Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse by Alien Rope Burn
We proudly present untraditional "Palladium" versions of mythological beings you only thought you knew about.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part One: "We proudly present untraditional "Palladium" versions of mythological beings you only thought you knew about.”
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
Violence and the Supernatural
Huh? Yes please, I’ll have some.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
This book may be inappropriate for young readers.
Pantheons of the Megaverse is inspired by the mythological tales of ancient gods, terrible monsters, magic and heroes. None of the portrayal of these mythological character are historically accurate. These fictional characters are not meant to represent modern religions of beliefs.
This book is filled with fictional gods, demigods, heroes, supernatural monsters, magic, insanity, and violence. Other- dimensional beings, often referred to as "demons", torment, stalk, and prey on humans. Champions of Light battle the Forces of Darkness in the eternal battle of good verses evil.
Pantheons of the Megaverse is a work of fiction! The "demons," magic and monsters are not real. None of us at Palladium Books condone or encourage the occult, the practice of magic, the use of drugs, or violence.
Some parents may find find the violence and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.
Typos are reproduced faithfully, as ever.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
Alex "Editing God" Marciniszyn
I think Alex's only talent as an editor is making sure "Marciniszyn" is spelled right. Also, being Siembieda's close friend and resident brown-noser. In any case, let's look at the cover.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
The cover painting is John Zelenik's vision of one possible Thor in the world of Rifts; complete with bionic augmentation and mystic hammer aglow with energy. Remember, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Translation from Siembiedaese: that rad Thor on in the cover? Not in the book. Why not? Undoubtedly some spergy Riftsian nonsense about gods not having cybernetic bits and bobs. However, we won't have an overdose of Siembieda in this particular tome, since this is the Palladium debut of...
Carlos J. Martijena-Carella
... better known as CJ Carella . Now, this isn't CJ's first RPG book; at the time this was published, he had done work for Steve Jackson Games' GURPS , namely GURPS Imperial Rome and GURPS Martial Arts . What's more, during the three years he works for Palladium, he will become their most prolific writer, writing or contributing to eleven books in three years for Palladium , nine of which would be for the Rifts line. During his employment with Palladium, CJ will be the biggest influence on the Rifts line until the release of his last Rifts book, World Book 10: Juicer Uprising . CJ Carella isn't the only newcomer; Vince Martin also makes his debut doing some of the Greek Gods. Otherwise, this book is a cross-section of Rifts artists at the time.
Some Words From the Author
In any case, CJ Carella points out that mythology is the basis for a lot of nerdy things - RPGs included - and so he sees a book like this as full circle. He also points out that it's intended to work with all Palladium games, not just Rifts ... but all the setting assumptions are steeped in Rifts , so YMMV. The "twist" is that they're going to offer several different versions of some pantheons or gods, so players won't know if the gods they run into are good, bad, or fake. He also emphasizes that the gods are different takes than classical mythology, and that he's interpreted them as interacting with each other (crossover mythfic), and tried to make them fresh rather than worry about being too traditional.
This is troublingly reasonable. Where's the other shoe?
Comment from Siembieda
Oh, there it is.
Siembieda reminds us that these gods aren't "the same old rehash of dusty old gods", but advises us not just to limit ourselves to the gods in this book, but to read mythology and come up with our own. He goes on about how great it's gonna be in typical Siembieda-does-Stan-Lee fashion.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
I can also assure you that we have C.J. chained in a dimensional time hole working on a bunch of other books to be released this year (boy, is this guy creative!).
Edit: Now that I’m done writing this thing, I’m just going to say up front, this may not be the worst Rifts book I’ve done so far ( Rifts World Book Four: Africa is still stiff competition), but it definitively been the worst to write up, and taken occamsnailfile and I about four months to see from start to finish, because it was pure unrelenting misery to trudge through. Siembieda will not save this book. Carella will not save this book. In fact, it will not be saved.
Next: What does God need with a sourcebook?
...the beautiful may be evil incarnate and the monstrous may possess the soul of an angel.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part Two: "... the beautiful may be evil incarnate and the monstrous may possess the soul of an angel."
What Are Deities?
There are vagaries here, but not much actual definition. Humanity once tried to explain mysteries by saying a god did them! But what if they were superhuman aliens from other dimensions?! What then, Einstein?! What then, Brainiac?!
This Thor and the Thor on the cover look nothing like the Thor shown later. Too many Thors!
Some General Types of Gods
It turns out there's more than one kind of god! As in gods! Plural!
These are your unstoppable, immutable, statless kind of gods. They aren't detailed in the book, and it recommends you use them very, very sparingly if at all. Not sure why this is brought up, because
doesn’t seem to have anything like these.
These are the thousands of M.D.C. sort of supernatural forces we saw back in
World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms
World Book Three: England
World Book Four: Africa
. They can be beat by exceptional mortals, it says (this is not really true), but for the most part it takes a god to face up against a god. It also notes that slain gods may only be dispelled, but leaves that up to the GM. In addition, most gods need a certain # of worshippers to manifest on a given world, or to manifest at full strength.
These are the subgods, the barely-theres and minion deities. They're still mighty, but generally don't have an area of dominion like proper gods, and are the sort of gods that might actually be a PC if the GM allows.
Some gods have sex with mortals and have kids
wait stop Siembieda sperg break
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
Note that in the Palladium Megaverse, most supernatural entities CANNOT breed with humans or members of any different species. Gods can do it by temporarily assuming a mortal (through super-powerful) form which should be considered one of the gods' special supernatural powers.
This “power” is never seen or referred to again, it’s just Siembieda being all spergy. Anyway, demigods get to have special powers like superheroes. Also deities are always trying to fuck with them. This isn't to be confused with mortal creatures that build cults, who are just posers.
Gods have minions. They can be way powerful or completely unpowerful. They can be evil or good. They can be pretty or ugly. Nothing meaningful is said here.
The Pantheons of Light & Darkness
One is good! One is bad! I'll let you work out which is which. Apparently nearly every pantheon breaks down into goodies and baddies, though there are still some grey areas like honorable evil warriors and apathetic nice folk. Someday there will be a huge apocalypse though and everybody will have to choose a side, just like with abortion.
These are malevolent, inhuman bad things filled with tentacles and eyes. We've already seen a number of them in Rifts, like the vampire intelligences from Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms , or the spluggies from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis . Which always throws me for a loop, because the splugorth always seem to have pretty down-to-Earth (for tremendous tentacle monsters) and understandable motivations, so they aren't quite Lovecraftian . In any case, sometimes they get mistaken for gods, or fake their way into the god biz.
There have been a lot of godly fakers, of which dragons are the most notable, but some are big deals and some are big bluffs. In any case, there are a number of imitation pantheons, and we'll get to see some of them later.
Gods in Your Campaign
It notes gods are big deals, and shouldn't be used lightly! We get some ideas on how to use gods!
They could be patrons or archenemies of a party or PC, maybe acting through minions or a cult.
You could run into some gods, probably in disguise, perhaps to drop a clue, test the party’s ethics, or just fuck with the party.
Maybe they send a vision or an omen. "For instance, the party is about to enter a cavern. As they approach they see the dead body of a raven. Maybe it means nothing." Look, I'm pro at this omen business. It means
. It means
ravens are in danger
. Nothin' to it, see?
Ravens watch the fuck out.
Maybe some gods are getting down and dirty and having a fight, or getting involved in a war, or maybe trying to stop a war, whatever.
"Supernatural intervention can be a means to curb hack-and-slashers."
So yeah, you want to punish a player, apparently you have the next person they pick on turn out to be a god and give them a supernatural wedgie. That's certainly one way to show a player!... in a manipulative, passive-aggressive way. It mentions you shouldn’t do it
much, but- look we get a half page of this nonsense. It says punishments should be played for humor but I that's a nice way of saying "make it humiliating”. Oh, and if the player doesn't play along and take their medicine, it suggests the possibility of having the god
Battles Between Gods
Gods usually don't rumble with each other, because it's too risky and leaves them too weak. It also makes a lot of enemies who seek revenge. "G.M. Note: Revenge can be a great springboard for adventures and villains. Use it." Because we wouldn’t want to have the PCs get away with the temerity of defeating villains , amirite? Also when gods fight it weakens reality, and we get some percentage chances of rifts busting open when deities duel.
This notes that some of the gods have several different writeups, so GMs can:
Just select one pantheon to be the only one.
Say different pantheons are prominent on different worlds.
Or have different versions coexisting or competing on the same world.
It notes that many gods have plot hooks, but only to focus on a few that fit your campaign, or that can be used as subplots or the like.
Some Other Observations About Gods & Role-Playing
Quite the section header, that.
Quickie Mega-Damage Conversions to S.D.C.
It notes that if you decide to use these in other Palladium games other than Rifts , then you might need to just convert the M.D.C. of gods to S.D.C. on a one for one basis, or if you're playing Palladium Fantasy , discard S.D.C. and just use their hit points. It's a simplified version of the conversion from the original Rifts Conversion Book , save for the fact that Conversion Book would actually reduce it by around 50%. Consistency is for other games, perfectionists!
Notes on Gods & Magic
It notes that gods can break the rules and have multiple styles of magic, or bigger bonuses than their skills and level would provide. It doesn’t mention that gods also often have classes that don’t exist in the game or at levels that aren’t detailed in the game. They can also regulate their magic to have weaker effects than their level would indicate, in case they don't want to just toast mortals entirely.
Magic Items & Treasure
It notes that gods may have way bigger stashes than their equipment indicates, depending on their personality. Some may bestow items on mortals, but generally in return for service and favors. Or maybe they'll grant it after a quest. Or they might send mortals to get items for them. And if you bug a god for too much, maybe they're just kill you, since apparently they give no fucks. It reiterates that if you bug gods, they may choose to make your entrails into a jump rope. Fiiine we get the point. Show us on the miniature where the players harassed you, Siembieda.
Using Pantheons in Other Palladium Games
Of course, Thor from this game would pretty much quash all the villains forever. But it notes that superheroes could fight alien intelligences or gods, or you could have godlings or the like as PCs.
Beyond the Supernatural:
It notes you can use the scarier gods as they form cults or bust loose of their ancient god San Quentin or have covert shadow wars, etc.
Robotech and Macross II:
Seriously? Okay, maybe Athena goes and punches a Zentraedi or the Robotech Masters team up with Space Lilith, etc.
The Mechanoids want to kill the gods (two legs bad, remember?) so maybe the gods go to war with them. Not sure how the PCs could affect a conflict like that?
The Palladium RPG:
Maybe new gods from the book show up and cause a ruckus, or evil gods try and awaken the Old Ones, because that's a super-good idea, open the ark, stare directly into the light. Best plan ever.
Next: Play a pawn of the gods or a god of pawns! It's a Megaverse of choice!
Demigods are more human since they are frequently part human and usually have been raised within human (or D-Bee) society as a normal human.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part Three: "Demigods are more human since they are frequently part human and usually have been raised within human (or D-Bee) society as a normal human."
The Rifts Priest
An Optional O.C.C.
I know it’s in the class depiction, but you can’t start with a Sword of Atlantis. Sorry!
So, priests are godly go-betweens, and usually just worship one god, though they tend to respect the whole pantheon they serve under. And they have special godly rules to follow!
It notes that mostly "the designer" (i.e. Siembieda) has deliberately left religion vague. It points out that most people of Lazlo, the Coalition States, and the New German Republic are effectively deists; they believe in an all-powerful, non-interventionist god. It notes that the Coalition States also have a lot of atheists... that certainly believe in "gods", but as malevolent supernatural entities instead of targets of worship. On the flip side, wilderness communities and the 'burbs are often breeding grounds for cults (often for false gods), witch hunts (with real priests as the targets), and general paranoia.
Clerical Knowledge & Abilities
Priests cast spells like a mystic, which is to say they can't learn or purchase spells, but get them as they level up from their god. They also get special powers from their god, but if they don't, they can get several or all of the abilities below:
A crummy ability; it takes 1d6
to exorcise somebody, and has a chance of success equal to 7% per level. Compare with the Exorcism psionic power, which takes 30 minutes, has a base chance of 28% + 7% per level,
which any human character can obtain as a basic psionic power
Restores 1d8 S.D.C. or 1d4 M.D.C. every 30 seconds. Crummy in a fight, fantastic in noncombat, since it has no cost and you can fullheal people forever if you have enough time.
This is another ritual that takes 1d6 hours. It's kind of weird that the time is random; it's a
, after all. One would think the priest would have it practiced. Even if they have to loop the same chant over and over... how do they know when it's done? Anyway, this has the same crappy 7% per level chance, and you can only do it once per curse, but since the Remove Curse spell is so expensive and this is "free", at least it's an alternative. After 5th level, it even starts to get more reliable than the spell.
: This says it’s the only resurrection ability in
, but I wouldn't bank on it. You have to be 5th level, and it has a 10% chance + 3% per level beyond that. Yes, that means it never goes beyond a 40% chance of success, and you only get one chance per corpse per priest. I suppose it beats nothin', but not by much.
This lets you turn away animated dead, mummies, and ghouls. Apparently vampires, ghosts, and spectres can be kept at bay for "one or two melee rounds". Wow, way to be definitive when a priest's life is on the line!... your chance is only 20% + 5% per level beyond the first.
Prayer of Strength:
This gives you bonuses against fear, stronger spells, bonuses on turn dead and exorcism, and a bunch of crummy other bonuses. Well, at least this gives a bonus on that crappy exorcism!... if you make the 20% + 7% chance per level of it working! So roll the percentile to see if you a bonus on your
Prayer of Communion:
A 21% + 7% per level chance of gaining a 60% chance that you'll get an omen of good or bad luck or whatever. My head hurts. Isn't that more like a 14% + 4% chance? Math!
Prayer of Intervention:
Gives you a choice of A) cast any spell your god knows with bonus levels (crappy chance, but at no cost, it's potentially entirely broken as an ability), B) can create a magic scroll of any spell known to your god, or C) supercharge your healing touch (if you have it, I guess?). Chances are pretty dodgy at low levels.
These are direct appeals to your god that can grant you various powers like "Miracle of Luck" (big save and defense bonuses) or "Supernatural Strength" (what it says). Then there are Great Miracles, which can do any of your previous priest stuff at double power, create weather and earthquakes, heal the crippled or negate illnesses, and dispelling any magical effect or rift. The chance of getting a miracle off is abysmal - it starts at around 3%-24% and maxes out at 44%.
The big issue is that the Priest is hapless at low levels - often only having 7% - 21% chance of success on a lot of powers, but by 10th or 11th level, they bust the game, their Prayer of Intervention allows them to cast any spell their patron (or patrons , depending on how you interpret the rules) can cast for free. For example, an 11th level Priest of Enki can cast any spell of any level, including spells of legend, or any water warlock spell... at 97% accuracy and with a zero P.P.E. cost. The errata does a lot of handwringing about how the god will punish them for throwing around too much magic, but never defines how much is too much. Balance by pass-agg GM nonsense, essentially. This book was frequently criticized for giving us the godling class, but the priest is potentially far more abusive at mid to high levels, only held in check by NPC finger-wagging.
But to wrap this up - priests are also super-good at dancing, languages, and math, and get at average spread of skills otherwise. Their equipment list is pretty sparse compared to most other classes, but there's nothing really missing. Also it says they avoid cybernetic implants, but I'm not sure why - if your powers come from a god and not yourself, why not stick a railgun in your butt?
Gods as Player Characters
So we're coming around to the demigod and godling classes, but not before a lot of handwringing and cautionary words first. It points out these are weaker than your usual gods, so it shouldn't be a big issue... but... it also suggests the possibility of an all-god game, where everybody plays gods or demigods. Wait, Rifts is actually suggesting a campaign structure? Unpossible!
Still, here's all the suggestions given to dork with players who dare to play with gods :
Gods can still get stomped by overwhelming force, and major factions will still roll them.
They're likely to have enemies looking to strike them down as soon as they show weakness, or aid any of the god's other enemies.
Gods in general don't fight to the death, and PC gods that do so are "not playing in character" (exact quote) and could get destroyed.
A god that fucks with mortal too often could get punished by their pantheon... or a vengeful band of angry mortals.
"As a being of great power, the character has great responsibilities toward others." It points out that gods should be active in being good guys (it assumes you're playing a good guy) but have to do so subtly lest they be mobbed by the needy or angry.
Gods are likely to get the attention and rivalry of other similarly powerful assholes who might preemptively fuck with them.
It also suggests being extra hardassed in enforcing alignment strictures and shifts, though honestly since alignment doesn't affect much, who gives a shit?
On to the gods!
Worst part of being a god: the traditional pantheonic hairstyles.
The Godling R.C.C.
An Optional Player Character
It notes that godlings will be flavored by their pantheons, and will have big egos. They're also likely to be self-supremacists and consider most beings beneath them. Congratulations: you've chosen the Divine Jerk O.C.C.!
They get bonuses to all attributes, most notably strength, endurance, beauty, and speed. For those dreaming of having the thousands of M.D.C. possessed by NPC gods, well, fuck you. Godlings start with an average of 200 M.D.C. (less than most dragon hatchlings) and ramp up to an average of around 675 M.D.C. by 15th level. At most, they'd have around 900 M.D.C., but that's an extreme one in twenty billion chance. That's not an exaggeration; I did the math.
What else do you get? Well, you get a crappy Horror Factor, for one. A godling can also see the invisible, takes half effect from poisons and drugs, nightvision, bonuses against magic and fear, and slow regeneration (about 1 M.D.C. every 4 seconds). They also get three of the following powers:
Turn invisible and see the invisible
- so see
the invisible, then?
that starts at 1d6 and ramps up to a whopping 7d6. There are rifles that do more damage than that, and don't require you to be 14th level to do so. Crrrap.
that gives you 20 M.D.C. per level, three times a day. So yeah, you can get your force field knocked down and just instantly regenerate it. The better defensive power.
Really does make you super-strong. Much better than blasts if you really want to deal damage, but you have to get in hugging range.
Gives you an average of 78 M.D.C., about as much as putting on a decent suit of armor. Energy Aura is better by 2nd level, though I guess you could stack them to be the God of Taking Modestly More Damage.
Lets you turn into one "normal" animal for a few hours every day. You can take this twice to turn into any "normal" animal.
You can be invulnerable to cold, fire, lightning, energy, poison/disease, mind control, or possession. Hint: take energy, since that's laser / plasma / ion / particle (over half the crap used by any high-tech foes).
A tiny bonus to Physical Prowess and a big bonus to speed. Not nearly enough to outpace high-tech vehicles, though, and only really worth it if you're somehow maximizing your Dodge / Parry bonuses.
A shit-ton of lesser psionic powers or all of one category of psionics plus some super psionic powers. Or just be a Burster!
Lets you get all the magic powers of one magic class.
Yes, you can take it twice to get double magic powers.
Fly a few hours every day, but SAMAS units will outrace and outgun you. Pass.
call lightning ? What use is Super-Speed when you can cast superhuman speed or teleport ?
Otherwise, gods are really good at math and weapons, and get an average spread of other skills. They also get a suit of armor with random M.D.C. (30-120), a lesser rune weapon (which sounds nice but isn’t really going to impress). You can also be between 5' and 20' tall, depending on how hard a time you want shopping for clothes.
Overall, the godling is either comparable to most other supernatural characters (like dragons or gargoyles), unless they're a dedicated spellcaster, in which case they rule all spellcasting forever and really do turn out to be overpowered! If you want to be a warrior god, well, sucks to be you, unless you war with magic.
The Demigod R.C.C.
An Optional Player Character
Demigods are like gods, only more human! Thanks, Rifts . Thanks. It also notes that demigods usually have one extra power similar to that of their godly parent. It's not entirely clear, but it's implied that power is chosen from the godling list.
Demigod attributes are mainly high for affinity, strength, beauty, and speed. Their M.D.C. is around 50-90 or so, with 7 extra per level, and they get some bonus P.P.E. and I.S.P. Their horror factor is one less than a godling, they take less damage from fire or cold, have the same regeneration, and minor bonuses against magic, psionics, fear, and comas. They get to choose one of the godling powers, and the choice ones to take are either full spellcasting or super psionics, in about that order. You can easily be a temporal wizard / shifter, glitter boy / techno-wizard, priest / ley line walker, etc.
The big deal of playing a demigod is that you can still choose an O.C.C. as long as it isn't one of the human augmentation ones - no borg, juicer, crazy, or robot demigods. Why? Well, none of that stuff works on them. But they can still be Glitter Boy pilots or Priests, so it’s not like it’s for balance’s sake. It also restricts some Heroes Unlimited classes, so no deal if you want to play a demigod aardvark or demigod robot. Now that I mention it, that’s rather disappointing. The big deal, for people wanting to break the game, is that it explicitly allows most of the Heroes Unlimited character types. So you can be a demigod mutant superhero that is also a wizard, or a demigod experimental superhero that is , and basically get super awesome powers that punch balance in the face and throw it off a cliff. Then those powers leap off the cliff and buttslam balance in the face! I don’t have time to explain the Heroes Unlimited conversions and how they work out, save to say that they don’t work out in the slightest.
It ends by noting they can become partial borgs, contradicting the paragraph just above it, but says they don't go in for surgery because they're suspicious of it!... because people want their godly juices, apparently? It also notes that normal mortals can be uplifted to become demigods or godlings, but how does this happen?
Oh, and godlings don't even take the most XP to level of the classes in this book - that goes to "Supernatural Minions", apparently to be detailed later.
The Godling and Demigod classes make up the most controversial portion of this book, but it’s a bit of a red herring, since there are a few really powerful classes later on, but tucked away in the portions of the book less likely to earn notice.
Next: Lousy excuses for blood sacrifice.
The Aztec religion is often perceived as a bloodthirsty, cruel faith.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 4: The Aztec religion is often perceived as a bloodthirsty, cruel faith.
I knew this was my part but somehow I thought ARB's last post about lousy excuses for blood sacrifice were about Rifts PPE rituals. Which it wasn't. It's about this. The first of our pantheons.
So, we have the Aztecs. We got some of the Mayan stuff in Vampire Kingdoms but they were underpowered wimps compared to REAL GODS as presented now. Hell, the 15,000 MDC Celtic powerhouses in England were nothing compared to what we’re going to get. Uh, spoiler warning.
I actually like the Aztec/Mayan/other central American myth cycle, though I haven’t read it deeply in a while. Human sacrifice did happen, and it was a complicated thing that we still don’t fully understand--obviously Christian missionaries were horrified by and exaggerated the practice while they went about enslaving and slaughtering native populations en masse, but it clearly did actually happen. The why is another matter; there’s the stated religious reason, which is to keep the sun from going out, and the practical reasons, which we just don’t know--it seemed at the least to be a way to cull excess warrior populations in an empire that had grown about as far as it could grow and which had a hereditary caste system so a warrior would breed more little warriors all wanting to war on stuff.
But that part isn’t really important. This is Rifts. There will be human sacrifice and it will be because the god in question is Miscreant or Diabolic alignment. It’s simple math, that is how alignment works.
Also if one wants to read a mystery set in England about a stolen Aztec mummy, I recommend A Scattering of Jades by Alex Irvine.
One may recall that Rifts has a thing about pyramids being mystically significant and the Aztecs sure did build them some pyramids. The Atlanteans taught them how of course, and were betrayed and murdered for their trouble.
The Mayans and Vampires have apparently successfully repelled attempts to retake the Yucatan region from the Aztec gods which--really, while it would take a few minutes for them to whittle one down, these guys could whip the shit out of several Mayans or Vampire Intelligences and perhaps it’s only the dimensional teleporting in and out that would make it too annoying to do. The Aztec gods are willing to accept the Vampire Kingdoms as tributaries but the VIs haven’t compared MDC numbers and realized that is their best choice yet. Also they actually view the Splugorth as a threat rather than potential allies, how refreshing. Despite the time of magic ending well before even the rise of the Aztec empire, they’re also mad at the Spanish. This is actually a bit of an issue with several of these pantheons, in that they came into existence or persisted long after the stated period in the setting in which beings of great magic could exist on Earth.
i unno, it’s a pretty good Breaux piece though
So, here we go, the actual god writeups. I will probably summarize heavily as a lot of these stat blocks can be assumed to include “has all sensitive and physical powers plus bio-regeneration of several MDC per second, plus all Wilderness skills at 98%” and similar crap. I’ll just comment on the overall and especially noteworthy stuff.
God of the night, war and magic. Bloodthirsty asshole whose wrath had to be averted with sacrifice rather than the kind of god you pray to for granting wishes. Expelled Quetzalcoatl from the Aztec pantheon in myth, you’ve probably heard those (kind of apocryphal) stories about the Aztecs thinking Cortez was Q returning. Wants to conquer back all his stuff. Diabolic, 63,000 MDC at maximum but apparently only 12,600 to start with on Rifts Earth until he gets worshippers. Did he just leave a bunch of other people to not suffer without him somewhere else? Where did he spend his time? Also he has a Spd of 63 which is high but mostly just really specific--why does he need to be able to run exactly 43 mph? Like all gods he has a bunch of dumb class levels, 15th level ‘warrior’ (not a Rifts class), 12th level line walker and stone master. Half damage from ‘energy’ attacks so hey, if you didn’t pick Glitter Boy you’re 50% more screwed than usual.
He also has some specific special powers: transform into a human, jaguar, or bearman. Not a jaguarman as pictured above. The ‘power of corruption’ makes people save against a 19 or better or basically Limit Break in totally party-ruining ways. He’s vulnerable to silver and Millennium Tree weapons (good thing those don’t grow in the Americas) and can otherwise be damaged normally for as long as it takes for your arms to literally snap off from rolling dice over and over before wearing out his MDC. Oh, his full strength punch (one attack) does 6D6 MD. He has a bunch of spells and psi-powers as we should pretty much expect. It says he can rift in an army of 2,000 to 4,000 werejaguars and thousands of other monsters and such as minions, so I don’t know what his deal is with wanting Earth so much.
Also he has two artifact items: The Mirror Shield which has the power of knowing what is in a person’s mind, used for corrupting people. Also, he has “Tezcatlipoca’s sword” which is “actually a club with obsidian blades on the sides.” Palladium has games that happily list hundreds of swords and guns with illustrations, is it that hard to use the word “macuahuitl?” Anyway it does 2D6x10 which is better than the crappy punch but still will take a while to destroy anything near his own scale.
As the embodiment of the night, the deceiver, tester and smoking mirror who must be placated, I think Tezcatlipoca is interesting. As a villain (setting aside stat absurdity) he could be the kind of asshole who screws with the PCs because he can, to test them, to try and expand his might--or tries to set them against his enemies for similar reasons. All this overwhelming bloodthirst just sort of drains out any interesting nuance from him though since he ultimately just seems to want to kill everything which would eventually include all his own worshippers.
Fearsome god of rain, bringer of both beneficial crop rain but also killing floods, lightning and disease. A lot of storm gods are kind of shifty and mercurial, which is sensible one supposes, but that given with the Siembiedan tendency to drench everything in blood means that he is a cruel godchild who delights in tormenting mortals with the ill effects of the weather--basically you, being a dick in Populous with the flood power. He was happy when Queztlcoatl got driven off, as that left him as primary rainmaker.
Okay, here it specifies what he did once mortals stopped paying attention to him: stayed near the Earth, invisible and watching from the clouds. He’d deliberately divert dangerous storms over former Aztec lands to torment the people who “abandoned” him, you know, by being brutally conquered. His rain powers are pretty pivotal in the whole quest to conquer and enslave the Vampire Kingdoms. He’s only Miscreant though. He just does this for giggles.
36,000 total MDC, 7,200 base. Has some pretty impressive weather control abilities though most of his storms only last 3D6 minutes (?!). He also has a ‘breath of sickness’ power that requires a 17 or higher save versus magic to avoid a “wasting, painful disease.” This ailment costs 1d6 hit points per day and halves melee and combat bonuses and specifically affects even supernatural creatures like dragons that are normally listed as immune to disease. I suppose that environmentally sealed armor is no protection from Tlaloc-germs either. The text makes no mention of a cure but I imagine this would provide a use for some of those many different dumb disease-curing herbs from England. You know. If you brought those. He can also shoot lightning bolts. Honestly that disease-breath is pure fuck-you, and he can do it six times a day. He also lacks Tezcatlipoca’s vulnerability to silver and Millennium weapons.
Here we have a god of war and the sun versus our previous god of war and the night. He is ‘not as cruel’ as the other two but still demands human sacrifices. He manages this while being Anarchist alignment. He likes war, will tell you about his weapons collection and such. He was even sad when the Aztecs all got conquered, but he isn’t burning with a vengeance to get it back--he feels their time on Earth is done, and they should move on. However, he’ll stay with his buddies and be loyal because that is what an Anarchist being would do. Also he’s a sun god and so kind of a huge threat to the Vampire Intelligences as well.
he seems to be missing a third or so of his torso
MDC 30,000 tops, which is kinda wimpy for a war god in this book. He hates guns and high tech weapons because the cool kids use swords. Also a 15th level ‘warrior’ again. He can radiate day-bright sunlight out to 300ft, causing 1d6x10 damage to vampires and other beings that suffer light penalties, and he can also focus these light powers at-will as lasers but disdains this as cowardly ranged weapon usage because he is an idiot who follows around a rapacious blood cult out of unquestioned family loyalty or something. Oh, and he has a magic snake club that does boom gun damage without ammo limits and can also shoot fire out to 1000ft but this apparently does not trigger his myopia or whatever makes him hate guns so much.
