, they don't get much in the way of physical skills. I guess it's alright if you want to just throw punches as a Juicer, but punches (or even giant fuckoff chainsaws) aren't the best way to deal damage in Rifts.
The Fast and the Pharmaceutical.
Phaeton Juicer O.C.C.
Developed in Newtown by a company called Ultra-Tech Industries, Phaetons are designed as pilots with enhanced reflexes and ability to withstand greater G-forces. Though originally only available in Newtown and Fort El Dorado, the process has been pirated and become more widely available.
Compared to normal Juicers, they're slightly weaker and have reduced combat bonuses, but better combat bonuses in a vehicle and get bonuses on vehicle skills. They "can dodge even if piloting a vehicle that does normally have a dodge, such as a tank!" Well, I don't recall any rules about what vehicles can or can't dodge, actually... unsurprisingly, they get a good number of piloting skills. Ironically, though, they don't come with a vehicle, not even a hoverbike - you have to earn the ability to actually use you power in game.
Kinda weird how this action figure isn't a pack-in.
The before and after of Rifts' most radical weight loss program.
Perhaps the most advanced Juicer type, this was originally developed by Northern Gun, who based it on a pre-rifts super-soldier project using psychics and using drugs to focus their powers towards self-enhancement, and then adding a normal Juicer treatment on top of that. In the post-apocalypse setting, this results in a mega-damage Juicer via psychic powers, though it robs the person of being able to direct their psychic power any other way. The main drawback is that only a small percentage of people have the psychic power to qualify for the process, and that Mega-Juicers have a tendency to literally explode at the end of their lifespan.
Obviously, the main advantage is that they become mega-damage beings about as tough as an armored human and improved strength. Unlike the Titan Juicer, however, their strength isn't supernatural, so it's not of great use. They also have the drawback of leaving a huge explosion of generic mega-damage energy when they go, but admittedly it's mainly a worry for those around them. Otherwise, they're pretty much like Juicers, only that they have a stiff 30 P.P.E. and psychic powers requirement, which means only 1% or 2% of randomly rolled human characters will qualify, though you could "cheat" by taking a psychic class and then volunteering for the Mega-Juicer treatment... but you potentially deal with one of the earlier tables of potential fuckery which you don't have to touch during character generation.
"It was supposed to look like a Jack Kirby costume- you don't know him?! Philistines."
Delphi Juicer O.C.C.
So, this is the product of a Dr. Heinrich Rommel who sometimes spoke of having worked with a "Engel de Vernichtung" (the Angel of Death from Mindwerks). He stole her psynetic implant technology used to create psychic Crazies, and had fled across the sea all the way to America. Here, he partnered with a fledgling Juicer company called "Hyper-Science Corporation", and offered his expertise. Trying to create a psychic Juicer, he had difficulty finding psychic subjects, so he just started kidnapping them instead. As a result, there are at least scores of Juicers that were forcibly created by his experiments. However, it was successful, and now they have Juicers with surgically attached helms that give them psychic powers.
They aren't as tough, strong, or fast as normal Juicers, but they get a decent spread of psychic powers (including one super), plus any non-healing power per level. The helmet boosts their psychic power and has a few extra vision types (nightvision, infared, and thermal). The helmet can specifically be wrecked and the Delphi Juicer will be practically crippled without it. Though they get the same lifespan as normal Juicers, they have their powers go out of control as they suffer from Last Call. In addition, if they detox, they lose most of their psychic power. Given a mental endurance requirement, you only have about a 26% chance to qualify to play one of these. Ultimately, they're one of those classes that does two different things but doesn't do either particularly well. My suggestion: just play a mind melter, then get a juicer willing to carry you around on their back, and become unstoppable. Or, at least, harder to stop than usual.
The new Coalition armor is previewed without even a mention here. Check the bony buttcrack.
By C.J. Carella and Kevin Siembieda
As mentioned, the Coalition publicly speaks out against Juicers. However, privately, the Coalition military has always debated their use, including a pro-Juicer faction that claims the cost in money and lives would effectively be less (due to fewer overall casualities). However, Emperor Karl Prosek won't hear of it, seeing it as a foolish waste of human life, instead relying on alternatives like dog boys or skelebots. Joseph Prosek, however, gives less of a shit, and is apparently considering a plan in which non-citizens can earn citizenship for themselves and family members by volunteering to become Juicer warriors. Ultimately, the situation has been deadlocked for years. It's interesting to see the Coalition not be lock-step for a change... but that change won't last long. Not at all. That next fucking book that's coming up...
Free Quebec originally had Juicers before joining the Coalition States, and supposedly disbanded them at Chi-Town's request. In reality, though, they just made their Juicer forces covert under the name of the "Liberty Reserve". Most of them aren't actually Juicers, but instead are trained and prepared to be augmented in the case of a military. Those that do undergo conversion work covertly, and are given bionic enhancements to soften the blow of detox at the end of their service. However, for every 1 Juicer they have, there are 20 "reserve members" waiting.
Finally, Colonel Thaddius Lyboc, the bad cop amongst the star Coalition members, has developed a secret army of Juicer operatives that have been operating for the past few months. General Cabot (the military right hand of the Proseks) in has quietly assisted him with the project, but has not given his explicit blessing.
"I'm a secret! Subtle! Covert!"
Secret CS Juicer
Coalition Special Trooper
Speaking of Lyboc's special Juicer unit, the Chi-Town 1st Special Forces Battalion, you can play one! Yes, you can work for one of the worst skull guys in the skull army. And I bet you're thinking "Well, I can be a renegade skull juice guy that isn't so bad.", but Lyboc put a bomb in your head just in case you were thinking that. So probably not. Volunteers go for two-year terms, generally being encouraged to detox after two years... but the program has only been going on for months? Why are they talking about it like it's gone on for years. Nice editing, Siembieda...
They're also developing cyborg soldiers. But forget about them, that isn't until the next book! Just forget you heard about that! That's a metaplot secret!
The Coalition Juicer is mostly just a regular Juicer with a slightly more military bent to their skillset and some bionic enhancements. Notably, they get cyber-armor (like a cyber-knight does), bionic hand with a climbing cord and laser finger (shit damage, pew pew), and a bomb in their head in case they go rogue. There are rules to remove the bomb but the roll is likely going to be dicey. They also get the "Forearm Integral Weapon System" that has some pretty decent particle beam blasters... and vibro-blades if you really need them.
"Welcome to Youngblood, kid!... er, I mean, the Coalition!
Created by accident, this is a result of a literal paperwork mixup where one of the Juicer volunteers was accidentally replaced with a Coalition Psi-Stalker (the psychic supernatural hunters from the corebook). Which is problematic, because previous attempts to make Psi-Stalkers into Juicers just killed them. Normally they would have noticed around the time of the surgery and reported the mistake, but the Psi-Stalker (John Dow) ended up in the hands of somebody with a nickname that was extremely on the nose: Shane "Miracle Worker" Charleston. Shane, who will never matter again, decided in true mad scientist fashion, "fuck it, let's do this". With a specially tailored drug combination, he was able to not only make the Psi-Stalker into a Juicer, but also into a mega-damage being. John Dow then fled, leaving a Psi-Stalker-shaped hole in the wall. However, Lyboc thought Charleston was on to something, and has approved the creation of about a hundred more. However, the Coalition figures that are aware of the project are giving the whole thing the hairy eyeball, on account of Psi-Stalkers being subhumans and all.
So the Psycho-Stalker isn't as tough as a normal Juicer, but they're tougher than Hyperions or Phaetons. They're faster than an normal Juicer, but not as fast as a Hyperion. Aside from having a Psi-Stalker's psychic powers, their big deal is having a "Special Bio-Feedback Power" where they can make all their S.D.C. into M.D.C. and make their strength supernatural for short periods, after which they have tremendous hunger pangs and gain penalities until they can go on a Potential Psychic Energy feeding frenzy - 20 points, or about three ordinary peoples' worth. They get a variety of vehicle and roguish skills, and are honestly one of the stronger Juicer archetypes aside from their need to feed.
Man, that's a lot of Juicers. Seven new Juicer classes!
Next: The grave cannot hold me.
"Highly individualistic and driven, she saw no moral dilemma in the creation of beings who might eventually need to hunt down and kill others of her kind."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 6: "Highly individualistic and driven, she saw no moral dilemma in the creation of beings who might eventually need to hunt down and kill others of her kind."
Yep, we've got more. These are Juicer treatments that involve magic, though not necessarily techno-wizardry. In fact, I'm not sure any of them technically involve techno-wizardry.
The fact that he can use a dragon head as a pauldron means he murdered a baby.
a.k.a. the Blood Drinker
Once, when a group of adventurers slew a dragon, a techno-wizard with them named Regius decided to extract what he could of the dragon's blood for experiments. He tried drinking it, and it almost killed him! Well, he survived to experiment more with it, and discovered that if you mixed it with Juicer chemicals, you could give people supernatural powers. However, the treatment had the slight drawback: the person needed regular infusions of dragon blood. With the help of a dragon who gave blood donations, they opened a chop-shop (that's Riftsese for a human augmentation clinic) in Kingsdale that could create Dragon Juicers. Members of Federation of Magic made a deal with Regius for exclusive rights to the process, but what could they plan with it? Well, presumably a group of dragon blood-enhanced murderers, it doesn't seem like that much of a puzzle, book.
"Have you considered saying 'please'?!"
They get to be modest mega-damage creatures with supernatural strength, but are somewhat slower and less agile than normal Juicers. However, they get nightvision, can see invisible stuff, enhanced smell, and healing. However, the actual process to become one is crazy expensive (about half a million to a million credits), and they need to infuse themselves with fresh dragon blood in an alchemical process every six months - without it, they get penalties and die in six months if they don't get more. They have a normal Juicer lifespan, but getting an ancient dragon's blood can extend their lifespan by around another 20 months, whatever "ancient" means. Also, they have periodic dreams and nightmares involving dragons. After two years, they automatically go insane (no save vs. insanity, no sir) and have to roll on an insanity table of dragon-based psychoses. One, "Dragon vampire!", is actually useful since it lets you consume dragon blood directly without the need for the infusion process, and automatically adds 1d6 months to your life! I mean, sure, you're probably a genocidal maniac, but that seems part and parcel with being a dragon juicer in the first place.
For the amount of drawbacks you take - short lifespan, having to hunt creatures roughly ten times as powerful as you, insanity - it's oddly not that overwhelming. I mean, in a game where you couldn't just play a dragon, I guess it'd be hot shit, but this is a game where you can just play a dragon. So playing a half-assed dragon wannabe with a bunch of drawbacks is less appealing, even if it's thematically fairly rad until you realize you're just straight-up slaughtering sentient beings for a high.
"I mostly just pose for heavy metal albums, actually."
Undead Juicer - NPC Villain
Yep, here's a monster right the middle of the class section. Palladium, always keeping you on your toes with a strategic lack of organization! So, this is a necromantic creation created using a dying Juicer, and was invented by worshippers of Death known as the Grim Reapers. By the way, that's the Horseman of Death in Rifts World Book 4: Africa, not the abstract concept. So, to become a murder wraith, you have to be a Juicer that volunteers to commit a number of sacrifical rituals to prepare themselves during the "Last Call" period. Then a final ceremony is performed when you die, and now you're an immortal, evil soul vampire... with all of the benefits of being a Juicer. However, the sun burns you and you have to consume life-force to survive, as expected.
This works on any Juicer type save for the "techno-wizard" Juicers or Psycho-Stalkers. They lose any psychic powers they had (tough luck, Delphi Juicers), get mild penalties in sunlight, are bound to serve their creator, and reduce their mental attributes and beauty. However, their strength is boosted and becomes supernatural, they're invulnerable to any attacks that don't involve magic or a silver weapon, regenerate, and drain lifeforce. Survivors of a life drain attempt may be driven insane, because this game just doesn't pass up a chance to give PCs mental issues! Overall they're pretty damn powerful, mainly on account of their broad invulnerability, but are directly prohibited as a PC type.
