Rifts World Book 6: South America by Alien Rope Burn
"You don't have to rely on your life experiences if you've got imagination."Original SA post
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Violence and the Supernatural
A Violência eo Sobrenatural
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
This book may be inappropriate for young readers.
Este livro pode ser inapropriado para jovens leitores.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
The fictional World of Rifts is violent, deadly and filled with supernatural monsters. Other-dimensional beings, often referred to as "demons," torment, stalk and prey on humans. Other alien life forms, monsters, gods and demigods, as well as magic, insanity, and war are all elements in this book.
O mundo ficcional de Rifts é violento, mortal e cheio de monstros sobrenaturais. Outros seres tridimensionais, muitas vezes referida como "demônios", tormento, perseguir e presa em seres humanos. Outras formas alienígenas de vida, monstros, deuses e semideuses, assim como a magia, loucura e guerra são todos os elementos deste livro.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Some parents may find the violence and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.
Alguns pais podem encontrar a violência e elementos sobrenaturais do jogo inapropriados para jovens leitores / jogadores. Sugerimos critério dos pais.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Please note that none of us at Palladium Books condone nor encourage the occult, the practice of magic, the use of drugs, or violence.
Por favor, note que nenhum de nós em Livros Palladium tolera nem incentivar o ocultismo, a prática da magia, o uso de drogas ou violência.
"Dinner is served, gentlemen!"
Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 1): "You don't have to rely on your life experiences if you've got imagination."
So, first, C.J. Carella thanks playtesters. Actual playtesters, for a Rifts book. One might suspect the apocalypse might have happened in 1994 if we didn't know better, for this certainly would have seemed like a sign of the end times. Carella introduces this, and this book is really Carella's more than any book on the line so far. Kevin Siembieda does meddle a lot more than I remembered, though, it seems almost inevitable at this point. But there's certainly nothing like Siembieda's bizarre anti-Naruni screeds from Rifts Mercenaries or the bizarre statblocks of the Golden Age Weaponsmiths. Carella gets a lot more freedom than he's had before. The result makes this one more interesting Rifts books. You have Carella writing about mythology he loves knotted with Rifts twists. It's an unsophisticated Trapper Keeper-level dream of post-apocalyptic South America, and I love it. Even the felinoids, because it's not just a city of cat people, it's a madman's love letter to cat people and it doesn't even care what you think.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Intimidating roar cancelled out by cat-junk.
C.J. Carella thinks "write what you know" is a bunch of bupkis, because he writes about wizards and stuff, but is glad to see he can turn his personal familiarity with living in Peru and Venezuela into writing about a city of cat people. There'll be a second book of South America stuff, and this book will focus on the northern end of the continent, while the second will be the southern end. Also, since Carella is writing it, it will actually come out! The art in this book is a mix of Palladium artists at the time - Long, Breaux, Siembieda, Petersen, etc. There's even a little hint of Brom, as you've seen.
And apologies for google translate's Portuguese, it is what it is.
Next: The Heart of Dimness.
"Does this mean that the Amazons that gave this river its name are actually the same Amazons mentioned in Greek mythology?"Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 2): "Does this mean that the Amazons that gave this river its name are actually the same Amazons mentioned in
An Overview of
The Travelogue of
Professor Augusto Cudbury of Lazlo
This is not Erin Tarn. Instead, we get an introduction by Augusto Cudbury, who has sailed south to explore South America on a ship called the Quester . Why South America? It's not entirely clear. It notes that his travelogue is only partial, since he sent drones back to Lazlo with his transcripts, but only some of them made it back. The Coalition may be behind this, but for the most part-
The First Transcript
November, 102 P.A.
So Augusto is sailing with Edmund Globetrotter, a shifter, and "the mysterious Claymore", who serves as his local Brock Samson. They ran into some monsters and lost one of their soldiers to an island-sized tentacle beast. Augusto frets about losing somebody already, and decides to use drones to do exploration of islands from now on.
The Second Transcript
March, 103 P.A.
Cudbury is amazed by the sights of the Amazon - which now floods the land and creates the "Thousand Islands" region - but is less amazed by the heat or biting insects. They're approached by gunboats from the nation of Columbia, which Augusto finds out is a human-dominated nation under siege by vampires. Though it's a human supremacist nation, they do treat dwarves equally and respect magic as a resource. To that end, they have techno-magical "anti-monster" cyborgs. He learns a lot about the other nations of South America, including:
Vampire Kingdoms to the west.
The Silver River Republics; i.e. Argentina.
The Empire of the Sun, appearently an Incan empire ruled by their ancient gods. Also there might be aliens there?
El Dorado, which has a lot of crazy rumors around it.
The Pirate Kingdoms, which is what it sounds like + connections to Atlantis.
Also, apparently there are super-piranha that can tear through power armor, so there's that.
The Third Transcript
May, 103 P.A.
They encounter a civil war between lizardmen tribes, as dragons are taking over the lizardman lands. They fight a dragon and lose a lot of people, but Claymore mounts it as a trophy to scare away other dragons and lizard-sorts.
The Fourth Transcript
July, 103 P.A.
It turns out the Pantheon of Dragonwright (see Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis ) are the evil sorts conquiering the lizardmen. They've had a lot more battles, one of which killed Globetrotter. Things are looking grim and they're trying to make their way to Argentina.
The Fifth Transcript
August, 103 P.A.
Even though they've escaped Lagarto, the dragon kings seem to be harrying them, and a disguised dragon nearly blows up their power plant. However, they run into literal Grecian amazons (get it?), who are apparently from Manoa, a city at war with Omagua and Cibola, which are apparently all alternative versions of El Dorado. An amazon guide accompanies them, and they learn that Cibola is a haven for monsters, cannibalism, slavery, etc., which Augusto recognizes as being like the Splugorth. Fun times!
The Sixth Transcript
September, 103 P.A.
We join after some missing transcripts where the Quester is sinking, after apparently they refused Cibola a slave tribute, and they were attacked by hundreds of monsters on flying platforms which they fight off, only to lose a huge amount of their crew and their ship. They opt to flee south overland, hoping to send their remaining drones with word once they reach safety. Augusto & Co. are never heard from again. I'm not saying that sarcastically in that they show up in a future supplement - nope. They're gone. No Erin Tarnish escapes and returns for them, it seems.
On that upbeat note, welcome to South America!
Rifts South America
So, almost all of South America's people perished in the disasters, as it thruns out. Also, the Amazon River is now insanely huge. It's still freshwater, though the reasons it hasn't become another sea are mysterious. Blame rifts . Seriously, it suggests there's a rift to the Elemental Plane of Water (a D&D ism not seen before or since in Rifts ) that keeps it stocked with freshwater. We get some guidelines on weather and special rules for environmental systems getting overloaded or clogged, which causes robots and armor to overheat and give penalties. There's also rich wildlife and flora, though there's also getting to be a lot of cross-dimensional pollenation (like giant vampire bats ). Finally, we get some new languages: Creole (unrelated to the Pre-Rifts language) and the semi-new language of Demongogian (spoken in Cibola and by some vampires). Also, Portuguese is brought up again; otherwise, it's English, Spanish, and Dragonese all about.
Next: Columbia's finest.
"The conflict became fiercer when it was discovered that the vampires' master had allied itself with a demonic being that was trying to transform South America into a desert!"Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 3): "The conflict became fiercer when it was discovered that the vampires' master had allied itself with a demonic being that was trying to transform South America into a desert!"
The Republic of Colombia
It starts with numbers! There are 1.7 million humans! 150 thousand dwarves! 2,500 jungle elves, whatever they are! 800 were-jaguars! 16 dragons!
This is a human-run nation like the Coalition or the New German Republic, but has greater tolerance for magic usage. See, after the rifts, Colombia was ailing, but the military took over the nation. A combination of military order and a influx of techno-wizard dwarf refugees (because rifts) known as "Enanos" helped out. There were a lot more D-Bees accepted back then, but things would change because of vampires.
The Vampire Wars
First, vampires appeared! But then the military found them and staked or used squirt guns or whatever and they thought - they thought - that the vampire menace had been driven out. But then a vampire force leading thousands of demonic creatures did simultaneous lightning raids on Colombian villages across the nation in the-
NIGHT OF BLOOD
The vampires and their evil demonic allies murdered whole villages and towns, but even though the Colombians were caught off guard by the-
NIGHT OF BLOOD
- they were able to rally and fight off many of the attackers, causing the vampire assault to lose half its forces. Of course, all this meant war, because they wanted revenge for the-
NIGHT OF BLOOD
Also they found out the vampires had allied with a demon that was trying to turn South America into a desert. How they found that out isn't particularly clear, but they did. Maybe a vampire let something slip during a particularly villainous rant. The war has gone on for nearly a century, and a decade ago - in a display of competency that would shock the Coalition or NGR - they nearly wiped out the vampires, destroying most of their cities, but the bloodsuckers have a cockroach-like tenacity.
It hasn't helped that Colombia has become racist against D-Bees due to them not being able to tell demons from D-Bees. So you have D-Bees teaming up with the vampires after being kicked out of Colombia. Well, less "teaming up" and more "please I'll do as you say please don't eat me".
Colombia is a military republic, where local government is democratic but national government is a military dictatorship, if a largely benevolent one for humans and dwarves. Other D-Bees can fuck off, though, and are treated as second-class citizens at best. Human rights are (usually) respected, and they hate throwing people in prisons. They hate prisons so much, they'll usually just execute you instead, or comdemn you into forced labor. Of course, the labor is also likely to get one killed. So it goes. The head of the country is General Mauricio de la Plaza, who is a brilliant tactician, distinguished racist, and is "honorable but ruthless" aside from the racism.
"Are we a real military if we don't put skulls on everything?"
Largely, Colombia has 19th century values, where the military and landowners are the upper class and everybody else better be humble or else. It notes that the country is "religious and patriotic" but doesn't say what religion, because Rifts is too terrified of religious protestors to mention Catholics exist. The military is a meritocracy, and so it's the main way for commoners to rise up social ranks. It's noted that the government rarely abuses its power unless people speak out against them or are suspected of being vampire collaborators, which I can't imagine is all that rare..
There are also six wealthy families that rule over large plantations. (There were eight, but two of them tried defying the military.) They have rivalries and big dramatic telenovela-esque story arcs that Rifts will never care about.
Dwarves, as noted, are accepted as citizens. Lizard people are accepted, but are still firmly second-class. Other D-Bees are judged based on looks, and the less human you are, the more likely you are to be expelled or killed. Dragons are the exception, and are allowed to stay if enough humans can vouch for their character. It notes that some D-Bees rely on human stand-ins to make business deals or contracts on their behalf, while a lot of the exiles have formed border towns like in the NGR.
Colombia relies on strike teams to go after anything that crawls out of a rift. Known monsters are destroyed, D-Bees are usually exiled, and humans and near-humans are often accepted. Sometimes really terrible things crawl out, and they have to do a national alert to stop something really bad. It notes that once they had to fight some god-being for an hour before driving it back into a rift, and are worried it will return! (It won't, at least in published material.)
Time for a discussion of things we have no context for yet!
are jerks and stop by for raid for slaves every now and again.
Kingdom of Bahia
is friendly to Colombia, but doesn't like their D-Bee policies.
has some friction, being run by elf hippies who don't like
, but they do trade with Colombia occasionally.
Kingdom of Lagarto
is going to end up going to war with Colombia in the near future due to it being filled with draconic dickholes.
Empire of the Sun
has had skirmishes with Colombia, but no real contact.
Silver River Republics
trade with Colombia, and provide a lot of their technology.
did indeed intercept Cudbury's reports from the introduction, and had started having talks with Colombia, though they are a bit grossed out by all the magic around. Still, they might seek Colombia's aid in attacking Atlantis or Mexico.
This is the capital city and a frequent focus of vampire attacks, but has fought off seven sieges, because apparently vampires learn badly. They have modern accomidations and entertainment, and essentially anything wandering murderhobos might need. It notes that though credits are used here, reales and coronas are the main currency, in defiance of Rifts usually insisting on a single currency across continents and dimensions.
Festivals occur about once a month to try and defuse the constant tension the city lives under, though it's accompanied by increased security to prevent "mini-riots" or to watch for vampire activity.
Also, they make anti-monsters here, which is apparently the main human enhancement practiced here- they apparently don't have juicer, crazy, or cyborg technology. What's an anti-monster? No time for that, let's talk about crime! The Black Market is here! What's the Black Market? Fuck off, we're over a dozen books into the game line and we can't be bothered to explain that! Instead let's talk about Doctor Prometheus, who's a Splugorth spy who gives modification treatments to criminals using bio-wizardry! Where are the rules for those? There are none, let's talk about vampires getitng into the city! They're spies!
Then we get a bunch of numbers and lists of equipment describing the Colombian forces of La Fortaleza in exhaustive detail. Until the Coalition, they have wizards in their army, including "voodoo priests" and "biomancers", which we'll see described later. Which is weird, given that biomancers are A) pacifist hippies or B) raging ecoterrorists. Maybe they're medics? Oh, and they have psychics, too.
Other Places of Note
is the center of magical learning, so come alle ye Harre Pottres. It's not as well proticted but it's filled with wizards, so.
is a large trading port, but has grim gang issues, including "The Caribs", who are rumored to be a cannibal gang.
- Bonito is the largest D-Bee haven in Colombia, including a large ogre "colony" and all sorts of weirdies. Apparently it's rather independent and the central military doesn't have much sway here. They also trade with the *dun dun dun* Pirate Kingdoms.
"When fighting vampires, the gun is loaded with solid wood warheads."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 4): "When fighting vampires, the gun is loaded with solid wood warheads."
Weapons & Armor of Colombia
Blah blah mundane weapons blah blah knockoff Wilk's guns blah blah blow guns- wait, are there rules for blow guns? Anyway, it's time to discuss the newest set of guns that is mostly just like any other set of guns in Rifts . It notes that some people might have Kittani weapons and armor from Atlantis!... but those weapons may have been purchased using slaves . So there's that. (Buy Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis for numbers on that.)
A gun is just a collage of squares, right?
RC-10 Laser Pistol:
This is "the best that can be produced with local technology", which must not be terribly impressive, because this is about as low-yield as M.D.C. weapons get. Police and thugs use it, pretty much the same guys,
am I edgy yet?
RC-15 Laser Rifle:
The Colombian army rifle, it's apparently sturdy and does decent damage for a rifle. It says "Many think of of it as an energy shotgun." but the rules have no actual shotgun-like effect, so not sure where that's coming from.
Dragon-1 Plasma Projector:
Essentially like all other plasma rifles in
with slightly lower damage. Cut / paste.
RP-C20 Rocket Pistol:
Yes, it fires tiny rockets, which do weak normal damage, but can be loaded with wood-loaded warheads for use against vampires.
RR-C40 Rocket Rifle:
Does actually about the same amount as a rail gun, only without requiring you to lug around a leaky nuclear reactor. Also can have wood-loaded rounds, which is pretty decent for chewing up vampires - most vamps will go down after three bursts and half a clip of ammo. (
vampires are ridiculously fucking tough, as it turns out.)
RAR-C15 Rocket Auto-cannon Rifle:
This requires high strength or a tripod, but does some pretty great damage for a man-portable weapon, actually outclassing most weapons you see on vehicles. It'll chew up a vampire with wood rounds in about two bursts, or about 20% of an ammo belt.
RA-C15 Rocket Auto-cannon:
The king of rocket-spitting Colombian justice, this requires even higher strength, a crew with a tripod, or a ridiculously strong monster person to use, but does even more damage, and can take out a vampire in one burst of wooden rounds on average.
It's best when your enemy can see your ammo supply, right?
I'm not sure why Colombia fucks around with laser or plasma weapons at all, given their rocket weapons do 50% to 200% extra damage, comparatively. They even have better range! It's an interesting way for Carella to sneak in higher damage value weapons to balance the game, but the actual effect when comparing guns is weird.
