1 Epic adventure.
2 By the fates that control space and time, Victor can it really be you?
3 It is important to understand that the Apocalypse demons are not invaders trying to conquer new lands or to enslave people, but that they crave total destruction of all life forms, including, animals, insects, and plants!
4 However, those unprotected will have a horrifying experience that causes 3D4 x 10 points of S.D.C./hit point damage per melee round, plus the character must roll on the disease table listed in this section and suffers terrible mental trauma from being engulfed by bugs (they crawl into every orifice and cover every inch of his or her body).
5 Set, the god of darkness and the sworn enemy of gods and men, is also considered the god of evil.
6 Even if vaporized or having been blasted to -300 or more M.D.C., the creature will reappear at full power 48 hours later and be out for revenge!
7 Both have incredibly strong personalities that sometimes even Bes cannot control, which only adds to the carnage (he seldom minds).
8 14,470 or so he believes; in actuality, Thoth has 40,000 M.D.C. (alien intelligence).
9 The Great Sphinx is a member of the extremely rare breed of super-sphinx, known as the 'great' sphinx.
10 They also dislike tautons because they give crocodile-like creatures a bad reputation.
11 There is no greater insult than to call a medicine man or priest a 'witch doctor' or to accuse a person of being a witch.
12 The dance is exclusive to the rain maker O.C.C. although others may participate in the ritual and provide additional P.P.E.
13 The Necromancer as a Player Character is not for everybody
14 Most Africans will view the Apocalypse demons as an abomination, the ultimate harbingers of 'bad medicine' and try to stop them.
15 Agogwe are small, hair covered humanoids who are surprisingly quick and agile, nothing like the hunched, slow moving australophithecine plainsmen imagined by pre-Rifts scientists.
16 These bold and proud people sometimes see this as a reason to take cattle away from other people, especially those not indigenous to Africa (like the white man and D-Bees).
17 Even he can not envision what incredible advancement and enlightenment might result from the destruction of a thousand worlds. All he knows is that he must make it happen.
18 It is possible that Isis' affiliation with the characters will make the entire group the enemies of Set and his minions. Who knows, they may end up fighting gods!
19 Even those on Earth don't know about the arrival of the Four Horsemen, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there are some True Atlanteans counted among the heroes.

Epic adventure.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Yes, it's time for our eighth Rifts book and the sixth Rifts FATAL & Friends writeup I've worked on and...

Oh fuck me, not this shit again.

Rifts® Africa posted:

This book may be inappropriate for young readers.

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, faeries, monsters, gods and demi-gods, as well as magic, insanity and the supernatural, are all elements in this book.

Rifts Africa is a work of fiction! The Four Horsemen are not intended to be biblical or religious reference, but purely fictional monsters.

Wait. What.


Look, I understand that Kevin Siembieda was so steeped in the Satanic Panic that he did these warnings for over a decade after it had died out, reminding us that ridiculous nonsense like the Splugorth and their Blind Warrior Slave Women are fictional. Fine. Fine.

But when you have Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Death, Famine, Pestilence, and War - that combine to form the Armageddon Creature, and he wants to pretend this doesn't refer to Christian mythology?

Talk about wanting to have your religion and eat it too.

Rifts® Africa posted:

The monsters, gods, and magic and places are not real. None of us at Palladium Books condone or encourage the occult, the practice of magic, the use of drugs, or violence.

Some parents may the violence and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.

I hardly have the energy to fight this anymore, but let's look at one last piece of the above under a microscope for a moment.

Rifts® Africa posted:

The monsters, gods, and magic and places are not real.

Yes, that's right. It's time to explore the fictional realm...

... of Africa.

Rifts World Book 4: Africa Part One: "Epic adventure."

A warning for new readers

If you haven't read my and occam's reviews of the other Rifts books, you may want to start with those. Rifts® Africa contains blatant references to earlier material. Shilling, repetition, and book references are all present in this book.

This F&F review of Rifts® World Book Four: Africa is not intended to be any more comprehensive than the book itself. Elements will be referenced constantly from other material. Reader discretion is advised.

So, there are actually two covers for this book. The first is from earlier printings, the second is from later printings. Why the change? No idea.

Here is where I introduce my revolutionary skull counter . Skulls counted: 20.

So, what do we have after Kevin's boilerplate warning that magic is make-believe? Well, we have this pic:

Yes, this is a man made of beetles with a beetle-staff riding a giant beetle.

I think it's safe to say he has beetlemania .

So! We have Kevin Siembieda doing the main writing, Kevin Long giving us the heavy metal horsemen, and Julius Rosenstein doing... something, I'm told. Alex Marciniszyn continues on as the "editor" with Thomas Bartold or James A. Osten also "editing". Interior art is by Kevin Long, Newton Ewell, Wayne Breaux, Kevin Siembieda, and Michael Gustovich.

So, on to the intro!

Rifts® Africa posted:

Why Africa?

Apparently Kevin was questioned on why he was doing Africa for World Book Four! So he talks about his inspirations - Kipling, Conrad, Tarzan , Zulu , and... uh... Frank Buck. Also, it's huge! Really huge! It's a huge place! And...

Rifts® Africa posted:

The sky is incredibly blue, the air sweet and fresh. There are just some places on Earth that are unlike any other. Africa is one of those places.

Has he even been to Africa?

Rifts® Africa posted:

From a game designer's point of view, Africa offered all the right elements of immensity, the kinds of setting and adventures I wanted for this book. The Africa of Rifts Earth is an enigmatic wildernesses inhabited by exotic creatures and few people. A land of contrast, mystery, noble people and monsters. A place both pure and primordial and yet somehow frightening and mysterious. A continent teeming with life, danger, adventure, and places to explore. Add to this the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and other supernatural forces, pit them against the gather of heroes in a fight to save not only Africa but the entire world (possibly the Megaverse), and you have the perfect environment for epic adventure. Well, that's my plan anyway. I hope it worked.

I hope so too, I hope so too, Kevin.

Please stop referring to Africa as exotic and mysterious and noble now.

Rifts® Africa posted:

A few notes about the contents of the book

Although there are some historical and mythological references to real places and cultures, Rifts Africa is a work of fiction. The magic, monsters, and heroes are all fictional - make-believe.

The inclusion of the Four Horse of the Apocalypse is not meant to have any religious significance and is used only for dramatic and fictional purposes.



nnnnnnnnnnnn fucccckkkkkkk

fuuuucckkkk yooouuuuu


By the fates that control space and time, Victor can it really be you?

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa Part Two: "By the fates that control space and time, Victor can it really be you?"

The art in this part doesn't actually appear until later in the book, but I figured, why make you wait? So today we go straight into Erin Tarn's newest missive.

Angela Lansbury is Erin Tarn in: Rifts Africa.

Apparently she is writing a letter to Plato from Northern Africa. Um. I have no idea how this is being delivered? There's no mail service in Rifts® , much less in Africa. So, basic logic out the window from the start. What next?

Well, she's recieved Plato's Edict of Planetary Distress (while in England, we learn later, even though it comes from Canada ), and she replies she knows the nature of the big evil in Africa - the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! She found out from an old friend of hers - Lo Fung!

David Carradine is Lo Fung in: Rifts Africa.

Apparently he's not changed in 20 years and that is because he's a dragon, but the noted Rogue Scholar is a little slower to pick up on this obvious fact. Anyway, Erin and Lo met up at the court of King Arr'thuu (a name which just makes me think "Arr'thuuluu"), where Lo was like, "Hey, King, we need your guys to go and die against the The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."

Because, I'm going to spoil, if you've looked at the stats for the Knights of New Camelot and the stats of the Four Horsemen, the Knights of New Camelot will have all the effect of a bug on a windshield. Wait, no, a gnat in a jet turbine. Lo Fung just might be a terrible dragon person. Or just a terrible strategist.

So Mrr'Lyn (the secret otherdimensional monster) busts in and is like "You asshole, you are sending off men on a wild goose chase! I'll have none of your tomfoolery!", but and then Erin Tarn steps in and vouches for Lo. Oh, Erin Tarn, you poor, stupid old biddy. And it is only Erin Tarn that moves the king's heart and gets him to send some men with them to Africa. Four of those men will be dead before they even arrive on Africa's shore.

Lady Guinevere (the secret otherdimensional monster) gets King Arr'thuu to stay behind, but he'll still send an "army". Lo Fung metaphorically fistbump Prrcyel because they're both Chiang-Ku dragons which makes part of the Chinese dragon Justice League. Erin Tarn suspects this! That's our Rogue Scholar!

Rifts® Africa posted:

I politely questioned our oriental friend about this matter. He gave me famous coy smile and said that he has always admired my keen and intuitive mind. With that he squeezed my hand and recited a Chinese proverb about the inquisitive mind.

Oh, fuck you, Lo Fung, you inscrutable oriental.

Anyway, the "army" that joins Erin Tarn and Lo Fung on the trip to Af-ri-caaa! is... uh... fourteen Knights of Camelot. So, more like a lance than an army, really. And there the letter ends.

And how the hell did she even send a letter from Africa to Canada?!

So we have another letter she sent. Somehow. I dunno. Maybe a wizard did it. Anyway, four knights are dead after fighting gargoyles and the Blood Druids of France . Man, if you got chumped by the blood druids, who are basically just homicidal hippies, they're not even gonna be a speedbump against the Four Horsemen. (Granted, gargoyles are a decent threat.)

She arrives at the "Gathering of Heroes" in Africa and there are all sorts of folks, D-Bees, dragons, and other heroes ready to fight the Four Horsemen. Apparently the Egyptian gods are supporting them in their heroes, except for the Egyptian gods of death, who are apparently pro-apocalypse. She points out that even there are a bunch of heroes, there won't be enough. (Sounds like what they need are some PCs .) It reminds her of the Alamo, which bums her out, because the Alamo had heroes, and they died! Bummer.

Then she meets a "young" "woman" named "Fang-Lo". Yes, you might guess, "Chinese" name = dragon. But then, guess who shows up!

Victor Lazlo!

David Bowie is Victor Lazlo in: Rifts Africa.

Lo Fang and Lazlo have a bro-cry and then go into a tent for some... privacy. Anyway, Vic got sucked into a convenient rift in Ohio and got popped out near Germany, where he became a rogue scholar , wanted by the New German Republic for standing up for free thought in Germany.

Erin Tarn is sad she's too old to knock boots with Lazlo (?). I'm getting the impression Vic may already be in a relationship, myself.

And I still don't know how she's sending these letters.

Next: I hope you like skulls! It's time for skullomania with Death and the gang!

It is important to understand that the Apocalypse demons are not invaders trying to conquer new lands or to enslave people, but that they crave total destruction of all life forms, including, animals, insects, and plants!

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Three: "It is important to understand that the Apocalypse demons are not invaders trying to conquer new lands or to enslave people, but that they crave total destruction of all life forms, including, animals, insects, and plants!"

Now, time to talk about Africa- no?

No. No Africa. Time for something more important to Kevin. Yes, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse . Yes, he is blowing his monster-load up front all over us. And these aren't even monsters thematic to Africa. But Mr. Long has some cool art worthy of being airbrushed on a black t-shirt. Yes, this also means he's opening the book with the end bosses for some reason, right where players are likely to stumble across their statblocks.

Skull Count +3. Skull Total: 23

So, factoids about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:
And so the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, have come to different parts of Africa. (Why they didn't just all appear together isn't clear.) By meeting up during a Solar Eclipse, they can join into one really big monster. (How they knew this was going to occur isn't clear.) It really helps to have a wizard help them merge up. (Apparently "Rama-Set" will help them out. We don't know who he is yet, or how they know to meet up with him.) And they all know how to meet up with each other. This happens by "instinct", it says. Coincidentally, this will happen in Egypt. You know. The center of Africa.

So the idea is that each of them is marching across Africa to Egypt, and that it's easier if you fight them one by one. Oh, and you're supposed to fight Death last as the end boss, but the PCs have no way of knowing that, so good luck! In any case, they have rush and gather aid and stomp the horsepersons one by one.

Oh, yeah, and you can't kill them permanently, they're just banished for 50,000 years. The text helpfully points out it'll probably take them longer than that to get back to Earth, because they have other worlds to de-life.


Skull count +1. Skull total: 24

Death is basically the brains of the operation. He's the smartest and the most powerful. The interesting bit is that he's banned from just killing people for shits or giggles; he can only murder people who attack him first. He can shove people around and threaten them all he likes, but unless you attack him, he can't seriously harm or kill anyone. Of course, it's presumed most people will fight or flight against him, and he gets to smug it up when people attack first, since he's pretty good at murders. He does live up to his name.

And his netherbeast and undead minions are also bound by the same stricture - they can't attack unless attacked. He can release undead to go wild and kill stuff, but then he can never take control of them again.

We get a note that he has a "greatest" rune weapon. Not great. Not greater. Greatest . It directs us to Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis for details.

Numbers! He has 16,633 M.D.C. and regenerates an average of 42 M.D.C. a second . He takes double damage from magic fire (not too many spells make this), double damage from magic weapons (really not many of these outside of rune weapons), double damage from silver weapons (double... S.D.C. damage?), and ten times damage from weapons from Millennium Trees (which means they do pretty great damage, buy/see Rifts® World Book Three: England ). He has 5000 P.P.E. and 500 I.S.P. And special powers!

Skull count +3. Skull total: 27.

Skull count +1. Skull total: 28

Skull count +2. Skull total: 30

Skull count +25. Skull total: 55


Skull count +2. Skull total: 57

... let's move on to Famine, another dickless horror. He's the stealth action sort of horseman and often likes to cause droughts and destroy food sources without people knowing, and also trying to instigate conflict in those ways. Also, Pestilence is his bro and they like to cause trouble together.

No real personality beyond that, we get numbers!

Skull count +5. Skull total: 62

Next: Pestilence and War! The Armageddon Beast! The skulls don't stop here!

However, those unprotected will have a horrifying experience that causes 3D4 x 10 points of S.D.C./hit point damage per melee round, plus the character must roll on the disease table listed in this section and suffers terrible mental trauma from being engulfed by bugs (they crawl into every orifice and cover every inch of his or her body).

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Four: "However, those unprotected will have a horrifying experience that causes 3D4 x 10 points of S.D.C./hit point damage per melee round, plus the character must roll on the disease table listed in this section and suffers terrible mental trauma from being engulfed by bugs (they crawl into every orifice and cover every inch of his or her body)."


Skull count +2. Skull total: 64

Next up is Pestilence, who is really just a bug-covered skeleton. He's "clever" but has even less of a personality than Death or Famine, so really not much to talk about otherwise. Bugs!

Skull count +2. Skull total: 66


Skull Count +5. Skull tot- aaaah his crotch piece looks like a penis CANNOT UNSEE

War is a little different in that he's a general and can use his leadership skills to gather up mobs and lead them to... well, war. Other than that, he murders anything and everything, and has the serious dearth of personality that the horsemen generally seem to suffer from. Also he can merge with weapons in a manner that seems heavily inspired by the Boomer robots from Bubblegum Crisis .

Yes. Like this.

Skull count +4. Skull total: 75

A lot of Rifts® concepts are wonderfully toyetic, but War is just pure monster toy. Skulls that detatch so he can throw them at foes? Throwing crossbonerangs? Stretchy mace? I can just see the blister packaging now.