Because we all know attacks are only aimed at the naughty bits.
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda
So, the Atlanteans were impressed enough by Juicer technology to adopt it - presumably because the limited lifespan is not something they particularly care about, given they're usually inflicting the process on slaves. They have access to the normal Juicer, as well as the Titan and Hyperion treatments, and lastly are set to develop Mega-Juicers in the near future. However, they've also created a special "Maxi-Inducer" that replicates the Juicer harness through Bio-Wizardry, creating a...
Maxi-Killer - Bio-Wizard Juicer
Inspired by Designs by Vince Martin
Yeah. This book nearly hits peak nineties with a class named the "Maxi-Killer". Though it's not quite as nineties as the Null Psyborg (from Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks), it's probably in the top three. Because it's a killer to the maxi.
So, these are usually humans, ogres, or elves raised as warrior-slaves since a young age, and only the most maxi warrior-slaves are gifted with a Maxi-Inducer, making them into Maxi-Killers. Sometimes, though, sufficiently maxi kydians (ogre-like guys from Atlantis) and kittani (Planet of the Apes + mecha + Atlantis) can volunteer to become Maxi-Killers. Though some have escaped Atlantean slavery, the Maxi-Inducer can't be removed without killing them.
So, they're similar to Dragon Juicers that they're slightly slower Juicers with mega-damage and supernatural-strength, but also get much improved regeneration. They have grafted bio-armor which mainly seems to only cover their censorable portions yet provides full protection, but has the bizarre drawback of feeding off the user to regenerate. So if you're too injured, it might literally eat you to death. Ooops. Their lifespan uses a different formula in that it's 1/20th whatever the average lifespan is, which for humans is 4-5 years. Also, they have a 40% chance of going insane... because... reasons? Generally they become obsessed with danger or fighting, or develop some Atlantean-related phobia.
The races that can get this treatment are: true atlanteans, kittani, kydians, wolfen, elves, dwarves, simvan, hawrk-whatevers, high lords, and human-level D-bees. It says that supernatural beings cannot take this treatment even though it explicitly said gargoyles and brodkil could earlier. Which is true? Well, it's up to the reader to interpret which side of the bad editing was a mistake. It's part of the Palladium mystique!
also they can grow shitty arm blades like in the art, i mean the blades are rad, they just hardly do any damage
Next: Let's just get the job done.
"The better or more convincing the portrayal the more likely it is to be believed."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 7: "The better or more convincing the portrayal the more likely it is to be believed."
Ten Juicer types wasn't enough.
It was never enough.
Three of these are basically alternate skill packages for Juicer classes, while two are
The rat king of rat tails.
Juicer Gladiator O.C.C.
So, you can be an official Juicer sportsman and somehow get broadcast on televisions and videotapes. Apparently, the rifts brought VHS or Beta back - no details on which, maybe Rifts World Book 97: Holo-wood will cover that. They get a "Sport Specialty" where you get to choose one sport and get a very minor bonus to combat and skill rolls involving it. Other than that, you get a bunch of physical skills. It's actually a solid skill package, though the sport bonus is a joke, especially since you still have to go and buy the sport skill itself with your skill picks, bizarrely.
Unexplained headgear #1.
Juicer Assassin O.C.C.
So, apparently some people train as assassins, undergo Juicer conversion, then try and make enough money through murder. Apparently this is a thing, somehow, even though it seems like a more individual plan? In any case, they often "pattern themselves after such mythological figures as James Bond or Julian Amici". In any case, they get a suite of sneaking skills, and are generally a step up skill-wise for your average Juicer.
Unexplained headgear #2.
Juicer Scout O.C.C.
Wilderness Scout + Juicer = Juicer Scout. Not much else to add, like the others they get a good skill spread, this time towards wilderness skills. Only Juicers, Mega-Juicers, and Dragon Juicers can take this package, which is odd - I'd think a Hyperion would be perfectly suited for a scout role. Oh well~!
no art here
The Gambler O.C.C.
But why play a rad Juicer when you can instead play somebody that gambles on Juicer Sports? Eh? Anyone? Anyone? Who needs to throw cars and flip over buildings when you could play poker real well.
... so yeah, we get a bunch of gambling tropes, about them being risk-takers, involved with the underworld, might become managers to more or less fix games, etc. They get two key abilities - the first is "Fast-Talk", which is their ability to make up stories to decieve or impress people. There are no mechanics for this, players are just told to "role-play this to the hilt" and for the GM to just nod sagely and judge based on the quality of their ability to roleplay a convincing liar. The second is street contacts, where the player can create a specific number of contacts, and then has to make a roll to reach them at any given time. The higher their affinity is, the more contacts they get. They're also weird exclusionary mechanics - can a non-gambler fast-talk or acquire contacts? It's unclear.
They actually get a broad array of skills, focusing on gambling and crime, naturally. They're actually really good at it, for a change, though "modest" attribute requirements mean you only have a 46% chance of playing one. They're solid in their niche but it's not a niche most Rifts games are going to be steeped in, and they lack mechanical punch.
Unexplained headgear #3.
Wannabe Juicers O.C.C.
As mentioned before, dese are youts that belong to gangs, y'know? They get in fights and take drugs and dress in Juicer fashion. Some are criminal organizations, while others are neighborhood protection patrols. They're mainly distinguished from city rats by A) dreaming those Juicer dreams and B) taking lots of designer drugs. Which doesn't feel like enough to justify a whole other O.C.C., but I'm not a Palladium professional. About 1 in 3 make the dream, while 1 in 3 make the scream... which is to say, they die. Well, those are odds you can work out on a d6, at least.
We get some well-known wannabe gangs, such as:
- The Deadheads: They wear red skull masks (or purloined Coalition helmets painted red)... but aren't Nazis, so don't get it mixed! Instead, they try to sell their services as mercs so that members can "make it to the finals" and become Juicers. They're found in New Chillicothe, Fort El Dorado, Ishpeming, and the Chi-Town 'Burbs, though they're heavily persecuted in the Coalition States.
- The Juicer Disciples: Big in Northern Gun and apparently deep into criminal activity, the JD are known for their "shootouts that leave dozens of people dead". Obviously inspired by real-life gangs like the Black Disciples or Gangster Disciples, which is slightly problematic.
- The Vigilantes: This is a gang that's mainly a neighborhood crime patrol organization in Kingsdale, and not all of them are Juicer Wannabes (only about half). Most of those who become Juicers do it by contracting with a group of mercenaries called Dormer's Division.
Next: I don't take lessons from you.
"The character is filled with unreasoning rage, and is likely to react violently to any provocation, no matter how small."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 8: "The character is filled with unreasoning rage, and is likely to react violently to any provocation, no matter how small."
This is your kick-ass PC on drugs.
By Kevin Siembieda and C.J. Carella
This is tacked on after the Juicer Wannabe section, so it's intended to go along with that. A number of these - Boing-Go, Crash, and Rush - are reprinted from the Euro-Juicer section of Triax & the NGR, and it credits their origin as German without mentioning they're a reprint. The two new drugs are:
- Juice: This is apparently a preferred Wannabe Drug - it numbs pain and makes you faster, stronger, and (mostly) fearless for a good ol' 1d6 hours. However, it makes you violent and filled with raaage. It also makes exhausts you and makes you fall unconscious after an average of 15 minutes for an average of 5 hours. Further doses can cause addiction, reduced effect, and increased time being knocked out.
- Mega: This is a steroid that requires weeks (or several days to a week mechanically, it's not consistent even a paragraph apart). It pumps you up to an exceptional strength level no matter what, and also adds endurance and toughness. However, continuing to take it over two weeks makes you have to save vs. poison once every two weeks or roll on a random percentage chance of fuckery, with effects like exhaustion, muscle strain, or just a heart attack (with a save vs. coma/death to survive).
"Talk! Or I'll make you drink and smoke some more!" "Oh no, that would be... terrible!"
What does a game with over a hundred skills need? More of them, obviously. Only bringing up the ones where I have something to mention about them, as usual.
- Interrogation: "Only evil characters will engage in torture routinely." Not that it improves your chances, anyway.
- Juicer Technology: Before, any older medical doctor (with or without a real license) could install a bio-comp to make a new Juicer. Now, you need a special skill for it. As if you had to ask, the previous installation rules didn't even mention this new skill...
- Deadball: A number of physical bonuses, the highlight of which is a direct +1 to Dodge. This grants the Weapon Proficiency for the deadball itself, which makes you wonder why there's a separate Weapon Proficiency for it to begin with.
- Juicer Football: Gives you a tackle attack with a % chance depending on how much % smaller your target is than you are. Keep your calculator handy and be prepared to ask your GM how tall various NPCs are.
- Murderthon: One of the top five physical skills on account of giving a +1 bonus to both strike and dodge.
- Flight System Combat: Lets you use "flight systems", of which is only one example later on in the book, the Icarus Flight System. Gives bonus attacks and lets you use automatic dodge while piloting the Icarus Flight System. Mind, the rules never state that you can't use your automatic dodge while piloting, so it's only implied by this corner case.
- Jump Bike Combat: This gives a bonus to automatic dodge while using a jump bike but not actually saying you can use automatic dodge while using a jump bike... yeah, one skill entry apart and things are inconsistent. Also lets you do a "bike jump attack" where you have to make both a vehicle piloting roll and then make a successful attack roll, reducing your chances to hit considerably under most circumstances. With that kind of difficulty, it must do badass damage, right? Well, no. 3d6 is about the same as most melee weapons, at best. You're better off swinging your vibro-axe than even trying this.
- Gambling (Standard): You know the rules of 1d4 + (I.Q. / 2, rounded up) gambling games. No more. "Join me for a game like baccarat?" "Sorry, I've learned blackjack, craps, roulette, mahjong, poker, liar's dice, and bingo. I'm not smart enough to learn anything new." "Bingo? Oh dear."
- Gambling (Dirty Tricks): Because we really, really need two fucking gambling skills.
- Juicer Lore: Yep. The lore of Juicers. Sure. It's a skill.
"Although many Juicers and other warriors love the concept, wiser people are quick to point out that if the wearer is not careful, he can damage the armor or even injure himself by carelessly rubbing the activated spikes against other parts of his body."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 9: "Although many Juicers and other warriors love the concept, wiser people are quick to point out that if the wearer is not careful, he can damage the armor or even injure himself by carelessly rubbing the activated spikes against other parts of his body."
Weapons & Equipment
There's no escaping it. Time for the section on new guns and armor. But first, we start with a mix of melee weapons and equipment. Sensor Jammers are an add-on for body armor that baffles sensor systems and missiles, which is handy with how lethal missiles are. Combat Gauntlets and Combat Vambraces boost your strength and let Juicers and other enhanced characters do trivial mega-damage with punches. Grenade Bracers let you carry grenades on your arm and Forearm Grenade Launchers are as advertised. Similarly, Forearm Vibro-Blades and Rocket Boots are what you'd expect.
New Body Armor
A lot of these don't have a manufacturer listed, for whatever reason.
Titan Plate and Spiked Armor
- Titan Plate Armor: Requires a high strength and size (strength of 25+ and 7+ feet tall), gives two to three as much protection as nearly any other suit of armor. Gives severe penalties to physical skills, but less so if your strength is supernatural or extremely high. Made by the Black Market or Northern Gun.
- Mega-Juicer Combat Armor: Made by Ultra-Tech Industries (later in this book) and Northern Gun, this is another better-than-usual but with high strength requirement suit. Amusingly, some Mega-Juicers might not qualify to wear this competently, maybe because they forgot that Mega-Juicers don't get supernatural strength.
- Spiked Armor: Armor with spikes that do structural damage due to Juicers not having supernatural strength, or mega-damage against mega-damage targets, in a clunky way Carella says to have cool spikes you can use in both Juicer sports and have a use for them off the track.
- Vibro-Spike Armor: For pleasurer juicers- wait, no. "every hour the spikes are activated continuously, there is a 01-22% chance that the user will accidentally harm himself." Don't worry, it'll be our secret.
