Rifts World Book 5: Triax and the NGR by Alien Rope Burn
One would spawn six more, and from those six, another dozen.Original SA post
Yeah, you don't need to educate me on that particular game line, because it's time for
Rifts FATAL & Friends Review Book 11
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR posted:
Look, it's time for me to level with you, Rifts .
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR posted:
Violence and the Supernatural
There's also profanity.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR posted:
This book may be inappropriate for young readers.
The word "shit" is used later on in this book.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR posted:
The fictional world of Triax & the NGR is violent, deadly, and filled with supernatural monsters. Other-dimensional beings, often referred to as "demons", torment, stalk, and prey on humans. Other alien life forms, monsters, gods, and demi-gods, as well as magic, insanity, and the supernatural are all present.
I wasn't put off by your bad math, fascist apologism, or romantic racism, Rifts ...
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR posted:
Some parents may find the violence and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.
... but now you have exposed me to a four-letter word.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR posted:
Note that Rifts, Triax and all our role-playing games are works of fiction! NONE of the monsters, characters, magic, or depictions are real. None of us at Palladium Books condone nor encourage the occult, the practice of magic, the use of drug, or violence.
I can never be pure again.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 1: "One would spawn six more, and from those six, another dozen."
So, Mr. Siembieda informs us this is a long-delayed book, but goes into his usual assertion that the longer a book is delayed, the better it must be! Apparently it was envisioned as a short project (ha ha) but they had too many ideas (of course). And, of course, he wouldn't even think of editing them out . So we're going to see a sequel book called Mindwerks that has the rest of the European material that didn't fit in here. It's noted here as "NGR Sourcebook 1" but will see publication as "Rifts Sourcebook 3" instead.
Really, though, this book is the baby of Kevin Long . He worked for well over six months on the art, and it shows - if you've enjoyed his armor, mecha, and vehicle designs in my previous reviews, this is a feast. It's really his swan song on the line - though he'll do work on later books, none will have the sheer amount of dedication he shows on this book. I hope you folks like robots! Because it is time for all the robots .
But does it have enough guns?
We also get a schedule of future books! Here's what's listed, and when they actually came out:
Rifts Conversion Book Two:
Pantheons of the Megaverse: Listed for April 1994. Published on time.
Listed for May 1994. Published in July 1994.
Listed for "early summer" of 1994. Published in August 1994.
Rifts South America:
Listed for "late summer" of 1994. Published in October 1994.
Rifts Dimension Book II: Phase World:
Listed for "fall/winter". Published in December 1994.
Rifts Anthology Novel:
Listed as "being compiled" in 1994, but
Tales of the Chi-Town Burbs
would not see publication until
fourteen years later in 2008
So we can see Palladium actually stuck to most of their dates back then. How did they do it? Well, most of their books that hit their dates all have one name that's coming up in the very near future for Rifts : CJ Carella. But not just yet. This is a double-Kevin joint, and it's time to breathe deep.
Next: Erin Tarn eats sauerkraut.
They are clean faces but not all are smiling.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 2: "They are clean faces but not all are smiling."
The New German Republic through the eyes of Erin Tarn
Compiled from letters by Erin Tarn
Fall, 103 PA
Letters to whom? Sent how? We don't have a mail service in this world! Well, those questions will go unanswered. Instead, we're looking back into the Tarnoscope again to get a Tarn's-Eye-View on things. This takes place in the same year after her bumbling about in Rifts World Book Four: Africa (adventuring is a strong word to use for what she does). Certainly, the world doesn't seem to have been destroyed by the Horsemen, so that's a thing.
They arrive from the Mediterranean into southern Europe, and she's shocked that the wilderness isn't filled with monsters. It's not really clear who she's traveling with, but she isn't alone, at least. They get harassed by the occasional monster, but only run into gargoyle soldiers once. At one point near the spooky Black Forest they get assaulted by a "tectonic entity made of leaves, sticks, and stones". Look out, adventurers, it might knock on your armor and ask nicely to actually be able to bash your head in with a rock!
As they go north, they run into signs of battles. Some are "the size of a football stadium". I'm not sure your audience knows what football is, Ms. Tarn. In any case, they saw lots of signs of warfare, but no actual warfare. Apparently the gargoyles wipe out communities they have no use for, so there weren't ruined villages - the were basically patches of rubble where villages once were. Yes, there's a war going on between the New German Republic and monstrous gargoyles, though that isn't really spelled out until the next section.
First off, before we even get to discussion of these villages, Tarn points out how hard the D-Bees have it. Apparently the NGR has turned their back on them, so sometimes they turn to thugs and despots for protection. It might suck under a superpowered dictator, but it seems to be preferable to being made into gargoyle lunchables. So, once again, we have points of light sort of thing around the NGR, where you have tiny kingdoms and villages, generally around 500 inhabitants... I... really? Anyway, they fight amongst themselves. Tarn points out some of them are as bad as the Coalition or the NGR when it comes to hating outsiders, and she flags irony on that. That's not really irony, actually.
I know a writer is using irony wrong, sound the alarm.
Or maybe I'm just too cynical to consider it irony.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Gypsies and bandits who prey upon demons and/or humans are frequently revered as heroes.
Gypsies? Ut-oh In any case, many D-Bees consider both the NGR and Gargoyles bad guys. Tarn feels super-bad, because in America, humans and non-humans can coexist, and on Wormwood, she was hunted by the Unholy, but could find common ground with humans their allies. But near the NGR, people are likely to presume she's an NGR citizen, and thusly a terrible oppressor. Basically, it's the first time she's been hated for her race by people she doesn't have any real reason to dislike, and she's extra double-plus depressed.
But things are gonna get better in the NGR!
Arrival to the New German Republic
Though there's no guardposts or patrols that showed she was in the NGR, the farmlands and the villages are clean and modernized that Tarn realized she was there. Even though she was just so frustrated by their policies, she goes on about how pretty it is. Kobernburg is the first place she visits, and even though everything is all like something out of Country Living , she learns the cobblestones and streetposts are actually made out of a high-tech ceramic. Wait, why would you make cobblestones out of ceramic in modern times, that's the most inane thing-
... so. Even though everything looks peaceful, she notices some giant robots marching around, as well as signs of communication dishes, people listening to headphones, hovercycles, etc. However, people were wary of Tarn as an outsider. (Granted, given the number of shapechanging monsters, I'm surprised they just let people in, humans or otherwise, without an internal organ check.) The food was very good, though!
The Military Base
Victor is still with them, though this is the first point that's established, so Tarn is nervous when a giant robot stops them. After all, Victor is a wanted man. Also famous. But after being led to the local military base, she's surprised to see that it doesn't seem like much, but it turns out most of the facility is actually underground.
Victor uses some fake papers and some fake racism to get them past the checkpoint. The local colonel gives them a brief tour, and Tarn is really impressed and says so. But when some soldiers salute the colonel, they drop a magazine, and there's an advert with a young woman dressed in only a Coalition flag and holding a copy of one of Erin Tarn's book. The colonel is really apologetic, saying that it's become common to display Tarn as a naked blonde girl, and hopes they didn't offend her sensitive American eyes. Tarn is embarrassed beyond belief while Victor teases her.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
I am flabbergasted at my cult-figure status. It seems I am the Marilyn Monroe of the New German Republic, only more scholarly and more voluptuous (if you can believe that! Really!!).
Way to gild the lily, Siembieda, with another episode of "Everybody loves Erin!"
Erin wishes she wasn't an adventuring outlaw, so she could collect her royalties and be a rich superstar, but at heart she doesn't want to be famous. (And to be fair, it bears reminding her first book was published from her writings without her permission, so that fits.)
The Big City
I... this is a lot of Erin.
Some of the biggest cities turn out to still have pre-rifts buildings standing, though generally after being restored and repaired. Munich is the first one she visits, and it has some skyscrapers, but mostly is a sprawl combining many different architectural styles. Apparently Munich has as a lively atmosphere and a lot of touristy stuff to distract her, though she notices that Triax has one of its largest facilities here. There's a laundry list of everything she finds I'm mostly skipping. Oh, and most of the local transit is public transit and bikes. She stays here for three months (with what money?) and she really enjoys it.
City Gangs & The Unmutuals
Though crime is low, there are gangs, and Erin is extra-frowny at the idea of human supremacist gangs. Apparently these are softcore gangs compared to the hardcore crime in the Coalition States, and mostly just do petty crimes and vandalism. However, a number of gangs are actually underground political groups, like human supremacists, d-bee advocates, anarchists, hippies, etc. Victor has hooked up with one called the Unmutuals for Free Thought, who are actually really huge for gang, and has branches and imitators in other cities. The Unmutuals champion a vague sort of free thought, which apparently clashes with the NGR, who are... about... unfree... thought? It's implied that the NGR tries to control people in a fascist fashion, but doesn't really evidence it. In any case, the Unmutuals are part of the NGR's top most wanted groups, mainly because they champion d-bee rights (not that d-bees are allowed to join, apparently). Lazlo in particular is focused on trying to educate d-bees and protect them from the NGR and its citizens.
After saying this and giving all sorts of details, she notes she doesn't want to say any more for fear of risking them.
Honestly, this is probably the best of the Erin Tarn bits so far. It's clunky but actually is a bit nuanced, with a minimum of bumbling this time around. Of course, Erin sticks to her usual habit of writing in the most self-centered fashion - we barely get a peep about who she's actually travelling with, which feels kind of weird throughout. Don't worry, it's not that great. She'll be back to play a rousing game of Idiotball later.
Now, the only art in this section is used from other books or actually copied from later on in this same book, so let's start our special feature, the annotated adventures of Sir and Kid , in "First Timer"! This the first Rifts comic we get, and I'll be posting it up page by page with my annotations every day.
I mean, they're ground-pounding power armor pilots, as we'll see, not flying high. So why...?
Next: The New German Republic! Wait, weren't we just there?
Unknown to the NGR, they were being surrounded by powerful evil creatures.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 3: "Unknown to the NGR, they were being surrounded by powerful evil creatures."
We get a half-page detailing the whole "coming of the Rifts" bit again, but it turns out Germany survived devastated but not destroyed because... uh... reasons, as they say, and so they rebuilt themselves as the New German Republic.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
With 50% of its factories and 84% of its technology preserved, Triax was instrumental in the rebuilding of Germany.
Ugh, percentages . We don't get any reasons or descriptions, just that a lot of their technology survived. Because. Hokay. Anyway, their corporate structure kept them together, and they were able to survive and rebuild. Though they hid from the world at first, their ability to defend themselves drew people to seek them out as saviors or allies. And rather than freak out, Triax took charge and started to work towards rebuilding Germany. The end result is that even more than the Coalition States, the NGR is a reflection of what a pre-rifts civilization was like.
Eventually, they contacted the Coalition States during the early years of the CS, but it turns out Triax way ahead of them technologically. It's not clear how they found out about them, mind, but it happened! During this time, the rest of Europe was still overrun by monsters for the first part, but the NGR was unaware of how bad it was... even though they knew stuff about America. Because! REASONS!
The Bloody Campaign
The NGR, locally, only had trouble with the Black Forest (because it's filled with monsters, because... uh, the Brothers Grimm and it sounds spooky, I guess). Occasionally monsters would cause a ruckus, but the NGR became old hands at monster hunting. And so they decided to wipe out all the monsters in Poland, to try and start driving them back. And they did that with the "Bloody Campaign". Bam. They also fought some vampires from Romania and destroyed them, too. The big mistake they made was assuming all the monsters were brainless, so when they started hearing about a Gargoyle Empire, they didn't care. Then swarms of Gargoyles blotted out the sun one day, screaming "Remember the Bloody Campaign!"
A lot of Germany's neighbors fell, including Poland, which got taken over by hordes of Brodkil demons. Evil reigned over most of Europe, as it does to this day.
The Birth of Human Supremacy
Pretty much everybody but the NGR got owned, who lost under 10,000 people and wiped out around 400,000 gargoyles in return. A lot of refugees fled to the NGR, who came to the conclusion that they couldn't take in everybody, so they told the d-bees to go back to where they came from. Those who didn't listen were shot. Local d-bees who lived in the NGR protested, and so they were thrown out or shot, too. Some loyal d-bee NGR citizens were allowed to build border towns, but they were left entirely to survive on their own resources.
The NGR - 103 P.A.
The Battle Continues
And so the NGR has survived as a first-world country of sorts, fighting an ongoing war for 60 years. In addition, new baddies, like the Gene-Splicers (not appearing in this book), Mindwerks (not appearing in this book) and the Angel of Death (also not appearing in this book), and the New Phoenix Empire (from Rifts World Book Four: Africa ) have aided the Gargoyles with technology and the like. The gargoyles are starting to really appreciate technology after it's murdered them so well, and so are starting to pick up things like guns, explosives, and vehicles. There are rumors that the gargoyles also have giant robots, but certainly that's nonsense! (It is not nonsense.)
A Call to War
The NGR realizes the Gargoyle Empire is getting more powerful, and so has been building up their military and propaganda. They require healthy refugees (of "reasonable age") to put in eight years in the military to become citizens, and all male citizens of the NGR at 17 have to join the military (for five years) or work for Triax's war manufacturing facilities (for six years), and females are "strongly encouraged" to do so. People are given benefits to stay on as well. In addition, they're seeking out an alliance with Coalition States for non-military aid, though the CS has been waffling on whether or not to provide it. Pretty soon the NGR is inclined to go on with its offensive whether or not the CS opts to aid them or not.
The Coalition States & The NGR
The Coalition States, being led by a bunch of paranoid maniacs for the most part, has sent over plenty of representatives, but also spies, too. The next part is from the report of one such spy, "Intelligence Operative G15". Smile for the cameras, G15!
From Intelligence Operative G15
I'm gonna summify this:
The NGR is much more technologically advanced than the CS.
Triax and the NGR government are basically lock-step with each other, and Triax isn't an autonomous faction like Emperor Prosek fears.
The NGR is really, really more advanced than the CS.
NGR doesn't have a hidden agenda behind allying with the CS; they really want to protect and aid all of humankind.
The NGR is probably holding back some of their advancements from the CS to gain leverage.
The NGR is facing an immense supernatural threat, one that will get a lot worse if they fall.
The monsters the NGR fights are organized and use technology.