The Armageddon Creature

If the four horsefolk join up, they become the armageddon creature. It's said to be a humanoid that's 60' tall, has 8-12 arms, it has War's body armor, death's head, a giant mace with a flaming skull attached, and Famine and Pestilence's staves join together to become one. Imagine this in the theater of the mind , since there's no picture, bizarrely. This may be Rifts® shining moment as pure metal, only A) you're not supposed to let things get this bad and B) there's no art for it .

If there's only two or three to join up, its powers are reduced by half or to three-quarters accordingly. Once they join up, though, they magically start world wars through magicky magic, and then natural disasters will sweep over everything as it all goes Day After Tomorrow. With a decade everybody sentient will be dead and a few years later everything will be dead. If there's three monsters joining up, that time is doubled and for only two horsefolk, it's ten times as long.
And that's all you get. No origin, no background, no details, just boring killamajigs that are out to murder everybody because that's what it says in the script . They are boss monsters that will take ages for your average party to kill - and take not heroism to defeat, but sheer force of numbers and dice. They have no weaknesses other than the order you're supposed to kill them in (Famine, Pestilence, War, Death) and the fact that Millennium Tree weapons do solid damage against them (ten times normal, or about that of a Boom Gun, so you can just use a bunch of rail guns instead). Of course, Pestilence can specifically destroy Millennium Tree components and does extra damage against them...

They are literally sketches with (bad) statblocks thrown on. Only Death has a really interesting element - the fact he has to troll people into attacking him - but otherwise these are even duller than your usual Rifts® monster that just considers humanity an interdimensional delicacy. This is the big culmination of the Rifts® metaplot up to this point, following ARCHIE, the Mechanoids, and the introduction of Mrr'lyn. And - for all of their flaws - all of the villains above are more interesting than the Four Horsemen, who may as well be 8-bit videogame bosses.

Next: The evil bus has its next tour through the scenic Pantheon of Taut . Evil wears a puppy head!

Set, the god of darkness and the sworn enemy of gods and men, is also considered the god of evil.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Five: "Set, the god of darkness and the sworn enemy of gods and men, is also considered the god of evil."

Now that we're done with the Horseman and their bugraping ways, we can finally talk about Africa - no? No. Now we talk about the gods of Egypt! (They're really from another dimension, they just franchise in Egypt.)

Gods of the Nile

This section has a helper for Siembieda in the form of Julius Rosenstein! Unfortunately, Julius may know aikido, but not quite so much about Egyptian mythology.

Anyway, it points out that the Egyptian gods haven't reached their full potential on Rifts® Earth and so they kind of weak with their paltry 5,000 - 17,000 M.D.C. Most of them have travelled across dimensions are are known on many worlds, and can draw upon those resources. There are two pantheons - the gods of Light (capital letter is theirs) and Darkness (ditto), and they fite. So, no more time for background, on to their radical powers!
* Actual excitement may not occur.

Man, I'm tired after all that shilling. All you need to understand the gods of the Nile only requires three other books! See, the fact that I've done these Rifts® books in exact order isn't on account of OCD! Many of the books can make much less sense if you aren't familiar with the previous books in the line.

Look, I'll let Kevin explain it:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

A Publishers Note about the many references to other Rifts titles. The world of Rifts is incredibly rich, expansive, and interwoven in concept and story. It includes numerous types of magic, people, places, cultures, aliens, monsters, and entire other dimensions. To reprint information about all these characters, places, and magics every time they come into play, seems pointless and would only add to pages of repetition and the cost of of a new book. The purchasers and players of Rifts Africa will find that three other books in the Rifts RPG series are necessary to play without having to make a number of modifications. They are the Rifts RPG, Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis , and Rifts Conversion Book . Rifts England and other titles can be helpful and but are not necessary to play. In many respects, Rifts Africa is a giant adventure sourcebook that brings together plot suggestions, hints, and elements from the last four products: Rifts Atlantis , Conversion Book , Rifts Mechanoids and Rifts England (as well as hinting at things to come).

The Rifts Conversion Book is probably mentioned most frequently because it contains over a hundred different monsters and demons who are often used by the gods as their minions and/or allies. This book also includes forty optional player races, the witch, warlock and diabolist O.C.C.s [there is no diabolist O.C.C. in the book, only the conversions for such - ARB], adult dragons and a variety of general conversion rules and data. I hope that the inter-dependence of these titles on adds to the depth, drama and enjoyment of the Rifts Megaverse .

Kevin, if you cut out the long-winded references to other books and the long-winded explanations as to why you're referencing other books I'm sure you could fit those rules in.

Now we find out what the gods' relationship is with other factions is. The subtle subtext to watch out for is: the Gods of Light are unbelievable pricks .

The Pantheon of Taut

The Pantheon of Taut just likes to hang around and chill.

Remember the worms of Taut from the conversion book? This is the pantheon. How are they connected? Picture me shrugging. Some of the evil gods can summon them. That's as close as an explanation as we get.


His ears have tiny hats!

First off is Set. He has 16,850 M.D.C. I'm wondering how Kevin came up with these really specific numbers. Is there a dartboard somewhere deep within the Palladium Books® HQ with M.D.C. values? Anyway, he's the god of darkness, god of evil, god of destruction, god of deceit, god of betrayal, and the god of fratricide. As you may guess, he's for thugs and against hugs. He likes to fuck with humanity and ruin them because reasons. (There are no reasons.) Nonetheless, he gets worshipped by tools.

I'M THROWIN' NUMBERS AT YOU! P.P.E.: 6000! I.S.P.: 2950! Horror Factor 17! 20th level line walker and shifter! 12th level stone master, fire warlock and diabolist! Can teleport at 98%! The other 2% of the time, he's embarassed for 15 seconds and can just try again! Do they call it the "telefart" or what, do demons have a term when they suffer from momentary impotency over their control of all space? What about failing that 92% dimensional transport? "Whups, I just had a dim-dum!" Also he has priest powers like 90% chance to turn 2d6 x 100 dead! He can raise the dead at 70%, but only gets one shot! Wow! If they've been dead for awhile it can drop to 32% or 2%! "I cannot bring my favored priest back, I had... the raisey-whupsies." He has a suit of chain at 3000 M.D.C.! That's like a whole adult dragon's worth of M.D.C.! And he has 2d4 billion credits!


He has a ton of psionics and magic, dear god, I'm going to be so tired of noting that, like every, every fucking godly being I'm going to cover over the next twenty-one pages is going to be loaded down with enough magic and psionic powers to choke an Elminster. Set can teleport naturally or by spell. It also notes what psionic powers he has in the Palladium RPG® , like we are supposed to give a damn - I mean, it's not like it has they rest of the conversions to make it work. All of the other gods have similar pissy conversions for their magic powers to the Palladium RPG® .

Also he has Boat - Rowboat at 98%, Set is like a rocket on a rowboat, man, look at him go-

Oh, oh no, I can't going this stir-crazy this early on, I've got at least another dozen or so gods like this to get through. But, for fuck's sake, why do you feel the need to go on about why Set doesn't use cybernetics! You do this for every supernatural monster writeup how every creature doesn't want cybernetics! We know, Kevin! We. Goddamn. Know. And for every deific writeup after this, you're going to be all "they don't want cybernetics" - thanks, I think we can work out a being with 16,000 M.D.C. doesn't want a 30 M.D.C. arm that's weaker than his pinky... joint. Any one of his pinky joints, stronger than a cyborg's arm.


Uh. Fuck. Where was I?

Anyway, Set treats Anubis as his son, and likes Bes and Apepi. He's a swingin' god and likes to hang with Splugorth and demon lords. Also he has a disciple in Egypt named Pharaoh Rama-Set, which I'm pretty sure was a Fantastic Four villain, wait, that was Rama- Tut , forgive me. He's also helping out the European gargoyles because he wants their worship. He can summon jinns or worms of Taut. He has The Black Rod of the Four Winds - another greatest item, they're comin' out like candy in this book. It can shoot lightning, fuck with the weather, create scary darkness (horror factor 10), and can beat on people for respectable damage. He also has The Impaler - see my review of Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis for that one, it's the sword with the crawly fingers where it can walk around then shoot magic bladefingers at people.

Like I said. Toyetic.

Anyway, this is a shitty and one-note boring rendition of a god, and just goes at it with the narrow view of him as a pure villain, when in fact at times he was worshipped as a heroic god or villainous god depending on Egypt's political climate. You could do some really interesting stuff with the varying interpretations he recieved throughout history, but instead he's a one-note monster who does evil because that's the alignment on his character sheet. It is, frankly, a typical Western view of him and it's boring.


If no goatee you see, Anubis it must be!

You may think after Set "oh no, they can't just be making Anubis into a generic evil guy too", and I just want to say oh yes they can . He's the god of death! The god of transition! The god of the unknown! Anyway, he was the son of Osiris and helped kill him. Wait, kill him? Isn't that pretty much the precise opposite of his role in the myth, where he helps rebuild Osiris? Well, whatever. He's obviously way cooler as a generic necromancer with a puppyhead on.

And he commands an army of mummies! It's said people he kills come back as his mummy slaves. Oh, and he's eternally loyal to Set, because... um... I got nothin'. No particular motivation there, he just is. Anyway, he's often doing supervillain teamup with Set.

Nummmberrrrs 12,450 MDC 3500 PPE 1450 ISP 14th Level Necromancer 8th Level Diabolist and Stone Master 200 feet Nightvision 1d6 x 100 summoned rodents 98% turn dead 2000 MDC armor 60% computer operation 98% cook

Anubis wins all the BBQ wars of the gods with his mummy jerky and 98% Cooking skill.

Dear god, we're trapped in art... for the wrong book!!!

Powers! Turn invisible, summon Alu demons, healing touch, animate/control dead, CREATE MUMMY, stone magic, hydrokinesis, psi-sword, metamorphosis into any shape, look out, that bidet is Anubis oh too late now he's a sharkmonkey now you're dead shit, goddamn you sharkmonkey who is also an Anubis.

Anyway, he doesn't get along with Splynncryth. No reason! He's best friends with Rama-Set but we don't even know who this guy is yet. (Rama-Set is a separate guy from Set. Or Ra. Confusing, I know!)

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: Anubis is arrogant and cunning, but one of his failings is underestimating lesser beings such as humans.

Considering he has 269 times the M.D.C. of an elite Coalition trooper and can do a flawless impression of a bidet, I'm not sure he can underestimate them enough . I'm not sure that's actually possible. That's like saying "Genghis Khan is a dangerous fellow, but one of his failings is underestimating lesser beings like ladybugs."

Fuck, we aren't done yet, we're not done, he has the The Sword of Anubis . Guess what kind of rune weapon it is. I'll give you a bit. If you guessed GREATEST you are correct. It does middling damage for an unstoppable god-sword but it's a soul drinker that "also drinks the blood of its victims". Yeah, it's not enough that it gives you a 75% flat chance of instant irrevocable death, but it takes your blood just to be an asshole.

Next: Apepi! He has the wrong name! Amon! She has the wrong sex! Fuck mythology, Siembieda's gonna Riftsify it!

Even if vaporized or having been blasted to -300 or more M.D.C., the creature will reappear at full power 48 hours later and be out for revenge!

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part 6: "Even if vaporized or having been blasted to -300 or more M.D.C., the creature will reappear at full power 48 hours later and be out for revenge!"

Apepi the Immortal

Even gods can be slack-jawed yokels.

I'm guessing they mean Apep the evil serpent, not Apepi the pharaoh. Whups. In mythology, even Set opposed Apep, because of Apep's "eat the gods, all the gods" sort of attitude! This version? He's a thug for Set.

Oh! But there's a twist! See, he's immortal. Oh, sure, you may wonder "what does immortality even mean for a dragon that can take an average of 50 nuclear bombs to the face before dropping?" Well, see, even if you nuke him 50 times - and that is the number 6900 M.D.C. comes out to at this point in the game line - he auto-regenerates from any and all damage in 48 hours. You can turn him into dragon slurry and throw it into the sun and he'll still be back. There is no known way of killing this darn dragon. Set didn't drink the potion, though, because it makes you batshit crazy. (I dunno, it seems a small price to pay for utter invulnerability , but that could be my gamer brain talking.)

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

... most practitioners swear that such a potion is the fabrication of myth and has never existed - legend has it that Set has two more vials of the potion.

That's an awfully specific legend!

Anyway, Apepi is just the Leroy Jenkins of the Taut pantheon and is always just all-out attacking and ignoring harm basically because he's a tremendous suicidal showoff. Oh, and he's completely loyal to Set for giving him immortality, and if Set is ever killed, Apepi will chase them down and kill them (PCs, this means you) for basically forever. Apparently, Set is also the only thing that keeps Apep from being (yet another) murder-obsessed killamajig. He doesn't like Anubis... because, and likes Bes... because, and hates Ra because Ra can't stop killing him.

So right uh 8th level "spell caster", how lazy is that, shit, that isn't even a class in any Palladium Books® ... book, he has priest powers for no fucking reason, uh, he regens about 8 M.D.C. a second, he can cast Warlock spells even though he has no Warlock levels, look these statblocks are pure bullshit and I'm worn out.

He hates technology and mecha and loves Rama-Set, who the fuck is Rama-Set, we just know he's Set's flunky, we won't get any details for literally another hundred pages or so. Also:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Apepi doesn't really care that much about worldly gains and collects valuables mainly as a means to attract the foolish and greedy or as a resources to purchase information and hire assassins. To this end he has a small treasure-trove worth about 200 million credits.
Translation: "He doesn't care about money so he has collected enough money to buy out most small city-states."

Oh, and if you're wondering what kind of Palladium® dragon is he's just an unknown mystery dragon and there aren't any other dragons like him.

Amon the Hidden One

Well, not entirely hidden.

Wikipedia posted:

Amun-Ra in this period (16th to 11th centuries BC) held the position of transcendental, self-created creator deity "par excellence", he was the champion of the poor or troubled and central to personal piety.

Wikipedia posted:

The victory accomplished by pharaohs who worshipped Amun against the "foreign rulers", brought him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the rights of justice for the poor. By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at (truth, justice, and goodness), those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans' village at Deir el-Medina record:

"[Amun] who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him who is wretched..You are Amun, the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor; when I call to you in my distress You come and rescue me...Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive. The Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger; His wrath passes in a moment; none remains. His breath comes back to us in mercy..May your ka be kind; may you forgive; It shall not happen again."

Wikipedia posted:

As Amun-Re he was petitioned for mercy by those who believed suffering had come about as a result of their own or others wrongdoing.

Amon-Re "who hears the prayer, who comes at the cry of the poor and distressed...Beware of him! Repeat him to son and daughter, to great and small; relate him to generations of generations who have not yet come into being; relate him to fishes in the deep, to birds in heaven; repeat him to him who does not know him and to him who knows him...Though it may be that the servant is normal in doing wrong, yet the Lord is normal in being merciful. The Lord of Thebes does not spend an entire day angry. As for his anger – in the completion of a moment there is no remnant..As thy Ka endures! thou wilt be merciful!"

You know, usually I think people make too much of a big deal of mythology being mixed up and altered for fiction. After all, the old priests and storytellers were always changing their own stories up, you get a god like Amun, who gets mixed up with Ra and you get a new god called Amon-Re or whatever, it's no big deal. Making Anubis into a generic dog-headed zombie king doesn't annoy me on that front, really. It's just boring . It's taking the personality out of a mythological figure to just have him be a punching bag for PCs (or more likely vice-versa). And you know what? Even that's not so bad about what we're about to deal with. I throw the mythology up front so you know that Amon-Re was a champion of the distraught and helpless. This is the equivalent of taking Baldur and making him an lady moll for Loki . Basically nothing of the original mythology remains but the name.

