|1||I can get stuff off my chest by publishing it in my books so I'm gonna. Hah.|
|2||The ultimate lord of the undead is the vampire intelligence, a monstrous, elemental being that functions like a living virus that infects other creatures.|
|3||...however, these third generation undead are frequently flawed, one might say, mentally retarded.|
|4||Super Hypnotic Suggestion (a form of mind control)|
|5||Many misguided souls believe a wooden stake thrust through the heart of a vampire kills the demon. They are wrong!!|
|6||A ordinary child's water balloon can become a lethal weapon to vampires...|
|7||Days away, I can still taste the bile of the city in my mouth.|
|8||Wild vampires are notorious for cat-calls and insults from the darkness.|
|9||...there are no vampires here. Absolutely none!|
|10||Just knowing they are present drives the Muluc vampires crazy with frustration.|
|11||In the midwestern cities, Halloway was nothing but an ornery, two-bit punk, but out in the wild west he has become a king.|
|12||The city looks like the cantina scene out of the pre-rifts movie, Star Wars, only it looks that way everywhere in the city.|
|13||As you will see, the people see tham as the symbol of courage and strength.|
|14||I've been a trapper in these hills for years an' I kin say thet thing is real. An' I ain't never seen nothing like it.|
|15||An delighted Flooper will perform several cartwheels, followed my hand stands and a back flip, while shouting 'floop floop, yippee, floop floop, zowie!|
|16||Large crowds and carnival noises are ideal for drowning out the screams of victims.|
|17||Rolling up new characters may be applicable.|
|18||Cachumaquiq must announce that he is going to kill the target of his death touch before it can be effective; something like 'Now you will feel the caress of death' or 'Now you die'.|
|19||If the creature likes what he hears (chaos and carnage) it will agree to work with the one who solicited his aid.|
|20||It's f---in' brilliant!|
Just when you thought it was safe to go into FATAL & Friends:
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 1: "I can get stuff off my chest by publishing it in my books so I'm gonna. Hah."
Okay, let's look at the cover.
"Hey, everybody listen to me! Hey! Hey! Over here!"
G'damn, that's a lot of vampires! Vampires with armor on! Vampires with mullets! Vampires with mohawks!
After having pictures and mentions of vampires for two books, now, we are going to get some vampires. You are going to be so fucking sick of vampires by the time this is done. I promise you this.
On the back:
A Simvan Monster Rider (remember those guys, from the sourcebook?) in front of a ruin! There are tentacles or something coming out of the ruin, and bats! The bats may also be vampires. And no licking, thank Long.
I'm on to you, Vampire Kingdoms.
It promises: Vampires and the Vampire Kingdoms, vampire PCs, techno-wizard devices for slaying vampires, mayan gods, the mystery of the Yucatan, travelling shows, vampire hunters, Juarez City, and art!
Edit: Also there's a newer edition of this book, but it cuts out the circus construction rules, so seriously, fuck it . I'm doing the old one which has more circus .
It's a mega-sourcebook for Rifts! (It says so twice, on the cover and on the back.) But it's also a World Book? It's-
Violence and the Supernatural
This book may be inappropriate for young readers.
The nature of vampires means extreme elements of violence. Undead monsters return from the grave to feed on living human beings by drinking human blood. Decapitation, impalement, the mass destruction of the vampires, as well as magic, insanity, and the supernaural are all elements of this book. We suggest parental discretion.
Note that Rifts and Rifts Vampire Kingdoms are works of fiction! NONE of the monsters, characters, or depictions are real. None of us at Palladium Books condone nor encourage the occult, the practice of magic, the use of drugs, or violence.
First off, Kevin is upset. All is not well in paradise. I'm just trying to give you what you want, people! But you aren't happy. No, you're not. I specifically wrote the Rifts Sourcebook to people's requests, but people want more world information. God, bros, you make it so tough.
God. Why don't you people ask Kevin to open up his veins already. Just give my blood and flesh to you! How much do you want? It said it was a sourcebook, not a world book! Capiche?
Do you think this is some crappy generic setting! It is not generic or universal! It many use all genres but that doesn't make it universal! Generic stuff is cheap and comes in white packaging, bro! I ain't like that Steve Junkson guy, y'know?
It's hard being a writer! How much detail do you use! Well it's better to have too much, right? Right?! We'll give you tons of detail, because detail is good! I have details coming out of my ass it's a medical condition, I can't stop it!
Rifts isn't just hack and slash! Sure, it's got a lot of murdering, but you have to because of adventure! But you can do a lot more with it! You'd better! You can do anything you want with it! You can be Santa Claus, I don't care!
And what's with the British, whining about our disclaimers! We don't have that many disclaimers! They are L-I-A-R-S. And the disclaimers aren't that big a deal! It just how goes to show how uptight those Brits are, amirite? But it's okay, they can be uptight, we're bros.
We put the warnings in because kids are fucking dumb and especially parents are dumb and they need to be told magic isn't real, I mean, it's crazy, but it's just a little thing to do to keep the idiots from the fucking gates.
But there's totally going to be blood and gore and shit, I mean, there's an entire vampire nation (which is my original idea that nobody has ever ever done), and it's pretty fucking scary, man, you can't stop them with nukes, man, you need a fucking sharp stick! Do you have a sharp stick now, vampire chow! Yeah, that's right.
They are SUPER FUCKALICIOUS AWESOME, and they have bunch of superpowers, and we're going to make them all more megaversally sweet, bros. I've totally made them scarier and better. But, uh, don't think they're real just because I made them so scary. They're not real.
They're not real!™
Anyway, this book is late and all because I was busy making it so goddamn AWESOME! We just kept adding more shit! We were writing and drawing addicts! You can't stop us, don't even try! I could do ten adventures in the burbs, Rifts Burbs Books One through Ten, you just fucking watch.
Sorry there ain't no adventures, but we just decided it was more important to give you world stuff which is worth like ten dozen score adventures, like, there's this part where there's this circus, and it is like a hundred billion adventure possibilities for this circus, you could go into space with this circus, you could find out about the secrets of clowns and shit. Whatever! You can do anything!
Megaversally yours, bros
The Mega™ Kevin Siembieda
There's also a Vampire Intelligence! This is the alien space amoeba thing that's behind vampires. There's nothing as mundane as a description, but we are told it's 8ft tall with a 25ft wingspan, and weighs 600lbs. We're also told they never, ever risk entering our dimension (and don't need to since they know everything the fragments they send do), so I guess they're a waste of space?
It's not an imaginary story! Not a dream! Not an illusion! It's...
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 3: "... however, these third generation undead are frequently flawed, one might say, mentally retarded."
It's time for the main event!
The Master Vampire
As we know already, the master vampire has to agree willingly to become an inhuman Lugosifying machine. Their alignment switches to an evil one, and they reroll their attributes (they get tremendous bonuses, so this is generally to their advantage), they already know how to use their superpowers and how to feed. Often they set up their territory where they can be the boss vampire, and generally are looking as to how best to make a human farm for blood milking. They're also egotists and tend to carry grudges, like an 80s cartoon villain. Stats time!
They get awesome attributes, and... we'll get into the powers and weaknesses later, since there's a more in-depth section coming up. They can do M.D.C. bare-handed. It notes that vampires can punch and hurt each other, though their regeneration makes it hard for one to kill another. They keep any existing skills they have and basically take up the master vampire class. If you try and put cyborg parts on them their regeneration just rejects them, and they regrow any missing part. Master vampires aren't recommended as PCs since they're the vampire intelligence's willing butt puppets.
The first thing to go is hair care.
The Secondary Vampire
An Optional Player Character R.C.C.
Vampires you can play! These are created by the slow kill which we still don't know what that is, but hey! They get the same powers as a master vampire but are somewhat weaker and the master vampire can boss them around.
However, they can defy the vampire intelligence sometimes, and remember the most about being human of all the vampire types. Most fall victims to the bloodthirst and domination but a tiny minority can remain goodies and remain suitable as PCs. Basically, if you want to be a Nick Knight or an Angel, this is the class.