- Man-Killer EBA: So, this is a suit intended for Juicers who want extra protection- okay, it's basically the midpoint between the Mega-Juicer armor and regular armor, with a high strength requirement many Juicers will be able to meet. Also it has spikes, like with spiked armor.
- Super-Hide Armor: Lose friends and alienate people with this suit of armor made from the hide and scales of real dragons and other monsters, but mostly dragons. Don't worry, you don't have to be a sociopath to wear the skin of sentient beings, but it helps!
Man-Killer EBA and Super-Hide Armor
Inspired by the designs of Wayne Breaux Jr.
Obviously, a particle beam pistol needs a compensator.
- FIWS (Forearm Integral Weapon System): This is the Coalition secret Juicer gauntlet that includes vibro-blades and a surprisingly solid plasma blaster. It turns out Colonel Lyboc (Coalition guy who never met a heel turn he didn't like) already "leaked" the designs to the Black Market for money, so your Juicer PC can buy a white version with "generic" on the side.
- WP-LP3 Pepperbox Laser: This has four mini-batteries that each power a single laser barrel for a single shot each, complete with a breakaway action to eject the batteries. Just in case you were afraid energy weapons might work differently than bullets!... it does crummy damage for a one-shot weapon. It's manufactured by Wellington Industries (from Mercenaries).
- WI-FT1 Plasma Flamethrower: This is supposed to be an ingenious design done by Wellington Industries and Golden Age Weaponsmiths (Mercenaries, again) that converts a plasma weapon into a mega-damage flamethrower... somehow. Damage is middling but it's area effect, at least. Doesn't actually set things on fire, tho.
- WI-NFT-1 Napalm-P Flame Thrower: Fires "long-lived plasma" which is apparently done through a substance called "Napalm-P". Remember, that's Napalm-P, not Napalm Pee. Anyway, this is like the previous flamethrower but it does mild damage-over-time for several minutes unless you have a means to rub it off.
- NG-IP7 Ion Pulse Rifle: I've actually been writing up New West in advance and I'm so sick of talking about guns, you don't even know. I guess this does decent damage. It's a gun. A Northern Gun.
- NG-45LP "Long Pistol": The above pictured weapon. Only this version only does decent particle beam single shots. Ho-hum, another Northern Gun design, that's what the "NG" is for.
- NG-11S "Sawed-OfT: Fires regular shotgun shells or a variety of ramjet rounds for modest damage or crap damage in an area. Not really worth it for a thing that requires a full attack to reload after two shots.
- Zapper Gun (UTI): This is a lightning gun that does piddly damage but requires a... special save against lightning (physical endurance helps) or be stunned with a surprisingly weak -1 penalty. Can stun people through armor and "light" power armor, whatever that's defined as. Made by Ultra-tech Industries, which... sure, they'll explain who they are!... Someday.
- JA-12 Laser Rifle: A recreation of a pre-rifts design (by who?), this is basically a beefed up version of the JA-11 that's actually good and has a grenade launcher attached. Also has the variable frequency feature if you want to annoy Glitter Boys slightly more than you would otherwise.
- NG-H5 Holdout Ion Pistol: Designed to defeat generically-defined and never-detailed weapon detection systems, this does a piddly 6 shots. Good for assassinations of unarmored targets and nothing else.
The JA-12: the JA-11 minus the suck.
We get some other stuff tacked on at the end here- the Deadball Grenade is a grenade built into a deadball, and showoffs can try and use it for bounce throws. The Vibro-Deadball is a regular deadball designed for combat with mega-damage spikes. Holdout Speed Holsters give you a bonus on initative if combat starts with no weapons drawn. Advanced Thermal Sights are useful if you want to be John Kruger from Eraser. The WI-C8 Close Combat Weapon System (W.I.) a.k.a. the Juicer Chainsaw sure as hell sounds impressive and cool and then you realize it doesn't so as much damage as a lot of rifles do. The WI-CL8 Multi-Purpose Weapon System (W.I.) is the same chainsaw with a crappy laser attached to it.
"Sure, it's only 5d6 mega-damage, but I'm about the role-play, not roll-play."
Next: Tin cans. A dime a dozen.
"Juicer pilots often have the IPS fly up first, and then they jump up and connect with the wings in mid-air, just to show off."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 10: "Juicer pilots often have the IPS fly up first, and then they jump up and connect with the wings in mid-air, just to show off."
Not exactly intended for Juicers...
Should pauldrons be allowed to bear arms?
NG-JK1A and IB Juicer Killer Power Armor
Yes, it's time for Northern Gun to wage war on the Juicer lifestyle. This has a special computerized weapon system designed to track and lead its shots against super-fast targets. Apparently Northern Gun has found no other use for this technology than to fight Juicers. Well, and Crazies, but nobody much seems to care about them as much. Sure. However, there aren't many around, partly due to them being the power armor equivalent of a golden flyswatter, and partly due to them being kind of clunky otherwise.
There are two models, the 1A and 1B, where the B has more armor and costs more, but both are towards the light end of power armor protection. The computerized laser and particle tracking beams do middling damage, but at least Juicers are relatively soft targets much of the time, and the armor grants generous bonus attacks. It has grenade launchers and rail guns that do laughably small amounts of damage. The fancy bit is the "Response Computer System", which cancels out Juicer's automatic dodge when using the lasers or particle beams, and grants 8 computerized attacks on its own in addition to its own weapons. However, any damage to its sensor array can cause malfunctions in the targeting system. It's actually pretty effective as an antipersonnel system, though it's a glass cannon - any number of organized attacks can fuck this thing up if they get initative on it.
The Defender (J.A.P.E. II)
by Kevin Kirsten
So, this is a design - the "Juicer Apprehension Powered Exoskeleton System" created by Northern Gun but never marketed. The plans were stolen by the Black Market (once again, a proper name for an organized crime group, not just a general term according to Rifts). It's mostly designed to be a light power armor with nonlethal takedown methods... all of which are less useful against Juicers, sadly.
It's a light power armor, which means it only provides modest protection. It has a Neural Disrupter Rifle which fires a "concentrated electrical pulse" that can electrocute people through light M.D.C. armor (which is becoming rarer and rarer with each book), and heavy M.D.C. armor at greatly reduced effectiveness. It has two settings, and both inflict heavy penalities on a failed save vs. poison, though the heavier setting is likely to kill ordinary people even inside armor (making it particularly effective at just killing people, if you're into that). It has grenade launchers on the shoulders usually used for tear gas, a variable frequency laser, and a bola-firing rail gun that automatically binds and requires a high strength to break free from (or an ability to damage the binding).
The variable frequency laser is always just a head-scratcher to see, because the intent of those weapons is to damage glitter boys more, but the variable frequency feature is always on dinky weapons that can't do serious damage even without it being halved. I don't know what the intent here is - a Defender will explode after 2 hits from a Glitter Boy, while it'll take 37 hits for the Defender to take a Glitter Boy down. Why is this still a thing?
By Vince Martin, with additional material by C.J. Carella
So, apparently there's a booming industry in vehicles aimed at Juicers, since Juicers A) earn a high income and B) don't generally put their money into savings accounts. Getting custom jobs and all sorts of fancy addons is apparently common, so be prepared to describe your post-apocalypse chrome and underlighting. Because these vehicles are designed apparently to be super-sensitive and give a heavy penalty to normal people trying to drive them. Almost all of them give a bonus for Juicers and other similarly augmented figures (Crazies, mainly) to pilot them, so I won't mention that for each one.
Gun, or drive-by hairdryer?
Tarantula Combat Jump Bike
Designed by Ultra Tech Industries, who will be explained one day, I'm sure. This is a motorcyle with jump thrusters so you can do cool flips over a spider-skull walker with your hands off the handlebars whaaaat you're so crazy! Radical!
So it has a flex-fuel system to run off of any fossil fuel with a backup electrical system, which has all sorts of buzzwords not useful to the actual mechanics of it, like aan active suspension, anti-lock braking, traction control, active aerodynamics, and... um... solid rubber tires. Yes, folks. But it's mega-damage rubber. It drives at 200 MPH and can jump 9 feet for each 1 MPH it's going. It also has a pulse laser that does perfectly decent damage.
"It's not balanced enough to drive, you just sit like this and look cool."
Road Boss Combat Chopper (W.I.)
Where W.I. is Wellington Industries, again. This is for those who want that old extended-fork 'murican design. Apparently this has "spawned entire nomadic gangs of enhanced bikers." It's tougher than the Tarantula but slower, only going 185 MPH, and doesn't have any fancy jumping moves. Instead it has a "Catapult" Assault Cannon that does solid dmaage, mini-missiles, and that stupid fucking variable laser, what the fuck do you think 4d6 damage matters against a 770 hit point behemoth, Vince?!
Anyway, it's alright.
Cool cars don't need doors.
"Rolling Thunder" All-Purpose Vehicle
Another flex-fuel feature-laden vehicle made by Northern Gun, this one is a dune buggy that somehow has less M.D.C. than the Road Boss. I guess it's made out of mega-damage fiberglass or something. Well, with its low protection, you friends can at least die faster together. In any case, it can go up to 166 MPH, has a rail gun that does middling damage, particle beams for good damage, and a minedropper system that could be pretty neat if there were any rules for placing or avoiding mines.
Not going to look cool no matter how many flames you paint on it.
Assault Hover Bike (W.I.)
This is supposed to be Wellington Industries competitor to Northern Gun's Sky King (an impractical-looking sunfish-shaped flying bike from way back in the corebook). This doesn't seem to be a special Juicer vehicle, but it doesn't actually say either way. It can fly up to 300 MPH, has particle beams or lasers for decent damage, and mini-missiles. The lasers have a weird custom rule where they can be used to strafe areas for minimal damage. It's tough for a flying bike, at least, and there's nothing much else to mention. It's generic is what it is.
The leading cause of back problems amongst Juicers.
Icarus Flight System (UTI)
This is essentially a jet pack crossed with a flying wing made by Ultra Tech Industries, and it's supposed to be so maneuverable you have to be a Juicer or similar enhanced pilot to take the G-forces. It also comes with a remote control so you can detach from it and come falling onto the battlefield in pure Liefeldian "leaping off of nothing" fashion. It's a VTOL because nearly anything that takes off in Rifts, which sadly spares us the sight of Juicers having to run full tilt to achieve airspeed. It can fly up to MACH 1, and though it doesn't say armor is mandatory I'd presume it must be. It has passable lasers and mini-missiles, and that's about it. Unlike other Juicer vehicles, they list no special bonus for them to pilot it, and it underlines you need the "Flight Pack Combat" that's used for nothing else to pilot it - er, they goofed the name, it should be "Flight System Combat". Ooops.
Next: The darkness consumes.
"'They was no ladies, that's for sure.'"Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 11: "'They was no ladies, that's for sure.'"
Like it says above.
As if to counter the parade of art that's mostly roided-up techno-Conans, the Valkyri are an all-female, nomadic group of Juicer mercs and outlaws. We get a fiction chunk of them humbling some Coalition soldiers, and it turns out they work as mercenaries for small kingdoms. When they don't get contracts, they raid Coalition State targets. Though the Coalition hasn't taken coordinated action against them, a number of officers bear a grudge against them. Apparently the group formed when a female Juicer, Vanessa, was rescued by two Hyperion Juicers known as the "Redstone Twins" and started to liberate women from oppressive communities, and a good number of them voluntarily have become Juicers as well to help.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Although they lack the heavy equipment to fight a pitched battle against a large army, they are very proficient at luring enemies into ambushes, hit and run attacks, and infiltrating cities and camps (some women agents are very adept at looking harmless and helpless, or seductive, lulling guards' suspicions).
I wonder if a male group would ever be described in that way- of course they wouldn't. In any case, they've off to investigate the Prometheus Treatment and get caught in metaplot, but they won't be of much consequence.