G15 has found out about the Unmutuals, and is going to try and get Victor Lazlo to let him in.
The Quest for an Alliance
You know, I'm struck that it keeps going on about the possibility of a CS / NGR alliance. We haven't even found out what sort of government the NGR has. (Presumably a republic, but the USSR had that in their name, too...)
Anyway, Triax has given the CS some tidbits of technology, but has also been willing to sell to independent kingdoms, but that has upset Mr. "With-Us-Or-Against-Us" Prosek, who has declined a formal alliance as a result. Geez, Prosek, you'd think they'd e-peed in your cereal. They're also worried about getting dragged into an overseas war, even though non-military, thinking that might spur Atlantis to work against them (wait, how does the CS know shit about Atlantis?) or otherwise bring the war home. In addition, as mentioned, the Coalition States is run by paranoid maniacs who wouldn't trust their hand to scratch their ass.
The truth is that the Coalition States are way more secure than the NGR and don't have that much to worry about; a major supernatural offensive would also draw the aid of other independent kingdoms. They basically have no idea how good they have it. In addition, Atlantis isn't likely to declare war on anybody unless directly attacked, since Splynncryth is a weasely opportunist who likes squeezing every bit of profit and amusement he can out of the war. (Splynncryth has never been depicted with a twirly tentacle-mustache, but is canon now as far as I'm concerned.)
The Motives of the NGR
Geezus, we're still going on about this? The NGR wants an alliance to prove they don't stand alone and try and shake the resolve of their foes. (I'm not sure why the gargoyles would care, not even knowing about the Coalition, but I guess the NGR is being blindly optimistic.) It would also give them a supply line in their conflict. Lastly, they want to team up with the Coalition to reclaim the Earth for humankind.
The Terms of the Alliance
The basic terms of the initial 8-year alliance would be:
A non-aggression agreement that also formalizes joint trade.
Limited Triax arms exports to the CS, Northern Gun, and the Manistique Imperium (the latter two under the Coalition's oversight).
An exchange of technology and science.
Practically unrestricted exports of food and supplies to the NGR.
Mutual access to trade routes, with military escorts provided by the hosts.
The NGR has built a fancy embassy for the CS, and Chi-Town and the Free Quebec have their own embassies... where? It doesn't say where, yet we get exact breakdowns of their diplomatic forces in excruciating detail . Wherever they are.
Free Quebec & The NGR
Free Quebec has been pushing for an alliance with the NGR, going so far as to offer the secrets of the Glitter Boy's laser-resistant armor, in exchange for cybernetic technology, having the NGR build a bunch of new Glitter Boys (a full dozen dozen) for Free Quebec. In addition, Triax has promised to send a good five dozen suits of their redesigned Glitter Boy as well.
Of course, since Chi-Town has never gotten any of Free Quebec's juicy Glitter Boy technology, they're all up in arms over the whole thing, but Free Quebec points out the Coalition State terms don't actually restrict them from doing what they do. Still, Prosek is hopping mad. Of course, Triax agreed to the whole thing to try and jealousify the other Coalition States into signing up for alliance, which seems to be working. Prosek, predictably, has ordered new buckets of puppies to kick from the highest tower in Chi-Town as a response.
well not really but it seems in-character enough
Ugh, that's enough about the Coalition States, thanks. We're done with that. Back to the actual subject of this book!
Manufacturing & Technology
A megacorporation in the true sense, Triax has a monopoly on arms, a near-monopoly on robotics, and is dominant in industrial and household technology as far as the NGR goes. Their CEO acts as the country's Vice President, and many of its higher-ups also hold government positions. (Where do they find the time?) Most citizens are content with this, since Triax has produced effective leadership, and what's more, many citizens will choose Triax over other brands. In addition, Triax has sold outside of the NGR, supplying arms to other human communities in England, Greece, and America. However, America is a lot more hazardous to try to ship to, and there are some companies like Wilk's or Northern Gun that can compete with Triax mainly due to being established brand names in America.
Elements of Society
Cities & Technology in general
Though technologically sophisticated, the NGR is more suburb and sprawl than centered around their main cities. This is for several reasons:
Tall buildings and concentrated populations are vulnerable to attack.
They have an abundance of space, but also have built underground in some cases as well.
There's been a deliberate attempt to keep a "village and chalet" sort of look because... reasons. Reasons! So many reasons they cannot list any.
... is common in the NGR, where 90% of the population is literate and has a high school degree. This worries the Coalition, because they fear people who can read. It details a number of skills all citizens get, which probably would have been better near the character creation session, so NGR PCs, don't forget! You get Basic Math! Woo! It also implies they still speak German in addition to Euro, but Euro seems to be the dominant written language.
It notes the NGR still uses the old calendar system, so they mark it the year as 2389. It also clarifies the apocalypse began in 2098, and the new calendar used in America (PA, or Post Apocalypse) marks 2286 as year zero.
Augmentation is common and legal; only weapon systems and the like are restricted at all. About 65% of the NGR has some form of cybernetics, but most of it are just things like computer jacks, hearing aids, internal computers, etc. It lists that 10% of the population are partial borgs and 15% are full conversion- wait, what? One in four people? No, more than that - it turns out that doesn't include the military cyborgs! I think having that many cyborgs would probably have a more profound impact, but as usual it's just a throwaway number without much consideration for the implications.
M.O.M Conversions are Illegal
Basically, crazy technology is considered dangerous and inhumane, so it's tracked down wherever it pops up, and often offenders are shot on sight, or have their implants forcibly removed, which can cause permanent mental damage or death. It also points out that a lot of the monsters that can use crazy technology (particularly the brodkil) have been doing so, making it the face of the enmy.
It notes that a lot of the MOM technology is coming from Mindwerks, which was a company once bigger than Triax, but was ruined when it turned out that MOM technology was making people crazy. Ooops. People didn't think the company survived, but somebody using its name - supposedly a woman called the "Angel of Death" - seems to be supplying the brodkil of Poland with technology.
... is not illegal, but generally discouraged. It notes that 88% of the people in the NGR avoid it. The problem is that now we have a corellary that 12% of people are using juicer technology, which is a fucking epidemic by any stretch. But one thing that's important to note is that the NGR has low-impact juicer technology that won't kill you later on, so it's unclear how many of those 12% are due to die in a few years.
A lot of words note that the actual enforcement of the law is much like the 20th century, only d-bees get the book thrown at them. War criminals get the military thrown at them. Outside of the NGR, there's no notable law enforcement. And that's all there is to say!
D-Bees of the NGR
The D-Bee Population of the NGR Today
A large number of d-bees live in the wilderness in and around the NGR. A small number are allowed to live in villages or cities, but are considered second-class citizens, and are forced to register and make monthly reports to a local "Office of D-Bee Affairs", and the main penalties are imprisonment, execution, or exile. Often d-bees are persecuted and suspected of crimes unjustly as well. They're also paid far less, roughly a quarter of what a human would earn.
The Outskirts of the NGR
Factory towns exist on the outskirts, but most of them are small villages, often guarded by the military or a local militia. There are regular patrols that visit each village, and are quick to respond to emergencies - though hardly quick enough in the case of certain monsters.
D-bees are often forced to live in the "Monster Zones", and the NGR often ignores them, or worse, treats them a hostiles, and the innocent are often caught in the crossfire. The only real benefit is that most are so insignificant as to avoid the attention of monsters or bandits. Still, they're always at risk. A surprising amount understand why the NGR acts as it does and will aid it, but many are deeply bitter towards the NGR. This bitterness has created a number of gangs and bandits that prey specifically on humans. However, some bandits just act out of desperation instead of hatred.
And sometimes gypsies help out these poor communities, because they're such a swell people. They do this by helping defend them... and by robbing them less.
The Monster Zones
This is where the NGR is likely to shoot anything that isn't human, though some units are more merciful and try to avoid having d-bees caught in the crossfire... and some are likely to shoot anything that isn't human.
Once again, all the art in this "chapter" (Palladium, for whatever reason, never uses chapters) is reused from other sources. But at least we have time for part two of "First-Timer"!
Winking is something you do to imply a hidden meaning, Toothpick, not when you're out-and-out insulting somebody and pointing at them. Why are you such an asshole, Toothpick?
Next: Triax Armor! It's time to start the military parade!
Super Trooper pilots are expected to destroy the Maysies or themselves when under the threat of capture.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 4: "Super Trooper pilots are expected to destroy the Maysies or themselves when under the threat of capture."
The next part of the book starts to cover Triax gear, and makes up the chief content of this book. The book is 220 pages, and 121 of that is Triax gear and vehicles, and another 9 pages are dedicated to Gargoyle gear. To Siembiedafy, that makes 59% of this book an equipment section, with 55% of it just being Triax gear. This is presumably why Triax gets first billing over the NGR on the cover.
The problems is that there are a lot of basic questions about the NGR that go untouched, like:
What does the NGR think of magic or psionics?
What sort of government does the NGR have?
What's the ranking system of the NGR military?
What about those Rahu-Men from the
Rifts Conversion Book
? Where are they?
What's more, this book reprints all the Triax material from Rifts Sourcebook. It includes all of the following, which I won't be covering again, but here's links to the old review and a list of all the copy-pasted material:
"Does Not Compute" : Triax T-21 Terrain Hopper Power Armor, Triax X-10 Predator Power Armor, Triax X-1000 Ulti-Max Power Armor, Triax X-500 Forager Battlebot, and the Triax DV-12 Dyna-Bot.
"The latest from the design wizards of Wilk's Laser Industries Inc." : TX-500 Triax Borg Rail Gun, TX-30 Triax Ion Pulse Rifle, TX-11 Triax Sniper Laser Rifle, TX-16 Pump Rifle, TX-5 Pump Pistol, The Explorer (listed as the T-43 Explorer here), and the Falcon 300 Jet Pack.
And with all that in mind, we can finally start covering the gear section.
Triax Body Armor
NGR "Cyclops" Body Armor
... is a misnomer, because it has sensors at the brows as well as the central "eye". This is only used by the NGR military, mind - they don't sell it lightly. All Cyclops body armors used by the NGR have the following traits:
Complete environmental protection. Presumably it does not protect the wearer from their growing funk, mind.
Temperature / humidity control, gas filtration, and a five hour oxygen supply.
Heat protection up to 300 degrees centigrade.
Loudspeaker and short range radio.
Quick attachments for backpacks and jet packs.
Utility belt or shoulder holster.
It takes one minute for a trained soldier to suit up, and untrained users take 1d4+2 minutes. Since there's no skill for it, what constitutes "trained" is entirely vague.
Camera displays, and it can do split-screen nonsense for readouts from other sensors.
It has a built-in headjack that can be used to access computers and electronic devices.
Nightvision, magnification / zoom, and light filters.
A mini-computer that gives readouts on the armor, and also functions as a calculator and clock! No longer will you have to do long division by yourself in a fierce firefight!
A laser rangefinder and sight.
With all that covered (I guess tiny fuzzy dice that hang between your eyes is optional), it's time for some armor!
May present some depth perception issues?
T-10 Infantry "Cyclops" Body Armor
: This has more M.D.C. than we've seen from almost any body armor, with 100 M.D.C., but with a notable penalty on sneaking.
T-11 Enhanced Body Armor:
Like the T-10, but with a minimal sneaking penalty and an exoskeleton that boosts strength and running speed modestly. Takes longer to suit up, however.
T-12 Field Medic:
This comes with a medical harness that carries medical supplies, and special enhancements to the helmet for thermo-imaging and close-range zoom functions. It's also decent at sneaking, but only has 70 M.D.C.
T-13 Field Mechanic
: This has a laser torch built in, and an extendable robot arm for small areas and extra reach. It also has improved magnification, infrared, thermo-imaging, and a "spectrographic scanner", but all only at short range. It has 80 M.D.C. and is pretty mobile.
T-40 Urban "Plain Clothes" Armor:
This covers a variety of special armor that looks like plain clothes. It's only 10-20 M.D.C., though, and sees the ressurection of the dreaded Armor Factor rules used by the Cyber-Knights, where strike rolls over a certain number will bypass the armor... so if you're human, that means a lucky roll from an enemy will flat-out just kill you. For some godawful reason, this book pairs it with special hit location rules, which allows an attacker to target a specific area with penalties so severe it's not worth trying (-12 to target the head!). Naturally, it doesn't have any of the Cyclops features.
T-41 Riot Suit
: This has all of the Cyclops features except the fancy helmet. It's awfully dinky at 50 M.D.C., but has no mobility penalty, and comes with a 23 M.D.C. shield. There are no noted rules for the shield but presumably it can be used to parry in melee.
T-42 Commando Scout
: This is a mass market version of the Cyclops, with a special "box" that flips down over the eyes that has all the same features. It has great mobility and 70 M.D.C. No art for this suit, however.
: This is a non-Triax knockoff of the Cyclops suit, with a notable sneaking penalty and 60 M.D.C., and none of the helmet sensors (it borrows the helmt from the T-41). It only comes in garish colors to basically avoid looking "military" and getting sued by Triax.
Were the NGR medic and engineer toys in wave 2 or wave 3?
T-Series Triax Power Armor
Triax T-C20 Terrain Hopper Power Armor
This is the military version of the T-21 Power Armor from Rifts Sourcebook (linked above), and gets modestly improved M.D.C., dinky forearm lasers, and a mini-missile launcher on the back with six missiles. It's not a serious upgrade on the original, but it is an improvement. Not much to say here, but in this book - because it's so blatant - it's time to start talking about the elephant standing next to Kevin Long, which is the distinct similarities between his work and known Japanese robot designs. Like, say, Sylia's hardsuit from Bubblegum Crisis .
I'm not saying it's a swipe, I'm just asking questions.
Triax T-31 Super Trooper Robot Destroyer Power Armor
Are you ready for some footballll
Try saying that five times fast.
This is an anti-armor suit also known as the "Can-Opener", designed to to combat armor by closing in swiftly and clinging on to vehicles and larger armors where it can attack vital areas "like a tick on a hound dog". Its M.D.C. values are only modest, though, so it needs to close fast . It gets two powerful shoulder missles (that have only have a 65% chance of working properly), special limpet bombs called "maysies" that a super-secret technology that lets them stick to anything, mini-missles in the legs, a vibro-blade, grappling hook, and laser torch. It also has a ton of fancy sensors, can adhere to things with its feet, and a distress homing beason. The foot-sticky technology is supposed to be super-secret, and has a self-destruct sequence that only blows up the feet sticky system! Hoookay.