So this Amon the Hidden One was the most beautiful of the Gods of Light, but when she tried to hit on Osiris, he blew her off and everybody laughed at her. So she betrayed Osiris to Set and Anubis (how, it doesn't say) and so she was responsible for the war between the Gods of Light and Darkness that continues to this day!

... women . Amirite, guys?

Anyway, Thoth blasted her face with special magic accidentally in a fight and disfigured her in a special way not even the gods can fix, and so she's bitter and wants to torture and deform people... because, you know. That's what people do when faced with tragedy. Well, at least she has a motivation. It's a shitty, sexist motivation, but it's a step up from all these characters are evil for no apparent reason, and... nnngh, okay, I was trying to be fair, but honestly this is just as dumb and crummy, it's a woman who just cares about her looks causing eternal evil basically because she couldn't cope with being rejected even once .

She's the god of fear, horror, discord, bitterness, vengeance and "all that is ugly", loves monsters and is favored among "ugly non-humans". Because, I guess, the megaverse defines beauty by humanity. (It's the same theme we saw in Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis .)

10473 MDC, can vomit flame (yes, it uses the word vomit), can control vermin, is a fire warlock, diabolist, and stone master, can play the flute at 98% "very macabre and eerie tunes", can operate a computer at 60% so she can keep posting to hotornot.com, has a bunch of biowizardry items from the Splugorth to make freaks (it refers us to "Rifts Atlanitis" for these, which sounds like a skin condition), and she gets on well with Splynncryth. Apparently this Splynncryth fellow is like the social toast of the evil god town, since everybody has a goddamn opinion on him.

She has a rune dagger which is lesser that is a drinker of souls that sigh drinks the blood of its foes too. She also has an enslaver which is discussed back in my Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis review.

She also super-hates technology and destroys it whenever possible. Set has had to slap her down for trying to blow up their allies' stuff. No motivation is given for this attitude.

Goddamn it. I still have three more Gods of Darkness to go.

Next: The rest of the overpowered god-villain parade!

Both have incredibly strong personalities that sometimes even Bes cannot control, which only adds to the carnage (he seldom minds).

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Seven: "Both have incredibly strong personalities that sometimes even Bes cannot control, which only adds to the carnage (he seldom minds)."


Secretly terrified from the looks of things.

Anhur is a lion-headed god of war who-

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

He serves Set as a military advisor, commander in chief and assassin, hence his nickname, the Slayer of Enemies. For the most part, Anhur is a free agent that does as he pleases.

Oh, Siembieda, I love your ability to contradict yourself without even needing more than two sentences.

Anyway, he's actually supposed to be honorable and show respect and courtesy towards brave or noble warriors, and backstabbers get his frontstabber. And yet, somehow, he is the patron of mercenaries, assassins, and diabolists, all of which are pretty defined by being sneaky, murdering fucks.

Hey, remember how War was a super-fast regenerator and there's a note that saying even though the horsepersons' MDC is lower than gods, they're still a threat because they regenerate much faster? Anhur has more M.D.C. than War and regenerates four times as fast . But let's not blame Kevin alone... let's blame:
Goes to show you what five sets of eyeballs on a book are worth... presuming they are editing and not just playing paper football all day and collecting a paycheck, which is starting to seem more likely now that I'm on book #8 of the Rifts® line and the same slipshod editing is coming up every time, and it's the same three guys that get credited over and over.

Numbers! 7470 M.D.C.! 1230 P.P.E.! NO I.S.P.! Horror Factor 16! 15th level warrior (not a Rifts class), 15th level headhunter (even though he has no cybernetics), 10th level ley line walker, and 5th level diabolist and stone master! Dimensional Teleport 53%! Resurrection 33%! (Himself? Others? ) Pilot Hover Vehicles 98%! 3000 M.D.C. armor! 2d4 x 10 million credits!

He's good friends with Styphathal of Atlantis (evil dragon asshole) and Zandragal the dragon-god (I'm guessing from the Palladium RPG® , and almost certainly an asshole), he also knows Joker of the Palladium RPG® and you know what, who gives a fuck, we have no idea who these people are without digging into an entire other game line, if I'm eight books into a game I should have some goddamn idea of what it's talking about and I only have the faintest.

Anyway he's thinking of helping the New German Republic because he likes humans and it might be more fun to fite Set. Rama-Set (that jerk again) is loyal to Anhur but Anhur doesn't like him too much. He knows Splynncryth but doesn't really have an opinion, which makes me wonder why word space is being used to note this. Oh, and he likes to use gremlins! It refers us to the Rifts Conversion Book . Again. (It actually refers to it way more than I'm mentioning, pretty much in every godly entry under the "minions" section.)

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Minions: His loyal 10,000 ramen are among his favorite and most trusted minions.

Salty. He's got The Scepter of Bedevilment, a grrreatest rune weapon (not as great as Frosted Flakes, tho), that he can use as an animated weapon to have fight on its own as the laziest war god, and also has a magic bow that fires extras, and a boom gun that he loves (even though rules-wise he gets thrown on his ass by it), and rocket launcher armbands like Destro. Also he has a mini-missile launcher which only he can handle, even though your average Coalition soldier lugs around a regular missile launcher just fine.

Ammit the Beast

Dammit, Ammit!

Instead of just being the great punishment of the underworld, this is just a god-monster at the shallow end of the Gods of Darkness sunnin' pool, Anubis' attack gator. He's also the god of assassin and predators and depair and lycanthropy and werebeasts. Yes, an Egyptian crocodile god is a god of European and South American bear, wolf, and jaguar shapeshifters. Sure, makes as much sense as the rest of this. He's loyal to Anubis and has no other discernable personality.

Number attack! 5000 M.D.C.! 1000 P.P.E.! 750 I.S.P.! 10th level fighter (this is not a class) and 4th level necromancer! Summon/control 1d4 werebeasts! Where are they summoned from? Who the fuck knows! Electrokinesis! It's an electric gator! It can turn into any shape, like a gator shirt, and then it eats you from the shirt inside-out! It has Dance at 88%! It's a monster on the ballroom floor!

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: Ammit tends to greatly underestimate humans and D-Bees.

I don't know why you wouldn't take any people who call themselves "D-Bees" seriously!

Bes the Depraved

Maybe it's the hat that turned him to evil.

Wikipedia posted:

Bes (pron.: /bɛs/; also spelled as Bisu) is an Ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as a protector of households, and in particular, of mothers and children and childbirth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Bes the depraved is a disciple of evil, and often associates with Set.

Wikipedia posted:

Normally Egyptian gods were shown in profile, but instead Bes appeared in portrait, ithyphallic, and sometimes in a soldier's tunic, so as to appear ready to launch an attack on any approaching evil. He scared away demons from houses, so his statue was put up as a protector.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

He is a hideous, bearded [Do you see a beard? I don't. - ARB] dwarf with a crown of feathers. Bes delights in torture and cannibalism.

Wikipedia posted:

Since he drove off evil, Bes also came to symbolize the good things in life - music, dance, and sexual pleasure.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Bes fought alongside Ra and the other Gods of Light until he gave in to his darker more savage emotions, followed by insanity.

Wikipedia posted:

Bes was a household protector, throughout ancient Egyptian history becoming responsible for such varied tasks as killing snakes, fighting off evil spirits, watching after children, and aiding (by fighting off evil spirits) women in labour (and thus present with Taweret at births).

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Insanities: Psychotic murderer, sadistic (likes to hurt/torture others), obsession: cannibalism, obsession: danger - takes needless risks, phobia: terrified of Osiris (including those who wield his petrified body parts).

Wikipedia posted:

Another theory, connected to Bes's role in both the protection of children and women in labor, is that Bes is the figure of a miscarried fetus.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

A pair of rune daggers called Mee and Fea... Mee is sadistic and hates women and children. It is most often used as an implement of torture. Fea is a paranoid schizophrenic that with delusions of grandeur, trusting no one (including Bes and Mee).

Wikipedia posted:

In the New Kingdom, tattoos of Bes could be found on the thighs of dancers, musicians and servant girls.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

M.D.C.: 6000

Which is more interesting? You decide.

Next: Osiris - you can wear his skull as a hat! Ra - he kills vampire blobs with a dog! And introducing Thoth - Mary Sue of the Gods!

14,470 or so he believes; in actuality, Thoth has 40,000 M.D.C. (alien intelligence).

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Eight: "14,470 or so he believes; in actuality, Thoth has 40,000 M.D.C. (alien intelligence)."

The Pantheon of Ra Gods of Light

Yeah, it's time for the *ahem* good gods.

Osiris the Lawgiver

Greatest of the Gods of Light, was betrayed by Anubis, slain by Set, and torn into 14 pieces and scattered them across the Megaverse and since Isis isn't competent in this continuity, she still hasn't found them all. Whenever she builds one she builds a shrine and buries the part there and installs protectors. This seems like a lousy idea to protect god-parts from assholes with more supernatural power than a thousand magic tanks, but like I said. Not competent. For some reason, she only has one-third enshrined at any given time, because Set's folks keep stealing them and getting away with them.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Each of Osiris' parts is worth at least a million credits, if not considerably more.

Yes, the irreplaceable, millennia-old god-dong sought after by Gods of Darkness and Light alike will fetch but a tiny fraction of what it takes the Coalition to roll another Spider-Skull Walker off the assembly line (36 million). It also notes that necromancers can attach Osiris' body parts to their own body, Vecna-style, and get to become mega-damage and get super-strength with the affected part.

On to the parts!
And that's Rifts® Osiris for you: a god reduced to a loot table.

Ra, Lord of Light
The Sun God

He's a single-minded D&D paladin hawk-headed all evil must die sorta guy. Apep is his big bad and someday Set and him will fight to the death-

Wikipedia posted:

Ra was the father of Shu and Tefnut, whom he created through masturbation. Shu was the god of the wind, and Tefnut was the goddess of the rain.

Oh, shut the fuck up, Wikipedia.

Let the drone of numbers lull you to sleep: 14,000 M.D.C., Horror Factor 17 (aaaaa hawk head aaaaa), 40 feet height, 6000 P.P.E., 2000 I.S.P., 20th level air and fire warlock (that level does not exist), 12th level stone master (is a class) and spell caster (is not a class), teleport 96%, turn dead 97%, he can resurrect like a Set but is a little better at it. Horsemanship at 98%, what the fuck does he ride, he's 40' tall, who knows? Read sensory equipment and streetwise at 65%, Ra knows what's going on. He has Scepter of the Greyhound, which has a greyhound on it and does like 2d4 x 100 mega-damage to vampire intelligences. Taste doggy vengeance, blobbies.

That's a pretty good note to end this on.

I just want to say I'm fifty pages in at this point and I have not learned nothin' about Africa, it's just been uber-NPC stats so far and we've got a ways ahead of us.

Thoth, Lord of Wisdom

Thoth is the god of nerds wisdom, knowledge, invention, cunning, alchemy... apparently he invented rune magic, diabolism and wards, pyramid magic, and all the sciences . Yes. Quantum mechanics, string theory, I guess he done that. Anyway. Also for those that read my writeup Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis , you may remember that rune magic was portrayed as irredeemably, ultimately evil. But Thoth gets to ignore that rule! Because he's special! How special?


Thoth's Dark Past

Thoth has god amnesia in his god brains, because he used to be a GREAT OLD ONE, who are like Cthulhu but like magical and a zillion times as powerful. He was called Xy, but his fellow Old Ones tricked him into a power circle that reversed him into a good guy. Well, mostly a good guy, he's kind of absent-minded and OCD, which is a result of the magic circle pretty much fucking his brains. He sometimes has visions of a great evil that's really just memories of himself , and he's unlikely to get them back, and even if he does get them back probably won't go back to evil.

So it's not much of a plot hook. Though it does point out that his is a role-playing game, so anything is possible!

He thinks he only has 14,470 M.D.C., but really has 40,000 M.D.C., uh. He's a 30th level ley line walker. That's double where the chart for ley line walkers actually ends. I hate to harp on that, but it's so So very . He has pretty much all the magic powers and nearly all the psionic powers.

Oh, and he made most of those greatest rune weapons, including the evil ones, because, in case you've forgotten, he is amongst the company of unbelievable pricks . Oh, and he likes the Splugorth, because prick . He hangs out with demon lords, because... prick . I mean, look at that face.


Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Minions: There is no one race of beings who can be called Thoth's minions. He does regularly enlist the assistance of ramen and raksashas [who are entirely evil - ARB]. He also has an army of 200 golems, 300 rune statues, 100 TW modified dyna-bots (Triax), and a variety of diverse servants and assistants under his employ. They include a true Atlantean, a Splugorth High Lord, Kryant-hal the thunder lizard (adult, 10th level techno-wizard), Lyphan the great white sphinx (legendary albino, 13th level alchemist and spell caster/diabolist/herbologist/temporal wizard), a dozen loyal Zembahk, a pair of Shaydor spherians, a dozen adarok flying mountains, an anarchist za, and 20 full conversion borgs.

Ever draw up with your perfect house when you were a kid? Sure you did. It had like a pool, and a launch pad, and a monkey house or whatever you could tack on that sounded cool? Like a garage filled with all the cars or a closet with all the clothes? That's what these statblocks are like! Thoth here was a like a bunch of servants that are tacked on because they sound cool, I guess? Including a sphinx with 65 levels of spellcasting classes?

Like, look at this:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

100 Techno-wizard modified Triax Dyna-bots. All bots are powered by magic energy, so they have an infinite energy supply when at Earth. All have crystal eyes, 20% have magic flaming swords (4D6 M.D.), 20% of the bots are impervious to energy, 10% can turn invisible and 10% can fly as an eagle. Along ley lines and nexus points the bots are encased in an protective energy field that gives them an additional 200 M.D.C. and the range of their weapons is doubled. The twelve zembahk can ride inside the bots and use them like power armor.

The wish fulfillment train just keeps on goin'!

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: Just about any techno-wizard device or component, herb, potion, magic component and bio-wizard component is available to Thoth. He has dozens of magic wands, staves, enchanted cauldrons, manacles, Millennium Tree items, amulets, books, and many other things of magic in his massive personal collection. Thoth also has a small zoo, books and artifacts from dozens of different civilizations.

Okay we can stop, I think I've made my point, but hey-

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Toth has thousands of casual acquaintances, including all the Nile gods, many other so-called gods, the raksasha, and alien intelligences, Pharaoh Rama-Set (who he finds to be a very interesting fellow), Mrrlyn (yes, Thoth knows he's an alien intelligence) Lord Splynncryth, The Joker of Palladium, Kym-nark-mar, Narabium, and Od among countless others.

... and now he's namedropping all of his favorite characters. Give up, you will never be radder than Thoth and his dickbill, just give up.

Next: We wrap up the Pantheon of Light - Isis and the Zoo Crew!

The Great Sphinx is a member of the extremely rare breed of super-sphinx, known as the 'great' sphinx.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Nine: "The Great Sphinx is a member of the extremely rare breed of super-sphinx, known as the 'great' sphinx."

The All Mother & Warrior

The whitest god of Egypt.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Isis is the symbol of nature, love, death, and rebirth, as well as the patroness of magic and warriors.

So pretty much everything, got it.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

She is supreme all mother of the Nile gods, renowned for her power and beauty (P.B. 27).

How does a poor artist ever draw "P.B. 27"?