Their leader is Vanessa Death-Giver, who was a an orphan moppet in the Chi-Town burbs who was adopted by a Cyber-Doc who took care of her afterwards. She aspired to become a Juicer, which horrified the adoptive doctor, who tried to lecture her away from it. However, a corrupt Coalition psi-stalker would kill the doctor in a moment of anger, and Vanessa stole her way into paying for a Juicer conversion and dealt revenge to the psi-stalker and his officer. She fled Coalition territory, and-
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
She had a number of relationships with other adventurers, but most of them ended badly (Game Masters and players: What if a player was one of Vanessa's flings?). Her experiences with men eventually made her lose respect for their entire gender, and she stopped working with male partners, preferring to go at it by herself.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Although she no longer hates men as a gender, she still has very little use for "typical males," especially those who act condescendingly towards women, or who only see them as sex objects.
"She doesn't like dudes because dudes are big jerks." isn't exactly the in-depth characterization I was hoping for. She's a 7th level Juicer suffering with Metabolic Induced Voracity with minor psionic powers (telepathy, chiefly). Like most NPCs, she has ridiculous rolled stats, but does have one attribute that's merely average - beauty.
Angel and Cherub Redstone are a pair of twins who were "willful and arrogant", running away from home to go on their own only to be kidnapped by Moe "Headbreaker" Harris.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Moe and his men kidnapped the young girls and kept them as their personal slaves for almost a year. During that period the girls suffered all manner of abuse and indignities.
They managed to kill Moe in his sleep, eventually, and then the murdered the rest of the gang by surprise. They stole loot from them and turned it in to become Hyperion Juicers, planning to make it big and detox and retire. However, a con man cheated them out of their savings two years in, and they gave up hope and are inclined to just fuck around and fuck with people they think deserve it. This is why they rescued Vanessa.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Of the two sisters, Angel has the stronger will. Despite the months of abuse, the Juicer was able to bounce back and is not afraid of men. She also has the nastier streak of the two (anarchist with evil leanings), and will sometimes go out of her way to destroy an enemy. She sees men as foolish playthings she can easily outsmart and defeat.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
In many ways, Cherub has never fully recovered from the abuse suffered at the hands of Moe and his men. She is afraid of men, although she will never show it; instead, her fear is expressed in anger and aggressiveness.
Pictured but not detailed are Janet "Howitzer" Rodriguez (Titan Juicer), Debra Lee (Dragon Juicer), and Donna Doom (Mega-Juicer). Their company is usually about 350-400 women strong, about 2/3rd of which are Juicers of various types. There are about several hundred to nearly a thousand camp followers, where most of guys are found (though there are a handful in the company itself).
I was trying to figure out what bugged me as I wrote through this and- it's a group of women almost entirely defined by their relationships to guys. I guess it's trying to be progressive, but it's just kind of weird and vaguely uncomfortable, like Earth-715.
The Society of Sages
a.k.a. The Dragon Hunters
So, this is a group in Kingsdale that might seem like a scholarly group, but is actually dedicated to the eradication of dragons, which they see as a threat to humankind. However, they have connections even as far off as Bahia (of South America 1). They stole the secrets of making Dragon Juicers, and have quietly backed some in hunting and kiling dragons for their blood. Though they publicly condemn these crimes, some remain suspicious of them.
Their face is Cagliostro Smith, a wizard who's believed to be a former ruler of a small kingdom in the Federation of Magic (there's that word again) who was ousted by a D-Bee or dragon, but Smith refuses to comment on the stories. Either way, he's a human supremacist and racist, with his usage of magic being the only thing that really differentiates him from Coalition fascism. He's not the leader per se, but he's the sort PCs might come into contact with as he arranges schemes or deals with outsiders. The book even calls him "middle management".
His attributes lean towards the average except for intelligence, but his affinity is surprisingly low for somebody who's a voice for the organization. He's a 10th level ley line walker and, when expecting a fight, wears a dead boy armor in red and yellow stripes, so he's a lot less good at fashion than he is at magic.
For a figure PCs are more likely to fight, we have "The Slayer", who is a grim no-name badass who we're told that he's "one of the deadliest hand to hand fighters in the world". It turns out he's a former rookie cyber-knight named Artorios who was traumatized when he and companions fought an evil elder dragon. He froze and then fled, and then went on to become a dragon juicer in the service of the Society of Sage.
As with all these stories, he went back and killed that dragon. Ho-hum. He's also killed members of the Cult of Dragonwright, and the Sages have overlooked this because he was generally provoked each time, but are worried he might get them in trouble.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
A driven, obsessed man, he is humorless and quiet, and often appears to lack most emotions. In reality, he represses all such feelings, because he considers them to be distracting weaknesses. He respects courage and strength, and will come to the aid of a worthy warrior who is facing hopeless odds. The one thing he will not tolerate, from himself as well as anybody else, is cowardice. The Slayer will die rather than behave in a cowardly manner.
He's a former 3rd level Cyber-Knight and currently a 9th level Dragon Juicer. He doesn't have the Cyber-Knight psychic powers anymore, but still has his cyber-armor, presumably (it doesn't state clearly). He's got physical ridiculous attributes even for a Dragon Juicer and exceptional mental endurance. Unfortunately, being mainly a hand-to-hand combatant limits his deadliness, but he has a lesser rune sword and uses Naruni weapons, so he's definitely a threat to your average group, if not a group that has a glitter boy, a dragon, and a cosmo-knight.
For the record, these guys had no art.
The Juicer Army of Liberation
So, this used to be an all-talk and no-action kind of group that mainly gave lip to locales that restricted Juicers or Juicer augmentation, but a number of years ago, they were taken over by "Julian the First", who is a Mega-Juicer who saw his mercenary unit wiped out by the Coalition. (There are so many "one last survivor of X" in these books.) As such, he's been beating the drum to get like-minded individuals together under the JAL flag and hit Coalition targets. The Coalition, in turn, has labeled the terrorists and has an unofficial "shoot on sight" policy.
We'll get more with them when it's metaplot time. It's not that time. Not just yet.
It's like... a deathcatcher... I guess?
The Grim Reapers
This is the Death cult (once again, as in the Horseman, not the abstract notion) that's behind the Murder-Wraiths. A Juicer mercenary (for once I want to hear a reference to a "Juicer baker", "Juicer accountant", or a "Juicer masseuse") managed to escape them and spill the beans on them to the Northern Gun before conveniently dying, but NG authorities haven't been able to track down the Grim Reapers. There are rumors of them around all sorts of places, however.
"Time for our deadly basement ritual... pick up that d20 carved from bone."
Their leader is Aramis Knight, who has a cover as a herbalist in Laramy (a town near Kingsdale). People think he's creepy, but hey, how can an herbalist be creepy? I dunno, take some rhubarb leaves and whatever you do don't eat them, it's just an example, don't do it. What I'm saying is that everyday plants can still be scary. Anyway, at night he literally puts on his wizard robes and skull mask and goes downstairs to high-five his cult bros and magically teleconference out to their various Death-related projects.
We get his long backstory, which goes over a full page. Originally named Arthur, he was part of a mystic village that was attacked by the Coalition when they were fighting the Federation of Magic. (Bear in mind this makes him 90 years old.) The Coalition forced the locals to dig their own graves and then gunned them down, Arthur included, but he survived because a "bullet only grazed his head, knocking him unconscious". I didn't think the Coalition used bullets, but maybe they did in the past. While buried with other bodies, he had a vision of Death, and fled to Africa to try and help out with the "end of the world" thing. There, he apparently helped Death with its campaign of terror (as in Rifts World Book 4: Africa), and the book presumes the Gathering of Heroes was successful at stopping Death. However, he's somehow kept in contact with the Horseman, and moved back to America to go scheme in a basement. However, his dual life is bringing doubt into his murder-filled heart.
He's a 15th level necromancer with exceptional intelligence, affinity, and physical endurance, and doesn't have any low attributes to speak of, of course. He has a variety of high-powered allies and magical geegaws, including a ridiculous "ring of the elements" that can cast any warlock spell four times a day with no cost, and a "death vessel" that stores 1,000 P.P.E. and gives him immunity to mind control, possession, and +10 vs. psionic attacks. Man. Don't forget to loot this fucker.
"My lips and eyelids? Oh, that's not a part of being a zombie, I just ran way, way too fast."
Aramis' primary thug is named Knight-Hunter, a Hyperion Juicer / Murder-Wraith. KH was originally a dim kid named Ralph who was constantly outshone by his brother Armand. When Armand became a Cyber-Knight, Ralph ran away to become a Juicer mercenary out of jealousy. However, his family and friends were more terrified by his conversion when he came home, and he threw a tantrum until Armand returned just in time, stopping him. Ralph was thrown out of his village, and in his funk, was lured in by the Grim Reapers to become both the quick and the dead.
In case you have to even ask, he became a Murder-Wraith and killed his brother and slaughtered a good third of his village. Ralph is just happy to have a place where he belongs, albeit as just the fastest zombie in a zombie club. He particularly hates Cyber-Knights and will attack them on sight, except they don't have any obvious badge or anything, so maybe he makes assumptions. He's a 5th level Murder-Wraith with abysmal attributes overall save for strength, prowess, and physical endurance. For all that's written on his backstory, it doesn't matter too much - he's mostly just a source of cult-driven murder.
"Sorry, we didn't have room for you in the text."
"But I have a sickle and everything!"
"Sorry, the Valkyri took all the slots we had for female NPCs, maybe in Juicer Uprising II: The Pulpocalypse."
Next: Haven't been back here for awhile.
"The Keeper always meets visitors in a monotone, deep voice, with usually no more than a few words like, 'Greetings. Enter as you will'; 'The Masters are awaiting. Follow me'; or 'Your presence is not required now. You may not enter.'"Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 11: "The Keeper always meets visitors in a monotone, deep voice, with usually no more than a few words like, 'Greetings. Enter as you will'; 'The Masters are awaiting. Follow me'; or 'Your presence is not required now. You may not enter.'"
Places & Nations of Interest
This is a section on places relevant to Juicers, though it emphasizes that the information is not necessarily Juicer-focused in an of itself. It also notes that there might be some differences between the descriptions and Erin Tarn's writeup in the corebook either due to her ignorance or the passage of time.
Somehow not a little-known duchy in the Dalelands. I mean, that setting has Featherdale and Deepingdale and Daledale, I don't know how TSR missed out on this obvious one.
A cosmopolitan city with a heavy D-Bee population (mainly Palladium races like elves, dwarves, wolven, goblins, and orcs), refugees from a more peaceful version of the Palladium Fantasy setting. It was originally a small town of magic users before the refugees arrived, recent immigrants feeling Coalition genocide. At a result, Kingsdale has one of the highest numbers of magic users in North America. However, it doesn't pursue magic to the exclusion of technology, and they have an enhancement clinic run by the local government where one can become a Juicer in exchange for two years of military service. A lot of Juicers feel some degree of gratitude towards Kingsdale for this offer.
Kingsdale is run by a Dictator, but that's just a title - it's actually as position elected by a Senate. The Senate isn't democratic, however, being self-electing. The current Dictator is Geoff Mercator, a shifter / scholar (NPCs are allowed to multiclass, step off, PCs) who's a former dimensional traveler. We get a variety of other officials and positions as well. The city has mandatory military service for a single term after coming of age. Trials are done primarily by jury, with "loose" rules of evidence, and penalties tend to be harsh with the death penalty for murder, rape, or kidnapping.
In general, despite being an effective autocracy, Kingsdale is relatively benevolent and free. However, those on the bad end of the economic scale are still really bad off, and there can be a tendency by a vocal minority of humans to blame affluent D-Bees. Education levels are fairly high, and while education isn't free, there are some charitable programs for poorer students. Children in school are tested for psychic or magic powers, and those who do are put into special training programs.
Most of their power comes from cannibalized nuclear reactors for military vehicles, and they have modern utilities, though the slums and outlying communities are lacking. They can repair most high-tech machines and have a government-owned enhancement clinic, but their manufacturing is mostly for supplies and parts, since they can't build their own nuclear reactors. However, magic is important and commonly used for things like medicine or security. Techno-wizardry and alchemy is also common if not ubiquitous.