Colombian Robots & Power Armor
Because Colombia is lower-tech than the Coalition or Triax, they run on rechargeable batteries for the most part, using gas-powered generators on trucks to do recharges. Because of that, Colombian power armor doesn't see widespread use beyond their borders due to this "disturbing shortcoming". Given the price of nuclear reactors in Rifts (and the bizarre handwaving of mining fissie materials), though, it makes a lot more fictional sense than 90% of the technology presented so far.
D-20 Light Combat Exoskeleton
An armor that makes a soldier about twice as tough as normal, lets them hup hup hup at about 50 MPH, and has a 12 hour power supply. It also comes with an RAR-C15 rifle. No relation to isocahedrons or 3e .
D-30 "Conquistador" Power Armor
Smallpox sprayer not included.
Yes, it is designed to look like a 10' conquistador. It's actually not that tough as far as power armor goes, though, tending towards th light end of things. It has a meh bazooka, mini-missile launchers, and a respectable rocket machinegun (much like the RA-C15, only longer-range), and a 10 hour power charge.
G-9A "Jaguar" Light Robor Vehicle
21' of catlike grace.
Apparently this pre-dates the rifts, because even the ancient people before the cataclysm apparently though that giant cat robots were a rad idea. However, they require having nuclear power plants imported, so their price is high. Also, the cat people of Omagua have secretly purchased and smuggled some of these in for use because they think they're rad. Cats are vain, I suppose. They actually aren't very tough for being 21' cat-men-robots, but can run around at 90 MPH. They have a decent auto-cannon, dinky eye lasers, and mini-missiles. They don't really live up to the hype.
G-18B "Aguirre" Heavy Combat Robot
"Vehicles based on assholes."
"This robot vehicle is named after an infamous Spanish explorer and soldier known for his atrocities and fierceness." Uh-huh. Anyway, this is a 27' robot named after an infamous murderer, and it's moderately tough, has an average autocannon, medium-range missiles, crummy lasers, and a silver vibro-sword that can slice up a vampire in two swings. Interesting that, given the mechanics of the rocket rifles, a soldier can carry a weapon just as deadly as a 21' tall robot.
Lancero Light Tank/APC
Turrets on turrets on turrets.
An APC with guns on, this comes in several flavors:
Designed for direct combat, holds 10 dudes.
Designed for artillery and support, holds 5 dudes.
Design for fighting vamps, because V is for Vampire. Holds 3 dudes.
The big mystery? Type B is supposedly for artillery, but has no weapons that Type A doesn't have, and only seems to have a reduced crew compartment but nothing to fill that space - no extra ammo or weapons or anything like that.
Zancudo Transport & Attack Helicopter
It means "mosquito", which is a weird name for a vehicle you fight vampires with.
It's a helicopter with a crummy autocannon and mini-missiles and goes 200 MPH and I'm so bored with this, there are ambulance and cargo versions but their only change is missing the missiles bam im out
Next: A little Brom.
"These characters are tragic heroes committed to defending a world that does not completely accept them."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 5): "These characters are tragic heroes committed to defending a world that does not completely accept them."
The Anti-Monster O.C.C.
All it takes is a little magic, a touch of cybernetics, and a full case of Weight Gain 4000.
The cover guy for the book, this is a magical cyborg created by Columbia. How do they do it?
Atlantis suspects they're made by a god or a supernatural intelligence (buy Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis ), a few people aware of Wormwood think they're related to the Holy Terrors (buy Rifts Dimension Book One: Wormwood ), while others think they may be created by the "extradimensional genius" Doctor Articulus or a peer of his (buy Rifts Sourcebook One ). The final suspicion seems the most accurate, since they seem to match up with the magic cyborg from Rifts Sourcebook One , but it's left a mystery.
To make an Anti-Monster, you need:
One (1) psychic or wizard
One (1) secret magic ritual
Various (???) techno-wizard bionic parts
The Anti-Monsters are cold, hard machines but loyal to humanity, like Robocop. Why they're so loyal is... well, it's a mystery again, but apparently exceedingly few go bad. However, the process makes 50% of them intolerant of human weakness, and 90% of them become cold and merciless-
- I want to see the survey that gets you kind of information, like does it say: "Do you feel your standards regarding mercy have changed since becoming an Anti-Monster? A) I feel more merciful B) I feel about the same level of mercy C) I feel less merciful"-
- and 80% of them have an obsession, usually fighting vampires or fighting supernatural evil or protecting humans, but 40% (which is to say 32% of all Anti-Monsters) roll on the normal obsession tables, which means you can get bizarre stuff like an anti-monster obsessed with being a criminal mastermind ("just call me Anti-Moriarty!... wait, that doesn't work") or become an (unlicensed) psychiatrist because get it psychiatrists are the real crazy people get it, ha ha... fuck those tables.
So what does one get? Well, a pretty hefty around of M.D.C. at 400+, super-strength, super-charisma, super-agility, super-endurance, and super-speed. But you're ugly. You're immune to most hazardous environments, get some minor spellcasting, can sense psionics, spells, and supernatural beings, and get a variety of bonuses, chiefly against fear and psionics. However, you take extra damage from rune weapons, Wormwood crystals, Millennium tree goodies, and a penalty on stealth.Skills are enemic but not horrible, and you can get cyborg armor, effectively doubling your M.D.C. to 800+. You also can get some minor cybernetics, if you want.
It's a really strong ground-pounding class, but doesn't have much breadth. Pretty much for those players who want to just be an all-around better 'Borg, really. It suffers from, despite being a monster hunting class, running into the fact that a lot of supernatural stuff will still stymie it. It can't see the invisible, it can't counter teleportation or regeneration, etc. Though its punches do damage to vampires, it can't do much to a mist-form vampire or destroy them without a secondary tool. Alas.
But you do get to play a piece of ultra-roided Brom art, so there's that!
Next: A vampire with a sombrero.
"A humanoid with an over-developed, muscular upper torso and arms and relatively short legs and narrow waist, giving him an almost cartoonish appearance."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 6): "A humanoid with an over-developed, muscular upper torso and arms and relatively short legs and narrow waist, giving him an almost cartoonish appearance."
The Vampire Kingdom of Haktla (The Columbian Andes)
First, we get numbers. There are four master vampires! Four thousand secondary vampires! Two thousand of those are in suspended animation! Two thousand wild vampires! One thousand of those are in suspended animation! Rainy day vampires! There are five thousand assorted demons! Buy the demon variety pack! Three hundred thousand humans! Two hundred and fifty-
So most vampires stay the hell out of South America, because as we know by now, vampires in Rifts are literally water-soluble. For those joining us late, yes, vampires will melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in this setting in any "running water", raindrops and squirt guns included. However, Haktla, a mean giant vampire intelligence (they're like Lovecraftian vamp-making factories), was like fuck that, imma make it a desert! Coincidentally, he knew just the dude, and that dude was Enumu, King of Drought. Enumu is a demon who goes around soliciting worship as a protection racket using his drought powers. "Nice ecology you got there, be a shame if somethin' happened to it." People had kicked Enumu around enough though, that he had become a demonic hobo and so Haktla was like mi casa es su casa and Enumu has crashed on his couch ever since. And that couch was the Columbian Andes.
As we know from the Columbia section, these guys have been making war on humanity for centuries, and they have one of the biggest vampire kingdoms anywhere. Haktla is not a subtle vampire but has been hesitant to play his hand too much because he's worried about all the other supernatural forces in the world. Also he adopted some magic bat people from another world, because when you're a vampire blob, you have a image to maintain. And that image is helped by magic bat people that can be psychically controlled by vampires. Coincidence abounds!
Their main city is Pyramid City that is built aroudn a "Mayan-style" pyramid (not be confused with actual Mayans, but we'll meet them much later), so Haktla is a Mayan poseur, essentially. The human population are slaves that donate blood to support the vampiric masters and see them as gods, except for "less than 10%" that "seriously consider rebelling". Wow, how fuckin' vague is that. Could be 1%, could be 9%, could be actual rebels, could be those that just think about rebelling extra hard.
The Plaza of Punishment
Pyramid City has a place where people are hung regularly to terrify the populace where they're tortured or have their blood drained or wh'ev. It's generally foreigners or rebels that are brought here, though if they don't have any of those they'll just hang up somebody at random. Those who try and help anybody at the Plaza are either killed or just put next in line. And then killed.
Enumu, Lord of Drought
This guy is a demonic "semi-elemental" (a word that not explained and which is never important) that can can control the weather, and uses it to extort places across the megaverse until people get sick of his shit and kick him out. He's best buds with Haktla because he's finally on the gravy train without anybody rebelling against him, all he has to do is cancel the rain (for vampires) or bring the rain (against invading troops). He's generally kind of bossy and arrogant and cruel, you know, generic demon guy.
Ultimately he's your generic supernatural Rifts demigod; he has 1800 M.D.C., putting him on the level of with vampire intelligences, regens, is immune to lightning, teleports locally and dimensionally, knows all air & water & fire spells, and can control the weather for a thousand miles. Like you do.
Hak-Talon, Master Vampire
"Could I possibly be evil in this hat?"
Hak-Talon is an evil vampire in a menacing sombrero.
Oh, there's more.
Apparently he was a simple shepard until he was enticed by dreams of power that involved biting all the people he hated, and rejected them until he was eventually like "you know, in this dreams I get to be the boss of everybody" and finally like he got rejected by a girl and he was fuck it vampire time and took up Haktla's deal of being vampire numero uno and so he turned a bunch of villagers into vampires and started taking over the local area.
He's power-hungry, thanks to Haktla's machinations pushing him to eviler ends, and realizes he's hit his vampiric glass ceiling and wants to find a way to become a vampire intelligence, but he's really secretive about it for the obvious reasons. He has "Indian features" which I'm pretty sure doesn't mean Hindi and is "attractive in a terrible, scary way". Also he's 11th level.
Giant Vampire Bats
A D-Bee Monster
"I am the night!"
These aren't really giant vampire bats, but more giant vampire man-bats. They hate the light and don't hesitate to eat people, so they're more... just... giant man-bats. Except they're 5' tall, so maybe not so giant. Just man-bats, then.
They may have been created by mystery bullshit foo foo to serve vampires or maybe it's just coincidence, but they can be summoned and controlled by master vampires and their vampire intelligence bosses... let's see... caves can have flocks of 2d6 to 1d6 x10 individuals (that's some big fuckin' caves) they naturally travel in groups of 1d4+1, and are organized by Haktla in groups of 1d4+5. Number appearing, folks! They've got mild M.D.C. (about the same as an armored human), radar, regen, modest melee damage, and are vulnerable to silver and sunlight (but they're not vampires!), an can track blood and bluuuuh I'm done.
... doesn't get any stats, or even a description. Well, none of the vampire intelligences have gotten thei specific stats. Presumably you just randomly roll him up as a generic vampire intelligence from Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms , who cares about fangblobs? Not this book!
Next: Pirates of the Amazon.
"A few pirate bands do not kill, rape or plunder indiscriminately, but limit their attacks to rich or tyrannical targets like modern Robin Hoods of the seas."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 7): "A few pirate bands do not kill, rape or plunder indiscriminately, but limit their attacks to rich or tyrannical targets like modern Robin Hoods of the seas."
The Pirate Kingdoms
40% humans, 20% lizard men, 40% assorted D-Bees, one guaranteed rare D-Bee in every pack!
So these are a variety of pirate-dominated islands about halfway down the Amazon river (as a reminder, the Amazon is expanded to essentially be sea-sized now). They're mostly just organized as per their trade, and don't travel as far as the Pacific, because apparently a different group of pirates called the Bahia Pirates there. Who are the Bahia Pirates? Read Rifts World Book Seven: Undersea ! Or don't, because there are no such pirates mentioned in that book . They also trade a lot of slaves to the Splugorth, which is their main source of income.
We get the population stats again, and they have a cliff-heavy, battery-defended island that has fought off the Columbian forces twice. Kryang is their titular leader, and it bears noting that despite Palladium's licenses at the time, he has nothing to do with Terrordomes or turtles. Instead, he's a Rathos demon (as noted in Rifts Dimension Book One: Wormwood ). The actual port and town is fairly ramshackle and disorganized, except for his highly fortified palace. It's a den of scum and villainy, etc.
"My kingdom for a pair of comfy chonglers."
A former interdimensional mercenary, Kryang was in a battle where a wizard opened a bunch of Rifts, and Kryang was sucked through to his present home, where he took over on account of his demony powers. He's become a famous pirate and even has gotten Splynncryth's attention (see Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis ), even if the big giant dictator blob is just humoring him for the most part. His turn ons: piracy and gladatorial combat. His turn-offs: being interesting or nuanced in any way.
In any case, he's about as tough as a dragon hatching, but is about twice as strong, can regen, has a pretty random selection of spells from spoiling your food to making a wall of clay. He likes using Kittani that shoots weapon and has a fire rune wand that shoots fire, predictably.
We also get stats for a "typical Kryang Pirate" which actually just gives some guidelines that keep saying "Varies wit the character's race and R.C.C.", which makes me wonder why it's laid out as a statblock.
This is a trading port for Atlantis, who have their one note to hit over and over - slavery! This is a main place for pirates to dispose of their booty, and has a magic pyramid so the Splugorth can use their pyramid power to defend the island with ley line storms.
It's really horrible and brutal, etc., but not interesting, so I'm moving on.
something something aiming at his own crew something
The Brethren of the Coast are back! Or still around. It isn't clear. There are the River Rats, who use "hydro-bikes", not what we have much idea what those are. There are The Wreckers, who use warlocks to force ships onto reefs and make them sink, which seems like a dumb idea if you're going to try and loot ships, but what what do I know? I'm not a warlock. Presuming they have to use magic to dredge shit off the bottom when they're done. There are also merchants that double as part-time pirates, and it notes you can come up with new pirates if you really want! Honest, you're allowed.
Sailors might use canoes or they might use mega-subs! They might be travelers or they may be explorers! They may be seeking the big job or just might be working joes!
... basically this is an awfully vague description that sounds a lot more like Siembieda than Carella. Hm. That would explain the general... boring... ness of the Pirate Kingdoms in general. Naturally, the sailor gets a variety of boat-centric skills and a little bit of extra endurance. They get a modest variety of other skills, but nothing to give up being a Godling over. There are also special rules for armor with floaters attached that "allow the character to swim while wearing armor", even though armor has never been a drawback for swimming before. Oh, and the low strength requirement means this is one of the few Rifts occupational classes players have a 91% chance of qualifying for.
Some pirates lose legs or eyes, she lost half of her waist.
We get some descriptions of the pirate condition and generalities. We also are told that the captain gets 30-40% of the booty, the first mate gets 10-20%, and normal sailors get 0.5-1%, a number that would cause mutiny with most historical pirates, where the captain traditionally only got 2-5 times the amount of your average sailor. We're told there are a few Robin Hood-ish sorts but most pirates are slavering, slaving, slaughtering maniacs. It notes many pirates will actually have other classes like juicers or smugglers. But they have to bone up on their boating, I guess.
Stat-wise it's basically a more fighty sailor that takes a punch to the breadbasket in terms of skills in exchange for better hand to hand and a lot of weapon profiencies. It gets an endurance boost that's a little better than the Sailor. And they get a 1d4 minor cybernetics, if they want some. And lastly, their physical requirements mean you have a 75% chance of getting a chance to play one.
We also get a long discussion of all the other O.C.C.s you can play in this area, so if you want to play an herbalist pirate or flooper pirate, it's official, your GM can't stop you. It's in the book. The pirate section is ultimately one of the more dull ones and I feel like I hear a lot of Siembieda's voice in it. It's too bad! Pirates are really interesting, and it takes a lot of hard work to make magical demon pirates less interesting than actual historical pirates, but there you have it.
