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December 2014
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Samldanach [userpic]
Gamma Rifts

Do you remember my epiphany, from a couple weeks ago? I realized that it wouldn't be that hard to jigger the new Gamma World to run Rifts. Or, well, I realized that it was possible, and was hoping it wouldn't be that hard. I've been tinkering with it on and off since then. So far, I have come up with the basic origins.

I actually posted the stuff over at my other blog, for various reasons, mostly having to do with formatting. So, you can go see them by following the links:

Origins with the Tech type.
Origins with the Skill type.
Origins with the Psionic type.
Origins with the Magic type.

I'm still not 100% sure what the types actually do. Obviously, they are equivalents to the Bio/Psi/Dark types in GW. And the breakdown makes more sense in Rifts. But, I still want to use the GW cards. Which won't line up right. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that yet.

Oh, and I know that the numbers go 1-5 in each type. I couldn't be fussed to look up the HTML tag to tell the list to start with a higher number in each post. But, they should be numbered 1-20, so you can do random origins just like in GW.

You might have noticed a couple things. First, there is no equivalent to "Engineered Human." Second, I said "basic origins" up above. There are a lot of character options in Rifts that are just more powerful. But are also really cool. I figured I could make twenty of those, and call them "advanced origins." If you roll (or pick) a given basic origin twice, you instead get the related advanced origin. So, a double telekinetic is instead a cyber-knight. A double necromancer is a vampire. That sort of thing. I'm still working on the advanced origins.

I only went through and created each of the origins at 1st level for now. I'd still need to create the critical effects and whatnot. But, I wanted to see if this worked as a "proof of concept" before I went crazy.

I've been wracking my brains, and I cannot come up with a novice power for the Operator. This is a guy who is a mechanic. That's his schtick. So, think about the guys from Junkyard Wars, or American Chopper, or even Mythbusters. For a more extreme example, what would Tony Stark do without the Iron Man armor? Outside of combat, he's super handy. And his Upgrade! ability is really nice. But, I cannot figure out what his combat trick would be. Any ideas?

There are a couple of bits I've added to the system. There will be a mechanic for doing magic rituals. I have no idea what that mechanic is, yet, but you will the Ritualist ability to tap into it.

Power armor and mecha are really important in Rifts. So, I have a couple basic origins and a couple advanced origins that use it. While at first glance, these look like they give a lot, they really don't. Keep in mind that every character in GW gets to pick up armor and a weapon for free. The biggest advantage you get from power armor is tying your energy weapon into the internal power supply, giving you a gun with unlimited ammo.

Any thoughts or reactions out there? Specifically, any thoughts on whether this would reflect the world of Rifts adequately?


I have not played the new Gamma World, although I have played some D&D4e; I have zero experience with RIFTS, so I'm spitballing here:

what if Operator's novice power was Throw Tool (I think they do that a lot on the chopper show)? Hammers and Wrenches flying! And they always come back to the toolbox, cannot be lost.

my other idea is something like a power boost, in the middle of the fight, you reroute power to your weapon to make the next shot especially damaging or accurate; on a lower tech weapon I'm not sure how this would work exactly.

deploy robot minion! when you start at level one your bot is pretty basic, a rat or spider or cockaroacha.

Heh. Throw Tool would be really funny! Not entirely sure how useful it would be.

Yeah, my problem with Power Boost is that a lot of the weapons are actually not powered. So not sure how that would work there.

I am liking robot minion. It's departing quite a bit from "Rifts canon." But I'm not going to get too fussed about that. The nice thing is that I can probably use it to play off the Doppelganger power from GW. Which I really like, but was having trouble bringing in. Now, do I call it "Deploy Robot Minion" or "Ravage, Eject"?

I had to look up the ravage, eject reference, and I found this:


OMG! I so want that!!

Operator Novice Power

A) Yes please on the Transformer USB sticks.

B) I think the novice power depends on the pseudo-role of the origin. I know GW doesn't do roles outright but all the origins have consistent powers: felinoids are definite strikers, empaths are leaders. I'd pick a role to inform you and make the class more coherent. I see the operator as leader or controller. For a leader I'd make the novice power either something like the artificer's arcane empowerment ("when an ally within X squares uses an Omega Tech power, add the following effect"). And for a controller I'd make something like "Static Feedback" which dazes targets or, if you want to be more complicated, a lodestone-like effect that slides a target around. I see a grinning guy with welder's goggles operating a remote control that shoves around his opponents and sets them up for his friends to pummel.

C) If I were writing this, I'd treat power armor/mechas pretty lightly. You can use vehicle rules for really massive mechas but for power armor maybe increased AC and a bonus to Omega Tech (or whatever you list) checks to simulate "plugging in" your weapon. These would come at the exchange of a penalty to Ref and to speed.


Interesting. I agree that Rifts is a great setting tied to a terrible system. Is the new Gammaworld using essentially D&D 4.0 rules though? I find that system only marginally better than the Palladium system.

I have no time to read up on this right now but will try to remember to come back later.

Gamma World uses an extremely stripped-down version of 4e. There isn't going to be much you really notice. It actually runs very quickly and cleanly.