Compare and contrast.
Some Battletech fans find this tactical design familiar, and it should be, because it seems like it just might be a Rifts -ified version of the Clan Elementals featured in Battletech for years before the publication of this book. Ironically, Kevin Long would go on to do some freelance art for Battletech later on. The weird thing about this suit is that it's a dedicated anti-giant mecha suit, when their foes only rarely ever field giant mecha.
Triax T-550 Glitter Boy
The unit number is on the crotch, where it belongs.
This is a special glitter boy designed as a result of the earlier technology trade with Free Quebec. It's still rare, but is going into swift production, and in addition, Free Quebec will start producing them in several years. They have mostly reduced M.D.C. compared to the regular version, but add a short-range laser (which supposedly can rotate, but looks pretty fixed in the art), vibro-sword, and mini-missle launchers in the legs (I can't see them, are those the ports on the knees?). Its version of the boom gun is computer-controlled and can fire on its own, but still takes melee attacks to do so - it just means the glitter boy could lug around a gun or whatever while firing. It's a relatively balanced variant on the existing model, overall.
But one of the annoying things is that Kevin, for whatever reason, likes to turn any opening or gap in an armor design into a weapon. I think it does a real disservice to this artists, and bogs down these writeups with a bunch of crappy weapons. Why have another shoulder laser that does one-tenth the damage of your main gun? Yes, backup weapons would be nice, but a glitter boy can carry those (what else are those arms for?), and better ones at that. All it seems to do is fill the page count with military boondoggles.
I like typing boondoggle
In any case, it has fancy sensors, storage space, and a distress beacon.
The bold NGR strategy: drop their guys without any support into the middle of a monster-ridden region! This is clearly the best plan ever.
And no, they're not flying nearly high enough to need pressure suits. Also their armor is already pressurized!
Next: Mighty robots, mighty vehicles: the robot vehicles of Triax.
Like the Pre-Rifts movie monster, Godzilla, the massive robot can plod into an enemy stronghold, topple buildings, squash vehicles under its feet, and release incredibly devastating salvos of missles or energy blasts.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 5: "Like the Pre-Rifts movie monster, Godzilla, the massive robot can plod into an enemy stronghold, topple buildings, squash vehicles under its feet, and release incredibly devastating salvos of missles or energy blasts."
Robot Vehicles, Tanks, and Power Armor
First, we get the standard features for robots. The main new one is that all X-series bots come with a distress beacon ("send more paramedics"), and the language translator comes with Brodkil (apparently they have their own language), Simvan (them too), Kittani, and Demongogian (spoken by demons and people from Wormwood).
X-Series Power Armor & Robot Combat Vehicles
Once again we get a definition of power armor versus robot vehicles, but since even the book can't decide the exact dividing line between the two, fuck it.
Triax X-10A Predator Power Armor
Left, Triax X-10A, right, Bubblegum Crisis' AD Police K-11
Just like the Triax X-10 Predator Power Armor, but with slight upgrades for better M.D.C. and top speed. See my Rifts Sourcebook writeup for the mass-market version.
X-60 Flanker Urban Defender
Exposed arms for easy removal.
This is basically a giant exoskeleton designed for urban combat, and it quick to suit up and easy to use. According to the text it's very fast, but at 50 MPH it's slower than a glitter boy. It often uses gas missles to disperse crowds. It's basically the NGR's cop power armor, though it's also used as a cargo hauler on military bases. The military version generally carries more offensive missiles and handheld firepower.
It's pretty solid and tough, but an attacker can take severe penalities to try and target the pilot (generally 18-20 or better with bonuses). It has extendable arms for grappling crims, a baton launcher that does minor S.D.C. but has a falt 50% chance of knocking a non-superhuman target down, and it can also be used to disarm foes and stun them. It also has grenade launchers that generally launch flashbangs, smoke, or frag grenades, and mini-missile launchers. It also has your standard sensor array and homing beacon.
Your move, creep.
Triax X-535 Hunter
Left, Triax X-535, right, the Hammer from Metal Skin Panic.
Also known as the "Jager", which means... uh... hunter. This is their main infantry bot, and is the star of the comic story. It has middling M.D.C., but run around at a zoomy 140 MPH. At 12' tall, it's just barely a robot vehicle. Its main armaments are a handheld rail gun, S.D.C. machineguns in the head (often armed with rubber bullets), and "concealed" mini-missile launchers. Concealed mini-missile launchers are common enough in these writeups I have to wonder if Siembieda doesn't get a kickback from mini-missile producers. It has your standard sensors, but no beacon for whatever reason.
The X-535 head may seem familiar to readers of Masamune Shirow's Appleseed.
What monkey do you have on your back?
One of its big deals is that it can have a variety of zany shoulder-mounted artillery weapons put on its shoulders, though they reduce its speed and combat bonuses by "25%". Does that mean even the natural bonuses of the pilot are hindered? It's not really clear. The attachable units are:
TX-843P Interchangeable Particle Cannon
: Does solid damage with its zappy bits.
TX-842FC Interchangeable, Recoilless, Anti-Aircraft Flak Cannon
: This is can be set by computer to auto-attack enemies, but it isn't clear if it gets its own attacks at once. At full fire, it's actually comparable to a boom gun, but it reduces speed and bonuses by 50%.
TX-884I Interchangeable Ion Cannon & Missile Launcher:
Fires volleys of medium range missiles or surprisingly plinky damage (1d6 x 10) from the main gun. Despite having 12 missle bays, can only fire four at a time, for whatever reason.
TX-871MM Interchangeable Rotary Missle Drum Launchers:
For the mini-missile afficiando. Carries 96 missiles (!) can can shoot 48 at a time, making it ridiculously damaging (48d x 10). With an average output of 1680 damage, this makes it capable of pretty much destroying most man-made targets, and even crippling dragons. And it can do it
. I have a feeling this was not thought out very well. Expensive to fire, though.
Oh, yeah, that looks fuckin' practical.
Triax X-545 Super Hunter
The firm, taut nipples of war.
This is supposed to be your "hold-the-line!" version of the Jager. It's also known as the "Armored Jager", in an odd mixing of tongues. It's beefier and actually pretty damn tough, and carries the same weapons plus a respectable pair of ion cannons in the front, shoulder mini-missile launchers, an extra vibro-sword, even more mini-missiles in the leg, and leg-mounted flamethrowers (not very damaging, but can start minor mega-damage fires). It's only about half as fast, though, and can't use all the modular systems the normal Jager can. If the Jager is the NGR's veritech, this is the NGR's super veritech .
Triax X-622 Bug
Also known as the "Kaefer", this is an eight ton robot APC that can hold... six people? And two are the pilot and gunner? That's not much personnel being carried. It has respectably decent M.D.C., but has a really vulnerable sensor system that can be trivially destroyed, leaving the vehicle half-blind. It's not deeply swift, going around 60 MPH, but can submerge and zoom around in the water as a submarine for 30 MPH.
It has an average rail gun, but sometimes it's loaded with U-rounds (described later), has a laser turret that's really more of a laser rifle, mini-missiles (of course), and has clinchy crab claws that can immobilize enemies (but there are no rules for this). It has a light sensor package to round it out.
It also leaves a very distinct set of tracks, I'm sure.
Oh, and it's similar to the "Land Masters" of Appleseed.
Triax X-821 Landcrab
Not actually that much like a crab.
This is the combat version of the bug, and is significantly tougher and better armed, actually standing out as one of the tougher robot vehicles in the game, though it's slightly slower. It has "multi-weapon" arms with particle beam cannons (medium damage) and rail guns (low damage, but it notes they can be loaded with U-rounds). It also has forgettable laser turrets and, of course, mini-missiles. You know, if every vehicle is using missiles like this, aren't they the norm, and everything else is mega-missiles? Just a thought. It has "standard" senors, and can clamp with its claws, clamp clamp.
Triax X-2000 Dyna-Max
This is the newest robot design, and is designed to slug it out with oversized monsters with its heavy arms. It has heavy armor, and can truck around 70 MPH. It gets special "slammer" missles that knock targets down and slow them down. They do medium damage, but have a change of knocking down and stunning targets. Given you can fire two at a time and they have a 65% flat chance of stunning foes, they can do a number on pretty much any monster, considering the robot packs 12 shots and the stun lasts 15 seconds to a full minute . It has forearm lasers that do light damage, vibro-swords, "tiny gun arms" with rail guns that do pathetic damage, mini-missiles in the leg, and a small flamethrower on each leg. It notes it can carry a cyborg rail gun in, but why? It does way more damage on its own. It has the full broad array of nonsense sensors, and that's all.
If it wasn't for the "slammer" missiles, it'd be forgettable, but as it is it can leave enemies on their ass trapped in stunlock for the length of a combat quite easily.
Oh, and some wondered "why all the leg missiles?" The answer is: Robotech .
Triax X-2500 Black Knight
This is one of Triax's larger vehicles, but we get little flavor text on it otherwise. Instead, it's designed to take on big monsters, which makes it feel a little redundant purpose-wise compared to the Dyna-Max, but let's roll with it.
It has a ion cannon, forearm lasers, two vibro-blades, an electrified mace that can shoot lighting, grenade launchers, and mini-missiles. Virtually nothing it has does serious damage, so it's kind of crap at its assigned role. It's strong in melee, which to say it does marginally more damage than other robots of its type. It has a broad sensor suite, and... that's it. For its threatening image, it really isn't as dangerous as many other bots. It has a high degree of durability, around that of a glitter boy, but can't dish out anything comparable to what it can take.
Further proof of Carlin's bigger dick theory of warfare.
This is the only flying giant robot that Triax has; it folds its legs in to become thrusters, and has anti-radar paint and jamming systems that foil most radar systems. It can hover and jet around, or operate underwater, to engage flying threats. They're also often used as aerial escorts. It generally has a pilot and a gunner, where the gunner handles the tail guns and weapon arms.
It's modestly tough, and its weapon arms have lasers and ion cannons that do mild damage. Its machineguns do damage that's barely worth mentioning. Its only real heavy weapons is the ability to fire "concealed" chest medium-range missiles for heavy damge. It also has lasers on its tail that do light damage, can use the electro mace, and can be fitted with optional slammer bombs that work like the missiles on the Dyna-Max. It also has a "Glitter" variant that uses the same laser-reflective technology as the glitter boys.
Another Siembieda trope at this point: artist didn't draw a missile port or whatever other weapon you wanted? Call it "concealed" or "optional", and call it a day! Oh, the art of RPG writing!
Compare with Robotech's Zentraedi mecha designs.
Triax X-5000 Devastator
It's a Gundaaaam
This is the biggest robot Triax has constructed at 50' tall, and marches around slowly, and as such is generally supported by other units in assaults. A lot of its armaments are long-range, and it's more vulnerable close-in, supposedly. It has no rules limitations that make it more vulnerable in that sense, though.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
During one recent battle behind enemy lines, the gargoyle legions broke through an infantry stronghold.
During those long minutes, it was estimated that the Devastator destroyed or disabled three giant gargoyle bots, five baalrog demons, two dozen gargoyles, and over 100 gurgoyles.
Now, if you're versed with the system, you may find it shaky, and I'm going to mention that it is possible, but only if the Devastator could catch most of its foes in its long-range missiles (which the description just said it couldn't use at that range. But rules-wise, it shakes out better than usual. Where it falls down, though, is that even with its 1500 M.D.C., that number of foes would just pile on damage too fast; it'd fall in several minutes, much less the fifteen minutes it was supposed to last in that example.
Ha! I bet you thought I couldn't nitpick that. There are too many chinks in your rules armor, Sir Rifts .
Weapons: "super" laser cannon (light damage, not at all super), "super" ion cannon (does decent damage, but certainly not super), long-range and medium missile launchers (the main firepower dispensers), mini-missiles (they're like the french fries of the Triax meal combos), ion belly turret (sucks), and high melee damage (still not much compared to its actual weaponry, tho). It also has all the sensors.
So yeah. That's done with. But what's up with Sir and Kid?
But... "bogie" refers to an aircraft or UFO (as in unidentified, not alien), not robots...
Next: Terminators for humanity!
The skin covering is a tough, mega-damage resin the captures the look and feel of a real gargoyle.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 6: "The skin covering is a tough, mega-damage resin the captures the look and feel of a real gargoyle."
DV-Series Robot Drones
Including the DV-12 Dyna-Bot, Triax likes robots as they help reduce human casualties. They're looking in to improve their AI, and even finding ways to transfer human minds into them. Best ideas ever, no doubt.
Triax DV-15 Sentry-Bot
Looks like a leftover A.R.C.H.I.E. / design to me.
This looks like it has a tremendous brain-skull, but it's actually a huge sensor array to watch for trouble. They're often used as guards or wardens, since they never tire... never rest... never sleep! (Was that dramatic enough?)
It's lightly armored, about twice as tough as an armored human, and carries an ion pulse rifle that does average damage, and two laser fingers that do piddly M.D. It has a concealed particle beam rod in its leg (you see this weapon over and over, as it's taken from the old cyborg / robot rules in earlier games), a chemical mouth spray. It has a huge array of sensors, programming, and optional weapons. There's an heavy amount of detail on its programming - it can pilot a boat! - as well.
Triax DV-40 Hunter/Killer Drone
The Cylons have really been working out lately!
Siembieda loves to use the term "hunter/killer" without seemingly understanding it. Basically, it's a military term where one discrete unit seeks out enemy positions and another eliminates them. For example, a spotter might act as a "hunter", finding enemy troops while a sniper then acts as the "killer". Armored cavalry might be used to flush foes out so that they're easy prey for much deadlier tanks. And so on. But his term tends to apply to units that hunt and kill, which makes the distinction meaningless.
Annnyway, this is a moderately tough robot, used for scorched-earth sorts of missions where it is aimed to destroy entire gargoyle bases. At 13' tall, it's bigger than other robots, and carries a heavy laser rifle, has a grenade launcher, has... a stupid particle beam rod "concealed" in its leg, laser fingers, a "concealed" vibro-sword, a chainsaw, ab-mounted flamethrowers, and can mount some of the Jager's optional weapon packages.