Often they are driven to convert people close to them into being vampires, but most of those they convert (a little over half) turn into wild vampires and a significant minority become secondary vampires. It's a random roll, so be careful about who you vampirize.
Man, secondary. There's gotta be a better name than that.
Anyway, you get bonuses to almost all your attributes, plus big ones for physical attributes, but physical beauty is generally just better-than-average but rarely exceptional. They get the same powers, blah blah, if you had magic beforehand you get to keep half that magic (and it never advances, no idea what happens to psychics), and you can do M.D.C. with punches but not as much to other vampires. Vampires prefer to use their powers than technology. "those powers and instincts make them superhuman and the equal to any man-made power armor"; this is not actually true. Anyway, they always enjoy using their powers. Using superpowers is like an erogenous zone for vampires.
An Optional Player Character R.C.C.
They're savage, bestial, and weaker than other vampires, but they get the same powers. So if you want to play a crap vampire, this is the class for you! Not much to add, they go under the same rules but get smaller numbers.
They apparently range in packs of a half to five dozen, usually two dozen, and have a territory of thousands of square miles. They've infected Mexico, New Mexico, and parts of Arizona, Colorado, and Texes. Some secondary vampires lead packs. They mostly just have official rank like a wolf pack, and are focused on just finding new places to eat and feed. They're basically a bunch of feral children.
They can just mist form to travel into graves or caves to rest duing the day. They sometimes raid and torment a town over weeks or months, but often change up their lairs. They also like to destroy traveling caravans entirely. If a group of travelers looks too strong, they might just harass them because! That is why. They're basically out to start shit just because.
Vampires as Player Characters
A conflict of nature
It mentions the GM can entirely deny people the right to make vampires, and that there are several issues. First, bloodsucking - even if you just do it to evil people - is a terrible act "like rape". Some groups may not be comfy with this.
Other PCs may allow a vampire to feed on them for small amounts or the recently killed. (It notes vampires can't drink from other vampires. It doesn't say why.) If this can't be resolved, the group may have to kick the vampire out or kill them, and it notes the vampire player shouldn't hold this against the other players. Yep, you've just agreed to let the other players kill you. It's part of your social contract!
Vampires can only act at night, which is an issue unless there's only night adventures. So a vampire player might have to just sit out during sessions. Also, there's the question of where the vampire sleeps and how they're transported if necessary.
It notes a playtest it notes several solutions, like having an M.D.C. van with traps for the other characters to drive around with an M.D.C. coffin. It goes into a lot of about this and what great ideas the vampire player had. Or it notes the other characters could lug a coffin around, or just dig a hole to sleep in if they're on native soil.
Everybody Fears a Vampire
Most people will generally distrust or hate vampires, especially in Mexico and Texas. Avoid wearing a cape with a red liner.
Playing a Wild Vampire
Summed up: people playing wild vampires should be temperamental, impulsive jerks. Er, I mean, the characters should be. And the players, too.
Experience Table for Vampire R.C.C.s
There's a variety of bonuses vampires get to their powers as they level up, and they level super-slow, even much slower than dragons (!). Unlike most experience tables, they will remain 3-4 levels behind most other PCs eventually.
Yeah, you notice how we haven't even discussed vampire powers and weaknesses? They each get their own section. Hang on; it's gonna be
Next: Vampire superpowers! Why vampires are completely rad and cool! Hint: it starts with fangs.
People who complain about the amount of attention Glitter Boys gets in Rifts™ should reread this section, and see what it's really like when a writer wanks over a concept.
I'm a bat!
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 4: "Super Hypnotic Suggestion (a form of mind control)"
No disciplines here, all vampires get the same superpowers from their blobby lords.
A Lust for Blood
Vampires are compelled to be evil by the vampire intelligence! Some struggle with them and some are like "sure, dude". But in any case, they have to feed, but they don't have to kill. They need two pints of blood every two nights. By the third night without blood they start getting penalties, and if they smell blood within 500 ft., the have to roll to save vs. feeding frenzy (no idea what this roll is). It can even be a tiny cut. A failed roll means they have to feed or go berserk for 1d4 hours.
Good characters who go crazy can at least direct who they choose to feed on, but still have to feed. Also, vampires in the feeding frenzy have to save against mind control with each pint taken (with no bonuses) to stop themselves from sucking somebody dry. The longer they go without blood, the harder the save to resist feeding frenzy becomes.
If a vampire is starved for three weeks, the vampire goes completely apeshit and animalistic and has to drain and kill the first person they see, but then returns to normal. A vampire that's kept from blood six months or more degenerates into a wild vampire.
The Vampire's Bite
Vampires prefer to keep from human and human-like creatures, and if they're looking to convert, prefer attractive people. Vampires are judgmental and shallow! However, if they drain somebody dry, that person doesn't become a vampire. Vampires can't drink he blood of animals, and rarely turn mutant animals into vampires, because mutant animals are "natural enemies" to vampires due to their ability to sense the supernatural. Yes, vampires and dogs: eternal foes.
Um... Presence 2, Dread Gaze
Slow Kill (creating the undead)
Basically, a vampire has to bite and drain a little bit of blood for two nights, and on the third night drains the victim dry. Three days later, the victim rises as vampire.
If a PC is converted, they freeze all their O.C.C. skills at their current level and never increase them again. They lose half their secondary skills (unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell which were purchased as secondary skills and which as O.C.C. skills, so that's a pain). The vampire gets skills as they go up in level but it's not clear if those level up or are frozen too. If they have any cybernetics, they're rejected from the body. Borgs and supernatural creatures can't be turned into vampires.
The skill thing is too complicated and
Anyway, a vampire that's bit somebody for the slow kill is dazed and confused, and the vampire can also do some minor control (which, strangely, doesn't seem to have a save). A vampire can also create entranced slaves by just not doing the final bit properly, and thus Renfielding someone. A slave under a vampire's fangy can resist at tremendous penalties, but can't harm the vampire under any circumstances (!). The only way to break the mind control is to kill the vampire, or prevent the third bite.
Mind control without any saves? Yeesh. I guess the dodge is a save of sorts?
Mind Control: Vampire over Vampire
Vampires can try and mind control each other, as well, but only of an equal or lower "type" than themselves. It's harder to resist of they're of the same vampire intelligence, as well. There's a lot of on this, but that's the summary.
Psionic Powers of the Vampire
These are the powers that actually cost ISP. They get a variety of sensory, mind control, and deceptive powers, and Super Hypnotic Suggestion, which is more powerful and long-lasting than the normal Hypnotic Suggestion psionic power. It can't force the victim to break alignment, and works better if the commands match it. For some reason this works on people in power armor, but not in robot vehicles... because! That is why.
Vampires can also sense any vampire it's created within a certain distance, as well as call to them for a summon. In addition, masters can tell when their own sire has been slain.
Bat, wolf, or mist. When transforming, basic items transform with the vampire, but any body armor, heavy equipment, or heavy weapons fall away. That's why they don't like high-tech jazz, they can't take a lot of it with them.
Vampires can summon rats and bugs, which are only mildly damaging but inflict combat penalities when they swarm people, and have a weak Horror Factor (6 or 9).
Yep, you can summon S.D.C. wolves! Woopee! Well, they're decent as watchdogs. They also have a Horror Factor of 8 for some reason, even if you're safe in your Glitter Boy.
Older vampires get the power to summon a spooky fog, covering up to 1 mile, and reducing visual range to 4-10 feet!
Vampires aren't hurt by normal weapons at all, but they may get knocked off their feet. (There are rules later for this, and they're different from the original knockdown rules in the Sourcebook). They can't catch diseases (not even AIDS or cancer, it says... wait, you can catch cancer?), and they can't pass along diseases, either. :heybaby:
Even when vampires are damaged, they regain their hit points every round. Over hours they can recover limbs, torso, or head if necessary, if not permanently destroyed somehow. Yeah, their head turns to mist to rejoin the body. Basically vampires get to say "neener, neener!" a lot.