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

She is known as dozens of other goddesses by other peoples throughout the Megaverse. To avoid offending her, she should be addressed: "O Thou of countless names."

So, what you're saying is that she's a snobby

Anyway, she has cow-like horns (depicted in the art) and great feathered wings (not depicted in the art). She is usually holding a torch (not depicted in the art), has a quiver of arrows (not depicted in the art), and a black bow (not depicted in the art).

She's all vengeful against the Gods of Darkness for slaying her hubby. Also, she likes humans... because. Numbers: 12,000, 4,000, 3,000, 20th, 13th, 13th, 1d4, 1d6 x 100, 81%, 86%, 1d4 x 100, 81%, 94%, 85%, 200, 17, 3,000, 20, 1-15, 20th, 20th, 1-6, 1d4 x 10, +5, +10, +12, 65%, 83%, 92%, 98%-

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

She can appear completely human through metamorphosis, a natural ability.

Foreshadowing! In any case, she has all the magics, priest powers, the standard godly array (shapeshifting, dimensional travel, teleport, summoning, flight, etc.).

She's so busy fightin' evil on other worlds that she doesn't have much time for Earth, but has secretly disguised herself as a human to aid heroes against the Apocalypse Demons... or so the book says right now. The actual story is a little different. In fact, it contradicts the one we're given here! We'll get around to it in about a hundred pages or so. Anyway, it's a little roundabout when she has more M.D.C. than any one of the horsemen, regenerates faster than half of them, and has approximately 5 times their damage output in the short term with her rune sword. But she can't be bothered to fight them directly!

Also she's weak against silver. You know. Like in the myths.

A.k.a: Harmakhis the Great Sphinx

No art, so just think of the noseless wonder. He's said to be Iris and Osiris' son, but he's really adopted . In case you're wondering, Horus was depicted as the sphinx in the amalgamated god of Horus-Re. So, they're still getting it a bit wrong, but not terribly wrong. Of course, he was still a god, and not just a powerful mixed-up wuzzle like this guy, who is just an extra-powerful sphinx.

So Horus has a cousin - Lyphan, the albino sphinx that jobs for Thoth, as you may recall. But Lyphan is power-hungry and selfish, unlike Horus, and wants to become the most powerful practitioner of magic in the Megaverse. Yyyeah, no, we've already had a half-dozen immortal god-casters with "20th level" in their statblock alone so far in just this book . She may as well try and eat the moon.

Horus is the nicer one who hates Set and Anubis, and "can be the soul of tenderness and compassion" and "is a champion of light and justice" but has "the tendency to be selfish, obsessive, and underestimate lesser beings". Geez, make up your mind. He's one of the few non-immortals in this book so far; he can only live to be 12,000 years old.

He has a Physical Beauty of 25, so he's a saucy lion, FYI. Let's see, 5500 M.D.C., can't do psionics, 12th level fire warlock, 7th level stone master and diabolist, he can do flying backflips at 80% as a "natural ability", turn into a human, a "human-like humanoid", or a "humanoid with a hawk's head". He "likes high-powered energy weapons and rail guns" and "can use any human type of armor" but has "the body of a lion" in his natural form. (Yes, he can use it as a human, but he loses half his M.D.C. as a human, so gaining 30-70 M.D.C. isn't really useful compared to the 2250 M.D.C. loss.)

He hates Set, Anubis, Apepi, and vampires. He also hates the Splugorth, but only if they get in his way. (They do not get in his way.) And he has the "Spear of Horus" which has a bunch of magic powers and reveals shapechangers it damages (no saving through). How he throws around a spear using lion paws is left as an exercise for the reader, I suppose.

No psionics for a change.

the Phoenix

The picture of apathy.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Bennu the Phoenix is the symbol of death, rebirth, the passing of day to night, as the passing of the seasons. Her natural form is that of a great predatory bird, but she can take the form of a beautiful woman clad in a gown of feathers or adorned with feathered wings.

Uh. Well, usually Bennu was depicted as a heron, and didn't really change into a human, but everything in this "chapter" (there are no actual chapter headings in Rifts® books) can change shape, so whatever.

Anyway, she's savage and selfish, and will let others die rather than be hurt, which is ironic, because like Apepi, she basically can't ever die. She does hate Set for killing a bunch of "phoenixi", who apparently she's a patron of, and trying to discover the secret of their immortality. Apparently he was so upset by failing at this he once "slaughtered 1100 phoenixi in anger". She's still pretty upset about that. Though she's "basically a good creature" she keeps to herself because "ignorance is bliss and if she doesn't know about any trouble she won't feel compelled to get involved."

Siembieda and Rosenstein have such a weird fucking defintion of "good".

6000 M.D.C., but she can instantly regenerate, but every time she does it it reduces her maximum M.D.C. by half, but if she dies she recovers in 2d4 weeks entirely. That makes Apepi a way better immortal than that dragon, let's see, she can do magic circles, is vulnerable to iron (???), has a ton of psionic powers (hypno-phoenix?), knows how to pilot a sailboat and operate a radio, hates Set and Anubis but won't deign to help out against the Four Horsemen because she's Unprincipled and apparently doesn't have to give a fuck about the end of a world.

The Sacred Cow

Maker of the sacred yogurt.

Lady with a cow head, god of restoration, growth, and fertility. "She is the patroness of druids, healers, and clergy."... even though druids are a specifically English tradition in this universe so far. You know, whatever. She's close enough compared to many of the other gods.

6500 M.D.C., teleport 90%, gets priest powers and is "15th level earth warlock and psionic" but later has "20th level proficiency" with her low-level psionics, has Horror Factor 15 (oh shit, cow head!), can head butt for 2d6 M.D. (not sure why, her punches and kicks do twice that). She hates technology but is mostly just scornful of it and won't bust it up.

She hates those Gods of Darkness, and also hates the Splugorth but only messes with then when they oppose her (which is never). She has some Millennium Tree items and-

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Apis is busy in another dimension and is unaware of events unfolding on Earth.

Why the fuck do we get a statblock for a character isn't even present in the setting ?

Bonus diatribe!

And that's it for the Egyptian gods. You know, once again I'm curious as to how a GM is supposed to use statblocks like these. They mostly seem to be the horrible legacy of these old D&D-style games where instead of saying "a god can create X effects along Y themes" or something reasonable and flexible, he has to define every last power. Gods like Isis or Set have literally hundreds of powers. Barring extreme plot devices, no PC presented thus far in the supplements can oppose them, since it's nearly impossible to do enough damage quickly enough to keep them from just teleporting or dimension-shifting away when they've had enough. I know the scuttlebutt is that Kevin is used to running for groups of a dozen or more players, and so they have a high damage output, that doesn't even matter if the gods are played smartly. They can turn invisible and ignore half the PCs' attacks, summon magic walls to entrap PCs, summon monsters to keep them busy, create magic circles to ward themselves, hell, the heads of the pantheons have a good chance of just being able to resurrect their fellows if you kill them. It's like having to fight a D&D wizard with all their terrible flexibility, only the wizard gets a bunch if innate get-out-of-consequences cards.

Moreover, actually trying to run conflicts between them would be a nightmare. Most of them could only do around a 50-400 M.D.C. a round and have M.D.C. in the thousands. It would easily take a dozen or several dozen rounds of play for gods to tear each other apart, and that assumes they're playing dumb and just swinging at each other mindlessly. And those who have played Palladium will know it's not a quick system, with 3-5 rolls made for each attack, and in the case of gods, 5-20 attacks a round.

There's basically no deliberate design sense here. It makes Deities & Demigods look elegant and well-designed by comparison, because this takes PC and NPC powers and just tries to build statblocks that can counter anything that gets thrown at them. Even worse, they repeatedly refer to different books. You need at least a copy of five books to run these gods: Rifts® World Book Four: Africa , Rifts® World Book Three: England , Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis , Rifts® Conversion Book , and the Rifts® RPG . And since seemingly Kevin convinced himself that the Diabolist stats and magic are in the Rifts® Conversion Book . They're not, just the conversion rules for Rifts , but he refers readers to it for the Diabolist stats mistakenly. Instead, you need to refer to an entirely different game line - The Palladium RPG - to get the rules for the Diabolist. And practically every god listed here has access to Diabolist magic .

In short, there is close to zero consideration as to how these blocks of numbers and powers actually function a game system, much less in actual play.

Next: It's time for the megafurries of the megaverse!

They also dislike tautons because they give crocodile-like creatures a bad reputation.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Ten: "They also dislike tautons because they give crocodile-like creatures a bad reputation."

Optional Player Characters

You can be a minion! Isn't that exciting! A minion! Wow. First, it points out that evil races as PCs are likely to be good-aligned weirdoes, but that you shouldn't play Jinn, because... well, it doesn't say why. It also notes that Set or Anubis, with their doggy heads, might try and win over the wolfen and their kin. A more interesting plot twist is that they might try to liberate the Coalition's dog boys to be their minions. (This plot twist will not go anywhere in later material, but it's an interesting idea.)

The Children of Bennu

Gracefully he soared, glock in hand...

They're called the Phoenixi, but aren't actually related to the Phoenix or Bennu. They're from some other dimension. Anyway, they're 10'-14' humanoid bird-people. (Like a chicken, I tell you, a giant chicken.) They know enough magic to have explored dimensionally, but they keep the Prime Directive and don't interfere with native cultures, even when those native cultures are imperiled. (This makes them unbelievable pricks .) However, some of them so go soft and aid other cultures in mild ways, and a few of them actually become saviors.

They try to remain neutral in the wars between gods (even though, as we know now, Set can't stop vivisecting them), though some of them side up with Bennu. They're generally kind of pacifistic and boring, tho. And none will ever think of directly harming Bennu, so don't even think of it, PCs!

They get better attributes than humans overall aside from Physical Prowess, with is the same, but get really high Physical Endurance. They get around 200 M.D.C., uh... 3d4 x 100 P.P.E. and 2d4 x 100 I.S.P.?! And it goes up at they level? Well, that's... fairly broken compared to the amounts that actual dedicated spellcasters and psychics get. And yes, they get all physical and sensitive psychic powers, all fire warlock spells, telepathy, pyrokinesis, can cast mystic portal / dimensional portal / close rift. They can also set themselves on fire (doing mega-damage), shoot fire, and instantly regenerate all M.D.C. once very 12 hours. They can use that regeneration to blow off all food, water, or sleep for about a month, which given they have 60 opportunities to use their power every month, basically means they just need to charge up once a month and never sleep, eat, or drink.

They kind of suck on skills, but that's a small price to pay for having all the spellcasting of an 8th level Warlock with more P.P.E. to dump on it. I hesitate to call any PC character type in Rifts "broken", as the core book has a fair deal of ridiculous bullshit, but this race pretty much invalidates playing Fire Warlocks or Bursters for the most part; they're insanely good by comparison, as long as you don't mind having a chicken head.

Ah, the design philosophy of Palladium: call classes "optional" when you don't care to ever balance character options.

The Knights of Ra - Optional O.C.C.

Your daily dose of catbutt.

Not a Japanese noodle, but instead a feline race that once fought a race of crocodile folk. When the Egyptian gods found them, the felines sided up with Ra (Ra-men) and the crocs with the pantheon of Taut (or Tautons). The gods made them mightier and now they fight across the Megaverse etc.

Anyway ramen are humanoid lions and are basically brave knights of Ra that fight for Ra and ra ra ra, that's the spirits we have here. They have great stats (rolling 4d6 to 6d6 for each stat), with the best being their super-strength. 250 or so M.D.C. They have some basic sensitive psionic powers, are really resistant to psionics, can charm animals (but are kind to them), and get some relatively minor magic spells if you roll lucky (40% chance of being a spellcaster). They get a decent spread of skills, but nothing too impressive. They're pretty much in-line with dragon hatchlings as far as power level goes, though they're a lot less flexible.

Some of them are convinced Anhur is their progentitor and have buddied up with him. Anhur insists he's not their dad, but has defended them nonetheless because he respects them. Most of them still serve Ra, though. I mean. It's in their name.

Kind of dull, but they're your cat soldier superheroes if you want them.

Tautons - The Minions of Set
Optional R.C.C.

"I'm holding a gun over my head!" "My hand is on fire!" "Help, I'm falling over!"

These were once Set's main army of croc-thugs, but then he used them in too many reckless battles and has lost most of them. Set has blown them off as failures, even though he's the real screwup, and so the remaining Tautons have become even more fanatical to try and prove themselves to him. Because of this some of them are going to aid the Four Horsemen and try and kill them some heroes to prove themselves to Set! It's an underpants gnome kind of plan, but it just might work. Why? I dunno, Set doesn't seem to work on any sort of reason or... sense. Maybe it's his tiny dog brain.

They get really impressive physical attributes, but average mental attributes and bonus ugly. They around 250 M.D.C. and P.P.E., but no I.S.P. or psionics. They can resist fire and cold, change into snakes, swim and hold their breath, etc. They also have scorpion tails that inject mega-damage poison, and all of them are wizards, and get a pretty darn solid selection of spells. Their skills are pretty average, and balance-wise they're comparable to the Ramen.

Anyway, turn-ons include deserts, forests, the Gods of Darkness, the Four Horsemen, general generic villainry, and kinda don't mind the Worms of Taut. Turn-offs include the Gods of Light, good in general, and those darn Ramen!!!

The crocodile god, Sebek, has nothing to do with those guys. No, you didn't miss Sebek in the earlier section on gods. He's about a hundred pages down the line.

Children of Amon
Optional Player Characters

These aren't so much a race as a group of ugly people who follow Amon. This includes humans, d-bees, boogiemen, goblins, gigantes, harpies, and melech. A minority are orcs, ogres, trolls, and loogaroos. (All of which are in the Rifts® Conversion Book .) Also 1% of her minions are True Atlanteans, which means despite the fact that they're irritatingly noble doomed good guys, that means there's at 200-800 Atlanteans that follow her because... um... I got nothin'.

She generally uses the transfortifier, chest amalgamate, or zombitron symbiotes to mod her minions. You'll have to refer to my review on Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis for them; the descriptions here are cut and pasted from that.

There's not much in the way of rules other than having normal PCs that might get a symbiote or two, I guess.

The Minions of Sebek
- Optional Player Character R.C.C.

Draw a crocodile with a gun, instant character class!

These other crocodile people were basically losing evolutionary bingo when Sebek rescued them. Sebek really cares for them and will often avenge acts against them. A lot of them live in Rifts® Africa and India, where he dropped him in a world crawling with predators and conflict because he loves them so much, I guess.

They are only partially bipedal and mostly run on all fours, but they can stand up (if not really walk). They mostly eat fish, but sometimes just eat their foes, they don't give a shit. They're crazy strong but a little dumb and definitely ugly. They get an average of 140 M.D.C., and 75 I.S.P., can see in the dark and see invisible stuff, swim super-well, hydrokinesis and basic psionics, psionic empathy with reptiles, and middling skills. If you roll really lucky you might be a mind melter (10%) or mind bleeder (5%), but in general they kind of suck because they need to be submerged in water every eight hours or they start taking severe penalties and eventually die after about a week of water-free existence. Also, the mind bleeder thing is kind of weird, because pretty soon we'll find out mind bleeders are a race , not a class . But hey, why bother keeping shit consistent within the same book.

They'll help against the Four Horsemen because "they don't want to die". That's a pretty solid motivation, you'd think more races would have it...

The Elemental Demon
The minions of Set -
Not available as a player character

Yeah, I just copy the section titles as they're listed in the book. Sometimes they get a little wordy...