Their major neighbor is Whykin, which is a human-dominated community that hates them witches and warlocks, mainly because they blame Kingsdale for raids by wizards, while Whykin terrorists bombed Kingsdale a little while back. Also, the Coalition is trying to cozy up to Whykin and has already started a propaganda campaign against Kingsdale. It's your standard Rifts "shit is about to get real with the Coalition but not just yet" Sword of Damocles that tends to get hung all over the North American setting.
Boba Fett, the T-800, and some other reference go on patrol.
Kingsdale's Armed Forces
With about 12K troops at the ready and the ability to call on citizens, Kingdale has a decent defense for a community of its size. They mainly rely on Donner's Division, a force chiefly of enhanced humans (mainly Juicers) run by a General Desmond Donner (naturally). They're already planning out a guerrilla warfare campaign to make things hard on the Coalition, since they can't get into a stand-up fight with the skullguys. They'd also likely hire mercenaries and mobilize citizenry, and though it's clear they can't stop a major Coalition offensive they can try to make it more trouble than it's worth.
There's also the Forest Rangers, which is apparently descended from members for the U.S. North American Forest Service who survived and formed their own community that later joined with Kingsdale. Most are just skilled scouts, though they have some enhanced humans and D-Bees. Their main role is to just to fight bandits and monsters, and help people in need when they find them.
The Kingsdale City Guard is essentially the police department, and is usually people with light mega-damage arms and armor and a number of non-lethal weapons, though they have heavier stuff for SWAT-style operations or city defense. They mostly go around in jet packs and hover cars keeping the peace.
Lastly, we have the Magic Militia, which consists solely of combat-trained wizards of various stripes, many of them D-Bees. They often support the other forces, and are also trained in guns just in case fireballs don't cut it. (Because in this system, they really don't.)
"To Death! We'll all get to see her sometime soon!"
Places of Interest
I'll just try to cover the more interesting parts.
- Apparently the town is visited by a traveling circus called the Best Freakin' Show.
- The Laughing Skeleton Bar is a Juicer bar run by a Titan Juicer named "Kilroy Pig". Every Thursday he gives the house a free drink and them proposes a toast: "To Death! We'll all get to see her sometime soon!" Some people think it's secret Death worship (the horseman, not the abstract) but I'm not sure... why?
- The Kingsdale Enhancement Clinic is where you can get Juiced up as long as you've paid for your enhancement license. It's run by a married couple, a male human doctor and female elf doctor who get along rather well "despite their inability to have children". Way to judge, breeders.
- The Kingsdale Magickal Guild (a.k.a. the Monolith) was apparently once tacnuked by a terrorist but was apparently unharmed. (The people outside, not so much.) It has a spooky ever-changing interior and a spooky greeter call "The Keeper" who is your standard B-movie supernatural mortician stereotype. Once he murdered a dragon who took a swing at him in an "eyeblink" and may something more horrific oooo spooky don't fuck with him PCs don't you fucking try. Membership has a steep price but you get access to a lot of magical knowhow. A number of members are described including a Nightbane™, go buy that other Carella game!
- Ye Alchemy Shoppe offers disposable magical goods and supplies, and is run by a Lizard Mage (the ridiculously powerful lizard-guy sorcerers from Rifts Conversion Book) named Slither who was put through the alignment-swapping dimension in Atlantis (from the same book) and became good and lost his magic powers, though not his extensive magical knowledge.
- Dregtown is a shantytown nearby that's essentially lawless and only occasionally visited by police. It's "a den of drug trafficking, prostitution, and forbidden pleasures." Sometimes the wealthy or Juicers will literally slum here, but it does have criminal and supernatural threats, including a nest of vampires, a pack of werewolves, and a posse of stereotypes.
Here's the requested backwards baseball cap.
Not sure what the coalition soldiers are doing there, tho...
"Don't mind us, we're just a little early for the metaplot!"
Next: Right. This is where I picked up the damn ingrate.
"Sneaking into Los Alamo will brand the character as a dangerous monster invader who will be hunted down and either driven from the territory or slain."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 12: "Sneaking into Los Alamo will brand the character as a dangerous monster invader who will be hunted down and either driven from the territory or slain."
A torso the size of all Texas.
Let's power through ten pages of Texas. We'll get more than we'll ever need of that with Lone Star...
By C.J. Carella with Kevin Siembieda
Founded by survivors from the Texas National Guards and the regugees they'd rescued, Los Alamo is a largely human community with some mutant animals and D-Bees located near the ruins of Austin, Texas. However, they survived largely by creating a massive minefield they called the "Border", but they started to open up to caravans a half-century ago. Just a few years ago, they finally developed formal relations with surrounding communities, but turned down an offer by Lone Star to join the Coalition. The Pecos Empire and vampire raiders are disorganized but recurring threats to the city. No talk of a border wall. Located near the Colorado river, they largely rely on a otherdimensional plant they call the "Purple Pine" that only vaguely looks like a pine. They harvest fruits known as "purples", which are a citrus-like cruit that's a staple food due to the plant's ability to grow in the arid climate. Packs of ostrosaurs (not-velociraptors) are a local menace.
Originally run by so-called "robber barons" who were elite landowners and ranchers, the wealthy leaders of the community just took on the name of "barons". The governor role is held by a the B.I.C. (Baron-in-Chief), which is an inherited position, but the B.I.C. can choose whoever they want as their heir. The current B.I.C. is Morris Mellon, a gold-digger that married into wealth and believes in open trade for the city. He gets to appoint a number of officials, while there are elected Councilmen who handle minor administrative tasks like dog catching or garbage collection. Trials are short and Texan, and repeat offenses tend to get offenders in a minefield without a map. It's a modern modest city, and even has a train that now travels to other nearby communities. They've also been importing a lot of weapons (mainly Northern Gun), but recently the Naruni arrived and struck a deal with the B.I.C. that resulted in the majority of their arms now being Naruni. In fact, the reason the Coalition was rebuffed was that Los Alamo didn't want to break their agreement with the Naruni.
Having raided a military facility near Austin, Los Alamo gained the technology to produce Juicers and has used it since its inception. Now, there are no less than ten "body chop-shops", and Titan Juicers and Psi-Hound Juicers were first made here. They're considered to be local heroes that sacrifice their lives for the defense of the community, regardless of the modern reality of Juicer culture. In turn, many Juicers feel a sense of community responsibility and tend to police the worst amongst themselves.
Because Los Alamo is fairly desirable to live in, they have a strict immigration and vagrancy laws, but that doesn't stop illegals from moving into the rougher areas of town where they avoid notice. Humans tend to dominate and D-Bees tend to receive prejudice due to past conflicts with monsters and the Pecos Empire. However, racism tends to be covert and pervasive rather than overt or violent. Similarly, they tolerate but don't care for magic, and magic-related crimes tend to receive more severe punishment. Psychics are treated more fairly, considered to be a "natural" phenomenon.
Most civilians are familiar with combat due to ongoing small-scale conflicts, apparently, and know how to fend for themselves more often than not. We get a long breakdown of their units from armored companies to air wings. Unlike the writeup for Kingsdale, none of them particularly have any character, it's just a list of troop types and percentages and-
Pillbox is smaller than the fence.
Places of Interest
Once again, only what's interesting to bring up.
- The Border is a minefield that stretches as far as 50 miles around the city (uh, that's a lot of mines?), and incoming roads instruct incoming people to slow to 20 MPH and stay on the road. "Monstrous looking" D-Bees and those suspected of being raiders are turned away, and shot upon any refusal. There are also automated turrets that'll attack anybody who makes it through the minefield. Don't even try, PCs!
- The Deathdancer Bar is, naturally, a bar for Juicers and mercs. Fighting is common, but defenestration is frowned upon. It's run by a headhunter named Joe! Hardaway!, who is so hard he was friends with Crazy! Lou!, the super-edgelord from earlier in the book. The respect for Crazy Lou was why he opened a bar for hard dudes with hard lives.
- The Remaker Body-Chop-Shop is associated with local government, and you can get a Juicer conversion here in return for three years of military service. It's run by Dr. Joelle Monelli, who is rumored to have formerly worked with Reid's Rangers (the asshole vampire hunters from Vampire Kingdoms, and it's said she's trying to put together enough money to fund an assassination of Doctor Reid or Planktal-Nakton. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy in any case, but I'm afraid Reid and his rangers are here to stay.
- Freaksville is the D-Bee slum, and city utilities are spotty or nonexistent here. Still, the D-Bees tend to stick together. A gang of D-Bees all the Freak Fighters have struggled to make sure criminal organizations don't get a foothold here, as well as fighting human supremacists and supernatural predators. I feel like it's Carella giving the more positive spin here.
- The Naruni Trading Depot was built as part of their local agreement, and they also sell civilian electronics and vehicles in addition to weapons and equipment, but some consider them to sinister destroyers of local business, like an alien Wal-Mart. Well, alien-er.
That's Los Alamo, we're not done with communities yet, but randomly we get:
That Uprising isn't in the text yet, slow down, Crazy Lou!
Notes Regarding Juicers & Other Kingdoms
Skipping some of the ones already covered here.
- The Pecos Empire has some rough Juicer conversion facilities, while their nearby community of New Del Rio has more extensive facilities that service Pecos raiders.
- Ishpeming (aka Northern Gun) develops Juicers, but we're told we'll have to wait until a future world book for that... that is, Rifts® World Book 33: Northern Gun™ One, available 17 years later.
- Lazlo and New Lazlo allow Juicer conversions, but there are enforced counseling sessions to try and discourage potential Juicers before they're allowed to undergo it.
- The Federation of Magic may have Juicer or Crazy conversions, wait for that book! Dragon Juicers and Murder-Wraiths are definitely created there.
- The New German Republic has gotten some but not all of the more advanced American Juicer technology. Some in the NGR military are suggesting mass usage of Juicers to try and gain a decisive victory against their gargoyle enemies, but they're not desperate enough to try it yet.
- Europe doesn't have much in the way of Juicers outside of the NGR, but the Poznan Collective in Poland has some facilities for Juicer creation.
- Japan has illegal regular Juicer conversions, and Ninja Juicers are created by... ninjas, of course.
- South America mainly sees Juicers in the Southern half of the continent, and there's "JAEP" Euro-styled lesser Juicers as well.
"'Personally, I don't care if you come from the East, West, or from Hades itself.'"Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 14: "'Personally, I don't care if you come from the East, West, or from Hades itself.'"
Time for metaplot central.
I know stuff is supposed to be anachronistic but...
The City of Newtown
Just so you don't think it's a town, it's a city. So, this was once the site of Fort Smith, Arkansas, where survivors made it to the Fort Chaffee military base which became the new center of the community. Using military equipment, they were able to rebuild into a small city. However, about two decades ago a thousand mysterious refugees showed up, who claimed to come from the East, but were strangely wealthy and well-off. Though many locals were wary, they accepted the "Newcomers", who are not a central plot point at all, so just forget about them!
George Hornesby, a wealthy local, worked with the leader of the Newcomers, Andrew Anderson, to form a new manufacturing center under the name of Ultra-Tech Incorporated. The Newcomers had a wide degree of technical know-how, and by a decade ago the city was producing electronics, Juicer conversions, and of course weapons and power armor. (Side note: so much of this requires wider infrastructure to make, something that Rifts constantly ignores, you just commit metal and energy and boom, new self-perpetuating factory!) In any case, Newtown has had a big boom as a result, with immigrants, a rise in living standards, and new educational institutions to support the technical industry.
About a half-decade ago, the Coalition arrived and offered membership. Newtown's leadership agreed, expelling their D-Bee minority and ceasing Juicer usage. Also they built a Border Wall to keep D-Bees and monsters out, as is only logical and clearly a thing that will keep the city tremendously safe. Or, rather, they outsourced their Juicer creation to the nearby city of Fort El Dorado, and just continued to use them. (There are still a few illegal Juicer labs in the city, including one run by Ultra-Tech Industries.) However, the Coalition contracts have meant even more wealth, even if most of what they manufacture are just spare parts and other non-vital supplies. The presence of the Coalition has also ramped down their weapon manufacturing, as they no longer can sell them as much. We're pointed to the not-published-yet World Book 11: Coalition War Campaign for more details on increased Coalition readiness. And it's been working out so well, until Operation Phoenix Rising. What's that? You want to know what that is? Well, you'll have to wait.