Next: The like, one nice member of this group.
Feathered Santa is coming to town!Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 5: Feathered Santa is coming to town!
Quetzalcoatl the Rebel
he’s like a kindly grandpa...if your grandpa had washboard abs and was really, really into feathers
Quetzalcoatl was an elder Kukulcan dragon that ascended to godhood...okay, sure, anything can happen in the wild world of Rifts. It just leaves us with more questions about what ‘gods’ are exactly, we know they need worship to get fully-powered but...eh. Anyway, Big Q was air and rain and medicine and art and science and agriculture and astrology. Man, learn to delegate. “He only ever demanded the sacrifice of plants,” also hummingbirds and butterflies and also lots of holiday sacrifices involving him and other gods used humans, just not on the scale of the others.
While Quetzalcoatl was busy being such a good guy and teaching humanity so much neat stuff, he completely failed to notice how this was breeding resentment in the seething blood-drinkers around him. Tezcatlipoca used his magic of corruption on Quetzalcoatl and made him go all drunk-mad, and when he woke up he walked of shame right on out of creation, taking Xolotl with him, promising to return.
He came back twice, once during the 17th century, finding the enslaved remnants of the Aztecs. Supposedly he and Tezcatlipoca fought, and T was badly injured and had to flee. This was of course during the period when magic very nearly didn’t exist on Earth. Q left again after this and wandered the dimensions, meeting many other deities and beings and generally being a tourist until he found out that Tezcatlipoca & crew are trying to carve their way back into Earth.
Quetzalcoatl is that rare good-aligned being that is actually stronger than his evilest counterpart. Of course, he’s outnumbered, but he has 70K MDC at his peak, tons of magic and healing powers, levels that have no meaning in Rifts XP charts, and no special artifact weapons or powers with limited saves. Tezcatlipoca has about a 40% chance of succeeding with his Corruption magic and can try it twice a day, so Q may spend a lot of time with the rosaries. On the upside, the bad guys don’t know he’s in town and they’re trying to eat/dominate some other bad guys first.
Xolotl here is symbol of magic and magicians. Wikipedia says he was a symbol of fire and death. Eh, caster supremacy rite? He and Quetzalcoatl are said to be brothers, but this is just a ‘brotherhood of spirit’ since Q is actually an ascended dragon. They like to go on adventures together but can end up causing more problems than they solve since stuff like beating up Mictla lead to Asmodeus gaining control of Hades. This is a revision of the story in Conversion book one, where ‘Modeus’ and Mictla were fighting over ‘Hades’ since apparently all the demonic underworlds are one place and Mictla conceded. Asmodeus, as statted there, is very MDC-heavy (90,000) but lacks the enormous bags of tricks of later gods and is vulnerable to sunlight and silver basically all weird stuff Rifts PCs will start carrying around--he just has d-teleport escape hatch of course.
But enough about him! On to magical dog-god. He is Quetzalcoatl’s loyal companion who scouts ahead and is fascinated by dog-boys and other such creations of the the gene-splicers, who coulda thunk it, people who look like him? (except for the multiple canine races on Palladium world of course) So he thinks they’d be good worshippers and maybe wants to liberate them all PETA-style to make him a cult.
Comparatively, he’s a weakling, with 13,000 MDC. Aztecs must not have had much use for their magicians. No real magical abilities of note, just knows “all spells” from level 1-15 at 14th level. They at least gave Q Temporal magic, let a magic dog know some elemental spells maybe? Not that these statblocks aren’t overcomplex already.
Oh boy, the God of Flaying, this guy won’t be a one-note villain for sure! Let’s see...yes, this is the ‘kill you and wear your skin like a coat for fertility’ god. Evil, sadistic, likes to think up new and cruel ways to demand sacrifice in order to gain his blessings. He apparently has possession powers that he likes to use to drive people to do crimes. And not just getting sushi without paying.
He stayed on Earth while everyone else left and created secret sacrifice cults to sustain himself, providing fodder for Beyond the Supernatural characters for centuries. “Some rumors suggest he may even have influenced Adolf Hitler.” During the time of Rifts he was able to shield some enclaves of his followers and now they’re quietly active in various southwestern and even Mexican areas, often recruiting various destructive monsters.
He’s listed at 30K MDC, starting at ‘6,000 on Rifts Earth’ despite already being established and having a cult network. Oh well. Has the power to make land in 1000 mile radius either fertile or infertile--it doesn’t say for how long--but that it can be countered by water and air magic or other fertilities. Knows the usual crapload of spells and has a magic knife that is for sacrificing but can do 6d6+6 MD.
this is the picture they put in for ‘guy in a cloak of human skin’
Goddess of Beauty, goddess of flowers and love, has been married to both Tlaloc and Tezcatlipoca, but secretly loves Queztalcoatl who is her son in the myth cycle. I mean I know they’re doing that ascended dragon thing but c’mon. Treated like and object and not a person and not happy about it. Currently married to Tezcatlipoca but secretly hates him and Tlaloc both and is trying to sabotage their plans with the Vampires. Of course, with her 6,000 MDC 10th level line walker powers she might not make much headway. She doesn’t even have any psionics. C’mon guys, she needs at least that hide-aura one so she can avoid sense lies. I mean aside from level and general MDC overage it’s entirely possible for PCs to be more powerful than she is.
i am waiting for that stupid song from Pocahontas to break out
Earth Goddess, Mother of the gods. Earth and fertility. Cruel bitch, like most Aztec deities in this book. Apparently she was terrible because she would eat the corpses of the dead in order to create new life and this lead to later sacrifice rituals. In general she doesn’t do much with humans, lets her kids do that. She’s wandered around the Megaverse and taken over a dimension of Nagas and can call up a big army of those, and she got into a fight with Herakles who decided a two-headed snake woman had to be a monster and attacked. Inconclusive battle but now she hates all the Greeks and has been quietly gathering intel and planning to attack them.
snake people apparently judge godhood by number of snakes rather than size
She will also aid Tezcatlipoca in taking over Mexico but really she thinks the Splugorth are the real friends she wants and she visits Atlantis all the time. According to “malicious rumors,” she and Lord Splynncryth have become “more than friends.” No it actually says that.
That said, she’s weaker than Tezcatlipoca with 50K MDC and only has a hypnotic gaze with a -4 to push opponents into passive stillness until they get attacked. She can also summon snakes, and presumably gate in her fabled naga legion. She can also summon earth elementals at will, and can summon 4,000 naga warriors ‘at one time’, which I don’t know if that’s ‘can just gate them in from wherever while they were in the middle of shaving or something’ or ‘can open a rift for readied forces’. Fortunately for something, they’re primitives without guns. They appear to be statted in the Indian pantheon section so we’ll leave that for the future.
Goddess of Sin. Oh this is sure to be a mature and reasoned examination. “Eater of Impurity,” her priests absolved men who committed impure acts. So get-out-of-adultery-free cards for all. Wait though, here’s her Rifts characterization: “She is a perverted creature who loved to see the terrible crimes mortals committed when driven by passion.” She likes to arrange twisted series of events, creating soap operas out of peoples’ lives to see the emotional fallout. Because ladies are all about their storeys amirite? She is a deceiver and temptress and not a stereotypical evil temptress or anything, and she stayed on Earth being a secret sex agent all over the world, causing trouble during the time of un-Rifts. She doesn’t actively hang out with the main pantheon, she just wanders around causing trouble. Maybe...with your PCs?
This is a really simplistic rendition of a fairly complex and interesting figure, which is not a surprise for Rifts exactly but still annoys me more than some of the others because it is so thoughtlessly reductive. But then, if there’s one thing Palladium wants to deal with less than actual religion, it’s sexuality.
She’s not very god-strong anyway, 8,500 MDC, needless Diabolic alignment. She will very literally try to make a deal with captors using ‘feminine wiles’ and is a limitless shapeshifter. Obviously. Also, she can know the intimate desires, fears, and intense goals of anyone she makes eye contact with. No save. Outside of that she has a relatively limited slate of powers, being a long list of specific spells and psi-powers, so mostly she’s just a shapeshifting jerk.
That’s it for the ‘real’ Aztec pantheon. There are a ton of other figures who weren’t addressed but this is true for all the pantheons in this book. Still, leaving out cool stuff like ‘Xiuhcoatl’ is a sad oversight. As an opening shot, they suck. They’re all the bad colonial stereotypes about the Aztecs are horrible bloodthirsty assholes and most of these gods are complete dicks for no reason. I mean, even with the crueler aspects of Aztec ritual, all of these gods had positive and negative aspects and it feels like these were just stripped away to attach unbeatable statblocks to beings who may choose to dick around the PCs. The only positive I see here is that they’re actually at least generally hostile to the Vampire Intelligences and any talk of ‘alliance’ is basically a pretext for eventual conquest.
Please feel free to elaborate further on Aztec myth in the comments as it’s an interesting topic that’s being treated very badly here. Not so great for a first shot at a pantheon of NPCs.
Next: We get the pretender Aztecs, the Sons of Quetzalcoatl!
Characters who are almost certainly written by CJ CarellaOriginal SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 6: Characters who are almost certainly written by CJ Carella
The Sons of Quetzalcoatl
I actually like this aspect of the book, which has pretenders to the names of various gods--since who can say what a god is in a universe this crowded with dimensional-teleporting superbeings really. In this case as a contrast to their ichorous namesakes, we have a tousled band of do-gooding underdogs (sometimes literally dogs...c’mon, you’re not surprised that fake Xolotl is a dog boy right?) who help fight the vampires and are actually not secretly assholes like Reid’s Rangers.
Basically it all started with a different Kukulcan dragon named Corellion ( no relation ) got mistaken for Quetzalcoatl because all dragons look alike or something, and he slowly rounded up a band of like-minded heroes who grudgingly all took on the names of other Aztec gods, and boy won’t that be funny when the real ones find out? They work out of the ruins of Old Acapulco and run daring guerilla raids and apparently evacuate human refugees to a “safe place in the south.” They also have spies in the vampire network, including at least one good-aligned vamp.
They aren’t very good at math, having “about a dozen main members” which includes three line walkers, five techno-wizards, several robot pilots, three juicers, and two partial conversion borgs, also 3 SAMAS units, 2 Titan robots, 1 Triax Ulti-Max and a Forager Battlebot. And they have about 100 militia. Sounds like they’re ready to intimidate some blood cartels.
Fake Queztalcoatl/Corellion is an adult Kukulcan dragon (buy Conversion One!) which is on the wimpier end of the dragon scale but still 2,000 MDC and able to bite a truck in half, assuming it’s not a reinforced truck. His “sweetheart” was murdered by a pack of wild vampires and he has sworn vengeance, vengeance!! Apparently he’s killed hundreds of vampires and three Intelligences even, which is fairly impressive given the tiresome escapology of major Rifts villains. He is old friends with Aristophanes/Nahualli and they started this crazy little operation together.
He’s a 12th level air warlock and “sorcerer,” is that a class? I can’t even remember anymore. He has all the dragon stuff and seven attacks a round and his breath attack is a 2D6 round paralysis with no listed save, though the range is only 100 feet! Has a bunch of the ridiculous equipment you use to fight Palladium vampires like a wood-shooting railgun and all that, actually not a jerk and genuinely trying to help people.
Nahualli the Sorcerer
i can’t resist showing this belly shirt
Actually a True Atlantean named Aristophanes. He’s a Stone Master, you know that class back from Vampire Kingdoms that just about ‘NPC CLASS’ stamped all over it in red letters? It’s good he’s an actual NPC. Apparently back in the day he and some Atlantean bros were fighting a Vampire Intelligence and he lost his nerve and they got killed and he’s sworn vengeance. He’s really worried about chickening out again but Corellion knows this and basically plans around the possibility. Also, “Nahualli” is a general word for an Aztec religious practitioner and is often translated as ‘magician’ or whatever but ‘priest’ is about as accurate and either way they’re using it as his name rather than a title.
Hey, the group’s pink ranger! Kukulcan hatchling out for adventure and secretly in love with Corellion because “Somehow” she picked up the accent and vocabulary of a Valley Girl just in case she wasn’t already enough The Chick. She got in over her head and got hurt once and got yelled at by Corellion for ten whole minutes and the attention made her so happy she may just keep taking these stupid risks.
Cihuateto the vampire
i think this ‘vampire’ thing may be a cover for ‘rampant heroin problem’
A former vampire hunter, turned by a master vampire as punishment, tortured and such for years, now released by a mysterious stranger who gave her a special black ring that makes her immune to mind control. She joined the Sons and has infiltrated Mexico City and risen up the ranks, collecting info to help destroy them. Her backstory sucks but as a double agent she could be interesting.
Huitzilpochtli, Warrior of the Sons
Warrior of the Sons, haw haw don’t you get it. He’s a full-conversion cyborg who used to be a fairly wealthy merchant until he got nearly killed. Now on a quest for revenge, working to destroy the vampires. He joined Reid’s Rangers for a while but left after getting into an argument with one of the various obvious psychopaths running that group. He apparently was ‘very close’ to Cihuateto before she left for Mexico City, of course he was. His armor is painted to resemble the real Huitzilpochtli and otherwise he is just a full-conversion borg with very expensive modifications and equipment.
Xolotl, dog boy
Rin Tin Tin has a gun
Xolotol ran away from Lone Star and was an early recruit. His psi-stalker handler decided to desert and the pack didn’t know what was going on until the Coalition was hunting them down. He barely escaped and somehow got all the way down to the other end of Mexico where the Sons recruited him. He’s been adopted as fake-Quetzalcoatl’s companion Xolotl though he doesn’t know any magic and his name is actually Ricky. Still, he’s willing enough to go along and isn’t a bad dog.
That’s it for the sons. I will cautiously say that I like them for being ambitious fakers and underdogs trying to actually do something right, like not just fighting all the time but trying to build a safe community away from the vampires. The only really powerful member is Corellion, the others exist more or less within the same framework as PCs can achieve though they have more gear and such. The only real downside to them is that they already feel like a pack of adventurers so adding PCs to their mix might not make them stand out too much, but just based on stats these guys aren’t going to overshadow most parties terribly. The downside is interacting with Rifts Vampires which are boring as hell.
The fake-gods theme is a little weak, especially with natives who have lived through the total catastrophe of Rifts which came after colonialism and various other attempts to eliminate the pantheon--and they still just immediately start venerating any feathered serpent they see.
A heroic mortal, especially a being of magic like a tattooed man, or a powerhouse like a juicer, might catch her fancy (having an Physical Beauty of 16 + helps).Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part Seven: "A heroic mortal, especially a being of magic like a tattooed man, or a powerhouse like a juicer, might catch her fancy (having an Physical Beauty of 16 + helps)."
The Pantheon of Sumer
Being some of the most ancientest gods, it details that the Sumerian gods were birthed from evil "Gods of Darkness" akin to the Old Ones (those guys again). Ancient supernatural evils created them as assistants, but they rebelled and defeated them (note to potential gods - don’t create personal servants ever, it never works out). Humanity was super happy that the Gods of Darkness were gone, and were happy to worship the "Gods of Light". The original rebels were Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Marduk. It notes that they were worshipped by the Babylonians and Macedonians, but then were eventually overtaken by Persian and Muslim faiths.
Then we get the political standing of the Babylonian pantheon!
They're rivals with the Egyptian and Persian pantheons, but their leaders ultimately see themselves as allies under the "Gods of Light" label despite some personal feuds between lesser gods. On the other hand, Ahirman of the Persian gods wants to release the Babylonian Gods of Darkness, which is a super-good plan that can't backfire at all. Lastly, they have a strong alliance with the Greek pantheon, seeing them as fellow "rebel gods".
The Pantheon of Sumer always fights against alien intelligences and vampire intelligences, seeing them as akin to their corrupt parents.
The Splugorth are considered foes, but Marduk sees them a too organized and dangerous to fight unless the pantheon is really pressed to do so.
The Sky God
Anu was the original leader of the Sumerian gods, and oversees the seasons, stars, and the sky. He's "closer to an alien intelligence" and didn't participate directly in the rebellion, and as a result, Marduk took over when he wouldn't fight. He's bummed out about not being in charge, but is resigned to his fate, or may just be . He doesn't take humans seriously, though he does respect Atlanteans, dragons, and immortals of various sorts. Unlike most gods, he doesn't need worshippers to manifest in a given plane, but seems to be weaker without them.
He seems to be the missing link between alien intelligences and the gods in this book. Usually, he's a mammoth "fleshy mound" with tentacles that all have glowing eyes on the ends. He can take on a humanoid form, but weighs 25 tons (despite being 6' tall), has grey skin and stars for eyes, and is really bad at pretending to be human. Despite his "Unprincipled" alignment, has no trouble with murdering somebody for being annoying.
He has a frankly ridiculous amount of M.D.C. 70K, half that on Earth, though it doesn't say where he has to be to get his full M.D.C. Mostly he's superhumanly tough, strong-willed, and just plain strong. He can see just about anything, including invisible creatures and "creatures from the fourth dimension", regenerates about 7 M.D.C. a second, can turn udnead, teleport or dimensionally travel, and can fragment himself into "1d4" essences that can possess mortals (but apparently doesn't do it much anymore). So, does he roll that 1d4 every time he uses the power...? Oh, and he can summon and control air elementals, cast any normal spell, has all the sensitive and super psi-powers, and has all the abilities of a ley line walker or shifter. Oh, and he can generate a psi-sword on each one of his tentacles.
After my review of the Egyptian gods, I have to note he makes them look like a bunch of sissies. Of course, in the actual mythology, he isn't a supernatural intelligence, was a sort of god of Justice who created the stars as soldiers to punish evil , and has more personal connections with other gods in the pantheon rather than the aloof megaooze we see here.
The Wind God
”Behold… the gourdsword!”
Enlil was the creation of Anu, who took a fragment of his essence, a greater air elemental, a human's mind, and mixed them up
In any case, he really hates alien intelligences, and often sneaks into Atlantis to just murder the fuck out of Splynncryth's minions, and hopes one day he gets to lead an attack against Atlantis. That being said, he's moody and fickle and sometimes helps mortals and sometimes throws disasters on them for being too noisy. (No, really.)
Let's see... he has a potential M.D.C. of 63K (though only 12K on Rifts Earth, with about a 4/sec regeneration rate), he can control weather, summon lesser air elementals, fly around, is resistant to energy attacks, teleport, dimensional dancin', and he can pick pockets at 98%. "An elder god took my wallet?" He can cast any air warlock spell, and a number of low and mid-level normal spells. He has all the sensitive psionic powers, plus some super mental powers and hydrokinesis. Apparently he can get together an army of air elementals, but only with his pantheon's permission. Oh, and he has the "Sword of the Sky", which is an ancient (but good) rune weapon that can cast various water elemental spells, shoot lightning bolts, and does double damage against supernatural intelligences, which sounds impressive until you realize it still only does the damage of a Boom Gun.
The mythical Enlil was actually created from the exhausted breaths of the gods An and Ki (not part of this writeup) after they fucked. In mythology, he raped a goddess named Ninlil, and they were both sent to the underworld as punishment. After she had his baby, Enlil was then further "punished" by having to fuck Ninlil until she birthed three more babies, thusly creating the deities of the underworld. And that's why it's okay sometimes for games to have a little bit of inaccuracy in their mythology. Also he invented the mattock, which is a thing.
God of Magic
”C’mon, shake my smokin’ hand."
The god of water, magic, and civilization, Enki seems like a pretty vital god. In any case, of the first human-ish gods created, he was the most human-ish, and liked humans and had a super-conscience. So he was one of the active rebel gods, and cast the insanely big spell that put Apsu to sleep, and then threw him into another dimension. Apparently he has a wife named Damkina who is never detailed or statted.
So he's visited Tolkeen and Lazlo in disguise, and is really fond of them and excited about techno-wizardry. He's inclined to protect them from the Coalition, but only secretly, because he's worried the Gods of Darkness will target them if they know he's partial to those places. He's got an nonspecific kind of "father aura", like Optimus Prime, though he often disguises himself as a powerful wizard. In Lazlo, he's only shared the fact that he's a god with Erin Tarn , though Plato suspects his true nature. I wonder if this will all come into play when the Coalition finally does attack Tolkeen in the metaplot? No.
So! Numbers! 74K M.D.C. / 14K on Earth, regens 4/sec, can turn invisible, "swim with the speed and agility of a dolphin" (no numbers mind, just that description), teleport, travel between dimensions, can heal with a touch or create a special super-strength anti-magic cloud. He knows how to pilot any boat... and hovercraft... and can cast any normal spell, spell of legend, or water warlock spell. Oh, and he has all of the sensitive and physical psionic powers. He doesn't use any gear, no doubt with a smug expression, and can turn into "a creature with the front parts of a goat and the tail of a fish".
In the original myths, he's kind of an almighty creator god (apparently his dominion over water also extends to semen, seriously), and he really does put Abzu (Apsu in this book) to sleep to keep him from killing all the younger gods. Oh, and his symbols were the goat and fish, so being a fishgoat is loosely tied to the original mythology, where he became the basis for Capricorn. Oh and he fucks his daughter (Ninsar, goddess of plants) to father Ninkurra (goddess of pastures). He also fucks Ninkurra, and she gives birth to the spider-god Uttu. Apparently at that point he stops fucking his own descendants. For whatever reason, Carella declined to include this in his writeup.
Lord of the Gods
Headcap, half-shirt, skirt… that’s deific style.
So Marduk is the big deal rebel god who’s top of the pantheon. He fought Tiamat in one-on-one combat, using his magic net to hold her down, then "forced her jaws open with powerful winds and telekinesis" (this is not something you can do with those powers) and shot arrows down her gullet, after which they threw her in godly space/time prison. After the battle he claimed his loot - the Tablets of Destiny, which increase his power and let him see the future. Also, he's a god of cities and order. He's big friends with a bunch of dragons, but Tiamat has tried to spread a nasty rumor that he slays dragons instead, even though he flubbed slaying Tiamat herself.
After Earth got its magic back on, Marduk has paid attention to it, and is worried about the Splugorth, who are "distant cousins" of Apsu and Tiamat. He's gathering a strike team of godlings and dragons to sabotage Atlantis, looking to soften them up for an eventual invasion in several centuries. He knows all about the Mechanoids, Four Horsemen, and Zazshan, thanks to the Tablets of Destiny. Not that he's seemingly doing anything about the above... and he has 50 secret names so good luck using his true name against him... wait, what magic requires true names in Rifts...?
Numbers! He has 80K M.D.C., 16K on Earth, though he loses about 25% of that if the doesn't have the Tablets of Destiny. He has a lot of the standard powers, is insanely strong, teleport, dimensions, regenerates, invisible, turn dead, healing touch, and can shoot special wind blasts that do 66% of the damage a boom gun does. He knows kung fu and how to gut and scale a fish. He can cast any air or water spell, all normal spells and spells of legend, and has all sensitive psionic powers. Oh, and he has underlings including godlings, Scorpion people, elementals, spirits of light, and plain old worshippers.
He has a magic rod that can summon weather and cause ley line storms, a spear that can summon lightning or return after being thrown, a magic net that causes penaliies and makes it much harder to teleport, a magic bow, and the Tablets of Destiny.
In mythology, he's the chief god of Babylon, but didn't do much fucking of note. Oh, and he saw to the creation of humanity so they could bear the burdens of the world so the gods could live in leisure. Whatta guy!
Goddess of Love & War
Physical Beauty 27
Ishtar's in charge of fertility, love, war, and bloodshed. Just FYI. She's cheery and peppy despite all that, but is rash, impulsive, lecherous, and apparently spiteful. And, unlike some other gods, she's given an alignment to fit - Anarchist. She mainly fights the evil gods more out of spite than any goodly qualities.
So Ishtar married Tammuz, but just sleeps around all the time, because goddess of love, I guess? Then one point Ishtar kicked Lilith out of a temple to take it over, and then decided - I guess - to become queen of the underworld, but Ishtar was ambushed by Lilith's patron god, Ereshkigal, the actual queen of the underworld who captured and tortured Ishtar. Eventually Ishtar was allowed to leave, but only if she could find another god to make her place in the torture zone. So she finds her husband celebrating her death with a party, is like oh fuck no, and throws Tammuz into the underworld.
Eventually she felt bad about it and rescued Tammuz.
Apparently she flirts with muscle men and magic men all the time, and when spurned, she'll punish them, but often feels bad about her temper and goes to tries to make up. Fickle women never know what they want, amirite? When she has an affair, she usually gives a bunch of aid to her beau, but eventually gets bored and moves on. She has had affairs with dozens of major gods, and if people knew just how many gods she's fucked, there would be scandals .
So! M.D.C. is 43K (8K on Earth), about 2/sec regen, is ridiculously beautiful, teleport, healing touch, can cook super-well, has a bunch of mind-bending psychic powers, mid-range spellcasting. She has a "Sword of Victory" that does extra damage to vampires, dragons, demons, and Splugorth, a "Spear of Vengeance" that returns after being thrown (presumably a lesser-known Spear of Vengeance), and 1K M.D.C. magic armor. For a goddess of war, she's a remarkably weak combatant for a god, not that the writeup emphasizes much other than her bedroom habits.
Oh, and the original Ishtar seduced beasts, and that's how we have domesticated animals. Tammuz did blow off her death, but when he's being dragged off, his sister (Geshtinanna) begs to and goes in in place instead for half the year each year, and that's why we have the seasons. Oh, and she fucked a tiny bird, why not?
Tammuz of the Soil
Physical Beauty 25
A god of fertility and prosperity, Tammuz is also the handsomest deity. If he decided to, he could probably get millions of Earthly followers... exactly why isn't clear. Presumably because he's so dashing and gets all the unisex boners. He's a friendly party guy, but is kind of a doormat for the other gods and seeks praise.
Anyway, he and Ishtar had a big romance and got married, but she got bored with him and started having affairs. He was pretty pissed, but Ishtar was way more powerful and he also didn't want to piss off her "dad", Anu. After his big underworld torture adventure, they opted to just have an open marriage, and both of them fuck whoever they like, and sometimes each other. Anu and Marduk apparently find the whole thing scandalous. For Marduk that makes enough sense - being a god of order - but Anu? Anu's a big tentacley blobby thing who doesn't really understand the two-legged folks very well. Not sure why he cares.
He's actually slim on powers other than the usual teleportation, and has a special aura where he can make crops grow super-good. He also is a "8th level dryad". I think they meant "druid". He can cast all water warlock spell and "dryad magic". I think they mean herbalism, since it refers to Rifts England . Shockingly, he has no psionics, and his M.D.C. is 30K / 6K on Earth.
In mythology, Tammuz is kind of a death-rebirth deity that symbolizes the seasons, but not too much to add that hasn't been detailed under Ishtar.
Compared to my previous review of the Egyptian Gods in Rifts World Book Four: Africa , the Babylonian pantheon is much closer to their original depictions. Though the details have been adjusted, and they hew closely to the existing mechanics for gods, none are as unrecognizable as some of Siembieda's previous depictions. Carella at least clearly did his research, and it shows. However, this is a profound simplification of the mythology, as most RPG depictions of old pantheons tend to be. That being said, I'm content in that it has 100% less tiny bird fucking.
You still have the problem that any godly duel is going to take an eternity at the table. It's funny that they developed M.D.C. to scale up for giant robots and not run into this very issue, and then... run into the same issue again. Maybe it would be better if gods had Mega-Mega Damage? As it is, they're still insane to run on a practical level; each god has literally dozens to hundreds of powers, far too many for any GM to keep track of, and turning fights between them into Calvinball contests.
Next: Evil gods who are evil because they are evil.
When angry or upset, she tends to forget herself and takes a bite of anything around her.Original SA post
Accurate to the myth, for once. Mythological Ishtar was notorious for her many lovers and how they always seemed to come to bad ends. She famously tried to murder Gilgamesh with the Bull of Heaven when she came on to him and he turned her down, citing how being loved by her was usually detrimental to your health.
Yes. The thing is, when you go through toe pantheons there's a.... let's say a dearth of respectable female deities even amongst the "good" pantheons. And you can point to myth, but Pantheons of the Megaverse isn't shy about changing what it wants to change, so it gets a wearying when you've gone through the whole book.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part Eight: "When angry or upset, she tends to forget herself and takes a bite of anything around her."
Babylonian Gods of Darkness
Apsu, Of The Abyss
The most sinister laundry stain.
It turns out that Apsu isn't a real deity, as we know by now, but an alien intelligence. At this point, the difference seems academic, but there you have it. He's powerful enough to spank a Splugorth, and had tortured entire dimensions in the past. After all, how else is a multidimensional force of pure malevolence going to pass the time?
Apsu tried to work slowly on Earth in ancient times, opting to create god-slaves to build a civilization so he could eventually take on (old-timey) Atlantis. Apsu's advisor, Mummu, advised him to kill off his godly creations when they started to get mouthy, but took too long trying to weed out the rebels from the loyalists, and that gave the rebellion enough time to get their shit together. Enki cast the biggest sleep spell ever, even though legends would later say Enki killed Apsu (which, it turns out, he couldn't manage), but instead threw him in godly San Quentin.
