|1||Take only what works for you and enjoy!|
|2||If your character leaps on top of a grenade to save others, that’s great, but he’s dead. DEAD!|
|3||Supernatural intelligences: 2D6x10,000 M.D.C., occasionally even more.|
|4||Even a dragon of one species cannot breed with a dragon of another species and produce offspring; i.e., an ice dragon and a thunder lizard.|
|5||Like the early black and white comic books, Palladium's Ninja Turtles RPG is a gritty excursion into the bizarre.|
|6||These creatures don't take any horse manure, especially from some insignificant mortal.|
|7||Stock Player Races from D&D plus dogs.|
|9||Faerie Folk Generalities|
|11||Monsters and Animals from the Palladium RPG|
|13||Eandroth and beyond|
|14||Palladium Lizardmen and some other stuff|
|16||Basically anything not from Earth is bad|
|17||Gremlins from the Kremlin and beyond|
|18||Beings who would be Gods|
|20||The Demon Hoards of Hades|
|21||Greater Demons of Hades|
|22||Greater Demons of Hades (2)|
It’s that time again.
Let's see what we got here on the cover, we've got a bunch of stuff coming out of a rift. From top left to bottom left clockwise, we've got:
Violence and the Supernatural.
This book may be inappropriate for young readers.
The fictional world of Rifts® is violent, deadly, and filled with supernatural monsters. Other-dimensional beings, often referred to as "demons," torment, stalk, and prey on humans. Other alien life forms, monsters, gods, and demi-gods, as well as magic, insanity and the supernatural are all elements in this book. Some parents may find the violence and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.
Note that Rifts and the Rifts Conversion Book are works of fiction! NONE of the monsters, characters, magic, powers 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.
It’s time for 32 pages of errata in a book you paid $19.95 for. Enjoy!
Rifts™ Conversion Book Part 2: "If your character leaps on top of a grenade to save others, that’s great, but he’s dead. DEAD!”
Modern Weapon Proficiencies
Uh-oh. This wasn't very good last time. Can it break the cycle?
Clarifications about Energy Weapons
Well, it mentions there's been confusion on how energy weapons work, and clarifies that the modern weapon rules do apply to energy weapons and rail guns.
Are we finally going to see bursts clarified? Is... is it possible? Can we have usable weapon rules?
Understanding High-Tech Weapons
This section is mostly just reused art like this.
But what about weapons that have damage for single blasts, have a pay load of 20 or more, and which can be fired in rapid succession?
Another way to think of it is in terms of a video game. Picture one of the older video games, whether it's an old arcade game or computer type. In most of the old games, you, the player, can only fire so many bullets or blasts per so many seconds. Once you've fired those handful of blasts it takes a few seconds for the weapon to recycle and in those few seconds you cannot fire the weapon. How many times have you wished you could fire in those two or three seconds? And how many times have you died because you could not shoot during those two seconds?
Now think about the super-fast video games available today. Many have unlimited ammunition and can shoot as quickly as you can pull the trigger (depress the fire button) or, better yet, continually shoot as long as the trigger/fire button is depressed. These games with the continual shooting element are fast paced and give the player a distinct advantage over his enemies. The level of shooting expertise is replaced by the speed of a continuously rapid-firing weapon. This is the same rudimentary principle behind semiautomatic and automatic weapons.
Yes, this is also an example of poor game mastering...
First came Dracula, now the Wolf Man too | The mummy and the gillman swimming in the pool | We need silver bullets, we need wooden stakes | Normal stuff won't stop them cause they live on hate
Now it’s time to mashup
RPGs! Yes, that means it’s time for the Ninja Turtles to finally confront their ultimate nemesis - Breetai! Erin Tarn vs. the Terror Bears! Uh.. some guy from the ‘Nam... John McCain vs. Minmei! Can a Republican be defeated by the power of music?
Rifts™ Conversion Book Part 4: "Even a dragon of one species cannot breed with a dragon of another species and produce offspring; i.e., an ice dragon and a thunder lizard.”
Yep, it's time for rules for PCs from other Palladium Books® games. But first, a tangent!
General Conversion Rules for humanoids
General Conversion rules for Beyond the Supernatural, Ninjas & Superspies, RECON, Heroes Unlimited, and 20th Century Characters
Who is a D-Bee
(This is what happens when headers collide.)
Anyway, it's clarified that if you look inhuman and have unnatural super-powers, you're a demon.
If you look inhuman, but don't have powers, you're considered a monster.
D-Bee is a term used to identify human or humanoid beings from other worlds that may have strange technology, powers, or culture. Superpowered humans may be considered monsters or demons, depending... on... we don't know. Okay!