Once again, we see needless "concealed" weapons tacked on tiresomely, but overall this is mostly just a generic killbot.
Triax Enemy Infiltration Robots
These are "EIRs" or "ears", apparently - basically robots designed to look like gargoyles, terminators for humanity. Basically, since there's no way humans could disguise themselves as gargoyles, they came up with robot infiltrators. They served pretty well, but the big trouble was when the first EIR was discovered; the gargoyles were so shocked they realized they needed to start respecting and recognizing technology. These days they've started to use radio devices to jam infiltrator signals and track them down. In fact, the infiltrator bots are credited for really opening gargoyle eyes to the potential of technology.
We're told there's a "01-40% chance" of an EIR being detected... per day? Per week? Per month? Ever? It's not clear. We're given a bunch of percentages, but no context in which they're rolled.
Triax EIR-10 Gargoyle Drone
The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable.
Unlike the Terminator, though, this is a lot more stoppable. It's a decent fake, which uses fake blood to simulate injuries and nanotech to "heal" wounds. The big issue is that is wings can't fly properly, it can only glide or boost leaps without using concealed thrusters in the feet, which are a bit of a giveaway. Sometimes they damage the wings to give the bot an excuse as to why it can't fly well. Though not commonly used to do so, the gargoyle hierarchy means it can try and give commands to gurgoyles and their ilk.
It has medium-to-light M.D.C. for a robot, laser eyes, laser fingers, vibro-blades, and a chemical spray, and a ton of melee attacks. Naturally, it's only supposed to use its weapons when discovered, but all of them are equal to or inferior to its normal punches, so why fucking bother? It's programmed to act like a gargoyle and has the usual fancy sensory array, and a self-destruct mechanism that goes off when it's incapacitated.
Its big drawback is that psychic probes and similar powers detect nothing, so any goddamn gargoyle can pick them out with a minimal expeniture of Inner Strength Points, since they all have telepathy .
Triax EIR-15 Manned Gargoyle Bot
This is like the EIR-10, only manned. This means they show up on aura detected and the like, and have special "psionic, electro-magnetic dampeners" that give a tiny bonus against psionic attacks. Still, they're vulnerable to actual telepathic probes that will show their human brains. Like the other version, it has a self-destruction, but activated or set to a timer by the pilot.
Triax EIR-20 Gurgoyle
Gargoyles hate pants, but love earrings? Hmmm.
Like the EIR-10, but to copy a gurgoyle instead. Has slightly less M.D.C., not much else to say except, oh, hey, it has that concealed particle beam rod in its leg. Who shoots a weapon from the leg, anyway, aside from an artificial leg action movie gimmick...?
This is like an EIR-10, but a tiny gargoylite. It has thrusters that make it pretty obvious when revealed, and are mainly just used for escape. It's often used to steal items or free prisoners. It only has the laser fingers and chemical spray.
EIR-50 Gurgoyle Android
This is a little different; it's a gurgoyle that has had is real brain replaced with a robot brain, and then goes to franken-spy. It's super-secret because it would offend many of the NGR's civilian leaders, apparently. Really? I've haven't seen any sign anybody in the NGR would have any sympathy for gargoyles, but apparently making a gargoyle cyber-zombie is super-offensive for all right-thinking folks. Still, it's supposed to replace the EIR-100 which follows. It says there's no way for the gargoyles to know what it is short of an autopsy, but isn't it vulnerable to the same sorts of psionic detection...?
Anyway, it gets hit locations for some reason, despite being a gurgoyle for all effects and purposes, with randomized damage values for 7 hit locations (is each limb rolled separately?). It also gets implanted laser fingers, a built-in garrote (for the curious, it takes about 30 seconds to choke a gargoyle out this way). It has the usual sensors and programs.
Triax EIR-100 Cyborg
This is a human cyborg designed to look like a gurgoyle, and apparently makes the best infiltrator out of all of them, giving spontaneity and free will as well as a psionic-sensitive brain, but it's just as vulnerable as the robot vehicle gargoyle in that regard. It comes with a ton of extra features (like the ubiquitous clock calendar), laser or particle beam eyes, lasssserrrr fiiiinggerrrrs, that particle beam rod in the leg again , a chemical spray, vibro blade, and the usual punching and kicking options.
But enough of this cross-species cosplay! How are Sir and Kid doing?
Sir, you are a terrible officer, are you fucking drunk or something?
Next: Cyborgs: how to wear a prosthetic skull on your real skull.
The helmet can be removed to reveal the character's human face.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 7: "The helmet can be removed to reveal the character's human face."
Now, normally when talking about cyborgs, Rifts has traditionally just used the cyborg creation rules from the corebook. Triax departs from this, however, by giving us eight (nine with the EIR-100) specific cyborg designs used by the NGR military, which are used by the later Cyborg Soldier O.C.C.
They all have some standardized features:
Gas filter and oxygen storage.
"Concealed" climbing cord.
"Concealed" e-clip port.
Telescopic, magnifying, light amplification, thermo-imaging, light filtered, targeting eyes.
Psionic electro-magnetic dampeners.
Amplified hearing and sound filter.
Another thing that gets repeated eight times: there's a new rule that cyborgs don't actually die at 0 M.D.C., but instead can survive for up to 36 hours or until they're at -125 M.D.C., whichever comes first. Oh, and you can target their head now, which has massively less M.D.C. than their body (and apparently no armor protection). Reducing that to 0 will kill them instantly! So aim for the head; suddenly cyborgs have become tremendously vulnerable there.
Oh, yes, they have a "crew" listed as "one human volunteer" in their writeup, because the layout is copied from the vehicle writeups.
It's pregnant with missiles.
This is supposed to be a scout cyborg, and can run around at 120 MPH. Most of the pointy bits coming off of it are actually grenades it can launch of varying types, and the chaingun looking bit is a railgun that does dinky damage (5d6 M.D.). It also has the ubitiquous laser finger (I can only guess that somebody at Triax accidentally over-ordered them), and the M.D.C. is fairly light for a 'borg. Cyborg Soldiers who take this body type are required to take a certain # of espionage skills, but get a bonus on them.
It can also blow two attacks to do a 1d4 M.D. power punch! Its other attacks do S.D., so it's normal punch does an average of 19.5 S.D.C., and it's power punch does an average of 250 S.D.C. How do you get over ten times the impact from twice the effort? I have no idea, but clearly the conclusion that cyborgs can't do magic was a bit premature.
Behold! Optic bla- waitno
This is a soldier sort of cyborg with no role given. It's another light cyborg, modestly slower than the VX-300, but with some fancy weaponry. The tin cans attached to it are actually grenades once again, it has a "wide beam ion disrupter" which functions like an energy shotgun, doing light damage up close and pathetic damage to multiple targets at a distance. It has a wimpy laser and a wimpy ion blaster in its forearm. Weird that the scout cyborg is better-armed, but there you have it.
Oh, and since these are based off the vehicle layouts, we get a height (6' 6"), a width (3' 6"), and a length (2' 6"). I'm hoping that last one refers to them having really big feet.
VX-340 Slasher (Gold Type)
Cybernetically enhanced eyebrows.
This is named as such, since the mass-market version comes in a gold color (though the military uses camo instead). It comes with a scary face to "strike fear into his opponents". However, since it has no Horror Factor, it can't actually do that. Granted, gargoyles hang out with brodkil and mindolar, I'm not sure a golden human skullface is going to freak them out anyway... "Oh, no, it looks like that thing we tear out of their faces all the time!"
So, this is supposed to be a "seek and destroy" ranger sort of robot. So how well does it do that? Well, it has vibro-blades (ho-hum), mini-missiles (those are the tubes coming off the back, a "concealed leg laser rod", a light rail gun, and extra grenades and vibro knives in a concealed compartment. It's a mid-range cyborg, and so it's considerably tougher than the previous two listed. Cyborg Soldiers with this model have to select wilderness skills, but get a bonus on them. Overall, it's fairly average; nothing to get too worried about, if you're a gargoyle.
VX-370 Stopper (Blue Type)
Juggling is overrated.
The commerical version is blue; this is supposed to be an assault cyborg. It's a medium cyborg, somewhat tougher than the VX-340. Weapons: particle beam (decent damage), mini-machinegun (a 40 lb. boondoggle that does 2d4 M.D.), a concealed leg laser rod.. and that's all.
Oh, and a lot of these weapons, particularly those which are arm or leg mounted, have flavor text like "Point and shoot." or "Reveal, point and shoot." Thanks, Siembieda, is that what you do with a gun? I would have never have imagined.
VX-500 Manhunter (Red Type)
Missiles. Pointing backwards. Yuuup.
This is a heavy cyborg with no particular combat role (which, if you've forgotten from my Rifts RPG review, are ridiculously tough). In a mild retcon, this is the model of cyborg depicted way back in the original Rifts RPG in one of the painted pieces. As with all borgs of its type, it has penalties due to its ultra-heavy armor.
It gets a rail gun from the core rules, the tubes on its back are missiles, and it has... sigh... a concealed leg laser rod and a concealed leg ion rod. And it is, like the blue and gold, supposed to be scary, but it is not.
The nerdiest cyborg will show all the people who laughed at him!
This is their secret Special Forces murderborg. It's supposed to be extra-double-plus probation secret! Shhhh! You have to have an Mental Endurance of 15 to even be considered for the program, which is dorky, because A) you have a 5% change of making that roll and B) there's no mechanical difference between a Mental Endurance of 15 and 5 (presuming you're not psionic). What's more, the operations they're on are so secret they're supposed to blow themselves up before they reveal anything to he enemy. Alternately,the military can remotely fry their brain or explode their head.
It's a fast, light cyborg, and has a "multi-weapon gun arm" with a rail gun, launchable vibro-bayonet, and a mini-laser turret, and tiny utility arms, none of which are particularly fearsome. It has an air gun that fires poison darts and tracking / spying devices. It can shoot poisoned blades that are useless against mega-damage target (i.e. the grand majority of the NGR's foes) and a regular vibro-blade.
Once again, we see that no orifice can go without a weapon mounted with it; the ports on the forehead become "head mounted mini-lasers". Small vents on the leg become "tiny, rotating lasers". Worse yet, the spikes become launchable spikes that do 1 M.D. apiece. Why? Bonus challenge: can you even find those laser turrets on the legs? Yeah, it's those small apetures just below the knee. None of these are any more useful than weapons already carried by the cyborg.
Anyway it has fancier sensors, and some have the wall-walking system from the Super Trooper.
On the right, a B-55 Boomer from "Bubblegum Crisis". You be the judge!
Oh, another skull-faced cyborg. I imagine cyborg
Either way, this is supposed to be an all-new form of cyborg, where unlike other models, they can't remove their masks and armor to reveal their Peter Weller half-faces. Instead, they're basically all machine, and gets a ridiculous amount of M.D.C. as a result (nearly as much as a glitter boy). They generally just carry handheld weapons, but have a grenade launcher on the shoulder, "concealed" (aka undrawn) chest ion blasters, a "concealed" (aka undrawn) leg laser, and "concealed" (aka undrawn) vibro-blades.
Did Siembieda give two shits about what Long drew? It's looking like not at this point.
This is a (very slightly) tougher version of the marauder; it generally lugs around a rail gun, and all the cans attached to it are not its emergency supply of Jolt Energy Drink, but instead are mini-missiles. I know, it's shocking. Concealed ion blasters, concealed particle beam legbone, concealed vibro-blades, and concealed dignity.
But what about our First-Timer? Has his cherry finally been popped?
Yeah, the rules don't work that way.
Next: Action figures sold seperately - the vehicles of Triax.
No effect! Missiles still on target!!Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 8: "No effect! Missiles still on target!!"
Nearly twenty vehicles to cover? Oh my
XM-50 Medical Ambulance Pod
I'd feel safe hanging off the back of that, wouldn't you?
It's like a trouble bubble but instead of causing trouble it arrives when there's trouble. Searchlight, mini-laser, extendible stretcher, force field, homing beacon, it's an aerial slug at 60 MPH, and wait up wait up hold the phone- I'm looking at the art for the "XM-60 Field Mechanic Pod." The art for the "XM-50" looks like Siembieda took the XM-60, put a red (?) cross on it, erased the guns, drew his own guns on, and called it a day. That's my guess, anyway, the laser design looks like his, and nothing like Kevin Long's.
XM-60 Field Mechanic Pod
Coooobrraaaa wait no Triiiiiaaaaxxxx
It has a laser up front and a laser in back. Wait, if that's supposed to be a laser turret in back, why doesn't the XM-50 have it, even though it's drawn the same way? For fuck's sake, Kevin. Anyway, storage rack! Homing Beacon! It gets special encumbrance rules! Fuck it!
XM-70 Covert Operations Pod
It's basically like the XM-60 but "The force field has been forsaken for greater speed." The XM-60 didn't have a force field, why it go so slow? Mini-missile replaces the medic bay or the storage rack. No, there's no fucking art for it! Fuck it all!
XM-140 Infantry Support Weapon Platform
It's a slow floating gunboat with an open top so gargoyles can just fly right up and pluck NCR troops out and fling them right off and they scream alllll the way down. It has one (1) long range missile, concealed mini-missles that only exist through the power of imagination, twin laser turrets, rail guns, and sensors. It can put up a force field to block flying gargoyles but then it can't fire the majority of its weapons. Also it weighs five tons but has less M.D.C. than a half-ton cyborg or robot. Fuck!
XM-170 Infantry Repair Barge
Not as exciting as it looks.
I know, I know, you think giant robots are exciting, but what about the exciting adventures barge pilots have? Huh? Now you can explore all your adventures towing, lugging, and even stowing . Rifts : a world of infinite possibilities (with barges)!
It's pretty tough at 1000 M.D.C. It has laser turrets, ion turrets, mini-missiles (Surely you could fit short-range missiles on a 114 ton vehicle. No? Okay..), a crane and towing cables. It can carry 10 Black Knights (300 tons) even though it weighs 114 tons without slowing down. What's more, how do all these floating barges and pods fly? They don't have any visible propulsion systems! Nor do they have a propulsion system defined or detailed. And it's probably not anti-gravity, in case you're wondering, since earlier we learned that was "experimental" Triax technology, and not likely to be in the wide use we see here.