Some demon lords have tried to get him out, but with no luck; most creatures with the power to release him are sensible enough to realize that's a bad idea. He's likely to go on a tear across entire dimensions if and when he wakes up and wreck several existences. Not exactly a “morning god”. Still, he's somewhat aware of events on Earth through dreams, and the conflict is starting to wake him up. Once he's up, he'll be able to send a fragment to Earth to try find a way to free himself. In any case, he's evil, evil, evil, and basically has no other personality traits other than being evil.
Numbers: 250K M.D.C. (95K on first awakening), regen 4/sec, is a 40' darkness blob, is probably the strongest thing I've seen at Physical Strength 70, invisibility, teleports, takes 1/10 damage from physical attacks, and 1/4 from energy attacks; only magic and psionics do normal damage. Oh, and he can't be killed unless you bring him down to -1000 M.D.C. He has a special engulf attack that digests people and hinders teleports, can cast any normal spell, spell of legend, or temporal spell, and also knows about bio-wizardry, but not how to make rune weapons. He also has all sensitive psionic powers and some mental super-psionic powers.
In mythology, he's just a primal god of freshwater (the proper name is 'Abzu") who gets chumped by Enki, who takes much of its power. So this is probably the biggest divergence from mythology so far, though Abzu is such a vague entity in real myth that giving it an actual role is going to change it no matter what.
Snaketopus vs. Megascorpion.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
Evil Apsu had a powerful partner, a giant serpent who called herself Tiamat.
She argued with Apsu against turning on the lesser god, because she felt they could still be manipulated. However, when Enlil defeated Apsu, Tiamat went on the war path, only to get beaten by Marduk. She had to retreat and heal for centuries afterward, in contradiction to her actual states. Now, she's working to get her revenge, quietly sending agents to Earth and trying to find another evil force to win support from. Anyway, she likes to eat flesh and emotions! How she does the former is obvious, how she does the latter is puzzling. Though she gets along with Ahriman, the both of them are too egotistical to truly ally.
So, 60K or 30K M.D.C., you know the deal by now, teleport, can raise the dead or turn the dead, has a healing touch (healing nuzzle? she ain't got no arms...), a weakening poison stinger, and has a killing breath that weakens, but wind powers like Marduk's will reflect her attack back on her. She also has tentacles that sprout out of her head. It's notable to list she can't shapeshift at all - she's always a 300' serpent. Oh, and she can sumon gallu bulls, galla demons (whatever those are?), or scorpion people to aid her.
In mythology she as the primal god of saltwater, and created a bunch of evil monsters to challenge the gods after Apsu's defeat that aren't in the game. Her dead body became rivers and stars and stuff like that.
Mummu, The Maker
Did not make that suit of armor, ironic.
Man, it's going to hard to take this guy seriously as an antagonist; that name is just rather unfortunate in this day and age. Anyway, he's the god of craftmanship, and mostly just sided with Darkness because it seemed to be the winning team. When they lost, he surrendered to Enki, but has held a grudge since. When Tiamat contacted him about becoming a double agent, he agreed to spy on the Pantheon of Sumer. He's started learned more about Earth's technology to aid Tiamat, and also has started making contact with Lord Splynncryth's minions, and may become a spy for or against them; he's innately selfish and will basically be looking for the better deal either way.
Digits are go- 35K M.D.C. (6K on Earth), 2k/sec regen, can teleport around or turn invisible, super-good at all technological skills, knows all stone magic, but is a mid-range spellcaster otherwise. No psionics. He has a crew of builders, including techno-wizards. He has a special red SAMAS armor which he has enchanted with techno-wizard enchantments, which is now wanted by the Coalition for copyright infringement.
He's pretty true to what little mythology he has, though he's sometimes supposed to be a primal representation of the mind and abstract ideas instead of a two-legged nerdgod. In the original myth, though, he's locked away rather than coopted.
Kingu, The Chosen
Hoping to pose hard enough to end up on a Clanbook cover.
So Kingu was a demon who served Tiamat, and was originally given the Tablets of Destiny. When they were defeated, Tiamat took Kingu's corpse, and merged it with a vampire intelligence, because why not reinvest in a proven failure? In any case, he’s outlooking for revenge on Marduk. Also, he's a demon-vampire, which is a thing. He's looking to try and take over the Yucatan and enslave the vampire intelligences there, and maybe team up with Camatotz (from wayyy back in Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms . Anyway, he's monstrous and tries to act all cool but often will just murder or torture things on the slightest pretense.
Since he's not a god proper, he just has 9K M.D.C. wherever, can smell blood or shapechange like a vampire, and has most of the vampire weaknesses. Sunlight weakens him rather than kills him, however, and he can only create secondary vampires through his biting. He's generally a low-level spellcaster, but he gets all the vampire psionics.
In mythology, he wasn't much different, a thug-god who served Tiamat and was given the Tablets to defeat Marduk. He didn't, and that was the end of his story. No vampire angle, of course.
Goddess of the Underworld
Horror Factor 17
Another creation of Apsu, she was "in charge of the souls of the dead". Now, that sort of thing makes her position curious, since Rifts never properly discusses what happens to people after they die, or even if there's an afterlife at all. That being said, even though she tortured Ishtar and Tammuz, she hasn't seen any retribution because... um... reasons?
In any case, she pretends to be neutral but is really working against the Patheon of Sumer in exchange for payoffs from Tiamat. She's pretty much just a megalomanical sadist who wants more people to "imprison in her hellish dimension", and wants to expand into (across?) Hades. Her dimension is one big trap, and is easy to travel to, but blocks dimensional rifts and interferes with teleportation. Apparently it also weakens gods, but it doesn't say how much.
Anyway, 40K M.D.C., 8K on Earth, 7/sec regen, can animate and turn undead, teleport around, heal with her touch, and has a bunch of spy and knowledge skills. Mostly she knows all necromantic magic, minor normal spells, and has all healing psionics ("but uses them for torture"). She has scorpion people and "galla" as servants, whoever those are.
In mythology, she's more of a proto-Hades than the S&M queen we see here, but she mostly figures into the myths of other gods rather than being a central character on her own.
Nergal, Prince of Discord
Childhood nickname: “Piggsley”.
He's a god of violence, plague, and destruction, and the desert sun. Nobody really likes him, but he's married to Erishkigal and got pardoned from serving Apsu on account of her. Then he went on to serve Tiamat, and has followed her to Rifts Earth. However, he's thinks Earth needs more wars, and so has been sending agents to try and spark a conflict between the Coalition States and nearby magic kingdoms, or to aid the Gargoyles and Brodkil against the NGR. Oh, and he's a big sadist who likes bullying others, to the point where he'll toy with foes instead of killing them, which allows them to get away. Oh, and when evenly matched, he'll immediately flee. He's basically the 80s cartoon villain of the Babylonian set. Run awayyyyy!
Number counting: 18K / 3K M.D.C., regens 1 per 2 secs, teleports, can animate the dead, and is a wilderness scout kinda guy. He only has basic spellcasting, mostly tending towards mind control, and no psionics. He apparently carries a bunch of fancy weapons and has 1000 M.D.C. armor.
According to the rabbins, his emblem was a cock and Nergal means a "dunghill cock".
Rooster, that is. He's similar to (but before) Ares, though he's less of a cartoon character than this writeup in the myths.
Lilith - Bringer of Misery
Evil Seductress Archetype #14,352
Once, she was a Dar'ota, but was turned by Apsu and Tiamat into a powerful demon. After they lost the war, she has traveled around basically causing death, because why not, I guess. She often seeks to cause war, because why not, I guess. And once she caused a nuclear war that destroyed a whole world, because why not, I guess .
(Dar'ota are one of those species that love causing suffering because , even though it's not like they feed off psychic misery waves or anything; they're just blood-drinkers.)
In any case, she's very mercenary, and has a rivalry with Jahi where they compete to seduce and murder the same guy. (Which makes sense, because they’re essentially the same lame character in different pantheons.) Oh, and she'll probably help out Nergal, because yay war and suffering, why not, I guess .
About 2K M.D.C., invisible, slow regen, crappy teleports, shape shift into "any humanoid female form", has roguish skills, crappy illusion magic and sensitive psionic powers. Apparently when she loses her temper she goes from pretty (relative, given the illustration to fanged uglyface.
The mythology of Lilith is more problematic, since most sources come to the conclusion that "Lilitu" wasn't really a part of Mesopatamian mythology, but was inserted by later writers and historians. As such, having her in a Bablyonian pantheon makes the authors here the victims of fakelore, but it probably wasn't apparent at the time this book was written. Either way, the interpretation of Lilith is immensely dull compared to the Hebrew mythology, where she's just an evil thing that does evil because she is evil, etc.
Wow. This section was a lot worse than the Gods of Light. I'm willing to accept one boring sadist out of a pantheon, but Mummu's the only real exception to the "evil for evil's sake" crowd here, and is vastly more interesting as a result. Mummu taking the wrong side and then blaming others for the consequences is a very human motivation, whereas most of the others are just villainous caricatures that are less nuanced than a Silver Age comic book villain.
Ugggh let's wrap this pantheon up.
Next: Brokings forever.
5th level priest of the Pantheon of Sumer (lapsed; cannot perform any clerical miracles anymore).Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 9: "5th level priest of the Pantheon of Sumer (lapsed; cannot perform any clerical miracles anymore)."
Lesser Creatures of Babylon
Gilgamesh - The Demigod
Horror Factor 11.
Apparently, Gilgamesh was a demigod, but no word on his parentage. He was an accomplished adventurer but a lousy tyrant of a king. People prayed for salvation against him, and the gods sent the man-beast Endiku against him, but they became the best of bros after fighting. When Ishtar tried to romance Gilgamesh, he blew her off, and so she had a monster sent to punish him. When Gilgamesh and Endiku killed that monster, the gods were super-offended and called Endiku back to their service. However, Gilgamesh thought his best bud was dead, and wasn't eager to join him in the afterlife.
So Gilgamesh had a big quest for immortality, but failed. But then he decided to travel the Megaverse and find it after all! And he maybe became immortal, or not, who can say? (The writers, of course, but we’ll follow up on this plot thread under the New Immortals.) Also he's super-confident and charismatic, like some shonen comics hero, only he has a beard.
Oh, and he also gets to be a "Demigod variant", which means he gets to be wayyy more powerful than any PC demigod! And somehow he beat Herakles in a wrestling match with his "wits", even though Herakles has about thirty times the M.D.C. and 20 more points of Strength. That's a lot of wits!
1k M.D.C., regenerates, super-strong and is really good at being sneaky and wilderness stuff. Oh, he's also a mid-level ley line walker, gets to multiclass (ha ha, fuck you PC demigods) into warrior, and also has levels in priest (but doesn't have the powers anymore). He also has some minor mentalism psionics. Oh, and he has a magic greatest rune weapon (remember those?) that can teleport him around and make holes into other dimensions. Oh, and it does double damage against dragons, but when you pay attention to math double crap is still crap . Oh, and he has a 1K M.D.C. suit of armor that he pulled out of his ass, I guess. Fuck getting Triax armor or whatever, PCs need to find out where gods do their tailoring.
Ultimately Gilgamesh is much like his mythical counterpart, at least until he goes planewalking. Oh, and he's originally the son of Ninsun, a goddess mainly just famous for being Gilgamesh's mom. So it goes.
”But what would Hulk be like without pants?”
This guy was made by Apsu and Tiamat out of a man and a bull! And I imagine that wasn’t as impressive as it might sound to ancient folk, so they gave him a bunch of magic power too. He was a dumb thug for them, and when Marduk took over, he became a dumb thug for Marduk. Then he was sent to fight Gilgamesh, and became a dumb thug for Gilgamesh. But they were mega-bros, so it was okay.
When he got called back to the gods, he was different, and was at least a mouthy, free-willed thug. This bugged a lot of his gods, but Marduk liked the cut of his jib, and made him into a minor god.
Rifts Conversion Book Two: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
People making fun of him or other gentle monsters should stay beyond the reach of his arms.
"He's gentle and kind unless you're mean to him, and then he'll gently and kindly tear your head off." He wants to find Gilgamesh again, but he's likely to punch anybody he thinks is an imposter into paste. Gently, no doubt. Anyway, he's even stronger than Gilgamesh, has 2k M.D.C., regenerates, is a wild man as far as skills go. No magic or psionics, he's all meat.
He's pretty close to his mythical version, except for the part where he doesn't die. In the myth he just dies. And then a maggot falls out of his nose.
Galla (Demonic Minion)
Originates from a 10’ x 10’ dimension.
These are generic devil muscle that serve Apsu, Tiamat, and Ereshkigal. They're strong, tough, immune to fire, and are roughly akin to gargoyles in power level. They're decent hunters, and there's not much else to say. They're not supposed to be playable due to being "supernatural demons", in defiance of all the supernatural demons you are allowed to play. Go figure.
The Scorpion People
Victim of at least three self-stings each day.
These are products of some bio-wizard experiment from another dimension, and are part scorpion, part people, all soldier. They've been used by both sides of the Babylonian pantheon as warriors, and most of them on Earth are here in that capacity. However, they've started looking to obtain technology, and some of them are willing to sell their own people as slaves to obtain it, notably to the Splugorth.
They're super-strong and fast, and have low M.D.C. ratings with regeneration. They can automatically grapple people, but that just gives minor penalties to defense. They can also climb on walls and have a paralytic poison stinger that gives combat penalties. THey can take just about any class, but apparently never take bionics or cybernetics, which is puzzling, because they don't have any magic powers to inhibit. Generally speaking, they're painfully generic, though if you want a scorpion butt, here's your chance. At last, scorpion booty can be yours.
Next: The Dark Council (true) and the New Immortals (false)
Eventually, he had found the answer from a mysterious man who called himself the Cyber-Mancer.Original SA post
Does Rifts write it as Endiku? Its driving me crazy not seeing Enkidu.
Confirmed now that I'm looking at the book, I can't believe I missed that, myself. It does it for the entry we're about to see, too. I missed some perfectly good dick joke, too. Maybe I can fit that in there, if you know what I mean.
Thank the Editing God, I suppose.
Here you go, goons. Episode 16 - Scion: Hero.
So, in your educated opinion, which is least worser, Pantheons or Scion ?
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 10: "Eventually, he had found the answer from a mysterious man who called himself the Cyber-Mancer."
The Dark Council
"Well, we just decided for truth in advertising."
This is a trio of power-hungry mercenaries that are trying to find a way to artificially become gods. They conquer lands and then try and find ways to sap the P.P.E. of worshippers, and have become as powerful as demigods.
Wait, you can do that ?
They bid you dark greetings.
Ea - (Altered Sowki)
A Sowki (from Rifts Conversion Book ), he was once a witchly servant of Apsu, and had the Gift of Union, but never traded away his mind. Which seems like an oversight on Apsu’s part, but… he formed his own cult, and was able to gather enough energy from worship to snap his link to Apsu, but kept all the power (thingspcswouldneverbeallowedtodo.txt). When Apsu got put to sleep, it was a fantastic turn of events for him. Since then, he's looking to become a full-on god.
He's also teamed up with a dragon called Tiamat who impersonates the goddess, and convinced a warlock to take up the name of Enlil. Ea has come to Earth, hoping the myriad mixing of dimensions can give him a way to catapult himself to godhood. Of course, he's already the most powerful Sowki in any universe.
In general he has all the trickster magic Sowki powers from the conversion book, only he has 1K M.D.C., is immune to mind control, can summon lesser demons, and animate and control dead. He's a top-level spellcaster and a mid-level temporal wizard, and he carries a generic magic sword. He usually disguises himself as a 7' tall Sumerian human, however. Not that very many people know what Sumer was anymore.
The Bio-Borg Warlock
A D-Bee human, Enlil is actually Krellon, a powerful air / water warlock who took over his homeworld. Then one day a god, Verrikon, showed up, beat him stupid, and took over his world. Krellon fled the world. He went and studied magic, and paid for bio-wizardry to make himself more physically powerful. Armed to the teeth and with a band of mercs, he went home to get revenge... only to find that Verrikon had already been killed by Tiamat and Ea, why it doesn't say. Anyway, he also wanted to become a god, and decided to team up with them on their deification project. He doesn't like them very much, and is a decent guy as far as horrible tyrants go, but figures they can help him with godhood. He's the more academic, thoughtful type.
So, he's got about 500 M.D.C., is a top-level warlock and a mid-level ley line walker. He also has levels in bio-wizard, which is not a class . He also has a chest amalagmate from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis , and often uses other microbes and symbiotes, but has been made into an ugly bug-thing, and has to use shapeshifting magic to pass as human. He also has Sunaj armor to disguise himself, a lesser rune sword, and a talisman that stores a shit-ton of P.P.E.
Tiamat The Younger
Mistress of Dragons
When she was young, Tiamat ran across some terrified mortals that mistook her for the goddess, and she's run with the deception ever since. The real Tiamat learned about her, but figured the false Tiamat went around spreading terror in her name, and that was cool. (Evil's too big to let one's ego get in the way, I guess.) So she marched up to join the Pantheon of Dragonwright (from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis ), and the Styphon the Black clawed her to ribbons. Well. Living ribbons. And after that, she decided to become a real god and show that Styphon what-for.
Great horned dragon, 6K M.D.C., teleport, change shape, invisibility, wilderness skills, fire breath, high level spellcasting, all basic psionics, and psychic swords, you know, just because. Also apparently she's something of a poser; she dresses like an Egyptian, because she doesn't know the difference between that and Babylon (wait, wasn't she present for the latter?), and Ea doesn't care to correct her.
Troops of the Dark Council
They have a shit-ton of thugs, including:
Enlil's wizard assistants, Niorgi and Barton.
Smasher, a cyborg and the chief of huge band of Brodkil.
Stomp the Invincible, a dragon slayer (from
Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms
) who leads a tribe of his kind.
The Outlaw, a gargoyle lord.
And all sorts of other crap from hatchling dragons to a rogue Coalition SAMAS squad.
They have have a small pocket dimension, with a palace that's tough to bust into (1,000 M.D. to bust your way in, so about seven nukes), but trusted servants have a ritual key. Dimensionally teleporting in sets off an alarm and blah blah blah.
They're kind of overblown for what they are, and though they have a slightly more interesting motivation than plain old evil, it's not really clear what they'd be doing to achieve their goal; there's just no clear way to godify oneself in the setting, so the onus is entirely on the GM to actually cook up their plans.
The New Immortals
They're Gilgamesh and Endiku! Again! Endiku is clearly a faker, but Gilgamesh is...?
Gilgamesh the Wanderer
He's a "dimension spanning paladin", by which they mean he wanders around being a knightly superhero guy, since this game doesn’t have paladins. Sometimes, it forgets it isn’t
Gilgamesh did the ritual six times, killing his clone again and again, telling himself he was just killing extensions of himself, not true beings. But he started to have guilty thoughts, and had a choice: kill the 7th or finally die. There, the journal ended. The amnesiac man did believe he was Gilgamesh, isn't sure if he's the clone or not. And so he's started searching for his identity. Unlike the Gilgamesh who wrote the journal, he's much more upstanding and is fairly horrified at what the journal discusses. But is he real or a clone or somebody else entirely unrelated? Well, that's left to the GM.
If he's an imposter, he's a damn good one, and has much the same abilities, but no magical knowledge. He also has sensitive psionics and a strong mental defense. He also has a sword that's on fire, a sword that's on... psire? Psionic blasty fire? And 1500 M.D.C. scale mail, because apparently that shit is draped over every goddamn god.
Always measures the wind for the correct direction to face.
An Atlantean undead slayer named Marcus Meleagrus, Endiku was nearly killed fighting a metzla (from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis ), but Gilgamesh (the Wanderer) teamed up with him out of nowhere and they killed it. And then Gilgamesh was like "are you Endiku?" and Marcus was like "sure, why the fuck not?" So they became good friends and go around fighting monsters, and the Olympus Club. He’s cool with being called a dick… well, Endiku , instead of the correct spelling, Enkidu . Editing god, indeed.
He's a mere 10th level undead slayer (seriously, a character that would take years of play to achieve is the weakest dude so far), has a shit-ton of magic tattoos and all the standard True Atlantean jazz. He doesn't really care of Gilgamesh is really the true demigod, he just knows he's his super bro and that's fine with him.
The Gilgamesh twisty clone bit is the most interesting bit here for me, since it's such an obvious hook to play with. The only issue is either Gilgamesh is on such a level as to readily outshine PCs, so adventuring with him seems problematic. The Dark Council isn't badly done, but as mentioned, it's not really clear how they're going to achieve their lofty goal. That, and Ea's the leader, but also the most the boring one of the group, and doesn't really have a hook other than generic powerlust.
Next: A Greek Tragedy (of stats).
They are “true” gods, dependent on worshipers for power and able and willing to grant spells to their priests and devotees.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 11: "They are “true” gods, dependent on worshipers for power and able and willing to grant spells to their priests and devotees"
Time to enrage some classics majors! On the upside, characterizing the Greek gods as trifling, spiteful dicks is pretty accurate so if that’s the direction we end up in we won’t be too far off the mythical mark.
It looks like we get three setups: The Pantheon of Olympia, basically the real deals. Then we get Dark Olympus which is basically evil intelligences and beings using Roman names or something. And then the Olympian Club, a bunch of posers pretending at being Olympus & crew in order to screw money out of rubes and earning the annoyance of the other two Olympian-themed agencies.
On with the Pantheon first! Descended from Titans (not to be confused with Palladium Titans which were descended from the D&D monster manual) which were all monstrous and such their leader, Cronus, kept eating all his kids so nobody would ever beat him. Zeus was saved from this fate and killed Cronus and etc etc freshman English. The Greek myths of course became a major cultural touchstone for a lot of European thought and classical references abound even in modern works, though they are thankfully less ubiquitous and no longer used to cloak politically impolite metaphors or whatever. This means that the Greek pantheon retains higher than average influence on Rifts Earth though they still re-appear weakened
As far as other pantheons go, they are still mad at the Persians for that whole rivalry and warfare thing from back in the day but they aren’t actively fighting anymore, they just post catty godbook updates. The Egyptian gods apparently abandoned Egypt after Herakles defeated Anhur and went off to do other dimensional things but now they’re back too, and dislike Olympia. Sumerians and Greeks seem to get on well, similar fondness for out of control parties perhaps. The Greeks fought the Norse when the Romans were conquering up in Germany and such and apparently Herakles and Thor dream of a rematch. They dislike the Splugorth but don’t want to deal with such organized and strong entities unless they have to. The Olympians want Atlantis back, and are pally with True Atlanteans. They don’t as a pantheon seem to have a specific agenda on Earth aside from ‘get their own’ I guess.
Now, on to specific gods. Zeus is the obvious starting point. Zeus was god of rain and lightning and all that, necessary for agriculture but slightly malicious. He loved to seduce women which never went over well with his wife Hera, but Hera was not able to attack Zeus directly both because of Greek cultural norms and a much weaker statblock, so usually just lashed out at the seduction victims, and Zeus usually didn’t lift a finger to help them.
The first paragraph says he’s an enemy of demons and alien intelligences, the third says he is not very concerned with moral issues and is extremely self-absorbed and only fought the forces of darkness when they threatened Olympia. He is written as mostly being unconcerned with mortals, though he does like him some worship. He’s prideful and won’t accept being upstaged by god or mortal, and particularly dislikes pretenders. All of this is pretty accurate in general, though it’s been a while since I’ve read Greek myth (in any version) directly to like quote stuff.
In coming back to Earth, Zeus is likely to send priests and demigods first to work on his cult, particularly in Mediterranean/European areas because there’s no place like home. I think Greece was briefly mentioned in NGR but basically it’s troubled by demons and monsters like everywhere else and the pantheon will protect the people provided they are worshipped and etc. They would be a southern rival to the Gargoyle Empire and the NGR’s struggles would appeal to some of the pantheon (why this is explained under Zeus’s section and not before I do not know) but they’re unlikely to take a direct role, since the NGR is all ‘nuh uh no D-Bees’ which would probably include gods. It is entertaining to watch though.
They’ll also seek worshippers among some of the various magic-friendly and otherwise desperate communities “around the world” which--just ignoring that. Oh, here we go back to talking about Zeus in the singular again--he might try to help drive the Splugorth out of Atlantis because he wants True Atlantean worshippers and he doesn’t like the Splugorth. The pantheon as a whole isn’t strong enough to do this by themselves yet (would they ever be?) and there isn’t an organized enough force to oppose them. It also mentions that the Greeks don’t know about Wormwood which I think wasn’t even mentioned in the others, and says that the poor oppressed peasants might welcome any saviors which is kind of direct opposition to Wormwood which said ‘gods mess up anything they get involved in, good thing Wormwood is unlikely to be of interest’. So there’s that.
Okay now the actual stat block. 100K MDC/20K to start with. Usually loud and overbearing, he is king and will let you know it but very charming with the ladies and “a female player character with a PB of 20 or higher may become the next target of his affections.” Good thing it requires blatant cheating to get a score that high and what munchkin would waste a perfectly good dump stat to prove the legitimacy of their sheet?
Another ‘20th level’ air and water warlock. 15th line walker, 15th warrior. Regen an average of 75MDC per round, good grief. Shapeshift into any humanoid or animal--obviously. Gotta go be a sexy swan.
All of this is mostly standard ‘god stuff’ until we get to the obvious special Zeus power: The lightning bolts. These do 1D6x10 MD and he can attack with them up to his number of melee attacks, which is eight. The disparity between the amount of MDC these and other god-creatures have and their weak-ass damage continues to be a source of but that damage level and number of attacks could lay waste to a PC group pretty quickly even without having to look up a bunch of spell effects.
There’s also weather control. 3x daily, Zeus can start or stop rain in a 100 mile radius. If it’s cold enough, it’ll snow instead. He can fly above clouds to control and herd them over a 1000 mile area to make bigger storms to punish people he doesn’t like, much the way as described for Tlaloc, with the 3D6 minute duration. That plus all the warlock magic.
For skills, “Most normal skills are of little interest to Zeus. When attempting anything, he has a minimum chance of 60% to succeed.” So he has an equal 40% chance to fail at operating a basic radio and performing heart surgery.
He has a shitload of spells and psionic powers, basically this statblock will not shut up. He is close friends with Herakles and the Hundred-Handed and is chummy with Thoth (who is...the amnesiac Old One right? That’ll end well with mister ‘hates alien intelligences’) and can always rely on his brother Hades but apparently not Poseidon. Also he has a race of minions called the Greater Cyclops, statted later. Most importantly about them, they make magic bolts which are even stronger than Zeus’s lightning--either 2D6x10 or 3D6x10, no explanation for the differentiation or why you’d ever use the smaller one. It’s not clear if these are used up after one use or not--probably I guess, since Zeus’ll sometimes give 3D4 of them as rewards. Great, impress a god, get 6 shots of boom-gun equivalent. Awesome.
As a whole, he pretty much sounds Zeus-y, with a bunch of ridiculous stats.
Certainly, more important than Zeus’s wife Hera the queen of the gods or all the other heroes, it’s Herakles. To be fair, he is probably Zeus’s most famous by-blow but you can kind of feel the love of the authors rubbing off on the text. Anyway, he was born super-duper strong and only got stronger, likes to do quests and fight challenges. Has a bit of his father’s temper and accidentally killed his family once while under a curse--maybe Hank Pym shouldn’t feel so bad. Just kidding. Hank Pym doesn’t feel bad. Also, the book doesn’t mention that it was Hera who drove him to madness which is kind of an important point in most versions of that story. Anyway he completed his labors and was eventually saved from death by elevation to Olympus and now roams around having a rage disorder (“a typical fit lasts 3D4 minutes”), challenging strong PCs to contests of might, and fighting evil.
40K/8K MDC, weighs 500lbs of ‘all muscle’, Supernatural PS 70. For some reason they give him equivalent Heroes Unlimited levels (12th level “alien warrior”) and powers (Extraordinary Strength, Endurance, Speed, Healing Factor and Impervious to Fire and Heat for whatever reason) but otherwise 12th level warrior in Rifts, or Mercenary Fighter in Fantasy. Okay.
He can regenerate severed limbs! the text says breathlessly. (so can all of them) Doesn’t breathe and otherwise has a lot of godly resistances and teleportation stuff. Speaks Italian specifically in addition to Euro and has a little bit of Spanish too. Does 2D4x10 with a punch, which is more than a light-your-ass-up thunderbolt from Zeus. Has zero spells, that’s refreshing, and only 100 PPE. Barely even worth blood-sacrificing. Basic defense psionics--mind block, auto-defense, sense magic.
Otherwise he just has some cool magic toys. The Bow of Herakles is an indestructible holy weapon--you remember those good-hearted weaker brothers of the rune weapons in Atlantis? This is one of those. Only Herakles can use all its powers For him? 1D4x10. Anybody else? 2D6 MDC. Triple damage to demons, vampires, and alien intelligences.
Also the Nemean Lion Cape: Unpiercable skin, killed it by strangling, wore its skin as a coat afterwards and never you mind how they managed to cure it. Sharp weapons do no damage, ‘energy attacks’ do half, but ‘kinetic’ attacks do full. It doesn’t give any armor rating rules for it being a cape rather than actual armor but honestly that’s a blessing.
So: overpowered GM PC. Involving Herakles in a game would more or less be putting a ‘better-than-you’ hero down on the table and having him lead the action. He’s proactive in going out and doing stuff--it could be interesting to have to clean up messes he makes in being an overzealous dudebro but eventually one is going to want him to go bother someone else.