Anyway, it mentions D-Bees can include:
Consequently, a mutant dog mated with a mutant cat, while they may make a cute couple, can never give birth to a half dog, half cat child. NEVER!
For example, the wolfen are socially conditioned to mate only with other wolfen. They can have sex with a dog boy, or other intelligent mutant canine, coyle, or kankoran and produce offspring, but they don't. It's just not socially acceptable. Those who do are rogues and not welcome in wolfen society.
Intelligent mutant animals (TMNT RPG and Heroes Unlimited), including those that appear almost completely human, cannot produce offspring with a human or other humanoid. In fact, they may even be unable to produce offspring with other mutant animals of their own species, because they are so far removed from them.
Supernatural beings and creatures of magic cannot produce offspring from a union with a human, humanoid, mammal or mortal mate. Likewise, they can not mate with other supernatural species and produce offspring; i.e., a dragon cannot mate with a unicorn.
(A Design Note: How all the Palladium worlds may tie together is ultimately left to you, the players. Which RPG worlds, if any, that you choose to link to Rifts is your decision. But I'll tell ya now, with hints like the cities of Lazlo and New Lazlo, and the mention of the ancient pioneer of magic, Victor Lazlo, you can bet that there will continue to be ties to Beyond the Supernatural. Heck, don't be surprised if ol' Vic makes an appearance. I'm not saying it will happen. I'm just saying it could happen, as far as I'm concerned. Hee. Hee. )
Whether you play Ninja Turtle super-heroics or After the Bomb, none of these games have been kiddiefled. You tell me, are the dog pack characters in Rifts kid stuff? I don't think so, and they are basically modified TMNT & Other Strangeness characters. So you tough guys out there who don't play kid stuff, don't dismiss the characters and possibilities offered by this unique RPG series. Of course, the 160,000 + gamers who have bought the TMNT RPG already know this.
Design Note: This section on witchcraft, its magic and methods is entirely fictional.
Historically, ancient "pagan" rituals later associated with witchcraft were actually more of a druidic earth magic. Many of those ancient rituals and potions focused on healing, harvesting of crops, and prophecy. Later, with the dominance of the Judeo/Christian religions, witchcraft became known for demonic possession, union with evil forces, and black magic, all for the purpose of evil. Today, satanism and witchcraft are often considered one and the same.
Please be aware that this section on witchery is not even based on historical myth or magic. If anything, it is inspired by Hollywood monster movies. Further note that nobody at Palladium Books encourages nor condones the practice of the occult nor the use of magic. This is a fictional work in a fantasy setting. Make believe. Now read on and enjoy.
A witch is a person, man or woman, who draws his/her power from, and confers with, supernatural forces, usually evil.
It’s just bloody ignorance and fear that makes people think wolves eat babies
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 7“Stock Player Races from D&D plus dogs”
Hey there, I’m Occamsnailfile, and I’m tagging in to do some of the monsters and crap from the Rifts Conversion Book because holy god there’s a lot of them. And so many are so boring! And of course, they’re graced with the fine artistic offerings of Michael Gustovich, with some recycled “bonus content” from Long and others. Alien Rope Burn’s comments are included because heckling each other during the writing process was a lot of fun.
I’ll confess, I like monster manuals. The first gamebook I ever owned was an AD&D Monster Manual I got for five dollars. During all this latest edition uproar (and with the coming of 4E) I had to think a little on what made D&D ‘true’ D&D for me, and the best answer I could give was ‘goofy monsters’. These ones here are definitely goofy, but often in a pretty dry and also inconsistently converted way. Supposedly these are the cherry-picked best of the lot; I’d hate to see what got left out.
This section starts off with some races from the Palladium Role-Playing Game. There’s an entry in the TOC for ‘Races from the Palladium RPG’ but none of the individual races are listed except ‘Elf’, ‘True Giants’, and ‘Faerie Folk’. There are a lot of other races but I guess none of them are very important. Since these are all player races, they tend to have broad class choice, though most of them are restricted from Glitter Boy and often the Coalition military.
dibs on being the midget with the frying pan
First off, we get Bearmen of the North . Apparently there are a variety of bear-people and they all get slapped with the b-word, but adding “of the North” to it makes them a specific kind from the Palladium fantasy world. They are very ill-tempered but only if you try to take their honey. Also they are highly prized as gladiatorial slaves, and have reached Earth through the Calgary rift. “An estimated ( by whom? ) 100 Palladium bearmen are believed to roam the wilderness of Canada...”
Apparently they’re mostly an angry form of wandering hippie who love to take the shitty Wilderness Scout OCC from the core book. They get reduced mental attribute dice in return for some higher physicals, though nothing spectacular. Also they are as beautiful as humans at 3D6 PB, but still they have a Horror Factor of 14. Clearly you are meant to look for the inner beauty. They’re SDC creatures so they’re not going to last very long in the Canadian Wilderness. Oh, here we go, “they have taken to loose, heavy, MDC armor such as the Crusader and Gladiator,” special note section. That must have been a painful lesson to learn.