Unshockingly, vampires are immortal, unless you permanently destroy them. (How do we do that? Next section.)
Um... Regrowinarium 6, or... shit, run!
Abilities Natural to Vampires
In case you needed more powers...
The best weapon against a vampire? Push 'em down a waterslide.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 5: "Many misguided souls believe a wooden stake thrust through the heart of a vampire kills the demon. They are wrong!!"
To Kill a Vampire
Blah blah invulnerable blah blah immortal blah blahhhh survive a nuke blah.
Stuff can hurt them, though, wood, water, silver, daylight, herbs, soil, crosses, and fire.
Yes. Water. But enough of that, time to get specific!
The Wooden Stake
Stakes just paralyze vampires and make them look corpsy. This is because vampires are elemental in nature (really?), and the stake grounds a vampire to the earth. You can also use a silver stake, if you're an upper-class twit. Even if it's on tarmac. In this stastis state, the vampire is weakened and can be harmed by normal weapons and fire. The only way to finish it for good is to chop off the head, burn the body and head seperately, and scatter the ashes. Also, wooden weapons can cause injury to a vampire, but not direct death.
Wow. Killing vampires sounds like some goddamn work . You'd think setting bodies on fire wouldn't get old but I'm sure it does. Maybe nobody's wiped out the vampires just because it gets too boring.
The Silver Bullet
Yeah, silver hurts vampires, and if you get a silver bullet in the heart, it'll paralyze them too. It works interchangeably like wood. Next!
Protection by Herbs
Hanging garlic or "wolfbay" around a door repels vampires from a location, hanging it around your neck prevents bites, and can be used to ward vampires off.
Protection by the Symbol of the Cross
The cross can frighten vampires (like Horror Factor 18) and can burn them. However, all vampires get bonuses against Horror Factor, so a master is much less likely to be affected than a wild vampire. Even the shadow of a cross can burn them, so you can set it up on a spotlight and go vampire-zapping.
Death by Water
Here's the winner.
Running water can dissolve vampires! Not just rivers - any running water! Rain! Squirt guns! Piss!
Okay, it doesn't mention piss. But it does mention that vampires are water-soluble . It can melt them permanently, like the Wicked Witch!
They also need to make a roll to try and cross water, even by flying as a bat. Holy water does more damage and can ward them away.
Also, as an aside, blood is 80% water! So drinking blood = running water = all Rifts vampires explode. I'm guessing this wasn't their intention, but what the hell. Go with it. Vampire Kingdoms explode in a puff of logic.
Death by Sunlight
Vampires take a lot of damage from sunlight, and it really slows them down. The magic spell Globe of Daylight won't hurt vampires, but it will ward them off. There's a lot of about how well this worked out for PCs in a playtest. Once again, logic tells us the moon would be bad too, but no go.
Vulnerability (sleeping) During the Day
Vampires sleep deeply during the day and are hard to wake, and are at severe penalities if they wake up. (There are no rules for what it takes to wake them up.)
The Soil of the Homeland
Apparently "Homeland" means "entire continent". Uh. So if they leave their continent, they need to carry around soil or they go insane and slaughter people and then are like HEY MR. SUN and fooomp. But if they're created in Mexico, they can bed down in Alaska just fine.
If you stake a vampire, you can burn it, but if you don't decapitate it, it has a 50% chance of recovery.
And that's all the ways there is to kill a vampire! It bears mentioning no amount of mundane damage will harm a vampire - you could drop the moon on a vampire and it wouldn't die. But you could beat it down with a stick and then throw a glass of water on it for the finisher.
Silly? Yes. Arbitrary and mighty silly.
Oh and we're not even close to done with vampires yet, ha ha.
Next: Fighting the vampires! Special combat rules! Vampires vs. Robots! Sailboats! Yeah, that's right - it's time to sail - in the world of Rifts™!
Vampires are special pack of goddamn snowflakes, monster-wise. Seriously, how many other creatures require so much in the way of gyrations to kill?
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 6: "A ordinary child's water balloon can become a lethal weapon to vampires..."
Vampire Combat Notes
More rules for vampires! I think this is even more rules than missiles get.
Wood, Silver, Water & Others
Here it lists the damage vampires take from various bits. It should be noted vampires don't have M.D.C. or S.D.C., but just hit points, because every source of damage they take is specially defined with a damage value just for them.
Wood and Silver Weapons
Yeah, wood weapons!
Except it doesn't say how much damage it does. Boomerang! No damage listed. Wood throwing knife! No damage listed. Throwing sticks! No damage listed. Oh, sure they have prices, but no actual rules. (And no, they're not in the core, either. I did double-check.)
Bows are covered too!... only we don't know how much a normal arrow does, or what the range of a bow is, which was similarly neglected back in the Rifts™ Sourcebook . Ooops. Problem is, those explosive arrows don't do so much good here.
Anti-Vampire Rail Guns Modified Rounds for Combating Vampires
Yep, wood bullets with a metal core so the rail gun can shoot them. You'd think they would fragment like crazy and just fly all over inaccurately, but what do I know! They have a lower range and fuck vampires up pretty seriously.
Yeah, tape a cross to a spotlight and point it at a vampire, and the vampire burns.
Conventional Water Weapons - Squirt Guns
Yep, it's finally come down to this. Water pistols, pump guns, hoses, and water balloon launchers . Melt vampires down to blood slurry.
Techno-Wizard Anti-Vampire Weapons!
Yup, they use an exclamation point.
Note: Other creatures of magic are generally considered to be natural enemies of the vampire. But not all supernatural monsters/demons are creatures magic.
What'd you think of Mexico, Erin?
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 7: "Days away, I can still taste the bile of the city in my mouth."
Exploring Central America
Letters of Erin Tarn
As you may remember, Erin Tarn had some friends that decided to go to Mexico 20 years ago and never came back! Well, now she's worked up the courage to go, so she can figure out the truth about Mexico and tell everybody. And thanks to the kingdom of Lazlo publishing Traversing Our Modern World without her permission, she's wanted by the Coalition States.
Thanks, Kingdom of Lazlo! (And Lazlo is supposed to be a community of good guys . Go figure.)
Apparently the Rio Grande is now a huge river, and they are going to New El Paso, even though it's a den of hive and villainy, to cross over. Also everybody is afraid of vampires! But apparently the river keeps them from crossing. She saw glowy eyes across the river! Blah blah weaknesses of vampires squirt guns. She guesses they like Mexico because it's dry.
Yes, she is just restating shit we just read about . This would have been way better to have before a thirty-page section about vampires, where it would tease things instead of belaboring. Skipping.
They enter Mexico and go to Juarez! It's a shithole! Erin Tarn is disgusted at what an amoral shithole it is, and totally judges these people and their dirty way of life. Supposedly Juarez is vampire-free, she says there are rumors of vampires but they may not be vampires but instead fake vampires. They are vampires.
The locals recommend she travel across the coastline or a river. Instead, she's going to go across the mainland, which is full of vampires, so they can get to Mexico City , which is said to be full of vampires. From there they're going to go to Central America, which may be full of vampires. You know. Assuming nothing bad happens, like getting attacked by vampires.
Erin Tarn has not been heard of since this last letter.
Vampiros gone wild!
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 8: "Wild vampires are notorious for cat-calls and insults from the darkness."
The Vampire Kingdoms
Well, we're not going to get into the kingdoms just yet, but that's the header we have for some reason.
Guess what? Mexico and Central America is dominated by vampires! It's not a lie! I guess the cover gave that shit away, huh? But now the truth can be told.
The Coalition has sent spies to Lone Star (wait, aren't they already Coalition?), El Paso, and Juarez to find out more about vampires. They've also infiltrated Reid's Rangers (some vampire hunters adverted on the back cover). Even though they've gotten information there are smart vampires, they think most vampires are dumb - numerous, but dumb.