XM-180 "Dragonfly" Power Armor & Bot Drop Ship
As seen in the comic! In fact, it was copy-pasted!
This is supposed to be a jet fighter that carries and drops power armor and small robot vehicles. It has rail guns medium missiles, mini-missiles (despite being depicted as like 4'+ long), chaff, and can lug five Jagers at MACH 1.5. Note the positioning of the huge engines, perfectly placed to roast any suits carried behind them. Most jets output exhaust that's 650+ degrees centigrade, and robot vehicles can protect up to 400 degrees centigrade...
... the gargoyles never understood why humans kept dropping canned, steamed meat from planes. (Actually, the comic shows no thrust exhaust, so it's not at all clear what Long intended, but it's probably something different.)
XM-250 Medical Hover Station
This one just sat on the toy shelves.
It's a floating hospital! We get some bits about the gargoyles basically give no shits about the "sanctity of a hospital". In any case, this basically a huge, heavily armored floating building with a bunch of lasers on it that can float around at 140 MPH. It's full of fucking doctors!
XM-270 "Mosquito" VTOL APC & Airship
What's the opposite of aerodynamic?
Apparently this is an older design that's "more popular amount fighter pilots today than ever!" Why? It's not a jet fighter . Yes Kevin, I know you want to think otherwise, but if you're lugging troops, you don't get into dogfights, that would basically be the stupidest fucking thing. "Why risk just a five-man crew when you can throw 24 more troopers on the pyre?" Oh, wait, the class says "Military VTOL Jet Fighter & Transport". Double augh moses.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
The vessel can hover in a stationary position and fly at a speed of one to 450 mph (up to 720 km). To travel faster, the Mosquito has a turbo boost overdrive system . When the overdrive is engaged, the powerful rear rocket snaps on and propels the airship at a speed of Mach 2 to Mach 2.5 (roughly 1340 to 1650 mph/2144 to 2655 km). The problem is that the XM-270 cannot fly at speeds between 451 and 1340 mph! The airship simply rockets from low speed to high speed with nothing in between.
The stupidest fucking thing.
laser rail guns ion cannons mini-missles chaff
XM-275 "Lightning" VTOL Combat Jet
When a helicopter and a jet really love another...
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
It gets the nickname because of its speed...
Okay, fair enough.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
... ability to make sharply angled turns at virtually any speed...
Sure, that's stretching it a bit, but fine.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
... and from one of its weapons systems, the TX-275 Arc Blaster.
What does the Arc Blaster fire? Oh, lightning. Fucking hell.
It has lasers, missles, and chaff. The art, remarkably, depicts it having a mount for a wing missile or bomb, but it has no such weapons in the stats. I'm puzzled; it really ought to be a concealed leg laser mini-missiles vibro-blade Swiss Army-knife arrangement hanging off the wing. I'm dissapointed.
The big deal of the aircraft is, of course, the lightning guns, which it has two of (but only fires one at a time because... ???) and stuns other robots and vehicles. It has a random table, and has a 10% chance of taking out a vehicle entirely. That makes it perhaps the most effective Rifts weapon ever, if it can take out any vehicle in a mere ten shots.
It's shit against gargoyles, though. It notes "Some of the supernatural beings and creatures of magic suffer double damage from electricity." This is not true.
XM-280 Fighter Jet
"You drew a Grumman X-29, try again."
Mach 3, lasers (not depicted), bombs (not depicted), mini-missiles (not depicted) and an anti-missile chaff dispenser (not depicted). Palladium art direction: get art, tell art to fuck off, write depiction entirely contrary to art.
If I sound like I'm singing along to a broken record it's because I'm listening to one.
XM-288 Supersonic Transport
"You drew the X-Men's Blackbird, try again."
This is a sub-orbital, Mach 4.5 transport jet; it notes that the Triax knows it can only go so high before murdersats will blow it out of the sky. In "inane M.D.C. values... today!", it has a 200 M.D.C. main body (no penalty to hit) and two 800 M.D.C. tail sections (needs 17 or better to hit). I'll let you decide which to aim at! Medium range missiles, laser turrets, anti-missile chaff. In case you wonder "How does Triax get to America?", this is one answer.
XM-300 "Terror" Mini-Tank
On the right, Bonaparte from Dominion Tank Police.
Okay, maybe that's a little unfair of me, the Terror has wheels, not caterpillar treads-
- oh, uh, nevermind.
See, because it's a "terror" because it's fast and has lots of guns (ion, laser, rail, mini-missile, flamethrowers). It has the special feature to keep going even if it loses lots of tires! It can lose six tires and keep going! Even on one side! So it can only have tires on one side and only loses 40% of its speed! Explain to me how that makes sense! Wait, don't! Usually, as aforementioned, I don't talk too much about Rifts stupid hit location system. This how stupid it can get: these are the locations for a "mini" tank...
Main Gun: Ion Cannon
Flamethrower Turret (right)
Flamethrower Turret (left)
Forward Headlight (right)
Forward Headlight (left)
Top Access Hatch
Main Access Hatch
Hardened Wheel (front left)
Hardened Wheel (front left-center)
Hardened Wheel (center left)
Hardened Wheel (rear left-center)
Hardened Wheel (rear left)
Hardened Wheel (front right)
Hardened Wheel (front right-center)
Hardened Wheel (center right)
Hardened Wheel (rear right-center)
Hardened Wheel (rear right)
Rear Aqua-Thruster (right)
Rear Aqua-Thruster (left)
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment
XM-330 "Phantom" Hover Tank
Newton Ewell on the left, Hammer's Slammers on the right (or bottom).
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
The XM-330 tank is called the "Phantom" because it moves quickly and silently on a cushion of air.
So it gets a base sneaking ability or can travel over water. (It's even sneakier than a novice ninja at night, even though it's a tank .) It's main gun - laser or particle beam - still only does half the damage of a glitter boy. Other than that: another ion, laser, mini-missile, and smoke grenades.
I have to wonder: why can't they mount a weapon that does equal or more damage on a tank that they can on power armor ? "So, maybe the glitter boy just does more damage because it's Pre-Rifts technology and represents some lost technological secret, yeah?", one might think. But with Triax, that's not true - they retained an overwhelming amount of their technological knowhow from before the Rifts , and have all the secrets required to construct, build, and even modify glitter boys! Why mount a particle beam weapon that only does twice the damage of the handheld version? Why not give the thing some pylon tech and triple boom guns ? The answer to that is "why not?", by the way, and an upcoming writer who isn't Siembieda will actually address that question...
... but not yet.
XM-350 Leopard III APC
"We basically just build turrets and figure out how to put wheels under them later."
The flavor text goes on mostly about how this is designed to hold a XM-300 Mini-Tank in back, which can detach and drive about in the most toyetic fashion possible. Generally, Rifts makes the most sense when you think of its massive war machines not as any analog for real-world war machines, but things to fit your action figures on and to have lots of plastic mini-missiles to lose in your carpet.
It's got 900 M.D.C. and lots of hit locations and guns. Ion, missiles, lasers, rails, smoke grenades (by the way there are no cover rules or rules for smoke other than from magic, so...), can carry around several dozen
Triax MZ-10 Wilderness Crusader
Now they're just making crap out of leftover parts from other vehicles.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
The wilderness crusader is an exceptional all-terrain hover vehicle. It comes standard with a high-impact bumber, heavy armor, and an ion weapon turret!
This is the first of the civilian vehicles. I don't really have more to add. Fuck it.
WR-1010 Land Rover
It's a land rover. It roves the land. It's M.D.C. It has no art. You can buy extra armor for it. Yeahhh. Comes with gasoline or nuclear power, but where the fuck do you gas up? Seriously? Where?
WR-2020 "Shark" Bullet Bike
"Crotch-rocket" is a little too literal here.
It's a hover cycle that makes you look like you're riding a rocket. You can throw on a weapon if you want, you can fuck off, whatever. I know, harsh words, but my brain is nillafied after all these.
WR-5050 Super Cargo Hauler APC
Maybe it's a stretch to think of Judge Dredd's road liners...?
This is a BIGG TRUKK for BIG TRUKKIN. Also it has a laser. The cost to refuel it will be a mystery forever. Perfect for your "wilderness cross-country German trucking" campaign. "We have to get this sausages to Offenbach before they spoil!" "But I heard gargoyles love bratwurst!" "Ach, ohhhhh nooooo!"
WR-5054 Mini-Cargo Hauler APC
It's like the WR-5050 but is smaller and more breakable.
Also: you bastard!
This is the Rifts you wish your Rifts could play like.
Next: Uranium ammo.
All that they know is that the 'new' or 'special' ammunition they've been given seems to be extremely more effective against the enemy and that's good enough for them.Original SA post Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 9: "All that they know is that the 'new' or 'special' ammunition they've been given seems to be extremely more effective against the enemy and that's good enough for them."
Apparently we start with a note that laser weapons are popular because they're long range. I'd argue, but there are no range penalties in Rifts , so everybody can be a sharpshooter at 4000 feet. The NGR will tend to confiscate Black Market items (yes capital letters are used again) in the Republic, but tend to overlook them on the fringes of NGR territory.
We also get new kinds of e-clips, one that loads from the front and a shorter e-clip. The first unbalances the gun (but somehow makes it more accurate when fired two-handed?), and the second gives you fewer shots. The latter may seem useless, because there's a rules loophole where weapon bursts use a percentage of the clip, so you can fire full-auto on the cheap on the few old weapons that allow the normal burst rules. It notes that in the wilderness a lot of merchants will gouge travellers. As a traveller, I would suggest just shooting merchants that try and gouge you for the ultimate discount. You're out in the middle of the nowhere! Just take your trigger finger discount.
Depleted Uranium Rounds
"aka DU-Rounds" that do 25% extra damage, roughly speaking, or convert a railgun from 1d4 x 10 to 1d6 x 10, which is actually more like 40% extra, because math is hard, math is so hard, math breaks bricks on its cock.
"aka U-Rounds". The NGR has come up with a special type of round that hinders supernatural healing... such as the regeneration had by dragons, werewolves, and even the Splugorth by making rounds out of pure uranium!
This deserves a list of the things wrong with it.
Apparently it's not the radiation that impedes supernatural regeneration, but having radioactive material in their body.
Mind, bullet is not the best way to introduce uranium into somebody's body. The real danger is from uranium in particulate form, where it's practically impossible to remove as it slowly decays inside you (and releases radiation that swiss-cheeses your cellular workings).
Thusly, a uranium bullet would be much easier to remove than say, radioactive dust from a nuke, especially if you have superhuman strength and don't care about hurting yourself (because you'll regenerate once it's out).
There's no mechanism or justification given for why radioactive material would retard magic healing anyway.
The radioactivity of uranium is relatively weak anyway compared to something like plutonium or exposure to a nuclear weapon.
Since it's not the radiation that causes it, maybe it's the toxicity of uranium. It is, after all, a toxic metal. But so is lead. Would lead have the same effect?
Maybe they mean enriched uranium? But then, it's not the radiation that has the effect...
Maybe it's just too dense for their bodies to eject? But then it wouldn't stop them from healing entirely.
Ultimately the issue is that the main hazard of
. They're part and parcel.
They also reduce healing from potions, herbs, and spells. Does uranium has some special anti-magic property?
Even if it's not radiation, nuclear weapons should have a similar an anti-healing effect by dosing ground zero with plutonium or uranium that would easily get into burns or wounds.
Germany has practically no uranium production as of the present day. Granted, they may have significant stores of it in
, but for the most part it's going to be a limited resource to be firing out of guns.
In anycase, the ammo is mainly only used by cyborgs, robots, and robot vehicles with sufficient shielding. It's apparently too dangerous for people in environmental armor to use in quantities large enough to fire off*. It also, of course, presents a pollution hazard, so often they will send out clean-up teams to pick up as many rounds** as they can with "a 50% TO 80% clean-up rate", and they're generally banned from being used within NGR borders. Apparently they're top secret, even though they're littering uranium whenever they use them, and soldiers are not told what the bullets are made out of (and apparently aren't even slightly curious enough to open up a clip or belt to look). They affect just about any supernatural creature except energy beings like elementals or entities. Yes, this means vampires and werewolves are vulnerable to uranium.
Is this is the stupidest thing in the book? It's certainly in the running. We have something really, really stupid coming up, so you'll get to be the judge.
* Actually, uranium can be handled safely with gloves and a mask; a protective suit would be more than fine for prolonged exposure.
** Sending out teams to pick up uranium litter seems like they would be quite vulnerable to gargoyle ganking, given that they're only used in the "Monster Zones" and Similar areas.
Front-loading clips: German ingenuity goes too far.
TX-20 "Short" Laser Pistol:
An average laser pistol that's apparently an older design.
TX-22 Precision Laser Pistol:
This is apparently a super-dinky pistol that's "ideal for target shooting". With the price of e-clip charges, why would you ever use an Mega-Damage weapon for target practice?
TX-24 Ion Pulse Pistol:
This can fire short bursts to do passable damage. It and the TX-22 also use big front-loading clips, which you think would be bad for aim...
TX-26 Particle Beam Pistol:
Does the most damage of these pistols, but has a lousy range.
WR-10 Wilderness Ion Pistol:
The weapon depicted looks a lot more like a goofy carbine. It's the worst pistol listed, with terrible damage and no side benefits.
The WR-10: continuing German innovation in shitty clip placement.
The TX-42, as seen in "First Timer"
TX-41 Laser Pulse Rifle (Giant Size):
This is used by large power armor and smaller robot vehicles. It can do bursts for moderate damage, and has a variable frequency laser.
TX-42 Laser Pulse Rifle:
As above, but smaller with reduced range and damage; this is the standard weapon of the NGR infantry.
TX-43 Laser Assault Rifle:
A crappy version of the TX-42 that does much less damage, but can adjust its damage level.
TX-45 Particle Beam Rifle:
The most damaging man-sized rifle listed, but with a shorter range.
TX-50 Rail Gun:
A human-sized rail gun; no idea how it works without the (relatively realistic) nuclear power sources depicted in earlier rail guns. Does wimpy damage, but has high range.
TX-250 Rail Gun:
The standard gun used by the Jager, and requires superhuman strength, but otherwise is just a low-damage rail gun. Has laser targeting, if that matters. Once again, no power source is listed.
