Why I Love Rifts

Years ago, Palladium Books released a multi-genre role-playing game called Rifts using their Megaversal system. I never played the game in my youth, although I did collect lots of the sourcebooks. I had some limited playing experience with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness RPG, which uses the Megaversal system as well. Finally, after many years, I’ve had opportunity to run a Rifts game, and I absolutely love it.

Let me start by saying Rifts is rules lite, leaving many things untouched. Many GMs and players may view this as a problem, and it does cause lots of in-game questions. However, having run hundreds of game sessions in a variety of game systems, making rulings on the fly is old hat. What this has allowed is opportunity to create House Rules to cover various holes in the ruleset or make the system work for us. For example, we converted the speed and movement to a “square” system to let us make the game a miniatures game as well as RPG. Where these can be seen as work, I see them as opportunities to make the game into something that fits our needs. Palladium Books provided a fine shell, and we’re filling in the rest.

Rifts is rather unique in that it seemlessly incorporates fantasy, sci-fi, and horror all together. Anything you want the game to be, it can be. One session can be a fast-paced vehicle race and combat. The next can be a dungeon-crawl style session. Follow that with some mass combat warfare. There is plenty of background story to lean on to build up world history and such and plenty of non-scripted areas to allow your imagination run wild.

I heartily recommend the Rifts game for any experienced gaming group looking to customize their gaming and experiment with blended genres.

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