Next: Misunderstanding Vodou.
"Prepared and fortified, the priests were able to defend their people while all around them millions of nonbelievers died horribly."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 8): "Prepared and fortified, the priests were able to defend their people while all around them millions of nonbelievers died horribly."
The Land of a Thousand Islands
Now it's time to discuss the areas closer to the mouth of the Amazon, which mainly deals with two areas: Bahia and Maga, which are both magically-dominated countries.
The Kingdom of Bahia
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Author's Note: The descriptions and O.C.C.s described in this section make mention of the mystical religion of Voodoo . Although the word voodoo commonly refers to evil magic, the raising of zombies, and similar mischief, Voodoo is an actual religion worshipped in many places in America. The depiction of Voodoo in this book is pure fantasy and has no relationship to existing religions or reality.
Yes, the same boilerplate nonsense from Rifts Conversion Book Two returns. Previously used to excuse away using Hindi deities, now used for Vodou. Remember, Palladium Books exists in a topsy-turvy land where getting it wrong is more respectful .
So we learn that before the Rifts, every priest and priestess of Voodoo started having nightmares and premonitions of the disaster to come. That's right. Druids, they were clueless. Hindis didn't know. Jehovah didn't bother to warn any of his fans. But Voodoo. Voodoo knew the truth. So they gathered everybody they could convince (which turned out to be like only a few hundred people, whups), and then they went to a secret place they'd prepared and used their magic (boosted by the Cataclysm) to protect their people through the troubles. And they named their new land Bahia, after the lost city what was once the center of Voodoo-
Bahia is actually the center of not Vodou , but Candomblé , a related but different religion. It has similar roots, but it is not the same. Yes, unfortunately, Rifts transplanted the entirely wrong religion in , unless for some reason Haitian Voudons went on down to Bahia for no particular reason and then named themselves after a city that had no particular importance to them at all. It's like calling Israel a Christian nation - close enough, right? They both believe in this God fellow and angels and stuff and all that... after all, it references houngans (wrong: the correct term is pai-de-santo) and mambos (wrong: the correct term would be mãe-de-santo) and that they're guided by loas (wrong: the correct term would be orishas).
Getting back on track, they were able to trade their rich, magically-fuelled crops for technology, and so have a pretty decent standard of living despite having no real industrial base. Good for them! I'd be really glad to hear about one of the few places in Rifts that isn't run by a dictator, overrun by monsters, locked in eternal war, or generally doomed... if it wasn't such a cultural blunder.
It's a dual monarchy, ruled by a King and Queen who are not necessarily married, so sometimes it's been ruled over by different relatives or strangers, but the leadership is chosen by the spirits , whatever that entails. They then name a cabinet that handles most of the actual administration, though it's generally local Voodoo (wince) priests that actually handle looking after local towns.
Though it's mostly rural, most of major cities do actually have 20th Century-style amenities. It's ultimately a theocracy overseen by Voodoo (double wince) priests, though other spellcasters are valued as well, unless they're necromancers, witches, mind bleeders, or rain makers. Wait, rain makers? I think they were just listing off Rifts World Book Four: Africa for a bit here.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
The people of Bahia tend to view things in a relaxed, unhurried manner. The work gets done, but people are rarely in a rush to do anything. The villagers tend to be happy, boisterous people, given to dance and music. Bahia is also open to beings of all species. D-Bees find themselves cheerfully accepted and treated as equal members of the community, provided they follow the voodoo laws and religion.
There's a feeling here much like World Book Four: Africa where the African people are treated as specially magical and wise and all too willing to toss away their jeans and run off to live in a magical utopia like their ancestors. Once again, it's well-meaning, but... it's a romantically prejudiced view. I'm not saying there isn't a room for a near-Utopian nation, but it justifies it based on some magical wisdom passed down from Africa instead of having a people who have faces or names or accomplishments all their own.
The *sigh* Voodoo priests use *sigh* loa to monitor nexus points for rifts and to defend their land from bad things that pop out, though non-hostile arrivals are usually allowed to roam free after some questioning.
Atlantis tries to enslave Bahians but for the most part Bahia has been able to fight them off. Columbia has a strong trade with Bahia and they have an informal agreement of mutual assistance. Maga isn't really friends with anybody because they're snooty elves, but they're less non-friends with Bahia because voodoo is closer to nature , apparently. Lagarto is driving refugees to Bahia and the Voodooians are really concerned about the stories they're bringing. Silver River trades technology to Bahia, but that's the limit of their relationship. The Coalition thinks Bahia is a collection of magic-corrupted maniacs who need to be stopped, but they're in no rush about it. We get some listings of their power armor and unit composition and all that boring stuff and then the-
Voodoo Priest O.C.C.
They're trying not to cast Vodou in a negative light.
For the record, you have about a 2% chance of playing one of these thanks to the really high mental requirements. Of course, we get a diatribe about voodoo not being evil, though there is the rare evil priest that is either shunned or killed by the good ones. It also notes you can use the Medicine Man or Rain Maker O.C.C.s from Rifts World Book Four: Africa , because hell, Brazilian and African religion is all just one single tradition, right?
But what can they do? Well, they can commune with spirits. We don't have any information on these spirits, but they can commune with them. They can control loa by doing a 10 minute ceremony, which the loa resists with a save vs magic, which makes things tough for the priest, since loa get a bonus to that, so it's like a 65% chance of success unless the loa is particularly powerful. They can control one to five loa depending on their level. Also, you have a 55% chance of getting an ancestral loa that hangs out all the time, though if you miss that roll, you get a new roll every two levels to see if your ancestor shows up. Of course, if your loa gets destroyed, you only get a 25% chance every two levels of getting a replacement. That's right, your class feature can be snuffed out by a bad crit. With all this, I'm gonna skip ahead and see what loas can do.
There are two types: divine ones that serve a voodoo gods, and ghostly loas, who are energy beings that have absorbed memories from a dead person and think that they're ghosts. They aren't very tough, about as tough as a human in mega-damage armor, but they're immune to most physical attacks - something has to be magical or psionic to hurt them. They're invisible and intangible, though they can appear as ghoooosts. They can possess and control people, which gives the host a decent bonus to physical traits, but it won't make people M.D.C. They also need to eat magical energy given by rituals, priests, or ley lines. They also get two super psionic powers depending on their patron deity or role in life. It also gives a warning that you can't use them as PCs because they're too niche and alien, which seems weird coming from Rifts , which lets you play a dryad, a faerie who can't leave the immediate vicinity of a single tree .
We also get a list of Voodoo gods, most of which are not shared by Candomblé, unsurprisingly at this point, since Brazil = Haiti for all purposes here.
Ultimately, loas do have some decent utility, though I wouldn't ever put one in a fight. They also have the issue that practically any supernatural threat in Rifts can see the invisible and has magic or psionic attacks. Those Splugorth forces they're supposedly driving off can make ectoplasm of these things pretty readily, so priests better be able to enlist these suckers in graveyard numbers to actually be a major supernatural force in a conflict.
They get an exorcism ability like African priests and the ability to turn dead because everything is fuckin' D&D . They get some minor normal spellcasting which levels very slowly, with the punishing fact they can't take high level spells until they actually reach those levels, unlike most spellcasters. They also get a small chunk of bonuses to mental defenses, modest wilderness and mystic skills (Voodoo priests are renowned trackers, aparently), and that's that. They aren't a bad spellcasting class, honestly, but they don't have nearly the flexibility of the core spellcasting classes. For a force that's supposed to defend an entire nation, they're relatively limited in what they can do.
And that's it! It'd almost be interesting if it was better handled culturally or mechanically, but... as it is, it's a letdown, particularly after the relative nuance of Columbia. Yes, the guys with the conquistador robots.
Next: Ferngully, Rifts-style.
"For example, a tree will notice if a man-sized creature is climbing on it, or will feel heat if someone fires an energy weapon near its trunk or branches, but it will not be able to see the individuals involved, and neither will the elf who is communicating with it."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 8): "For example, a tree will notice if a man-sized creature is climbing on it, or will feel heat if someone fires an energy weapon near its trunk or branches, but it will not be able to see the individuals involved, and neither will the elf who is communicating with it."
So, this is a island dominated by "Amazon Indians" and "Jungle Elves". The big folk on top here are magic folk known as Biomancers, who create a symbosis between people and the forest though magic and more than a touch of florophilia.
So the Jungle Elves from from the "Green World", where they lived with pixies and everything was happy and la la la la -
- the Splurgorth and their forces rift in like rraaaaaa and blew up the elves and the trees and so the elves learned to fight back but the tentacled slavers blew the hell out of them so they used rifts to evac their world, and some of their escape seeds landed in the Amazon basin, which apparently was very close to their world. There elves and pixies settled and made a country where they built everything with magic and ever think of harming a tree and-
It's... very... Ferngully.
So the Jungle Elves are ruled by the Tree Council. This is not just a name; it is literally an arbocracy, government by trees. More specifically, the Trees of Wisdom, which are telepathic, and may come from biomancers transmuting themselves into trees. Like you do.
Maga really only has only one law: "do not harm any living thing within the island territory", even indirectly. What, even carrots and bees? It then says it's okay to hunt for food. Well. I guess it isn't harm if you eat somebody. I guess the law of the jungle applies too. More complex dilemmas are apparently ruled on by the Tree Council, which is "usually fair in its decisions".
Most property is owned tribally and distributed to those in need, and in general there's a hippie commune theme here (except for all the petty power struggles that come with a real commune). Faeries do "harmless pranks" on humans and people generally learn to put up with their crap. The big difference are the coastal towns of dwarves and humans that are built from stone (using stone magic) and actually do outside trade. They're generally more like your standard Rifts settlements, only that they can't use wood for anything and rely on magic to make up the difference.
Naturally, Atlantis wants to uncover the secrets of biomancy, while the biomancers consider the slavers shoot-on-sight. Columbia only does light trade with Maga, though a few "radical" Columbians dream of taking over the island. Bahia has an unofficial mutual assistance pact with Maga. Lagarto is considering taking over Maga, and Maga suspects as much.
Jungle Elf R.C.C.
Nature abhors pants.
What's more elfy than an elf and hippier than a hippie? A Jungle Elf! They worship a vague "Tree of Life", but for some reason Millennium Trees don't grow where they settle. Why? A lot of them wander the Earth can can be found in places like Canada and Africa.
They're charming, agile, and attractive, chiefly, and don't have any serious drawbacks other than being very slightly weaker than humans. They can recieve impressions from plants-
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
The jungle elf receives "flashes" of past events involving the animal or plant, but these are limited to the creature's own senses and awareness. For example, a tree will notice if a man-sized creature is climbing on it, or will feel heat if someone fires an energy weapon near its trunk or branches, but it will not be able to see the individuals involved, and neither will the elf who is communicating with it.
- yes, in Rifts , a tree can feel. Your chance of them actually succeeding at communicating is less than half to start, though, so they aren't very talkative. They can ask plants for food, but if they try it on a Millennium Tree, it explodes at them. Why? They also get a handful of biomancy spells as they level up, which aren't particularly potent. They get middling ISP and PPE, and some minor psionics. It's be pretty underwhelming, but they can choose some O.C.C.s, mainly spellcasters or
And yes, you can become a Jungle Elf Biomancer, for hippie on hippie action!
Biomancy Trees & Items
If these trees could talk, they would have 84% trust/intimidate.
Trees of Wisdom
These are magic psychic trees that survive off of magic flow. They have ridiculous M.D.C. for a tree (around 1350) and can launch a magic acorn as they die that can land and regrow the whole tree if you don't find it. Once again, they may be the apotheosis of practicing biomancers, but nobody knows for sure, even most biomancers. You'd think people would notice when Hanna the Jungle Elf goes away and Hanna the Tree of Wisdom shows up, but apparently not. Maybe the new Tree of Wisdom is like "man, I don't know any Hanna, I think she went thataway... see, I'm pointing with my branch... no, my other branch. No, the other one. No, no, the other..."
True to the name, they generally have superhuman mental attributes, have a sort of vague disaster awareness, regenerate, use telepathy without ISP, they have a lot of ESP and telepathic psionic powers, and a random assortment of magic spells. 97% of them are good, but 3% are selfish or evil, but I can only imagine most evil trees just get picked on by all the telepathic good ones that can read their thoughts and complain about social justice sequoias or whatever.
These are telepathic trees (again) that absorb memories - you can call forth memories by contributing your own. They can refuse to share, though, and are perfectly loyal to the Trees of Wisdom. The Splugorth have a unknown means to steal the memories that kills the tree, and only works 20% of the time, but most trees will self-destruct their brains first. Their tree brains.
They have solid mental defense but no other unusual attributes. Their M.D.C. is only modest at several hundred, and they have natural telepathy, regen, and a lot of ESP powers and a few mental powers. They know a lot about magic but can't use it or teach it, because
Drawback: fewer handshakes.
The Biomancer O.C.C.
"Biomancy is one of the most powerful systems of magic ever devised..."
This probably isn't the case, but it's nice to think so. It's really handy for farmers and arborists, and is really good for supporting a village, but you're not going to go to war on biomancy alone. A lot of the spells are locked away at higher levels, whereas your average ley line walker can just learn whatever spells they want, whenever they want. For all the descriptions we have of biomancers tearing up power armor, their damage and durability generally doesn't measure up against technology. Particularly since the only competitive combat power for them is at 10th level, and any technological schmoe can get power armor at 1st level.
Apparently they shun cities and civilized areas and consider technology "an unholy alliance with dead things". Oookay. I would have liked to see the treaty signing. In any case, most human d-bees can study it, but "demonic" races and most supernatural beings can't learn it. Only the Green World and Earth have ever really developed it on any major scale, because you need that saintly reverence for life and an untoward relationship with nature. It's supposedly the counterpoint to necromancy, and is also opposed to bio-wizardry because uh abominations something something, take their word for it. Oh, and if you're using Rifts Dimension Book One: Wormwood , they get a lesser version of the wormspeaker's powers when in that dimension.
They have three political camps, which are:
, who tolerate other beings unless they're particularly ravenous when it comes down to deforestation or "inhumanity" (funny, for a group that obeys trees).
The Patient Ones
, who just seek to avoid those who use technology and those who violate nature, and look down on anybody that uses technology or mucks with the land.
- The Defenders , who seek violent action against progress and development and will murder lumberjacks without a second thought.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
The defenders try to avoid associating with meat-eaters, supernatural beings, scientists, operators, robot pilots or other techie characters who insist on using "dead things" and/or defile nature. The defender biomancer finds city rats, headhunters, cyborgs, bots, crazies, juicers, and other characters who use cybernetic, bionic, robotic or artificial augmentation to be repugnant. Most even frown upon the acceptor biomancers and techno-wizards.
Thaaaat sounds super-playable.
Siembieda busts in with a special note that the biomancers are cool with hunting for survival or people that use plants for practical purposes as long as some level of conservation is maintained. They generally try not to become "destroyers" but are willing to kill against those who cause major amounts of destruction. Life is sacred to them, unless it's a jerk, then it's sacredness is negotiable.
Fiiinally we see the actual class. Their attribute requirements make your chance of getting to play one about 25%. They can sense evil, talk with plants and animals, heal with a touch, produce food from plants, animals won't attack them, can craft "bio-weapons", and get access to biomancy and a handful of wizard spells. Their PPE is rather low for a caster-type, however. Their skill selection is light and only really good for wildernessy things, of course.
"Call me Satyros."
Their magic tends towards the practical rather than adventurous - with spells for shaping plants, weaving baskets (no, really), making plants grow, or make M.D.C. grass (whee). Granted, there are some practical ESP-type powers or growing M.D.C. armor or weapons, but generally they rely on being around woods. They also get a really poor spell selection in general - they only have one to three spells each level, meaning by the time they get to high levels there's no choices at all if they want their highest-level spells.