Most of this is C&Ped from the Rifts® Conversion Book . However, there are some extra notes. Now, they have an extra weakness: weapons made from the Millennium Tree do extra damage to them, now. Also, it turns out the being that cursed them to follow the whole wish statute is Thoth, but it also turns out Set can use that curse to make them obey them. Yes, Thoth fucked up but good, but he can't reverse it, so the rest of us have to live with Set having superpowerful minions. The rest of the details and stats are as detailed elsewhere. I can see why he threw the Tautons away now, because the Jinn are more ridiculously powerful by half and another half and then probably another ten halves.

(For now. Yeah, there's more later.)


Next: Africans are magical!

There is no greater insult than to call a medicine man or priest a 'witch doctor' or to accuse a person of being a witch.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Eleven: "There is no greater insult than to call a medicine man or priest a 'witch doctor' or to accuse a person of being a witch."

The Mystic World of Africa

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: The following section about the beliefs, magic, and mystic leaders, such as the medicine men and rain maker, are very loosely based on the myths and beliefs of the African people. Ideas and elements have been liberally taken from the 3000 plus tribes/nations of Africa and mixed together to create a few specific character classes and concepts for the world of Rifts . Much of the material is a blend of lore from several cultures combined with fictional extrapolations by the author.

Wow. That's surprisingly honest and frank for Rifts® . He's obviously trying to show at least some cultural sensitivity, but...

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

The people of Africa have always seen the world in a very different way than western cultures.


Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Possibly more than any people on Earth, magic and the supernatural has been a part of their everyday lives. Just as the sun rises and the rain falls, there is magic and the supernatural.


Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

The African people have always known that magic, spirits and the supernatural are real and they accepted it as the harmony of nature. Even into the 21st Century, many Africans held to their beliefs of magic and supernatural forces.

Fuck. The reality? Occultism often isn't quite so enlightened. But here in Rifts®, it's just a sign of being more enlightened and advanced and in tune with the real world.

I need a moment.

Okay. So they don't see magic as good or bad, just there, and it's only evil spirits and "bad medicine" (the quote marks are Kevin's) that's evil. It points out that animals are not treated as special - they're not animists - but that some tribes have sacred animals they only use for ritual sacrifice. Many tribes venerate "The Great Spider - the Wise One", but some death weavers (see the Rifts® World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms review) use this tradition to manipulate people towards evil, and there are death cults and stuff that worship them.

The first picture we have of the locals.

The Millennium Trees are the only plants that are seen to have a soul in Africa (apparently some beliefs are somehow homogenized), and they collect "good medicine" from it (the quote marks are Kevin's). There's five known Millennium Trees in Africa - one in Libya, one in Algeria, one in Kenya, and one in the Congo. It's rumored that there's another tree in the Congo and another in Madagascar. There are "Medicine Men of the Mystic Tree" that venerate the trees, but they just use the Millennium Druid class, as well the Herbalist class. All of the Millennium Tree jazz and classes refer to another book, naturally - Rifts® World Book Three: England .

African Magic
Occupational Character Classes

First, for whatever reason, Siembieda starts out by discussing certain roles within tribes. Not all of these get O.C.C.s, so it's a little beside the point after that misleading header.
And aside from that, we have-
Speaking of witch, we have our first actual class.

African Witch
Non-Player Character Villain

Wait, is this a male or female witch?

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: This character is ideal as a NPC villain, but is not recommended as a player character!

I have to wonder, sometimes. One, this this a game whose first classes in the main book are the Coalition - basically Nazis with bonus skulls - but if it's magic evil, that's a no-no? Two, if it's not intended as a PC, why write the whole thing up as a PC class? Are GMs expected to follow all the rules of PC character generation when following NPC design? Because the NPCs in the books frequently don't follow the rules... ultimately, presuming any level of forethought along those lines is probably too much.

So, the African witch serves evil and creates "bad medicine", pals around with evil spirits (i.e. evil supernatural creatures), and everybody in Africa hates these folks, except other folks who are evil. No relation to the Witch class from the Rifts® Conversion Book , mind.

It also notes that necromancers, blood druids, shifters, stone masters, mind melters, mind bleeders, etc., are considered to be evil witches and are banished are slain. Wait, stone masters aren't evil at all! Damn you for knowing how to levitate rocks, I guess! (Mind Melters aren't really evil, either.) Witches often take over tribes and enslave them, because even their piddly magical abilities can still explode heads.

Also, 75% of witches are female. Why? Doesn't say. Women , huh? And then we get the powers of the African Witch.
Some other observations...
And they get their own spell list, which includes things like:
Witches also get a select choice of spells off the main spell list, mainly for status effects, illusions, and summoning spells... but they have to pay twice as much P.P.E. to cast them, in addition to having shitty P.P.E. in the first place.

Basically, witches get some interesting curses, but as far as being a spellcaster, this sort of evil just doesn't pay. Be an actual witch from the Rifts® Conversion Book , instead - at least they get a free bonus nipple and the ability to punch heads off. Also, medicine men can counter pretty much every one of the witch's powers, where the witch gets no such advantage over medicine men. Africa witches are a fucking joke .

Medicine Man O.C.C.

Spookier than the witch for some reason. Maybe they traded art?

It starts out pointing any skiled healer or wizard may be called a medicine man, but they're not real medicine men.

So, people love medicine men a lot, almost as much as kings, because they make "good medicine" and... uh... charge fair rates for it.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

True medicine men are usually natives indigenous to the African continent. Strickly speaking, a medicine man doesn't have to be male or black, but 80% are both.

Yep. If you're an evil witch, chances are high you're a woman. If you're a medicine man, chances are high you're a man.

So, medicine men are either descendants of other medicine men (and taught by parents), or taken in as assistants. Small villages only have one, but large tribes may have as many as a dozen. When there's a group of medicine men, they are subservient to the eldest amongst them, and there's no rivalry because they're such great guys. They act as advisors, doctors, counselors, storytellers, etc. Their main goals are to help others and to fite evil, mainly evil that happens to be witches and monsters.

Unlike the witch, they're full-on spellcasters with decent P.P.E., get some tiny bonuses against magic and on attributes, and a big bonus against Horror Factor. They can learn spell magic, and start a few basic spells plus the "taboo" spell from earlier and "remove taboo", even though there is no "remove taboo" spell. Whups. There's a "chant to remove taboo" later on, but that entry says only rain makers can get it. Confused? Me too.

Then we get into their other class powers!

"Hm, I need another African pic... I'll take this old supervillain and paste him in as a shaman, nobody will notice!"

Whew! That's a crazy detailed class. Balance-wise, they're really just comparable to the other spellcasting classes in the core book, though the amount of specialty powers they have to just counter one class is kinda blah, but they make up for it with a lot of very useful basic abilities. Unfortunately, with a minimum M.E., M.A. and I.Q. of 12 as requirements, you only have a 5% chance of rolling one, because Kevin Siembieda doesn't understand how a 3d6 dice curve works.

It also bears noting that they don't get any healing powers , ironically. They have to rely in the psychic diagnosis power and the Holistic Medicine skill. They're much better as anti-supernatural detectives than anything else. If you want to make an actual healer, you'd be better off as a Mystic, Mind Melter, Herbalist, or any number of other classes.

They get a decent spread of survivalist, language, and lore skills. It'd be useful enough in a party and is a full-fledged magic man, though you're saddled with a bunch of folklore-simulating abilities you're not likely to use very often.

Next: The African Priest and the Rain Maker - good for communities, bad for adventuring!

The dance is exclusive to the rain maker O.C.C. although others may participate in the ritual and provide additional P.P.E.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Twelve: "The dance is exclusive to the rain maker O.C.C. although others may participate in the ritual and provide additional P.P.E."

African Rain Maker O.C.C.

One of those "invaluable to a community, not so useful to a party" sorts of classes. They're much like medicine men, but can be more mercenary since they're in such demand. Some are nice and benevolent, and others are extortionists. Most are male again (70%), and the trade is mostly passed from father to son.

Right onward to powers!
They get a decent amount of P.P.E., can case normal spell magic, and get some small mental bonuses. They get survivalist, science, and boating skills, and a decent spread of skills. They're kind of weak as far as spellcasters go, though their lightning can make them into one of the best artillery pieces in the game at higher levels, even better than a Glitter Boy pilot. Not bad, but very focused.

Their rain rituals are detailed and include the following dances - yeah, they just gotta dance. Most of them require crazy amount of P.P.E., which limits them to very limited ritual circumstances, and often require whole groups of spellcasters.
Also, every dance comes with a reminder than only rain makers can use them, because Siembieda... loves to waste space in his books, I suppose. I mean, there are six different forms of class-specific magic in this book, I think we get it.

Oh, and here's the shittiest secret of the rain maker: there's a spell called "Summon Rain" in the corebook that costs 200 P.P.E. The rain maker's dance takes 300-950 P.P.E. Yes, any old wizard is better at making rain than the Rain Maker O.C.C. , because apparently double-checking existing rules is, you know. Hard work.

African Priest O.C.C.

There are a lot of that boil down to "like the medicine man, only with more music". Basically, they do music-based rituals (that are not rain dances) and are the wise folk who know all the stuff. Maleness quotient is down to 60% here, since some societies apparently allow women priests. It points out they're often like wandering adventurers, going after witches or seeing to a circuit of villages or the like.

And they have some powers.
The priest gets some mental bonuses and crappy P.P.E., even crappier than the witch. Also, they can't cast normal spells, only ritual magic, meaning this is turning out to be a pretty crummy class. And their base attributes of I.Q. 10 and M.E. 14 means you only have a 5% chance of rolling one up! Ugh. Their skills revolve around medicine, music, lore, and... um... palming. They don't get many skills, to boot. They get magic music! What's that like?

Well, as previously mentioned, they don't get much P.P.E., so they need people to join in on their music to get their effects. That would be kind of neat if they had practical skills to go along with that, but they don't. The idea of them as witch hunters seems really dodgy, given that medicine men get all sorts of anti-supernatural powers and the priest will be lucky to have a tough stick.

I'm also going to give a list of how many ordinary, average people a starting priest will need for the following effects to give an idea of how niche and crummy they can be.
As you can see, the priest is very, very limited in what they can do magically compared to regular spellcasters, and what's worse, they need entire communities backing them to do it. Oh, sure, they can do a lot more of a medicine man or rain maker is assisting them, but... fuck, yes, that makes them dependent on those superior classes.

If that wasn't bad enough, a good number of their rituals can be done by medicine men or rain makers - already better classes in their own right. Oh, and the dungcherry on top is that there are even some chants they can't do , like the "Chant to Control Ley Line Storms, which rain makers and medicine men perform, and "Chant/Ritual to Remove Taboo (Curse)", which only a rain maker can do.

A lot of to give us a really niche and underwhelming PC class.

Next: Remember how necromancers and mind bleeders are banished or slain by all of the local folk? Now you can play them!

The Necromancer as a Player Character is not for everybody

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Africa: Part Thirteen: "The Necromancer as a Player Character is not for everybody"

Mind Bleeder R.C.C.

"... what?"

See, they "bleed" thoughts and psychic energy from folks, and that causes their forehead veins to bulge. and their powers cause blood hemorraging in the brains of their victims! Their name fits them thrice , in a spastic fit of overwrought writing.

Unlike the references to them way back in Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis Crocodillians, it turns out they're not just another type of psychic, they're a human-like D-Bee and a species unto themselves. Which means races like True Atlanteans or Crocodillians can't be mind bleeders (as listed in Atlantis and once again contradicting earlier material in this very book ) , and it's not really clear why Kevin went a different direction with them.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Most are Caucasian or light tan in color with sharp features, square chin, brown hair and brown, green, or grey eyes.

Yep. Here in Africa, mind bleeders are evil whiteys . They came through Mediterranean rifts and are now around Europe and Africa.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Once the Splugorth discover them, they will be become a welcomed addition to the Splugorth market.

Unless you've read Rifts® World Book Two, Atlantis , which already places them there. Siembieda wrote and laid out all these books himself, you'd think he'd be able to recall...

It turns out dog boys and psi-stalkers are natural foes of mind bleeders, because- Then the book diverges into the fact that the New German Republic (not detailed in this book, or any book as of yet) is registering and tagging psychics like the Coalition does, and they're doing that with the mind bleeders. Even though the New German Republic is worried about the mind bleeders, they have started recruiting them and using them as spies. Guess they're not that worried.

Though the NGR treats them badly, it turns out their concerns are basically 100% justified, because the mind bleeders are basically amoral asshats that regularly use their powers to fuck with people. Racism: justified! Woooo!

Anyway, they can automatically sense other psionics, have a great save against psionics, get special mind bleeder powers, and a standard array of psionic powers (though they get very few "super" psionic powers).

Their signature power is the "mind bleed", which is used to drain I.S.P. from other psychics, though they can only store it for brief periods. Also, if they repeatedly mind bleed somebody during a "stressful situation" they can cause memory loss or insanity. The target can make saves, but mind bleeding doesn't cost any I.S.P., so you can fuck all the brains if you have the time and inclination.

They don't start with much I.S.P. compared to others like the mind melter, though, which forces them to drain others. Of course, because this eats their actions up doing it, it honestly sucks in a combat situation, though at higher levels they can at least steal enough I.S.P. to really start draining standard psionic foes.

They get some minor attribute bonuses, but like most psychics, have crappy skills. Their big deal is their special mind bleeder powers, which they get to start with a few of:
Honestly, mind bleeders actually seem like they'd be pretty fun to play! The fact that they're D-Bees is pointless, since it's not like the have any culture, origin, or homeworld that we're aware of, so there's no context for it. They're evil aliens who look almost just like humans, so what's the point? There aren't too many psychic classes at this point in the game line, however, and they fill an unfilled niche as dedicated mentalists. Surprisingly, most of their powers are actually interesting and well thought-out. There's not really much point to putting them in Africa - they don't really fill any role in this book - but mechanics-wise they're pretty alright, and it's the rare Rifts® class I get to say that about.

The Necromancer
(Optional O.C.C.)

Skull Count +3. Skull Total: 78

This is a spellcaster that works with dead things and monster stuff. It points out this is more common in Africa and southern Europe thanks to Rama-Set (that guy again?) and the Gods of Darkness, as well as some handwaviness towards "death cults".

It points out most necromancers are eeevil, and that none are good, because its powers are eeevil. Now, honestly, reading through the powers, mostly it involves just violating corpses, which my my moral barometer is often more just gross than evil. It also involves summoning evil stuff, which is more dodgy, but at the same time, it just doesn't as clear-cut as the writeup would have us believe. You don't have to focus on summoning evil stuff, after all!

Often they carry around dead parts of creatures to use as tools, and often use skeletons and zombies around. Apparently this is a common sight in the Phoenix Empire, wherever that is! Rama-Set and the Phoenix Empire should have been at the front of the book, with all of the repeated references to him. As it is, it's just confusing.

At this point, I'll point out we're 100 pages into the book now without any locale details on Africa as of yet.

We get sex and racial divisions among Necromancers, for no particular reason!
It gives us a big list of those "Other Monster Races" and refers us, once again, to the Rifts® Conversion Book .

Before we get to NUMBERS, there's a big warning that not all groups will consider the necromancer appropriate for play and to respect your gamemaster's decision, and gives some basic suggestions on how to play one as a selfish character (since playing a good one is forbidden, once again).

Um, they can't actually hurt a glitter boy, rules-wise...