ARB: Thanks to their I.Q. of 2d6+1 and the Wilderness Scout requiring an I.Q. of 8, 42% of Bearmen will not qualify for the class they love the most.
Next we get three different kinds of canines who are not Dog-Boys, they’re drawn by a completely different artist and everything. The three are Wolfen, Coyles, and Kankoran . Wolfen are big and uh, wolfy, and humans in the Palladium world hate and fear them as horrible bloody barbarians but that totally isn’t true, that is a hurtful racial stereotype and in actuality they’re a civilized empire. This is what happens when Charisma (MA) is your racial dump-stat at 2D6. They tend towards Principled or Aberrant alignments because these are honor wolves. Also for some reason they covet the friendship of elves.
Coyles are the vicious cousins of the wolfen and judging by the illo, they don’t look at all alike but they seem to be giving all dog people a bad name with their pack-based raiding and murdering. Coyles think themselves the chosen people of the world and treat all non-dog people with contempt. Then there’s a bunch of words about how they’re fleeing the Wolfen government in the Palladium RPG world, and apparently Coyles actively pretend to be Wolfen sometimes because all dog people look alike. Also they get 4d6+1 PP with normal IQ, so go all Drizzt with one of these guys if you want to play a dog person.
Lastly there’s the Kankoran, who seem to be small primitive-living tribal types who build their identity very heavily on a ritual rite of passage. The Emirin tribe is particularly harsh, forcing their young to go out in pairs to kill an Emirin. Whatever that is. Apparently the Emirin approve of this practice. They also adopt but do not eat stray children a lot. Perhaps this is your mystic dog spirit guide race. All of the canine races have the option of joining a Coalition dog pack, I guess you just have to put a paw print on a contract and you’re enlisted.
ARB: They’re supposed to be wolves, coyotes, and foxes respectively; the Palladium RPG confirms it.
in this case, the middle one is not ‘just right’.
Enough dog folk, let’s get into some shapeshifters! Next up is the Changeling , a race of shapeshifters hated and feared by everyone except elves. They have the ability to shift shape to mimic sentient beings. They can’t grow or ungrow limbs, but they can instantly grow any kind of hair they want. They can be Coalition military, but not borgs, juicers or crazies. Which, fair enough. Most people who know that Changelings exist hate and fear them because identity theft is a serious and growing sector of crime in a digital world.
Okay, Dwarves . Words about Dwarves in the Palladium world, apparently Elves are dicks. Dwarves used dark and horrible rune magic to win and this wrecked up their shit. I do believe this is the same rune magic the Splugorth employ routinely for nefarious deeds, but you’ll have to wait for Atlantis to learn more. Nowadays, not to stereotype people or nothin’, but the dwarves are specialized smith-people.
Next, Elves . Blah blah ancient and arrogant race rivalry with dwarves centuries long war christ it’s like they think we care about the history of the Palladium RPG in Rifts. This is a game about mashing your robot toys against your plastic dinosaurs, get on with it.
ARB: In keeping with Gygaxian traditions, elves are equal or better than humans in all ways except for affinity (charisma). I am just deeply thankful there is a single, one size fits all elf. No dark elves, no wood elves, no java elves...
Goblins! Apparently goblins been sneaking around a lot of worlds for a long time and only one in twenty, the cobbler-goblin, possesses any faerie like magic powers. You have to roll 1-15 on percentile to be a cobbler, which is more than one in twenty but that’s okay, they basically suck. They can turn into a small animal and cast a couple of other spells twice a day, but can’t learn more. They live in mean-spirited tribes that can number into the hundreds, and often include Orcs and Hobgoblins (not pictured) in their quest to destroy the handsomer races. Also, they like bionics and cybernetics, and I can safely say that a pack of borged out goblins in a spike-covered beater car would actually be a good time. Oh and they’re mostly in Europe, so we’ll say they’re soccer hooligans too.
Orcs are large, “dull wilted” (sic) brutes, heavily muscled and broad-built. Heavy brow. Fangy mouth. Again with the ‘On Palladium world’ historical tour. Basically these guys love to kill and eat stuff and are “A full thirty percent” of the bandits in the Pecos Empire. Also, orcs have no Horror Factor but bear and dog people do. Go figure. Also also after telling me that one in three bandits in Pecos is an orc, they go on to say there’s only a thousand or so total in the North American continent. This puts the bandit population at a manageable figure.