Then we get bio-weapons, which lets them enchant wooden weapons to do M.D.C.- wait, where do they get the wood? From dead trees only? Then we have wooden armor, which actually grown off of trees, and chitin armor which comes from magic bugs. Group rituals of 10-20 biomancers can make things like a bow that fires arrows of "bio-energy", bone swords, and pincers. The bio power armor is the only stuff really of note, and even it pales before actual power armor. All this stuff really does is lets their tribes compete on the M.D.C. battlefield, but they're no better than human troopers (probably worse due to generally lacking ranged weapons, communications, environmental protections, etc.).
And that's all for biomancy! It gets built up a lot but isn't particularly exciting for PCs. About the best that can be said for it is that it's a more useful spellcasting class than, say, the Rain Maker, and certainly way better at the druid archetype than the actual druids from World Book Three . But that's a low bar to hurdle.
Next: The Lizard King.
"Melastirth is the "Hitler" of dragonkind, complete with a master race, a master plan, and a campaign of selected genocide."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 9): "Melastirth is the "Hitler" of dragonkind, complete with a master race, a master plan, and a campaign of selected genocide."
The Kingdom of Lagarto
This is the biggest nation in South America, but it's divided into innumerable islands. The race list is like a breakdown of nearly every rifts book so far, it namechecks:
Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms
- Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis
- Rifts World Book Three: England
- Rifts World Book Four: Africa
- Rifts Conversion Book
- Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis
So, the lizard men here are immigrants who decided to come there because the Amazon is apparently lizard man paradise. They were fruitful and multiplied, and a bunch of other lizard races joined up with them because you know, crocodiles and iguanas and dragons, all pretty much the same.
"I mean, the gator-men are here to steal our jobs!"
Originally, the lizard men were mostly just allied villages loosely united under the "First City", where lizard leaders gathered in times of "national" emergency. However, about two decades ago, a priest named Melastirth showed up from Atlantis representing the Cult of Dragonwright, and declared the dragons were about to show up and that the lizard men better bow down. (He's really a shapeshifted dragon, of course.) By earning the alliance of a major lizard lord, he was able to supress dissent and get the tribes to unanimously follow their new false deities.
Dragons arrived from Atlantis, setting up their new fiefdoms, and set up a figurehead lizard man High King. Nowadays their "yoke of oppression" is a 5-10% tax rate (not actually all that oppressive) and pressing 7.5% of the population into military service (genuinely pretty oppressive). Oh, and disobedience is likely to result in enslavement or death (which I guess is pretty darn oppressive). While technically they're a Splugorth holding, Splynncryth (the Splugorth of Atlantis) sees this more as Syphathal's project (the head of the Cult of Dragonwright on Earth) and leaves him too it, only lending him some token troops for future fighting. Most of the dragons there are just inclined to recline in luxury, but a handful are pushing the country towards war.
There's a certain subtext to armor with a loincloth over it.
Before the coming of the dragons, the lizard men were just largely isolated, peaceful tribes without much industrialization. (One has to wonder how they survived without easy access to M.D.C. weapons or armor, but presumably they found a way?)
Though many villages remain the same, most large communities now have a City Hall founded by the dragons to collect taxes and push war propaganda. The Cult of Dragonwright has gotten many converts, particularly with its message of racial superiority. Mind, in other locations, Dragonwright pushes humanity as the "superior race", and ultimately functions as their means of propaganda.
However, nearly half of lizard men warriors have become rebels, and there are a lot of doubters in even the loyal military, but the dragon cult ultimately has much more support from Atlantis as well as far better arms and armor.
Though the leaders of Lagarto claim to be officially allied with Atlantis , in truth the alliance is purely unofficial and Atlantis will abandon at the first sign of failure (or overt success, to cut a rival short). Columbia is one of their chief targets for conquest. Bahia is likely to see incursions soon as well. They eventually want to conquer Maga , but are woefully misinformed to their actual strength.
This is the first time we hear about the following cities, but here goes: Omagua is a city of cat-people that backs the rebels, and is likely to come into conflict with Lagarto. Cibola is a city of slavers that competes with Lagarto's newfound slaving activities, but isn't a formal target of Lagarto. Manoa is too far away to have any part in the troubles.
One of the things that strikes me is that Lagarto is presented as a major threat, but they're potentially making war on two fronts already (Omagua and Columbia) and dealing with a civil war, to boot. Realistically they should be entirely hobbled... but this is Rifts . Of course they can carry on a three-sided war! The theory is that they'll just squash the rebels and then move on to Omagua or Columbia, of course, but when nearly half your country is comprised of rebels, how on Earth are they going to put down a guerilla insurrection in any reasonable amount of time?
We're told the Lagarto army is one of the biggest on the continent, with 100K regular troops and a 200K militia. They also have a lot of supernatural support, like gargoyles, cernun, tautons, and of course dragons. (Wait, aren't gargoyles fecund as fuck? Wouldn't have them in the mix be an issue? Not when the plot doesn't demand it, apparently...) We get the usual Rifts breakdown of units, and then we move on to city descriptions.
This is basically the colonial city of Atlantis, and is the fastest growing spot in the country. It serves as a trading port and general home base for Splugorth operations. It is your standard scum of villany and den like most Atlantean cities, and the dragons throw around their weight and abuse the lizard men here, and it's a big glowing sign of Atlantean oppression.
As a counterpoint, the First City is a river city built on poles set into the river bed. It's also the likely home of the rebellion. Great house of cards, guys. There's an occupation force here, but the rebels can take 'em.
Dragon Overlord of Lagarto
"One day, I will have a tiny human moustache."
Just what this setting needed: more Hilteri. (That's the plural of Hilter.)
This "great horned" dragon is a radical follower of Dragonwright even for the decidedly evil branch we see in Rifts (as opposed to the very different religion in the Palladium RPG ). He wants to wipe out or enslave all races under a draconic banner, and sees the lizard men as an ideal tool to do so. Why them and not a powerful race like gargoyles isn't clear to me, but you pick a theme and go with it, I suppose. Styphathal has only fuelled these notions, figuring either Melastirth will either bolster his own power base or get killed, but either way he figures he'll be amused. He doesn't realize just how crazy Melastirth is, though.
Anyway, he's an adult dragon of "20th level" - there's an experience chart for elder dragons in another book that's practically impossible for PCs to reach, for the record, but no rules for characters beyond 15th level - though mostly he's unexceptional save for the face that he uh, knows every normal spell and has every basic psionic power. Generally it seems like he'd be relying on magic in a fight and soaking everything with his dragon-sized M.D.C. values. And that's all!
High King of Lagarto
Rejected Masters of the Universe toy design #045.
A former pirate slave, he befriended and then murdered the captain who owned him and stole his shit before returning to lizard land. His escape made him a famous hero, but ultimately he's a self-serving dick who later became a dick in service to Dragonwright. He became Melastirth's main thug and had already prepared out to murder dissenters after the dragon's speech. Bio-wizardry has modified him to become more badass, including breathing fire, which he uses as a selling point of Dragonwright devotion. Most lizard men don't buy that and figure he sold his soul, though. He's a compulsive liar and if he gets overthrown, he has a story all cooked up about how he was tortured and brainwashed into his position.
There have been 30+ attempts on his life, including one from Cibola (for shits and giggles), and he has survived them... because? I mean, I get the guy's M.D.C. now, but with that many attempts you'd think they'd have come up with a way. It's not like he has a ton of hit points to chew through.
He's an "8th level warrior", which isn't a class we have, and can breath fire for crappy damage. He's a decent combatant and sometimes uses a raptor power armor (we'll see that in a moment), but nothing a troop of green Coalition soldiers couldn't murder in a heartbeat, even with his lame rune sword.
Lizard Men R.C.C.
Optional Player Characters
We get a reprint of the lizard men statblock that says that Dragonwright lizard men can take up the headhunter, wilderness scout, or special forces O.C.C.s to represent their more advanced skills and weaponry.
They're almost balanced with humans for a change, they can swim faster, breathe underwater, and get a mild horror factor, and are slightly tougher, but are weak-willed comparatively. Which may not seem like a fair tradeoff, but compared to most races which get invisibility or laser eyes or the ability to shrug off photon torpedoes, lizard men are relatively balanced. Which is to say they're weak as fuck.
Weapons and Armor of Lagarto
Most Lagarto soldiers get Kittani weapons and armor as per Atlantis, but may have purloined Columbian weapons. Rebels generally rely on techno-wizardry and magic, but don't have reliable access to M.D.C. weapons.
And with that note, it's on to the new stuff!
The "Carnosaurus" Kittani Series
It turns out the Kittani, having gotten to see dinosaurs for the first time (they're in the American south, as mentioned in the corebook), think dinosaurs are awesome. And so they've made experimental weapons inspired by dinos! Which feels like a stretch, but fuck it, dinosaur robots. Oh, and the rebels have stolen a few, because nobody can resist the allure of dinosaur robots.
Kittani Raptor Power Armor / Robot
Just put joints all over and call it a day.
Because the writer couldn't decide: is this a power armor or a robot vehicle! Fuck it, just call it both! It's supposed to be really manueverable and stuff and as a result it gets the coveted automatic dodge , a potentially combat-breaking ability where it doesn't have to spend attacks making defenses. It can also run around at 150 MPH and has jump thrusters.
It's pretty tough, though not exceptionally so, and has mini-missiles and head lasers. It actually has pretty high melee damage, which is still crappy damage overall, but it's high for a power armor suit. It doesn't get any special pounce or anything and has really no notable mechanics related to its odd shape. Lame.
Kittani Allosaurus "Firedrake" Power Armor
Just slap some rifles on it and it'll be alright.
Name indecision '98 continues! Is it a drake or a dino? Fuck it, just call it both! It doesn't have the manuverability of the raptor but it supposedly pretty agile, which is backed up by its combat bonuses. It gets medium-range missiles, mini-missiles, can barf plasma, and its "tri-barrel super rail guns" do actually really solid damage. It's no glitter boy, but it would be an decent pick to pilot.
Kittani Tyrannosaurus Robot Vehicle
"Sir! The robot dinosaur is pissing on us!"
This is the big heavy hitter of Lagarto, and honestly lives up to it - it's actually competition for the glitter boy, though of course it's ridiculously big in comparison. It's really tough, has medium-range and mini missiles, twin "twin-barrel pulse cannons" that combined almost match a boom gun, a bellybutton rail gun, laser eyes, and it can ram things over, which would be really embarrasing for Columbian tanks. It's kind of a slug compared to the other dino-armors, but stands out pretty well nonetheless.
And that's it for lizards. It's kind of dissapointing between this and the pirates that most of the villains in this book are either Splugorth pawns or Splugorth allies or Splugorth-equivalents, as we'll see, with the only exception being at the end of the book.
Next: El Dorado, more confusing than advertised.
"60% prefer to fight unencumbered by armor"Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 10): "60% prefer to fight unencumbered by armor"
Have a map
The Cities of Gold
So, it turns out the myths of El Dorado are actually based on three hidden cities. One is an (True) Atlantean city that transported itself to another world (Manoa), another was the "home of the werejaguar race" in an adjacent dimension (Omagua), and the last one is a interdimensional market ruled by a supernatural monster (Cibola). The rifts brought all cities back to Earth proper, and they're all rivals of thmselves. There's also some hints that there may be even more "El Doradoes" out there and that GMs may make up another or others if they like.
Let us tell you the history of Atlantean refugees- wait, don't go, we have tits!
The "original" El Dorado, even though it's not actually called that, this city was founded by True Atlanteans fleeing the destruction of their continent. The founders were from the Atlantean group known as Clan Skellian, who had forseen the disaster, but nobody listened to them. Very House of El, but instead of just firing a baby off into the abyss, they all packed up and moved away.
They settled in South America where they "influenced the Indian cultures" but in what fashion is horribly unclear. Nearby, there was an native indigenous tribe where the male population had been nearly annihilated by a mysterious man-hating plague, and the remaining women had taken up all the tribal roles. However, enemy tribes saw them as weak, and they were due to be wiped out by chauvinistic maniacs in other tribes. However, the Atlanteans came to their aid, and used magic and bio-wizardry to make the tribe of women supernaturally strong and tough. (Why they'd never bothered to make themselves supernaturally strong and tough is a mystery for the ages.) The tribe and Atlanteans then joined forces and founded the city of Manoa. The Altanteans built the city out of marble and gold (using stone magic), hence the El Dorado legend. They also rescued a group of transdimensional refugees known as the Ewaipanomas who were being hunted down by humans, and gave them a new home.
This status quo lasted for thousands of years, but then magic begain to wane, and when they worked to forsee the future, they foresaw the end of magic, the arrival of the Europeans, and even the arrival of the Rifts. So they decided to transport their city into a dimensional Limbo, so when the Europeans arrived, they got to hear all the legends but there was nothing found. See, the Amazon was named after the legend of the female superhuman warriors of Manoa! (It's actually named after Icamiaba female warriors that Spanish explorers clashed with historically. Probably.)
So Manoa stayed in its limbo for centuries, in which they somehow got food and water and grew as a city. They had transdimensional trade? So maybe that's why. They also took in Shaydor Spherians (from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis) fleeing Splugorth, but emigration of the True Atlanteans kept their numbers from rising. When the rifts occurred, Manoa was sucked back to the Earth through the remaining portals to Earth, and they focused on just using their magic to make the transition safely. Though a lot of the locals were intitially alarmed, most eventually built friendly relations with Manoa.
Since Skellian tried to warn the other Atlanteans of their trouble, they get to be smug and don't have the usual True Atlantean guilt complex. They've been trying to get the Clan resituated, but haven't been noticed by the larger True Atlantean community, other than general suspicion due to their secrecy. They intend to free Earth from supernatural monsters - eventually - and have been working with Chiang-Ku dragons (those guys again!) to make new tattoo-based warriors. They eventually want to free Atlantis, but don't nearly have the force to do so yet.
Styled in the Greco-Roman style popular with Atlanteans (despite predating Greece or Rome), Manoa is located in a valley that's been cleared of jungle. They have magic statues like the evil Atlantis that can be animated for city defense, too. We get a listing of local sites, including:
that are utterly immune to attack (thanks, rune magic). The pyramid can make a magic force field with 500,000 M.D.C., making it the toughest damn thing we've seen in any
book that isn't straight-up invulnerable. Wait, don't runes require life force of living beings? Did they sacrifice a bunch of people to make these walls? It's not clear.
10,000 M.D.C. doors are guarded by dozens of Amazon warriors and magic robots, and they will confiscate any weapon larger than a pistol to be held until visitors leave.
are pretty marble streets that are "smooth but not slippery" thanks to magic gems. Trying to steal magic gems causes a mystic alarm and a small mega-damage explosion. Seems pretty dangerous, but wh'ev. There are magic golden sidewalks that you float along like a conveyor belt, too. There are techno-wizard vehicles used by vehicles, and animal-driven ones used by hoi palloi visiting from outside the city.
is impressive compared to most places on
Earth, but it emphasized it isn't as impressive as evil markets like in Splynn or Cibola, because mercantilism is generally super-evil in
. Good guys don't make money!
- Pyramids , five of them, cap the ley line nexuses in the city, with one main one in the center, and they have restricted access and high defenses. They're also used for transport by VIPs or to travel to other dimensions (generally to keep in touch with other True Atlantean groups).
What kind of piercing gun do M.D.C. people use?
Law & Government
The city is ruled by a True Alantean "Lord Protector" who lasts for thousands of years (a "Lord Temarkhos", presently), and they are advised by a Council of Wisdom made up of multiple races. How they're chosen or elected is not clear. They have a Civil Bureau that handles the infrastructure, made up mostly of Shaydor Spherians. Finally, there's a Security Bureau largely led by the True Atlanteans and the Council of Wisdom. Generally crimes are punished with community service, with serious crimes resulting in exile or execution. However, their crime rate is apparently exceedingly low, being a city of good guys and all.