At heart, Newtown has been run by a loose oligarchy, but their introduction to the Coalition has resulted in them forming a city council run by George Hornesby (the District Governor) to put on a show of "civilization". However, the city is effectively run by the Coalition now, as General Winston Orly has an veto on anything they do. They're loosely under the Coalition State of Missouri, the Coalition State that almost never gets mentioned and gets like 1% of the coverage Chi-Town does. It grows grain and the writers don't care. Books aren't banned here like in most Coalition communities (how does that even work for Chi-Town, they manufacture tons of- well- nevermind), but there are proscribed books that are to be burned and owners are fined. Very few D-Bees remain, and those who are allowed to remain are under tremendous repression.
The main two groups are the human natives and the... human... Newcomers. Who are certainly human. The Newcomers are rarely seen in places of leisure, and are seen as puritanical weirdos. To back up this oddness, no Newcomer has ever married a local, though they do intermarry. However, the Newcomers' wealthy has softened tensions. However, rumors remain that the Newcomers are D-Bees, which is clearly ridiculous and nobody has apparently looked into this, and there will be no consequences of that!
The city has issues with gang problems out of a community known as Riverside, where the poor and D-Bees end up. We get several gangs, including:
- The Rejects: A gang that romanticizes their poverty and hobo fashion, and claim to steal form the rich and give to the poor, but mostly just steal from anyone and give to themselves. They often steal from Ultra-Tech Industries or the Coalition States and make money selling that to the Black Market.
- The Fighting Dead: A Juicer wannabe gang rebelling against the Coalition for banning the Juicer process, but recently had a severe loss when a Coalition Special Ops team blew their main hideout to hell. Their Juicer leader was captured by the Coalition and there's rumors that he and other gang members are being experimented on by Ultra-Tech Industries.
- The Inhumanes: No Terrigen Mist, this is a D-Bee gang of ogres, orcs, and similar fantasy baddies operating out of one of the few remaining D-Bee communities, Ogretown, which they more or less run. They exploit their fellow D-Bees, since they really have nowhere to turn to, but also harass Coalition forces.
We get a bunch of useless *numbers* on the Coalition forces (16 SAMAS! 400 Infantry Soliders, 8 IAR-2 Abolishers!... etc. x 20). We also get some information on how the Border Wall has a bunch of firing points and laser turrets for defense. We're told that it's undermanned when the Juicer Uprising occurs, not expecting a major attack.
Hey, it's the Coalition Mark IX EPC I forgot to share a picture of from Index & Adventures Volume 1! (Update: it still stinks.)
Places of Interest
Most of these are actually of interest, for a change.
- The Governor's Palace has a replica of Big Ben because Hornesby thought that would be really amazing and tremendous. Just, you know, the best. It has a bunch of Coalition regalia these days because they know their branding.
- UTI's Corporate Headquarters has most of its facilities underground and only the Newcomers are allowed in these mysterious facilities that are not up to anything, not in the slightest, it's all very innocent. Puppy innocent.
- UTI's Electronics Division has had heavy security updates to deal with gang attacks, which apparently some are 'borgs - after one of the gang raids failed, a member reported shooting one in the face only for it to turn out to be a
- UTI's Biotech Division is where they used to make Juicers, and now has the Prometheus Treatment, a supposed cure for Juicers. What is that? Well, wait, it's not explained here. There are also rumors of them breeding some kind of giant bug, but some say these are rumors based on a Xiticix that once managed to slip into the city.
- The Royal Casino is an establishment the Coalition has tried to shut down, but it hasn't happened since Hornesby gets big kickbacks from the Casino. It's run by a Changeling (shapeshifter, not faerie) who apparently really didn't expect the city to go Coalition and is becoming increasingly paranoid.
- The Powder Keg is the remaining arms dealer that's not thrilled with the Coalition occupation and its owners wouldn't mind seeing something done about it. Also, they have a lot of guns. Just bringing that up. Also, the name. Not saying anything, just...
- Ogretown is run by the aforementioned Inhumanes and does indeed have a lot of Ogres.
Kevin Long returns, or at least his art does...
George Hornesby gets a writeup and tiny glasses, and has built his name on a generations-old family fortune and also by the fact he once adventured around as a Glitter Boy pilot (he discovered a military cache with two suits), and made a lot of money that way before settling down in town. He was also a shameless extorter and exploiter, making money on predatory loans and land deals. He knows the Newcomers' backstory is bullshit, but is inclined to ignore that fact as long as they can help make him rich. He was worried about the Coalition finding out about whatever the Newcomers really are, but Andrew Anderson actually encouraged him to take the offer because he has no ulterior motives at all. He's a 5th level Glitter Boy and 12th level "Merchant", breaking the character generation rules nicely, and he has the usual unrollable NPC attributes, including an exceptional intelligence, affinity, prowess, and physical endurance.
Yeah, I'm sure that little barricade will stop monster trucks and power armor.
Fort El Dorado
I guess this is the fourth El Dorado after the three in South America. Well, I guess Carella likes the myth, but this has nothing to do with it. It once again underlines this is different from the writeup in the corebook mainly due to influence from Ultra-Tech Industries and the Coalition States. This is a community founded by generic survivors that somehow gained control of local oil and gas... somewhere in Arkansas, and though they've refused to join the Coalition, they are a strong ally and trade heavily with the Coalition. They've also had a recent boom thanks to Newtown outsourcing their Juicer facilities to them, and rely heavily on Juicers for local defense. This and their large D-Bee population is why they didn't join up with the Coalition States. The city's relative isolation makes a frequent stop for travelers and locals in the region.
They're run by a monarchy headed up by King Randall Stuart the Third, and the Stuart family claims to be time traveled from Olde Englande ("not likely", the book says). There is an elected Congress, however, that maintains a balance of power by having control of the city finances. Because Randall is something of a layabout and gadabout, the city is mainly ran by Martin Clements, a "Prime Director" appointed by the Congress. Clements is generically competent and has really helped the city grow. Juicing is legal except for Mega-Juicers and Dragon Juicers, and heavy weapons are banned. Juicer Sports are popular here and they have a Juicer Football team named the Stuart Rhinos, and Stuart continues to throw money at them though they largely suck. They have a decent standing army with mechanized forces, and the city is protected by a fortified wall. There are also some local Coalition bases, largely to protect the oil supply and facilities. (Wait, doesn't the Coalition mostly rely on nuclear power?... oh well.)
People here are largely well-educated, and D-Bee prejudice is slim... but there is a hatred of magic and psionics borne of old incidents with supernatural monsters. There is no "D-Bee quarter" and D-Bees mix in with the normal population.
Places of Interest
Well, two worth mentioning.
- The Killing Ground is a weapon and vehicle store run by a large, reptilian D-Bee called "Pecos Hill" who claims to be be the former leader of the Pecos Empire even though that seems farcical. Nobody picks on him because he's nearly missileproof, though, and just showed up one day with truckloads of weapons.
- The Stuart Arena is the second largest arena in the area (after Los Alamo) patterned after bullfighting arenas, and we get short descriptions of local Juicer stars. It lists their age in Juicer years (that is, how long they've been Juicers), but it doesn't actually say that, you just have to infer it. And so when you read something like:
I can only imagine it's time for the Baby Juicer Olympics, an idea that may be morally questionable, but hell, this is Rifts. (Also they forgot trolls don't have a working Juicer process, but hell, this is Rifts.)
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
... Groth "Psuedo-Titan" Crycher, a Troll Juicer (7th level, three years old)...
This is almost certainly not what the Stuart Arena is like but I guess if you have leftover Truman art you have to use it somewhere.
Next: Vengeance shall be mine.
"Lyboc frowned when the stranger spoke about 'our' control, he did not seem to be including Lyboc — or the Coalition States for that matter."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 15: "Lyboc frowned when the stranger spoke about 'our' control, he did not seem to be including Lyboc — or the Coalition States for that matter."
"Don't worry, Juicers, we're your friends. This guy died on his own! And then my gun went off! Whupsie!"
The Juicer Uprising
So, this isn't a normally structured adventure. Instead, it's presented as a series of events, and it's suggested GMs tailor them to the PC's actions and influence. That being said, we'll get to it. I'll be including the story hooks in italics to separate them from the main plot here. It's also metaplot leading up to Coalition War Campaign, and will be referenced in the future now and then.
We get a fiction chunk about Coalition schemer Colonel Lyboc meeting with a mysterious stranger, who promises that the "Prometheus Treatment" will allow them to control "the Juicers". Lyboc suspects the stranger isn't including the Coalition in the term "them", but ignores his concerns in light of the possible gains. And it turns out the mysterious stranger is Andrew Anderson, the head of the Newcomers from Newtown, who plans to kill them all! Dun dun dun dunnn. So, "somehow" (it doesn't say) Andrew Anderson found out Lyboc was using Juicers for the Coalition, and got a meeting with him to show that he had a means of extending the Juicer lifespan by two years through what was called the "Prometheus Treatment". And though that's not that long, it could be used to scam Juicers into thinking they were "cured" and get them to agree to anything for it. And so Anderson proposed the Coalition could use Juicers as cannon fodder against Tolkeen (the wizard kingdom the Coalition is hot to flatten), getting their service in exchange for the treatment. And then, they would have a "death chip" unknowingly planted as part of the treatment, and the Coalition could throw the switch and kill all the surviving Juicers.
Operation Phoenix Rising
So Lyboc took the plan directly the Emperor. The idea would be to use the scammed Juicer force as a spearhead on Tolkeen, with Coalition troops ready to march in immediately and use the advantage, taking Tolkeen. The idea would be to reduce Coalition casualties tremendously, and then wipe out all the cooperating Juicers, reducing the power of city-states that rely on them. Then, they could try and either absorb or conquer them, with their Juicer forces depleted by the scam. Emperor Karl Prosek was hesitant, but his son, Joseph, was more receptive. Eventually, the Coalition leadership decided to go forward with it - on a smaller scale than originally suggested until it could be determined that Ultra-Tech Industries' proposal was legit.
Here it suggests that the PCs could get involved either through rumors coming through the Coalition ranks or stories about the Prometheus Treatment.
The Prometheus Treatment
The treatment itself involves using a "Phoenix Chip" to take over a Juicer's bio-comp and the nanomachines it regulates. It improves their performance and gives the Juicer about another two years of life. However, it also had a radio receiver for a kill signal, using a Juicer's own bio-comp system to kill him through drug overdoses and messing with the Juicer's "bio-rhythm". Coalition scientists observed the test and confirmed the effects were as promised, but that the Phoenix Chip somehow "mutate(d) the nano-machines in a Juicer's bloodstream". However, they figured that was a little detail that didn't really mattered, since it all worked.
It recommends the PCs could notice Juicers being taken away for tests, and the PCs could try and save them from a research outpost on the outskirts of Chi-Town where this is being done. Maybe they could fight some Coalition Juicers, because we gotta include those guys somewhere.
Lies Within Lies
So, Joseph Prosek II drops a hint in a speech that they might have cure for the Juicer "condition", in order to start rumors going. Then, the Coalition makes an official announcement a few months later that Juicers can sign up with the Coalition in Newtown, and in exchange for two years of service (*snort*) they can get the Prometheus Treatment, which they say will improve the Juicer's lifespan "tenfold". However, the story gets distorted and some spread the rumor that Juicers might even live longer than normal humans or become immortal this way. While some say this is obviously a trap for the Coalition to wipe out Juicers, the Coalition dampens those rumors by revealing their own Juicer program, and having Juicer testimonials from Juicers that have already got the treatment.
I'm really tired of typing "Juicer".
This is supposed to be the primary place where PCs can get involved. It suggests two main ways - either the PCs choose to investigate what the Coalition is up to, or they are hired to try and chase down a famous Deadball player who broke his contract to go seek out the treament instead. Alternately, they could meet and befriend the Deadball player and have to cope with bounty hunters out to get him.