WR-15 Wilderness Laser Rifle:
Does about the same damage as a number of the pistols. Pretty sad.
WR-17 Wilderness "Double" Rifle:
Combines an ion and laser to do more damage. Still not great, but alright for its weapon class.
WR-19 Plasma Ejector:
A middling-damage plasma weapon. Has a giant-sized variant, the WR-20, that does
the exact same damage
The WR-17: Why does a laser weapon have a muzzle brake?
TX-10 Mini-Missile Launcher:
A shoulder-mounted weapon that fires a single mini-missile. Wait, aren't these supposed to be... mini?
TX-M4 Mini-Missile Launch Pack:
A backpack that holds four mini-missiles. Exactly how it gets aimed and fired is not terribly clear.
Fusion Blocks and Grenades
are listed, and are just like their Coalition counterparts, except for
flash and tear gas grenades
with no saving throw, and some flares.
are reprinted from the core book, for some inane reason. The only new addition is a giant-sized vibro-sword for big robots. Neural maces are reprinted too.
This is a mace reprinted from the Black Knight description. Better damage than a vibro-blade, but if you have the strength to swing it, you have decent damage of doing fine damage with kicks and punches anyway.
are reprinted because they're "popular among gypsies", I guess.
We still don't have rules for bows ten books in, mind.
Gun Scopes & Optics:
Telescopic, crosshair, infrared, laser targeting, passive nightvision, thermo-imager, and light filters are the types available. The laser targeting contradicts earlier rules for such scopes. Can be combined at additional cost.
We have the "Internal Robot Oxygen Unit" which goes into the throat or lungs can can be used to perform minor surgery. Thre's the "Internal Robot Visual Transmitter" which an be used to locate damage to blocked or damaged veins or arterties. There's the "Robot Antiseptic Unit" which cleans wounds or the "Robot Sedative Unit" which sedates a patient, though I'm not sure why a robot is needed for either. There's a suture gun, suture tape, and a hypodermic gun, and a few items reprinted from
You have the "Triax LHP-1000" computer which is actually a knockoff of Wilk's PC-2020 from
. In fact, the only item not ultimately reprinted from
in this section is a portable short-range radar system contained in a backpack.
Less of a 'borg and more just like a Borg.
We have a microscopic eye, an eye laser for surgery, a port to have interchangeable eyes, and a third eye attachment that gives no real advantage, but makes you uglier. Hooray!
We have a special hand with medical sensors (how tough it is to have all this medical equipment and no significant rules for how medical skills are used - or even rolled), a bio-computer for monitoring your own vitals, and an "internal comp-calendar". Throw away your crappy 10cr analog calendar, getting a built-in one is only 1000cr!
Bionic Weapons & Combat Features:
Let's see - extendable arms (3'-6' more feet), laser beam eyes, a grappling hook, a palm torch, vibro-balde, and "psionic electro-magnetic dampeners" that give minor bonuses against psionics and mind control.
Time for the last page of "First-Timer!"
Yeah. You'll never get to find out what happens to Sir and Kid. Sorry!
Next: The military
Without exception, the subject develops a 'super hero' complex, i.e. he immediately enjoys and craves the superhuman power and abilities he possesses when in the robot body.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 10: "Without exception, the subject develops a 'super hero' complex, i.e. he immediately enjoys and craves the superhuman power and abilities he possesses when in the robot body."
Before we get to new classes - new skills!
Though a standard skill in most Palladium games, this skill was forgotten in the corebook for some reason. So it gets reprinted here instead, in a peripheral book outside of the core setting ten books into the game line.
Streetwise - Drugs:
How far will you go for Euro-Juice?
Exotic Animals: Used to ride giant monsters. Now that this skill has been added, Simvan Monster Riders are now at a tremendous penalty to ride monsters. Also there are no rideable monsters in this book, anyway...
Lore - D-Bee:
Now you can identify D-Bees! (Apparently you couldn't before.) Apparently Xiticixes count as D-Bees, not monsters, despite the fact their whole role is trying to shoot you with magic guns.
Lore - Magic:
Man, all of you practitioners of magic must feel stupid now.
There's Gargoyle, Brodkil, and Demongogian added to the language list.
W.P. Battle Axe and W.P. Polearm:
These are only rarely used in
, but now you can be proficient in them.
The NGR Army
It emphasizes - at length - that these miltary O.C.C.s can be taken by retired or discharged members of the military, and they get all the same skills, but none of the equipment. Also, they require 25% more XP to level , but don't have to take orders.
Enlisted personnel have none of those penalities, but have to follow orders. Oh, and 60% of German citizens have military occupations or combat experience because of the ongoing war. Er... if it was "had military occupations" that'd be different, but as it is it makes me wonder how their economy is doing...
Infantry Soldier O.C.C.
This is the NGR equivalent of the Coalition Grunt. It notes that 50% of them are drawn from the human refugees, that 75% of refugees become soldiers, and that 50% of refugees turned soldiers die in combat. Note to refugees: your odds may be better staying at home in Poland or Hungary, FYI. They get a slightly broader skill base and marginally better skill bonuses (also, Literacy), but actually get much fewer skills overall. This is odd, since the NGR citizenry is supposed to be more educated, but all they really have to show for it literacy; a Coalition Grunt actually gets better combat training as well as training in giant robot combat.
Communications Officer O.C.C.
I know, you may seem excited by wanting to play a giant robot pilot or a cyborg soldier, but why not play the guy who handles the phone? What about him? Well, Rifts has you covered, where you can play a mighty German warrior of telecommunications! Oh, and since it requires an I.Q. of 9, only about 62% of PCs will qualify to be a phone soldier.
To be fair, if you want to be a hacker or cryptographer, this supports it very well. You don't get much range otherwise, but it's really not that much different from the infantry save for the change in focus from vehicle driving to radio wrangling. You get some basic cybernetics for linking into computers, otherwise. This class is basically an update of the old Robotech Communications Officer O.C.C. - which is to say it's basically the class for people looking to play Lisa Hayes .
Medic/Medical Officer O.C.c.
Yes, the title uses both words. Anyway, this is "roughly equivalent to the Body Fixer O.C.C." except for the military training. It notes most are familiar with cybernetic implants, bio-wizard symbiotes (huh? how?), but not with bionics, and they have a penalty with bionics or particularly alien technology. The book and goes on how traumatized and hardened they become, and apparently 30% become indifferent to the suffering of others, and... 5% apparently turn to torturing or experimenting on D-Bees. Yeah. I'm going to say I don't find those statistics particularly convincing.
Apparently when some retire they become "rogue doctors" (aka body fixers), who offer their services to anybody, including mutants and D-Bees. Rogue doctors aren't penalized as mentioned at the start of the class section because... um... because. They get to be notably more skilled than Soldiers, but their attribute requirements mean you can only roll one up about 6% of the time. They also get fancy medical equipment and minor cybernetics, but practically one of the new equipment.
NGR Armored Division
Cyborg Soldier O.C.C.
"Tiny arms are cool, right?"
Apparently 18% of the NGR army are full conversion cyborgs, 15% are partial conversion, and 60% have cybernetics of some sort. That means... only 7% don't have some machine in them. (And yet, the Infantry class doesn't get any cybernetics to start, so how does that work...?) The Cyborg Soldier gets much better skill bonuses and a much more focused skill package than the old Coalition Borg, but the Coalition Borg got a lot more choice on the skills selected, oddly. They can choose any of the cyborg types listed earlier, of course. Also, a Cyborg Soldier gets Swimming and S.C.U.B.A., as if a half-ton human isn't going to sink like a fucking rock. Oh, and unlike earlier cyborg classes, this requires a Mental Endurance of 15, so only 9% of characters rolled can choose this class.
Field Mechanic O.C.C.
A mechanic for robots, power armor, vehicles and cyborgs. Much like the Communications Officer, only with electrical and mechanical skills instead of communications skills, a larger skill package, and very few actual skill choices. They get some minor cybernetics, not too much else to say, though sometimes they world in the field to analyze or sabotage enemy armor. The gargoyles don't have much of that, so I imagine largely they stay at base after all.
Power Armor Commando O.C.C.
Mostly this portrays T-31 Super Trooper pilots, but can use other power armor by GM call. There are really, really strict attribute requirements, so less than 1% of characters rolled can choose this class. They get a really broad skill package including robot combat skills, but very few skill choices, along with some basic cybernetics. Though they get better skill bonuses, the old Coalition Elite RPA O.C.C. actually gets more skills than them.
Robot Combat Pilot O.C.C.
"A mission? No, I'm wearing this to the club."
What it says on the tin; the important part is that you get all the X-2000 Dyna-Max by default. And you have a 1 in 40 chance of rolling one up! Pretty much like the Power Armor Commando, only with more pilot and less commando. They get some basic cybernetics once again, of course.
Robot Soldier Optional O.C.C.
In any case, Triax has experimented with putting humans into robot bodies. Considering they have advanced cyborg technology, one would think that wouldn't be so hard. Once again, it reiterates you can't play a non-sentient robot. (But I was ready to get my BEEP BOOP on...)
Like the CAN Republic in
Next up is using Mind Over Matter implants to do a literal mind transfer into a robot. It goes on about all the problems regarding leaving your body in a coma and its vulnerability, but I say, fuck it, look at your new shiny robot body . It also gives new rules where if you die while in your robot body, you get dumped into the astral plane and you have two hours to find your human body before you die. Of course, even if you find your body, there's a fifty-fifty chance of random insanity, and your Mental Endurance doesn't figure in. Speaking of your Mental Endurance not being worth diddly-shit, every person who does the mind-transfer more than once develops a "super hero complex" where they become addicted to being a robot. This includes:
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Wants to be in the robot 80% of his waking hours. Only regrets/losses are the pleasures of eating/tasting food and drinks, sexual contact, and general human contact/touch.
When acting as a human and being out of your robot body, you get horrendous penalities on combat and skill rolls, a 40% chance of becoming a drunkie or junkie, and 1d6 phobias or acute paranoia. Oh, and you become a megalomaniac sociopath. A small price to pay for having mini-missiles from the nipples, perhaps.
The last option for robot PCs in this book is an procedure where the NGR puts your brain in a robot, which gives a lot of advantage over dumb robot AIs, but also makes them vulnerable to psionic attacks and the like. Apparently this only includes "0.02%" of NGR soldiers. Unlike direct transfer, there's zero insanity, the robot soldier gets extra combat bonuses and bonuses against mental attacks. Robot soldiers also can get extra programmed skills at a set, very low percentile (since they're basically doing the equivalent of reading a how-to). The big drawback is that if you had another O.C.C. prior to becoming a robot soldier, your skills are frozen, you start again at 0 XP, and none of your old skills increase until you relearn your old level all over again . This is based off the old Robotech multiclassing rules, and it's just as terrible in 1994 as it was in 1986.
NGR Intelligence Division
Intelligence Officer O.C.C.
Spy guys you have an 8% chance of playing. They're yet another military specialist class like the Communications Officer or Field Mechanic, only this time specialized in Espionage and Rogue skills. They get a solid amount of cybernetics to help them with their spying, and that's about all. The funny thing is that the NGR doesn't have many human foes to spy on, but I suppose they could be watching for dissidents. Congratulations: you're now the secret police, I guess?
Intelligence Commando O.C.C.
Guerilla Warfare & Wilderness Scout
These are more wilderness scouts with an NGR miltary flavor; like the Intelligence Officer, only with more of wilderness and sneaky edge. They're supposed to be "monster hunters", but given that most monsters seem to be balanced for fighting giant robots, taking on a gargoyle with a laser rifle and grenades - even with surprise or traps - seems the height of stupidity.
The NGR Law Enforcement Officer
You're a cop... in power armor! Like in E-SWAT . It points out most are nice folks, even to D-Bees, but there is a 25% minority that tend to throw D-Bees up against the wall or curb or whatever. And 8% are "truly evil and/or corrupt" and "sell info to crooks, even when it hurts a fellow police officers". Ugh, that's a horrible series of leaks you've got going there, NGR cops.
Anyway it notes most law enforcement is "very similar to the 20th century", except for criminals that fall under military jurisdiction, which mainly consists of supernatural monsters and their collaborators, as well as more unfortunate D-Bees. They have no rights and can get tortured, interrogated, and executed as the military feels necessary. The police tend to give most monsters one warning or no warnings before shooting to kill. It notes that justice outside the NGR, on the other hand, tends to be brutal mob rule kinda stuff.
The attributes requirements are low, so a whopping 52% of characters can become a cop. They have a focus on cop vehicles, streetwise, and otherwise a general outlay of skills. They get no cybernetics, but do get to start with an X-60 Flanker. And that's about all!
And that's all for the NGR O.C.C. list. To prove how ridiculous the attribute requirements end up, I rolled up ten characters to see what NGR classes they qualified for.
All of them qualified for NGR Soldier, due to its lack of requirements. However, two of them
qualified for soldier; they could not choose any other class.
Eight of them qualified for Communications Officer or Field Mechanic.
Three of them qualified to be Police.
Only one qualified to be an Medical Officer or an Intelligence Officer.
None of them qualified to be a Cyborg Soldier, Power Armor Commando, Robot Combat Pilot, or Intelligence Commando.
As a break before the next comic, here's some bonus comparisons, largely pointed out by various readers! Questions raised!
On the left: the KM-700 (Newton Ewell), on the right: The Hound (Venus Wars).
On the left: the Glitter Boy, on the right: Full Armor ZZ Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ)
On the left: Coalition SAMAS, on the right: MADOX-01 (Metal Skin Panic).
On the left, Boxed Nightmares, on the right: Fluffy (Creepshow).
Next: Gypsies and Juice.
It's as if the hundreds of gypsy clans are all part of a giant fraternity and all the members of the fraternity regard each other as brothers to be treated with respect and kindness.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 11: "It's as if the hundreds of gypsy clans are all part of a giant fraternity and all the members of the fraternity regard each other as brothers to be treated with respect and kindness."
These are built like normal juicers, and though most people avoid juicing, a significant part of the NGR population (14%) tries it out. Most of this is through a slightly different technology known as JAEP (Juicer Augmentation Enhancement Program) or "Jape", and is basically a focused, limited version of the juicer technology known in the states, with several different versions. It can be used for three months safely, followed by three months of downtime before the JAEP program is renewed again. Basically, three months on, three months off. Trying to take more than one at a time causes a massive overdose including heart attacks, convulsions, brain damage - GM gets to select what level of fuckery to inflict. Taking street drugs, through, is just likely to have increased side effects from the drug. The big advantage is that any O.C.C. can use JAEP, presuming they're a nonaugmented human.