Next: Hera and Hades, not quite a triple-H
But her centuries as a cheated wife have permanently deranged her.Original SA post
I've seen the 'gods powered by belief' thing in enough sources that I can't really sort out the origin anymore. I read the Avatar Trilogy two or three times in pre-high school and I recall that while worship was cool for gods and all that, it didn't kill Bhaal when they murdered all the assassins did it? It just hurt and weakened him. A quick browsing of current online FR lore suggests that they've revised and added complexity but a god is still a god and even 'dead' ones linger around causing mischief. I've seen it outside of game sources though I am struggling to name--it's something that's brought up when people get into debates about why God wants worship and demands love and such.
In Rifts though, it's just weird and inconsistent.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 12: "But her centuries as a cheated wife have permanently deranged her"
Hera , goddess of women. Mother of many of the other gods, jealous of her husband’s many infidelities. Since she was not able to confront Zeus directly, she took her wrath out on anyone else in reach--this is a reasonably accurate portrayal of human behavior when confronted with an abusive situation where one party is disempowered in a primary relationship but still has power over others (ie children, slaves, etc) as a Greek wife of a citizen might be, so the myth was kind of playing from life there. It doesn’t make Hera a nice being though she is at least sympathetic in a way, having such an asshat cuckold spouse.
In Palladium’s characterization, despite her title, she is way less concerned with mortals and way more concerned with defending her own pride. The centuries of putting up with Zeus’s adultery have “permanently deranged her” and she has pretty much given up on being nice to powerless people who have done her no harm. This gets worse though: Hera was long prone to murdering, deforming or otherwise attacking the targets of Zeus’s affections if she found out about them. She finally “went too far” and killed an Atlantean before Zeus had sealed the deal, and caused the death of several of her relatives in the process. Zeus attacked Hera in a grand show of divine domestic violence and nearly killed her, saying if she “ever killed anybody again” he’d destroy her. Anybody? I mean there are some beings out there that deserve killin’.
Since then she is sullen and more psychotic than ever because her man be wandering and nothing else could possibly matter in her life, nor can a being thousands of years old consider the possibility of divorce. She spends her time making intricate plots to get revenge on Zeus’s lovers without taking a direct hand and is now miscreant instead of anarchist. She wants him to be as miserable as she is and “regularly hires a pair of Sunaj assassins and a 9th-level Nightstalker dragon to commit murder.” All her positive aspects have been folded down into being a jealous spouse who trafficks with dangerous enemies. She literally has a Palladium-statted insanity Obsession about getting revenge on Zeus, plus Paranoia and--what the crap, Schizophrenia, hearing voices taunting her about Zeus and urging her to hurt and kill.
she also appears to have lost her nose to madness
For all that, she barely tops Hercules for power: 45K/9K MDC. Her Horror Factor is 14, because there is nothing scary like a woman scorned. She’s a 15th level ‘Sorceress’, regenerates an average 7.5 MDC per minute (same as Herakles) and knows all Domestic skills, but so like a lady she can’t even change a tire? Seriously, assigning skills to gods is really dumb. Her hand to hand is total crap but she knows all spells 1-15, has all sensitive and healing psi-powers. This is actually one of the briefer blocks except for the fact that ‘knows all spells’ includes pages and pages of abilities you have to look up.
RPGs not being extremely good at women is not a new thing exactly but they’re whiffing them all out of the park in my sections, and ARB’s didn’t seem to be faring so well either. She barely tops a former demigod for power and looking ahead she is definitely weaker kin to Hades. That and this MRA strawman psychotic wife thing makes this a really miserable presentation.
Ugh, moving on. Hades
Brother of Zeus, one of those kids who got et before Zeus cut them all loose. Hades, Zeus and Poseidon took the underworld, the land, and the sea as their domains--the section doesn’t mention Poseidon for some reason though he’s statted later. I mean he has some of the Aquaman problem of being the ocean guy and all but it’s just weird. Anyway, Hades got the underworld aka the realm of the dead. He doesn’t hate mortals or anything, he is just primarily concerned with his necrolactic pursuits. The Palladium Underworld is a “transdimensional realm” where enemies of the gods are imprisoned and tortured and one of Hades’s hobbies is creating these proper comeuppances. It’s also where the “inter-dimensional Prison of Tartarus” is located, where the Titans are locked up. If I were trying to lock something up in the Palladium-verse, I would not make it an inter-dimensional space. Just saying.
The underworld borders a lot of demon kingdoms and Hades has to be constantly on guard, but it’s also full of treasure so you know the PCs will be breaking in there. Hades is just so badass that not many people attempt it openly. Also, Poseidon, Hera and Athena all endured a stint in Tartarus and “this even is not known to mortal chroniclers and may surprise students of mythology.” I am hoping they explain what conspiracy caused this apocryphal addition later because it seems important, otherwise it’s super-pointless to include. Hades is generally mostly a homebody who administers his prison-realm with Aberrant fairness.
those are corinthean-style spikes
Numbers-time. 80K/16K MDC, cold and grim, no mention of Persephone, 15th level sorcerer and diabolist, and can turn and/or animate 2D6x100 dead at will. Hades once almost killed ‘Succor-Bemoth’ from the Conversion book. Looking back at that guy with his piddling 1500 MDC, the only way I can see that Hades didn’t kill him was that he got bored doing 1D6x10 a round and just told the guy to leave. Oh, he has an Impaler rune sword that is mentioned without plugging Atlantis that actually just repeats the relevant stats. And magical plate armor with 2,000 MDC because he needs it so. Also he has a Helm of Invisibility that makes you double-invisible, even to things that normally see invisible (almost everything except Coalition soldiers) but it “only” lasts two hours a day.
Hades has a generally defined role but very little personality--which is to be expected I suppose. PCs wouldn’t have much to do with him unless their GM was a classics type who wanted them to retrieve a soul and then he’s just an invincible impediment unless they play a riddle game or whatever.
Just in case your PCs were bull-headed (come now, we’re done with Babylon) enough to try and break into Hades, Cerberus gets his own block. He’s a watchdog. IQ of 13, capable of speech, but he usually just growls and stuff first, then attacks if people get too close. Maybe you could fool him though, if you have a good story. (“Just need to step in to use the bathroom--”)
who’s a good boy awwww who’s a good boy
4000 MDC, putting him in adult dragon range, can turn invisible at will for some reason and spits acid that does pitiful damage for 1D6 rounds unless washed off with “several gallons” of water. Granted that’s pitiful mega-damage. Eight attacks per round, 3D6x10 bite, and a 2D4x10 pounce with an 80% chance of knocking an enemy down and making them lose initiative and two melee attacks--which is actually a passably balanced iteration of that stupid pounce attack all those Wormwood critters had. Of course, if I were being an evil rules-lawyer GM I’d just have him pounce around from PC to PC costing two attacks per hit since he can do that eight times a round. With these stats, Cerberus actually does more damage than most of the other gods mentioned so far, he’s just easier to kill.
It’s almost like they want you to go on an underworld quest. Charon, guardian of the River Styx, which ‘leads into Hades’s realm’ from, I guess, the other parts of ‘Hades’ which is also a dimension because they didn’t want to say ‘Hell’ in the Conversion book. The whole ‘penny for the dead’ thing doesn’t apply here, Charon is a greedy sumbitch like the worst bouncer at the most exclusive club--you have to be on Hades’s list. If you are on the list you can pay with ‘1 credit’ which is A) apparently a coin and B) interdimensionally accepted.
5,000 MDC and Pilot Boat and Swim at 98%, his boat and staff are indestructible which actually makes them kind of valuable and his attacks aren’t all that great. I say we kill him and take his money.
That’s all the underworld people, until we get to the Hekatonkheires later, though they’re just extra-grabby prison guards really. Next we’ll get to the letter A. Seriously. That seems to be part of the organizational principle at work here.
A kind, loving warrior goddess.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 13: "A kind, loving warrior goddess"
Athena is everyone’s favorite Greek goddess and she does come off as kind of less of a prick than some of the others though she certainly had her pride and vanity like all the rest (Arachne). Sprang from the head of Zeus one day and has been crusading against the powers of darkness ever since. She often gives hints and clues to heroes by changing her shape so it may be good practice to give a hoot and respect any nearby owls. She believes that with great power comes great responsibility, and thinks all these lazy gods spending their time on family politics are jerks. She’s not wrong but it may be better if they stay away.
Here it explains the thing from Hades: Apparently she was so disenchanted with Zeus’s idle adultery and unconcern that she allied with Hera and Poseidon to overthrow him, which failed, and all three got thirty years of Hades time. After getting out of prison, Athena has distanced herself from the pantheon and is making friends with True Atlanteans and other meddlesome good gods like herself. She tends to operate behind the scenes being a plot device but she has taken time from her busy owl schedule to beat the crap out of Ares on multiple occasions, for which he hates her.
she might want to take a break from fighting evil to eat a sandwich though
45K MDC, 20th level warrior -- I really don’t get using these nonexistent levels, I mean it just doesn’t mean anything -- 10th level ley line walker. Shapeshifts at will into a ‘human-looking woman, man, or owl’ which suggests just one of each which would be kind of funny. Bio-regenerates and has a bunch of dumb skills and a kick that does 7D6 MDC for some reason. She’s pally with a few of the other ‘specifically good guy’ gods and has her special spear which can remove curse at 70%. It also does 6D6+6 MD, less than kicking people, except that it doubles against ‘supernaturals’. Triple against Splugorth and vampire intelligences. That’ll show ‘em. Also returns when thrown. Athena’s shield is indestructible, yet ‘light as a feather’ which gives her a higher parry bonus and a set of 400 MDC armor for some reason.
More or less your standard do-gooder NPC in Palladium games, but it does note that she can come off as kind of a schoolteacher or know-it-all, kinda lecturing folks. I think if I had to lead Hercules around by the nose through the haze of his dumbness I’d be a little exasperated too.
Apollo, the sun, patron of the arts and stuff. He’s more often depicted with a lyre to contrast him from Artemis but here they have him with a bow AND winged sandals. He has the gift of prophecy but be careful when asking about the future. He’s a furious enemy of giants and evil dragons specifically and as a sun god he quickly forces vampire intelligences to hide their shame. Other Greek gods resent Apollo for being effortlessly good at everything and also because he’s kind of arrogant. He almost fought to the death with Hercules once over not sharing information and Zeus had to separate them (?). Hera hates him specifically as one of Zeus’s bastards, Ares resents him for “a number of reasons.” Currently he is engaged in studying the expansion of the Splugorth as they might be a threat, he’s maybe going to stop them but can’t do much yet because the forces of good are incapable of allying in the Megaverse.
56K MDC, more with the ‘20th level warrior’ business, line walker and healer. Knows all medical arts ‘except cybernetics.’ Regenerates an average of 30 MDC a round. For 25 PPE each he can bless an arrow, causing it to turn gold, have +3 to hit and double damage. Given that the rules for bows and arrows were buried somewhere in an unrelated section of a previous splat, this is utterly useless, though he does have 8,000 PPE. He also has the “Gift of Prophecy” which tends to bring its dooms most harshly on those who seek to avoid it and it operates at “GM’s discretion” so railroad away. He also has an 80% chance to raise the dead as long as they’re fresher than a month; up to a year at 30%
His Sun Bow is a greatest rune weapon that does 2D6x10 and communicates via telepathy, fires arrows made of solar plasma (finally...the lightning bow from the D&D cartoon) and the bow can cast some spells of its own.
I haven’t been at this long but I’m already cringing anytime sexuality comes up anywhere within a goddess’s pantheon. And yep, she’s “the most lecherous of the Greek female deities.” She’s a beauty queen, vain and hedonistic. Apollo and Athena dismiss her as “that little harlot.” Slut-shaming is a sure sign of a fierce warrior of light. She uses sexuality to manipulate and get what she wants. She’s an ancient fertility goddess who was invited to join the pantheon after her old (forgotten eh) pantheon exiled her because they fought over her too much.
She’s married to Haephestus who is just resigned to her exploits and lately she’s rumored to be having an extended affair with Krishna ( ) or trying to seduce Arr’thuu (double up ) so this is basically as much as Rifts is capable of with female sexuality.
18K MDC (so much swingy variation) and she is “the worst stereotypes you have heard about cheerleaders, fashion models, beauty queens, groupies and blondes” so basically “all the girls Siembieda did not get laid by” and 12th level line walker. She has more spells than they’ve given some of the other sexy girl gods but not much else, no special love magic hypno-powers or whatever, just lady parts which is black magic enough I guess.
Trickster and messenger, charming rogue, only Greek god to have had a childhood. Well, aside from Pan I think, but I doubt he’s in here. Man there are a crapload of Greeks. Hermes is also a god of magic and alchemy, and likes fast cars. Apparently the last time Ares tried to pick on him, he pulled out a railgun and fired a couple of bursts into the “surprised war god.” Which, I mean, I know it can take a while for older people to adapt to technology but the Splugorth and other old civs have had these for a long time and you’d think Ares would pick up on it. Anyway, Hermes is the messenger of the gods and that’s why he often discovers new things first. He also likes to crack wise, which will undoubtedly be a barrel of laughs at the gaming table.
15K MDC, 15th level line walker, diabolist, scholar and alchemist, 8th level operator and 6th level techno-wizard. That’s...a lot of levels. He also has ‘over 1000 different vehicles’ (eat your heart out Jay Leno). He also has a bunch of other technological doo-dads of the sort that most of the gods we’ve read about so far disdain for <reasons> His Winged Sandals let him run at 400 mph or fly at Mach 3. His magic winged headband lets him sense rifts and nexuses and locate Olympian gods anywhere in the Megaverse.
And then there’s “the Herminator.”
A ‘rail gun pistol’ techno-wizard device custom-built for him, and requires supernatural PS of 20 or greater to use. It looks like an old .44 because that is what was available for reference drawing and does 1D4x10 per burst, holds ten bursts of ammo of Hermes’s ‘own unique design’. At least it makes CSI’s job easier. Seriously, Herminator?
Artemis is twin sister to Apollo and swore to remain a virgin after her true love (Orion) was killed. Unlike Apollo, she is not so driven to truth and justice and screws with mortals more frequently. She is a big old woods-loving hippie who hates the way technological societies
cartoon birds do her hair after the squirrels mess it up
56K MDC, dimensional teleport at 64%...this is lower than most of the others and I wonder why they bother varying the number much. It also seems odd for a wide-ranging ranger with a private dimension. Oh, she’s a 20th level wilderness scout, because THAT will be useful. And a 10th level line walker and 6th level dryad which is the first time I’ve seen any of these mention those dumb classes from England, but good show on reading your source material Carella. She can also bless arrows like Apollo and has ‘Oneness with Nature’ which states that no animal will ever harm her--but monsters (99% of the ecology in Rifts) are a different story. She apparently used to lead a group of demigods and godlings, but “most of them died, a few at her hands when they tried to take advantage of her.” Because we can’t ignore a declared virgin I guess, that is a challenge . She’s starting up a new band now, hint hint. This is under the minions section of her statblock by the way, not in the main fluff. Also her Golden Bow which is just very slightly less good than Apollo’s, mostly in that it has limited ammo.
Enough for now! More for later! Like a lot more.
The like, one legitimate child of Zeus and Hera.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 14: "The like, one legitimate child of Zeus and Hera"
Ares , god of war. Ares conflicts with Athena in that they’re both gods of war, though Athena was more the soldiers’ god and Ares more the concept of war itself, or something, this is what the book says and it just depends on who you read. He was still a respected god, being of war, and sacrifices were made to him to earn luck in battle.
Still, for a god of war, he’s kind of a dink. He’s been defeated and captured and otherwise outdone by practically everyone, he’s like that guy you beat up to show your new guy is tough, like Juggernaut in Marvel. He isn’t very smart and won’t admit defeat until it’s inevitable. Doesn’t care much about right or wrong, just about fighting. Is prone to starting fights as a result of this.
50K/10K god numbers, loud-mouthed bully who hates losing and is a big giant jerk. Blames others for his defeats and hates Herakles for once besting him. He’s ‘only’ a 15th level warrior and regens an average of 50MDC per round. His Special is an Aura of Discord, which causes a save vs. magic or be filled with rage and blood-lust. He must be a hit at parties. This apparently cannot be turned off.
image comics preview, coming to newstands this fall!
His hand to hand is decent with a 1D6x10 kick, 3,000 MDC plate armor because ?!, holy sword that does the same damage as his kick except bonus against demons and etc. Kind of a clunky dull block, straightforward. This is reasonably close to some of the portrayals of Ares I’ve read, YMMV. The only problem is that god-numbers make him unusable as much at any PC level.
Dionysus , god of wine and festivals. Dionysus was a demi-god who got the god nod despite being an illegitimate child of Zeus. Hera hated and tried to destroy him, then eventually reconciled because who can stay mad at the god of wine? This must have been pre-descent into total madness phase.
Anyway, he developed a bunch of what we came to call bacchanalian paraphernalia on pre-rifts Earth and mostly just likes to party it up with satyrs and maenads and other mystical beings, basically a popular chap on the megaversal campus. He could sometimes be cruel, if parties went foul, but his usual mode was kindness. He hangs with Soma a lot (TBD) and go around having parties that may be dangerous or life-altering to the humans involved.
Numbers: 32K/6.4K, dislikes moralizing temperance leaguers and isn’t really careful with the tolerances of mere humans around him--if a drunk driving crash killed a human friend of his, he’d feel bad, then go drink more. He’s a 10th level Sorcerer.
He has special powers: Dionysus’s Gift, which allows him to turn any normal drink into alcohol of his choice, even disguising the flavor of the alcohol so it isn’t obvious to the drinker. He can even make brews that would be toxic to humans but affect dragons and gods--though he never deliberately introduces this to the wrong audience. Just...a drunk dragon is a drunk dragon.
Then he has an animal transformation power. He can change humans and most non-mega-damage beings (Wormwood humans?) into animals by looking at them for 15 PPE. Save v magic at 16 or higher, it remains for 1d4 days or forever if he spends an extra 200PPE.
He can also commune with nature and summon 1d6x100 ‘gentle animals’ Disney style to keep him company or serve drinks at his festivals or whatever. And lastly, he has an aura of fertility/infertility he can bestow on 1000’ radii around him. He’s not a combat god but he has a lot of friends, his parties could serve as good networking or setpieces that could move on and leave some ravaging or mystery in their wake. For some reason it specifies that he dresses in ‘flowing oriental robes’ because the Greeks didn’t have anything loose and breezy like that.
seriously what is up with this ‘playboy orientalist’ look
Hephaestus was the blacksmith god who was born ugly and crippled, supposedly birthed by Hera alone as revenge for Zeus having Athena alone. She cast him off Olympus because he was deformed. He was raised by two spared Titans and became a master smith. Hera had thought herself rid of this unpleasant child when she received a mysterious golden throne as a present. Sitting on it, she couldn’t get off it. In the end Dionysus persuaded Hephaestus to come to Olympus and Hera apologized for her cruelty in a rare display.
Hephaestus married Aphrodite, some say as a reward for freeing Hera from the throne, others say by other forms of blackmail--the myths vary on this one. Aphrodite treats her marriage pretty lightly, and Hephaestus occasionally takes some kind of embarrassing vengeance but is unlikely to get a fidelitous spouse out of what was probably not an entirely consensual union.
45K/9,120 MDC, withdrawn and quiet nerdy gadget guy unless talking to another craftsman. Been mistreated all his life, kind of expects others to act badly towards him. 20th level ‘weaponsmith’, 14th sorcerer and fire warlock, only 4 level techno-wizard and operator--late to the technology party one supposes. He is one of the few gods listed who could successfully operate a telephone.
His combat stuff isn’t tremendous, but he’s a crippled blacksmith rather than raging warrior. He does have an invisible net for catching adulterers, chains of binding that only he can open (I forget which myth that’s from), and arrows of slaying that are +1 with 25% range and inflict 1d4x10 MDC. He gives these to various arrow gods who need them. He also has a lot of other weapons and stuff he’s created, too much to detail.
Eros God of love. How shall Palladium treat sexuality in a male god I wonder?
Aphrodite’s son, concerned with love, but unlike her he is concerned with the love between two other people rather than love of himself. How selfless. Except that it isn’t, of course, he plays pranks, makes mysterious strangers fall in love at first sight, and is occasionally hired to cause love between deeply inappropriate figures--the current mission being to make Hera fall in love with a Splugorth--which, well, gross. The requestor of this mission was probably Zeus but he disguised himself of course. Obviously, Hera’s fidelity and justifiable anger at philandering means she should be mind-controlled into sex with a tentacle monster.
Eros accepted this mission, and he’s also deeply in love with Psyche whom he married against his mother’s wishes, don’t remember all the details there and Psyche is not detailed in this book, go check wikipedia and then make up some random numbers.
15K/3K numbers, has various love arrows that are good for 48 hours or must be re-created: Pink causes no damage but creates amorous feelings with a save of 18 or higher to avoid confessing one’s long-held crush. Gold arrows cause love in the first person of appropriate sex they see (save 18 or higher), Lead arrows destroy love and create dispassion. He isn’t very combatty but usually has a dozen arrows of slaying, a dozen lightning arrows, and various love arrows in his quiver. Obviously making PCs fall in love with people is never going to result in excruciating-to-creepy scenarios.
Oh, here we go, that other major pillar of the pantheon, Poseidon, way back here at the end. In Rifts, he resented Zeus being overking despite having all the oceans to himself, and plotted a coup that failed; that was a while back and afterwards he moved into a peaceful watery
83K/16.6K MDC, tends to act like a big stern force of nature, often assuming giant sizes and whatnot. 20th level air, water and earth warlock, 10th line walker--line walker is like a required 101 class in god school I guess, if they want to get around. He can also create earthquakes as per the spell, but for no PPE at 15th level. He can do likewise with sea storms. And he can talk to fish. And sea monsters avoid him--which might be an interesting point to address in Rifts: Underseas but I don’t think it is. Also he can summon elementals at will--which, that’s kind of crazy powerful, elementals are somewhat nasty and just juggling out dozens of them is pretty OP. He also has a rune trident that does 2D6X10 and can cast some sea/storm related spells, and a conch of storms that also again summons storms, four times a day. Seriously this guy is into storms.
Triton , Tamer of the Storms
I...huh. Somehow all that stuff about Poseidon causing storms just dovetailed neatly into this guy I guess. Anyway Triton is Poseidon’s son, herald, enforcer, main dude. He’s lived even more of his life underwater than Poseidon and after the Mechanoid incident he has sworn to defend all seas in the Megaverse, and this will come up all the time because Rifts: Sea Shepherd is what we came here to play. Also it suggests that if for some unthinkable reason you wanted to use him in Heroes Unlimited or Ninjas and Superspies games, he could “team up with the “mermaid” codenamed Undertow” from Villains Unlimited. In Palladium Fantasy he could become champion of some crap nobody cares about doesn’t Fantasy have a pantheon already?
14K/2,800 MDC, 9th level warrior, 7th level water warlock. He can also speak to fish, though he can’t command as many at once as Poseidon can. Neither of these gods can drive a car--or even a submarine. He has the Horn of the Ocean which casts several water warlock spells including calm storm and permits understanding all languages when held to one’s ear. He also has a ‘Sea Sword’ that has three blades in a trident shape, does 1D6x10 and magically returns when thrown which Poseidon’s trident does not apparently.
Next: The Great Titans of Olympia
Prepare for lots of baby-eating.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part XX: "Prepare for lots of baby-eating"
These are the titans, who were portrayed as fairly inhuman predecessors to the gods even in myth but I am pretty sure they did not refer to them as “alien intelligences” and all that stuff about them ruling over a “golden age” is stuff made up by Zeus to avoid “a panic among mortals” which whatever, gods lie, we know that.
clearly a black-figure classical representation
So yeah, that big ugly there is Carella’s rendition of Cronus through the lens of Rifts. He is sometimes called Father Time but “has no special powers over time, nor is he a four-dimensional being like Zurvan.” Well okay then. Cronus created a bunch of humanoid servant-gods (aka “the gods”) to help him interact with his human slaves and then got afraid they were going to overthrow his ass and ate all of them but Zeus. Zeus made a deal with the Hundred-Handed and Prometheus and managed to defeat and imprison the Titans. Also it makes a special note that these are totally unrelated to the Titans in the Conversion book. Cronus is evil and wants to get out of jail but hasn’t managed it yet.
Strangely, he’s not as vastly overpowered as Zeus or some of the others, perhaps to represent a reduced state from his long imprisonment. 60K maximum, but he starts at 30K which is an edge on a lot of these god-figures. He’s mean evil mean wants revenge etc, not very much to see. 20th level line walker and mind melter. He has a lot of the ‘Alien Intelligence’ powers like dimensional teleporting and regeneration plus half-damage from energy attacks and ‘magic potions’ and can do that essence-possession thing. He can also devour other beings to gain their power, which takes a little bit of time and makes you insane if your ME is less than 19.
Eight physicals at 1D6x10 or four psionic or three magic and man does he have a lot of spells and all psionics. The absurd MDC numbers make these kinds of villains difficult to envision in any kind of campaign that didn’t involve importing the SDF1 from Robotech.
Titan, but a good guy Titan who helped out mortals even behind Zeus’s back once Cronus was out of the way, since basically everybody craps on normal humans in Rifts, including the core book. But the one that got Prometheus in real trouble was teaching humankind about fire. He had that gut-eating punishment for thousands of years until Herakles freed him at which point Zeus had more or less forgotten why he’d put him there, so he’s free again and trying to fight the good fight but prefers knowledge to just fighting and so builds up spy networks and things. Sure, okay.
40K/20K MDC, noble, fatherly, teacherly, etc. 18th line walker and scholar. Actually knows some skills besides ‘speaks Dragonese/Elven and Greek’. He’s fairly tuff and knows all spells and lots of psionics and networks with other positive gods. In an attempt to give him some nuance, he will help humans over non-humans and might side with the CS in some of their legitimate issues with non-human empires.
Atlas Titan of Strength
I have trouble remembering what the strength numbers mean in Palladium, particularly with the split between supernatural/not supernatural. Anyway, Atlas is a relatively minor figure--his biggest story is the one where Herakles actually managed to trick him. He remains under his mountain where he was put as punishment for working with Cronus and if he ever got free, he’d go on a rampage. The mountain is noted as being in Tartarus which is...they haven’t been really clear about that in this sense. Hades is both a person, a realm, and home to several other demonic hordes that rent out space or something. Tartarus is connected to it I guess. Anyway he’s pretty tough and strong and does a lot of damage with nine attacks a round and 80K MDC so it would be fairly bad if he got loose, just not in a way that most PC parties could in any way affect.
Goddess of magic and mystery cults and stuff household blessings and ghosts and poisons and herbs and the moon sometimes and crossroads and--honestly she was a complicated deity who came into Greek myth from an unknown outside source, she sort of joined the party and became a major figure. Here, she’s a Titan who taught Zeus a lot about magic, wears bondage gear and wants to become the most powerful entity in the megaverse and doesn’t care about humans. This is kind of a huge digression for a deity who was very common in household worship but w’ev. She’s learning Temporal Magic and Rune Magic and Bio-wizardry and otherwise dabbling at forbidden secrets all over the place. The sort of interesting wrinkle to this megalomania she has is that she believes that “gods” are not truly immortal, that they’re all slowly slowly dying and she wants to prevent this.
i wonder how many points she costs in a dark eldar army
For all that power-hunger and being an ancient Titan, she’s somewhat less robust than expected. 30K/15K, though she has magic pouring out her ears--20th level alchemist, line walker, necromancer, diabolist, summoner, and 7th level temporal wizard. Oh and Aberrant alignment. She has a Splugorth High Lord as a minion and has a lot of other similar hangers on. Trying to run her would be a headache of spell lists, but a lot of these writeups just feel like some kind of checkbox exercise. She also has that demonic armor pictured above, which is a bio-wizard item of which lesser copies may be bought for the low, low price of 2D6x10 million credits. It has 7,000 MDC and self-repairs, teleports to her body, has a stinging poison tail and retractable blades that add 3D6 to her hand to hand attacks, has a forcefield that halves energy damage and halts bio-manipulation up to 750 MDC and then...a horn beam. Which shoots lighting. 1D6x10. I suppose if you’re going to bling out insane bone armor it should shoot lightning.
Minions and Others
So here is where they describe the Greater Cyclops (not to be mistaken with the other cyclops from the giants section of the monster manual) who were ‘normal cyclops from the Palladium world given superhuman powers by Zeus’, okay. Anyway they’re a race of godlings and they make lightning bolts for the lightning god and are immune to lightning. They’re not offered as a PC race, strangely enough.
we’re young...love is a battlefield!
Then there’re the Hundred-Handed who have been mentioned specifically several more times than Atlas or Charon but I guess since there’s more than one of them they get put under ‘minions’. They are ‘Super-Godlings’ who fail at being gods because their IQ is limited to 1D4+3 and they basically have the emotions and loyalties of small children with 3D6x10,000 MDC each. They’re 60 to 80 feet tall and Zeus was the only person who was nice to them before the War of the Titans and they still love him for it. They’re also NOT recommended as player characters, specifically. Unless maybe they drink a magic potion that reduces their size and all combat attributes by half. Because a childlike eighty foot super-godling with 180,000 MDC is just unreasonable, but forty feet and 90K is balanced, since they both have an average IQ of 4. I am sure this would be a fascinating character to have at the table.