Alright, Ogres . Ogres are described as “giant, neanderthal-like, pre-historic cousins to the humans” which is almost exactly like how orcs were described, go figure. I guess they’re taller. And they what the christ there’s not enough ogre females and most of them are sterile so they raid villages to kidnap women for breeding . At least it acknowledges that the species is steadily dying out because of this.
Trolls are vindictive, foul-hearted giants, but apparently not True Giants because there is a section just for those guys coming up. These guys are just big and mean and like to beat people up and look like giant corpses with big fangs but their horror factor is only 10, which is vastly eclipsed by the bearmen still.
you’re right a bear is much scarier than that
There are a few humanoid races who are mentioned but not detailed like kobolds and hobgoblins, and evil/ugly/uncivilized races seem to vastly outnumber the even halfway-decent guys, but I guess that’s par for the RPG course. Also the ugly have a mad hate-on for the pretty; this is a theme that shall continue. Next, we get into more player races, but this time a whole section on giants.
They have a mark of authenticity, not saying where.
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 8 “True Giants”
“Giants are usually feared by most humanoids and are often charged with crimes they did not commit or attacked out of fear.” This somehow gives me an image of a smalltown cop pulling over a storm giant who was driving a sports car under the speed limit. Anyway, this section is for True Giants, who come in several different flavors. They don’t really explain why these are “True Giants,” isn’t it enough to be big, isn’t that enough Giant?
Algor: Frost Giants are a diminished race that is nearly extinct, apparently they took a side in the elf-dwarf war and it did not work out for them. Horror Factor 10. Can take any OCC except Coalition Military/Glitter Boys. About 15 ft tall. Yawn.
Cyclops lived in Palladium RPG’s distant past maybe and also on Earth where the Greeks made note of them. It also suggests that maybe they were the origin of the myths of one-eyed Odin and his son Thor who wields lightning. This is not true, Odin and Thor just are not in this book. You have to wait for Conversion Two. Are you waiting? Good. The Cyclops...es can create lightning javelins and arrows with an arcane ritual. If anybody else tries it, 2D6 greater demons will appear, take the weapons, and slay/torture the transgressor, leaving them without tongue and hands if they are permitted to live. That is a lot of trouble for for javelins that do 2d6x10 in their ‘heavy’ version. Okay that is actually decent damage, getting close to the Glitter Boy range. GBs are jealous creatures who guard their power through metaplot.
Also, the ‘Manistique Imperium’ has hired several of these guys to make weapons. The MI is not detailed in this book or, well, any other book at all. Doing a search through the PDF I see that I missed that the Dwarves are also mentioned as working for these guys, and some Elves, and apparently they’re in Michigan. Some dude wrote an extremely shitty web book for them but that’s about as much as is ever explained.
ARB: I just want to back up that netbook is, in the words of the wise, so shit. It has found new levels to be shit on. And this is compared to Palladium as it is, folks.
Jotan is how they spelled it, not me. Bitter and cruel and totally racist , these guys lash out at all non-giants. Their entry lists them as having a secret Jotan organization near the New German Republic that is manufacturing giant-size MDC body armor and stuff. Also, the Cyclops and Algor did not do this, but the Jotan automatically becomes an MDC creature, gaining 1d6x10+20 MDC just for playing. They like metalworking and stuff, and are basically like oversized evil yet sort of stupid dwarves.
i believe this technique is called the ‘body hair diversion’
Gigantes are basically giant mutants who have all kinds of weird extra limbs or are giant gorillas or whatever. This makes them evil and they want to kill everything, especially the smaller squishies. Also they are automatically MDC like the Jotan. Horror Factor 13, bearman, your reign is threatened. Their abilities vary tremendously and they have special tables for rolling up weirdness. You could probably also use some of the Nightbane tables if you have that one, it’s that kind of thing. Also, they automatically have to roll up one insanity without even getting crazy augmentations first.
it’s a big big big big gorilililila
Nimro are apparently able to breathe fire and the volcanoes Mount Nimro and Nimrod are both named after these guys. They resent the smaller, beautifuller races and will organize the other ugly demi-humans into packs to go pretty-bashing. These guys don’t get natural MDC, they are not in the cool evil giants club. Apparently some of them are trying to build a kingdom of giants and demi-humans in the territory of Pre-Rifts Turkey.
Titans are the good-guy giants, just like in good old proper D&D. They survived from ancient times and quest eternally to battle evil and injustice like a race of extra-large Batmans. They have a lot of MDC, regenerate swiftly, are impervious to being vampirized, can see invisible and dimensional teleport. They dig being cyber-knights, which is good because their natural punches and kicks inflict more MDC at first level than a psi-sword. They are described as tall and muscular white people. Well, I assume white, skin color isn’t mentioned but they get golden, silver, or brown hair. Oh, and they’re a PC race. Have fun!