Manoa is apparently unusual for an Atlantean city for its tolerance towards non-True non-Atlanteans, who are allowed to take government positions, unlike other True Atlantean communities. However, there is still a sort of a "True Atlantean's Burden" that drives them to lord over the other races as they see themselves as older and more powerful. Generally, this doesn't flare into actual drama, but the wishes non-Atlanteans are subtly dismissed from time to time.
The Kingdom of Lagarto is seen as a potential threat, and it's likely that Manoa will have to act against them. They believe that the gods that rule Omagua have designs of conquest (they don't) and maintain a cold conflict with then with occasional sparks. While they're actively at war with Cibola , it tends to be focused on eliminating Cibolan raiders and rescuing slaves. Finally, they have a shoot-on-sight policy for the minions of the Splugorth.
Weapons of Manoa
Unlike most other countries, Manoa relies almost entirely on techno-wizardry. They've developed a way to make E-clips that run off of magic power, and their pyramids double as techno-wizards factories.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Note: This process uses the skills of both stone masters (see Rifts Atlantis ) and techno-wizards using a very advanced form of magic. Normal techno-wizards (and yes, that means player characters and other True Atlanteans) will be unable to replicate the process.
Don't let your players get too uppity!
We get alchemical M.D.C. armor, which is really good but apparently hard to find repairs for outside of Manoa. Their "light armor" is better than any "heavy armor" in the corebook though, and their heavy armor has about 100 M.D.C. Repairs will almost always run into thousands of credits or tens of thousands.
Not exactly a comfortable grip.
Then, without a title header, we get magic guns. For some reason they're modeled after flintlocks, despite the Atlanteans having skipped that section of Earth history in their dimensional limbo.
Manoan "Flamer" Pistol:
Shoots fireballs, sucks. No blast radius, in case you were wondering.
Manoan SK Stun Gun:
The "SK" is for stun/kill, FYI. Does damage equal to a laser rifle as lightning, or it can cast
, which is a nasty save-or-suck spell that causes targets to writhe around for a full minute. Honestly the "Stun" is potentially more deadly than the "Kill".
Manoan "Fireball" Rifle:
Like the pistol, only about twice the damage. About as good as most plasma rifles.
- Manoan Stun Pistol: Like the other Stun Gun without the lightning bolt setting. Sold to civilians, but illegal to use save without "provocation", whatever that entails. The fact that it can cast a 7th level spell eight times per clip makes it much nastier than most "damaging" weapons, though.
It's magical, but still has a hammer to cock because ennnnnh
Without notice, it's time for power armor!
Hoplite Power Armor
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda
It's okay to idealize slaveholders as long as it was a long, long time ago.
This is a fancy suit of techno-wizard power armor designed to look like a Spartan hoplite, despite the Atlanteans of Manoa living half a world away from anything Grecian, but eh, facts. It has to be recharged about every few days at a ley line, but it doesn't require any special process. It can also magically heal while in a ley line or magic pyramid, too. It has the fancy title of "M-100 Hoplite" because even magical Atlanteans give their legendary sparkly armors model numbers.
In any case, it's pretty tough for a power armor, mostly because it gets to layer a magical force field on top of its normal armor. It can chug around at 60 MPH, provides air and translation, has a meh-ish spear that shoots energy, a shield that does crappy damage but can at least knock people down, crappy eye lasers, and crappy melee strength. It can also use hand-to-hand weapons, and can have two optional features from the following list:
Shoulder or Forearm Spikes
that can shoot off and magically return for crappy damage.
TW Magic Net
which is actually pretty useful for subduing foes. One of the better options, for sure.
TW Fire Gauntlets
do pretty great damage, actually, at least for a power armor.
TW Ankh Mace
that does utterly miserable damage, slightly less miserable damage against undead, but can be used to turn dead or banish evil, which is a lot more useful, but still not that great.
TW Flaming Sword
is crap, but it can carry one.
can see auras, the invisible, detect hiding things, sense magic and evil, and see in the dark. Definitely one of the the best options for being utilitarian.
lets you make magic birds to carry messages, communicate from afar, and force or see truth. Handy enough.
lets you fly for several hours a day, which is pretty damn useful.
Magic Underwater Capabilities
lets you swim fast or breathe without air. Wait, the armor already lets your breathe without air... well, it lets you swim, anyway.
Magical Jungle Cloaking System
is just the Chameleon spell; it's alright for hiding, but not for actual sneaking around.
- Super Energy Damper System nullifies energy attacks (lasers, electricity, plasma, etc.), and "duration is equal to a sixth level spell". It doesn't say what spell, but I guess they mean Impervious to Energy , so that'd make it last three minutes and it requires 15 seconds before you can cast it again, but you can cast it unlimited times. This counts as all your upgrade picks if you take it.
Lictor Assault Robot
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda
"We love peace, but see also our robots modeled after a brutal, imperial regime."
The bigger cousion of the Hoplite, this is mainly used for Manoa's defense and occasional special operations. It's modestly tough thanks to its force field, and somehow has technological features like radar, air purification, radio, etc. It also has a magic translator can breath without air, and can fly around magically like a 30' superman. It has a TK-Rifle that does rail gun levels of damage, a rad energy axe that returns or shoots lightning and does... well, the same amount of damage, eye lasers that do... the same amount of damage, and mini-missiles for when you want to do much more damage. I'll never understand these robot writeups that have like three different totally redundant weapon systems. Oh, and it has shitty laser fingers too! It can also be equipped with the same features as the Hoplite. Its weapons become "giant-size" but that doesn't apparently affect the stats. Makes sense!
Without a section break, it's on to the classes!
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda
They wear little to distract their foes! As long as those foes are human. None of their foes are.
Made superhuman by alchemy, bio-wizardry, and faceless nameless South American goddesses (wait, those weren't mentioned before-), the "Amazons" are called "Amazons" because... uh... because! I mean, Greece wasn't even in existence when they were created, and they were in another dimension when the river was named, but I guess they're Amazons now, sure. Apparently they're culturally more Atlantean now than native (which, judging from most of their art, also means "white"). Also, if they were made with bio-wizardry, isn't that supposed to be eeevil? Because of reasons?
So they distrust men because men underestimate them, despite working alongside men all the time who would be perfectly aware of their superhuman powers. Sure, makes sense. In any case, they're practical, self-reliant, courageous warriors, and have all that machismo attributed to Amazons in fiction typically, detesting lies and trickery and all that. Apparently most normal humans are afraid of them so they're a little isolated. When they mate with "normal humans, True Atlanteans, or ogre males", there's apparently an 85% chance of them coming out as Amazons, and 15% of them come out as a male of the father's species.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Some of the more hardened warriors will simply use their lover to conceive a female child and then abandon him. More often however, the Amazon enters into an honest and loving relationship.
In any case they love a fight and Earth is just a target-rich environment they're happy with. Some wander the world to find more fights, tho. Despite all that, they're usually good-aligned.
So, they're superhumanly strong, agile, tough, beatutful, strong-willed, and fast, but are slightly less charismatic. They get around 100 M.D.C. naturally, can see in the dark or far away, are resistant to heat and cold, and regenerate. They also get a choice of magic spells and minor psionics or psionic sword/shield and major psionics. They live to be several centuries old, but just get a pretty standard layout of wilderness and combat skills and a small number of other skills.
We're reminded they wear sparse clothing, because of the jungle! Well, that makes sense. They get some techno-wizard weapons and armor but "45% prefer to fight unencumbered by armor". Independent Amazons raise this percentage to 60%. I get it, the book really wants to see magic Amazons in halter tops. (No, really, part of their equipment lists "a short tunic or halter top".) There's certainly been worse stuff in RPG but this is pretty eye-rolly, particularly since they're noted as being practical and willing to take any advantage in a fight. You know. Like armor .
Atlantean Monster Hunter R.C.C.
By C.J. Carella
This is a special type of tattooed warrior (see Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis ) that often acts as special forces or spies for Manoa, or as the generic wandering warrior archetype that Rifts loves to death. Most are True Atlanteans get all their great attributes and special, fancy powers. I'm not gonna cover magic tattoos again - see the Atlantis writeup - but the specialty these ones have are "monster-shaping" tattoos where they can take on various monster forms. They don't get any of the creature's magic powers or natural abilities, but get all their M.D.C. (up to 800!) and natural weapons. That's right, you shift into a giant monster fish, forget around breathing underwater, or if you turn into a dragon, you can't fly. So it's mostly just useful as a monster-shaped suit of armor, and would be pretty lame were it not for the ability to have one of the higher PC M.D.C. values in the game. Oh, and the magic tattoos still show when morphing, which means it's not super-subtle for those who know about tattoo magic. Their skills are crap and barely worth mentioning. We also get a reprint of the True Atlantean stats with no explanation of what one is . Buy another book for that!
The Ewaipanomas R.C.C.
Headless Men of the Amazon
Optional Player Character
"Boobteeth" may be going too far but oh well.
The disaster caused by the Atlanteans accidentally dragged about 2,000 of these otherdimensional creatures to Earth. Having come from a near-barren world, they found the amount of life in South America maddening, and also the magic that they used daily (earth warlock magic, to be clear - blah blah Conversion Book blah) was weak here, too. Local tribes thought they were monsters and tried to hunt them down, and it was only the arrival of the Atlanteans that gave them safe haven. They're apparently very chill despite all this and are rational, peaceful people who only get upset by things like slavery or brutality and then they have that kind of gentle giant rage thing going.
In any case, they're superhumanly strong, have mild M.D.C., have good endurance overall, but have low beauty (yay, human standards). They have slow regeneration, can chat with elementals naturally, and most of them choose from the earth warlock or stone master classes, but 10% are "others". Just in case you wanted to play one as a Coalition soldier, it doesn't say you can't!
Shaydor Spherians, a race of walking globes, get a reprint from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis . It's kind of neat to see a less humanoid race in here, in retrospect it'd be good to see more of them.
And that's it for Manoa! It's good to see an outright benevolent kingdom, as well as True Atlanteans that aren't useless dopes, but amazons always make shit complicated in a game, don't they?
Next: Cat People.
"Unlike their super-powerful mutant cousins, the felinoids' personalities are almost completely human, with a few cat-like instincts such as a love for taking naps during the day, pouncing on moving objects, a love for hunting and purring when they are happy."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 11): "Unlike their super-powerful mutant cousins, the felinoids' personalities are almost completely human, with a few cat-like instincts such as a love for taking naps during the day, pouncing on moving objects, a love for hunting and purring when they are happy."
staaare at the pyramiiid
Omagua - City of Jaguars
So, we get a the spread of population statistics that Rifts loves, with the population mostly being "Felinoids" and "Assorted Mutant Felines". Despite being the "City of Jaguars", werejaguars are only about 4% or so of the population. We then jump into the backstory, which goes into a "Project Achilles" which sought to create super-soldiers by, uh, splicing human and cats. (Cue "herding cats" "joke".) It was all brutal and violent and cruel like science tends to be, and though they tried to breed a slave mentality into the cats, it never worked. Still, escapees or rebels generally had their whole genetic line wiped out just in case.
Then they discovered ZB-23 or "Zee", a mutant panther who had ESP abilities, who could psychically instill peace in the other cats. They bred more of them, calling them "Oracle Cats". But the Oracle Cats were also super-smart, and sought a way to lead an escape. A week before the Great Cataclysm, they had visions of it, as well as three feline gods showing them the way to a new home. Then, a few hours before the Cataclysm, they led a violent revolt, and the survivors escaped into the jungle. The Cataclysm ensured, of course, that they wouldn't be followed. They then met magical werejaguars who had hid in the jungle for centuries, like you do, and they worked together on a magical ritual to summon Omagua to Earth. There they secretly built up the city, at least until the raids from Cibola began. When they ran across Manoan explorers, they mistook them for Cibolans, and attacked. This was a trick, though, and the distrust that Manoa and Omagua have was deliberately planned by Cibola. So much for having 80,000 psychic ESP cats who you'd think might see thorugh that ruse, but oh well...
The Divine Felines
Omagua was created by three gods:
A "South American" (Bolivian, specifically) Jaguar god.
The Egyptian cat god. Y'know.
- Simba: Uh. The fucking Lion King , I guess.
The gods rule the city, but they leave most of the actual hard work to the Claw Leaders , who are holy warrior-mayors. Then there's the Assembly of Prides which is a democratically elected Council that handles the legislative and judicial ends of things.
For the most part, Omagua is fairly utopian, though they don't put up with much blasphemy and have some level of prejudice against un-cats. Those who aren't a little nyan get second shrift in just about any sense unless they're well-established members of the community.
Omagua is mixed up with other (unnamed, undescribed) dimensions and occasionally has had to go on (unnamed, undescribed) wars off-world. They have a cold conflict with Manoa due to Cibola's continued plotting. Their main enemy is Cibola , though they don't think they have enough intelligence for an all-out assault. (Once again, 80,000 psychic cats can't puzzle it out.) Lagarto alarms them and they may end up at war with the lizards. And Atlantis has sent spies to find out more aobut the cat-city and to "spread mischief". (Why? Wouldn't that draw attention to them? Oh well.)
Omagua is actually in a sort of transdimensional flux and can't be travelled to normally without running into Bermuda Triangle-esque shenanigans, and can only be entered through a secret rift. The city itself is built from yellow stone from another dimension, and mixes stils from Islam, Incas, and Egyptians. There's a Great Palace built using that ol' pyramid power atop a ley line nexus, and it has gold and jewels and statues and all those things classic gods love. They have a Business District where you can get a lot of goods, including technological once, though magic trade is rare. Lastly there's the... ugh...
... Kitty Litter ...
... which are the local slums where smuggling and drugs and all the bad stuff occurs, though it's not like the total hellzones you see around Coalition cities. (Wait, how do they smuggle anything with only one entrance in or out of the city.) The local authorities suspect there are Atlantean or Cibolan spies where but don't do anything about because eh, you're the GM, you figure it out!
And then without a chapter break, on to the new classes!
Mutant Cat R.C.C.
... does not get any stats. The book refers us to buy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other Strangeness or Heroes Unlimited instead. Blah. As mentioned in my and occamnailfiles' Rifts Conversion Book review, mutant animals are kind of ass to try and use in this setting, since their power level is a notable notch below Dog Boys and other mutants in this setting. It also refers us to the hodge-podge mutant cat rules in Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms , which are squashed into the middle of a city section and are easily missed on a skim-through if you never noticed them.
Jaguar Mutants - An Optional Player Character
Note the headless guy just hanging out in the backdrop.
Wait, are they really mutants if they were genetically engineered? Anyway, these are the run-of-the-mill cat people with only minor psionics, your basic anthropomorphs that make up most of the working population. They're mainly strong and fast, and are strong-willed and overall fitter than humans. They also have nightvision, the crappiest claws, bonuses on climbing and jumping, and a bunch of minor psionics. Basically, better than humans except for the fact that being covered in fur's gotta suck in the Amazonian jungle. We also get a lot of small variants (the default is jaguar), like:
are much stronger but a little dumber.
are more agile but weaker-willed.
-men are more agile and tough but less charismatic.
are a loooot tougher and stronger but are slightly slower.
Ocelots, Servals, and Caracals
are weaker-willed, slower, and just weaker overall. They just suck, as it turns out.
- Other Cats exist but are unstatted.
Flying Tiger R.C.C.
Optional Player Character
These are tiger / humans who were bred for "psychokinetic genes". They found that some could levitate, so they spliced in a fucking bat , and now you get psychically flying tiger-men who can shoot mind bullets and create force fields, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. They're stronger-willed, stronger, more agile, and faster than humans. They also have hundreds of S.D.C. and a natural force field that's roughly the equivalent of normal armor, only it can level up to 200+ M.D.C. in later levels. They can fly at MACH 1, see super-well, shoot dinky mind bolts, and they get a bunch of minor psionics and great combat bonuses. They mostly just have wilderness and combat skills, if not many. Some are mutant flying jaguars instead of tigers, but their stats are the same. And that's that!