The Chaos Months
A number of cities that rely on Juicers have a sudden dilemma where Juicers still under their military contracts either ask to leave or desert their posts to seek out the treatment. In other places, Juicer celebrations cause damage and riots. Either way, Newtown gets Juicer arrivals faster than they expected, and so they create a Juicer encampment outside of the city itself.
It notes that the PCs could be involved in a small town that relies on a dozen Juicers and a few other enhanced humans for defense, and when the Juicers decide to desert, a fight breaks out. The PCs are recruited to help, but there also might be other monsters or villains taking advance of the town's weakness. Alternately, if there's a Juicer PC, they might decide to make the trip to Newtown.
The Beginning of the End
Juicers arriving in Newtown then are given ID cards to try and track them, but though there's a lot of tension, most Juicers cooperate with the local authorities. The Juicers are given a promise that the chip will extend their lives by 20-40 years (once again, a lie) after a short procedure, and then they have to take special pills on a weekly basis. The pills are a pure placebo, but are intended to try and encourage them to stay with the Coalition military instead of running off. Hundreds of Juicers are given the treatment, and many on Last Call see their symptoms fade.
It notes that PCs arriving will not be allowed in the city, but and trying to sneak in will be difficulty if they want to due to the Coalition force and their "shoot PCs on sight" principle. It notes that if a PC Juicer is looking to get the treatment, you should probably have the Uprising interrupt their place in line before they can recieve it "Unless the G.M. wants to condemn the character to death (or he wants the player character to become a renegade Phoenix Juicer." You know, just in case you, as the GM, want to condemn a PC to an early grave. It's an option!
We see these guys illustrated several times thoughout this section, the secret main characters of the Uprising.
The Devon Incident
So, this is where things go screwy. This is named after Max Devon, the Coalition officer who essentially instigates the Uprising accidentally. The Coalition is parading a Juicer that's undergone the treatment around the camp - Sam "The Dagger" Greenwood - since he's on his eighth year of life and probably should be dead now. However, there's another Juicer there named John Slaughter, who knew a different Juicer named Sam "The Dagger", and is convinced that the one they're parading is an impostor. It's just a misunderstanding because of edgelord Juicers being anything but original, but before another Juicer who knew both Sams could explain anything, Lt. Max Devon saw what was going on. And Devon panicked. See, Devon previously worked for Lyboc, and was one of the few Coalition officers present that knew the whole thing was a lie. Thinking the Coalition deception might be revealed, he ordered his troops to gun down Slaughter. But Slaughter flippity-flipped out of the way and the laser blasts instead cut down both Sam "The Dagger" and the Juicer what was trying to explain the truth. Ooops. A fight then broke out between the Juicers and Coalition soldiers, but General Orly (the head of Newtown's Coalition forces) decided it would be best to retreat behind Newtown's walls and let the whole thing calm down. Orly tries to play this down to his superiors, preventing more Coalition forces from being sent. Meanwhile, the Juicers collared Max Devon, and tortured him until he revealed all he knew, which was essentially everything involving Operation Phoenix Rising.
For story hooks, it says the PCs might get involved in the situation as part of the general battle or as peacemakers. Alternately, they might spot one of the Ultra-Tech Industries technicians getting shot down, and is revealed to be a
I guess this is Julian the First? Maybe?
The JAL Rises Again
Julian the First, head of the anti-Coalition Juicer Army of Liberation, seizes upon the opportunity to rally Juicers at the camp and gets about a third of them to join him a proposal to attack Newtown and raid Ultra-Tech Industries for answers. Other Juicers decide to leave, while others remain hoping the whole thing blows over.
We get stats here for Julian the First, who is an 8th level Mega-Juicer with - dare I say it - unrollable stats, even ignoring his physical attributes. He has exceptional intelligence and a very high affinity, naturally. He was a merc with a band of mercenaries who were gunned down by the Coalition just because they had D-Bee members, and his wife died in the attack, and Julian was... you may have guessed... the only survivor. I have to wonder if this is official Coalition policy. "Let that one go." "But why?" "Because we need more angry people to shoot in the future. Otherwise, we'd just run out of people to shoot!" And that's why he's big on using the JAL to strike back at the Coalition. That being said, he's thoughtful and doesn't plan to go out in a blaze of glory and respects the lives of those working under him, but will never compromise where the Coalition is concerned.
It's noted a PC Juicer there could definitely get involved, either trying to defuse it or by supporting Julian, or even becoming a leader of the Uprising themselves.
The Uprising is about to begin and the metaplot is in full swing. It's kind of nice that Carella at least notes that PCs should be allowed to influence events, because, uh... that's not a policy we'll see held going forward in this gameline.
Next: A tactical error.
"Outnumbered, the humans and dog boys in the garrison fight heroically, but in vain."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 16: "Outnumbered, the humans and dog boys in the garrison fight heroically, but in vain."
Ah, yes, the "Heroes of Humanity."
A minor correction I worked out from Julian's statblock - it turns out that Mega-Juicers do have supernatural strength, RIP, Titan Juicer. I missed it because it's under the "super toughness" ability rather than the "super strength" ability. Go figure.
That aside, let's see how the Juicer Uprising is doing. Once again, the adventure seeds are in italics.
The First Battle
Once things cool down, the Coalition figures they can come back in and resume their shenanigans, not aware that the Juicers have learned their sinister plan. So when they try and reopen the Prometheus Treatment centers, the Juicers are ready for them and attack, cutting many of them down. Only a Spider-Skull Walker (remember those?) is able to hold the line long enough for the Coalition troops to retreat behind the wall, but the Juicers take the walker down. Assaulting the Newtown walls, things look lost for the Coalition, so Orly decides it's time to activate the murder function of the Phoenix Chip, despite Andrew "I'm not an alien!" Anderson's protests. Hundreds of Juicers immediately die, and it doesn't take very long for the Juicers to realize that only those that got the treatment died. As a result, the Juicers now unlock a new motivation - revenge - and are more determined than ever to seize Newtown.
It notes PCs can have their own little conflicts within the battle, and maybe they uncover some information about the Coalition or Ultra-Tech Industries... somehow? Somewhere?
The Juicer Conclave
The Juicers regroup to try and figure out why people are doing, and Julian the First takes the lead. He points out that fleeing Juicers would like to run into Coalition reinforcements, and the more sensible thing would be is to take Newtown hostage. He also points out they could find out the secrets of the "cure", not that he believes in it. The majority of the Juicers side with him, readying to begin their siege.
It notes that PCs might get involved and come up with their own strategies or plans, or try and influence the Juicer army in other ways.
It's those guys I pointed out before.
The Battle of the Wall
The Juicers are able to blow the walls with explosives under covering fire, and though the Coalition is able to mow them down with their superior vehicles and power armor, it falls apart once the Juicers get into close combat and can exploit the smaller spaces within the city. The only Coalition survivors from the battle consists of an air unit that escapes... for which the squadron commander is later court-martialed and executed for cowardice.
The Heroes of Humanity, everybody!
The recommendation for PCs is to be the ones that plant explosives and make a big difference as a small, sneaky group, and then have to fight for their lives until reinforcements arrive.
The CS Sortie
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
In the words of General Ross Underbill, "the events of the Juicer Uprising will go down in our military records as classic examples of incompetence and gross ineptitude."
General Orly then plans to escape, claiming the primary goal has to be the preservation of Coalition hierarchy, i.e. him, and doesn't wait for any orders to the contrary. And so he tries to use the air force to soften up the Juicers, but they counter that with their Icarus Flight Systems, jet packs, and hover bikes. He fails to break out of the city, and suffer sizable losses. Ironically, they only fight back because they don't know his intentions - they probably would have let him go. However, it still belays their attempt to take the city. Because Orly deliberately avoids contacting his superiors, he has no idea help is on the way.
There are no guidelines for PC hooks here.
And here they are again!
The First Relief Attempt
Pulling vehicles and men from the Tolkeen front, the Coalition sends a number of Death's Head Transports to reinforce Newtown. A canny guerrilla fighter amongst the Juicers, a "Captain Terror", is seeing about setting up traps, mines, and ambush tunnels in the meantime. The Juicers manage to intercept the transports with their Icarus Flight Systems, and take heavy causalities but manage to down all of the transports, while troops traveling by ground are attacked by skirmishers, isolating and destroying vulnerable units. The Coalition calls for a retreat, not knowing the Juicer skirmishers would likely be crushed with a literal day's more of effort.
It notes PCs could be part of the skirmishing units or the air battle. Or maybe they could run into a monster after ambushing a Coalition force, and either have to deal with Coalition pursuers and the monster- or turn them against each other.
The Taking of Newtown
Without reinforcements, the Juicers take Newtown and capture General Orly, torturing him but holding him for ransom. The Coalition, on the other hand, could give a shit about Orly's fate, and they're unable to find anything useful at Ultra-Tech Industries facilities.
Nothing for PCs mentioned here.
The Coalition's Reaction
The Coalition is both embarrassed and outraged by the Uprising, particularly because it's eating resources they had hoped to use at Tolkeen and elsewhere. Lyboc has gone into hiding during this time because fuck it, he isn't takin' the rap for this. Though the Coalition feels the need to respond, they're paralyzed by the fear of one of their enemies using the opportunity to stage a direct attack on a Coalition State.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Emperor Prosek has reportedly said that he expects the entire matter to, "burn itself out in a few weeks. After all, nothing important is really at stake here. Is there? Not in the grand scheme of things. If they want Newtown, let them have it."
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
In fact, Joseph quips to his father that the incident at Newtown might actually work in their favor, giving the enemies of the CS "a false sense of security." And is overheard saying, "Our enemies see the mighty giant as sleeping and vulnerable. Won't they be surprised when he finally stirs and swats them away like the annoying bugs they are."
Ah, the Heroes of Humanity. "Our people are dying in droves? Meh."
We get a big list of rumors that I'll spare you because none of them are particularly important (or accurate), other than as hooks to get the PCs involved if they aren't already.
More Juicers start to congregate on Newtown, including the Valkyries, as well as a number of people who have a bone to pick with the Coalition. Without an enemy to fight, though, Julian the First is left with a lot of hungry soldiers and no easy sorts of food. They start sending out groups to either forage or raid, but some essentially engage in outright banditry, while others go on suicide missions against the Coalition itself.
It notes that any of these groups can be wandering damage for the PCs to meet, such as Juicer rebels or Coalition patrols.
There's a giant robot bust here, for some reaosn.
Battle at Fort El Dorado
A number of Juicers had also traveled to Fort El Dorado, thinking they might have the Prometheus Treatment due to the presence of Ultra-Tech Industries there. When they try and force UTI to give up the cure, fighting breaks out, but it's more of an armed riot than a battle. King Randall would request Coalition aid, but Juicers would set fire to the city, causing people to flee. Blowing holes in the walls with explosives to escape the flames, the Juicers would run into the Coalition forces remaining near the city - and when the Coalition forces opened fire, they would largely hit fleeing civilians (the Heroes of Humanity!) and the Juicers then overran the small Coalition forces. By the end, thousands were dead - half of them civilians. The Coalition retreated, King Randall surrendered, and the Juicers extorted money and supplies from Fort El Dorado. However, when they tried to investigate a Ultra-Tech "We're not aliens!" Industries facility, it blew up for no particular reason.
The PCs could be present for this, perhaps even between adventures, and try and save lives while they're caught up in the disaster.
A lot of here add up to "various factions have opinions but don't get involved". About the only notable thing is the Naruni or Splugorth sending in spies to try and figure out who Ultra-Tech Industries is, suspecting them of being extradimensional. But how likely is that? Really? Reallly?
Tom Servo posted:
"Then I'll ram my ovipositor down your throat and lay my eggs in your chest, but I'm not an alien!"
