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what is palladium missing?

gatzbee

New member
i hear people trash palladium/rifts all the time. i played tmnt and other strangeness tons as a kid and had a blast. i'm getting back into gaming and just want to know what is palladium missing compared to other rpg systems.
i hear lots of criticism about palladium and i would be cool to learn what newer game systems have over it. thanks for any input
 

Spikey

Mean Mm-Mm Servant of God
Validated User
Lots of people will point out lots of flaws with the Palladium Books rules but it's worth noting that there are a ton of cool ideas for characters in each and every one.

On the rules side, though: the rules don't all make sense when you actually read them. Sometimes they contradict themselves, sometimes they just don't cover stuff that comes up in play all the time. Added to that, insofar as you can actually play Palladium games by the book, there are often undesirable consequences, like every opponent having a huge pile of hit points, SDC and/or MDC to whittle down with damage numbers that are really small, considering. And an awful lot of opponents are built just like player characters, which can cause problems (such as a GM having to run an opponent who has access to 'all spells Levels 1-20' or similar). A lot of the detail in the rules is irrelevant as well, like four different hand-to-hand attacks listed when there's no reason for the character to ever use any but the most damaging one.

TL;DR: the rules are a mess.
 
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akajdrakeh

Pronounced 'akkadrakka'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Editorial oversight. Seriously. The last I checked, even the newest Palladium games don't explicitly tell you how to use the percentile-based skills. You just have to figure it out. This may not be much of an issue for RPG veterans but, even so, it should be spelled out. There's a lot of that kind of thing going on in Palladium games.
 

Marc17

Registered User
Validated User
An editor, a second edition that fixes all the various goofs of the original edition, and balance of power between even books of the same game line. Keep with one book or so and things usually aren't too bad. Start adding in other books even from the same game line and things can get confusing or broken pretty quick. Other than that, it's system would be seen as needlessly complex these days and in need of some system unification.
 
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neutrondecay

An Experience
RPGnet Member
Validated User
It's a cheap observation, but: an editor who knows you don't have to attach trademark symbols to your trademarks every time you mention them. That shit is bad for legibility, and the text is dense and obscure enough in places as it is without those.

nd
 
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Albertorius

Registered User
Validated User
Professional integrity? Just take a look at the hot mess that's the Robotech KS, or af the fact that the Mechanoids book has been on preorder during 27 years...

On the rules side, they lack anything resembling coherence or ease of use.
 
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Colin Fredericks

Dorkasaurus Rex
Validated User
It's primarily missing unified game mechanics and and the attention of a serious editor.

Compare AD&D 1e and 2e to Palladium, and Palladium's rules don't come out looking too bad. Both systems have a grab-bag of mechanics, some d20 and some percentile. Both have unbalanced classes and unplaytested monsters, some of which are very easy to run and some of which are nightmares. AD&D had much better editing, but the rules for Palladium weren't that much worse.

However, D&D is now on 5th edition, and the improvement is astonishing. It's streamlined, it has unified mechanics, it's more balanced, it's the best-playtested RPG in the world. D&D5 has flaws, but they aren't the same flaws as AD&D2. Palladium hasn't really changed. As a game system, and even to a large extent as a product line, it's stuck in the same place it used to be. Imagine playing World of Warcraft with the unpatched Warcraft 1 engine.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
To echo: its missing a practical overhaul. How many editions has it had since even Rifts came out? It could really benefit - from a rules standpoint - from three to four editions worth of work. Really examining why they have things, what the purpose is of mechanics, looking over modern mechanics, comprehensively writing the rules out for a new person without past experience, etc.

Also, frankly, I think it could use with something resembling DDI or Hero Lab. There's soooo many books out there that its hard to have everything, nevermind organize it. A GM could pick and choose what is allowable, see everything quickly, and let their players go accordingly.
 
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