Okay, we’re gonna stop there for now. It’s weird that there are like three times as many pics in the Giants section as there are in the previous PC races one. Like every giant except the Frost Giants got a drawing. Poor Frost Giants.
Next will be Faerie Folk! Who are also optional PCs, but have some bonus content for mischief in an MDC world.
Milk-based bribery encouraged
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 9 “Faerie Folk Generalities”
The faerie folk in Rifts appear to be defined as the tiny, extremely mischievous sorts. They abuse animals, steal and break and ruin stuff. Also don’t eat their food or whatever. But then they also get sad when people are sad and try to cheer them up with flowers or shoe-cobbling or whatever. Also sometimes brownies will live in somebody’s house and help them. One exception is that faeries won’t play pranks on elves. Faerie gold is false, they don’t keep the stuff. They prefer liquor, like a pack of tiny ballet-dancing boozehounds.
Mounds, rings and circles
According to Rifts, most of the fae are nomadic and travel in small groups of six up to six dozen (72) individuals but not more than that. That looks like an easy random number to roll with 12-siders doesn’t it? They shun most human settlements (all that iron I guess) and avoid gloomy and sad places (so also all post-Rifts human settlements).
Apparently mound faeries like to live under things, in hidden places, basically in locations where you can trip and stumble into them like a magical anthill of malice. Faerie rings are often placed near mounds and can enchant people and are also places of powerful magic. Also apparently crop circles are faerie non-magical doings and not pranks committed by a couple of guys who later publicly confessed. There is a whole lot in specifics of how they enchant people and retaliate against offenders, I guess watch where you sink those glitter-pylons.
Faeries apparently eat very little, mostly cute stuff like dewdrops and acorns but they apparently also like booze and candy. However, if they offer you food, never ever take it ever. Also there are specific prices for selling recreational/poisonous faerie foods on presumably the Black Market.
What follows is an extensive and exhaustive list of specific faerie foods/drinks and their effects. Often they are punny/extremely literal/stolen from Willy Wonka. A few samples:
Beetle Nuts : A drug-filled nut that causes mild hallucinations in which the victim will see a civilization of friendly giant beetles. Effects last 1d6+2 hours for every nut eaten.
Cinnamon Sticks : The victim has the urge to commit acts of sinful evil at irregular periods, for 1D6 months unless a remove curse is used. However, the person will be very pleased and self-satisfied for the entire time, regardless of alignment.
Mussels : Increases a person’s PS by 10 points, but they become so muscle-bound that PP and Speed are reduced by half as well as losing one melee attack. Lasts 1D6 hours for each Mussel eaten.
Peanuts: The victim suffers from a “call of nature” every 1D4 hours or uncontrollably when under stress. Effects last 1D4 days.
Tarts : The victim becomes very amorous and giddy, almost as if he were drunk, and falls in love with every person of the opposite sex he sees. Effects last 1D4 days.
So at least two date-rape prospects, magical steroids, and uh, fear urine. Oh, and Yithians. There are a bunch more of these but really they are all about as funny as any 80s nerd giggling over how ‘pea’ and ‘pee’ sound the same. A remove curse spell can cancel any of these, as mentioned in almost every specific entry, but getting this done is “difficult and costly”.
ARB: Apparently a “Randy McCall” is responsible for the faerie food. He did a little bit of writing for the Palladium Fantasy RPG (where these rules first appeared) and Beyond the Supernatural, but clearly this list of horrible puns and pee jokes is his greatest legacy.
I suggest that this Mr. McCall is likely responsible for the incredible verbosity of this entire section. It is really just incredibly overwritten like a freshman textbook that got paid by the word.
You can apparently protect yourself from faeries through several traditional means like turning your clothes inside out (I hope this works inside armor) and horseshoes and red ribbons and such. Oh, and salt. There’s a list of several options, some of which are species limited and some of which are not. I assume all of this is common character knowledge because it doesn’t say otherwise.
Next: Specific faerie species and how to play as them! I bet they can’t be Glitter Boys.
These are not Changelings, Lost or Dreaming.
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 10 “Faerie Folk”
A few common things to most faeries: They tend to be unprincipled or anarchist, as close to neutral as you can get. They get minimum 1d4x10 MDC which, way to go tiny fae, that’s more than most giants get. Also faerie wings are super-valuable, fetching 40 to 80K, I guess they’re a precious spell-component. I don’t know how you yank those off an MDC creature without pulverizing them with railgun rounds first though. Also they detail some tiny weapons for tiny fae which do SDC damage and little enchantments including “Ants in the Pants”. The description for this would only disappoint you. There’s a GM note about how much awesome fun it is to play a faerie.