In short, they're fucked if they try to invade, because they don't know shit about shit.
The Northern Wastelands
The Vampire's Great Deception
That should be vampires', plural, just saying.
Anyway, it's in Southern Mexico that the vampire intelligences exist and engaged in vampire on vampire war, and sometimes summon allies, and in general are ee evil. However, they do see blob-eye to blob-eye on one thing, and that is making a bunch of crappy wild vampires and banishing them to Northern Mexico. This gets rid of the wild vampires, since they're annoying, obnoxious, and not exactly house-trained. Secondly, they get a buffer zone of expendable monsters to attack travelers and invaders. Lastly, it makes most people think vampires are a bunch of stupid hicks and monsters so they don't realize that there are way smarter vampires enslaving entire towns and cities.
The Wild Vampires of Northern Mexico
Most people who live in Northern Mexico know how to fight vampires, but there are so many vampires it's impossible to hold them off forever. And most wild vampires organize into packs. Lone vampires tend to just pick on the isolated or weak. Wild vampires are generally nomadic and have lots of hidey-holes.
It's the really big groups that are dangerous, since they can just overwhelm people with numbers. In addition, they can really put their heads together in groups and utilize tactics that include their powers.
You know, like...
Other times they'll intimidate communities for food, though sometimes come into conflict with other packs for territory and food. Small packs are about a dozen, a medium pack will be 20-40, and large packs are about 50-120. Sometimes they're led by secondary vampires, wizards, dragons, demons, etc., instead of just other wild vampires.
Blah blah blah clan-oriented pecking order blah blah some order others around because they're stronger. Wild vampires like to intimidate and frighten people and basically troll the living, murder wild animals, throw them through people's windows, whatever, they just don't care. Well, they care about fucking with people. Sometimes literally.
Enough of these assholes! Let's talk about a different sort of asshole.
Next: ¡Ahora, los vampiros que tienen pantalones en! ¡Los reinos de vampiro verdaderos del sur!
I apologize if I am butchering español. (That does not mean I will stop.)
I, for one, welcome our new blobby overlords. None of them are Nazis, at least.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 9: "'... there are no vampires here. Absolutely none!'"
So, the bubonic plague? It was vampires. Fuck science, fuck history, it was vampires! But humanity kicked their asses back to their hell dimension and so that was that. Also the Mayan and Aztec sacrifices may have been related to a vampire invasion. It turns out history was crazy with vampires!
The Ideal Vampire Habitat
Rifts Mexico and Central America, Circa 102 P.A.
Vampires like Mexico because it's hot, dry, and there's not much cover, there's not much in the way of weather changes, and day/night is consistent. Also, the Yucatan is annoying and wet, but it's full of magic energy for the intelligences and food for their human livestock.
It says here that the intelligences aren't vulnerable to water or sunlight, but this contradicts their actual statblock.
Mostly these are secondary vampires, with an extreme minority of wild vampires and a tiny amount of master vampires. Secondary vampires are the only ones common enough who are able to keep their shit together, basically.
This is the setup for usual small town vampire mini-kingdom - there are like a dozen vampires that lead a village, and rule over it like fangy gods, feeding on but not killing the populace. In turn, the village looks to them as protectors and heroes, even though the vampires are generally just exploitative jerks.
Vampire Towns and Cities
The Roots of Domination
Even though humans outnumber vampires by whole bunches, vampires are way more powerful than humans. In addition, vampires also recruit daytime protectors, which are generally augmented humans. In addition, even if a rebellion succeeds, there are probably vampiric neighbors willing to strike at a weakened town and take it over. In addition, the vampires keep people safe from worse monsters.
It's rare for there to be cities, but there are some! Here's one:
The Vampire Kingdom of Ixzotz
Eesh-zotz, BTW. It's where Aguascalientes used to be. You know, Aguascalientes? Of course you do.
The majority of the city is vampires, and they feed off the surrounding farms. Humans here are chained slaves and have been abused and debased for life. It's surrounded by farms run on slave labor, and every month each farm is invaded by vampires who just feed like crazy.
Anyway, it's got about 50's level of tech, and is sparsely populated save perhaps for slaves, who are likely to flee or get the sheriff.
Ixvotz City Highlights
There's a sheriff who's a brodkil borg (from Rifts™ Sourcebook ) along with several flunkies like a wizard and an ogre and a bunch of other brodkil. They also have a bunch of robots they can activate in a pinch, as well as slave warriors.
There's a hotel that's just meant to trap and ambush adventurers, a jail, an arena for fights between vampires, humans, and captive adventurers. There's also a hospital, which is mostly blood and staked vampire storage. The convention center has a vampire intelligence and about a hundred vampire protectors. It lists a mighty treasure trove. There's also a casino there Master Ocolan, the master vampire, hangs out and holds court. He also has a Kryntoc bodyguard, which is basically a 13', three-armed and beaked demon-thing.
Three arms! That's scary, right?
Other Cities of the Kingdom
No, there's no such thing, really, as a "short
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 10: "Just knowing they are present drives the Muluc vampires crazy with frustration."
The Strongholds of Man
Yes, not everywhere in Mexico is a Dracula-infested bunghole. It is, however, a short section.
Tampico Military Protectorate
This is based out of old Tampico, and it's an oil-drilling operation run by mercenaries. It's in the middle of the Muluc kingdom, and so gets attacked a lot, but they have a small army to fend them off, including a lot of powerful power armor suits. Muluc's considering wiping them out!... but they might not be worth the bother.
This is a town used by the Pecos Empire as a vacation spot in Northern Mexico, and though it struggles with vampire attacks, all the citzenry are armed against vampires. In addition, the Pecos Raiders help make sure the town remains vamp-free when they aren't boozing it up here.
New Del Rio
It's a crummy hellhole in Texas run by a corrupt family. It's a haven for bandits, infested by vampires, is supposed to be even worse than Juarez, travelers avoid it, etc.
Is there any place that's nice?
Here's one! It's a nice, modern, high-tech kingdom. That's why they keep everybody else out. (Seriously, that's the extent of the detail here.)
This is on the Rio Bravo river, and sprawls into the river with floating platforms and houseboats, and the numerous waterways keep it mostly vampire-free, thought it's largely isolated.
Next: El Paso! Dog boys vs. cat girls! Orcs vs. nazis! Robocops! It's all there!
No, seriously, I'm not even exaggerating. Well, okay. Only about fifty robocops.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 11: "In the midwestern cities, Halloway was nothing but an ornery, two-bit punk, but out in the wild west he has become a king."
Travelling beyond the Threshold of Humankind
Communities are rare in the wilderness, blah blah small towns blah blah dammit we went over this in Rifts™ Sourcebook . Next!
It's about 30k people and is about half humans, one-quarter d-bees, one-quarter mutant animals, and some number of other jerks. See, this book loves numbers and I've been skipping them like crazy, but El Paso gets a decent chunk of the book and you folks need to be ready for the test.
It's considered to be the last outpost of civilization in the American Southwest. To the south, vampires! To the west, the Pecos Raiders! In Canada there are insane wizards- wait what the shit is this book going on about?
Anyway, Juarez City across the border is bigger but isn't considered civilized. El Paso is a backwater compared to the Coalition States, but it's refined and effete compared to all the scumshit buttholes that surround it.
It's a major center of trade, mostly free of vampires, and even has a small Coalition States embassy.
El Paso has a competent and decent police force, mainly focused on squashing major crime - they're likely to ignore misdemeanors or the like. They also double as the local militia, and have a fair number of mutant dogs, robot pilots, psychics, wizards, and people in rad flying bikes.
Oh, and 49 robocops.
There's no mention of what laws they actually enforce, though. Well, no game is perfect.
El Paso Gang Problems
The new scourge of decent folk everywhere - rogue mutant animals! Remember, have your mutant animal spayed or neutered. But the Coalition doesn't do that, and a lot of them are busting loose out of Lone Star.