JAEP users who don't do the downtime are likely to become addicts, which results in a reduced lifespan, but it takes decades for them to die instead of the 6-10 years normal juicers die in. In addition, they can successfully go clean if they kick the habit in under 10 years and stay clean for at least three months. We also get a table of JAEP side-effects, but it's not clear if/when these penalities are applied.
We get four different programs:
Strength bonuses and minor combat bonuses.
Extra speed; gives an extra attack, so this is probably the best.
Gives bonuses against drugs and toxins, but JAEP doubles the side effects of all drugs, so this isn't the best thought-out plan.
Does not actually aid healing.
This gives a tiny bonus (+2%) to all skills, as well as bonuses against psionics and "mind control drugs". Not sure there's such a thing actually existent in the game.
"A powerful stimulant that is roughly equal to drinking five pots of coffee and taking a hit of speed." It's extremely addictive, and only gives a tiny bonus on initiative with a exhausted crash.
This apparently gives you delusions of grandeur and increases aggression; it mostly improves strength, endurance, and ability to endure fear. It gives a tremendous "crash" involving vomiting and migraines that limit its addictiveness.
A euphoric drug, of course. Gives a bonus on Mental Affinity and against fear, but big penalties on skill use or combat. Highly addictive.
Blocks psionic powers. For non-psionics, it gives the immunity to mind reading and gives them skill penalties "like he's drunk", and psionics have their psionic powers weakened and suffer temporary memory loss. Non-psionics can get addicted, but psionics really can't.
A mild hallucinogen for most people, but for psionics it has more severe hallucinations and increases their psionic powers.
Enhances reflexes and speed, and gives bonuses on skills, but penalities if the user is distracted, middling addictiveness.
Fuck, I could just quote this whole section, couldn't I? Okay: the first thing Siembieda establishes and that post-Rifts, gypsies aren't a race per se, but a culture, as only half of them are human; another 40% are D-Bees and 10% are supernatural monsters. Apparently, gypsies are now organized into a variety of clans that treat each other as part of some secret society, with clan colors (worn as bandannas or scarves) and a secret languages. No idea how supernatural monsters got in on the apparent gypsy biz.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Most civilized communities consider gypsies to be nothing but brigands, con artists, and thieves. Civilized and hard working people spit at the mention of gypsies and lament that they are nothing but thieves, too "lazy" and "shiftless" to work for a living, or to learn how to build things for themselves. The gypsies perpetuate this myth with their devil-may-care attitude, flip words and a total disregard for authority and power. If you ask a gypsy why he doesn't settle down an get "respectable" work, he or she will flash a charming smile, blow a kiss in the air, and say, "Oh, Cheri, I hate dirt under my fingernails," or "I find sweating so unattractive. Don't you?" or "I am too beautiful to ruin my skin in the sun or cripple my body with labor, don't you agree?" and similar retorts.
Regarding the use of tricky, ambushes, traps, blackmail and theft, rather than stepping bold forward and "fighting like a man", the gypsy will look at his accuser with a quizzical smile and mock surprise or concern in his voice and say something like, "Fight like a man?! I am a lover not a fighter." They seem to have a million snappy comebacks for every remark. Worst of all, gypsies always seem to be enjoying themselves and usually deliver the punch-line with a cheerful smile, happy tone and in a very deliberately condescending way - something that drives authority figures to distraction! Of course this attitude can get the character into more trouble than he's already in.
So, you might think, certainly the author wouldn't go so far as to portray gypsies as a pack of heartless thieves? Well. Actually. Yes, it's not even the romanticized "misunderstood nomads" on display; these are packs of career criminals. It's justifed by romanticizing them as cunning thrillseekers and post-apocalypse survivors, but ultimately it's one of the most negative Romani stereotypes I've seen in gaming. Yes, you can argue that the Romani are not being depicted here, but it's still the Romani stereotype . It's like having slaves depicted as a ministrel show, then trying to defend by saying "well they're not necessarily black slaves". But why tell when I can just show?
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
The gypsies of Rifts Earth regard all other life forms as prey. Not prey in the hunt, kill, and eat sense, but in the hunt, trap and plunder sense.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
The arrival of a gypsy caravan or even a lone individual can only mean trouble. When valuables disappear, the gypsy will be the first suspect (and is probably guilty).
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Whatever one buys from gypsies, the buyer must beware. The item, whether it be jewelry, a weapon or a magic potion, may or may not be authentic.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
These masterful con-artists also use every transaction and conversional to get information and size-up the person, his friend or town for plundering or other schemes that will work to the gypsies' favor.
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Many are much more discrete so they will be welcomed the next time they visit. These gypsies will probably make most of their money from selling fortunes, healing remedies, magic potions, moonshone, trinkets and services like dancing, healing, and sexual favors.
"Some gypsies are better in that they don't steal as often , and make up the difference in snake oil and prostitution." How grotesque. Oh, yes, and they have a secret language and secret symbols. Oh, and some of them are involved with vampires (particularly those from Romania), either as allies or victims. It notes that though gypsy O.C.C.s follow, gypsies are also often headhunters, juicers, vagabonds, wilderness scouts, witch (the kill puppies for Satan kind from Rifts Conversion Book ), mystic, or any psychic class. However, they won't take up disciplined classes like scholars or wizards because fuck education, I guess?
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Remember, being a gypsy is a lifestyle not a racial factor.
For fuck's sake. Also it's should be pointed out right now it also directs us to the circus rules from Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms to build gypsy caravans as well. Which is rough, because even though I have been trying to scour that terrible chapter from my brain for quite some time. Finally, As an aside, I usually don't point out the horrendous grammar on display here, as it would just be exhausting to even try. But those quotes are getting me to cringe into my shoes, and my grammar is a mess as it is.
Gypsy Thief O.C.C.
A people composed entirely of Gambits.
"... a thug, cat-burglar, and con-man all rolled into one." As you can guess, thief, acrobatic, and entertainer skills. They actually get a few more skill choices than most NGR professions. So much for education! Also kind of redundant, because apparently all gypsies are thieves, right?
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR posted:
Note: All gypsies are snappy and stylish dressers. Thieves tend towards black and dark blue colors withs splashes of golds and reds. They love leather.
Gypsy Wizard Thief O.C.C.
The shiftiest wizard.
Basically a ley line walker who's focused on thievery, and passed down through familial lines. However, their focus on stealing basically makes them shitty wizards. In any case, they get about half the ley line walker powers (they don't get line drifting, rejuvenation, or observation ball). However, despite the fact that it tries to emphasize them as lesser wizards, they get about eight more spells than ley line walkers do, for some inane reason, but do have moderately less P.P.E. and more in the way of skills.
Gypsy Seer O.C.C.
This is the gypsy version of the mystic, and why they're different is a mystery, but they get their magic out of nowhere and with no explanation. Yes, this means they naturally know how to read palms. Somehow. Instead of being able to open themselves to the supernatural, they get to read palms, which lets them gather a lot of information about a character and some very specific ESP sorta stuff (like whether or not the character is hunted). They get more psionics than the mystic, but they're fixed sensitive powers for the most part, and slightly fewer magic spells. They get roughly the same number of skills, but as with most classes in this book, more skills are fixed skills instead of choices like in the corebook.
Oh, and only 10% of them are literate. Fuck education!
Gypsy - The Gifted O.C.C.
These are dedicated healers with a smattering of other psionics. They get to "Randomly roll or select" their power set, which means you're choosing between A) awesome psionic power or B) middling psionic power. Which will you choose? They also get a lot of survivalist and medicine skills, and at the GM's option can use the herbalism from Rifts World Book Three: England , which makes them way better than the shitty druid herbalists from that book, since they can then A) do herbs and B) lift robots with their mind. However, it just mentioned earlier how they don't become druids because they aren't disciplined enough... it just turns out they happen to be better, I guess. Speaking of not being disciplined, only 5% of them are literate.
Anyway, to reiterate:
Gypsies aren't a people, but a lifestyle.
Even though they aren't a people, they gather in "clans".
They have a shared language and tradition.
But they're not a people, folks!
But enough of Kevin Long comics, let's have a comic by that other Kevin: Infiltration!
As we'll see, a gargoyle lord is literally twice as tall as gurgoyles. (What's more, the size comparison is drawn by Siembieda himself, so...)
Next: Gargoyles in the Mist.
Female gargoyles lay 3D6 eggs once every 10 months.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 12: "Female gargoyles lay 3D6 eggs once every 10 months."
We start with some observations by Erin Tarn.
The observations of Erin Tarn
During her visit to the New German Republic, Ol' Victor Lazlo was called to visit a friend in Poland. For some unknown reason, he had Erin Tarn come along! Oh, Lazlo, when will you ever learn? So they pass near the ruins of a pre-rifts city, and Erin is like "Ooo, I want to explore it!" And Lazo is like "No fucking way, those things are full of gargoyles." And then Erin Tarn just smiles her defective smile and Lazlo is like "Oh you have got to be fucking kidding me."
But Erin is the protagonist and so they get out of their vehicles and go, and an unnamed wizard with them helps them out by turning them invisible. She sees some gargoyles in trees, just like she heard about, and suspects a lot of people have died when gurgoyles and gargoyles come down on them like drop devils.
As they approach the city, Erin starts to think this is a bad idea, but fuck it, she doesn't actually stop or anything. Apparently every tree was "filled with scores of them" yet did not fall over. She saw some of them fight-playing and compares them to monkeys or birds, and figures their world has to be full of giant trees. As they get into the playce she saw that the gargoyles had built towers with debris or stuck buses into buildings to make new perches. Gargoyles are basically protrayed as having perch-mania, while their more monstrous allies make their homes underground. HOwever, it's more a community than any sort of civilization.
And so having seen enough, they're going home when they get blocked by a big gurgoyle brawl, and almost get caught by two gargoyles who almost sniff that out, but a gargoyle mage breaks up the fighting with some lightning and gives enough of a distraction that Tarn and Lazlo and the nameless mage can book it.
Erin compares them to a flock of birds, and though they struggle for dominance and food, they do work as a group. They're more instinctive than anything else, and don't really have any concept of loyalty beyond the flock - they don't have families per se. Oh, and they're omnivores (but of course they like humanoids), but they never cannibalize their own kind.
The Gargoyle Hierarchy
Basically, size and power determine hierarchy, unless you're a wizard; for some reason gargoyle mages are content to be second fiddle to gargoyle lords. Reasons? We don't need any fucking reasons! So it's usually Gargoyle King or Queen > Gargoyle Lords > Gargoyle Mages > Gargoyles > Gurgoyles > Gargoylites. We'll find out what all those are in just a bit, though Kings or Queens are just bossier Lords. Sometimes gargoyles will let more powerful creatures boss them around if they're sufficiently powerful. When there's a struggle for power, it usually boils down to a rumble to determine who's strong. Oh, and humanoids generally don't count where leadership is concerned unless they can prove they have great magical powers.
All gargoyle colonies are nudist colonies.
They like perches and heights, and suck at architecture. As such, they like forests, ruined cities, and mountains. Sometimes they built "totem poles" and "megaliths", by which Siembieda means "huge towers of crap". Often they have arenas (to fight in), lodges (for hunting), smiths (for metal), and hatcheries (in caves and tunnels).
Oh, and apparently a gargoyle female lays 3d6 eggs once every ten months; gurgoyles lay 4d6, and gargoylites lay 1d4. And assuming sufficient food - gargoyles don't seem susceptible to disease, nor do they seem to kill each other - with the amount of time gargoyles have been on Rifts Earth , they should cover every square inch of it. Bad math? In Rifts ? Shock of shocks. If you don't can't understand regular ecology, maybe monster ecology is a bit much to write up.
[quote="Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR"]Despite all the references to gargoyles being like birds, they are not creatures of pure instinct and do have human-like intelligence.[/i]
This is making this hard to sum up when he does a one-eighty, folks. Or at least a ninety or so. In any case, it's pointed out that gargoyles are learning the value of technology, and so the Splugorth, the New Phoenix Empire, and mainly Mindwerks have been giving the Gargoyles new equipment. Basically, the gargoyles in Europe are starting to become more organized, and what's more, they lead themselves instead of following a demon lord or the like. This means they're growing at an alarming rate.
Their leader is Emperor Zerstrun, who is the major force in modernizing the European gargoyles. He's generically charismatic and saavy, and has been able to make alliances for technology, trading loot and services to his allies. Without him, the gargoyles are a bit dim and are likely to give up modernization. What's more, they're alienating their "demonic kin", whoever those are. Apparently, most demons see technology as dangerous, particularly because it might make the lowly gargoyles an actual threat to them. Even Splynncryth is starting to worry a bit about them!... well, the book can't really decide whether he's delighted or appalled, but at this paragraph in the book, he's appalled. But he's supplying them with weapons anyway.
Now, more Infilitration!
... but can you spot the infiltrator? Can you?
Few Europeans, other than gypsies and foreigners, will ever trust a gargoyle!Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 13: "Few Europeans, other than gypsies and foreigners, will ever trust a gargoyle!"
It turns out the gargoyles are ruled by the Almighty Tallest.
Gargoyles & Gurgoyles
Anyway, gargoyles are considered to be demons, but that's slightly incorrect, but are really from another dimension. (The book still refers to them as "demons" repeatedly, though.) They're really common in Europe and China. (We'll see if that holds up in about twenty worldbooks.) Apparently they visited Earth before, which is why we make scary gargoyles! And now they're trying to take over the world.
So, gurgoyles are smaller and don't have wings, while gargoyles do. And now they're playable as PCs! They're realy strong, angile, and tough, but not very bright or charming. Gargoyles actually have more M.D.C. than a dragon hatchling, while gurgoyles have somewhat less. They do mega-puanch with their punches, and gargoyles get a flying tackle that has a 75% chance of knockdown. They regenerate slowly, get basic sensitive psychic powers, and are really, really fearless. They get a bunch of wilderness and general skills, and use the same XP table as the psi-stalker, even though they're much, much more powerful. Oh, and they hate vampires, no reason given. Female gargoyles and gurgoyles, for the record, have no boobs (no gargoyles have nipples, we find out) and mostly just look slightly more feminine.