So! Powers!

"Lion's paw, chicken's foot... wait, how do I open doors like this?"

Skull Count +5. Skull Total: 83

The necromancer gets a big bonus against fear and some inconsequential attribute bonuses. They get a decent P.P.E. score, but can only cast "Necro-Magic", and an average spread of skills. They also automatically go crazy as they level up. No reason is given.

Now let's look at Necro-Magic! (Which a better name than necromancy, I suppose.)

Skull Count +1. Skull Total: 84

Necromancers also get a limited set from the normal spell list, with a lot of curse, corpse animation, and summoning spells. There's also a list of costs for various humanoid and monster body parts; apparently there is a booming business in pixie tongues and scientist brains.

Next: Africa! No shit!

Most Africans will view the Apocalypse demons as an abomination, the ultimate harbingers of 'bad medicine' and try to stop them.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Part Fourteen: "Most Africans will view the Apocalypse demons as an abomination, the ultimate harbingers of 'bad medicine' and try to stop them."


Finally. we're over two-thirds of the way through the book and we're finally getting regional information on Africa. Well, first it's got to recap how the apocalypse blew it all up . Then, apparently, the "tribal nations" - since apparently all of the actual countries of Africa instantly reverted to tribalism - were whittled down by monsters and whatnot, but the tribes that remain are lean, mean monster-fighting machines. The monsters of Northern Africa (they have their own country there) have gotten tired of most of Africa's shit and have gone north to fuck with Europe.

This is where I start the thrumming, ominous chord, because shit is about roll right on downhill.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

To the outside world, these communities may appear to be simple and primitive, especially to arrogant city rats and technocrats. However, everything is relative. Most African people have strong families, tight social bonds, and a sense of history and community. They work together and have high morals. Murder, rape, and sadism are not sicknesses the African tribespeople suffer from. Their laws, philosophies, ceremonies and magic are built on common sense and a unique view of the world. A view that showed them the secrets of magic long before any other humans recognized the existence of the supernatural, ley lines and magic energy. Theirs is a culture steeped in traditions of spiritualism, nature, magic and magic using as sophisticated, intelligent, practical and powerful as anything in the Americas or Europe - perhaps more so. They are a people who feel linked to nature and all the forces around them. Ultimately, their wise and practical view of the mystic world has helped them to survive when other cultures have crumbled.

I don't need to elaborate on the idealization of primitivism too much in this; it's farcical in how far it waxes on about its dream culture of African people; a cornucopia of utopias. The fact that every native O.C.C. in this book is a magical wise man is no accident, as it turns out. As far as the Rifts® goes, and this is a real low point, right in line with Rifts® Sourcebook's bold defense of genocidal fascism. It says something about how long ago this book came out - and how far we've come - that its romanticization comes off so, so very badly.

North Africa

Mostly desert and savanna.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Size Comparisons : Libya is slightly larger than Alaska! Egypt is roughly the size of New Mexico and Texas combined or slightly less than twice the size of the United Kingdom. Tiny little Morocco is roughly the size of California!

Oh shut up I get the point-

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

The African continent is huge ! You could fit the entire United States and Canada into it and still have room for half of Europe. Lake Tanganyika is slightly large than the country of Belgium!!

Anyway, it's mostly monsters and the Phoenix Empire here. What's the Phoenix Empire? Pfft, like we have to explain that yet. So, some of the inland cities survived, but then monsters, Atlantean slavers, and the Phoenix Empire wore them down in just years. There are also some radioactive areas where nuclear stockpiles and power plants were destroyed.

Then there's the Sahara! Characters have -50% to land navigation here, even though you still have the stars and compasses and things like that. So even if you have your land navigation at max (98%), you have 48% chance of finding your way. I wonder how... you know... the Arabic people ever managed. Apparently they were just lost over half the time. Also, now the Worms of Taut have infested the desert, but sometimes bigger monsters come here to hunt for them.

Northern Africa

What, didn't we just cover - okay, sure. Anyway, this is mostly desert and rocky hills, with a bit of savanna. Mostly it's just haunted by ghosts that roam the desert. The northern area is now submerged underwater. Most of the ghosts come from the Tassili n' Ajjer plateau, which is a ley line nexus and lets in all sorts of entities and jinn. It gives us some specific examples:
No stats for any of those. Moving along!

Lower Africa

Or "everything below the Sudan, Chad, and Niger". This tends towards savanna, jungle, and woodland, to horribly generalize along with the book. There's a lot of percentage numbers thrown at us, that boil down to "mostly Swahili-speaking humans". However "75% speak American from the pre-rifts days of English colonialism and American tourism." Sure, what the fuck ever, I'm sure they hung onto that centuries after the apocalypse . (Oh, and in case you've forgotten, American is riftsese for English.)

The Ivory Coast

The Splugorth have the city of Gorth here (that sounds like a baddie name, dunnit) where they trade with other slavers like the Phoenix Empire. It's mostly Kittani here, the ape-people from Atlantis, though there are a lot of kydians and gargoyles. They have a pyramid these use to transport stuff back to Atlantis.

Hytril have escaped to form communities nearby (it refers us to Rifts® Conversion Book ) as well as yll-tree climbers (it refers us to Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis .


Mostly just savanna, hills, and forest where there a good number of small tribes live, though they constantly have trouble with Splugorth raids.

Note: The classes of the Congo: Cavemen and Pygmies!

Agogwe are small, hair covered humanoids who are surprisingly quick and agile, nothing like the hunched, slow moving australophithecine plainsmen imagined by pre-Rifts scientists.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Part Fifteen: "Agogwe are small, hair covered humanoids who are surprisingly quick and agile, nothing like the hunched, slow moving australophithecine plainsmen imagined by pre-Rifts scientists."

The Congo

By which they mean "the Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, and the northern half of Zaire". Anyway, it's reverted to wild jungle and wilderness! Pretty much of Africa has, anyway. However, there are also death weaver spiders, werepanthers, and werewolves which are a constant threat with other monsters. Most people stay away from it because it's so monster-rich, but there's some communities - the pygmies, tree people, and agogwe. We'll get those in a moment, but first, a Millennium Tree!

The Ancient Father
- Millennium Tree

Yes, the congo has a Millennium Tree, which the locals believe is the first tree ever. Pygmies have their own Millennium Druids which keep the tree secret and stuff. We're referred to Rifts® World Book Four: England , once again, for all that hippy magic tree crap.

The Jungle People R.C.C.
Pygmy - Optional Player Character

Siembieda gets the blame for most of the art here, too...

Yep. An R.C.C., see, because they're ethnic - oh, Palladium Books® - for the Pygmy people of the Congo. Granted, this is a oversimplification, as "Pygmy" actually covers a number of different groups, and might be considered pejorative by some... anyway, they're formed into tribes "from 3d4 x 10 to 2d6 x 100". Why bother having random rolls if you have to choose one? Oh well.

Anyway, they have kings, queens, councils of elders, and shamans instead of medicine men. They're a bit xenophobic and fear supernatural creatures in general, except for the tree people, who they're close allies with. They see the agogwe as sacred jungle spirits to protect, and the agogwe occasionally help them out in return. Mind, we've gone quickly from "acceptable simplification" to "gross oversimplification", as these people apparently revert right back to enlightened primitivism after the Riftivization of their world.

So how are they as a class? Well, they get bonus P.P.E. because they're so natural , but only a spellcaster can actually make use of it. They get some lame save bonuses. Their attributes are "Same as any human; all 3d6 (with possible bonus dice rolls)." These bonus dice rolls are never detailed. Oh, and they all need to have a I.Q. and P.E. of 10, so you only have a 40% chance of rolling one. No idea what happens to the poor pygmies that don't make the cut.

They get very shitty skills (they're decent survivalists and good at nothing else), no special powers, and their equipment is terrible. They only have a 20% chance of starting with a basic equipment package, 20% chance of getting an M.D.C energy weapon, and no M.D.C. armor.

Congratulations, Jungle People R.C.C. You win the dubious title of "worst class in the game" , beating out even the Vagabond O.C.C. from the core book for sheer shittiness. Even their weapons only do 1d4 or 2d4 S.D.C. damage. Given the S.D.C. values of most animals, it's a these guys - supposedly some of the best hunters on the continent - will be lucky to bring down a fierce monkey.

Pygmy Shaman R.C.C.

They're like the medicine man or druid, but total garbage. Let's see, they get... low P.P.E., some minor bonuses, a lot of basic skills but not much skill choice, and... the ability to make charms and talismans. Talismans duplicate magic spells, and cost a big amount of P.P.E. to make, and lets you cast a spell twice a day. The list of spells is short and utilitarian, but there's practically nothing for combat. Then there's Charms, which give an ongoing spell effect, but are easier to make, providing a bunch of protective spells, but nothing that'll protect you from an M.D.C. bite or claw.

So yes, pygmies have to be the "mysterious people of the jungle", because they can't survive any conflict with the supernatural or technology. If they have a medicine man or priest, they could at least fight the supernatural, but they're just helpless compared to just about any other faction in the game so far. The fact that PCs are "offered" these "classes" is the worst part; somebody who chooses to be one of the "Jungle People" will struggle to be relevant even compared to the basic Wilderness Scout O.C.C. from the corebook.


Agogwe R.C.C.

Put your favorite joke about boners here.

Yes, these are supposed to be "australophithecine type humanoids" - ancestors to humanity - who somehow survived millions of years, survived secretly during human civilization, and are flourishing again thanks to no pollution .

They're a small, hairy people, and have tribes much akin to the other folk of Africa, though they don't get rain makers. They are peaceful, kind, timid, secretive people who are in perfect harmony and zzzzz-

- eh, wha? Oh, my, I think this book is literally trying to bore me to death. As a class... well, you roll for psionic powers. 60% chance of dinky psionic powers, 37% of an average spread of basic psionics, and 3% chance of being a massive psionic powerhouse. Better hope you roll well! They're a bit dim and ugly compared to humans, but they're stronger-willed, faster, and more energetic. They get bonuses initiative and against poisons and nightvision, and are solid survivalists but bad at anything else. You only get a 10% chance of an energy weapon or a basic spread of equipment, though. If you roll very, very lucky this could be a useful class, but for the most part they're only marginally better than the Jungle People. And-

[quote="Rifts® World Book Four: Africa"] Note: Agogwe fear magic and the supernatural. They can be easily bullied by practitioners of magic and supernatural beings and may worship them. They never use magic items.[/i]

- okay, no, fuck lucky rolls, these hominids are just plain shit. Also they all speak Gobblely for some fucking reason, even though there are no goblins or orcs around that get a mention, I have no idea.

Tree People R.C.C.

Confuse several species of lemur, instant R.C.C.!

All of a sudden this book jumps to eight-point font. In the first printings of this book, Kev forgot the Tree People, so they're literally jammed into later printings.

Like this.

They're basically D-Bees who are 3' lemur people who live in trees, and can glide from tree to tree. They often have medicine men and herbalists, but no priests or rain makers. Mostly they're happy hippie tree people but will fucking murder the shit out of you if you kill one of them, and go after slavers with a teeny fury. Though they have violent crime, they're peaceful and never war against each other and there's a lot of detail on how they deal with criminals for some reason, I guess so you can play COPS: Tree People of the Congo.

They're more curious than other Congo folk, and they're curious and sometimes steal things out of curiosity, and yeah, they're basically your halfling / kender sorts because they're childlike and innocent and zzz... NO I WILL NOT LET THIS BOOK KILL ME WITH ITS DULLNESS. They're sometimes helpful and are tolerant and we get like a whole page of this let's move on to the numbers.

10% get healing psionics, though it doesn't say which powers, they can sense supernatural evil, see in the dark, glide, and have prehensible feet... hold up. Prehensible feet ? You mean they can swing a hammer from every limb? Is this game even concerned about balance, what with four-hammer-wielding lemur people?

They get bonus charisma and speed, but have a slightly reduced strength, get a bonus attack per melee, speak a bunch of languages (including Gobblely and Euro, bizarrely), and are gymnastic little survivalist fuckers, but have sucky skills. They only get a 10% chance of having a mega-damage weapon, and are just kind of lousy as well. I have no idea how they chase the Splugorth slavers at all like they're supposed to. (Mega-damage armor and scales means Ewok tactics are more humorous than heroic.)

The last of the shitty Congo-based classes is over and we can get back to actually discussing Africa.

Next: The rest of Africa! Plus: what makes Africans happy!

These bold and proud people sometimes see this as a reason to take cattle away from other people, especially those not indigenous to Africa (like the white man and D-Bees).

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Part Sixteen: "These bold and proud people sometimes see this as a reason to take cattle away from other people, especially those not indigenous to Africa (like the white man and D-Bees)."


Though a forgotten wilderness, there aren't many humans here on account of all the monsters. There are peaceful tribes of adarok flying mountains (it refers us to Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis for those).

We got a lot of detail on the Lalibela churches built into a mountain, though nobody seems to live there, they're mysteriously kept clean by an unknown force. They're said to contain portals to hell and Wormwood, which is presented as DUN DUN DUN moment, but since we don't know what Wormwood is yet, it falls a bit flat. We also get a short bit on the river Omo; It's a big river and has lots of animals etc.

The East African Plateau

Bushlands, highlands, savanna, and wastelands. There's a lot of talk of rain, but we keep going.


There are people here, and there's a low-tech city of Kampala, which is nice to hear about a city that isn't filled with monsters. But we don't get much detail.

The Great Rift Valley
Kenya & Tanzania

First, it points out the Great Rift Valley has nothing to do with dimensional rifts. Oh, good. That's something of a relief. I was really worried Kevin was going to turn into a super-rift. It's a really big fissure, pretty neat, look it up. Bunch of Volcanoes around here.

The Serengeti & Masai Mara
Tanzania & Kenya

Huge plains, lots of talk about animals, the Masai raise cattle and hunt here. Also homo habilis was found here, "A cousin to the red haired Agogwe." We get some details on Mount Kenya as well (mole rats! mole shrew!).

East Africa

All the cities here were destroyed. Instead, there are tribes and tree people and agogwe. There's a large down named Mahenge in the coast.

The Swahili live on the coast and use traditional boats to fish, but towns tend to be small to avoid the notice of slavers from Atlantis and the Phoenix Empire. It's these raiders that apparently prevent modern cities or factories from being built, since they attract too much attention and get blowed up.

We get some details on lakes:
The Tribes of East Africa

We get a long list of tribal names, and then-

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

All in all, most of the east African tribes don't mind living off the land as they have thousands of years.

Just like the wild Kevin Siembieda is content to live as his ancestors have on manufactured foods and piped water like his predecessors have for decades, as many of the small tribes inhabiting the American Midwest do.

Apparently most tribes raise cattle, including the Masai. There's some unironic discussion about how they use every part of the cow or something like that. It notes that the Masai think that cattle are gifts from their god to them, so sometimes they'll take yours because they think it's theirs.

Other tribes fish, others trade with pirates and adventurers, etc.

Post Cataclysm Legends -
"The Great Change &
"Time of Spirits

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Most people indigenous to Lower Africa prefer the old ways, or as they say, "the way it has always been." They feel a spiritual closeness to nature, the land and their ancestors.

See, they haven't regressed, they like things this way!

It notes how the tribes avoided the destruction of the world because they don't live in cities, and they see magic as a blessing, but monsters as a curse.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

The legend goes on to tell how "the people" were never really happy with the big cities and the ways of the Europeans that damaged and scarred the land. The Great Change allowed them to go back to the ways of their forefathers and they have lived in peace and contentment for many generations since.