Also, most of the faeries have magic spells they can cast, some of which I recall from Rifts/Palladium regular magic, and some I don’t, and which aren’t explained here. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the spells were just not statted. Like ‘love charm’.
Now, specific races!
Does not, apparently, play golf. Disappoint. These are tiny, spindly 8-inch insect-bodied whirlwinds of malice. Sounds a bit like the Black Fairy from the Sourcebook, but without the abrupt shift in art style. They get some bonuses but nothing awesome and apparently they’re an RCC so you can’t twink the shit out of them like you can with giants. This may be an ongoing theme with faeries, since they are too small for most of the equipment normal classes rely on for their daily bread or...whatever. Also the special note at the end says ‘never wear clothes’.
Most helpful of all faerie folk. Basically an unseen butler willing to accept wages in cream or honey. Also usually naked.
Small, beautiful, butterfly-winged people. Often nude or silk-clad. Merry and carefree with a penchant for mischief. Seriously this is almost the entry verbatim.
here is gustanovich’s best imitation of long
Faerie: Green Wood
Slim and handsome with a green complexion, long black hair. Common to forest regions. Otherwise almost identical to Common faeries. No specific mention of nakedness in writeup.
Yes, this does predate WoW. And despite their name, they are faeries and not elves. Huff. The nerve of humans. Usually seen in the buff with wooden swords and stuff. Love sweets and causing trouble.
Faerie: Silver Bells
They wear gossamer-y clothes, are said to sing like tiny silver bells and also sing all the time, way more than any other fae.
*Leprechauns wear black or green suits with gold buttons and have curly white bears, so I guess they’re all dudes. They live only to trick people and steal their valuables. They guard their own treasure fanatically, and won’t yield its location to torture. Also, 60% of leprechauns are alcoholics.
Nature spirits, adopt an area of land 1D6x10 miles in area, protect it fiercely. Always appear as beautiful elven maidens bathed in light. Cannot be harmed by physical attacks, only magic. They never allow “senseless destruction” of their land, what qualifies as “sensible destruction?”
Again with the delineations. Common pixies are bigger than fairies, have no wings, but can still fly, though not at any specified speed. All have flaming red hair and pale complexions, all mischievous.
faith and begorrah, etc etc.
Light blue or white-skinned versions of the common pixie above, have the ability to phase through ice like the pass through earth spell.
Pucks are “black-hearted fiends resembling satyrs,” oh goody, this can’t possibly end badly. They are much more destructive and brutal than other fae, and sometimes kidnap children or young maidens Also they are “fair thieves”, stealing only silver and gold. Good thing Rifts uses “credits!”
Three foot grump-o-trons with wild hair. They build stone circles and such for no reason that anyone understands, even themselves. Also they get 3D6+20 PS, which puts them on those weird tables at the beginning of the book.
ARB: These guys are listed as just being obsessed with stacking rocks, but they’re an R.C.C. Also, they go berserk and attack people who try and mess with building rock circles. Here’s a dramatic reenactment:
Pedro, Cyber Knight: Well, we’ve recruited this spriggan, he should be helpful in fighting the Pecos Raiders. No time to lose, let’s ride, everyone!
Sléibhín the Spriggan: Sod that, I’m not goin’.
Pedro: But lives are in danger! What will you be doing?!
Sléibhín: Got some rocks to stack.
Pedro: But we need your help! Stop fucking around with rocks! They’ll be here when we get back.
Sléibhín: Go fuck yourself, you poncy twit, don’t be disrepectin’ my traditions. A circle of rocks is a fine thing, a fine thing indeed.
Pedro (kicks rock): To hell with you and your roc-
(Insert sound of Sléibhín ripping Pedro’s head off.)
Man, I can’t wait to have one of these at the gaming table. How about you?
Ugh, how many of these are there going to be? Only three kinds? Okay I guess. Similar to fairies but slightly smaller, yellow-green (best crayon) with matching wings. They like to frolic with butterflies which is probably as close as Rifts™ gets to a Hallmark™ moment.
These guys are the blue-green version of the above, like to chase dragonflies and tease frogs.
These sound like a delicious snack food. Large frilled wings, white, or white and pink. They like to rummage through peoples’ stuff and scatter it around but not steal it. So basically like super-annoying moths.
Ugliest of all fae, humanoid toad people with gaping fangy maws. I bet they’re evil! Yep! Of note I guess is that these guys will eat other, smaller faeries. Most of the other entries specifically mention the strict ‘bros before hos’ policy of the fae world, but these guys are just mean.
ARB: These toad creatures also give warts on bare skin contact, for those of you that go around touching strange faeries without armor on. Obviously, this is inspired by the myth that touching toads causes warts, which has been proven wrong. You know what does cause warts on contact, though?