Dangers in the Countryside
In case you need more trouble, there are bandits and Simvan, trying to exploit the situation, Lyboc sending in Coalition Juicers to try and assassinate some of the Uprising leadership, and Federation of Magic spies who "aren't the nicest people around". But we don't really know much about the Fed, so good luck making shit up, GMs!
Well, they go to some lengths to detail things. You can tell that Carella loves his military sci-fi fiction, offering a lot of specific details I'm only skimming over as to not get bogged down. But we aren't even to the big twist, of course, but we'll see that next time...
Next: Die! Die! Die!
"Juicers who underwent the procedure were not only implanted with the so-called Phoenix Chip (an ironic name the Vallax found very amusing), but also with thousands of microscopic nano-machines."Original SA post
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 17: "Juicers who underwent the procedure were not only implanted with the so-called Phoenix Chip (an ironic name the Vallax found very amusing), but also with thousands of microscopic nano-machines."
This whole section smells of a Siembieda re-write... or maybe patching in whatever Carella left unfinished? It's hard to say, but after all the careful plotting, everything goes to hell in a hamfist.
"And that's why you use a parking brake!"
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda
So, after the takeover of Newtown, the Juicer rebels one day see that all of the graves of the Juicers killed as part of the Prometheus Treatment have been disturbed and dug up - well, more like dug out. Somehow, nobody out of the thousands of Juicers and their allies noticed this! Sure. In any case, the tracks only go a little ways towards Newtown, then vanish!... somehow. Like somebody covered them up!... somehow. The Coalition is said to be the probable culprit, either to try and hide some evidence or to mess with the Juicer's morale. Yeah, I'm sure nobody would have noticed a few hundred Coalition soldiers digging up and tossing bodies into trucks... but that's not the truth, anyway. However, some Juicers are starting to go missing...
The Hidden Truth
See, the Newcomers are actually just terminators (that is, androids covered in artifical human flesh) made by an alien race called the Vallax. The Vallax are bug-aliens with advanced technology who are the real masterminds behind Ultra-Tech Industries, and the few times they were spotted created the giant mutant bug rumors from earlier. There are only a few dozen of them - their spaceship was pulled through a rift and crashed here, but they quickly discovered humanity would likely be hostile to them. So they made the Newcomers using... something?... and then blew up their ship to hide any evidence of it after stripping it. They planned to widen their inflitration of Earth with more androids, and had plans to try and replace the Coalition leadership with terminators.
Their "standard invasion procedure" involved using nanotech to take control of the local dominant life and turn them into technological zombies under their control. The problem was that humanity was too fragile for their nanotech - it just killed people. The nanotech didn't work properly on cyborgs, but Juicers were able to withstand the nanotech zombification process due to their enhancements. In addition, they didn't even need to their own nanotech - they could use a Juicer's bio-comp to just reprogram the Juicer's nanomachines to do the task. It turns out that a Juicer's lifespan being improved is just a side effect of the nanotech taking control of their brain and nervous system. Over time, Juicers that undergo the Prometheus Treatment would undergo both short and long-term memory loss until the nanotech completely takes over and puts them in the Vallax's control.
The kill signal, it turns out, wasn't designed to kill Juicers per se - but to just force the process early, and it made them seem dead while it took over their nervous sytem. The problem is that when that was done, about a quarter of the Juicers that "died" retained some amount of their memories or personality, because the process was interrupted, and so aren't under anyone's control. And so they're using the "Techno-Zombies" they've created to capture Juicers and subject them to the process and bolster their forces by having them dig themselves out of their graves. What about the fifty or so undead Juicers that remember who they are? Well, forget about them, they just step aside from the plot, I guess.
Vallax/UTI Secret Complex
It notes that they have a number of secret tunnels and complexes under Newtown, but getting in them is very hard - it gives stiff penalities to spot or unlock them, and they have shit-tons of M.D.C. (so like 500 M.D.C. per four feet, or 1000 M.D.C. to blow a person-sized hole in them). It gives some wandering monster sorts of rules for running into Newcomer / android security with Vallax weapons, and notes players can't use the weapons but says to look at their descriptions later... so I'll skip ahead and mention their weapons bio-scan users so unless you're a Newcomer, Vallax, or Techno-Zombie, they won't fire. (But can I steal the hand of a Newcomber and...?) If the PCs get far enough, they can discover several hundred Juicers undergoing the conversion process into Techno-Zombies.
... several hundred? Seriously, I'm not sure how the Juicers didn't notice this.
Time to go to italics and bring up the adventure part. The PCs could run into a Vallax and Newcomers trying to catch a "renegade Techno-Zombie" (i.e. one not under their control). The Vallax will spill the beans on their secret plot if captured. Another is that they could be looking into the UTI facilities. They could run into some Techno-Zombies out to catch Juicers, and either find out something or shadow them back to the UTI tunnels.
The Horrors of War
A Techno-Zombie apparently stays alive for decades, bolstered by the advanced nanotech to keep their body running longer than it normally would. The big thing is that when they die, the nanotech transforms them into M.D.C. creatures through "a nano-transformation on a molecular level" - basically making them into full-fledged robo-zombies. They had originally planned to have the Juicers go up into Coalition territory for the "attack" on Tolkeen and then get converted for a surprise attack on Chi-Town, and then convert Coalition citizens into more Techno-Zombies. However, everything went awry and they're just trying to do what they can to not get captured or killed by the Juicer Uprising in the meantime.
So, these are optional PCs done as a template of sorts you layer over whatever Juicer you were in life - it's assumed you were one of the 25% that weren't fully converted, if so. If you want to play one, all of you mental attributes are reduced by half, you lose some of your combat bonuses, lose all your skill bonuses, can never learn new skills (but can still improve old ones), lose any psionic powers, and get a roll for insanity with no saving throw! What do you get for that massive swath of penalties? Well, only 2d6 extra years as Juicer since the conversion wasn't complete, and you regenerate faster, but it's... just S.D.C. regeneration. Oh, and you can use Vallax weapons if you get your hands on one - they're pretty badass, but good luck snagging them. Also, you might be able to hear Vallax transmissions and orders. But mostly, being a Techno-Zombie PC is awful and worth avoiding at all costs. NPC Techno-Zombies get 50 extra years as a Juicer instead but are largely the same. And if a Techno-Zombie dies, they become...
"Look, if it takes an alien invasion to make me this metal, it's a small price to pay."
The Phoenix Juicer
As proper Frankenstein's monsters, Phoenix Juicers get turned into M.D.C. creatures with half their S.D.C. and hit points as M.D.C. Which normally would be around 100-200, but in the case of Titan Juicers, means they could easily have 500+! However, they get greater combat penalities, though they still have that automatic dodge if they had it in life, so they're going to be an utter PitA for PCs to fight between their durability and ability to dodge all the things. Also, it should be mentioned it isn't particularly clear whether or not Techno-Zombies who are free from control become Phoenix Juicers. It seems that Phoenix Juicers are wholly under the control of the Vallax either way, though.
The most bored terminator.
As mentioned before, these are robots inside meat shells developed to inflitrate human society, and have advanced AIs to simulate the thought processes of humans, save for total obedience to the Vallax. They somehow have "psionic spoofers that will create an electromagnetic emanation" to make psionics think they have the Mind Block power instead of just not having meat brains at all. It notes there are child models and even infant models. (I just can't help but think of a PC being menaced by a baby terminator, now.) They're pretty tough, have superhuman attributes all around save for beauty based on their model. (If they all have an intelligence of 20, wouldn't they have thought all this through better?) The children have a higher horror factor because "its far more terrifying to see a child acting like an inhuman monster." (Wouldn't that make baby terminator the scariest of them all, then?) The GM has to assign a bunch of skills and they have a randomized level to "reflect the complexity of their programming". And no, you can't play one.
"We evolved tiny legs on our back to scratch the part of the back you pathetic humans can never reach."
The Vallax R.C.C.
Insectoid aliens from "another part of the universe" that love conquest and despise pants. They apparently communicate on ultra-sonic frequencies and through stinky smells that humans can sense for hundreds of feet, and dog boys from triple that distance. They're only S.D.C. creatures, and though they live for upwards of a millennia, apparently their fertility has been vastly reduced by their anti-aging technology. They're really smart but physically behind that of humans. They can create stinks that penalize humans on a failed save vs. poison, and get a lot of skills they're good at. They have dinky S.D.C. claws and only rare ones have even minor psionics. We're told that there are a dozen here when it said there were a "few dozen" earlier. Editing! Also, they're another NPC-only class, so you can't play the only Vallax that learned to love pants.
They get a special force field generated by a bracelet, and a special force pistol and force rifle that do decent damage. They apparently fire a "variable energy" beam that will allow them to hurt damn near anything after the second shot - including those with the invulnerable to energy* spell in effect, vampires, various entities, and Cosmo-Knights (from Phase World). They also blow up if you try and mess with them, and apparently the Vallax have a remote self-destruct that will blow up all of their weapons, Newcomers, Techno-Juicers, Phoenix Juicers, and all of their bases. "The Vallax are very thorough." Wow, another way for PC Techno-Juicers to get screwed over? Yay. Also, why would they have a button to blow up all of their assets? What would they have left after that other than a bad smell and delusions of grandeur?
* The full name to the spell is probably "invulnerable to energy except for Vallaxian energy, our bad".
See you later, unsung heroes of the Uprising art.
Truth & Consequences
So, time for the ending. If the PCs can capture an alien, it'll spill the beans because apparently loyalty isn't their strong suit. It notes the PCs "cannot possibly stop the Vallax themselves", but it says that if the Juicer army is informed, they'll gladly help wipe out the alien menace... and probably hundreds of innocent humans for good measure.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
Note: One way or another, the Juicers will find out about the Vallax and destroy them.
Oh, good to know that everything that the PCs did doesn't matter and the ending is preordained. Oh, and the Juicers abandon Newtown... because. No reason given.
The Coalition will admit they were duped by traitors and aliens in Newtown, and protest innocence. Joseph Prosek II actually delivers a public apology and gives the Juicers of the Uprising a full pardon from retribution, and names them heroes who saved Earth from an alien menace (and also as justification for the upcoming Coalition Juicer program). By revealing the aliens' deception, they'll just use it as another piece or propaganda against places like Kingsdale or Tolkeen. Colonel Lyboc will be publicly proclaimed a hero who helped uncover the alien plot, but privately the Coalition hierarchy considers him to be an idiot and a failure. Newtown will be fully seized by the Coalition and put under indefinite military law in order to make it into a major Coalition military base and industrial complex. Yes, the Coalition, despite having screwed up so much in the plot by this point, suddenly become super-cunning and see so much winning. Why? Well, I'm sure you can figure out why. Or who, rather.
Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:
In the end, our heroes probably have nothing to show for their troubles, except for having been part of a historic battle. A battle that ironically became a small war against monstrous invaders out to subjugate humankind. Amazing! But such is life on Rifts Earth.
Boy, you can tell part of that last Coalition wankery was written by Siembieda, right? Well, we're not done with that. We're just seeing the tip of the Coalition wankberg right now. Bizarrely, we get XP tables for NPC-only classes once again (the Newcomers and Vallax), but Techno-Zombies and Murder-Wraights have tables that just say "NPC villain" with no numbers. It's a head-scratcher.
There are some basic maps of Newtown and Kingsdale, and that's the end!
Overall, this book is a mixed bag, mainly because Juicers were, in my opinion, never that interesting. Giving them a subculture fleshes them out but I don't know how they're supposed to have it without a larger culture to begin with! The sports are pretty neat, I suppose, and done reasonably well. We definitely didn't need over ten types of Juicers, though, and the Uprising is a mix of Carella's relatively thought-out plot and the Siembieda's trumped-up ending. The new tech is nothing amazing and though the Juicer vehicles are a neat idea, they have really unclear rules. It's not the best exit for Carella - I really prefer South America 2 - but we'll be going to missing him going forward, because this game line is about to take a huge hit in quality. I have a hate-love relationship with Rifts, and a lot of the more recent reviews are for books I largely like - the South America books and Underseas, notably, but now... now we're going into one of the skullshittiest books they ever punished.
Next: I hate this book so much.