Tuesday, November 15, 2011

RIFTS Gold Edition

I have this weird urge to collect gaming books... even things I'll never play. I have a copy of AEON because it was before MTV made White Wolf change the game's name to Trinity. I have a copy of Nightspawn before Todd Macfarlane kicked up a stink and made them change it to Nightbane, etc.

Now I have RIFTS Gold Edition, one of only 600 printed, and a bizarre continuation of my dysfunctional, why-do-you-make-me-hurt-you relationship I have with the game.

My very first impression is that, despite being 50 pages shorter than the current RIFTS Ultimate Edition (hereafter referred to with the strangely appropriate acronym of RUE), Gold Edition manages to be a better game book by orders of magnitude. Some highlights Gold has over RUE:

1. Better organized (well, for Palladium, anyway) Character classes follow the character creation rules, as opposed to RUE, whic has the character classes on pages 53-158 and 231-237, then starts character creation on page 279.

2. Skill List- bottom of one page and top of another; about a full page worth of skills. RUE has a full two page spread of skills, including such vital abilities as Breed Dogs, Medicinal Brewing, and Recycle.

3. Gold Edition has a bestiary. It is anemic at best, but at least it has one. Includes Coalition bad guys ready to fight, a couple of monsters, dinosaurs, and a table you can use to roll up weird monsters that might be found on RIFTS Earth.

4. Everyone tends to have fewer attacks per round, and armor seems to have less MDC. This makes combat less of an endlessly dragging morass.

...and you know, that's really all it takes. There are other things I like quite a bit in terms of game-ability and others that are purely nostalgia... but if I ever take leave of my senses entirely and run me some RIFTS, I will be using Gold Edition.

(I understand that Gold Edition is the same game as pre-RUE RIFTS, but the limited edition just gives it that holier-than-thou vibe I need to feel validated.)

Mega-Damage, bitches.


  1. I always thought that Nightbane looked crazy fun. I never got a chance to play, but I was sorely tempted.

  2. There's another thing going for the first edition(s) of Rifts, it's the background.

    In the original version people go to war after a stupid border incident, nukes go off everywhere and the billion screams of the dying shatter the very fabric of reality and create the Rifts. Basically, Rifts appears and humanity gets wiped because people are morons.

    In the ultimate edition : "Oh my ! Look ! Rifts are opening !". Basically, people are just unlucky and have nothing to do with the coming of the Rifts.

  3. christian- It does, indeed. I've made some practice characters, but never played it. I once started working on a conversion to NWoD, but I think direct conversion is pretty much impossible; you'd just have to build the mechanics off the idea itself.

    Kobayashi- Interesting point. I do like the apocalypse better when humans cause it. I wonder if this was also retconned in their Chaos Earth rpg...?

  4. Yes, Chaos Earth follows the "Disney" version as well...

    As for a conversion, as everyone I used FATE, Risus, Waste World...

    I think now I would go with the classes from the core book only. The main theme IMHO was to see how far humanity would go (creating the Juicers, Crazies, Borgs...) to defend itself against very powerful opponents with the odd character race thrown in (the Dragon Hatchling).

    Keeping most of the original OCCs means you can go with your favorite OSR set of rules, keeping only Fighter and Mages classes and creating some basic kits for each OCCs.

    My main problem with Rifts is I spent more time converting the game than playing it ^^

  5. My main problem with Rifts is I spent more time converting the game than playing it ^^

    I totally feel this.