And that’s it for faerie folk! After this we get into Monsters and Animals which are not such player-friendly races, including adult dragon statblocks.
No monsters were harmed in the production of this book.
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 10 “Monsters and Animals from the Palladium RPG”
This section starts out explaining that SDC creatures are often turbo-charged by the ambient mystic energy of Rifts Earth and become stronger MDC versions of themselves, when noted. It also instructs you to use Monsters and Animals SDC statblocks when in the Palladium RPG Fantasy World (really need a better name) and Conversion MDC ones when in Rifts. Given that this is a game that can involve dimensional travel, your MDC guns should function in Palladium RPG’s world just fine, though spells and such might start fizzling back to wimpy SDC versions. Where’s your caster supremacy now?!
It also explains that some of the entries from M&A were just normal animals that don’t change or were “too pedestrian” to include so this is not a full reproduction of Palladium’s monster manual. I suppose we’re lucky for that, who needs Acid Lizards anyway. It also explains that monsters usually travel through rifts solo or in pairs or whatnot, they don’t usually pour forth in a horde. Ecology of the Random Encounter I guess. Also escaped zoo animals tigers in North America etc.
Enough of that, let’s get to some monsters!
You may be more familiar with this creature under the name Chimera because that is basically what it is. It’s a three-headed dragon with a serpent, lion, and antelope head. Low intelligence, aggressive, can’t be housebroken. You roll intelligence separately for each head but “all three work together as one” and so this ends up giving them a net 3D6+4 which is not bad for a non-sentient animal. Also with three heads, called-shotting them in the noggin will take longer than normal. They get nine attacks per round, which makes up somewhat for their kinda crappy damage. Also they will have a treasure trove of credits, weapons and armor if you kill them. I assume the armor is slightly to very damaged.
I hope he is a guy who goes around and dances. Alas, malignant creatures of unknown origin. Looks like a one-eyed clown or jester. Preys on the weak and helpless. Travels in small groups, no more than five, but usually a mated pair of one-eyed clowns. They basically kidnap/trick victims, especially children, and then hurt or kill them. You know the drill. For all that, they can be ‘any’ alignment “but almost always evil.”
really, this is what i was so scared of?
These are Optional Player Characters despite being in the monster section. I suspect this may be a trend that continues. Race of mischievous, cruel humanoids who resemble vicious teddy bears. They are barbaric nomads who feed only on the flesh of other humanoids. Goblin is their favorite prey. While not considered fae, they can do some fae stuff like turn invisible and morph into a full-sized bear. They get a fairly piddling level of natural MDC and can do MDC damage with claws and bites but they have fairly poor attributes overall and the only Rifts class they can play is Vagabond.
ARB: They’re basically evul teddy bears, which is a Palladium Books hallmark. This is the fifth book to feature evil teddy bears. To be fair, it’s more true to myth than certain other bugbears.
Centaurs and Cyber-Horsemen
Here’s a solution to the robot horse-PC-problem.
why does he have a jetpack?!
Perhaps the noble centaur has visited Earth in the past, to give rise to the the “myths” about them. They are native to the Palladium RPG world, but also to an unknown, much more advanced civilization like presumably the cyber-taur gentleman pictured above. Palladium centaurs are dying out due to population pressures from faster-breeding humans and wolfen. Nonetheless they are a viable player race but are for some reason in the monster section. Supposedly the cyber-horsemen (I guess that’s their actual name) have a city called Ixion somewhere in the wilds of Canada. Also the centaurs are listed as having a “Value” of 15k to 50k credits as trained gladiatorial slaves, which no other entry has had.
Meanwhile, 90% of cyber-horsemen males undergo bionic reconstruction, but only of the horse parts, not the human parts unless medically necessary. Only 25% of females undergo reconstruction because having a totally sweet cyber-horsebody is for boys. They give some general stats for this; they get a ton of MDC armor-plating but still do SDC with their kicks unless they do a “power kick” that counts as two attacks and does...1D4. The Bug Bears triple this. Also there are stats for two special weapons they have available that aren’t listed anywhere else. The Cosmic Energy Rod is like a stunstick/blaster combo that does kinda crappy damage and the Sensory Deprivation Web is actually a fairly debilitating debuff with no save if you hit with it.
The chimera is part dragon, part lion, and part goat. Splugorth capture and train them as watchdogs. They roam mostly outside the US. They are of only evil alignment, since being a natural predator requires evilness while being a child-abducting serial killer does not. They get some decent attacks including fire breath, though their natural MDC is only in the upper ranges of Boom Gun damage so they are probably not too hard to take out. They’re valuable to tame, or even sell as parts.
These are like giant (3ft) burrowing hyena-bears who aggressively attack anyone who gets close to their burrows but they’re weak SDC creatures so you can basically shoot them and watch them explode.