Flame Panther R.C.C.
Optional Player Character
Come on, let's shake hands!
Panther-men bred for pyrokinesis, because it seemed like such a good idea. They're a lot like Bursters from the corebook, only, you know. Cats. They also work as firemen for the city, since they can psychically douse flame. They're stronger-willed, more agile, and tougher than humans, but slightly less charismatic. They also can take hits like the Flying Tiger and get a "Flame Aura" that somehow deflects attacks like a suit of armor. They're nearly invulnerable to fire, can put out fire, cover themselves in fire, shoot fire, and... "rocket jump" by blasting flames out of their ass. Rifts! Also they can sense fire and get additional minor psionics. Their skill list is wilderness / combat / sneaky, but get only a handful of other skills.
Hunter Cat R.C.C.
Optional Player Character
"Finally, we have isolated the asshole gene."
So, this was the ultimate goal of the Achilles Project, a hybrid tiger / jaguar / gorilla / human with superhuman strength and psychic powers that boosted its physical capabilities to be the literal equivalent of a man-sized tank before we factor in the supernatural and the rifts. Seriously, their S.D.C. is on par with main battle tanks. Small catch: they're all bloodthirsty murderous berserkers. Well, nobody's perfect. The head scientist tried to stop the project on account of them being so crazy, but the evil Argentinean government prevented him, because crazy unstoppable murder cats was an A+ idea to them.
Though they've become part of Omagua's community, there's a real issue where they'll just flip out and attack people, and they largely rely on the Oracle Cats (more on them in a moment) to calm them down. Others have gone renegade to become murderers or bandits after leaving the city, or team up with evil monsters, like you do.
Stats! They have really high strength, speed, and endurance, and great agility, too. They aren't very charming, but they're actually prettier than humans, oddly enough. As aforementioned, they get the S.D.C. levels of a tank from other games, though that's not much in M.D.C. terms (like 14 or so M.D.C.). Fortunately, they get a psychic force field that's the equivalent of minor power armor. They can do Mega-Damage with punches, regenerate through meditation (yeah, these guys seem totally capable of meditation?), shoot dinky force blasts, have dinky claws, some physical and "super" psionic powers, and some pretty great combat bonuses. Their skills tend towards wilderness and hunting, and they only get a small smattering of other skills. And for some reason Omagua trusts these guys with an awesome rocket rifle and additional M.D.C. armor.
However, whenever they might get angry (totally undefined GM call), they have to make a save (the type of saving throw isn't indicated) or go crazy. They get a big strength boost while berserk, and some smaller combat bonuses, but have to kill all the things . This lasts until everything's dead or around 5 minutes passes, which is a 20-round eternity in Rifts terms. Empaths or simvan warriors can try and calm them down, but their odds are a bit lousy, because it's a psionics saving throw to recover from this which they have to lose , which they get a base of 8 or more on a d20 to save. That means a human empath has around a 10% chance of calming them down, a simvan monster rider can try with a 20% chance, and an oracle cat has a whopping 25% chance, because nobody looked at the odds of it actually happening, I suppose. (And also because Oracle Cats get a penalty to calm down beserkers, despite it being the main thing they do in the fiction .)Basically, if you don't have an Oracle Cat paired with every Hunter Cat in your party, you're fucked whenever somebody pees in their cheerios, presuming you're not just willing to have a stronger character class just beat them down every time (and probably murder them, because pulling punches doesn't really work against these cats once you knock their force field down).
So yeah, not really playable unless you love inter-party combat whenever the Hunter Cat gets a thorn in their paw. Did I mention these guys are like 7% of the total population around Omagua, or 100,000 of them? Statistically, that means at least several hundred or thousand are going berserk all the time . Rules!
Oracle Cat R.C.C.
Optional Player Character
Built with genes from a cat, human, and an anime.
So these are "cartoonish" cat-people with big eyes and small bodies "that make humans think of cuddly, stuffed animal toys". Yyyeah. Oh, and they're powerful psionics, in case you didn't miss the wobbly-headed implication. Generally they're good guys, with only a few turning evil, and most are figures of authority in the city or medical professionals. They can also become priests and get all the priest powers, but have to double their XP, which super sucks because all priest powers - as you may remember from Conversion Book 2 - are really dependent on level. So, yeah, you can be a "Divine Oracle Cat", if you like sucking. Of course, if you ever get to the top levels you'll shatter the game under your god-powered might, but I don't think you'll want to go through the decade of game nights necessary for it.
So, they're crazy strong-willed, smart, and charming, with low strength but overall great attributes otherwise. They get a very minor psionic force field that barely provides any M.D.C., a ton of inborn ESP powers, a calming aura that isn't too great due to its dinky handwaviness, and more psionics as they level up. Given how these cats have been built up, it's pretty underwhelming. They're good at math and medicine, and get a modest selection of other powers. Their equipment includes the worst Mega-Damage armor (seriously, worse than Plastic-Man armor from the core) and a dinky weapon. "Wears little in the way of clothing, unless adventuring."
Optional Player Character
A cat with a beard, now you've seen it.
These are magical lion-men servants of Bast and Simba, though they're more like normal humanoids than the Ramen of Rifts Africa . We get cultural details on how they form war bands and their initiation rites which apparently they're not supernatural until their coming of age ceremony, in which they get superpowers. They've been used in a lot of interdimensional wars against evil deities and monsters, though occasionally they've worked for them too, because...? But most of them work for the "Pantheons of Light". Often now they're introducing other cat-people into their warbands and you can justify mixed-cat parties this way! You didn't really need to, but it's an option.
In any case, they're supernaturally strong (not as much as the hunters, tho), tough, and agile. They get a modest amount of M.D.C., nightvision, regenerate, combat bonuses, low-level spellcasting, minor psychic powers, and hunting / wilderness skills. They come with a great suit of magic armor and a techno-wizard weapon, if you want it. Not too bad, but they're generalists; not particularly great at anything. They'd be more interesting if they could at least select a class, but nope.
And despite them being lion-men, we get jaguar-art above. Well, art direction is optional, sometimes.
Optional Player Character
This is just a reprint of their stats from Rifts Conversion Book or Rifts World Book 1: Vampire Kingdoms . Not much new information other than they're rival warriors with the hunter cats, which is funny because the hunter cats can beat the unliving shit out of them due to power creep. Seriously: the hunter cats don't even need silver, their dinky psionic blasts can kill a werejaguar even though their fists can't.
The Divine Felines
A Triumvirate of Gods
So Yaguar-Ogui used to be a big deal in the Andes area before the Inca deities pushed him out, and so he dreamed of getting together with cats and making a cat-pantheon and nobody could push him into lockers anymore, and everybody laughed ath him, but eventually Bast had a fight with th Pantheon of Light and quiet out of that, and Simba is just looking to get a foothold on Earth again. And so they got together and contacted the Oracle Cats, and teamed up to make Omagua! Ta-da!
Egyptian Cat Goddess
Physical Beauty 22
So, Bast turns out to be a wild party god, but is kind of a selfish jerk, and one day saw Ra had his Ramen, which were lion-headed servants of his. And she gets upset and accuses Ra of stealing her bit, her "bit" being people with cat heads on, and demands that Ra turn over all his Ramen to her. Ra is like "what, fuck no, I earned these cat men!", and so she stormed out to make her own city with cat-men and booze and blackjack.
Generally, though, she isn't outright evil, and is helpful to the city, but is flighty and often goes off on her own adventures or even leads combat missions, which is really risky for her because-
she has only 9,000 M.D.C. outside the city instead of 45,000, oh no-
Ultimately she does what she wants like that fat kid from South Park and gives few shits to what her godly partners think.
"her sarcasm can be devastating"
So anyway she has generally potent supernatural powers, nightvision, invisibility, see invisible stuff, teleport, dimensional teleport, turn into any cat, regenerates, has top-level spell casting and stone magic and all the basic psionic powers, magic scale armor, and is tops at wilderness and domestic skills. She can cook a divine pie, I guess. However, her natural attacks are scarcely better than a vibro-blade, whee.
Lastly she has "The Cat's Gaunglet" which is a clawed glove which is a greater rune reason, which has bunch of fire spells, does solid hand to hand damage and more against alien intelligences, and can fire knuckle spikes on chains which can drag people over to her, no doubt while shouting "Get over here!" Oh, and she has weakened duplicates of this weapon which apparently she gives out to cat-people she really really likes. Doesn't it require a living soul to be murdered to make these? Well, I guess it says it's good on the stat-sheet, so it must be fine.
Yaguar-Ogui the Jaguar
South American Feline God
Physical Beauty 20
An old tribal god of hunters and warriors, he supposedly made werejaguars by shoving a human and a jaguar together, and is an enemy of the Ellal (evil undead, we'll see them later). He hates the Inca gods for stealing his thunder and even blew them off when they recently showed up to save the Earth from aliens (no, really, see Rifts World Book Nine: South America 2 , or wait for the review). So he's largely abandoned humanity as a result and dotes on his cat-people instead. Still, he's thinking of backing human tribes against growing nations like Lagarto or Cibola. He also doesn't trust Manoa because he was around for Atlantis, and generally regards the Atlanteans as fuck-ups who are not to be trusted with the good china.
So he's a much weaker god than the others, with only 15K M.D.C. to his stat shee, but he has the werejaguar damage immunities, which means you need silver, magic, or psionics to hurt him. Also he has other stuff like super-senses turns into a jaguar or half-jaguar (front or back half?) or teleports or dimensionally teleports and fuck I hate these god statblocks so much let's see some powerful spellcasting and all sensitiv and psionic powers and magic M.D.C. robes, no shit, guy has like 15,000 M.D.C. and can take hits with a boom gun to the face and be like "was that a gnat or some shit" but he needs to have magic flowing robes that can take a nuclear weapon, sure.
And he's alright with a sword. Next!
African Lion God
Physical Beauty 17
No shit, it's The Lion King . Well, it's taken from the Swahili word for "lion", but I can't find a mythical basis for this guy other than Disney. So yeah.
So anyway supposedly this guy was a part of an animistic pantheon that's largely died out except for him, and he was having a really hard time because of that, so he joined with the others mostly out of desperation. He's not really too involved with Omagua, but is all too happy to use its military for proxy wars. He's the most inclined to have an eye towards conquest, and takes to take over Manoa or Cibola, because apparently he's a war-happy, thuggish lion. Whatever happened to you, Simba!? You were a nice guy in the movie! I think! I've never watched it!
He rivals Bast for toughness, and can roar "sometimes loudly enough to shatter glass". He's a "16th level warrior and magician" even though those aren't classes. I presume they don't mean the Stage Magician class from Heroes Unlimited , though that would make him way more interesting. He doesn't have any psionics, but can see invisible, teleport, dimensionaly travel, turn into a big ol' lion or lion-man, and knows kung fu. He also gets a magic club with a fist on the end that can make or stop rain, and has special grab rules where he can give minor combat penalties and inflict automatic damage when grappling with the hand on the end. The grapple is automatic, whee.
And that's all for Omagua! I know, I know, you're all probably disappointed this is the end of the cat people section, including Bast, your sexy cat-god waifu, but we've got to move on to something far more phallic.
Next: Atlantis II: The Worm Turns
"Beyond that, however, he is also a thoroughly evil entity that requires death and suffering to exist."Original SA post And speaking of pools of misery...
Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 12): "Beyond that, however, he is also a thoroughly evil entity that requires death and suffering to exist."
Cibola, the Gilded City
Another contributor to the legends of El Dorado
So, Cibola was an interdimensional trade nexus that occasionally used dimensional portals to visit Earth, and the multiple appearances of those portals caused people on Earth to think it was multiple cities, and not just once. Hence, the "The Seven Cities of Cibola".
It's run by Inix, who is part of a species of supernatural intelligence known as "Soul Worms", one of many collections of giant eyes and tentacles so popular in Rifts . He's pretty much a evil evil evil monster who uses mercantilism to spread suffering, part of a continuing theme in Rifts where business isn't just evil, it's eeevil. He's really much like the Splugorth, but focuses more on evil drugs and evil medical treatments.
Apparently the interdimensional pocket dimension was (somehow) rendered unstable due to the magical cataclysms on Earth, and so they used magic to "land" on Earth safely instead of being knocked adrift or the like. Of course, Inix saw it as a big opportunity, since Earth was mostly virgin territory to be exploited, but accidentally landed near Manoa and and Omagua. He intitially tried some exploratory attacks on both cities, but realized that a full war would be too risky. So he's fooling Manoa and Omagua into fighting against each other, which at least prevents them from wiping Cibola off the map. However, he's also having trouble with the Naruni making inroads in the south, and the Splugorth taking over the Lagarto in the north, so the situation is a lot more unstable than he likes. What's more, he prefers to rob local cultures for things Cibola needs rather than trade for them, which keeps him from making a lot of friends.
We get population statistics, naturally, which most of the people being Pogtalian Dragon Slayers, the giants from Vampire Kingdoms and pincer warriors (an insect warrior like shown on the cover). Brodkil, grimbor, and gatherers (bug-men servants of him) fill out most of the population otherwise, along with a large human slave population.
Inix is an absolute dictator, though he relies on personal advisors who carry how his will, though he plays favorites to keep any one from gathering too much power. The gatherers handle most of the bureaucracy. Given that they're all kleptomaniacs, I have to wonder how that functions... or, more properly, how it doesn't.
Built on a "greed is good" sort of principle, Cibola is overrun with crime and corruption and ennnnh is the generic Rifts sort of evil, it's basically a alternate, smaller version of Atlantis' villainy. It's hard to say what crime is here, anyway, since the laws are never described. Most of the labor is done by slaves, and most of the "free" population is made up of "lazy aristocrats, conniving business people, corrupt merchants, thieves, and vagabonds who consider work to be something that free men shouldn't bother doing." Slaves are treated very badly, and naturally, they consider humans to be worthless chattel etc. However, if you're a good consumer, you'll generally get respected as long as you're throwing around money for goods and bribes and have the power to take care of yourself.
Cibola raids its local territory for slaves and ingredients for druuuuugs. He's really into druuuugs. He's like the space slug equivalent of those '80s action movies were all the villains were drug kingpins in South America. He's that.
Anyway, he's opposed to Manoa because they're "go-gooders and meddlers" and also that they'll bring the attention of the Splugorth closer. He doesn't trust any gods, so Omagua is no good, but he's putting feelers out to try and see if he can call a hitman on the three gods. An anti-deity hitman. Sure. Lagarto is bad news for him since they're Splugorth tools. He doesn't like Colombia but may aid them against the vampires, or oppose them if they ally with the Coalition. He wants the secrets of Maga Island but the jungle elves already know about him and will basically kill his forces on sight. Lastly, he's interested in the Empire of the Sun , but we have to wait until the next South America book to hear about the Neo-Mayans.
Cibola City Highlights
Like Atlantis, Cibola loves gilding things in platinum or gold, as you commonly might do in a city filled with thieves. There are statues that may or may not be spy statues, and the city is surrounded by druuuuug farms. Some buildings use phase technology to make their buildings, whatever the fuck that is, because it just points us to Rifts Dimension Book Two: Phase World for details, which wasn't out when this was printed, but it at least came out soon after. Gatherers and pincer warriors patrol and generally ask for bribes of a non-specific amount to gain entry. Unlike most cities, though, Cibola gives no shits about the Earth credit, so most PCs won't be able to use their hard-earned money here. In fact, there's no details on what currency they do use, which is problematic when you're describing a city based solely on mercantilism, evil, and evil mercantilism.
