Rifts: Hard Repo
It’s your humble GM’s personal opinion that Rifts was at its best early on in the line’s development. Furthermore, Rifts campaigns tend to work best when some limits are placed upon choices, be they classes, races, or equipment. Therefore, what follows is a list of what’s available in those categories, at least at the outset of the campaign.
This campaign’s vision of the world of Rifts will be based as much as possible on that which was presented in early iterations of the setting, such as the original Main Book, Sourcebook One, and Mercenaries. A few idiosyncratic changes have also been instituted, some of which will become obvious during game play, others of which may be elucidated in articles on this wiki.
Probably the most noticeable change can be seen on the map of North America. For one thing, the oceans have claimed far more coastline (a much more realistic sea-level rise than that presented in the original setting). Also, you’ll note the location of major ley lines and rifts are noted on the map, something that was missing from the originals. These lines are always active and strong. Other, smaller lines flow into these major lines like tributaries, and ebb and flow seemingly at random (and are thus generated using the rules in the Main Book as per normal). Oh, and those glowing green spots? Lingering radiation from the limited nuclear exchange that occurred in the chaotic days following the Great Cataclysm. Three or four centuries later, they aren’t as lethal as they once were. Still not the sort of places you’d want to raise a family, though. Well, at least not a normal family…
Demons & Monsters
I know from bitter experience that it’s all too easy to go down the rabbit hole of tinkering with Palladium’s house system. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve drafted house rule documents in the past that have run in excess of 20 pages.
Let’s face it: there will always be things to mod or tweak when it comes to Palladium; that can be part of the fun of playing these games, after all! These house rules, therefore, set out only to address the most glaring issues and “fix” them, which is to say provide a streamlined and (hopefully) clarified gaming experience.
Despite how much Siembieda tries to put his spin on things, the Palladium system is avowedly not a “universal” system, nor was it designed to act as one. It’s a house system, absolutely. But every Palladium game (even those sharing nominally the same genre, like Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas & Superspies, and TMNT) handle fairly major aspects of the game (such as combat bonuses or skill selection and categorization) differently.
As such, it’s not really possible to create an overarching house rule document that’s going to be one thing to all Palladium players. However, we’ll try our best here. Take what’s presented here and tweak as necessary to fit your game of choice.