I spent much of the day today corresponding with my RIFTS GM, Mindy, on ways we can houserule RIFTS to make it more palatable to ourselves and the rest of the gaming group. We have one very rough draft finished. (Actually, I'm hesitant to call it a draft, even...more like a collection of notes) Here are some of the problems one or both of us have identified. I will read over the notes one more time before I post our proposed solutions.
1. Mega Damage: Conceptually wonky, the huge numbers and inability to penetrate armor slow combat to a crawl, and we dislike the consistency of what is MDC and what isn't. (Especially with regard to races)
2. Combat Takes Too Long: This is mainly due to the ease with which you can create characters who can attack six or eight times per round. Also when you have guns that do 4d6 MD and the average CS grunt has a chest plate with 80 MDC... you can do the math.
3. (Mostly my issue) Attacks per round often makes no sense. Being a boxer lets you shoot more times in combat, cast more spells, etc. The skills that grant extra attacks should grant them in more specific instances. Mages who are martial artists shouldn't also be able to cast more spells in a round specifically because of their martial arts training. (Unless they're some crazy ass Chi users or something, but I'm talking about "regular" spellcasters like Ley Line Walkers and Elemental Fusionists.)
4. Magic is wildly inconsistent (my issue) It takes 5 PPE to be immune to fire. It takes 6 PPE to take half damage from fire. It takes 30 PPE to spoil food and water. A regular Ley Line Walker can start with either of the fire spells or learn them on reaching 3rd or 4th level. The spoilage spell is too high level to be taken by starting characters, and cannot be naturally learned until 8th level. Seriously.
5. Magic Sucks- We sort of fixed this one by allowing spell range to be LOS. Personally I think damage spells cannot compete even a little with lasers and rockets, but that's another issue.
6. Lots of useless skills- Basic Radio. Basic Math. First Aid and Paramedic splitting some serious hairs. We haven't tackled this one yet.
We're on the way to solving several off the issues. The hour is late. once I have a chance to review the first draft in the morning, I shall post some of our houserules and fixes.