Ugh, white guilt + hippie fandom = double augh. This is hardly new; Palladium books like Erick Wujick's Mutants Down Under and Mutants of the Yucatan similarly fetishized local populations, forgetting that people are people and trouble is trouble no matter where you go or however much you'd like to idealize it.

How boring huge sections of Rifts® Africa must be to adventure in! "Oh, look, another happy tribe that's self-sufficient and content and doesn't need any help from anyone ever. Screw this adventuring crap, I'm just going to set down here and raise a cow." No wonder the Four Horsemen were added; without them and the Phoenix Empire, there'd practically be no conflict at all in the setting!

My objections aside, Mombasa and Zanzibar got swallowed up by the sea for the most part, and what remains has a bunch of bird-themed monsters perched all over it.

Strange Creatures of Uganda,
Keyana & Tanzania

It brings up the tsetse fly, which carries disease, and it suggests using the same disease rules as uh, the Pestilence Horseman. And there's the honeyguides, birds that are used to help locate beehives and honey. They're a thing.

Southern Zaire, Zambia & Angola

Most of these are uninhabited, but there are still a lot of people about. For some reason it goes on and on about the mineral deposits here, even though there are no mines here. Also, there are gorillas, who are protected by the adorak flying mountains ( Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis , again).

The City of Taunak

Then we have the City of Taunak, which is a city maded up of renegade tautons, crocodilians, and other non-humans, and "Kongamato bat-people", whatever those are. (They are not detailed in the book - see later.) They try and keep themselves secret because they're really worried about the Gods of Darkness. Theu generally force visitors into slavery or death, but they might allow travelers that somehow prove themselves worthy.

Southern Africa
Namibia & Botswana

There aren't many people here! Then we get some specific places.

Pyramid of Mystery

This is a mysterious new pyramid build after the cataclysm in Namibia, and it's defended by the undead and has a throne in the center with jackal-headed statues. Otherwise, it is as titled

The Kalahari Desert

Yep, It's a desert.

The Kalahari Oasis

This is a oasis inhabited by the Buntu, though it's a greedy rain maker named Iulus who rules as its king (with a dar'ota / succubus wife). He's a jerk who robs travelers and fucks with the locals because he can.

South Africa

Most of this place got wrecked, but there are some cattle herders and fishermen. There are also a number of supernatural predators here.

And that's all! We have the Phoenix Empire coming up, but even counting that, of a 160-page book, only 15 are dedicated to discussing Africa as a region.

Wildlife of Africa

There's a long list of Africa's fauna, but it mostly just refers us to Monsters & Animals for the Palladium RPG for stats. We get full stats for wildebeests, cape buffalo, lions, leopards, and crocodiles.

It notes that a wildebeest "may even attack a vehicle or giant robot". Mind, according to the the rules, the wildebeest can't harm or even nudge either, so not really seeing any reason to be concerned for your average gang of misfit murderhobos.

Monsters of Africa

Sphinxes like the deserts, worms of taut are all over the north, manticores sometimes team up with lions for hunting, madagascar has gryphons and harpies, and dragons are everywhere and sometimes take over a village or nation. Then we finally get some Africa-specific monsters instead of mostly just raiding Europe's monster closet for fauna:


This is treated as two monsters: the erythrusuchus (erythrosuchus, actually, if spelled right), which is a 16' lizard-like reptile, and massospondylus, a 15' prosauropod (ancestors to brontosaurus, etc.). The former is a mild mega-damage predator, the latter is mostly harmless.

Kongamato Giant Bat People

This is a legend of a giant bat, which is due to a vampire intelligence trying to settle down in Africa a long time ago. Which contradicts what we read about them living in the the City of Taunak, but hell, I'm sure with three editors there's something I'm missing that explains it all.


These are small, dark-skinned humanoids with big noses, white eyes, white hair, and white beards. They're friends to the animals but hate humans, and often do all sorts of things to fuck with humans or revenge what people have done to animals, but they're timid and act indirectly.

They're actually pretty tough mega-damage creatures, can change into owls, and have psionic powers (tending towards empathic powers). Oh, and they live for 2000 years, in case it ever comes up.

Demonic Cannibals

They look kind of like people, only with sharp teeth and mouths on their fingertips. They can morph into various humanoid shapes, though, as well as vultures, and they're evil and eat people, of course. They also often kidnap children and trick them into becoming its minions.

Though they're mega-damage, they're only barely so (they have an average of 22 M.D.C.), and can speak any language and see in the dark. Oh, and they live for 1000 years, in case it ever matters.

Next: The Phoenix Empire and Rama-Set .

Even he can not envision what incredible advancement and enlightenment might result from the destruction of a thousand worlds. All he knows is that he must make it happen.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Part Seventeen: "Even he can not envision what incredible advancement and enlightenment might result from the destruction of a thousand worlds. All he knows is that he must make it happen."

The Phoenix Empire


It's literally been mentioned dozens of times, but what is it? Well, it's full of evil evilness, mostly. It covers Egypt, Libya, Chad, and Sudan. And then, we get a listing of percentages which are supposed to give us some idea of the population (the biggest populations are generic D-Bees, Gargoyles/Gurgoyles, Orcs, and Tautons). It also has a bunch of slaves, which are chiefly D-Bees, humans, orcs, and goblins.

Remember Rama-Set? It turns out he's a pharaoh and necromancer, and he founded the Empire 132 years ago. Most of the free population is monsters, and most humans are enslaved, continuing the (seemingly arbitrary) pro-monster, anti-human sentiment we saw back in Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis . Most of the slaves do all the labor, while the monsters... well, it's not clear what the monsters do. Presumably they busy themselves with whatever.

Who in Africa can stop the Phoenix Empire? Oh, Noone.

The Phoenix Empire has trade relations with "monster kingdoms in Arabia, the Middle East, the blood druids of France (even though they are predominantly humanoids), Atlantis, and even supply weapons and equipment to the monsters in Europe against the New German Republic." But why? Well, they're all monsters, duh. In Rifts, for whatever reason, even though they're a bunch of backstabbing, selfish gits, evil monsters find reason to team up like the Injustice League.

To be fair, Atlanteans tend to find the Phoenix Empire kind of overly focused on the whole "death and destruction" bit, and even Splynncryth thinks Rama-Set is cuckoo, but is glad he rallies similar nutjobs to his flag and "keeps all the madmen in one, easy to observe, area." It turns out Splynncryth is actually all sorts of against the whole "let the Four Horsemen destroy the world" plan that Rama-Set seems well, set on. But he only is helping secretly so he can keep good relations with the nutjob.

The Empire is full of necromancy, and often skeletons and zombies are used as manual labor and servants. There are all sorts of evil monsters who love it here, and they also have domesticated some of the worms o' Taut to serve as their pets.

The Law in the Phoenix Empire

Basically, it mostly goes on about how humans (and human-like races) are treated as secondary citizens... because. No real justification is given, much like Atlantis. What's more, you get sentences like:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Handsome humanoids learn quickly that is is better to not agravate a situation by going to the law.

Why would a mind slug or gremlin consider a human "handsome"? Wouldn't they have a standard of beauty all their own? And in a community where you have ogres, goblins, lizard men, ghouls, gargoyles, orcs, giants, and other humanoids, why would humans be singled out? Because they're natives to Earth? Are they blamed for the general asshattery of the Atlanteans? Do they because they have the "adventurer gene"? It's not really explained, and really betrays just how Saturday Morning the thinking behind Rifts® is at times. After all, we get lines like:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Non-humans of a good alignment are only one step above humans.

How would they even know what alignment somebody is? There's the Sense Evil spell, at least, but that only detects supernatural evil like demons and their ilk. It won't necessarily let you know what alignment a dragon or gargoyle is.

In any case, sometimes monsters hire themselves as representatives to secondary citizens who can can then act as go-betweens and bribe-presenters for a price, of course. Corruption is rampant, and these reps are often just another layer of such.

Rama The City of Doom
City Highlights

Why is it called the the "City of Doom"?

Anyway, it's a scummy place with all sorts of slaaaves and druuugs and criiime. Humans are sold like cattle and also et . It has "totem poles" and ledges for flying monsters to land on, because they like that.

Stockade Street

This is full of business that provide "representative" businesses to humanoids, and then there's a bunch of stockades for human prisoners to be tormented and mocked. There's also the Halls of Set, which are courts which mainly seem to proscribe torture a lot.

The Tree of Sorrows

It's a Millennium Tree that they've tortured and wrecked... because! Why not. I mean, it's beneficial and full of magic, but they destroy it because it's gooood. They make corrupted items out of it, but it is deliberately refusing to heal itself to try and spite them.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

The Pharaoh believes the tree to be near death's door which pleases him despite losing its magic resources.


Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Pharaoh Rama-Set sees the giant tree as a monument to chaos, death, and his indomitable power. Human slaves see it as a symbol of their captivity and defeat. The tree's name was given to it by the millions of slaves who suffer under the yoke of oppression. The Pharaoh thought it was a very fitting name and made it official.


Demons guard it so that nobody who is goooood gets near it, though they've gotten so lazy that there is a secret sect of Millennium Druids who sneak in to show it kindness. It can still use its powers, but it's weak and keeps it a secret.

And that's all we get on the City of Doom. Amount of dooms actually located at the City of Doom: 0.

Troops and Defenders of the Phoenix Empire

There are 7,488 troops in the Phoenix army. No more, no less, apparently. But apparently this can be bolstered by citzen soldiers, bandit allies, "minions of the dark god", mercenaries, animated dead, etc. So it's really more like 30,000. So why have that specific number to start with?

It refers us to Rifts® Conversion Book .

Demon Troops

Yeah, somehow they get the most backstabbing, unloyal creatures in the Megaverse to line up and form an army. Yeah, I dunno how. They all get 100 M.D.C. body armor from eh, somewhere.

Then we get:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Typical Division of Legion
Each division has 144 troops with the following breakdown:

5% Alu
5% Dar'ota (succubus)
5% Dybbuk ...

Wait. If we know there are 144 troops to a legion, then why does it use percentiles ? Wouldn't that just be a number? Why the fuck? What's 5% of 144? Does that mean there's 7.2 Dar'ota in every legion? How does that make any bit of fucking sense-

Okay, okay, I know it's a stupid nitpick. Siembieda loves throwing in percentile numbers to the point of farce. So there are there are 28.8 magots in each legion. Each has 1d4 x 1000 M.D.C.! That's like 72,000 M.D.C. of monster per legion. Somehow they get elementals to sign up in their army, even though they're supposed to be alien true neutral fuckers who don't give a fuck about fuckin' anything, and NnnnENNNNGHhhhennnnnGHHHHH-

Monster Slave Troops

This is a smaller army of 2016 slave troops who are about as loyal as their feet can take them. We get a bunch of percentages and small unit layouts and you do not care.

The Legion of Ghouls

This is an army of forcibly conscripted ghouls and undead zombies.

"Stop chewing on that bone! You're in this man's army now!" "Buwuh?"

It has 2016 troops, just like the monster slaves. Why? 14 divisions of 144 troops is why! Apparently none of them ever fall under or over that number. For being all about death and chaos, Rama-Set does like a tidy line of zombies.

The Legion of Worms

Yep. Worm armies. Apparently they use serpent beasts to keep the rest in line, but mostly it's worms they throw at people and watch them go berzerk.

No idea how many, though. There is three "legions" of troops, apparently. That's confusing. Wouldn't that make it Legions of Worms? Editing!

The Legion of Dead

These are animated dead. It's not clear how many or who commands them. Jerks, probably.

The Weapons of the Phoenix Empire

Phoenix Power Armor

This is basically the T-21 Hopper Power Armor from Rifts® Sourcebook (see my review for that), only upsized in a variety of sizes for ogres, trolls, gurgoyles, etc. It's made by the Kittani of Atlantis and sold as a second-rate power armor, and the Phoenix Empire has built a factory to make more.

It notes that human-sized minions just use the T-21 Hopper Power Armor. I'm curious how the Phoenix Armor is buying Triax power armor, given that the New German Republic and the Phoenix Empire are complete enemies, but an answer will never come.

Phoenix Sand Skimmer & Sand Crawler

Is it coming or going?

It skims as it crawls ? Geez, just settle on a name.

This is a mysterious design produced by the Phoenix Empire that may be a pre-Rifts Triax design or a pre-Rifts Israeli design. Their big notable feature is that they have nanotech that... cleans sand out of the machine.

It goes nearly MACH 1, has a pulse laser that does average damage, mini-missles (of course), a utility arm that can do punches, and it can ram people. It also gives some pretty big combat bonuses, including a bonus attack (?) and +6 to dodge.

The Phoenix Sand Crawler

You're sure this isn't a very lost Mechanoid?

Wait, wasn't that last one the Sand Crawler, too? Nomenclature is confusing. And editing is harrrd. No flavor text, so let's go straight to the stats.

It's a bit tougher than the Skimmer/Crawler. "Travelling at two feet above the ground makes the craft invisible to most radar systems (85%)." Man, you can make a gun that can shoot through a mountain but can't make radar that can notice a 15' vehicle going 200 MPH in a desert? Figures. Also it can use its little fin on the bottom to dig into the sand and hide from radar (?!). It comes with a plethora of weapons, including a double-barrel pulse cannon that does solid damage, lasers that do dinky damage, and an ion blaster that does average damage. It can also ram and poke with its little claw. In addition, it has a sensor system including fancy seismic sensors.

Robot Spy Wing

Robot cameras are essential to dystopian states.

A fragile little flying bot that goes up to 140 MPH and takes pictures. No flavor text or details.

Weapons of Note

These are a bunch of Kittani weapons reprinted from Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis , you can check my review there if you're dying for the (boring) details.

Pharaoh Rama-Set

Get them, my mummy minions!... any day now...

You know a character is going to have a dull demeanor when the first sentence starts out like this.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

The Pharaoh is quite insane.

Well, shit, no need to give him character. As you may have guessed by now, he's obsessed with:
He worships Anubis and Set and so they help him out with his "generic villainry" hobby. He's constantly trying to "start the fire", unlike Billy Joel, and so supports a lot of monster groups in the region to go and fite them some humans. Alternately, sometimes he supports two different sides of a conflict, like Destro.

On account of him, Set is trying to take control the Gargoyle Empire in Europe (more on them in Rifts® World Book Five: Triax and the NGR ), and he's the main reason the Gods of Darkness have set up shop here.

Also he's a Chiang-Ku dragon! (Sigh- Rifts® World Book Three: England ) You may wonder why he walks around looking like a human, especially since most folks close to him know he's a dragon. We'll get to that in a bit.

The History of Rama-Set

Yes, this is a psuedo-Chinese dragon in psuedo-pharaoh gear.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Rama-Set came to Earth 8000 years ago during its second magic epoch (this is Earth's third and greatest epoch of magic).

EDITING. I know what they mean, but... it took me a moment...

When Rama-Set first arrived he was known as Lo Li. He settled in China with his "casual friend", Lo Fung, another Chiang-Ku dragon. Presumably they settled there out of the amazing coincidence that they didn't have to change their names there, lawl. One day Lo Fung noticed that Lo Li was getting all bummed out about war and death, and then seven centuries later, he vanished!