Anyway, we have:
The Plaza of a Hundred Gates
, which is the large central market with interdimensional gates. While not as big as the Splynn Dimensional Market, they do deal in druuuuugs not found anywhere else.
Tower of a Hundred Gates
there, which has gates to Wormwood, the Palladium Fantasy setting, an Earth dominated by crab robots, Phase World, Potaglia or whatever the Dragon Slayer homeworld is, Naruni trading centers, and a dimension rules by the "Greek-Roman" gods, despite the Greek and Roman gods being entirely different things in
. Well, why the fuck remember what you printed only a book or two again, right? Anyway, there are magical customs officers with a small army to vet arrivals, and they block any group larger than a dozen or any military vehicles. Also, there's a special rule in Cibola added where where you can't dimensionally teleport or even regularly teleport without severe penalities, because the tower screws with that somehow.
- Lastly we have the Arena of Cibola which is a big Roman-style area that "seats 100,000 spectators" and you always have shit fighting here and it's a big deal. Or you can watch it on pay-per-view, which is apparently a thing here.
Cibolan Armed Forces
Apparently 60% of the population is military, even though they aren't actively at war. Makes sense! We get the usual Rifts focus on unit makeup for those wanting to throw non-random encounters at PCs, and can move on.
Inix - Alien Intelligence
"Really, I move so slow, if I drain your soul, it's really your fault."
No introductory text per se, we go right into the statblock. He's described as "a monster with the soul of a used car salesman", and is power-hungry and sadistic (ho hum) but is generally kind of cowardly. Other than that, he's a several-ton worm with one eye and a bunch of tentacles. All his attributes are awesome except for his Physical Beauty of 2, not that such provides anything other than thematic penalities. 14K M.D.C., minor spellcasting, all sorts of ESP and some mind contorl psionics, sees the invisible, sees in the dark, can shapeshift to look like a humanoid, regenerate, invulnerable to fire, teleport, dimensional teleport, and can drain people's souls (though it's too slow for combat) where he eats somebody's psychic energy and then their mental endurance, and gains their memories for a short period of time. Oh, and it inflicts insanity and loss of skills and class levels, so if you're a PC, prepare to enjoy the vagabond class, because that's all you can take! You'll be lucky to know how to use a fork! Ha ha! Fuck you, players!
All of its glances are longing glances.
We then get a general statblock for generic Soul Worms, in case you want more of them in your game. (You probably don't.) They might be related to the Zembahk (of Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis , but are crazy more powerful if they are. They used to serve a supernatural intelligence or mmmaybe an Old One, but then their master vanished and people rose up and killed most of them, and only a "few thousand" survive across the multiverse as tinpot dictators, pirate lords, or servants of bigger god-fish in the god-sea. All of them are as buff as Inix, and a whopping 3% of them are good guys, which is about the only interesting thing I've heard about them so far. It explicitly says you can't play one, though, so don't get your hopes up.
Cibola's Head of Security
"Doom? Never heard of the fellow."
A temporal raider (of Rifts World Book Three: England ), he's impassive and honorable, though still eeevil. He's basically the Destro to Inix's Cobra Commander. Or maybe Shockwave to Inix's Starscream? Despite being honorable, though, he uses blackmail on the other advisors, because honor? He's a little unusual in that he'll commit good acts (shock!) if they help him achieve his ends. Or just torture the fuck out of you, whatever logic dictates. Anyway, he's a 14th level Temporal Raider and doesn't have any particularly unusual powers despite the usual array of nonsense one gets.
Inix's War Chief
A goth in burlap.
Despite looking human, Iridna is actually a godling of unknown origin, and she's bloodthirsty and willing to kill underlings that annoy her because she's murderous and sadistic (ho hum), though she's a little too war-hungry for Inix's taste. As such, she may be on the way out. She's mostly just crazy buff, though her attributes are formidable overall. She has all the basic godling stuff, but can also shoot shitty energy blasts. Somehow she has a Sword of Atlantis, and is all gothy and grim in her fashion-
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
A pale black-haired woman with intense deep-blue eyes. She favors black lipstick and nail polish, accentuating her paleness, and always dresses in black, wearing short tunics and thigh-high boots to formal occasions, or black demonic armor in combat.
Rendell The Slave Master
A dragon that once was in a dungeon.
An adult fire dragon, Rendell is all yessss master to Inix, which a lot of people find appalling because dragons are supposed to be proud, but Rendell is all too willing to murder people who point it out. Apparently he was imprisoned by another dragon in a dimensional prison for centuries, and Inix rescued him and slew his captor. Rendell is crazy, and sees Inix as "an angel from heaven", which makes him part of a litany of Rifts sub-villains that see their masters as gods or angels or whatever. In fact, he hates anybody in good with Inix because Inix is apparently his waifu , though he's come to respect Malkholm. He's also often hopped up on special druuuuugs formulated to affect an adult dragon.
In any case, he's an average adult dragon, with modest spellcasting and psionics, and nothing too exceptional about the statblock iself. He often shapeshifts into a "giant Gatherer" to interact with Inix's followers.
Leader of the Gatherers
Even his eyebrows are spiky!
Centuries old, Kastor used to be the old Head of Security (or Chief of Intelligence), but he had the issue of all of his gatherer agents being kleptomaniacs (it's a species thing). So Inix fave his position to Malkholm, and Kastor is resentful and now is in charge of radiding for slaves. But sooner or later he's planning to give aid to Cibola's enemies when he thinks he can get away with it, and get revenge on Inix and Malkholm by bringing down the city. Though he's pretty tough, he's- well, another coward at heart.
Stat-wise, he's pretty tough for a gatherer. We'll get to them in just-
Minions of Inix
They like to pinch things! Get it- ennnnh-
Lobster / toad / human mix-ups, these are dimensional nomads who teleport from world to world and rob people, since they have no sense of private property. Inix recruited some two millennia ago, and likes them so much he's been trying to collect them all. They're often used on raiding missions thoughout South America.
Then we get a long-ass trirade on how they're not recommended as PCs but you can use them if you really want but the PC will still be a kleptomaniac and nobody trusts you and and how you can only choose a selfish alignment and the whole thing is really passive-aggressive as per usual.
They're super-strong, in any case, and are actually superhuman in most senses save for charm and beauty. They actually get more M.D.C. than a dragon hatchling, averaging at 450 M.D.C., can see invisible stuff, can turn invisible, get very minor regen, nightvision, and a really powerful dimensional teleport. Unlike most dimensional teleports, they can attempt "blind" teleports to unknown locations, though with only a 32% success rate, I have to wonder how bands of them stay together without being accidentally stranded across different dimensions. Rules! They get minor spellcasting and master psionics, and a modest amount of skills including a lot of tracking, navigation, and lore.
Pogtalian Dragon Slayers
This is mostly just a reprint of their statblock from Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms , and Inix has hired them to join his army, and they're rivals for the gatherers. They're too proud to really worry about victimizing humans very often, looking for strong foes to match their skills against.
Unlike the Gatherers, the book is just fine with you playing a Pogtalian if you want, just warning that they're associated with Cibola in South America and are likely seen as baddies by Manoa or Omagua.
The Pincer Warriors
I wonder what part Siembieda drew?
Bloodthirsty bug-men who Inix recruited, their origins are mysterious and might be the result of design or particularly harsh evolution. Doesn't matter. They might feed of of life force. Or maybe not! We get another diatribe about how you probably shouldn't use them as PCs because they're really predatory and brutal and if you really really want to allow one I guess it could be a mutant freak who doesn't want to murder everything and everybody will hate you etc.
In any case, they're stronger than gatherers, but only have a fraction of the M.D.C., though theirs at least increases with level-ups. They regenerate, take less damage from energy attacks, can go months without food by gorging, get some wilderness and sneaky skills, and some get some fancy weapons assigned to them. They're mostly just thugs seemingly meant to get cut down in droves, and don't particularly deal big damage or withstand damage particularly well.
Optional Player R.C.C.
This is another stat reprint, this time from Rifts Conversion Book , of sentient ape-men with horns. Apparently Inix shifted into a false god for them to worship, and has gathered a lot of them to serve him as scouts and guerrilla fighters. Get it? Because they're gorillas- ennnnh. Mostly they're just cannon fodder.
Just in their original writeup, they're S.D.C creatures, but get a military training package and some pretty fantastic set of equipment, including an armor with added force field and "yumbuto clubs" which are clubs with a special energy... thingy?... that lets them club you for Mega-Damage. They avoid cybernetics for no particularly good reason. They're not magical, after all.
It's noted here you can find almost any weapons in Cibola, but Splugorth weapons are more expensive and rarer. We get reprints of Naruni weapons - the NE-4P, NE-10, and NE-200 - from Rifts Mercenaries , only with new art that doesn't match the old art at all for some puzzling reason. Then we move on to vehicles!
Dragon Death Power Armor
"A bat is making love to my head! Fear it!"
This is special power armor fo the Pogtalian Dragon Slayers, built to work with their natural force field. It has modest M.D.C. buoyed up somewhat by the force field, a 300 MPH jet pack, mini-missiles, a modestly powerful plasma cannon, and improves an Pogtalian's hand-to-hand-damage. Kinda meh compared to better mechs in the game but if you're a Pogtalian, it's great to have and supplements just about all your natural abilities.
Also, dragons can kick the shit out of it.
Cibolian Flying Platform
Adaaworable purveyors of death.
These are flying topless trucks, more or less, and they often carry gatherers. Their actual M.D.C. is pitiful, and they mostly rely on a decent force field for defense. They also have special rules for destroying the hand railings on them and having people fall out. They can zip around at 200 MPH (yes, with an open top, prepare for windburn). There's a plasma cannon that's no better than the hand-held one, and mini-missiles, though that art certainly doesn't make the missiles look mini.
Cibola's Drugs & Potions
Cibola is supposedly one of the finest places for chemical recreation, and it notes you can find any Earthly drug, including the ones from Rifts World Book Five: Triax and the NGR . It notes they don't have juicer or crazy treatments, but Inix is interested in them even though he apparently has more powerful drugs that make people super.
We have a note added that drugs are bad, and drugs are also bad for PCs. Good to know.
Magical Potions and Pills
This allows you to dream literal fantasies of your own creation, like an aid to super-lucid dreaming, but of course it becomes more appealing than the real world and starts giving penalities to all skill checks and initiative. Apparently long-time users get bigger penalties and have terrible nightmares if they miss a daily dose.
A drug for mages, it boosts that old Potential Psychic Energy and adds extra on top of that, but when it wears off you lose all the bonus power and some extra on top of that, but it also halves all your attacks and combat bonuses. Oh, and there's a small but growing chance whenever you take it that it reduces your P.P.E. by a small amount, but makes it take twice as long to recover P.P.E.
. Yeah, don't touch the stuff.
Sadly, this does not turn you into a robot, in disguise or otherwise. Instead, it turns you into a monster with armored skin, super-strength, and claws and fangs; supposedly the details depend on "the dark side of the character's personality". You basically get M.D.C. armor (modest), Mega-Damage claws (meh) and minor regen, but can't use skills well while in it. Afterwards you're exhausted and essentially can't do anything meaningful for hours. Long-term use reduces all your skills all the time and gives a tiny percentage to become a monster forever, whee. Which may mean your character sheet gets yanked away, it's left to GM discretion.
This gives a modest recovery of Inner Strength Points, but if you fail the roll you get the shakes and get combat and skill penalities for hours. Addicts get a penalities against psionics and mind control, and a penalty on all skills.
- Lightning Nectar: This is a drug that grants a psionic power and Inner Strength Points, and there are different varieties for different powers. This may be made using brain tissue from psychics, it's mysteriiiious. The comedown requires a save and if failed, gives combat and skill penalties. Long-term use reduces your Mental Endurance permanently.
And that's it for drug-peddling slavery bugs.
Note: The indigenous people of South America... according to Rifts.
"During the ordeal, the character may be visited by spirits or visions, who provide him with information or insight (role-playing these visitations can be fun)."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 13): "During the ordeal, the character may be visited by spirits or visions, who provide him with information or insight (role-playing these visitations can be fun)."
I think that's overdoing it even by indigenous standards.
The Rain Forest
Most of the human population outside of the major nation has reverted to tribalism. As we've seen before in Rifts , just as in Africa and, apparently there were a bunch of native people waiting to turn back to the Old Ways (TM). We are told they speak "Awarak, Cariban, Ge, and Tupian", which- shit, I have to look this stuff up now.
are actually a
people and are essentially extinct. It's the Lokono, a coastal people in northeast South America, who kept the Arawak language alive. A very small number of them survive, mostly as farmers, lumberers, and migrant laborers in modern day.
is a language
, not a language, but in a world where "Euro" is a language, I guess it's fair enough. The actual Carib natives barely survive in the modern day; they're actually located on the island of Dominica.
or Ge languages are, once again, a language family, not a language, of the indigenous people of Brazil. A lot of different cultures covered here.
- Tupian covers over seventy languages, mostly surpressed to near-extinction.
We get some generalities. Some tribes are violent! Some are peaceful! Some use traditional weapons! Some use pre-rifts Weapons! But they all use magic, apparently, though they don't have druids or techno-wizards. A half-page on local cultures is all we get, time to move on to their magical classes of noble savagery.
Tribal Shaman O.C.C.
So these are your generic animists who use rituals to summon or vanish the spirits and do magic. They rely on ordeals to learn magic, apparently, and to level up, they have to do an ordeal lasting at least 24 hours once they have the experience required, unlike any other class that just levels by gaining experience . They're a big deal because magic is a big deal now, and generally are good people in tune with nature etc.
So they get the ability to talk with plants and animals, though they are limited to what the plant or animal understands. What does a plant fuckin' understand anyway? "I grew a little. Maybe it rained. Maybe somebody peed on me. What do you want? They can do exorcism, which has a pitiful 8% chance per level of working and takes 1d6 hours. They can turn dead, because any religious person can do that in this land of unD&D , but their chances are similarly pitiful. They get some low-level spell magic, and are limited by their level in what spells they can learn. Lastly, they get some wilderness and lore skills and can pilot a boat or throw a spear. Their skill selections are weak, and honestly they're terrible compared to a ley line walker or other corebook wizard. About the best thing they get is that they can talk with a bush or tiger automatically, so that could be useful, but it's dependent on the GM's kindness.
Thanks to attribute requirements, you have about a 31% chance of playing one of these.
Ah, yes, the South American... tiger.
Totem Warrior O.C.C.
So this is for your generic animism... at war! You choose a totem animal, and get superpowers based on that animal. Unfortunately, this takes an entire fuckin' round to do, so you better not get caught with your loincloth down. The powers last 5 minutes per level and can be used six times a day, and all of give pitiful supernatural toughness and strength. Your choices are:
Get boosts to strength, toughness, climbing, and swimming, and you can do an automatic grapple. Yes, you can bear-hug Thor, and he can't get out, because there aren't any rules for it.
Bonus to strength, toughness, can hold your breath and swim automatically. Also you can bite for shitty Mega-Damage.
You can magically fly around, see far, and get crummy Mega-Damage claws, and some minor combat bonuses.
You can super-jump, swim very well, hold your breath, get a bonus to dodge, and a bigger bonus to dodge in water.
Boosts strength, agility, toughness, and speed at a very modest level. You also get nightvision, crummy claws, boosts to climbing and sneaking, and combat bonuses.
A big adder to agility and combat defenses, and climb and acrobatics at high level. Does this mean you get the physical and skill bonuses provided by the acrobatics skill? It doesn't say. Can you buy it twice and be a super acrobat?
- Tapir: A big bonus to strength (more than any other animal here), a bit to endurance and speed, and you can identify plants at a high level.
With attribute requirements being what they are, you have a 39% chance of playing one of these.
And that's all the attention they get, despite being the sort of folks PCs will encounter very, very often.