Renegade mutant dogs breaking the law! Humans ain't their masters no more, no sir!
You don't have to be a dog to join, but they hate cats and birds, and only dogs get to lead, because they're bunch of canine supremacists. They're mostly just petty criminals and occasional vigilantes.
The Gang Leaders include:
The big item in robots is the basic bot horse
The term they kept using for Juarez in the rest of the book was "filthy". The fact that is is Mexican is probably just a coincidence.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 12: "The city looks like the cantina scene out of the pre-rifts movie, Star Wars , only it looks that way everywhere in the city."
Into the Mexican Frontier
Ciudad Juarez, city of assholes!
It's mostly humans and D-Bees here, with a minority of mutant animals and
. It's just beyond the Rio, and is the only known city in Mexico to most northerners.
It's like the cantina scene in Star Wars. There are creepy alien-like D-Bees all over and people just shooting each other every day! Also, unlike El Paso, they don't check your weapons at the gates -
Wait, the El Paso section did not mention anything about taking my gun, which they'll have to pry from my cold, dead hands, and what's more, reality check , I refuse to believe a Texas town, even in a post-apocalypse hellscape, would practice the sin of gun control.
Anyway, crims from all over come here to drink and drunk, fuck and gamble, and all sorts of forbidden shit I'm sure will be covered in some Cthulhutech adventure, but here here's not going to be any details, thank Siembieda.
The police force is as crooked as a plate of pasta, most take bribes, abuse locals, and other scummy pasttimes. Only about a fifth aren't totally corrupt, and even they tend to be pragmatic and brutal.
A libertarian dream world.
Good Cops ... Where?
A tiny minority are decent cops, but they get shat on by their corrupt superiors and probably shat on literally in general. However, they tend to be well-liked by locals and often can count of local support, like superheroes with badges and shit all over them.
Police Statistical Data
Ha ha, like you care.
They actually have a lot of potent stuff like flying bikes, robots, psionics, and some magicians. Bad cops who are also wizards. Apparently they have "Fed" on their uniforms, but it doesn't seem to be short for anything.
The Anti-Super Dude: This personality is against the entire concept of super powered beings and vigilantism. Consequently, while he knows about the special powers he possesses he will not use them for any reason. Nor will he engage in superheroics.
The Normal: A very mundane, innocent, bumbling nerd-like youth (teenager) who knows nothing about super abilities, crimefighting or heroics. He is friendly, but shy, and totally bewildered about super beings. He has no recollection of his other personalities or super abilities.
They're just the average group of folks looking to penetrate vampires with their wood.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 13: "As you will see, the people see tham as the symbol of courage and strength."
The Vampire Hunters of Mexico
Oh no, it's...
Doc Reid and his Vampire Hunters
An excerpt from the writings of Erin Tarn ; Circa 101 P.A.
Erin Tarn tells us about Doc Reid. Dr. Kenneth Reid is a super-famous vampire hunter. Really, people say ridiculous things about him. We're not told what they are, but are assured they are "too fantastic to be believed".
He's like a vampire-killing superstar, and everybody in Mexico loves the hell out of him for destroying thousands of vampires. Supposed he pushed a lot of them back to Mexico, and now he's arrived to murder more vampires.
People can't agree on what he looks like, though. Some people say he's young or middle-aged, strong or thin, from Chi-Town or Whykin - look the point is people don't actually know a thing about the guy.
This is a general theme of this section.
He also has a number of powerful followers, and their myths are as follows:
One of us. One of us.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 14: "I've been a trapper in these hills for years an' I kin say thet thing is real. An' I ain't never seen nothing like it."
Freak Shows, Circuses, and Travelling Shows
Cities in Rifts™ have a lot of entertainment venues, but small towns down, so travelling shows are a big deal.
There are several kinds:
The greatest show on Earth!
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 15: "An delighted Flooper will perform several cartwheels, followed my hand stands and a back flip, while shouting 'floop floop, yippee, floop floop, zowie!'"
You're in for a treat.
Mr. Drak's Travelling Circus
By Steve Sheiring and Kevin Siembieda
Yes, that Steve Sheiring.
Anyway, Dr. Drak's circus is one of the most famed circuses in the world. People go miles to see this thing. That's right. Miles, plural.
They also offer services like fortune-telling, healing, and... information bartering. Yeah, they act as spies. But they never sell it to bad people or information that could hurt people. Except they sell information to the Coalition, but who could that hurt? They only do it because of politics, we're told. But they're still good!
They also get hangers-on like nomads and merchant caravans, but they only let decent folk hang around them. Otherwise, they fuck with them until they go away.
Anyway, everybody loves these guys (except the Coalition higher-ups), and they're super-good and everybody would hang you if you touched one little hair on them. Nobody fucks with the Drak.
You can't try out for them. They're so special they find you , instead. If you don't suck, which you probably do compared to how awesome they are.
And they have all sorts of entertainers blah blah blah. Let's see, they play their major shows at night, with minor acts during the day. Oh, and people even cosplay as their entertainers.
Let's see, they have all sorts of side shows, their own museums, etc.
Basically they are totally awesome and totally special.
The fees for the MDTC performances are as follows:
Yeah, in case you're worried about these - ranges from 6 credits for a common grounds pass to 125 credits for an all day pass.
Access to Performers
Sometimes they have interviews or Q&A sessions, otherwise, stay away, you illiterate shits.
Their quarters are totally secure and don't even think of breaking in, this means you, PCs . Their guards are perfect and awesome and will totally stump your rump outta there.
Oh, and their quarters are just awesome, you don't even know.
The circus tours for nine months a year. When they're not touring, they go back to their secret hideout nobody knows about.
All the performers are super loyal and treated super well, too!
Yes, Drak's is so goddamn awesome and special, you would not believe, not like some dirty PCs.
Non-Player characters from Mr. Drak's Travelling Circus
-Unusual Performers of Note
Owner and Manager of the Circus
I'm not a murderous supernatural being! I just dress like one.
His real name is Thomas Draklinski. He also totally dresses up like Dracula, too. Which seems insensitive in a world were vampires are real, eat children, and rape villages. But hey! I guess he's just eccentric. Thankfully, I imagine not many of the bumpkins he entertains know who the hell Dracula was. So there's that.
He's a really nice guy but you better not make him angry! Also he pretends to hate kids but really just loves them anyway. He's also ridiculously rich but hides it all with magic and stuff. Anyway, he's super-good but nosy, but he's gotten to be a really good speaker and-
There's no emoticon for gagging, is there?
Jack - Mr. Drak's Robot Watchdog
He has a smart robot dog he uses to keep watch, and apparently Drak has a cyber-finger he can just plug into the dog to review everything the dog's seen. Oh, and the dog has retractable arms so it can shoot at you with a gun.
Floopers - Silly D-Bee performers
Yes, it's a race of dwarf clown dog-people. And they give rules to play one, if you want to scratch that dwarf clown dog itch. They're kind of dumb - or at least never really smart - but get a ridiculous charisma and agility. They have a variety of powers, including empathy, mind shields, sixth sense, really flexible and agile, and they can "floop". "Flooping" allows them to vanish for a period of time (15 seconds to about 4 minutes) and then reappear a short distance away.
Anyway, they're lazy thieves. (I'm not exaggerating, it uses those words.) However, they like making people laugh and showing off and blah blah. They mostly just like to play, and really, I'm not sure where they came from or how they survive. I can only imagine the evolutionary environment that birthed these fuckoffs. Well, they're M.D.C. for some reason, it's not really clear. So they can punch each other forever for no damage.
And I didn't cover this with vampires or dragons, but it's not really clear how you're supposed to roll attributes when you get 2d6 or 4d6. Do you get an extra 1d6 when rolling a 16 or better? Or is it on a 11-12 and a 21-24, respectively? Well, whatever, work it out yourself?
So, do you want to be a kender with snoopy ears? Rifts has you totally covered.