I think ARB touched on this briefly, but there’s sort of a mostly-unwritten suggestion that you could run a campaign based around playing various gods and related creatures, and with the Hundred-Handed it suggests that they might only be suitable in such a game. That kind of campaign is almost the only place where a lot of these god statblocks make any sense at all, but even then you have huge power variations.
’octo-handed’ didn’t have the same ring to it
End transmission. Next we get to ‘Dark Olympus’ which has filled me with excitement.
Dark Olympus: no, not a new local goth clubOriginal SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 15: "Dark Olympus: no, not a new local goth club"
So basically these are alien and vampire intelligences and demons and other nasty beings that have taken up the Greek motif to try and tap into some of that reverence for the classical that apparently permeates the whole megaverse since Earth was really not in a habitable state for a while there until recently. This ‘pantheon’ is at war with itself, with two sides of evil actually fighting instead of having splugorth tea parties or whatever. The real Greek gods would be super-pissed to find about these guys (and there’s basically no way Hecate doesn’t know, given her writeup) but since handing the PCs popcorn and watching deities duke it out from the sidelines isn’t much fun, it’s not likely a conflict that will lead to anything.
the face of evil intelligence
Anyway, Jupiter , so-called for clarity of indexing I assume, is your typical evil intelligence out to hurt and kill and cause chaos and feast on blood and whatever. Apparently he was promoting defamatory cults in case you wanted to run into some of those in Beyond the Supernatural or something. He has MDC broken out by hit location, but 30K main body which is at the lower end of the god spectrum. It’s augmented by a glowing blue energy field which certainly makes him inconspicuous even in human form. Can summon lesser and major demons 3x a day which might actually be more dangerous than he himself is. He also can possess things with fragments of his essence and is vulnerable to silver, rune, millennium weapons, etc. Lots of magical knowledge, real pain is when he teleports out only to return another day. Not much of interest here really.
Hercules the destroyer
Well, it’s true Hercules wasn’t always the nicest guy but this one specifically serves Jupiter and is an unspecified species of ‘demon’. He’s violent and apparently naturally named ‘Hyrr’Klean’ which I really wish authors would stop doing. 1500 MDC so you could take this guy out, totally. Just do it fast, he has a 55% dimensional teleport so you might be able to get him before he runs away. Also he hates the dudes posing as Gilgamesh and Endiku Longhair. Supposedly this guy goes in and terrorizes cities before Jupiter moves in to take over but honestly he doesn’t really have the stats to back that up--I complain about the huge god-numbers on these guys but you get a whole Coalition regiment firing on a clear target and god-things start exploding. Just part of the whole balance weirdness of Rifts.
Mamers another demon servant of Jupiter
Mamers is apparently a demon given great power by Jupiter and is ‘so similar’ to Ares that they might actually become friends as long as nobody interfered with higher powers’ plans and realized the two of them are idiots. Apparently he’s a real jerk in the Atlantis arena and has humiliated several Atlantean champions on the sands so they aren’t keen on him.
3,000 MDC and is species ‘unique demon servant’, okay. He has a ‘rough code of honor’ which mostly means he obeys orders from Jupiter and keeps his word if given. He has a greatest run weapon spear that drinks souls, returns when thrown, 1D4x10 damage and an indestructible shield. Also a rune sword that seems like an afterthought.
Because Eros wasn’t annoying magic-roofie enough, we have Cupid as well. Apparently he is a ‘Terlin’ which is something from Villains Unlimited, which sounds like kind of a Gremlin except with a magic bow and arrows to make people fall inappropriately in love. Where Eros’s block just sort of hinted at star-crossed hijinks, Cupid’s straight up encourages inappropriate and destructive relationships to be forced on PCs and others. It can be nothing but fun right? Only 200 MDC but can shrink to six inches high, animate small objects, open a dimensional portal to his bedroom--a golden bed with velvet covers, with hidden manacles and closets filled with torture instruments. Uh, yeah. He also gives advice to victims of his love-attacks like “When a girl says no, sometimes she means yes,” So basically this is the worst thing so far, I mean it’s not like Greek myth was full of consensual sex, but Palladium usually avoids the topic of sexuality as much as possible except for magic rape arrows guy. All his arrows have a magic save of 15 or higher, but really he’s just best not included in a game.
Mercury the messenger, a fragment of Jupiter.
Mercury is basically a personality fragment of Jupiter and not a free-thinker or prankster like his Greek-named counterpart. He runs really fast and is bloodthirsty and sadistic but not cautious. This has caused him to be destroyed several times, but the life essence just returns to Jupiter, who remakes him. Honestly, someone, somewhere has to have a method for trapping these things. Hades clearly does. That might be worth a quest into the Underworld. He’s not very tough or very interesting and has a really vague description that makes me think of this more than anything:
Pluto : Vampire Intelligence. Because these were fascinating to read about before. Apparently Jupiter has killed Pluto’s master vampire several times and honestly it seems like it’d just be easier to give up and go somewhere else but whatever evil is actually fighting evil, let’s watch. Vampires and Vampire intelligences of course have some really dumb weakness to silver, wood, running water, and sunlight. He’s no pushover though he’s much weaker than Jupiter as a whole, unless he gets a good vampire factory running, so perhaps his obsession with that guy is for the best. He’s not very interesting otherwise. He didn’t buy into the ‘Pluto’ thing until ‘Phobos’ talked him into it.
Phobos Renegade Godling
house harkonnen is very disappointed in you
Phobos is a Godling with the actual Godling class, claims to Ares’s son expelled for ‘dreadful crimes’ though it’s up to the GM if this is true. Given his Diabolic alignment, it seems likely. He’s not quite a god, has a few unique abilities, and didn’t want to serve gods or even close to godlike-beings, thus turning down Jupiter and joining ‘Pluto’ instead. He protects vampires from hunters through trickery and betrayal and even suggests that he could infiltrate and attack Reid’s Rangers, which, well, good riddance. But really there is a lot of god/god-like activity in Mexico, plus the vampires.
Anyway he’s just a mean, poofy-haired dude who is pretty tuff but certainly not unbeatable if found out and could actually be a credible enemy for a group of PCs if they did not then have to start fighting the rest of this annoying non-pantheon.
“These monsters are the fusion of mortal women with a tiny fragment of Jupiter’s essence.” He picks women who have been wronged or abused and are already insane and then tricks them with lies of power and makes them into minions. Well, okay, Zeus-likes are always jerks, it’s true. Apparently a character can make a psychology -40% roll and take several weeks to try and deprogram a fury back to a human mental state. They’re not super-tough, 4D6x10 MDC and they can hurt vampires though with what I am not clear--they have no listed natural damage and their equipment is ‘usually none’.
So that bunch isn’t terribly interesting, though this book provides a lot more varied material for Vampire Kingdoms than Vampire Kingdoms did on its own oddly enough. It’s just that a lot of it is weird importing from way abroad. But combine these guys with the Aztecs and then the actual vampire intelligences and then Reid’s Rangers versus the Sons of Queztalcoatl and whatever and you might actually have something.
We’re not done with Greeks yet though. We got one group of evil pretenders, now we get the con-artist scammers using a Greek theme.
Thunder Lizard Warlock is my new band name.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 16: "Thunder Lizard Warlock is my new band name."
The Olympian Club is a group of ‘multi-dimensional con-men’ which is not a terrible concept if you just stop there, but we’re going to continue. It was founded a thousand years ago by a Thunder Lizard Warlock. In Rifts of course Thunder Lizards are a species of dragon, not dinosaurs. This particular dragon goes by “Zeus the Thunderer” and he assembled a bunch of co-conspirators, including “Hades”, a “time raider” which I assume is just a typo for temporal raider, a mutant super-being called Hercules (oh boy), a Conversion-book titan going by “Athena,” and assorted others. They are straight up god-pretenders who are looking to bilk money and power out of folks who don’t realize they aren’t worshipping the real gods--which, given the way a lot of the actual god-figures behave and how little they give back, there isn’t a huge amount of difference in some respects. These guys just don’t actually gain power from worship directly and live in a pocket dimension where they keep all their riches. “Any penetration into the pocket dimension will immediately be detected,” of course.
The group is considering operations on Rifts Earth and like to take the side of underdogs, for some reason--to keep it interesting as well as lucrative I guess. They avoid real gods of any kind since they’d basically immediately be found out, they will do business with the Splugorth but don’t like them, alien and vampire intelligences are not reliable allies and cause messes, and they think gargoyles are kinda cool for some reason. They’re mentioned as a possible thing for PCs to join if they’re powerful and selfish enough, and then goes on to detail the guardian forces: 60 Iron Golems from Rifts Main, 60 Wolfen warriors equipped like CS soldiers from 3rd to 8th level and 40 gargoyle warriors from 2nd to 5th. Just so PCs didn’t start getting ideas about winning.
Then we get some writeups for individual members. I’m going to gloss over a lot of this I expect. The first is “Zeus the Thunderer” of course, whose real name is “Trellacryth” and they refer to him that way to avoid confusion most of the time. He has gotten really good at playing sky-god and can fool a lot of people. He’s also loyal to his team and never leaves a man behind--he’s actually even Anarchist alignment. He’s got 6500 MDC which puts him on par with some of the very weakest gods, and 12th level in ‘Dragon’ as well as 8th in Air and Water Warlocking. He has a bunch of magic and psionics and all the adult dragon powers cranked up to 12 which makes him reasonably formidable, and he has a Lightning Spear rune weapon that’s pretty sweet.
this isn’t like a brilliant piece or anything but it’s interesting that they had Breaux do these guys, contrasted to Martin on the Greek gods proper and even the alien intelligences pretending to be Greek gods, the styles are quite different.
What were we talking about before I started looking at pictures? Oh yeah. Their Hercules imposter is just called “Hercules” and he’s actually Herbert Rowland from Heroes Unlimited Earth and has super-powers. Honestly, could somebody imitate Theseus or something just once? DC and Marvel both use Hercules in-world and we have three more renditions here. This book was published a little bit early for 300-style Spartanophilia but a “Leonidas” would be funny. Anyway, Herbert was a villain and got sucked into a dimensional rift during a fight, awoke in another dimension and ended up eventually joining with the Olympus club, where his Miscreant alignment serves him well. Also, he discovered the joy of mega-damage conversion in-character, as suddenly mundane slings and arrows could not harm him, whereas Heroes Unlimited guys actually would have to worry about a sufficient quantity of bullets. He’s not even remotely in the range of god-beings with 710 MDC, and he can do MD with his hands but a party of (patient) PCs could take him out, especially since he only has four attacks a round and is half-damage vulnerable to poison. He would be a decent mid-boss.
Next is a Tattooed Man going by Ares the Renegade. He was a Splugorth slave and performed well so got extra training but was not made into a ‘Maxi-Man’ for some reason. He was sent to war a few times and got separated from his team in a vampire dimension and Trellacryth invited him to join as a replacement for the last “Ares” who had died. He’s not particularly bad, just much happier being a rich con-man than a Splugorth slave and so avoids them at all costs. He has a bunch of the more useful tattoos, individually detailed; I’ll spare you. You get this instead:
whoa there sailor, go easy on the ink
Now we have “Archimedes” which is our first historical imitator. Real name Zach Tierney, human from an alternate world that advanced faster due to alien technology. His history reads a little disjointedly as he was building power armor to fight the aliens when “Zeus” recruited him out of nowhere. Zach is basically the stereotypical “young prodigy” character which is an archetype I hate. He’s a 10th level rogue scientist and techno-wizard with some additional magical knowledge. He’s designed custom power armor for the Wolfen who guard the pocket dimension and his “Atlas Assault Bot” which has a built-in rune sword (that weighs 600lbs) and a 50ft 1000 MDC body and several techno-wizard modifications--this is the kind of thing PCs would love to be able to build but you’d never be able to get the levels for it, Rifts doesn’t even generally have rules for changing classes even though tons of NPCs do it. Also they don’t stat the custom Wolfen armor, assume CS soldier I guess.
if one remembers the specific gargoyle size-comparison chart from Triax, this is actually pretty much to scale.
Next is Vulcan the Techno-Wizard, a dwarf from a fantasy world that wasn’t specifically Palladium because it had some technology. He was extremely gifted in the artifice of that realm and basically kept a prisoner so he’d keep pumping out marvels. One day “Zeus” and crew broke into his lab and set him free, and he joined straight up. Since he was a weak little SDC being who wanted be in combat, he got one of the absurdly expensive actually useful symbiotes to become a bio-borg. On his first mission, several innocent people were killed, and as a dude who had grown up mostly playing video games, the real thing was suddenly not so appealing. Nowadays he mostly stays out of combat and builds things for his club. He’s also trying to figure out rune magic which is a dangerous game since the Splugorth guard their secrets jealously. Friends with Archimedes obviously.
Athena the Wise is one of the monster manual titans who disappointed her parents by not going into the family paladinning business. Years of grueling study and combat training resulted in a child who did not want to spend all her time fighting evil, she just wanted to play magic x-box once in a while. Having been schooled in magic philosophy against her will for so long, she was good at making up deep-sounding but empty sayings, and so became the club’s Athena. She’s anti-authoritarian mostly, greeting the world with a general “you’re not my dad” attitude. 6th level line walker and warrior, with a holy sword she stole when she ran away which was “created by the god Thoth” millenia ago.
Venus the adventurer is an elf from a now-extinct world whose first experience with rifting sounds like the most common scenario: open rift, be overwhelmed by demons. She became one of the greatest sorcerers among her people as they wandered in the dimensional deserts for fifty years, and then found a place where they could settle. Ylliriel (elves, man) didn’t want to give up the life of a homeless refugee and so abandoned her people right after that and kept going, and eventually joined up with the Club. She took up the role of Venus “reluctantly,” being a woman of action, though she does try to do what she does in style. She has some decent magical knowledge and an artifact of unknown origin, a tiara of course, that gives her a 600 MDC aura three times per day, and some techno-wizard gadgets to let her fly, swim, run fast, lift cars, etc.
i hope this is an in-character promotional photo and/or Breaux tracing from an 80s album cover
Lord Hades is a Temporal Raider from England, one of the less-evil of this generally not super-evil breed. He is more interested in money than murder, though he’s capable of the latter. Trellacryth (man does that sound like a Splugorth name on purpose?) met him at an interdimensional market when he was attacked by a Temporal Wizard former pupil who had robbed his master’s hoards before the strike. After being rescued he had no choice but to join the club. He’s fairly brooding and alien, being a temporal raider, and is slowly learning what ‘jokes’ mean and sometimes takes dead animal jokes literally with ‘gross results’. He’s 12th level, which means he has a lot of the fairly powerful temporal spells, along with the raider’s array of natural abilities. So he’d be fierce and difficult to overcome, with capability of escape, but not impossible.
That’s all the statted-out club people. Some of these guys are completely within the range of things a PC could fight or interact with, and even have reasonably interesting personalities. Working together as a team, they would be extremely dangerous, but they’re not really evil, probably not more evil (as written) than a lot of PC groups, they are just as willing to loot from humans as they are from gargoyles, depending on the day. They could reasonably show up anywhere for some inscrutable and/or annoying purpose, and might be as likely to hire or co-opt the PCs as try to murder them out of hand.
I feel like I can sort of detect Siembieda’s direct intervention in some of the earlier god writeups where something has to be totally evil if it’s evil and so on, and here Carella maybe had more of a free hand. It’s often very hard to judge balance in Rifts--parties can vary so tremendously and employ really destructive tactics sometimes, so I don’t want to say this group (other than maybe Trellacryth) are overpowered, though instant perfect intrusion detection is kind of If you stripped off the ‘Greek’ theme and assigned some other pantheon or even a made-up set of names, it’d work just as well--the Greek trappings only seem useful for places that might have heard of Zeus, which admittedly seems to be many in a broad universe.
As a whole the main gods range from fairly direct interpretations to ‘women are terrible, terrible whores’, and are too powerful to be more than passing presences in a campaign unless you’re running a really strong show or just hate your group. They’re better than the Aztecs, but that wasn't a high bar to clear.
She is spoiled, even for a goddess.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 18: "She is spoiled, even for a goddess."
Gods of India
So, we start with a disclaimer that points out these gods are part of an living religion, and that these are fictionalized versions, and they're not trying to describe Hinduism, everyone! Of course, with the inclusion of a living religion, I have to wonder why larger, monotheistic religions aren't included. The reasons are obvious, but ultimately were I Christian I think I'd find it more offensive. Sure, what is statted can be killed, as they say, but ultimately the takehome is that Jehovah doesn't matter . Balder, Isis, and friggin' Camatotz all get to make their impact on the world, but Ol' Allah is just a lousy thumbsitter, if he even exists at all . Personally, I'm not really bothered by it myself other than the obvious double standard, one maintained since the original Deities & Demigods - polytheists are fair game, but you never fuck with monotheists.
So, first you had the Vedic Pantheon, but then the Brahmanic Pantheon busted in on their territory, and the gods went to war. The Brahmanic were able to trounce the Vedics badly enough to take over for the most part, so the Vedics were merged into their own pantheon. There's also the Indian Gods of Evil (subtle name, there) who are made up of evil gods from both pantheons, now teamed up forever, I suppose. Then we also have the Asuras, who are demon lords, and the Immortals, which is a group of monsters that fakes godhood.
Then we get politics!
The Indian pantheon and the Grecian pantheon fought in the past, but now have a treaty of mutual defense in the case of a cross-dimensional attack.
The Persian gods and the Indian gods have always been close, and actually have relations and in the past sometimes even had cross-pantheon pollenation.
The Indian gods were more recently the chief gods of another dimension when it was invaded by the Splugorth with the aid of the Asuras. The Splugorth took over, but the Indian pantheon is getting ready for revenge.
Ravana lives in the same dimension as Modeus and Hades, and there's stable peace between them.
These were originally the Aryan gods! But then they fought the Brahmanic gods and lost a lot of their power in the following compromise. As such, evil forces have sometimes been able to manipulate the Vedas' resentment to their own advantage.
Guardian of the Universe
Beetle on his back.
A god of the skies, Varuna oversaw things like rain and justice, but since their surrender, he was demoted to being a god of the seas. He secretly fumes about the whole thing and has been looking for a way to destroy the Brahma, and has allied with demons to seek a means to do so. He helped get the Splugorth to invade their world, and had tried to set himself up to be the big hero that defeated the invasion. He failed, and it didn't work out. He feels really guilty now, and is terrified of others finding out.
He used to be a "Cosmic Guardian", whatever that is, and knows alot about other dimensions and rivals to the power of gods. He's Brahma's main advisor on Earthly affairs, because Brahma can't be bothered to look for snakes in the grass. And I guess he’s more “Benedict Arnold of the Universe” than “Guardian of the Universe”, but I’m just being picky.
God number 40k/8k, can manipulate all warlock elements (mainly air and water, but fire and earth to a lesser extent), regen, teleport, healing, dim-sum, summons elementals, can make a boat out of a log, is a psionic sensitive and has mental attacks and defenses. Also he has a magical lasso that automatically snares on a hit.
This is, of course, a drastic simplification of a multi-faceted and complex god, but I just have one thing to say - where's Makara? Where's his riding crocodile? Seriously, this is Rifts , and they couldn't fit in a giant crocodile mount? Bah!
God of Storms & Warriors - Demon Slayer
Prayer carpet… of DOOM!
With a title like that, what can I really add?
Well, Indra was the second-in-command of the pantheon, but for all practical purposes used to be in charge. He was given a potion to fight Siva during the war, but the potion unexpectedly wore off and Siva beat his potionless butt in a berserker raaage. He's pretty pissed about the situation, and considers Vishnu to be a lousy capitulator, but knows he doesn't have a chance against the leaders of the pantheon. He sees himself as the savior of mankind, but is really an arrogant dick who really does it out of ego instead of benevolence. In actual mythology, he was pretty arrogant and impetuous, but not quite the outright assholiness we have on display here.
53k mdc 10k on Earth +2k when he's hopped up on soma he has a thunderbolt spear that controls the weather can throw lightning bolts has two kris daggers that drink souls (which I guess fits with his anarchist alignment) a soma potion that pumps him up he has a plasma rifle for some goddamn reason and a flying disc that goes at Mach 8 silently (fuck sonic booms I suppose) and a white elephant with 3k MDC that goes 60 MPH which must just look totally fuckin silly invisibility regen teleport can make sound effects like BOOM or KRAKADADOOM and shoot lightning and do air and water magic and middling regular magic and electrohydrokinesis and ESP and fuck it I'm out
God of Magic
So he's the Vedic smith, but he's rivals with Indra, on account of Indra killing his son. When the Brahmanics came make war, Tvashtri stood by and also sabotaged Indra's soma to it's wear off so Siva could kick Indra's junkie ass. Yeah, it turns out Indra is a total soma junkie, and often Tvashtri will withhold it or spike it with fucked-up shit to torment Indra. Also, he loves humanity, but basically gives no fucks and is always being snarky towards greater gods.
Anyway, regen, teleport, can cancel out any magic (!) with a successful roll, is a high-level sorcerer, knows all circle, ward, rune, and herb magic, and keeps the secret of making soma. Oh, and he's a telepath with a shapeshifting weapon that can copy five different weapons from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis .
In mythology, he made the thunderbolt Indra used to kill Vritra, a monster. In other mythology, he made Vritra to get revenge on Indra. Think about that the next time you see a character written differently for no good reason. Ancient myth was written by the original hack writers.
God of Fire
Traded in legs for bonus arms.
This a fire god apparently related to fire elementals, but is more human-ish. I wonder how that happens, given elementals are entirely human forces? Is he a inhuman fanboy of humans? I don't get it. In any case, he used to be a rival for Indra, but Parvati kicked his ass in the war and he's settled down and become a more humble, nice personification of fire. He really likes humans, for whatever reason.
30K/6K MDC, 15' tall and only 400 lbs., regens but super-regens when in fire, is super-good at fire magic but not so great at other magic, healing psychic powers and pyrokinesis, can summon elementals and can shoot a holy flame that does big damage to evil supernatural creatures, but he's vulnerable to water and cold attacks.
Agni is a big deal in Hindu mythology because he's the one who picks up sacrifices from the flames. Also, India named its first strategic nuclear missile for him. These facts feel troublingly related.
God of the Moon
No don’t scratch your chin nooooo
Unshockingly, Soma is the god of soma, as well, as well as the moon and madness and druuugs. The Brahmanic gods don't care for his druuugs and have kicked him out a few times because of it, but Indra is good friends with him. (I don't understand why Indra needs to turn to Tvashtri for his fix, then? No idea.) He also is, of course, pals with Dionysus, and they get so fucking drunk together like you would not believe. He's also interested in the Millennium Trees (presumably for smoking) and Juicer technology (for making his own hopped-up drug warriors). He's also super-moody, and there is a random roll to see if he's:
"introspective, melancholy and depressed"
"serene and wise"
"angry and sarcastic"
"friendly, outgoing and cheerful"
In Hindu art, the god Soma was depicted as a bull or bird, and sometimes as an embryo, but rarely as an adult human.
Man, did they miss out on having a hideous embryo drug god. Talk about your bad trips! He's also obviously a mashup the Vedic gods Soma (god of that drug) and Chandra (god of the moon). Oh, and though there have been attempts to find a real "Soma" plant, but scholars have been unable to pin down a root for the legend, figurative or otherwise.
God of the Sun
A god of the sun and weather, Surya is basically a super-paladin sorts of god that hates demons and vampires, not necessarily in that order. He basically turned his back on the other Vedic gods, recognizing Indra and Varuna for the tremendous assholes that they happen to be in this particular fictional continuity. He's big on law and order and is the cop god protecting humanity, and is by the book and has no sense of humor to speak of.
Oh, and he used to be symbolized by the swastika, but thanks to Nazis he's totally sick of it and inclined to just smite anybody using it. He's also putting together a group of godling spies to discover more about about eeevil forces on Earth.
So! 50k MDC, 10K when on Earth, regeneration, he's laserproof, can teleport, turn dead, heal people, use fire or air magic, has all sensitive and physical psionic powers, plus all the kinesises, can summon seraphs (fire angels), and cast light that heals most creatures and hurts the undead and alien intelligences, as well as frightens those with evil alignments. "Oh no, my wounds are healing! I'm afraid!" He also has a "Sun Staff" that can cast light and fire spells, as if he needs it.
Not much to say about the real Surya other than he's a big-deal real god. In legend, he was such a big deal even some demons and rakshasas followed him as part of his entourage, because following him got them to overcome their evil ways.
Goddess of Shadows
Cosmic jazz hands.
A goddess of the night, Ratri is basically the the late show counterpart to Surya, and protects people from the shadows. Apparently this really freaks out evil folks, because the Shadow Knows, or whatever. (Ah, cartoon villainy.) Vampires in particular are afraid of her, and she's backdropped many vampire intelligences (well, not really, but she has beaten them). Like Surya, she basically walked away from the Vedic pantheon as a form of pass-agg protest. She's kind and caring, but conversely ruthless.
Numerics! 20k / 4k MDC, super-nightvision (sees through magic darkness, or things that meld with shadows), can sense vampires and supernatural evil, teleport, fly, "impervious to vampires" (whatever that means), regens (faster in shadow), can summon shadow beasts (from a spell in the corebook), middling magic, sensitive psionics, create shadows, talk to shadows and find out what they're hiding, and recognize "creatures of darkness". Creatures of darkness include vampires, dybbuks, dar'ota, werebeasts (?), djinns (?), undead, gods of night/death/shadows, and "all true creatures of the night", even through all disguises. Oh, and she has "The Shadowblade" that can negate magic and murder "creatures of the night" well enough. Of course, it says something for Rifts combat rules that a god wielding "The Shadowblade", specifically made for vamp-killing, will require two swipes to kill many vampires.
In actual mythology she's apparently the counterpart to Usha, a goddess of the dawn not included in this book. Also she's apparently "gloomy and infertile" and "brings barrenness". Thanks, internet.
Too lazy to even pose, I guess.
A goddess of rivers, lakes, arts, and science. Apparently she's a pushy, spoiled god and was married to both Vishnu and Brahma, and Vishnu divorced her while Brahma took on a second wife. Brahma and her are still pretty close. In any case, she loves artists and scientists, and also hates pollution and is likely to smite polluters. To mortals, she's kind and generous, but to other gods she tends to be petty and short-tempered.
20k/4k MDC, regens, turns dead, teleport, has a healing touch, has high-level water spells, low-level normal spells, has all basic psionic powers plus hydrokinesis and other crap, and can grant the "gift of inspiration" that gives other people a bonus on certain skills. Also, she has a magical M.D.C. peacock, but it tragically has no magic peacock M.D.C. attacks.
In actual mythology she's part of a feminine triad with Lakshmi (not in this book) and Parvati (detailed later). Oh, and all books are a manifestation of her power, so there's that.
Next: It's time for Brahmania!
He is the Rambo of the gods, preferring action to words and with no patience for arguements, small talk or delays.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 19: "He is the Rambo of the gods, preferring action to words and with no patience for arguements, small talk or delays."
The Pantheon of Brahma
Apparently these gods were driven out of their original dimension by demons and "evil gods", and as such have become big foes of the "powers of Darkness". They asked for refuge in India, and Varuna was willing to hear them out, but Indra was like fuckemletsfight (no doubt while high as a kite on soma). They had a big fight, but Vishnu basically turncoated over to Brahma's side and that was the big event that halted their godwar. When the magic went away, they retreated to another dimension, but the Splugorth came along to kick them out again. It notes that it's up to the GM if they've come back to Earth or not, but this section seems a bit pointless if they haven't. I suppose you could do more if you have a world-hopping campaign, but there really isn't support in Rifts for that at this point beyond Wormwood... which explicitly doesn't have any gods.
Brahma the Wise
Finds shaving and haircuts… complicated.
The head of the Indian gods, Brahma is one of the biggest gods on this or any other world. As such, his concerns are above that of mortals, and generally other gods as well. He is one of the few charged with making sure the "Unnameable Beings" don't awaken - basically, various universe-busting beings, like the Old Ones from the Palladium RPG . He basically invests a lot of magic visiting them in limbo and keeping them quiescent. He does this every two months or so, and is weakened for several weeks afterward. As such, most of the actual leadership of the pantheon is handled by Vishnu and Siva. He blows off mortals for the most part.
One annoying thing is that Brahma is presented as one of the chief triad of gods with Vishnu and Siva. To be fair, Vishnu and Siva are widely worshipped in the real world, and deserve their place there, but Brahma is more respected and acknowledged within the religion than worshipped. The goddess that should be there as part of the triad is probably Lakshimi, the goddess of wealth and another extremely important god to the religion that doesn't even show up here .
120K/24K MDC, can "see all spectrums of light and radiation", turn invisible, super-regens, immune to heat and cold but not fire whaaaat, turns dead, teleports, can always sense rifts, cast all normal and temporal magic, has all basic psychic powers, plus a lot of superkinetic powers, know people's alignments, and know their true nature. Oh, and he can shoot eyebeams from all four of his heads to create a radius that does damage to all evil beings, and crazy damage to all supernatural evil beings, and is extra hard to dodge. Oh, and he can summon up to 50,000 spirits of light. He has special bow that can fire energy arrows, cursed arrows, or anti-vampire arrows. He also has beads of power that he can draw upon for extra power, throw as explosives, to cancel magic, and a magic book that lets him cast any spell he does not innately know except for rune magic or bio-wizardry.