Then, around WWII, Lo Fung hears that Lo Li is involved with the Nazis, but he's like "that's ridiculous". Then Fung runs into Li a little while later who is like "hey, did you hear about that Nazi thing? That was great." Lo Li is obsessed with how fast technology advanced during the war, and came to the conclusion that human advancement is tied to chaos and destruction and is like "THIS ATOM BOMB THING IS GONNA BE... THE BOMB!"

Well, he didn't exactly say that, but I'm trying to spice shit up a bit here. To be fair I actually kind of like an immortal being trying to drive human advancement by heaping disasters on them. That would be kind of neat! But that's where not where this is headed. No. It's time to get... boring.

Lo Fung, of course, thought he was nuts, but Lo Li became a "voyeur of violence". When Lo Li predicted the cataclysm and the coming of the Rifts, he was like "you gotta come to my end of the world party bro" and so Lo Fung goes to his party and Lo Li is all delighted to see the world semi-ending and Lo Fung is horrified-

- and then, only then, like, after centuries of having Lo Fung argue with him over this shit, Lo Li is like "Oh shit, Lo Fung really isn't down with this whole apocalypse thing, I'm gonna have to kill him someday." Lo Li, good at apocalypses, bad at reading people.

Anyway they survive the Rifts, and Lo Li goes and comes to the realization that the multiverse will SUPER ADVANCE once he kills a THOUSAND WORLDS. It's an underpants gnome kinda plan. Speaking of which, he builds the Phoenix Empire sometime after that. Somehow. Presumably he takes out a loan or something, I don't know.

It's Rama-Set who has summoned the Four Horsemen, though he knows they're not team players and so he can't help them directly, since they'll just kill anybody. He thinks the Phoenix Empire will be spared (it won't), but he's sending his thugs after anybody that tries to stop them. He's also put out rewards for the heads of Fang-Lo or Abkii the Defiant, who are other Chiang-Ku dragons that had passing mentions in Rifts World Book Three: England .

Oh, and he takes human form because humans are the ones that inspired him on his "blow up a thousand worlds" plan. Thanks, Rama-Set, you enormous shit dragon. Oh, and his real name turns out to be "Tor Li".

We have numbers! He's surprisingly reserved for an NPC so far, with only 2000 M.D.C. as an adult dragon. He can also turn into any animal of cat-size or bigger... or mist. Which he can stay indefinitely. "Ha ha, bet you thought you could kill me, now I am mist forever , get them minions!" He has magic tattoos ( Atlantis ), minor psionics, is a 7th Level Necromancer, and... he has access to the "Elixir of Power and Deceit".

Combat-wise he's a bit of a dork. His action figure comes with a sand skimmer, and here's the last word on him:

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: Rama-Set is a master of disguise (metamorphosis and alter aura). He is an excellent strategist and tactician, alert, cunning, quick thinking, resourceful, merciless, deadly and a masterful liar. He's become crazier, meaner, and more maniacal with every passing year!

Next: The Gathering of (foreign) Heroes!

It is possible that Isis' affiliation with the characters will make the entire group the enemies of Set and his minions. Who knows, they may end up fighting gods!

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Part Eighteen: "It is possible that Isis' affiliation with the characters will make the entire group the enemies of Set and his minions. Who knows, they may end up fighting gods!"

The Gathering of Heroes
Non-Player Characters of Note

Begin the pet NPC parade!

Katrina Sun - Line Walker &
Worshipper of the Gods of Light

She's superhumanly good-looking because, uh, she's Isis , but Set made a microbe with the help of a Splugorth, and this microbe infects gods, and she has amnesia, because of a microbe, and thinks she's Katrina Sun, because of a microbe! So now she thinks she's a mundane wizard and worshipper of, um, herself .

Even though every time she looks in the mirror she's staring at somebody with a Physical Beauty of 27. Or when she gets shot she has thousands of M.D.C. Or occasionally she'll activate her psionic powers and is like "oh it must have been the gods". She is absolutely insufferable with this amnesia crap, and comes across as the most obnoxious and special GMPC.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

In the heat of battle Katrina might even start to say things like, "By the gods! Now you shall feel the might of ..." Her words trail off without a name. After these strange and frightening events happen, she may burst into tears and run off to be alone for awhile.

To be fair, it does come with a reminder to not let her dominate the action, but damn, it sure seems hard for her not to. It does suggest you can further reduce her powers if necessary, but... then goes on how she might be affected by the "anti-god microbe" for centuries or decades and that she could be a regular supporting NPC for your group and what great adventures you could have with Katrina Sun and

Oh, and the Gods of Light will take a year of Isis being missing before searching for her. Some pals, huh? It points out Set has considered just killing her while she's weak, but hopes that the Four Horsemen will win and that she'll be traumatized. "A far sweeter revenge than simple murder." Revenge for what ? Isis is the one that wants revenge on Set , not the other way around.

Stat-wise, she has literally half the numbers of her godly form, and is a "mere" 15th level ley line walker with 6,000 M.D.C. Oh, and she has a special rare pegasus she can fly around on, whee.

Erin Tarn

If Kevin can reuse art, I can too.

Aw, fuck.

Erin Tarn is genuinely kind of interesting in that she represents Kevin Siembieda's more highfalutin' desire for Rifts® to be more than its toyetic, powergamey surface. Instead of being some ridiculous asskicker, the core hero he first puts forth as the voice of the setting is an elderly woman in her sixties who just knows stuff.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

She is intelligent, inquisitive, observant, quick thinking, resourceful, modest, gentle, compassionate, selfless, and always concerned about others. She is a dynamic and strong-willed woman driven by an insatiable curiosity and indomitable lust for life.

The problem is that she's described often in a "tell, don't show" sort of way. We're repeatedly told how respected, clever, and knowledgeable she is, but her wanderings are a litany of obviously bad decisions in the earlier introductions to other books. Frankly, if you pay attention to her actual actions and not the descriptions, she often comes off as a bit daft.

And, of course, the fact she's an old lady is supposed to surprise people so she can be

She's a 14th level Rogue Scholar, and has a M.E. of 24 and an M.A. of 24; even excepting her other high attributes, only 0.006% of human PCs would be able to roll such a combination. She can also use magic scrolls, even though she's not a spellcaster, which is odd, because even most Rifts® mages suck at it, with only a 10-40% chance of success. (Hell, Rifts® mentions magic scrolls, but never gives clear rules for them anyway.) A tree gave her a special healing wand to use too!... mostly, though, she's completely hapless in a fight, and is maximized towards knowing stuff and impressing people.

Not honestly as bad as I was fearing, but still fairly self-indulgent.

Sir Winslow Thorpe
Erin Tarn's Cyber-Knight Protector

Your usual native companion.

It's Erin Tarn's Native American bodyguard. He may be a descendant of James Thorpe ? Maybe. He sees their stumbling fumbling adventures as the "work of fate". He's trying to be a good face for the Cyber-Knights abroad, and has been a big strategist in fighting monsters, but he's mostly concerned with Erin Tarn. In fact, he's more concerned about protecting her than saving the world, which I suppose is stupidly sweet. Emphasis on "stupid".

He's a 9th level Cyber-Knight, and like Erin Tarn, has a ridiculously unrollable collection of stats. He has a bunch of anti-vampire stuff, a bionic horse given to him by King Arr'thuu, and a "rune flail named Isabart Wind." given to him by Lord Coake. It's a magic flail that does more damage against the undead and can cast a few air spells.

He's just a dull guy who's supposed to be a big hero type, mostly.

Victor Lazlo

The parapsychologist that doesn't play by the rules!

Shit. This is the guy that gave us shitty in-world terms like P.P.E. (Potential Psychic Energy) and I.S.P. (Inner Strength Points). He (re)discovered ley lines and magic in the 1980s, as well as psychic powers, and then he found out about monsters! And then they laughed him out of the university. It should also be noted writeup was missing from the first printing of Rifts Africa , so it got put into future editions in teeny-weeny eyestrain print like the Tree People. He also gets reprinted only a few books later in Rifts® Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks .

However, he got a bunch of fringe folks that formed a society around his findings. When he vanished through a rift Indian mound Native American mound (?), his society then become The Lazlo Agency, who fought monsters for 50 years, and then the rifts killed them all, so why are we talking about them?! I dunno! Apparently they were a big deal.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

DISCLAIMER: Victor Lazlo is not a real person. His life, ley lines, monsters, magic and theories presented in this and other Palladium titles are all fictional. References to magic and the supernatural as being "real" are elements of the fictional world of Rifts . Victor Lazlo was first introduced in the role-playing game Beyond the Supernatural .

Oh, shut up .

The Victor Lazlo of Rifts Earth

From a serpent mound in Ohio, Lazlo was sent to FUTURE GERMANY. He found out his books were a big deal now that magic was out there, but believed this was his homeworld until he met his old friend, Lo Fung. Remember him? I guess they knew each other back in the 80s and popped their collars all the time .

He has a love-hate relationship with the New German Republic. He's all for their "protect all humans" policies but against their "beat all non-humans" policies. So he goes up to the NGR government offices and winks and says like, "Hey, I'm that famous guy who wrote all those books four hundred years ago." and they promptly throw him in the looney bin. It looks like he hasn't gotten much smarter since the corebook.

So he escaped and joined an underground organization of subversives who educate and protect D-Bees, psychics, and wizards from the evil New German Republic. And now he's in Africa, ready to fight monsters that are like ten thousand times out of his weight class!... not the smartest, no.

He's a 12th level Parapsychologist, which isn't a class in Rifts®, but is from Beyond® the® Supernatural® . He has some dinky psionic sensitive powers he can't control, special skills to recognize and identify supernatural stuff that nobody else in Rifts® gets. Supposedly he can do ritual magic, but with his P.P.E. of 19, he's not going to be slinging many spells. Though he's just a dinky combatant, and he's a knowing-stuff machine.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Note: See Beyond the Supernatural for 20th Century skills or fake it.

Well, this book has already referred to mechanics in the core rules,
Rifts® World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms, Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis, Rifts® World Book Three: England, Rifts® Sourcebook, Rifts® Conversion Book, Villains Unlimited, Monsters & Animals, and the Palladium RPG . So why not throw in a tenth book ? Why not just throw in Beyond the Supernatural ? At this rate I'm waiting for it to require fuckin'... Truckin' Turtles .

He has an Ulti-Max power armor, so he's just your average parapsychologist mecha pilot.

For some reason it goes on for quite some length that the NGR really wants him dead and will fuck up any PCs that are seen with him. They won't help against the Four Horsemen, though, so fuck the NGR, aka Reich Lite.

Lo Fung

Of course he knows martial arts!

Yeah, it's that guy from Rama-Set's background, who was friends with Lazlo, and tried to find our occult investigator after he vanished, but never did.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

When that failed, The Dragon became a key force in helping to maintain the underground network of psychics and arcanists founded by Victor, the infamous Lazlo Agency (see the Beyond the Supernatural supplement of the same name, available late 1993 or early '94).

Twenty years later and Lazlo Agency has never emerged, and thank goodness for that, lest we have an eleventh book to add to the list above.

Lo Fung likes humans, but feels responsible for Lo Li / Rama-Set being such tremendous dick and is seeking to stop him and the Four Horsemen. It points out even after the Four Horsemen are dealt with he'll be trying to stop Rama-Set, and the PCs can help him out with that! He'll want to be the one who kills Rama-Set once and for all. Much like Katrina Sun, there's a strange desire to force this NPC on PC groups, even though he's an adult dragon that outclasses PCs in every respect.

Speaking of which! He's got 2000 M.D.C., is a 15th level tattoo master (this is not an actual class), can shapeshift into a crazy number of crazy animals, some basic healing psionics, a ton of magic tattoos, knowledge of the Elixir of Power and Deceit, and some basic skills.

Also he is inscrutably and insufferably "oriental", as you may recall from the opening fiction... even though he's really from another dimension. Which makes him a poser, most likely.


Another Chiang-Ku dragon who has had visions of the Horsemen destroying everything and neeennnngh ho hum. She's just a hatchling, so she's much weaker than Lo Fung. She's a "5th level tattoo master", but has no magic tattoos (?), though she knows how to make them. Her statblock is so abbreviated it just lists "Standard R.C.C. Skills". There is no such thing.

Abkii The Defiant

He's supposed to be a big deal, and he's a swingin' Chiang-Ku dragon hatchling who likes fights and fucking. Well. The book says "make love", but I get the picture. He likes defending the weak and having epic adventures which are not detailed. He's a "6th level tattoo master and warrior", and has "standard R.C.C." skills. If Siembieda didn't care enough to stat him out, why would I care to read about him?

The Crocodile God

A croc of shit.

And it's the last of the Egyptian gods tucked in at the back of the book. He's mostly just a selfish, smug jerk who's always out to get the upper hand. Both the Gods of Light and Gods of Darkness hate him pretty well, on account of his general dickishness.

He's mostly just in this section because he's trying to get back at the Gods of Darkness and their "let the Four Horsemen blow up the world" plan. He's got all the deific crap, but is a lower-tier god, he gets mind-whammy psionic powers, and a lot of counterspell and travel kinda magic. He also has a crocodile staff (natch) that's a greatest rune weapon that's also a soul drinker. Oh, and he has a Boom Gun. "He got himself one because Anhur has one." Cute.

Oh, and have you noticed what I noticed? Three Americans (one from another god). Three "Oriental" dragons (actually from another dimension). Two Egyptian gods (actually from another dimension). Ten or less English knights. Yes, that means there are no African representatives detailed at the "Gathering of Heroes". But that's not surprising. Only one African has been detailed so far in the course of this book, Iulus Nemen, and he's a villain without aa statblock. For the most part, Africans are left faceless and nameless, idealized but never actually allowed to be important.

Next: The End of Africa.

Even those on Earth don't know about the arrival of the Four Horsemen, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there are some True Atlanteans counted among the heroes.

posted by Alien Rope Burn Original SA post

Rifts World Book 4: Part Nineteen: "Even those on Earth don't know about the arrival of the Four Horsemen, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there are some True Atlanteans counted among the heroes."

Encounter and Adventure Ideas

The book provides some ideas for encounters.

But what about the core plot of the book? I mean, it's never been covered - you can only really intuit it. Oh, here it is! In the very back!

The Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse

Where did the Four Horsemen
appear in Africa?

It says you can put them wherever, but suggests:
It points out that the Four Horsemen are drawn to Giza because it's full of magic and because their best bud and summoner Rama-Set is there. It also points out that they might meander around just causing trouble for awhile and won't beeline for Giza.

Also, their presence will cause a lot of disasters and troublemakers to spring up, and Rama-Set will specifically be sending thugs after any heroes trying to stop them.

Some Specific Elements
Story ideas for the Pharaoh

In case you haven't gotten your fill of him yet. More Rama-Set!

Armageddon Lost

If the Four Horsemen lose out, Rama-Set is going to go into a deep funk for months, and then he'll seek revenge against whomever responsible.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

His quest for cosmic enlightenment ruined, he will become even more cruel and dangerous than ever!

Demons from the Past

Lo Fang is likely to try and foil Rama-Set, though Victor Lazlo is likely to go back to the NGR and foil monster plots there.

A Great Returning Villain

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa posted:

Pharaoh Rama-Set can be a marvelous, continuing or reoccurring villain

Ugh, no thanks, I've had enough. We get XP tables for the classes and we're done.

Rifts® World Book Four: Africa may indeed be the worst book for the line, though I say that not having looked over all 80+ books in the game line. Why?
Are there good things? Well...
And that's it. Here, enjoy this musical palate cleanser .

Next: I bury this book back on the shelf for a good long time.