Next: A brief bestiary.
"Some (but by no means all) of the atrocities committed by ancient Spanish conquerors were the result of ellal spirits who took over the bodies of dead Spaniards (usually men who had died of disease or wounds but who hadn't been declared dead or discovered by their companions and went on to commit horrendous crimes to gain nourishment)."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 14): "Some (but by no means all) of the atrocities committed by ancient Spanish conquerors were the result of ellal spirits who took over the bodies of dead Spaniards (usually men who had died of disease or wounds but who hadn't been declared dead or discovered by their companions and went on to commit horrendous crimes to gain nourishment)."
Monsters of the Amazon
The Ellal - South American Undead
Lack of lips makes undead sound all goofy.
So, there are invisible energy beings that love Earth and specifically South America. Why? Because mumble mumble that is why. In any case, they're harmless and unintelligent, at least until they possess a dead body, then that dead body gets back up with all the knowledge of its former self, only eeevil . It's so evil it has to murder people once a month or start decaying, though they can queue up as many months as they like, so they prefer killing sprees.
Also it turns out some of the atrocies done by Spaniards were actually evil spirits who possessed dead Spaniards to murder.
They start out at 1st level though, and have to earn their way back to whatever level they were in life (and past that), though they get all the skills and spells of their past life. The real key is that you can't kill them without exorcising the body, which thankfully kills the bodiless creature too. In addition, anything other than silver or magic does 1/3 damage to these guys- not that they have high M.D.C. values, but most silver and magic does meh damage, so they end up being tough by default. You can just destroy the body by reducing it to -200 M.D.C., but the invisible energy thing hangs around. Oh, and they can stop their deterioration by going into a hibernative sleep, so if you want to stop one by locking it in a frige, think again.
It's definitely more threatening than most types of undead we've seen in Rifts , but still just kind of a boring smart zombie thing. I couldn't find a source for this thing in mythology; it could be that the name's a little off.
Trelque-huecuve - Monster Squid
Some of those tentacles belong to other squids.
So, this is a giant monster squid that lives in both fresh and salt water with ten clawed tentacles. "Considered to be an evil predator." They have a pretty hefty amount of M.D.C., around 400-900, and special rules for grappling people and pulling them to the bite. It notes the biggest ones can pull ships underwater but there are no rules for that.
The actual mythical creature was more of a flat skin with eyes and claws on the edge that caused whirlpools where it sucked you down and wrapped itself around you to eat you. It didn't come on land often, but could cause whirlwinds when it did. Also it liked to eat young women, like a monster do. Sounds more interesting than "evil squid", but I'm no game designer.
Huecu - Demonic Manta Ray
No, swim towards the shore, not away!
This is an giant manta ray that hates people, and prefers to eat them. It may actually be a psychic vampire. It has a modest M.D.C. and can fly at slow speeds out of the water for a few minutes, and has a poisonous stinger that just adds Mega-Damage to its stinger attacks. Some tribes hunt these as delicious, but usually they just run like hell.
I vaguely recall these from mythology something but can't find a source, so have this Pixies song instead.
The Aunyain - Tusked Magicians
These are boar-men who were created from human worshippers by an evil god named Aunyaina, and either gather in small families or become rulers of human or D-Bee tribes, and often gather up people to sacrifice to their master. They don't like vampires or ellal, because they're competition. Aunyaina isn't really interested in this Earth, but appreciates the sacrifices.
Stat-wise they're not far from the human spread of attributes, mostly just being a little smarter, stronger, hearty, and faster than humans, but uglier because boars. They have about 100+ M.D.C., can turn invisible in shadows, take half damage from energy attacks because why not, see invisible stuff, turn into a giant tapir ("South American boar", it claims), and regenerate slowly. They also get some modest spellcasting and immunity to possession and mind control. Also they have the same skills as the Totem Warrior because they're running out of space.
Aunyaina was an evil monster from mythology, though mostly he was just an evil humanoid monster with tusks; boars weren't introduced to the continent until the Europeans came. He wasn't really a god, though, just when he died from a fall while chasing some kids, he split into reptiles and lizards, like monsters do. Not many legendary monsters get to die by "falling from tree". Also, tapirs aren't related to boars at all, they're actually closer to rhinos. So really this is just whole-cloth kinda stuff.
Next: Boats! Are you excited? Of course you aren't.
"This is the ship of choice for Splugorth Slavers and Blind Women Warriors."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 15): "This is the ship of choice for Splugorth Slavers and Blind Women Warriors."
Ships of South America
Boats! The part you've all been waiting for!
Splugorth Slaver Raider
Aka "the Alan Parsons Project".
This is a large landing hybrid hovercraft / hydrofoil. Why would you mix the two? Because it's cool, duh. It's about 200' long and can pack about 800 slaves in, and usually has about a hundred evil Atlanteans between the crew and raiding force. It has a fanciful 2500 M.DC., can go about 400 MPH as a hovercraft, but apparently has to use the hydrofoil over rough waters to only go 100 MPH, and is 40 MPH on land? Confusing. In any case, they have pulse cannon turrests that do decent damage, long-range missile launchers that can fire intercontinental torpedoes, if that's your thing, and depth charges. Oh, and it can fire 16 of those long-range missles at once, which is like 2240 damage on a successful hit. Remember wayyy back how you literally aren't allowed to dodge barrages that large from the core book? Better hope you shoot those down and roll the "they all explode!" result, PCs!
Splugorth Slaver Mothership
Not very motherly, despite looking like a giant boob.
If they Splugorth weren't badass enough unleashing small armies of intercontinental nuclear missiles at you, there's this thing, with is a giant floating doom base they have four of. None are near South America (it says so explicitly), but it gets to be in this book anyway. It has about 2000 monsters between its attack forces and crew, and 28,000 M.D.C., making it the toughest vehicle we've seen so far, and claims to be three times the size of a modern aircraft carrier, though that's mainly because it's wide and tall and not based on length. It carries eight of the asshole raider machines we just had, too.
It has multiple batteries of long-range missiles, mini-missiles, laser turrets, torpedoes, and depth charges, all of which will do fantastic damage and murder just about anything short of a god, not even factoring in the army it can unleash. It's poised on these pillars that hold the whole thing up and would seem the best thing to attack, but there's no rules for what happens if it loses any of them. Rules!
Somehow not named "Scorpion" instead.
This is a dinky little craft that goes about 60 MPH and is a really soft target for a vehicle. It runs on gasoline, yet is still somehow "surprisingly quiet". I guess that would be a surprise! It has mini-missiles (decent damage), a rocket gun (middling damage), and a laser gun (crap damage). Who builds these? It's a mystery!
Piranha Submersible Attack Boat
The future means more fins.
Apparently this is a pre-rifts design that is only in the hands of pirates and adventurers and their ilk. Columbia and the Silver River Republics (the latter not appearing in this book) really would like to take one apart for study but haven't been able to. It's pretty tough, 100' long, nearly as tough as a glitter boy, and can go 80 MPH over water and 40 MPH under water. It has a shitty rail gun and a pretty great medium-range missile launcher.
"Black Galleon" Gunboat
The Columbian ship with a French name.
This is Columbia's ship of the line, though some very rich merchants have bought them as well. They have 900 M.D.C., go around 50 MPH, are about 40'- wait.
The last boat had less M.D.C., was like a rare unreproduceable pre-rifts thing, and this ridiculously tougher at a fraction of the size? Huh. Wait, it's 40' long... and 120 tons. How the fuck does that work? Maybe they meant 400'? Weird. If it were 40' long and 120 tons, fucker would sink like a stone swimming downward with a rocket pointed at the sky. Glub glub.
In any case, it has middling rocket auto-cannons, a medium-range rocket turret, light torpedoes, a alright laser cannon, and depth charges. Pew pew, I sunk your canoe.
Next: Just because you're an undead demon pirate doesn't mean you can't find the time to be sexy.
"He always remains quiet and subdued while conducting his 'experiments,' asking questions like 'Does this hurt? Really? What about now?' (scream of pain from the victim)."Original SA post Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 16): "He always remains quiet and subdued while conducting his 'experiments,' asking questions like 'Does this hurt? Really? What about now?' (scream of pain from the victim). "
The Black Ship
By C.J. Carella and Kevin Siembieda
Despite it being called a "scenario", this is just a collection of villains. There's no adventure or even hint of an actual plot here besides "bad villains that need stopping". Unusually enough, we get a fiction chunk starting out this section.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
He was most interested in finding out what sort of world had welcomed him to its bosom.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
"I think fate smiles upon us Archill. Ah, I see it in your eyes. You feel the power too. Mystic energy so strong that you can taste it in the air and feel it wrap around you like a lover in the wind."
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
Kharkon stretched, his muscles rippling and teeth glinting in the yellow sun. A groan of ecstasy slipped from his throat like the purr of a contented cat.
Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:
The Baal-rog first mate, his supernatural muscles rippling in the morning light, repeated the command, and cracked his whip for emphasis.
Uh what the fuck
So there's a evil demon pirate that's shown up through a rift, and he might be a little sexy.
So, this is the headquarters for a fleet of demonic and/or undead pirates, led by Kharkon the Conqueror, who apparently ruled over "95% of his homeworld". And now he's going to take over Earth with, wait, this can't be right.
A dozen ships. Certainly you need more than a dozen ships to take over the world, right? Well, they're Black Ships, at least, which are magic ships crewed by undead and demons, so there's that. Right now, he's just trying to build up his home base in anticipation of further conquest. I mean, Conqueror is in the name. And because he's evil and down with demons and all that, it's been named Nightmare Island.
Kharkon the Undaunted,
Teeth like a shark... hog...
So, Kharkon was a shifter (as seen wayyy back in the corebook) who joined with an alien intelligence named Drekkon the Destroyer for the powwwwahhhh. But Drekkon got chumped by a bunch of good forces who weren't down with the destroying, and Drekkon escaped destruction by possessing Kharkon. However, it turned out the weakened Drekkon wasn't a match for Kharkon, who had a strong enough will to maintain control, and so they became a hybrid demony kind of guy. Then he gathered up a fleet of over a hundred Black Ships and several hundred ships of other colors, and took over... the world!
Apparently even landlocked areas or the like.
However, one island remained that was ruled by warlocks and wizards, who used magic to create storms and keep his ships away. When he attacked personally, they used a ritual to send his ship through a rift and over to Earth. Granted, they didn't really care where they sent him, as long as it was elsewhere. It turns out Kharkon is ultimately way more interested in Earth now, though, because of his magical energy. He's made a very tenative alliance with Atlantis for trade, but it's likely to get broken once Kharkon tries to take over Atlantis. He's apparently a sharp cookie but is also utterly ruthless, using a mixture of curb stomping and subtlety to get what he wants. However, the magic energy of Earth means that Drekkon might get strong enough to take control... in several centuries, so who the fuck cares, it's not going to matter in most campaigns. In any case: 1300 M.D.C., regenerates, can summon lesser demons, animate and control corpses, control rats or mice, invulnerable to fire and possession, has all the regular spells, see invisible stuff, and has a terrible magic sword and some magic armor.
Dalgon the Undying
A Syvan Pirate
Making sure the photographer gets his bad side.
A nice guy that loves puppies, sunshine, and the fresh scent of lilacs.
At least, that's how I'd like to start up a description for a Rifts NPC one day. Have I said that before? But this guy is a Syvan (from Rifts Conversion Book , the guys with a half-corpse face who otherwise look human) who wants to conquer and/or murder everything, and so he and Kharkon are conquest bros (evil monster fistbump, go), but is aware that Kharkon has a supernatural intelligence inside. If Kharkon tries to screw him, he'll try and bolster Drekkon to try and put forth a mutiny in Kharkon's own head. He doesn't trust Archill and is inclined to try and find a way to have him die in battle, and he might even recruit the PCs to manage that. In any case, he has 400 M.D.C., can sense emotions and the supernatural, has a ton of psychic powers, and a greater rune weapon (free with slightest inclination towards magical villainy). I guess he's supposed to be a manipulator, or something, I super don't care.
Archill the Necromancer
The number of skull-bearing villains is pretty boneheaded at this point.
A former wizard-king who joined with Kharkon with the intent of usurping his position, he's come to really regret that decision. He hates being a pirate, he hates being on a world with advanced technology, and mostly just hates. He's been working with the Splugorth as a double agent in exchange for a promise to be sent home. Mostly, though, he's inclined to try and murder Kharkon if he ever sees an opportunity. Also he's a super-sadist who likes to pull the whole polite torturer routine as if it was still cool. Other than that, he's a 12th level necromancer (from Rifts World Book Four: Africa ) with a lesser rune weapon and some dragon bones to channel necromantic power through. And just because I'm so bored with these guys and he's a normal human, let's see the odds of rolling up a PC with the same stats as him.
His stats are: I.Q. 17 (0.8% chance), M.A. 15 (9.3% chance), M.E. 13 (25.9% chance), P.S. 11 (50% chance), P.P. 16 (NA), P.E. 18 (0.7% chance) , P.B. 8 (74% chance), Spd. 10 (62.5% chance). That's less than a one in three million chance not counting the 16, since you can't roll a 16 in Rifts character generation. However, if we add in the base chance of rolling a 16 on 3d6, that becomes less than one in six billion . That means if we get the entire population of Earth playing Rifts , one person will have stats equal to or better than Archill the Necromancer.
Let's not do that, though.
The Black Ships
"The bat-wing sails help everybody realize: 'you're evil'."
These are actually from the Palladium RPG , specifically the book Adventures on the High Seas , even though these guys aren't from that setting. There's some magical ritual you can do to create these, and they come crewed with demons and zombies. The knowledge isn't widespread on Earth, but is known on Kharkon's homeworld. They've started adding high-tech guns to them as well, because skeletons can't say no to lasers. We get some excruiating details on their crew composition, which has demons and undead and undead in armor and guys with jet packs and tattooed men and ugh let's just get this book over with-
Since these are sailing vessels, they have masts and sails with surprisingly little M.D.C. you can blow apart to slow them down. In addition, instead of having a flat score for the hull or keel, it has an M.D.C. value for each hull and keel section, which means you can blow a hole in the hull without having to deplete its sizable M.D.C. value. They regenerate and can run on wind or magic. Supposedly they sometimes sacrifice prisoners to power the ship, but this seems odd, since it'd take about one average human prisoner for every four minutes of operation. On the other hand, you have dozens of demons with great P.P.E. values who could power the thing without much trouble. I guess being pointlessly evil is one of the main reasons to have these things... in any case, they also have laser cannons and a ram prow that actually does ridiculous damage, up to 265 damage on average for a full-speed hit. Of course, with a mere 32 MPH top speed outside of a ley line (it tops up to 70 MPH on one), most Rifts boats can just putter away from that ram hilariously. In fact, though the number of demons on board gives them some impressive magic, most of the other boats in this book could drive circles around these things, lobbing missiles until they sink.
Good luck with that world conquest plan, Kharkon!
We wrap up with some experience tables and that's that. Honestly, this was one of my favorite Rifts books, and... actually having to sit down and read parts of it has done some damage to that notion. We get a lot more interesting setting than most Rifts books so far, with a lot of odd stuff, but it doesn't hold together so well on reflection. There's a lot of places like Bahia or Maga that are just... boring. Mostly it's just having a lot of places painted with a broad brush as universally good or universally bad, with not a lot inbetween. It also suffers from having monstrously dull villains throughout, with just a litany of supernatural whatsits that do evil because evil.
Still, it has a lot of crazy ideas compared to earlier world books, and if you're going to use the Rifts setting, it's a good book to use, with Carella adding a lot more variety than earlier books. This will especially be true after South America 2 , with its alien invaders and mutant capybaras and Incan wizards. Right now this is just the first piece of one of the settings' better puzzles.
Next: Rifts in spaaace. Wait, didn't we already do that?