Shapers - An Intelligent D-Bee Animal
Yeah, they're 4' monkey-rat things that can shapeshift. They're barely intelligent, but you can play one anyway(average intelligence: 5.5, average human intelligence: 10.5). They're weak, but somewhat charismatic and hardy.
Anyway, they can shapeshift any part of their body into another animal part, but they can't shapeshift into just one animal. They have to shapeshift into wuzzles, basically. It's just cosmetic, though, and doesn't give they any actual abilties like claws or flight. So. Not too useful. THey have some enhanced sense. Like the Floopers, they're M.D.C. but only do S.D.C. damage, so they can good-natured brawl forever without hurting each other.
Oh, and they can literally eat shit and survive.
Basically, they're animals who are barely sentient, like children, and basically use their shapeshifting to try and scare predators or just to mess around. Like the Floopers, they're a race that loves getting laffs.
If they shapeshift too much they go into a laughing fit that lasts 3d6 minutes, which not even combat or getting hurt can interrupt. They're weak-willed and implusive and...
... ugh, moving on to the next bit.
The Amazing Doctor Gray Matter
Coalition Experimental Psi-Borg
He's a psi-borg! Get it? Psi... borg! Ha ha. Ha. But he also counts as "equal to a 15th level Scholar & Scientist." I... huh? He's a full conversion borg but gets psionic powers. Okay. He also is immune to psionic sensory powers. He also gets a variety of technical and science skills at 98%.
Apparently he's a special Coalition experiment in combining crazy tech and borg tech who can remember everything he sees, and apparently somehow escaped with a ton of information on the Coalition. It doesn't say how. Or how he escaped. Or how he joined up with Mr. Drak's cicus.
Anyway, he's amnesiac, dispassionate, and cranky. Apparently, his cold shoulder gives him Horror Factor 10! But he does a bunch of stunts involving beating people in games, doing hard math problems, involving trivia... so, basically, he does nerd stuff to entertain people? Exciting!
Oh, and he breaks a bunch of rules with his concept, from experience to the cyborg rules, but no you can't play one of these, how dare you ask . You don't get to be this special!
Escape Artist Supreme
A techno-wizard escape artist. Which is to say, he's a total cheater. He's apparently flamboyant and aristocratic. He has spells and psionics and blah blah-
Oh, and he gets a bunch of unique TW items he's invented, like microtech robots to chew through bonds, a fire wand, a flash gun, magic goggles, special magic gloves and helmet with a ton of powers, and special restraints designed to unlock with magic.
Basically, he's a cheap gimmick magician that uses magic to slip out of his contrived dilemmas.
Hans and Franz
Juicer Strongmen and Acrobat Duo
Yes, they're literally based on the SNL skit; apparently they have decided to base their personas on a "pre-rifts video disc". So, you know, they can do gags while roided up as juicers and make fun of people until they die in under a half-decade from their rampant drug abuse.
Apparently Drak has tried to get them off the juice, but he still enables them by employing them in a job totally dependent on it, so fuck him.
They do various physical stunts all day, show off how tough they are, and generally date this book horribly.
Well, at least this book has some good guys. Unfortunately, they're a bunch of untouchable Mary Sues loved by everybody yes especially you .
Next: The Night Arcade & Freak Show! Secret
clowns will eat your village!
If somebody invites you to play Rifts™ , get everybody to play a party of nothing but floopers and shapers. Your GM will love you for it.
All history is born of the conflict between good and evil...
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 16: "Large crowds and carnival noises are ideal for drowning out the screams of victims."
The Night Arcade & Freak Show
Yep. Time for a circus that's evil! , and run by Mr. Morricco, who's a master vampire, and has a bunch of vampire carny minions, as well as evil people he's recruited. And yes, they secretly murder patrons for blood. And it's known for having its freaks go nuts, or theft, or criminal activity. But people go anyway knowing its dangerous, because, hey, circus.
It goes on about how sneaky the circus is, even though they've slaughtered entire towns... sneakily, I'm sure. Apparently they even terrorize some towns repeatedly, but somehow the towns don't figure out it's the Night Arcade.
In short, people must be awful thick.
Hey, let's do some math! They have at least 71 vampires. That means they need 142 pints of blood every 42 hours. That means if they are going to murder people, they need to murder at least 9 people a day to keep themselves going, or feed from about 36 people a day.
Yeah, somehow they keep this secret.
Rifts™ , bad at math.
Mr. Esteban Morricco
I assure you my pointy ears and fangs are natural deformities.
He's charming and convincing! Also he's cruel and sadistic to non-vampires, and has the whole vampire superiority thing going on. (Pretty much all the vampires in this book have that attitude, really. It's like cut-and-past personalities.)
Apparently he used to be a mystics and has a few spells, and gets extra psychic powers on top of being a master vampire. We aren't given any details on his history, it mainly goes on how tight his security is - it goes on for four paragraphs - with dummy coffins, dog and power armor protectors, alarms, etc.
But it doesn't say much about his background other than A) vampire and B) evil.
Pretty much like normal secondary vampires, only better at flips and music. "They are particularly useful at luring women and children to their doom."
Vampire Carnival Thieves
Like normal vampires with sneaky criminal skills, mainly to pick the pockets of their customers. But at 45%, no idea what happens since they get caught more than half the time.
Vampire Carnival Henchmen
Pretty much like the thieves with worse stats and the same skills. Even their description is pretty much cut-and-pasted as well. A good example of how to waste a half-page of an RPG book.
D-Bee & Human Henchmen
Thugs and workers, basically unexceptional outside of basically being sadistic as a rule. I can only imagine the job interview. "So, do you like hurting people? Hurting people is pretty important to our troupe. Name some time you've hurt somebody in the past, and how greatly you think they suffered."
Psychic, Mutant Siamese Twins .
Yes, they're psychic twins joined at the head. Apparently they're quiet and shy except when showing off for performances. There's Sylvia, the dominant mind melter, and Fiona, the more weak-willed burster.
Also they hate "intelligent life forms in general, and human in particular", due to "Years of persecution, physical and sexual abuse, and ostracism from polite society". Oh, it doesn't justhint at it. A man promised to take them to a safe haven but instead "[had] his way with them repeatedly" and then sold them to a freak show where they were abused "verbally, emotionally, and physically, on a daily basis".
Then they became psychics and murdered a ton of people, before getting recruited by Mr. Morricco. They do various psychic arts - healing, mind reading, hypnotism, fire acts - and occasionally just murder the hell out of people.
Lord of the Reptiles
He's a "lyvorrk", a d-bee lizardman who can control other lizards. They have 6d6x100 S.D.C., meaning they're naturally tougher than tanks, no magic involved. They're strong-willed, very hardy, but ugly. They can control other cold-blooded reptiles automatically, including "reptilian varieties of dinosaurs (not all dinosaurs are cold-blooded or reptilian)."
Yes, even in 1991 we knew dinosaurs were warm-blooded; see Jurassic Park in 1990.
Rifts™ , bad at science.
Anyway, they can survive for a long time without water and have penalities in cold environments. Oh, and they're all insane, you roll for an obsession and a phobia. And you can play one!
Mr. Lizzaro himself is cruel, vindictive, arrogant... and sadistic! You wouldn't expect another sadist. It's Rifts, people are just in on the sadism craze. Anyway, he's also a "Total fruitcake." and is insane; obsessed with reptiles and phobic of scientists. He likes to show off with his reptiles and does acts where he has lizards dance, dinosaurs have fake fights, and sometimes he just fakes losing control and has a dinosaur just kill someone.
Oh, and he paints or shaves his animals based on his mood, like new wave or punk dinosaurs. Once again, he is a "fruitcake".
Benito the Bruutsaur
He's a 11' talll d-bee theropod man! And he likes to eat mammals. Bruutsaurs get natural M.D.C., are super-strong, tough, agile, fast, but ugly, dumb, and not at all charismatic. They're all just aggressive and mean and love to eat mammals. Unlike most of the M.D.C. creatures we've seen in the circuses, these ones get M.D. attacks. They're cold-blooded, but it doesn't mention if they use the same rules Lizzaro does for being cold-blooded.
