My Gamer ADD is again in Full Swing

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At the moment thousands of ideas are rushing through my head. I am looking at various roleplaying games at the same time, think about converting others, look into what’s coming up in the next few months, while not doing anything productive. Every time I start to work on a project, I see something new which grabs my attention.

With so many options available to us nowadays it’s often hard to concentrate on one thing. I own countless roleplaying games, settings, adventures, and other gaming material. Every day I have new ideas what Story/setting from another media I would love to turn into a roleplaying game. On the one thing, this constant stream of ideas and cool things to look at is great, but sometimes it keeps me from actually making decisions and/or stick to a campaign once I actually started running it.

Currently I am looking for what to run in the next months. My weekly group had some problems recently. One player left, while there was some kind of row between two others. At the time we had just talked about the changes I wanted to implement into our Buck Rogers game. Since then we haven’t actually picked the campaign up again, and I am not sure if I really want to. The last session where we actually played was not a lot of fun, and I have the feeling I ran things into ground. So I am looking for something new and exciting for 2017.

RIFTS is – as you may have noticed – high up on my list of contenders. It’s over-the-top, wacky, weird and can be tremendous fun – a perfect fit, for my friends. I am also pretty sure my wife will love the fact that RIFTS allows you to play dragons. Zwinkerndes Smiley

The Unexplained is another very interesting game, although I am not sure if it is suited for a long-term campaign. But I am sure it would work great for a smaller campaign or just one-shots. Running a haunted house scenario for example is always a blast.

I recently had a second look at Sine Nomine Publishing’s Godbound and it’s an awesome read. It sound a bit like like an OSR Exalted, which is brilliant. Currently I am waiting for the hardcover version I ordered to arrive.

My game on New Year’s Eve inspired by Darkest Dungeons was a great success and for a while I was tempted to make some plans for a more long-term Darkest Dungeon game. For my New Year’s Eve game I used pregenerated characters based on White Box with some house-rules. For a more long-term campaign I would probably switch to Fantastic Heroes & Witchery, since this is one of the more generic OSR games I am currently enamoured with.

And then there’s my project to create a Fallout pen & paper roleplaying game based on a heavily simplified SPECIAL system, which are the mechanics used in the computer games. I actually even created a pretty badass character sheet, but most of the rules haven’t been written down yet. After reading The Unexplained I am also tempted to work on Fallout Fudged again. Unfortunately I lost a lot of the material I created for it due to a HDD crash, but some of it is still on my Obsidian Portal site.

And don’t get me started on my on-going quest to run a Traveller-style game using either Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition or the Cepheus Engine. Unfortunately I can’t decide whether I want to use the Third Imperium setting, something of my own design, or one of the third party settings available.

As you can see, I my plans and ideas are all over the place again. In a way it feels good, since I’ve had long periods during which my excitement for roleplaying games was definitely dampened. On the other hand I have a hard time making up my mind, and just as I find something interesting, the next shiny thing comes along. Smiley mit geöffnetem Mund

Let’s Talk Again About RIFTS

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Over the weekend I kept thinking about RIFTS and how I could run it without having to rely on the clunky Palladium system. After some googling I stumbled upon a post where someone mentioned he ran RIFTS using OD&D. At first I was wondering how one could do such thing, but after some more careful examination I came to the conclusion that its not really a bad idea.

If you look at it, Palladium is a lot like D&D (I think it could be most closely be related to AD&D) with a BRP-like skill system thrown in and with all pretenses of balance thrown out of the window. I actually don’t mind the last aspect. Balance in RIFTS or the lack thereof is what makes RIFTS fun. And believe it or not, a simple Operator can easily shine in a group of Cyborgs, Juicers, and Cyberknights.

This might sound a bit weird, but I guess you might take a basic framework like Swords & Wizardry (or a similar D&D retro-clone), add a simple skill system, and build the RIFTS OCCs with it. Isn’t a Ley Line Walker just a Magic-User with some special abilities thrown in for good measure? Mega Damage could be a problem, but you either follow RIFTS’ example and add MD and MDC to the system or you convert all damage to normal damage. In RIFTS 1 point of MD is equivalent to about 100 points of normal damage, but I am sure a ratio of 10:1 or even 2:1 would work fine and actually make it more easily playable.

I haven’t talked to my group of players about this, BUT if they are interested in the RIFTS multiverse, I might try to use OD&D to run RIFTS. If that fails, I can still rely on Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage World version.

What do you think about my plans? Do you think this might actually work, or do you believe I am as mad as a hatter? Please share your comments below.

Let’s Talk about RIFTS

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RIFTS is probably one of the first RPGs I played back in the day. I still remember the demise of my first RIFTS character, who forgot to wear his MDC armor before trying to dismantle a robot. Unfortunately this robot was booby-trapped and soon after opening its chest, the rest of the party had to clean off my character’s chunks from all over their armor.

My next character was THE Ezekiel Stargazer, Ley Line Walker and Scholar Extraordinaire. Even to this day, I use this name for my main email address. Even though the rules were clunky, I totally loved the game and it was a shame we didn’t play it more often. Even today I often think of the RIFTS setting and try to find ways to run it for my friends. But there’s one problem: I just can’t stand the rules system.

In my opinion it’s just clunky, overly complicated, incomplete and badly explained. It just sucks. As much as I love the world, I just can’t stand the rules. The layout of the books is also an issue. They look like they have been created in the pre-digital times when people still used scissors and glue to do layout. And I fear that’s actually how they are created to this day.

But having said all that, I can’t help but appreciate the awesomeness that is RIFTS. The excitement for the setting just jumps at you from each paragraph and piece of artwork. RIFTS has something for everyone: Huge humanoid robots, high-tech, magic, psionics, cthulhuesque monsters, fairies, whatever you can think of – it’s in RIFTS somewhere.

Recently something happened which I would have never dreamed of: Palladium Books gave Pinnacle Entertainment a license to produce a Savage World RIFTS game. I haven’t checked it out yet, mainly because I am highly skeptical Savage Worlds is the right system for this totally over-the-top setting. Something like one of the various super hero roleplaying games might actually work better.

So, what are your thoughts on RIFTS? How do you deal with the rules? I actually heard several times that even Kevin Siembieda uses a lot of house rules when he runs the game at conventions. Perhaps one of my readers has played in one of those games and can share some of their insights. If you guys have any idea how to solve my RIFTS conundrum, please let me know in the comments below!

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