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Rifts gming advice

nexus

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Does anyone have any advice for GMing Palladium's Rifts or can point me in the direction of a site with it?
 

Marcantony

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Um, what do you mean?

Are you asking which books to use? An explanation of the system? General campaign advice?
 

nexus

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Just any general tips, war stories, warning, etc. I ran a brief game many years ago and it was kind of fun but dried very quickly. But I was feeling nostalgic lately and thinking of getting another one started.
 

basilisk

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If you're running OG Rifts rather than the Savage Worlds rules, pick an area of the world/limited set of books to work with.

While there are literally hundreds of character classes, races, monsters, and kinds of weapons don't fall for the temptation of allowing the players to peruse the dozens of world and dimension books and allow them to pick whatever looks cool. You will then need to do a LOT of paging through those self-same books on a per game basis.

If you opt to ignore this advise and use the dead trees editions of the books, be prepared to host the games. You do NOT want to haul all of the books you need up and down two flights of stairs every other week. Just the voice of experience talking, here.

Plus there is the infamous problem of power creep. The further along in the game line, the more powerful the character classes and equipment became. IIRC, some of the main book classes even got rewritten in later books simply to make them better able to compete with the new stuff out there.

DO NOT attempt to a world tour campaign until you are pretty comfortable with both the game world and the direction things are headed, for the reasons outlined above.

Bottom line: pick a region and maybe 4 or 5 sourcebooks. Draw the line at this and be firm. Let everybody know up front that this is for book keeping and consistency reasons. Most folks are cool with that.
 

Marius B

Euro-Trash
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This isn't specific to Rifts but to Palladium games more generally (including Rifts): Some OCCs are essentially better versions of other OCCs - in PFRPG 2e, an Assassin does everything a Thief does and does it as well or better and then does a few more things on top of that. Same for Paladins* vs Knights. This only becomes a problem if one player creates a character from one class and another player creates one from the other. You now have two PCs with the same niche but one does everything better.
 

Crothian

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Does anyone have any advice for GMing Palladium's Rifts or can point me in the direction of a site with it?
Rifts as a kitchen sink setting can have too many possibilities that don't always work together. Talk to the players and together figure out what draws you to the game and see if it all meshes. Then focus on that. When I ran in a couple decades ago the players really liked the different world books so we created a way for them to be globe trotting adventures exploring the setting. Other times the players wanted to focus on harassing the Coalition so I started them with a stolen APC so they could get around and created some simple villages in the Ohio Valley for them to try to protect.
 

nexus

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Wanted to thank the thread for their suggestions. It clicks with my original experiences in a few ways plus I was trying to gm in a way that doesn't work me.
 

gtroc

Jacob Possin
Validated User
I have run a fair amount of Rifts in my life. It was one of the first games I have ever played. I will try and distill some of the methods I have found work.

The Player Characters are big fish in a tide pool. Adventure happens when the tide comes in.
Basically your players will be the big damn heroes of the area they are in, until something from outside that area(whether through a rift, or due to the coalition encroaching, or a recently discovered ancient factory, whatever) shows up. this means that the locals are aware that the player characters are powerful and dangerous and see them as a solution to lots of problems.

Do not worry about balancing the enemies.
When you think you have designed a scene with enough enemies, double that amount. The players can probably handle it. They most likely have fusion blocks and those solve nearly any problem. Sometimes it is fun to throw an infinite number of bad guys at them and then they have to think of a way to stop the bad guys showing up rather than just beat them in a straight up fight.

Simplify the NPC stats.
All you need for most NPCs is their relevant areas of expertise. In those areas they succeed. In others they fail. In combat all you need is the NPCs MDC, initiative, number of actions, Dodge, and weapon damage/special ability. This will allow for you to field many more NPCs than character creation might make you think. Basically anything you can do to simplify the NPC stats, do that.

Give the players a chance to be awesome.
They play a Glitterboy(Dragon, Burster, etc) for a reason, let them show off. throw some paper tigers their way, and let them have fun with it.

Villains are villainous, Heroes are Heroic.
This is not the world for shades of grey. If you start muddying the moral waters the setting starts to fall apart. Let the bad guys twirl their mustaches and wipe their monocles. Let the heroes defend the poor and the downtrodden. this works best in a very black and white morality(in my opinion, maybe you can do shades of grey and I always just failed at it).

Ask Questions, use the answers.
I stole this from games powered by the Apocalypse, but it works well. Always be asking questions and letting the players come up with the answers, allow them to link themselves to the world and make it more real to them.

I don't know if that helps. I hope it does. If you want to see me attempt to use these ideas in a game, here is a short campaign I did a while back. Also I did a big read through of Rifts that I always intend to get back to...someday.
 
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