Anyway, he's a bully, thug, and likes to eat people.
Speedy and Grunt
Small predatory dinosaurs
They're carnivorous theropods!... but are somehow cold-blooded. They have "animal I.Q." but "understand Spanish. Apparently they've come to enjoy eating humans! In case you were worried a natural animal couldn't be evil, here it is. They're evil. And M.D.C... because! That is why.
It doesn't say what kind of dinosaur they are, but they're only 4' tall.
A giant turtle-like armored dinosaur
It's a panoplosaurus and a herbivore, but it can rage out like a bull, apparenly. It's got more M.D.C. than a glitter boy (820) for no clear reason, and has M.D. attacks, including rams that can knock people over. It can also pin things down to the ground! Even if they're much bigger than it, for some reason.
Lizarro has a bunch of snakes and lizards, and the book refers us to buy a copy of Monsters & Animals™ for stats, so fuck that.
The Carnival's Mistress of Magic
She can have a Horror Factor of 16 when using magic! Because she's more special than you. Apparently she's linked up with the vampire intelligence that created Mr. Morricco, thanks to her shifter abilities. Anyway, she does fancy summonings rock-star style, with pyrotechnics and fancy costumes. Sometimes it's all illusion or faked, but when she does shows near a ley line or nexus point, she'll just try and open a rift and let shit come out. Apparently the fact people are seriously endangered at these events "just makes her show all the more exciting".
Mad Melody's D-Bee Familiar
Wait, you can take d-bees as familiars? That's actually not allowed by the rules. I call shenanigans, Mad Melody. Familiars have to be of "animal intelligence" and not supernatural.
So Oltec is a "krpt" (just try and work out that pronunciation) who have human intelligence, are related to air elementals, and get to be M.D.C. They're really dumb, ugly, weak, clumsy, and not very fast or charming. But they're strong-willed and tough. Oh, and all of them are greedy and selfish, and like to serve more powerful beings.
Oltec is no exception, and basically is a loyal bat-puppy for Melody, and can be quite silly. Also, he's totally evil and... cruel. Yep. Cruel.
Oh, and you can play a krpt if you want. I'll sneer at you forever, but you can.
Freak Strongman & Dragon Slayer
Apparently he's a pogtal, who are a race of d-bee giants known as "Dragon Slayers", since they come from a world where they totally slay dragons. They get a lot of M.D.C., crazy strength, toughness, and agility, but are really ugly. They can turn invisible, see the invisible, shoot beams and negate magic. They also get a special energy aura that lets them do M.D.C. with S.D.C. weapons, as well as gives them a force field. They can unhinge their jaws to do heavy M.D. damage. They're impervious to magic fire, regenerates, gets bonuses against magic, psionics, and fear...
... yes, enterprising powergamers, they are playable. They can also make special dragon skin armor from dragons.
Anyway, Bonecrusher is a bully who hates humans because they fear him, and likes to do feats of strength and... make people fear him. Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy, there. He also takes challenges, and you can get 50k credits if you beat him. He also does security work blah blah.
That's the end, the finale, of the circus section. It snuck in five whole new races for you to play, too. I guess that's one way to get players to read the NPC section.
Next: The Yucatan! It's a nice place where... oh, just kidding. It's totally full of demons.
Do you like being removed from the game forever on a bad encounter roll? This next part has that! Grogs rejoice!
until the impalings begin.
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 17: "Rolling up new characters may be applicable."
The Mysterious Yucatan
A doorway to another dimension
Apparently, the Yucatan is no longer a part of planet earth, at least as we understand it! That... doesn't really clarify much.
Traveling to the Yucatan by air
Apparently if you fly there, it looks like the Yucatan isn't even even present, it just looks like ocean. If you're flying a foot above the water, it just looks like water.
But thanks to having a ton of ley lines, it's a ley line nexus "times twenty", a super nexus. Apparently the conflict that started the rifts was here. That means it didn't happen in Mexico as I originally thought, glitter boys murdered the hell out of Central Americans. I apologize for the mistake.
Anyway, if you land or walk on where the peninsula is, it looks like land. And if you try and fly off after landing, you could get sucked into a trans-dimensional vortex! You could get sucked 15 years or 15 centuries into the future! To escape it, you have to roll 55% or lower on percentile dice two out of four times. I'm trying to figure out how they came up with a mechanic like this, and this is what I uncovered:
Kevin: Okay, Steve, your cyber-knight flies off the Yucatan with his jet pack... and there's a VORTEX! Roll percentile to escape it, you'll have to succeed twice.
Steve: I'm not stealing from you! I mean, uh. ROLLING. Uh, I fail.
Kevin: (Uh oh, I can't let his rad cyber-knight just get sucked into another dimension!) Uh, roll again.
Steve: I succeed! Hurray!
Kevin: (Can't have him think it's too easy!) Roll again.
Steve: I fail! I don't want to get sucked into a vortex...
Kevin: What the hell, roll again.
Steve: I succeed!
Kevin: Congratulations, you escape somehow .
Steve: Hurray! I'm totally stealing from you less this week.
That example was entirely non-fictional and taken from fact. Lawyers, call me.
Oh, and there's a table as to what happens if you fail. A fourth of the time, you'll get sucked into a limbo for all eternity, roll up a new character, unless a shifter can save you. Another fourth of the time, you float around for a bit and are ejected into another dimension, roll up a new character unless the GM wants to make adventures for you there! Another fourth of the time, you go 100-600 years in the future, roll up a new character! It interrupts to point out it might be possible for a shifter to guide them back to the vortex to their home time. Or, alternately, it just sends you hours and miles off course.
Whew! Lesson is: don't try and fly off the Yucatan unless you really don't like your character. Stay railroaded on the ground. Why are we railroaded? For tuff jungle adventure fightin' demons, that is why.
Traveling The Yucatan Peninsula by land.
Apparently if you walk there you don't notice anything. It however clarifies to get sucked into a dimensional vortex you have to be flying faster than 300 MPH or higher than 600 ft.
It clarifies the land is covered in jungle and it's very slow and hot travelling. If you go too fast you can't see where you're going and might step on a hazard or get ambushed.
Travel by Water
It's preferred because there's no vampires, but it's usually not direct, and there are monsters here anyway. See below.
Yucatan Notes & Features
Yay, geographical facts!
The city of Merida is a monster-haunted ruin, and Chichen Itza is a powerful ley line nexus! There's very few people and communities are small. There are four vampire intelligences here, and vampires sometimes come here during the dry winter season. Also, there's a lot of other monsters, including the death weavers and dybbuk (statted later). There's also the boschala, malingous, adram, dragon, the worms of taut, serpents, lizard and snake people. Got all that? Hope you have both copies of Beyond the Supernatural™ and Monsters and Animals™ at the ready, because a lot of that will go over your head if you don't.
There's a pronunciation key to Mayan words. Now, on to the demons!
Next: Mayan temples and the demons that love them.
From the descriptions, you almost might not realize anybody lived here since the Mayans.
What's that coming over the hill?
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 19: "If the creature likes what he hears (chaos and carnage) it will agree to work with the one who solicited his aid."
This is the last part of the book. We can see the finish line from here!
Monsters common to the Yucatan, Southern Mexico & South America
The Children of Chiuacoatl
Funny, "serpent" wasn't what I was thinking of when I saw this.
People think they're related to the goddess Chiuacoatl, the serpent woman. But they're really Vernulians, military invaders who are trying to see if Rifts is worth conquering (it's not, apparently). There are also rebels and refugees who fled here after taking over one of the dimensional portals.
So the Vernulian military is trying to see out and kill the rebels, as well as gain info. They are basically hair-trigger and will just eat humanoids because, you know, just about anything from a rift has to. It's rift law.