Rifts Conversion Book Two: Pantheons of the Megaverse posted:
Brahma NEVER lets the book out of his sight!
The mythological figure is, if anything, more standoffish, but not much amusing or embarrassing to add.
Vishnu the Preserver
Originally part of the Vedic pantheon of as a god of light, Vishnu saw Indra for the tremendous jerk that he is, joined up with Brahma. After their victory, Brahma brought Vishnu on as a an equal to become part of the Divine Triad with Brahma and Siva (presumably it was just a Divine Duo before?). Siva is less thrilled with this, and there's a rivalry between the two of them. What's more, Varuna has given him the cold shoulder for millennia as a result. More recently, Vishnu got crippled by the Splugorth and has been sending out "Avatars" in his place while he recovers.
Powers: 75K/15K MDC, regenerates, turns read, teleports, healing others, all normal and fire spells, all physical and sensitive psionics, telekinetics, and has a special power where he can meditate and radiate light that gives combat penalties to evil and combat bonuses to good figures. He also has a power given to him by Brahma to fragment his power to be born into a mortal form as a godling. One, Krishna, is described later in this section. It notes others like Kalki might show up in later books, but I don't believe they do. Oh, and he has "Sudarsana the Discus", which does big damage against evil and disrupts teleport attempts, a magic shell called Panchajanya that can make a force field, "Kaunodaki the Mace" which is good at pummeling evil and great against pummeling vampires, as well as creating TIME HOLES, and Sarnga the magic bow which is pretty much just a magic bow.
Vishnu is a wayyy bigger deal than presented here in actual Hinduism, as a practically all-powerful god who sends avatars to battle evil. For whatever reason, Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and his consort and an important part of the feminine triad in the actual mythology, is not here.
Krishna The Avatar
More like Bish-na, amirite?
And Krishna is one of Vishnu's most powerful avatars, and was targeted by a number of gods and demons, including Indra, and he whupped them all by being clever. He's Vishnu's Superman Red and is all cocky and dashing.
He has 14k/3k MDC; apparently Avatars have a flat 3d6 x 1000 (ha ha, fuck you godlings) MDC. Regen, invisible, turn dead, teleport, healing touch, knows kung fu, mid-range magic, all sensitive and physical psionics, plus auto mind blockin'. Oh, and he gets to borrow Kaunodaki every so often.
In mythology, Vishnu "mentally transmitted" his essence into Krishna's mom, making him his own dad. Also an awfully big deal with real people.
Siva the Destroyer
Yes, you can say it: mecha-Siva.
The bad cop of the Divine Triad, Siva is a fierce god of stabbing evil. And women that try to seduce him, apparently, because he's so pious. So he's all about stabbing evil and anybody who threatens to sex him. Also, he's about healing in medicine! And slaying devils. Also, enslaving devils. He's a very confused god. He also makes fun of Indra for being a soma addict constantly, because he's not what you'd call a graceful winner. Siva and Brahma basically put up with his shit because he's good at demon-stabs, but that may not last forever.
Also sometimes he pretends to be a ghost to fuck with mortals.
70k/14k MDC, invisibility, resistant to all energy attacks, regens, turns dead, teleports, healing touches, all normal spells and all psychic powers, and has a third eye that lets him go a all wave motion cannon about ten times a day or so and does 2d6 x 100 M.D.C. damage. He has Pinaka, a trident that casts air or water spells, Ajagawa, a magic bow, Khatwanga, a magic mace, an Impaler sword, and magic cobras that bite with a weakening poison. Despite his power armor-wearing appearance above, none of that is reflected in his statblock.
The petty, warhungry Siva (Shiva, actually) we see here is pretty well completely at odds with the mythical Shiva, who is indeed destructive, but is also conversely peaceful, and destroys in the sense that all things must end. Also, in the mythology he nearly killed the other god with fire from his third eye, actually. But Parvati saved her. Which helps make the whole thing make a lot more sense - she was trying to seduce a married god.
Shops at the same hattery Galactus frequents.
Parvati is... another god of destroying demons and order. 'Kay. Apparently she's Siva's wife, so she's also the god of being Siva's wife. She beat up Agni during the war, but there's they respect each other instead of Agni resenting it at all. In fact, she nearly got killed fighting the Splugoth, but Agni rescued her. Siva's worried that Parvati is in love with Agni now, and it turns out he's right. Maybe Siva shouldn't be so anti-fucking if he wants to keep a wife, but...
40K/8K invisible regen teleport healing TOUCH, knows all domestic skills of course she does has middling spellcasting senstive psionics, psi-sword psi-shield MIND BOLT, Sashonu, a magic sword that does magic damage can can be replicated for each of her ten arms but does less damage but doesn't give more attacks so why the fuck is that useful
Parvati is a sort of ur-goddess that has absorbed the mythology and aspects of many, many other female deities over the years, and in some less orthodox versions of Hinduism, she fills the role of head god in Shiva's place.
God of War
Played by Schwartznegger in the film.
Ares!!! ... waitno
This is the son of Siva and Parvati, and he's a hot-blooded warrior for good. He's been taught by Brahma and is one of the few gods that knows about his trips to the "Nether Worlds", whatever those are, but will never talk about it, so why does it matter? Hm. Anyway, he's got no time for love, only for war. He's also been organizing sneak attacks against the Splugorth on their home world, and now he's disappeared. It's said that if the Splugorth capture him, he'll be forced to fight in gladitorial battles which never backfires except that it does.
Also he is the Rambo of the gods .
invis regen teleport 12 ATTACKS oh night 25K/5K MDC (wait it says he's a better warrior than Siva but Siva could clearly whup him like a red-bandanna'd stepchild, whups), and he has a Sword of Atlantis, a Giant Plasma Sword, Plasma Cannon, and a Techno-Wizard War Helmet. All his nonmagical equipment is crrrraaaaapppp
Skanda is actually more popularly known as Murugan, and is often called the god of the Tamil people. Also, he rides a war peacock, which is sadly missing here.
The Elephant God
Not actually a god of elephants, but a god that is an elephant, but not really, he just has a head of an elephant! Phew! He's the "remover of obstacles" and the "provider of widsom", and he is super-smart and learned. He even foresaw the return of magic, but was... off by a few centuries, and didn't predict that nuclear war would cause it. So his foresight is pretty blurry, I suppose.
Wait, nuclear war caused the Rifts? It's been implied, but never that explicitly stated, as far as I can recall. Also Indra is an asshole to him for being a tubby, what a shock. Oh, and he's uncovered another world filled with mutant animals that blah blah blah it's the After the Bomb setting! It turns out he's a patron of furries and other animal-people hybrids.
20K/4K, regen turn ded telepor fly around healying PREHENSILE TRUNK AND SUPER-SMELL weak magic sensitive psi super-skilled magic club magic discus GIANT RIDING RAT THAT GOES 60 MPH!
Oh, and he'll hate Merlin or the Angel of Death... if he ever learns about them.
Ganesa is a proper variant of the god more widely know as Ganesha. Though he's not a dominant god in terms of heirarchy, he wins a lot of popularity contests. He's often more generally the lord of obstacles, period, placing them and removing them, which seems like a pretty good deific scam to me. Also, myths can't decide if he's the son of Shiva and Parvati, or just spontaneously pregnated inside Parvati, or found by Parvati
The Bird God
He's... another punisher of devils, but also fights serpents and dragons! He hates dragons a bunch, because, I dunno, maybe they ate his eggs, whatever. Indra made fun of him once, so Garuda beat him up, and as you may expect by now, Indra holds a grudge. (Who doesn't Indra hold a grudge against, at this point?) Anyway, he's a big ally of Vishnu and sometimes carries him around, and also likes furries and featheries and scalies and the like.
40k/8k MDC, can change size from 30' to birdie, regen, teleport, turn dead, healing poke, weak magic, sensitive and healing psionics, not much else.
Apparently when the mythical Garuda was first born, he appeared as a cosmic fire that would destroy the universe, but the gods asked him to cool it, and he did. So he's a pretty easygoing god, I guess. Also, once he beat up all the gods and flew through a set of whirling blades on an adventure, so I guess he isn't afraid of anything.
The Monkey King
Wielding the double battle phallus.
He's had all the adventures of myth ever and so he's been given a lot of power and is just below the Divine Triad. Like all the others he fights evil... yeah, yeah.... and anyway he's been missing for awhile as he's gone off adventuring, but it turns out he's trying to find out about Brahma's secret trips to the Nether World! Dun dun dun!
You want to know where this book has gotten me? Hanuman is rad. Hanuman is slick. And yet, looking at this statblock, all I can do is hate Hanuman.
20K MDC normally! 60K as a giant! 4K MDC normally on Earth! 12K MDC on Earth as a giant! Ugh. Invisibel regens teleport turn dead "natural climber" super-smell PREHENSILE TAIL AND FEET alter size damaging roar wimpy magic no psionics NO EQUIPMENT.
The myths have it so he once tried to eat the sun because he thought it was a fruit. Also once people doubted his religousity, so he tore his chest open to show that the gods were literally embodied in his heart. So there's that.
Next: Kali, or: how to misunderstand other people's religions.
It always relates to killing or murdering somebody, 'Strike him down now!' or 'Kill her,' or 'He deserves to die! Kill!'Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 20: "It always relates to killing or murdering somebody, 'Strike him down now!' or 'Kill her,' or 'He deserves to die! Kill!'"
Indian Gods of Evil
Gods that rank higher on the jerk scale.
Goddess of Death
eeevil… hasss tooo… accesssorrizzzze
So, Parvati used to turn into Kali, which was her mega battle form, but when she drank a demon's blood, and then I guess barfed up Kali as her own demon / god hybrid. Anyway, Siva took her as an additional wife, but Parvati was upset. Brahma let her exist because she liked killing (demons) but she got a bunch of awesome magic weapons and learned time magic and founded the thugees and guess what she betrayed the gods to the Splugorth . And now she's working with the Splugorth and Raksashas to destroy the Indian pantheon because that's what evil do. Apparently she is a "psychopathic being with the heart of a rabid dog and the mind of a serial killer", "She is a torturer, a cannibal and a vampire." Apparently she creeps out even evil people, but considering just how evil character gets in these books, I'm not sure simple torture or eating people gets you to that point. I think for the Splugorth those are activities that go with noontime tea, for example.
72K / 14K em dee cee, regens super fast, half damage from fire, has a special power to telepathically compel people to murder, high-level regular and temporal magic, teleportin'. ESP, and hypno-eyes. She has a magic sword that we are told has 10K M.D.C. and regens 1d4 x 100 M.D.C. a minute which will never matter , does impressive damage to good-aligned foes, and can shoot fire. She also has a magic demon's head that can throw status effects or a fireball, or tell lies to make you do evil stuff, or bite you and hang on. Seriously, there are rules for having a demon head stuck on you. Oh, and she has 10,000 evil demons known as Dakini.
This is, of course, a really simplified and literally demonized version of Kali common in western literature. In mythology she is a destroyer, yes, but as an embodiment of that cosmic principle, not because she's a bloodthirsty maniac. Of all the Indian gods, this is the most disappointing writeup, having no nuance or depth, just a monster with far more M.D.C. than nearly any assemblage of PCs can inflict.
God of Greed
Some of these hats must make doorways difficult.
He's the god of wealth... well, greed, mostly, as it turns out. Apparently he was once the a king of "all demons", but when Brahma took over, Kubera infiltrated the pantheon by saying that Indra had unfairly cast him in with the demons. So he took over caretaking all of the pantheon's treasures and wealth. Then when the Splugorth invaded, he fled with as much as he could carry on his back and "rejoined the forces of evil". You know, because he's obviously super-trustworthy.
20K/4K mega-damage capacity, bleh regen, teleport, super thief, has all the earth magic, all the ESP, and a "dozen greatest rune weapons", not that they're detailed.
Not too far off from the actual mythology, except for the generic evil; he doesn't really need to steal so much, on account of being one of the wealthiest beings ever in the first place.
King of the Dead
Gun… ponytail… bone pauldrons… welcome to the 90s!
He once was a benevolent death god who guided the dead but then he turned evil. Why?
He thought about teaming up with the Four Horsemen, but he didn't. How exciting! Once he thought about doing something, but he didn't. Exciting, exciting stuff. Anyway he likes torture and murder, you know the drill by now. Boring! He's also looking to team up with Mictla (from the original Conversion Book ) to take control of Hades from Modeus (also, the Conversion Book ), and if they manage that, he'll make war on everything. But that won't happen for at least centuries, so fuck it. Boring!
MDC 30,000 (6,000 on Earth), 10 feet tall, 400 pounds, runs 30 MPH, invisibleteleportraisedeadregenetc, knows all normal and necromantic spells, has all healing and physical psionics plus mind powers and shooting electricity. He has a magic mace, a magic bull, and a magic noose.
In mythology, Yama is said to be the first guy who died, and so he became king of the dead. Nice deal, calling first like that. He also judges people's karma and decides if they become kings or snails. He's basically the lord of justice and order and isn't really evil at all, making the writeup above super, super lazy.
T. Rex pokey-arms complete the horror.
A "dragon-god" but, it later calls him a "Demon Lord", because it can't make up its mind here. He caused a drought in a "fit of jealousy" (jealousy of what? of who? doesn't say!), so Indra killed him. But his followers resurrected him, somehow , and he's looking for revenge. He's apparently envious of the gods because they're "better than he". This is because (no reason given).
20k/10k, keen senses, invisibility, weak regen, raise zombies, teleports, all water spells, all basic psionics, and can create a magic drought that kills plants in 300 feet, and he's a pretty good brawler.
In mythology, he's just a big snake Indra punked once, though later he became a demon created by Tvashtri to avenge his son's murder at the hands of Indra. Indra punked that version too, though.
Next: Asura's Wrath
A lecherous monster, he often lusts after mortal women, despite his monstrous appearance.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 21: "A lecherous monster, he often lusts after mortal women, despite his monstrous appearance."
We're told the "Hindu's term for demons is 'asuras'", basically hey hate mortals and are always fightin' the Indian gods, though sometimes the war is cold. It notes the Rakasha (from the Rifts Conversion Book) are also demons. Of course the real Asuras are more complicated in mythology, more akin to earthly or material spirits who were later demonized as sort of a force opposed to the gods. But yes, here they're just generic evil, genericing it up.
King of Raksashas
Tiger head is always hogging the good neck.
So, Ravana is powerful enough to fight the mightier gods. So, then, what's the difference between a demon and a god?
Once when Brahma was meditating Ravana punked Siva and Vishnu and since Brahma was projecting his essence elsewhere Ravana kidnapped them but as soon as Brahma woke up they busted out and then later showed up with Rama and Hanuman and killed the hell out of Ravana.
But Ravana "managed to send his life force to another dimension at the moment of death.", not that he has any such ability on his sheet (and he has a lot of abilities!). Ravana was going to attack the Indian gods but was beaten to the punch by the Splugorth, and didn't want to fight both the gods and Splugorth, and has been waiting for the Indian gods for find a new home so he can blow that up. He's really evil and really charming, despite looking like a and yet lacks any real motivation or personality.
80K / 30K, invisible, make zombies, teleport, regen, shapeshift into any form (so I guess he can become a toilet or a tree), all normal spells, knows all magic wards, circles, and symbols (except there are no magic symbols in Rifts), and has all psionic powers (so his power expands a lot depending on how many books you own). He has a bunch of flunky demons and no magic goodies.
If you'd guessed by now the mythological version is more nuanced, you'd be right. In the Ramayana, he's a rakashasa that devotes himself to the gods to gain immunity from divine intervention, then becomes a tyrant that's eventually killed by Vishnu, reincarnating as the mortal Rama to overcome his immunity to godly intervention. In other myths, Ravana is a devotee of the gods and a wise king. Either seems to be more interesting than "he's evil because he's a demon because demons are evil because- um- hm."
It’s a demon… possessed by… a demon?
He's the archenemy of Krishna, and tried to murder him a bunch of times, and then Krishna punched him to death. As you may have guessed based on Vritra and Ravana, his hatred was so strong that other demons could put him in a new body (somehow? somehow.), and now he's back and looking to kill Krishna because, I dunno, it says that on his sheet. He was once a man (or at least normaller-looking) but he's pretty unhappy with his hideous demon body.
25K/11K MDC, can fly around, invisibility, BIO-regenerate, teleport, leap real far (who cares? he can fly!), make zombies, and he's a super-thief, a high level spellcaster with summoning and portal spells, and has mind blockin' and all the ESP powers. He apparently has several rune weapons but doesn't use them, because... maybe he’s dumb?
He also has minion demons called Asurkan that his new body is based on, and they like the taste of human / d-bee blood and meat, of course, as humans are the delicacies of the Megaverse. They can fly, turn invisible, set themselves on fire (which resists energy attacks but doesn't actually do damage, for whatever reason), regen slooowly, and teleport badly. They also have some low-level fire and illusion magic. Oh, and you can’t play one, not that you wanted to.
In mythology, he was a demon killed by Vishnu, and after reincarnating as a human, has a prophecy told that the eighth child of his brother would kill him. And so he imprisons his brother with his wife , and they keep making babies and he keeps killing babies, because he apparently he never heard of solitary confinement. He loves his brother too much to kill him, but not his babies. Then the eighth child born was Krishna who would be secreted away, come back, and kill Kansa. The lesson is, as I understand it, is that being Kansa just sucked .
Kumbakarna the Giant
This demon is Ravana's bro, and when he wakes up he's got the devil-munchies and goes around killing and eating until sated (after which he's just a jerk), but right now he's under a magic sleepy spell. But somebody might find his dimensional prison and wake him up, uh-oh!
60k/30k, 50' high, a "12th level warrior" (not a class), regens super-fast, resists energy attacks, immune to psionics, and can blow so hard everything has 50% chance of getting knocked, whether it's a faerie or giant robot. He has no magic or psionic powers, and probably can be punked by a reasonable team of competent wizards as a result.
In mythology, he's Ravana's badass brother who indeed ate a bunch of crap after being magically put to sleep, but honestly wasn't that bad a monster. He was a decent guy on his own, but his warrior's honor forced him to obey his more tyrannical brother. But at the same time, he worked to try and moderate his brother's cruelty.
Man, Hindu mythology is interesting! Too bad they threw so much of it out.
Next: Play the tortured soul of the one noble and good (insert species here).
In modern times, a Dakini might take on the appearance of a prostitute, murdering would-be customers.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 22: "In modern times, a Dakini might take on the appearance of a prostitute, murdering would-be customers."
Nagas (Optional R.C.C.)
Supernatural creature + gun = instant Rifts!
Nagas are snaky folk that apparently love lakes and rivers and hate deserts, and a lot of them serve Indian gods or demons, though some of them follow the Aztec gods. They aren't necessarily evil or good, and used to live on Earth, but left when the magic went away. But now they're comin' back, because who doesn’t like a good post-apocalyptic hellscape with innumerable warring factions?
As characters, they're mainly strong, agile, and fast, but have good attributes overall. They're about as tough as an armored human, get great senses, swim 80% (so does that mean that 1 time out of 5 jumps in a lake they drown?), climb really well, regenerate slow, and have a bite that slows people down. Most are warriors (doesn't seem efficient for a society, but wh'ev), the next chunk are spellcasters, and fewer numbers are builders, farmers, or laborers. But they all know how to fight.
Daityas (Optional R.C.C.)
Project Runway got a little weirder after the apocalypse.
These are a evil mer-people that live an underwater city called Hiranyapura which can teleport anywhere and travel between dimensions, so don't be surprised when a city lands on your bedroom. They're supposedly like gargoyles in that they're associated with demons, but aren't really demons. They disdain technology, because they're idiots in that sense, I guess. Oh, and they're slavers and get along with the Splugorth because slavers love competition and middle(mer)men, I suppose.
You can play a average daitya or a royal daitya. What's the difference? Well, royal daitya are smarter, more determined, stronger, prettier, faster, are twice as magical, get a magic bracelet that lets them fly, and have five times the hit points of average daitya. Because fuck balance, yeah? "But", some of you familiar with Palladium may ask, "Certainly average daitya must level faster, right?" Nope. They level at the same rate .
Otherwise, they have undersea senses, are "powerful swimmers" but have no Swim skill, are resistant to cold and poison and pressure, get some basic psionic powers, have a weak bite, and have scratchy shark-skin that does S.D.C. damage, which is a bit pointless when they can just bite a human in half top to bottom with their teeth.
Servants of Kali (optional R.C.C.)
Well, at least if it chases you... high heels, huh?
These are blood-suppin' monsters that serve Kali and like causing pain and trouble and inconvenience, you know the drill by now. They can shapechange to look like beautiful women, but are terrible conversationalists and generally reveal their demonic nature after only brief chats. Also sometimes they disguise themeselves as whooores and chomp a john. A monster that turns itself into a beautiful woman to murder men walks into a bar… stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Oh, and you can play a "super rare!" good one, though the rest of your race will hate you (despite having no way to sense alignment) and try and kill you and you have to drink terrible-tasting animal blood. Also psi-stalkers are your "natural enemies", but dakini can kick the shit out of your average psi-stalker, so I wouldn't sweat it too much.
They're strong, tough, agile, and pretty (even without their disguise?). They're middlingly tough for supernatural creatures, regen slowly, can regrow limbs, resist fire damage, turn invisible, speak any language, and turn into a human woman. Also they have long claws and a bunch of survival skills.
Kravyads The Devourers
No art for pigs.
These are "hulking humanoids with boar-like tusks", so Indian orcs, and they love eating human flesh , which makes me think they have a really limited palate. Some enterprising human needs to introduce them to a bacon explosion or a double down, I think they'd love those. They're just kind of dumb, strong mooks. Unlike the other creatures here, you're apparently not allowed to play these because they're too dumb and savage, but their average Intelligence is 4.5, which is about as smart as the bottom 2% of the perfectly playable Palladium humans.
So, average M.D.C. for a supernatural critter, they can see in the dark, turn invisible (again? it's like every supernatural creature says "fuck light"), regens slow, regrows limbs, takes half damage from energy, and knows all languages. THey also have claws and tusks and are skilled in wilderness stuff, except for land navigation of 45%, so they're lost about half the time.
Next: The Evil Immortals!... you know, different than all the evil immortals previously mentioned.
Creearg is becoming progressively more murderous and short-tempered - he is through taking crap from anybody.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 23: "Creearg is becoming progressively more murderous and short-tempered - he is through taking crap from anybody."
The Evil Immortals
Why have one neck when you can buy them in bulk?
This is a group of Neuron Beasts (see my writeup of the Rifts Sourcebook ) that have been mistaken for the Indian deities because they have... uh... four arms? One might think their lack of legs might be a tipoff from most depictions of Indian deities, but... maybe all the depictions were blown up by ley lines or a wizard or a wizard on ley lines. (But then, how would they know about the bonus arms, etc…) And so they formed the fake pantheon known as the Evil Immortals . That's right, they put "Evil" in their name, because they learned their organizational skills from sixties supervillains, I suppose. They're led by "Shiva the Annihilator", a neuron beast who is actually the pawn of Devy'Orhal, an alien intelligence. They're afraid of real gods, but hunt down vampires to "eliminate the competition".
There are 17 evil immortals, all of which who gain bonus power from Devy'Orhal (though they don't know that). Instead, they're told to go around and build cults and mysterious pyramids but have no clue of Shiva and Devy’Orhal’s secret plan-
-wait, what the fuck? Neuron beasts have an Intelligence of 30, which is the maximum Intelligence you can have in Rifts . So what I'm hearing is 16 of the smartest creatures on the planet, gifted with ESP and wizardry, can't put two and two together. I don't care how supposedly scared they are of Shiva the Annilhilator, they can work this out.
So the Evil Immortals are regular neuron beasts with bigger numbers, mainly in their physical attributes, MDC, PPE, and ISP. Shiva has even bigger numbers, like 1873 M.D.C., probably determined from a dartboard. Oh, and Shiva's real name is "Creearg", which I think was also determined from a dartboard. A dartboard with letters on it.
Then we have Devy'Orhal, who is an alien intelligence locked up in the same place as Ahirman, and he wants to build an empire using magic pyramids to tear India from the Earth’s dimensional pull and make it a transdimensional hell like the Yucatan (see Rifts World Book 1: Vampire Kingdoms ). It's evil, sadistic, bloodthirsty, etc. 65K MDC, invisibility, half energy damage, regeneration, can "create 6 essence fragments", knows all spell, elemental, and necromantic spells, all ESP powers, and can make a psychic sword, and and and it looks like a giant twelve-legged spider with clampy claws on the end and its head on the underside.
This is probably the worst of the fake pantheons, and a sour note to end on for the Indian pantheons... seriously, four arms, that’s all it takes?.. yeah. It’s pretty
Next: Gods of Maritime Gangsters!
Together, the Aesir and the Vanir are called Asgardians, after their home dimension of Asgard.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 24: "Together, the Aesir and the Vanir are called Asgardians, after their home dimension of Asgard"
Norse myth is taught far less often in schools but probably beats out Greek for gamer-culture love. After all, they were fierce warrior-gods of the Vikings, while the Greeks just had all those lousy philosophers. The Norse pantheon as we generally know of it consisted of two pantheons that had a war and joined together--this happens a lot in myths I guess, as tribal groups collected the gods of their neighbors. Anyway the two here are the Aesir (generally war gods) who had subdued the Vanir (generally fertility gods).
One famous myth of Norse mythology is that of Ragnarok, the final conflict when all the gods get up and fight all the monsters and all of them all die. Strangely enough, the time of Rifts is not considered to have been that time. I suppose that’s because the Asgardians all lived and Earth is pretty far from repopulated which is something the myth specified would happen. Instead, having seen the massive destruction wrought by the Mechanoids, Odin fears they might be the true face of the flood, since Fenrir and the Midgard serpent aren’t two-legged and could ally with them.
The Asgardians also conflicted with the Greeks during the Roman conquest of Germany, where Thor and Herakles had a fight and Thor lost, thus permitting Roman conquest. Later the Norse attacked Olympus directly when the Romans started being all Christian and then decided that destroying them would grind both pantheons to dust, so they’ve never spoken again. They also fought the Celtic gods and mostly lost (somehow; the numbers don’t back this up) during the Viking raids on Ireland and England, and got kicked firmly the hell out of North America by Native American deities not appearing in this book.
This section suggests godly involvement in human affairs for a very long time past when the setting states such would not have been possible, along with suggesting that human history was ultimately settled by these huge assholes wrestling in the sky as a literal thing. Let’s just say it’s kind of problematic for a number of reasons.
Also the Norse hate the Splugorth because the Splugorth try to raid Asgard, they hate vampires because they are too boring to suffer unliving, and they like warriors.
Odin the All-Father
Odin was a fairly typical leader-father-god figure, fickle and difficult to please for long. Even his most fervent worshippers couldn’t trust him completely. He hung himself from Yggdrasil the world-tree for nine days and gave up one eye to gain immense mystical knowledge. In recent years he’s become obsessed with Ragnarok, since he knows it’s his doom/destiny to die in battle that way. To his thinking, the time of rifts was in fact simply heralding the battle to come, rather than being the end in and of itself as many humans see it. He was also alarmed by the arrival of the Four Horsemen in Africa because A) he knew about that and B) he is totally into the bible man. It mentions they were “stopped by other means,” and I can’t recall if there’s mention of that anywhere else--it seems like something that would have stood out to me.
an insufficiency of legs
God numbers: 86K/17.2K MDC, 20th level line walker, diabolist, shifter, necromancer (‘rarely uses it’), and temporal wizard. Super-keen vision, turn dead, higher regeneration than average, a big paragraph about his shapeshifting that’s like all the other shapeshifting gods, and it mentions that he can speak and read all languages twice. Can summon 4D6 Valkyries per minute, and has an army of over 10,000. That’s a lot of minutes of summoning. Also can call up several hundred thousand warriors of Valhalla in a few weeks. I don’t think they think about these abilities that they offhandedly mention at all. In Rifts, several hundred thousand of anything with MDC is extremely powerful, since despite their big numbers, even god-figures like these are tied to a set of rules with strictly limited attack numbers and defenses. In England, Bres having an army of Formorians had a similar effect, in that his stupid giants outnumbered all the other populations of the island combined.
They also do Odin’s special magical gear, like his chainmail! Wait what? It has 2,000 MDC for whatever reason. Then there’s Gungnir the spear of course, and it is ‘so powerful it can shatter other weapons, even enchanted ones’ Does boom-gun damage, double to the usual evil suspects and triple to giants, especially Norse giants. It can auto-hit once per round, and this seems to be possible to combine with its special weapon-breaking attack which is normally -3 to hit--you have to make a save vs. magic at 16 or higher or your shit breaks, magic and holy weapons get +2 and lesser rune weapons get +6. Greater and above rune weapons can’t be broken but may be disarmed. Gungnir also casts some magical teleportation spells because ??
There’s also the ring Draupnir which grants some bonuses to saving throws and makes nine copies of itself every ninth night, which all work identically but don’t make further copies. And there’s Odin’s throne, which can be used for scrying across any dimensional space that isn’t protected against such. The author (presumably Carella) likes Odin a lot, you can tell. His horse and ravens are also individually statted.
Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse, son of a great horse and Loki who had transformed himself into a mare. You know, these things happen. 2K MDC, runs/flies 150 MPH which isn’t all that impressive. They also mention Odin’s ravens but not their names (Huginn and Muninn with some variations on spelling) and they fly around spying for their master, and also giving hints and guiding people around though they rarely speak. They’re weak enough to blast into a puff of feathers with one shot of a pretty powerful weapon but that’s just not sporting.
I’m really surprised they didn’t mention Thor next. Tyr is a god of the inflexible-code kind of justice, giver of laws and binder of oaths. He will always keep his word, he’s very dour, and his code of honor has not been updated since its genesis among Norse tribesmen. So human sacrifice and duels to the death are fine, though what we know of Viking law was more enlightened than most ‘historical’ RPGs are willing to understand. Tyr most famously lost his hand when the gods were trying to bind Fenrir the wolf--Fenrir agreed to the binding only if one of the gods would put a hand in his mouth, and Tyr agreed. When they broke the bargain to release the wolf, it bit off Tyr’s hand. He has not replaced it with some kind of rune-cybernetics or anything and this seems like a tragic missed opportunity in the zany world of Rifts.
Numbers-wise, he’s 50K/10K, “Principled (but violent, brutal and deadly)”, warrior and sorcerer with most of the usual god-abilities at 80-98%. He’s mostly solitary, no armies of ghost warriors, but he does have his Silver Spear which is telepathically linked to Heimdall (not sure if typo or some mythical connection I forgot about), 2D6x10 damage and magically returning, casts some spells. And an Axe of justice that just barely manages to fit its 6D6 damage on the one line of the page they had left.
I don’t know why they had to list this epithet in the title heading. All the Norse gods had tons of them. The text asserts that Thor was the most popular historically. I really don’t know if this is true, it’s plausible. He is brave, straightforward and brutal, a perfect Norseman in other words. Plus he wasn’t all grim like his brother Tyr, he drank and feasted and otherwise partied hard. Thor is not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, however, and his temper and impulsiveness could get him into trouble, especially when Loki was involved. Thor “often travels to Rifts Earth, seeking new challenges.”
He dislikes magicians because they don’t fight properly up in each others’ faces, has 56.5K MDC, and is again 20th level. Siembieda or somebody seems to use 20th level as some kind of ‘uber-maximum’ for beings beyond mortal ken, it’s just weird since there’s no rules support for it but he won’t just say ‘max-level warrior’ or something. Thor has a specific physical weakness as well, which is that he has a fragment of whetstone embedded in his skull from a fight, and hitting him in just the right spot (-4) can knock off two of his attacks and leave him generally at -2 for 3D4 rounds. That’s actually a pretty serious downside.
Otherwise regular god stuff, until we get to Mjolnir, his hammer, which is as long as most of the rest of his statblock combined. Basically it’s a warhammer with a short handle, a defect in its creation. Otherwise it does a lot of things: Is indestructible, 4D6x10 MDC, double to a lot of supernaturals and evils, including gargoyles for some reason. It can auto-hit 4X daily, call lightning, and gets really hot when it returns so you better be wearing special gloves. Thor’s belt of might is also mentioned, and it adds 55 MD to all his attacks, as are his gloves that let him catch the hammer and hold rune weapons of opposing alignment if he wanted.
that cool guy on the cover, that was a trick. what you actually get is kevin long thor.
That’s probably enough for one long post. Those three are pretty major in Norse myth and Rifts hasn’t really done them any wrong.
According to myth he could see 300 miles and hear the grass grow.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 25: "According to myth he could see 300 miles and hear the grass grow"
Morse Norsey stuff. We start today with Magni , son of Thor and supposedly strongest of all the Norse gods. Saved his father from a collapsed giant when he was still a child. If he ever meets Herakles, there’d be a really big and totally not homoerotic wrestling match. He wanders around looking for adventures and once teamed up with Krishna to defeat a supernatural intelligence. Sometimes this book reads like a series OHTMU entries that try to list every stupid team-up ever. He is more gentle than most of the other Norses depicted, being less insecure in himself what with bench pressing battleships and all.
this artist sometimes seems to phone it in a bit
24K MDC, 10th level warrior, has special super-strength that lets him have the carrying/lifting capacity of someone twice his actual strength, which is a supernatural 79. I really cannot remember what that translates to, except that you don’t get MDC strength bonuses to damage, just SDC.
Next up is Heimdall and since he isn’t played by Idris Elba in this version I’m not going to post his picture. Heimdall guards Bifrost, the Royal Rainbow of Asgard, actually a special permanent Rift to several different worlds. People who rift into Asgard always appear on Bifrost, which is a unique defense of that dimension. Heimdall basically doesn’t do anything but guard the bridge, and so hates Loki for repeatedly breaking curfew.
talking about the rainbow is more interesting than talking about Heimdall, honestly.
Numbers-wise he has 25K MDC and extremely sharp senses that reduce prowl checks. He automatically senses magic and supernatural evil but still has psi-stalker powers (apparently he likes them for some reason), and enchanted chainmail with 1,000 MDC. His sword is a pretty cool but pretty typical godly runesword, one of the many artifacts this book painstakingly stats out, often with the addendum that ‘only the owner can use this particular power’ so piss off, loot-happy PCs. This one doesn’t actually say that, so here’s the guy to rob.
God of deceit, trickster and lovable badboy of the pantheon. Loki seems sometimes to hate the gods, and sometimes acts to help them--it isn’t always clear what his motives are, but he did finally piss everyone off so much that they chained him to a rock under Midgard with a venomous serpent dripping into his eyes. The book suggests that having him still imprisoned isn’t any fun, but he was supposed to stay there until Ragnarok. Enh. Loki is pure mischief though, and not to be trusted. Even when he does help, it often involves some kind of betrayal, or putting up with a lot of mocking just at the edge of acceptability. He has no priests and few worshippers, which means that in Rifts terms he should never be able to reach his full MDC potential.
i know you wanted Tom Hiddleston, but this is what you are getting.
Theoretical MDC 63K, current 12.6. He doesn’t have a lot of notable combat stats, nor any uber-lie mesmerism skill or what have you, but he wheels and deals in all kinds of places. He is listed as owning a Splugorth Enslaver (see pg 130 of Atlantis) and a fully-statted ‘Sword of Atlantis’ which is also featured in Atlantis IIRC, and it says he got it for tricking Thor into the captivity of a Splugorth lord without his hammer and belt but an Atlantean sorceress lent him some other items and he rampaged his way out. The sword is less impressive than the repeated idea that the Splugorth are a thing even gods fear, which stat-wise, they should be.
Balder the noble
Some of you may remember this guy as the one who hates Christmas. The mistletoe thing and all that. According to Rifts, he did die, and his soul was taken by Hel. Odin foresaw danger to the pantheon however and issued Hel an “ultimatum” for Balder’s life and he’s back now, fighting the good fight.
54K MDC, shining example of good-heartedness, 15th level warrior, 10th line walker and mind melter for some reason. He has an ‘Earth Blade’ which is kind of shitty as rune weapons go but can still expel demons at least, though I am not sure if the rules say how long they have to stay expelled for--given that most ‘demons’ can dimensional teleport, they might be right back in.
Hel, goddess of death
i am sure this is a t-shirt somewhere on etsy
Hel is the bringer of dishonorable death and is in general not a very nice person. Unlike some of the other death-gods in this book, this is fairly true to the myths as I remember them. Except for the part where in Rifts, she is fascinated by the Mechanoids. She has even gone so far as to contact the Splugorth to make her a new bio-wizard non-bipedal body (that looks like a Murex Metzla, don’t bother looking it up) and will transfer her soul into it, then approach them and open a Rift to start Ragnarok. Seriously, the Mechanoids are the end of everything according to Rifts: Norse. The book suggests a plot hook of PCs running across her minions hunting some of the extremely rare ingredients she needs. This whole thing will never be mentioned again even in passing.
81K MDC, doesn’t get worship so the ‘weakened’ MDC number of 16.2K may be permanent, hates everyone and has a special ‘death touch’ that inflicts damage directly to Hit Points or does a bit more MDC, reduces attacks and bonii by half--which, she can do this once per round and it lasts 1D6 rounds, it will not be long before she has crippled everyone nearby. Also she’s an 18th level line walker. Didn’t want to go the full 20 this time? Also if characters who fail a save vs a special higher horror factor are “filled with a sense of despair and hopelessness” which has no listed game effect.
That’s all we get for the Aesir. In some ways the Norse myths are most straightforward, at least as they have reached us, but this is still super-simplified.
The Vanir gods: They’re all about nature, and stuff.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 26: "The Vanir gods: They’re all about nature, and stuff."
This is the other half of the pantheon, whose division is sometimes unclear such as with sentences like “the union of the two pantheons made both sides stronger and a Vanir goddess.” Editing! It’s not just for pros anymore.
Njord god of the seas
A leader of the Vanir before the Aesir takeover, still resentful. Friend to whales and dolphins but more a super-sailor (hey sailor) than Aquaman. Married to Skadi, goddess of skiing (you laugh but look up Simo Hayha) for a while, ended badly. Stayed on Earth “even when gods and magic became a thing of the past.” Kay. He built a big shipping empire and a rival company built a big ship and said it was unsinkable. That ship? Yeah it was the Titanic why do you ask.
23K MDC, 14th air/water warlock. Invulnerable to cold and can summon storms and fog at 20th level. Sometimes they list these abilities under “Natural Abilities” and sometimes they give them special headings under the same. Your guess which. Oh, but this guy really dislikes environmentalists, just to break with the sea-god mold.
Freyr, god of sun and rain
ring ring….bananaphoning it in
Protector god of crops, also a warrior god with a sword, Frey was all over the place. He was just too pacifistic for other Norsies and only Balder was cool with him completely. He is also the only Norse guy to work with other pantheons, the rest are just...you don’t know them man, they’re loners, you don’t get it. Freyr thinks the Norse may be in trouble if they don’t ally with other Pantheons of Light. Odin scoffs because his visions don’t show allies and he could never be wrong.
42K MDC, totally all paladinly and fair but only 12th level warrior and sorcerer. He can fire lasers or “heat beams of concentrated sunlight” that do slightly more (still shit) damage. Also he usually has some (non-Robotech, don’t get your hopes up) Valkyries or spirits of Light following him around because he is such a nice guy.
(Now is the time for all your penis jokes, this is the penis god even if Rifts didn't go on about it)
Freya goddess of love and beauty
Freyr’s twin sister, tried being chief Valkyrie but it didn’t jive with her hip hedonism man. And of course, all goddesses of love are sluts, and she is no exception--she’s been around the block a few times, but unlike all the others she isn’t possessive and spiteful about it. So it’s only half slut-shaming. But see, this gets worse: she had an affair with Zeus and Hera tricked her into drinking a potion from Eros that made her hate men and all her memories of her affairs have driven her to deep despair, she fled Asgard five years ago without a word because she’s so disgusted with herself and Hera stole Brisingamen (Freya’s necklace) too and this may cause a WAR you guys, how dare she not be ashamed and hurtful with her sexuality.
MDC 28.5K which is way more than they’ve assigned to a lot of the other love-goddesses. I guess that Valkyrie training paid off since nobody would ever worship a love goddess in real life. Also she is very very heterosexual, she likes men, until Eros made her not like men, this is a crisis and she will attack any male that comes near her. It’ll wear off in ten years though, not to worry. Brisingamen has stats too and will make things within 10 miles of Freya “more fertile” if she wills it. Also it adds to saves. That is as much as could fit on the page before doing stats for a tree.
Yggdrasil the world tree
This isn’t really a god and doesn’t really go with the Vanir but okay, sure, mega-Millennium tree it is. It even breaks down MDC by location if you felt you needed to try and destroy it! Fortunately with 500K main body you will probably die of exposure before it does. And I mean you, the player, will starve to death rolling dice. Also it may be the ancestor of all those other stupid trees and it has rifts along its trunk that let it cross dimensions.
Onward, we get to what the power-seekers in your group were looking for: How they can do what Odin did and get magic from Yggdrasil. Answer: You probably can’t. You have to be stuck to the tree with a magic weapon for nine days and nights without food and water and then you make a save vs. coma/death which is the normally-useless PE stat plus level, but you get two out of tree? three. If you can manage that, you get some cool magic powers and mega-literacy. Also, probably an insanity.
The Midgard Serpent
Giant snake that gnaws at the root of the World Tree, attacks anyone else who takes a stab at it because territorial. Part of the Ragnarok legend that does not include Mechanoids. See Day After Ragnarok writeup for better origin/death story. 120K MDC and really hard to kill, very big, and does 4D6x20 MDC with each of seven bites per round plus poison for those few pitied fools not immune to it. Hateful super-dragon, do not provoke.
it took me a number of minutes greater than one to figure out what was happening here
The Norse Giants! Several of the Conversion book giants use these names already and we are instructed to consider those the lesser versions of these, the true giants. Oh, and they’re optional RCCs. Munchkins take note.
A typical Norse Giant will lean towards anarchist or evil and a less-evil giant will likely be tormented as a freak. They get pretty good attribute rolls including super-strength, and 2d6x100 MDC plus 10 per level. Yeah, they start out as tanks and only improve. One in ten thousand has god-level MDC (3D6x1000) and they serve as warrior lords of the others. There’s nothing that specifically says you can’t play as a warrior lord but I think most GMs would exercise their option against that one.
They regenerate at non-combat speeds and are resistant to cold or heat depending on breed. They get a standard roll for random psionics. They are mostly warriors of various sorts, otherwise are witches, warlocks, necromancers or line walkers.
Also they get three extra abilities that are rolled or GM-chosen:
Nightvision 1000 Ft
Turn Invisible at will
Impervious to heat and fire
Fangs & poison bite (3d6 “damage” per round for 1d6 rounds)
Change size at will from 6 to 40 ft.
Pair of tentacles, +1 attacks, +1 parry
+10 PS attribute
Thick lumpy skin, add 1d4x100 MDC
Extra Arms +2 attacks, +2 parry
Additional Eye, hawk-like vision and see invisible
Prehensile Tail, +1 attack
+2 init, +2 to roll, +4 vs horror factor
Add 1D4x10 to Speed attribute
Metamorphosis into small animal at will
Retractable claws 2D6 to all hand to hand
Increased Healing, 1D4 x 100 per minute
Cast 1D4x10 fire ball “once per round at will”
Lightning once per round at will, but only 6D6
Third monstrous eye and ugly head: Psionic with all sensitive and six super powers of choice.
Also you get to roll once for insanity.
Take awesome base stats, a few good rolls on the mutation table, and an OCC on top of that, and you have an adult-dragon level powerhouse of a character right out of the gate. I am amazed this hasn’t been a twink favorite for years. I suppose that a lot of folks probably skipped over them. I’m pretty sure I did as a teen. Seriously, they avoided tagging several other less preposterous things with RCC, why they had to go for this one I don’t know.
Hrungnir A leader and champion of the Norse giants.
Now, in general, the giants in Norse myth are portrayed as even more savage and awful than the Norsemen. They’re sneaky, not to be trusted, have bad manners, etc. Hrungnir was one such enemy of the Aesir and this is where that whetstone thing with Thor comes in--the giant threw his whetstone and Thor threw Mjolnir and they collided; the whetstone exploded and lodged a piece in Thor’s skull, Mjolnir flew true and killed Hrungnir. Or so they thought. He’s been hidden and is biding his time for revenge. He’s tuff, evil but honorable in his own way (??) and has a clay golem and some giant buddies to back him up The clay giant also gets a write-up but it’s not really very interesting. Basically the ley line eruption woke up its shattered pieces and it is also tuff.
Fenrir the Great Wolf
One of the sons of Loki’s ‘mare period’, the wolf was deadly dangerous and immune to all magics. They managed to tie it up with a very special magic ribbon that cost Tyr his hand to trick the beast. This is basically your neighbor’s untrained mixed-breed on a thin chain that lunges for the fence every time you walk by, that he just laughs off with “aww he won’t hurtcha!” when you suggest perhaps a reinforcement of all the trenches dug at the edges of the lawn. 60K MDC, bites six times a round for 4D6x10 MD. Hel is considering letting him loose, but only if Asgard begins to suspect her really stupid plans.
Asgardian Dwarves Optional Player Character
Great artificers and weaponsmiths, made stuff for the gods including Freya’s hair 2.0. The book suggests these may be the ancestors of all dwarven species or just got to be specialer dwarves somehow. They still practice rune magic which means Palladium dwarves would fear and hate them but it’s a PC race that gets rune magic. These dwarves are long-lived but unlike many ancient mythological beings, they’re not terrified of technology and have started working on that. There is an optional dwarf rune smith OCC which actually explicitly states that it’s not super-useful as a PC class since rune magic takes months or years and the sacrifice of a powerful living essence to create the item. Of course it says that, and then says the character starts with one lesser and one greater rune weapon, so, up to you how useful that is. Splugorth know they exist and hate them for knowing rune magic, fortunately they’re not obviously different from other dwarves or even humans.
i mean really, weird bearded guy in rifts, nobody’ll notice
Asgardian High Elves
Similar to ‘traditional elves’ but these have the status and power of ‘demigods’. Hurray, we sure needed a more special kind of elf. Mostly they get exceptional stat rolls and some small racial bonuses to other things, plus an OCC of their choice, usually magic.
You knew this was coming. “Choosers of the Slain,” Valkyries hovered invisibly over battlefields to guide the worthy to Valhalla. Etc. Here they are independent creatures of magic who ultimately serve Odin but may wander far and wide, particularly to learn of this ‘technology’ which is a sudden interest. They get pretty good stat rolls, 2D6x10 +30 MDC, natural flight and invisibility and slow regeneration. Their skill selection is kind of crap but you can make do. They get enchanted 100MDC chain mail and a 4D6 MD sword and start with 1D6 x 1000 credits worth of gold and jewels. So, not extremely unbalanced (neither are the elves really, they’re just super-boring)
Berserker , another optional class.
I feel like they’re giving more space to playing supporting Asgardian roles than they did to the Asgardians. Anyway these warriors are not crazed epileptics or suffering from a rage disorder or other historical explanations, they’re gifted by Odin with supernatural ferocity when fighting an injustice (as defined by Norse codes of course) and so people shun them for being intractable freaks. When berserking, their body becomes mega-damage at 2D4x10 plus 20 per level, they add 6 to PS which is supernatural, and they regenerate a small amount. They get some combat bonuses but cannot cast spells and cannot stop fighting without making a very difficult percentile roll. Also, once they run out of enemies, they start on friends, livestock, trees, whatever’s handy until the rage passes. They get shit for skills since rage-flipping tables at uni tends to limit one’s educational options. Kind of a shit class given the ‘uncontrolled rage’ thing--it grants some bonuses but you’d be much better off picking a more bonus-y, less friend-stabby class.
Warriors of Valhalla
Here’s one, these guys already died once or...were just inducted with a ceremony or something? Either way, they proved themselves and if they were naturally MDC they get a big bump to that, poor little SDClings get a 150MDC suit of magic mail and no mention of an MDC weapon. I think they sort of cut this block short, bits of it seem to be missing, but you can basically be one of Odin’s secret police without the rage-o-hol problems of the berserker and you can pile this on top of something else busted.
Enough real gods and minions! Let’s get to the fakers!
Their leader is a former Splugorth lord who was defeated by a rival.Original SA post
I was really glad that Falkenstein removed a lot of the
from their version of Victoriana, it brings out the worst in a lot of gamers and doesn't make a lot of sense when magic is such an equalizer. It also just stops those weird arguments about 'realism' when elfs and dragons are involved.
Also Ludwig II being mad because he's a changeling is a great idea.
Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 27: "Their leader is a former Splugorth lord who was defeated by a rival."
The False Norse Gods
I feel like Carella or somebody was kinda half-bored with this whole section. I mean the Norse gods are geek-beloved so they got some space but the art is weak and the Mechanoids? Seriously? Now we get on to the fakers. This bunch was lead by a Splugorth Lord who lost out to a rival and fled along with a few loyal/execution-fearing servants. They cropped up as refugees on some random world (maybe erf!) and pretended to be gods.
Wothan the Slayer is lead Splugorth who is now reduced to mostly hiding in a pocket dimension while his loyalists carry out missions. He has enemies all over the place--Asgardians gonna be pissed at the pale imitation, other Splugorth have no time for losers, etc. He has pretty typical Splugorth stats, including 60MDC main body, and had to spend probably whole minutes recovering from the wounds he took losing his old kingdom.
The most interesting thing about him is that he actively hates other Splugorth now--it’s been stated that they’ll scheme against each other but here we have one who actually lost and got kicked out of the fold and wants his own back. Otherwise he’s just a super-powerful menace who can dimensional-teleport back to hiding when wounded and is a real dick. He does kinda care about those who’ve stayed loyal to him even at his current low though.
Thorg the Mighty
Thorg is a Kydian powerlord and these apparently normally live less than a century. Wothan didn’t have the resources to make another, and so he preserved Thorg carefully until he is more powerful even than a Conservator (buy Rifts Atlantis)
If his magic clock were stopped, Thorg would collapse into dust in seconds. Believing that Wothan holds the stopwatch, Thorg obeys. Thorg is just his name and he lets people make their own assumptions. He’s 900 MDC tough and he’s even developed something more of a personality over time, compared with the average Kydian. He’s even apparently convinced several of the dunces of Camelot that he might be the son of Thor and maybe they should ordain him. He has a surgically implanted red hair and beard which is just one of the funniest images I have encountered in a while.
somehow i expect this to be a variety show with canned laughter
He’s equipped with a rune weapon hammer that does 1D4x10 and casts some useful thor-imitating spells. He also has some various Splugorth items worth a fucktillion credits.
Loki (aka Loki-G)
I just gotta say with a name like Loki-G his rhymes better be fresh. In fact he’s a Goqua (I barely even remember what these are) who first came to earth in 972 at the height of the Viking invasions and saw Odin & Crew getting involved in human stuff. Now, during this time they mentioned the Celtic pantheon interfering, which is fair, but even by 972 there was a fair amount of Christian-y stuff happening. Jehovah not think this big enough to notice? Who knows. Anyway he tricked some people into thinking he was Loki for a while, and then the real Loki broke out and there were issues but he wasn’t murdered since neither was in peak state. Later on Loki-G met Wothan and they formed a new label. Goqua are kind of giant grub-demons in their natural state, but he can shapeshift, like most of them, and does so freely. He’s pretty buff and can bite for 2D4x10 seven times a round plus a lot of magic--honestly he’s tougher than a lot of the lessest gods. He’s got a heap of treasure lying around, in particular rare Atlantis stuff that the book normally threatens to hunt you down for owning, you filthy human.
These guys have some other Atlantean and/or general mercenary bodyguards and backups but that’s pretty much it for them. The best they can do for you is start a war between Asgard and Splugorth, that would help grind down some overpowered annoyances.
The New Asgardians!
sadly not this
These guys are not even a superhero team transported from Heroes Unlimited, they’re just servants of another Vampire Intelligence that wants to take over everything. They’re in Europe though! Just to be special and leave Mexico to be overcrowded with boredom alone.
The leader of this little band is Woden the Hangman and has appeared in northern Russia. This is eons before actual Rifts Russia books would be out, so this is more than we’ve heard about the region so far. They’ve been leaving bloodless victims and somehow convinced people they’re connected to “the hangman legends.” Apparently they’re mostly limited to Russia and Romania as “scandinavia has too much water for vampires.” Rivers: Man’s greatest defense. He has his master vampire out proselytizing that his divine troops will defend people and well, those people are already threatened by a lot of other problems so some of them have gone along. ‘Woden’ hired a gang of interdimensional mercs lead by a Sowki with a magic hammer to keep people in line, and receives tributes of blood to power itself and its vampire minions thusly.
Woden is a typical Vampire Intelligence and not very interesting. There isn’t a lot to say about him that hasn’t been said about VIs in general and even in this book. He’s mean, megalomaniac, conniving, and feeds on the blood of sentient creatures. He doesn’t even have a picture.
did i mention the artist was phoning it in? he’s phoning it in.
This is Woden’s master vampire. Real name: Fransz Devlin. He’s all evil but handsome and stuff and helped suggest the whole ‘Woden’ legend for imitation. Since he himself was a handsome Devlin, he pretended to be the ghost of Balder--being able to turn to mist and otherwise spook out helped with this illusion. He convinced people he could give them immortality and created some secondary vampires as a result, and has plans to continue this pyramid scheme in the usual way. They act like Norse and brutalize those who refuse to convert but treat surrenders with some respect and feed with moderation. Franzs resents that Woden hired that Sowki and that he isn’t the only important one anymore.
He’s a master vampire, reasonably tough but with those insane vamp weaknesses. He has a lot of minions, so getting to him would be hard, but this group is considerably less established that some of the vampire kingdoms in Central America.
Thor the Warrior
yes, we get it, Sowki are shapeshifters.
Real name: A’lattrreen. I don’t think I will ever not be twelve enough to not laugh at that name. “Thor” can shapeshift himself into a Norsey humanoid form and uses that further the Norse illusion these vampires are taking up. As a Sowki, he’s automatically evil and ambitious and will readily backstab Woden if the other came to be at a disadvantage but is otherwise fairly content to just let the money roll in off the backs of enslaved peasants. It states specifically that his transformed version of Thor is based on a pre-Rifts comic book...so he’s blonde and trademarked. He has a techno-wizard hammer that does 6D6 damage and returns through sophisticated remote control--that’s actually kind of a cool item, too bad no PC could ever build it. Sowki aren’t super tough, they’re just hard to detect, harder than Skrulls even.
There are apparently 47 other members of this nefarious crew including a succubus ‘Freya’, three juicers, some renegade Kittani with stolen power armors. One Dragon Slayer Warrior (which is from VK but I don’t even remember), apparently some kind of giant. Five Dabuggh (ugh ugh) and three Naga. Two line walkers, one Mind Bleeder (see Africa), one Temporal Wizard (England), Four borgs, four of those boring bird assholes from Atlantis, 12 Wolfen (why do they keep using these?) and some NGR deserters which gives us an excuse to re-use some Kevin Long art and also one Neuron Beast. Because.
not kidding about re-used kevin long art
And that’s it for the Norse gods, fakers and hangers-on. I feel like the Mechanoids thing is weak, I mean they started that sourcebook with dire predictions of direness and all but it was still weak and involving these figures with them makes it weird. Especially with Hel trying to body-jump to get around the Mechanoids’ absolute unflinching hatred of bipeds. The imitators are kind of weak too--not just in power, though they come closer to reasonable powers to defeat, in some ways--but their concept is just ‘pretend to be gods, act like assholes’ across the board. The Norse gods are generally presented as being larger than life, exuberant, colorful and this section wasn’t really any of these. Most of them were just bland, other than Freya and Hel which were a serious mistreatment and just kind of baffling, respectively.
Note: Sometimes the temperature around him goes up or down by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (6.7 Centigrade).Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 28: "Note: Sometimes the temperature around him goes up or down by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (6.7 Centigrade)."
The Persian Pantheon
Of all the pantheons forced into the the "gods of light and darkness" concept, the Persian pantheon probably fits it the best with its innate dualism. This is because though it’s labelled “Persian”, most of this section has more to do with Zoroastrianism than the older Persian gods, and that essentially gave us dualism as we know it. The issue, though, is that a lot of the “gods” listed here are actually virtues or at times abstract concepts, rather than the sort of anthropomorphized soap opera stars of the Greek pantheons.
We're reminded that "The fictional gods presented in this section are not meant to represent any real religion, beliefs, or people." Except, of course, the real religion this is all “inspired” by, I suppose.
The Persian gods think the Greek gods are a bunch of cocks, and the Greeks think the Persians are smug shits. The Babylonians and Persians have warred in the past, but are putting that aside to fight evil together. Ahura Mazda wants to destroy the Splugorth, but hasn't pulled the trigger yet. They hate vampires and the Mechanoids, and don't think much of humans.
God of Time
God of the Rubik’s cube.
Zurvan is a four-dimensional being who may or may not be an Old One. In any case, he may be the most powerfulest god in alll the universes. He once tried to do make a child, but accidentally created both Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, and considers both of them failures. He's said to be very alien and doesn't really participate in godly squabbles, but some say he guards all of time, since he's killed "time raiders" (temporal raiders?) and the like. His alignment is "Unknown" as "He is not bound by morals as we understand them." Oh, and “Zurvan's intentions are impossible to guess or even understand.” Good luck running him, GMs! Yeesh.
80K MDC supernatural intelligence, all attacks do half damage (why not just give him 160K MDC instead?), can ignore illusions, poison, disease, can vanish and walk about invisibly and intangibly, can see "all spectrums of light, heat, radiation, magnetism and magic energy", regens, can teleport or time warp around. "Skills are meaningless for this entity. Assume that he can perform any activity he desires at 90% proficiency." That's right, he's not only an excellent radio operator, he can surf and dance! He automatically wins initiative and can never be surprised, has all ESP powers, all temporal magic, all normal magic, and "several temporal magic spells that are not known or even possible for 3-D creatures."
Zurvan is part of a Zoroastrian offshoot where Zurvan is worshipped as the true creator god, as opposed those that see Ahura Mazda as the central creator. Generally, this has been a "heretical" belief. Then it has offshoots within that, for people that didn't agree on the various aspects of Zurvanism (which is a word). Oh, and Zurvanism died out about a millennia ago, but I guess according to this, they were right all along!