NGR troops or backup dancers?
One out every hundred gargoyles is born as a gargoyle lord and so gets gargoyle superpowers, and one out of every four or eight thousand is a gargoyle high lord, which are basically gargoyle lords of level 5-10. And some become ultimate high lords, like Emperor Zerstrun! They get higher attributes and M.D.C., can turn into stone (makes them tougher, but slows them down), turn invisible, turn to stone and invisible, breathe fire, and get some more skills.
This is a rare gargoyle that gets natural elemental powers over stone, and basically are earth warlocks (from Rifts Conversion Book ). They're extra-rare - only 1 in 20,000 - and prefer to wear spooky cloaks and manipulate the gargoyle lords in fulfillment of ancient genre tropes. Sometimes they break free from gargoyle society and take over some poor dopes they can lord over, and generally tend to be more indepedent than other gargoyles.
In any case, they're the smartest gargoyles, if not the strongest. They can turn invisible, teleport, breathe fire, get to get a 4th level warlock, and a few extra psionic powers. It's not clear if they can learn more warlock spells, but can sense and speak to elementals, and apparently can learn druidic herbalism (but rarely give enough of a fuck to).
Thumbs up? Seems trustworthy.
These are basically mini-gargoyles at 3' high, and tend to be tricky and greedy instead of domineering or aggressive. They're valued as spies, but at the bottom of the gargoyle ladder. Still, though their attributes (other than Mental Affinity) are lower than other gargoyles, they can turn into stone, see in the dark, and turn invisible. Other than some extra rogue skills, they're really just wee versions of the other types. It notes that because their wings are small, they can't fly for over a half-hour before wearing out.
The Gargoyle as a Player Character
It notes that good-guy gargoyles are usually ostracized or exiled for being huge weirdos, and most European humans and D-Bees hate all gargoyles and they're likely to be treated as monsters or assholes or asshole monsters. Also it notes Asians hate gargoyles too, not that such is terribly relevant here. In the Americas and Africa, though, they're not as feared, and can be outright citizens in the New Phoenix Empire or Atlantis. It's basically a long pass-agg treatise of "so you want to play a gargoyle? Well, have the hardest time ever. "
Also, on a personal note, why would you ever play a gurgoyle or gargoyle, since you can play a lord, mage, or gargoylite? I mean, maybe you want to keep it real and not play a powerful character, but it's a bit silly to have them provide the option of playing the most powerful gargoyles ever and the wimpiest ever, too. Sure, gurgoyles level faster, but as covered in my original Rifts RPG review, it only matters in a very, very long-term campaign, and only slightly even then. A level 12 gargoyle lord will still outclass a level 15 gurgoyle by miles because of their inherent difference in power. I suppose gurgoyles have an easier time finding apartments, but that's about it.
And the climax of Infiltration!
Wait, why is the mage speaking in a different language? Wouldn't they all be speaking demogogian or whatever...?
Also, I love how the mindolar just sits back and is like 'skreeee'. How true, mindolar. How true.
Next: It's time to Rifts things up a bit with gargoyle mecha.
Since all gargoyles and gurgoyles can regenerate minor damage within an hour, few real monsters have any objections.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 14: "Since all gargoyles and gurgoyles can regenerate minor damage within an hour, few real monsters have any objections."
Gargoyles & Technology
"So, is that a... vibro... mace?
Gargoyles like technology now thanks to Triax blowing them up with technology, and so Mindwerks is giving them technology. What is Mindwerks? Fuck you, and buy Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks . That's all!
Methods of Recognizing EIRs
So gargoyles have developed means of detecting Enemy Infilitration Robots, such as:
Robots can be somewhat stiff and unimaginative, and sometimes show battle damage like a terminator after a fight. Alternately, having them not eat or be willing to torture an NGR baby are dead giveaways.
Gargoyles can use psionic powers to try and detect robots, but since all gargoyles have the Mind Block power, it's usually just circumstantial evidence.
Since some robot infitrators transmit back to base, gargoyles have gathered devices that let them detect and track radio signals.
Another is the cut test where you cut a gargoyle to see if they bleed; apparently most of them don't mind too much since they regenerate. However, most EIRs have fake blood and regenerate.
It notes that only Zerstrun's elite army of 50,000 gargoyles are armed with these weapons. First off, we have Gargoyle Body Armor , which provides 150 M.D.C. with a minor sneakiness penalty. Apparently few gargoyles wear it because they complain it's too confining. What's more, some gurgoyles use makeshift armor cobbled together out of enemy armor that has the same stats.
Gurgoyle G-10 Power Armor
This is a full suit of power armor just for gurgoyles that apparently is easy-to-use; Power Armor for Dummies . The gargoyles get a variant called the G-11 that reveals their wings for flight. It roughly doubles the M.D.C. of a gurgoyle, and has special rules for blowing off the helmet and then the head. Naturally, this gives the gurgoyle less M.D.C. if you explode their head by shooting their helmet than if you shoot a naked gargoyle in the head. It only makes sense!
Anyway, this has ion blasters (dinky damage), concealed back mini-missile launchers (coff bullshit coff), vibro-claws (dinky damage), and a vibro-axe (dinky damage). We get no art for it, but apparently it looks like a less stubby version of the Gurgoyle G-20.
Speaking of which!
Gurgoyle G-20 Avenger Combat Robot
On the left, the G-20, on the right, Tekkaman Axe (from Tekkaman Blade).
This is the bigger, tougher version of the G-10 that's a robot vehicle instead of power armor. Even though they're larger, the axe and claws still do the same damage, though it does more damage in hand-to-hand. In short, there's about as much in this robot as there is in this paragraph. Oh, and technically this is the robot the NGR fights in the first comic, only it should be nearly twice their height even though it's presented about the same height.
Gurgoyle G-30 Wrecker Combat Robot
On the left, the G-30, on the right, Tekkaman Evil (from Tekkaman Blade).
And this is the biggest gargoyle robot, which is actually piloted by two gurgoyles - a pilot and a gunner, and sometimes a gargoylite supervisor. Presumably, the latter just provides the brains. Anyway, this is the toughest gargoyle bot, but it's only average to tough compared to human bots. It has an ion cannon that is certainly not a penis, mini-missile launchers left undrawn, and has two electrified flails it can retract. The electrified flails can weaken normal foes, and take out sensory systems for those in armor or power armor. (Robot vehicles just take damage.) It also has wings, but can't fly! It can use the wings to cut you, tho, if you don't give it your wallet right now .
The Grenade Mace: for opening the world's biggest cans.
Spikes & Blades:
Apparently gargoyles often wear spikes to stab people with that give them bonus damage. How they manage to make them tough enough to take Mega-Damage hits is not explained.
Blaster Knuckle Spikes:
Brass knuckles that add damage and even more damage with a generic energy burst. Since it stuns a bit, I guess it's electricity damage, but it doesn't say.
Wing & Tail Blades:
Like the spikes & blaes, but now on wings for fly-bisections.
Blaster Neural Whip:
This is an electrified whip (I sense a theme) that will stun normal humanoids something fierce unles they have full body armor, but only dazes mega-damage creatures.
Gargoyle Firebrand Spear:
This is a techno-wizard spear that goes red-hot and sets crap on fire, in addition to doing big damage for melee. May be an
Ghosts & Goblins
reference, but probably not.
WR-12 Giant Ion Pistol:
This is a energy pistol designed for giant humanoids, but you wouldn't know it from the shitty damage or shitty range it has. In case you're wondering, this isn't the gun from the comics even though we have no art for it; it describes a "short shoulder stock". It also for some reason has the "WR" designation, even though that's used for Triax non-military weapons.
Gargoyle Grenade Mace:
This unwieldy mess can hit with spikes, blade, or launch a grenade. There's also a Gargoyle Laser Mace that is the same, but shoots a terrible laser for better range but much worse damage.
Super-Eight Pistol Mace:
No camera involved. Instead, this is a mace that can fire explosive bullets out the tip for alright damage... if it fires all eight at once, anyway. Not too super.
WR-100 Giant Laser Rifle:
An embarrassment. Once again, it has the "WR" designation for Triax non-military weapons. Maybe Triax supplies crappy, low-damage weapons like this to troll gargoyles. It's the only explanation. (And it's not the gun from the comics, since it has a "telescopic sight".)
WR-200 Giant Rail Gun: This is a rail gun (once again, without a power source) that, despite being much larger, does no more damage than the average rail guns used by borgs and their ilk in the corebook.
The Super-Eight: Optimal trigger placement.
It also reprints some Kittani weapons, and they're just as boring as the first time they were printed!
Now we begin the denoument of the worst assassination plan ever:
Actually, gargoyle mages don't have any useful powers for detecting cyborgs that regular gargoyles don't have, though the book insists otherwise.
Next: All of mainland Europe in eight pages.
These are the denizen that haunt Europe.Original SA post
Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR Part 15: "These are the denizen that haunt Europe."
A Quick Overview of Europe
So officially, the New German Republic covers all of Germany and the Netherlands. It's a notable force in Poland and has struggled over areas across Eastern Europe. Most of the "Monster Zones" are to the south and / or east of the NGR.
We get some population statistics which include such howlers as 1% dragons (1 in 100 people is dragon or equivalent), and 0.1% gods or alien intelligences (so, 1 in 1000 sentients). Fuck, Siembieda, just... think about... numbers, someday? Promise?
Apparently the supernatural is all over the place (after all, 1 in 20 sentients is a faerie), and there are all sorts of monsters, refugees, explorers, etc. Like with America, most of Europe is untouched wilderness, and most of the population are D-Bees (humans are a second). Asshole monsters are everywhere and so adventurers and mercenaries can make a living mopping them up. It notes that a lot of evil baddies are used to lording over peasants or just being able to pop heads with magic and so they won't be prepared for a full company of adventurers showing up with actual force.
France & Spain
The French Alps are claimed by the Gargoyle Empire, but the rest is wild. Paris is lorded over by non-Imperial gargoyles, and the Blood Druids. The Blood Druids are said to be in control of France and Spain, but in reality they just seem to be a relatively small cult. Oh, and stone megaliths on the French coast are now alive with magic. Kevin has nothing meaningful to say about Spain; it's wilderness! Moving on.
There have been a lot of little wars popping up for control of Italy, but the creatures taking over most prominently are the Wolfen from Palllaaaaadiiummm World (and Rifts Conversion Book ) who are taking over because Romulus and Remus and it is a mythology joke . They're psuedo-Roman in their tactics and some people think that Romans got rifted to their world and the wolves robbed their culture blind. Others say those people are full of shit.
Romania & Hungary
There are rumors that there are vampires in Romania! The gypsies say there are, and a few have shown up here and there. A wide variety of factions are vampire hunting around here, most notably Altantean extermination squads. In reality there has been a vampire intelligence, Vladapar, who has been trying to create enough vampires to gain a foothold, but they keep getting killed and so he hasn't been able to make enough to jump to this dimension.
Many old cities are filled with monsters, but humans are mostly centered around Poznan. Most of them are freaked out survivors who will basically blow the shit out of any monsters or anything hat looks like a monster or that it might be turning into a monster. Wilderness folk are generally super-paranoid and aloof as well, because fucking monsters, monsters everywhere, monsters in my soup, fuck man, you don't know man, you don't know.
The City of Poznan - Poland
Though below the tech curve compared to the NGR, they do have enough high-tech to get by (mostly provided by a subsidiary of Triax). The wealthy live in opulence underground, while the surface dwellers basically live in polluted crimeopolis. Cybernetics, Juicing, and drugs are common, as are gangs, drug dealers, and cyber-snatchers. However, they're more tolerant than th NGR, even if you look mostly human. We get a breakdown of their military, which mostly consists of mercenaries. The NGR also has two armored divisions stationed here and nearby.
Wroclaw - Poland
This is another industrial city, but it's mostly rural and not so monster-menaced.
The Gargoyle Empire
"Hugs!" "No hugs!"
The Gargoyle Empire claims Germany (!?), Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, northern Italy, northern Yugoslavia, and the Alps, but mostly they're centered out of the Swiss mountains, Austria, northern Italy, and northern Yugoslavia, and the Alps. They're relinquished Poland to the Brodkil, giving them the evil fistbump, and are allies and they love each other in an impure manner.
Usually found around France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Russia. Wherever there are rubes to rob, no doubt.
The Brodkil Empire
The stylish Brodkil accessorizes the shoulders but leaves the loins to cloth.
Or "northern Czechoslovakia and southwest Poland". Mostly they've just backed up the gargoyles, and most NGR forces figure they're pussies who aren't a serious threat. However, the Brodkil are smart (well, smarter than gargoyles, anyway), and have been biding their time and gathering technology and numbers to strike. They also have the backing of the (not detailed in this book) Angel of Death and (also not detailed in this book) Mindwerks, who have augmented a lot of Brodkil into borgs or crazies. And so the Brodkil dream of killing all humands and becoming the #2 empire in Europe. We get a reprint of their stats from Rifts Sourcebook , as well.
These are recent arrivals who are mysterious ugly humanoids and are masters of genetic engineering. They like to make monsters and freakish mutants... because? To be continued in Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks . Fuck you, readers!
Notes Concerning Non-Human Good Guys & D-Bees
We get details on a number of other forces.
The Simvan Monster Riders are here, and are generally respected as fearless warriors, some are good and some are bad.
True Atlantean Undead Slayers wander around killing monsters, and are often heroes of small wilderness communities.
Psi-Stalkers are all over, particularly in monster-ridden areas. Regardless of their moral leanings, they generally are seen as heroes because they hunt monsters. Some form packs and often they stake out territories.
Splugorth minions have been sent to help and watch over the gargoyles, but they're also trying to find out more about the various other forces here.
The Coalition has representatives and spies, mostly around the NGR.
Temporal raiders and their apprentices sometimes become protectors or despots.
We get a summary of German terms - which I'll just show you unexpurgated. My German is limited largely to "fliegende kinderscheisse", so I'll leave here for readers to pick at:
And the conclusion of "Infiltration"!
Next: The mystery of the missing gargoyle cocks! Wait, no, I'm just kidding, we are done, done, done.