The refugees are much more nice folks, though their bad treatment makes some paranoid or vindictive.
Anyway, they're a player character R.C.C.!
Chiuacoatls/Vernulians - Optional Player character
They have a small amount of M.D.C., and some have force field generators that protect them. They're more capable than humans in just about every way except for being really ugly. It notes humanoids have trouble telling the sexes apart "without a thorough physical examination). They have high technology and can use the equivalent of Coalition military clases, only with less skulls. They're all psionic, and have weapons designed to be used by telekinesis. They also get special, very short rules for their own power armor and cyborgs.
Unlike shit like the floopers or bruutasaurs, these guys seem pretty well developed and I can actually see playing one.
Jaguar People - Werebeast
These are peopel than can turn into half-jaguars or jaguars. They're pretty feral and like the wilderness and hunting. They often mess with people by playing "cat and mouse" games. They're decent folk as far as supernatural monsters go.
The Werejaguar - Optional Player Character
Hey, like vampires, they get a special hit point value! They can only be hurt by silver, ever. Nothing else hurts them. Nothin'. Nadda. Not sticks, not guns, not nukes. And you can play one.
They're a bit dumb, but charismatic, beautiful, strong, fast, agile, tough... they can change whenever they want, fuck the moon. They also get magic to turn speak any language, heal wounds, turn into other animals, they get psionics to basically sense danger, they do... piddly M.D.C. damage, but can hurt vampires and other werebeasts magically with their claws and teeth.
Apparently there are werewolves in Europe, North America, Africa, Australia, and Japan. There are werebears in Canada, Alaska, and Russia. There are weretigers and werepanthers in India. No idea if they use the same rules, or if there are just no rules for them, or why the hell they're going on about Indian werebeasts in a book about Mexico.
Rifts™ knows how to tangent really well, in any case.
Spider Demon - The Death Weavers
Last seen suing the spider-skull walker for copyright infringement.
These were apparently from a Cunto Indian legend, where they stole magic from the gods and lost most of it so humans could learn, but they're trying to gather all the magic to become gods.
Anyway, they mostly just eat or sacrifice humans, they're ruthless and insane, etc.
They're M.D.C. but not too tough, have spider-powers like wall-crawling and web-spinning. They also get a lot of protection magic and a ton of other magic besides, and a ton of P.P.E. They also can sense supernatural psionic and hypnotise people. They do decent M.D. damage and can wrap people in a web (69% chance of success).
Generic spider monster, check .
Dybbuk - The Demon Ghoul
This generic monster head fits over 100 makes and models of monster.
It's a demon from
Beyond the Supernatural™
... Egypt? Apparently they were summoned by a necromancers millennia ago and ate him, and have been trouble ever since.
Anyway, they hate humanoids and love to torture them. They're smart but always work alone like crazy cops. Anyway, they're toothy apes with tiny t-rex arms to go along with their big muscular arms. Sunlight burns them, so they generally find places to hide out.
So yeah, more sadistic, murderous monsters. They're tough, agile, and ugly. They can dig tunnels, see in the dark, and can possess corpses to disguise themselves as people.
Really not a big deal as far as supernatural monsters go. Fills a niche.
Incubus & Succubus
Another Beyond the Supernatural™ refugee, they're really the Dar'ota, who are hunchbacked lizardmen who can shapechange into attractive humans and then kill people and drink their blood. Yes, they are sadistic. Yes, they are cruel. Yes, they'll work with dark wizards.
Anyway, they're minor M.D.C. creatures, and are really charming and pretty in human form, and really ugly in their normal form. They have some disguise-oriented magic. And that's pretty much it. Not sure why they're here, because they're not really mentioned save to describe what vampires aren't.
MINDOLAR - The Mind Slug
Yep, it gets all caps, yes it's from Beyond the Supernatural™ . Anyway, they're big slug-monsters that can mind control people. It'll often work with evil sorcerers wwho summon it, but they can't gind it. It's ruthless and cruel, too, and likes... chaos and carnage...
... okay, waking up, this book's nearly done.
Anyway, they're super-smart but not very strong or capable. They have a magic bite that can mind control, and also get really powerful mental psionics. If you fail a save against their mind control, it's permanent until the slug is murdered or banished. It can control up to 200 beings, too, for your most Claremontian of plots.
Agenor River Serpent
Anyway, they're giant serpents that eat animals and occasionally people. They're basically here to make travelling in the water kind of dangerous sometimes. They can also slither on to land for several hours before drying out.
They're tough-ish, 30'-60' long, have have solid M.D.C. defense and offence. They get their own special 60% grappling rules. It can also drag people underwater to drown but, uh, there are no rules for drowning, so figure it out yourself.
And that's all the book has. But I've got some laaast nitpicks left to make that didn't necessarily fit at any one point of the book; you'll get those in the final part next time.
Next: I get downright editorial on Rifts™.
In addition to the Succubus, Mindolar, and Dybuuk being reprinted from Beyond the Supernatural™ , the Succubus, Mindolar, Werejaguar, and Dybuuk all get reprinted in the very next book that was released after this, Rifts™ Conversion Book . At least they get new art...
To what to you attribute Rifts™' success, Kevin?
Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms Part 20: "It's f---in' brilliant!"
Okay, book's over, but some tangents here.
First, one thing I realized in looking at this book is that you have a Mexico largely populated by ignorant, stupid, subhuman vampires, kept largely in check by the now-actually-grand Rio Grande. Still, there's a constant threat of vampires sneaking over the border.
It's like a bizarre take on illegal immigration. Here, you have subhuman Mexicans who are itching to come North and literally suck the lifeblood out of America , or at least what passes for America in Rifts™ . Worse, yet... they're turn some Americans... into them. Dumb. Savage. Monstrous.
Now, I don't think the parallels are intentional, but it's a little creepy once you notice. Hell, the wild vampires are even oppressed by a richer subclass of vampire to the south that neglects and abandons them.
Add in Juarez's constant portrayal as dirty, savage, and corrupt, and well... it's hard not to think it's got a fairly twisted opinion of Mexico. Once again, I think it's largely born out of thoughtlessness.
The second part is less creepy and more just an thought of how sloppy Rifts™ is with the Mega-Damage rules. The general justification behind creatures which are Mega-Damage, like demons or dragons, is that the magic of Earth is so powerful now it super-charges them and makes them super-tough and super-strong. (Why it doesn't make them super-fast or super-smart is left as an exercise for the reader.)
But then quickly we start getting creatures which are M.D.C. with little or no justification. The rhino-buffalo and the agenor river serpent, for example. The floopers or vernulians, which are psionic but not seemingly magical. We have a ordinary, historical dinosaur which has more M.D.C. than all giant robot suits we've seen, but doesn't seem to be magical at all.
It mostly just double-underlines the issue with the system that two supplements in, they're already handing out natural M.D.C. like it's candy, save for oddities like the livorrk or the mindolar that are just given thousands of S.D.C. instead.
Anyway, I wanted to get through this book because it's a good underline of just how goofy and bad Rifts™ can be, but there are sections like the circus which felt like I was taking a mind-bullet for you folks. No matter how bad I made it seem; the actual section is much worse. It's an early supplement and very rough; the Rifts™ Sourcebook was a comparative delight because it actually served a deliberate purpose and doesn't overstay its welcome. Rifts™ World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms meanders drunkenly from El Paso to Guatemala and never focuses, instead leaving the vampire kingdoms themselves a relative footnote while lavishing attention on shit like Juarez's shopping district or travelling shows.
Thanks a lot if you've actually read my rambling summaries so far. Hopefully our words here can echo into the future to warn future RPG writers and players from the ancient horror which still crawls forth from Palladium Books® .
Next: We can all move on from our long national nightmare, this book is d-o-n-e.
Unlike the company I am reviewing, I make no promises on what comes next. I think Palladium Books® has taught me well as an example. You'll get something more, though! I'm pretty sure. Maybe.