Mr. Mazda is a god of goodness, in fact, he considers most other Gods of Light to just be candles compared to his shining sun of goodness. He's always fightin' evil, not that we'll see any effect of that in the setting. He's getting more and more worried about events on Earth, as well as the fact that Ahriman might bust some other evil gods out and cause more destruction. It's noted that unlike other gods of light, he really is a no-shit good guy.
77K / 15K MDC, can "see up to 20 miles" (too bad the horizon blocks sight after about 2-3 miles?), teleport, speak any language, impervious to fire, cold, poison, disease, possession, can glow to repel vampires and animated dead, or shoot lasers of goodness that does crazy damage (1d4 x 100 MDC) that affects only evil and murderous characters (wait, wouldn't the latter be any PC?). He can also use the beam to detect liars. He has all psionic powers, knows all normal spells and spells of legend, and can summon Spirits of Light, and can even summon an army of "1d4 x 100". He has a magic psychic sword that does double damage to evil creatures, a "Sword of Truth" that does 1d6 x 10 to demons and 1d6 x 100 to gods and alien intelligences, and an armored robe that can teleport people (like Cloak & Dagger, only minus Dagger).
In truth, Ahura Mazda wasn't as important to the old Persian faith - he's mostly the chief god of Zoroastrianism, where he was revealed as the "uncreated god" to Zoroaster and taught him the primary principles of the new faith.
Next: The Justice League of Ahura (Mazda).
He is almost too straight to be real and behaves like some of the superheroes in the 1940s and 1950s comic books: always doing the right thing, at all costs.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 29: "He is almost too straight to be real and behaves like some of the superheroes in the 1940s and 1950s comic books: always doing the right thing, at all costs."
Asha - Truth
Asha is one of the many offspring of Ahura Mazda and... and... well, we have no idea. But Asha is basically a god or order and truth, and goes around slaying decievers and demons, which is ironic because he gets decieved fairly often, like when Thor got tricked into fighting him! So Asha thinks Thor's evil. For a god of truth, he's not very good at percieving the truth. There's a rumor he was one of the heroes that gathered to fight the Four Horsemen (in Rifts World Book 4: Africa ), but since he wasn't in that book and had no impact, I'm presuming it's just a rumor. He's basically supposed to be like a golden age superhero and morally upright except when he murders the fuck out of people for lying.
Unlike a lot of the gods we've seen so far, the kids of Ahura Mazda are pretty frail by goldly standards - Asha has 12K / 2.6K MDC, for example. Their other attributes are just as solid, because this book mostly just judges power level by hit points.
Speaking of powers, Asha can invisible, Asha can fly, Asha can teleport, Asha can resist mind control, Asha can see through illusions, Asha can see through shapeshifters, Asha can cast low-level spells, Asha has all sensitive and physical psionic powers, Asha has angelic minions, Asha has a golden sword.
As for mythology, this version of Asha is created from whole cloth for the most part. Zoroastrian and Persian mythology generally refers to Asha as a principle and an aspect of the creator. It has a personification, but isn't quite anthropomorphized per se.
Vodu Manah - Good Mind
This fella's supposed to be the first son of Ahura Mazda, and is in charge of all the proselytizing and faith-imposing. He's the thinkin' man of the pantheon, except for the fact that the evil gods have used furries as their minions and so Vodu distrusts all furries, even mutant animals. Even when he can read their brains and see that they're alright he doesn't trust them, which could cause issues with the Hindu or Indian pantheons. Seriously, Vodu, what the fuck? Otherwise he's a peaceful strategic kind of guy.
10K/2K, regens, talks any language, teleports any place, can sense people's alignment, shoot eyeb beams that make people peaceful, basic magic and ESP, angel minions, and has a magic scepter that has some defensive spells and a magic headband that lets him use any skill at 98% and cast any spell at 20th level, even though 20th level doesn't really exist in Rifts.
In mythology, the Vodu Manah we see here is more of a Zoroastrian concept, but sometimes he's embodied as an angel of cattle. Too bad, he could have had minotaur minions. Miniontaurs?
Armaiti - Devotion
The picture of prudishness.
The second authority after Vodu, Armaiti enforces loyalty of the gods and presents an example to the faithful. She's a Marriage First kind of god, and has rebuffed a lot of gods as a result, like Zeus and Krishna, and Eros fucked with her by making Ptah fall in love with her. She's supposed to be motherly, tho. A bikini mom, then.
MDC is 10K/2K, can show a evildoer a vision of all of the evil they've one, regen, teleport, eyebeam somebody to peace, basic magic, ESP, and all the really badass psychic powers, which she uses in fights.
In Zoroastrian myth, she's the angel of devotion. Christian missionaries tried to undermine worship of her in India, on account of that obvious symbolism.
Sharevar - Order/Control
A warrior god, also a god of kings, also a god of metal, and a god of order, and a god of stone, basically a lot of gods. Oh and he's attuned to magic, and feels a resonance with Earth, which he's been visiting to find out how to protect it. He's a strong, silent sort of deity.
10/2k, regen, teleport, can shoot molten metal at people, take that, Frosty the snowman, crafts stuff, all earth and stone magic, no psionics, has earth elemental mooks, 2k MDC armor, a speak that does extra damage to supernatural intelligences, which is to say 500, which still means it's going to take a lot of stabbing, and a magic shield.
I couldn’t find any mythical references to Sharevar outside of Dungeons & Dragons, but he seems to be based on Vairya, the Zoroastrian angel of dominion and rule. Not going to try and add anything clever to that, let's see the next god.
Haurvatat - Wholeness
”... projects an aura of naivete like an innocent young girl."
A goddess of water, she tries to promote purity and hates on vampires and succubi, because sex and blood is dirty, dirty, dirty. If she finds out about all the vampires on Earth, she's going to want to "cleanse" it, but it isn't clear if they mean in a Buffy way or a Noah way. Apparently she seems innocent, but can sense any evil intention. However, she can't really sense if good intentions have gone wrong.
9K/2K, strong water magic and bad regular magic, can sense people's intentions, ESP and water elementals and yeah, she's kind of on the bottom rung as far as gods go. As it is, a single vampire intelligence could probably punk her.
Once again, her myth is that of the Zoroastrian embodiment of wholeness. In reality, though, she's a guy with a feminine-sounding name (which confused some modern scholars). Oh, and at the end of the world she'll destroy the "demons of hunger and thirst", which works out with her plotline above, too bad she's a bit short on capability.
Ameretat - Immortality
Turn Undead addiction is a serious issue.
A cheery god, she's a healing hippie hates the undead sort of ancient god. She's aligned with Haurvatat in cleansing out the undead. She's got one note and plays it very well.
10K/2K, impervious to vampire powers, teleport, healing touches, can automatically wish a vampire or zombie into dust, shoot a cleansing blast against all PPEovores (like alien intelligences and psi-stalkers), can ressurrect the dead, has fair magic, healing psyshics powers, plus throwing around mind water or mind shields.
Mythwise, she's the embodiment of immortality and yeah, not much of a personality beyond that. This isn't exactly the soap operas of the Greek mythos.
Next: A Divine Miscellany.
This god has ten forms: He can appear as a blast of wind, a bull, a horse, a camel, a giant boar, a young man, a raven, a ram, a buck, or most importantly, a powerful man armed with a golden sword.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 30: "This god has ten forms: He can appear as a blast of wind, a bull, a horse, a camel, a giant boar, a young man, a raven, a ram, a buck, or most importantly, a powerful man armed with a golden sword."
Other Persian Gods
These are fence-sitters.
God of Victory
”I need armor that protects my abs, but doesn’t hide them.”
This is a god of war that likes war and hates not-war, and is loosely aligned with the gods of light, but starts too many fights over who has the biggest pecs to really be trusted. Also he has ten forms, including a camel and a blast of wind. He's more the facepuncher than any sort of strategist. Also, he smells like death, like some kind of horrible battle nerd.
MDC 32K (6K on Earth), is an 18th Level Man at Arms which is not a class or level supported by the system (almost all the gods have these total Calvinball classes and levels), can teleport, punch pretty hard, and has all the basic psionics. He also has a golden sword that can shoot fire or lightning or force, if that's important. I think in Rifts that means it's Tuesday.
His name, Verethragna, translates to "smiting of resistance", which is pretty hardass. Also he can transform into a horny camel. Myths! He becomes associated with Zoroastrianism and its angels, but most likely predates it.
God of the Winds
Batty sidekick not detailed in this book.
Formerly a Vedic god, he left after Brahma took over and holds a grudge. Mostly, though, he's a god of weather and wind. Though he's usually a very strong god loosely aligned with light, but can get moody and careless and just kill mortals... because, whatever. He's gruff and don't make no shit from noone.
66/13K, invisible, regen, teleport, summon air elementals, shoot wind, turn into an airy form, uses air magic, ESP, has a psychic shield and sword, and the evil eye. He also has a chatty spear that comes back to him, and a sword that shoots lightning and animates the dead, a frankensword.
This is a blending of Vayu-Vata, the Zoroastrian figure, and Vayu, the Hindu god.. In mythology he also controls "vital breath" and life as part of his domain. Also has a coach led by 1,000 white and purple horses, which I think is the deific equivalent of pimped ride.
Goddess of the Waters
Are there any oil rigs left in Rifts?
A goddess of purity and water, if this sounds familiar... anyway, she's a severe environmentalist and sometimes blames humanity for pollution. She's also "a charismatic, intelligent, vivacious and strong woman", so there's that, and hates wafflers.
MDC 43/9K, super-swims, teleports, summons water elementals, invisibles, can purify a person of poisons and bad spells, is a middling spellcaster but a top-notch water warlock, and has no mind powers.
She was an Indo-Iranian goddess of rivers, and got mixed up with Ishtar sometimes, but was preserved by followers who took her with them into Zoroastrianism. She wasn't asked, but wh'ev.
God of Fire
And fire itself leaps off the turnbuckle...
A semi-elemental god, Atar hates demons and darkness, but isn't that enamored of people. He's actually the brother of Agni, as it turns out, and they were both created by some unnamed super-elemental. He's loosely with the Gods of Light (again?!), but he's jealous of Asha's fire-ness and may be tricked by Ahirman to work against him. Oh, and he doesn't know about energy weapons, but he'd really like them. Just FYI.
38K/8K, immune to fire and energy attacks, and only takes half damage from physical attacks, so he only takes full damage from magic and psionic attacks. Yeesh. He can teleport, shoot fire, cast fire magic, cast a little regular magic, has all the physical psychic powers, and he can make a special psionic fire sword. Yeesh, again. Oh, and he can summon 1d4 greater fire elementals.
As a myth, he represents holy fire, and was a pre-Zoroastrian god that once again got brought into the fold. As a Zoroastrian god, he was more interesting as a god of the hearth and "master of the house", as well as healing remedies and other good things that come from fire. More interesting than the enbiggened fire elemental we see above, I think.
The Plant God
Goin’ nowhere fast.
The god of the ephedrine plant (er, they probably mean the ephedra plant), which is for some reason described as a hallucinogenic (not really, more of a stimulant, but it can cause psychosis, especially with overdoses). In any case he's a friend of Ahura Mazda, which makes me wonder why all these middle-road gods aren't listed under the Gods of Light. Though he's met Dyonisus (sp?) and Soma, but they're not chill enough for him. Oh, and he punishes tyrants, murderers, poisoners, and polluters. The environment is important, folks! Otherwise, he's pretty chill.
68/13, he is a "15th level dryad (see Rifts England)", which is a nice typo, regens, teleports, heals, can turn into a tree (but not a toilet), can sense movement via vibrations, increase the fertility of plants, do druid herbal "magic" (I wouldn't dignify it with that label myself), some minor regular magic, all ESP psychic stuff, some healing psychic stuff, and hydrokinesis.
"Haoma" is not only the name of the god, but also a plant. But like Soma, the exact plant was questionable for awhile. Ephedra seems the most likely answer, but there has been some attempt to establisth that Haoma is some hallucinogen, which probably resulted in the confusion above. Oh, and Zoroaster was apparently conceived while his parents were hopped up on the stuff. Religion!
Dead ringer for Jesus in art and bad scholarship.
The son of Ahura Mazda, he's apparently a god of the sun, warriors, and sacrifice, and tried to make peace amongst the Persian gods. Ahirman pulled a Snively Whiplash and betrayed the pact, and Mithras blamed both sides for... some reason? There's no mention of the Gods of Light doing anything bad, so presumably Mithras is just a sanctimonious asshole, and has taken a neutral role. He's also bummed out that all the people who worshipped him died out despite him trying to teach them, and trying to learn more before trying to be a big G god again. He also things technology is good for humanity, because the gods deserve laser blasts. Maybe he isn't so bad, then.
75K/15K, invisibles, teleports, resistance to energy, can radiate daylight, cast any normal spell, has all physical psionics and some mind powers. Etc.
Mithra is a huge god in mythology, having variants amongst the Iranians, Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and even Buddhists. The version here is a wafer-thin mishmash of the above, but was orginally about cattle, harvests, water, and all that sort of stuff ancient people needed to survive. Oh, and Mithraic worship was a heavy rival to early Christianity, but not the progenitor as sold by confusing youtube videos.
Next: The Banality of Evil.
Ahriman is a tyrant with the mind of an accountant and the soul of a torturer.Original SA post Rifts Conversion Book 2: Pantheons of the Megaverse: Part 31: "Ahriman is a tyrant with the mind of an accountant and the soul of a torturer."
Persian Forces of Evil
Well, what do I add to that?
The Evil One
Muttonchops of doooom.
He's evil, dwells in a plane of evil, loves to spread evil, and tries to kill everything, because that's what evil does. He was imprisoned in another dimension but somehow communicates with evil gods to try and do a massive prison break with him at the lead. He's also eager to try out nuclear and antimatter weapons. "Ahriman will try anything once, no matter what the the cost to others."
But will he try Life cereal ?
78K in his crib/15K MDC on earth, invisibles, regens, teleports (though he can't teleport out of his prison, can change into any animal (including people), can cast any normal or necromantic spells, has all ESP and "super" psionic powers, can summon "Baal-rogs" and always has a troop of them (even in prison?). Also he has an evil talking sword with bat wings called the "Sword of Hatred". And somehow he has a demonic robot called the "Ahriman Mark I" made out of reshaped demons with about 2K MDC, spikes, shoots fireballs, and can split into a bunch of warrior demons... wait, how the fuck? How the fuck is he getting all this done while he's imprisoned? Is that not a basic logical hurdle for this shit? Oh, and "Ahriman likes the Coalition's imagery; one day he may visit its rulers and commend their taste in design."
"Ahirman" is the Persian name, but his original name is "Angra Mainyu", because he's so angry!... that's not true. Not much else to be said, really, other than that he's the guy that puts the dual in dualism, being Ahura Mazda's opposite and the embodiment of all evil thinking.
Aeshma - Fury
"I'd like an axe that looks like me vomiting up an axe."
The heavy of the evil gods, Aeshma just likes to fuck shit up and cause destruction and chaos because... he was mythologized that way, I guess. He also sometimes disguises himself to start riots, often racist riots. Whee. He generally goes into a super-rage when he sees the Gods of Light and tries to take them down. He's sadistic and ehnnnnehhennnneh.
27K/5K, invisible, leap super good (seriously), teleports, and turn into a human, rhino, bull, buffalo, or lion, he's a good spy, some basic magic, no psionics, and has demon buddies. He also has a powered-up version of the Dragon Thunderer axe from Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis . The funny thing about some of these evil "heavy" gods is that since they don't have much magic or supernatural powers, they end up being the wimpiest gods in their pantheon. Call the the Fighter Curse.
In Zoroastrianism he's the demon of rage, and the good god Sraosha was created by Ahura Mazda to stop his rage. Also, Sraosha will beat him up at the apocalypse, but nowadays Mithra takes over that role, and Sraosha doesn't show up in this book. Sorry, Sraosha.
Ahzi Dahaka -
The Great Deciever
Physical Beauty 20 / Physical Beauty 5
A minor demon who climbed up the ranks to become a god, he wants to murder all things, and can send out life essence fragments (ugh, those things) to possess people on multiple worlds and manipulate people. He has two on Earth and they're starting to create cult-towns where visitors arrive but don't come back. He's basically the subtle version of Aeshma.
46K/9K MDC, invisibles, shapeshifts, teleport, can send out life essences (but there are no solid rules for how those things work), some mid-level magic, all ESP psionics plus some mind powers, and when you cut him, poisonous insects fly out!... but there are no rules for them. So I guess they're not that poisonous.
Azhi Dahaka (the name is misspelled above, and in the book) becomes the evil serpent Zahhak later on, which is way eviler name. And you're not supposed to kill him because evil bugs will come out of him and infest the word, but at the end of the world he'll get killed by an ancient hero. So I guess that works out.
Goddess of Lust
Never trust a woman (who is an evil goddess who likes to murder men during sexes).
Another demon who made it big, she's Jahi's favorite evil lover for evil love. One day, Ahriman was like "what's the use, Ahura Mazda and the Justice League of Persia are always whupping me" but she inspired him to be evil again. Naturally she goes around seducing men and getting their loose lips to sink ships or just murdering them with their trousers down. “She likes to kill.” It makes you wonder - given that she’s strong enough to just tear a person’s head off - why she even bothers with the seduction angle.
MDC is a piddly 1250 (so she can only take about 13 Boom Gun shots before falling over, how vulnerable), turn invisible, turn into any woman (it mentions her turning into a Dragon Slayer, so that includes giant women), and can super-psionically seduce, has a lot of illusion spells, and no normal psionics.
She's basically the evil whore of evilness in mythology, but Ahriman defiles her and basically causes the first menstruation (I guess ancient Persians connected menstruation with loss of virginity). And then she grants it to to all women, whee.
Nasu the Corpse
Skull Count: 8
A scary zombie god, he decays everything he touches and is a big superstar amongst the undead. He's tried to team up with vampire intelligences, but it's like herding cats. He managed to recently recruit one that fled Earth after heroes beat it up and it may be the vampire intelligence that made Dracula dun dun dunnn .
28K/5K, invisible, disease-free, teleport, all necromantic powers, animates the dead, can make people sick (even inside power armor) and there is a table of random maladies, he's vulnerable to fire, holy weapons, and millennium tree goodies, can cast any necromantic spell (and some minor normal spells), and he likes to keep around bunches of zombies.
Nasu isn't really a god or demon in Zoroastrianism, just a word that's associated with the uncleaniness and impurity of death and corpses. So this guy's mostly made from whole cloth (and kind of redundant with jokers like the actual Death around).
And that’s it! He’s the final god! But we’ve got some final thoughts to wrap this up with, it's not over just yet.
Next: The Divine Denouement.
A few final thoughtsOriginal SA post Pantheons of the Megaverse: A few final thoughts
When I first saw this book as a teenager I thought it was kind of neat. I liked reading about mythology and some of these were new for me, things to read more about on my own. Of course, even teenaged me recognized the inherent balance issues in the god-numbers and some of the things they were presented as possessing, as well as the stupidity of some of the writeups. A lot of these beings would heavily overshadow a campaign without a lot of reward. I know a lot of games start with ‘you as the little guy in the big world’ but Rifts is inherently built in such a way that a base human can only climb so far through technology and magic, and will stop there. There is no lichdom or many other ways to ascend above one’s roots into this sort of realm. These are basically unapproachable forces even though they have numbers. Using them in a game requires a deft touch, as it would with any game involving an unbeatable power. This being a twenty year old book, they don't function like 13th Age icons or even Gloranthan myth cycle powers--they're just big chunks of numbers.
The power level issue is only part of the problem, however. Including all these myths from Earth’s past suggests that A) these are the ones that are real (and Yahweh and Allah and etc are not) and B) that Earth’s religion is relevant to a lot of areas outside Earth. There should also be a fair number of actual alien gods wandering around, but most alien godlike beings we see are completely awful and just want to kill everything after torturing it a while. I guess Siembieda wanted a Deities & Demigods for Palladium and while having that for D&D was sort of silly, it could generally be ignored or included without too much hassle since cleric domains were well-established even early on. Rifts doesn’t really have that and so we just have these nebulous powerhouses tiptoeing around anything actually to do with religion.
They also tried to cram too much into the book, and paradoxically didn't try too hard in examining new things. I suppose Greek and Norse are pretty much expected once you start statting gods, but their part of the world was detailed without them in it, so they don't feel really attached to the world. Having Aztec AND Maya feels like overkill even if the Mayans were somehow even lamer than the Aztecs. All of the writeups discard a lot of the nuance of the original material. I suppose to be fair to Palladium, even recent games like Scion still have this problem, trying to distill too much into a single column.
THE FINAL CHAPTEROriginal SA post Rifts: Conversion: Book: 2: Pantheons: Of: The: Megaverse: Part: 33: THE FINAL CHAPTER
I wasn't sure how to wrap up this book, how to sum it up. How to really get that Rifts feeling across.
Then I came up with something.
Once the head of the Canaanite pantheon, Adonai was once one of the chief gods, but descended into obsession and madness! As the king of the Canaanite pantheon, he was deeply troubled by the “Gods of Darkness”, and saw to trying to purge such gods from his pantheon entirely. However, his methods became so cruel that many of his fellow gods spoke out against his ways, including his brother, Hadad. Adonai relaxed his ways for a time, but seethed at the idea of evil existing alongside good.
When Yam and Lotan finally got their revenge on Hadam by subjecting him to the Rite of Transmogrification and changing him into the demon lord Baal Zebub, the act of which drove Adonai to madness. Blaming the other members of the Canaanite pantheon for not having done enough, he declared all of them to be Gods of Darkness in his eyes! The pantheons quickly fell apart, and in his paranoia, Adonai even banned his followers from acknowledging the very existence of other gods, and even hid his true name away. Though his followers were reduced to a mere single tribe, Adonai doted on them and lashed out at other gods, seeking to make himself the sole divine power on Earth.
Were it not for his megalomania and paranoia, Adonai might have succeeded. He once fathered a demigod by the name of Jesus, but the two became estranged when Jesus’ personal cult began to eclipse that of Adonai. His aggressions helped drive the Greek, Norse, Egyptians, and Persian pantheons off of Earth, and it’s arguable that he may have succeeded at becoming Earth’s sole god had fate not intervened.
When his followers were decimated by the Rifts, Adonai was driven further into madness! The deaths of billions drove him over the edge, and he now is a mere shell of his former self. Adonai now believes he really is the only “true” god, and that all others are imposters/fakes! The only saving grace is that the other gods universally detest Adonai, though some Gods of Darkness like Set or Ahriman are seeking to find a means to fool or deceive Adonai to joining their ranks. An ironic fate for a once-noble god.
Real Name: Yahweh. Also called Em.
Alignment: Aberrant (but paranoid and vindictive)
M.D.C.: 98,000 (14,000 in the Rifts world)
Height: 7 to 47 feet (2.1 to 14.3m)
Weight: Varies with size
Attributes: I.Q. 30, M.E. 26, M.A. 32, P.S. 45 (supernatural), P.P. 23, P.E. 38, P.B. 17. Spd 60 (41 mph / 65 km)
Disposition: Full of bluster and threats, Adonai expects all the respect due to the one true god (in his mind), but can be very protective of those he considers loyal. He takes betrayal on the slightest pretense, however, and has often punished his followers for even small failures of obedience. Despite all this, he often works against the Gods of Darkness, though his unwillingness to seek allies also makes him vulnerable to them.
Horror Factor: 15 for his worshippers, 17 for everybody else.
Experience Level: 20th level warrior and sorcerer/warlock
Natural Abilities: Nightvision 800 ft. (182 m), bio-regeneration (1d6 x 100 M.D.C. per minute), see the invisible, turn invisible at will, healing touch restores 6d6 S.D.C. / H.P. / M.D.C., knows all languages, teleport 96%, dimensional teleport 96%, impervious to disease, heat, cold, possession, exorcism 98%, turn dead 96% (affecting 2d6 x 100 dead at a time). Does not need to eat, drink, or fatigue. Can grant the Gift of Power , Gift of Magic , or Gift of Union like a supernatural intelligence! (See the Witchery section in Conversion Book.) Adonai often has used these to empower warriors and “prophets” in his name.
Special: Plague of Curses! Once every melee round, Adonai can cast a curse that effects 1d6 x 100 ft. (30m). Roll on the following table:
01%-10%: Water to Blood! All water in the area turns to blood and becomes undrinkable. Any creature that does drink it becomes sick for 1d6 x 10 minutes and loses 1 melee action per melee, -3 to strike, parry, and dodge, and -15% to any skills.
11%-21%: Plague of Frogs! 1d6 x 100 frogs appear and attack. Each frog has 1d4 H.P. and does 1d4 S.D.C. with a successful bite attack. Also they can interfere with sensor systems and weapon ports; robots and power armor lose one melee attack and have -10 on attacks.
21%-30%: Curse of Lice! Characters in this area are infested by biting lice; power armor and robot vehicles offer NO protection. They lose 1 melee action per round and take -2 to attack, parry, and intitiative, and -10% on skill rolls. This can be cured by spending 1d6 melees under water, or 1d6 melees on fire.
31%-41%: Swarm of Flies!: Vicious, sadistic biting flies attack and bite. They do 1d6 S.D.C. per round and give -8 to attack, parry, and dodge for the unprotected. Those in sealed / power armor are unaffected..
41%-50%: Death of Farm Animals! Farm animals (chickens, cattle, camel, goats, etc.) take 1d6 x 10 M.D.C. damage (half on save vs. magic). Mutant farm animals take half damage.
51%-60%: Painful Boils! Characters suffer painful boils (power armor is NO protection!). This causes them to lose half of their melee attacks and take -6 to parry/dodge, and any jarring bump causes 1d6 S.D.C. / M.D.C. damage when the boils burst.
61%-71%: Rain of Boiling Ash! Burning ash and fire come down, doing 2d6 x 10 M.D.C. to everybody in the area (except Adonai!). The ash causes characters to lose one attack per melee and gives -3 to strike until they can clean themselves off.
70%-80%: Plague of Locusts! 1d6 x 1000 locusts arrive and bite and attack all present. In addition, all plant life takes 2d6 x 10 S.D.C. damage per round!! Characters take 2d6 S.D.C. damage per round and suffer -10 to attack, parry/dodge and intitiative. The plague also has a Horror Factor of 16!
80%-91%: Cloud of Darkness! The area becomes covered in darkness! Not even nightvision can help. Being trapped in the darkness is maddening and any character trapped in it has to roll vs. insanity for every minute (4 melee rounds) they are trapped in the darkness. They also lose half melee actions, -30% to skill checks, -9 to attack, parry and roll, and have -6 on initiative!
90%-100%: Death of the Firstborn: All characters that rolled “First Born” under the birth order chart suffer 1d4 S.D.C. / M.D.C. damage a turn for 1d4 minutes, and must make a save vs. coma/death. If they fail, they fall into a coma for 2d4 months! Only remove curse cast at a ley line nexus can undo this coma, but it is recommended that characters that survive roll on the insanity table!
Special: Shapeshifting. God can shapeshift into the following forms: a burning bush, a flying flying trumpet, or a lamp (he can choose the form of the lamp he takes, anything from a oil lantern to a spotlight).
Skills: Knows all skills he cares to use at 92%, and magically knows all languages.
Combat Skills: Hand to Hand: Martial Arts plus Boxing
Number of Attacks: Seven hand to hand or psionic attacks or four by magic
Restrained Punch - 1d6 x 10 + 30 S.D.C.
Full Strength Punch - 6d6 M.D.
Power Punch - 2d4 x 10 M.D. (counts as two melee attacks)
Leap Kick - 2d6 x 10 M.D. (counts as two melee attacks)
Kick - 6d6 M.D.
Bonuses: +4 on initiative, +6 to strike, +11 to parry/dodge, +30 S.D.C. damage, +6 pull punch, +7 to roll with impact/fall, +8 vs. horror factor, +10 to save vs. magic, +8 save vs. psionics.
Magic Knowledge: All spells from levels 1-15, including the spells of legend, at 20th level. Also can cast any Fire or Air spell at 20th level. P.P.E.: 8,000
Psionic Knowledge: All sensitive, healing, and the super psionic powers of hydrokinesis, empathic transmission, telepathy, bio-manipulation, pyrokinesis, group mind block, auto-mind block, psi-shield, and psi-sword, at 20th level. I.S.P.: 2,000
Allies: None, the demon lord Set, however, is scheming to find a way to manipulate him as a potential “ally”. Though Adonai detests almost all other gods, he gets along with Thoth and the two often get together to drink (though they CANNOT get drunk).
Enemies: Disliked by almost everyone!
Minions: Adonai can summon 1d6 x 100 spirits of light, and usually has 1d6 spirits of light accompanying him at all times. He also often has a witch/prophet (see special abilities, above) and 1d6 x 1000 followers under that “prophet”.
Description: Generally a caucasian elderly human with a long, flowing white beard and long robes. Sometimes he appears as burning flora, a lamp, or a flying trumpet. He is often severe and commanding, and rarely smiles.
Weapons and Equipment of Note: Adonai prefers to rely on his natural powers and abilities, but he has a collection of rune swords (he particularly likes flaming swords).
Next: Book's over, so we get a bit of a break.
After That: Die Todesengel.