Drakin: The Luck Bird
Do ya feel lucky yet? how ‘bout now?!
These are gentle and loving creatures who swoop out of the wilderness to protect travelers. That’s why they’re “Luck Birds.” They will even temporarily join groups if the goal is to destroy evil. That’s how hardcore they are. They can do a little bit of MDC with their attacks and have Chimera-levels of MDC on their own so they might make a good distracting target for the ene--I mean they might survive. They can also sense evil and supernatural as a psi-stalker in Rifts. Cruel people apparently think imprisoning one of these will bring them good fortune and will pay 30k for a live one.
These are basically pegasus, but with leathery wings and clawed feet. Males can breathe fire with a 10ft range and they have pretty good MDC. I guess creatures like these provide a use for those animal training skills. The best part about these is the art they get, which is actually kind of a cool picture.
rider guys to be detailed later
It’s a wolf! It’s a dragon! It’s a dragon wolf! Wolves with human intelligence, dragon wings, partial clawed hands, and a serpentine tail. Optional player characters, normally very deceitful and treacherous in the wild. Use the dragon XP tables regardless of OCC which means sucktastic leveling on top of not being very good as a race.
Okay, stopping there. I was gonna put adult dragons in this post but they get a very large section to themselves that might be better served as a very special episode. So next time, dragons!
Dragons get along well with humans
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 11 “Adult Dragons”
Okay, here’s the big guys. There’s a huge block of text about dragon “society” and habits. It starts out by saying very little is known about dragons and then drops a text bomb. OOC knowledge I guess. After six hundred years of experience, a hatchling should be a 10 or 12th level dragon, but then they will undergo a metamorphosis that multiplies their power by five or ten times. Really, six hundred years for 10 or 12th level? Dragons are the korean MMO of supernatural creatures.
Anyway dragons can be of any alignment, they have a human range of moral variations, and also, they loooooove them some humans and humanoids. They are scholars and artists and use all kinds of high tech stuff to perform science. Hatchlings are dumb kids with few skills but adults kick ass in every field.
“Some things common to most dragons”
This is a sixteen point numbered list of words. Dragons learn a lot of magic. Dragons are usually psionic. Psi and magic? Twinks. They live thousands of years. Even the good ones are greedy and hoard stuff and will only share grudgingly to help others. Dragons are accused of laziness, but this isn’t true, they’ve just learned that it’s really easy to scare people into doing what they want. They hibernate. They don’t actually need to eat but like doing so. They derive a child-like glee from shape-shifting. In particular they like to go in human disguise, then assume their true form in a crowd, scaring people senseless. Dragons are a laugh riot! They are loyal to their friends but very vengeful when wronged. Dragon bones and teeth are super-valuable magical components. Dragons get treasure types H and R. They lay eggs once exactly every 400 years. They have a higher horror factor. Strangely enough, their MDC is halved when converting to SDC on other worlds. They remain mega-damage beings even on non-magical worlds like Robotech. Because. Though their MDC is reduced.
Now we’ve gone through all that, let’s have some specific dragon species.
These guys are jerky jerks who like to manipulate and abuse people and love to be secret masters behind despot lords and stuff. Their hatchling forms suck and don’t get some of the powers the other dragons do, and are able to take “half” of the adult dragon form’s abilities. Okay; except the Basilisk has a Petrification attack that works on a save of 13 or less. On everything. That’s right, there’s a 90% chance that if you’re in a robot vehicle, the vehicle will be turned to stone around the pilot. They can attempt this three times a round. I am not sure what ‘half’ is for the hatchlings. Once a round? Save of 6 or less? Who knows. Even the adults don’t have very much MDC though, they top out at 110 which is barely two suits of armor welded together.
ARB: It should be noted though the hatchlings in this book get a lot of things halved, one thing that doesn’t get halved is their attributes, meaning all the stats for hatchlings in this book are generally broken for PCs. Furthermore, in addition to the Basilisk’s petrification abilities they are A) playable and B) can choose a magic O.C.C. to boot. (Which means they level on those XP tables, instead of the lousy dragon XP table...)
So maybe the hatchlings don’t suck as much as I thought, though if you want to twink out with a dragon, stay tuned.
This is the traditional chicken-dragon form but it’s classified among the true dragons here. It says it gets mistaken for the benevolent kukulcan a lot but the cockatrice is pure, pure evil. The crow of a real cock will paralyze them for 1D4 hours. They have crap MDC but typically travel in mated pairs. Their attacks do some half-hearted MDC or ‘by petrification’ that isn’t defined, so presumably the same as the basilisk’s. Hatchling form is even crappier than basilisk’s as well.
Now here’s a real dragon. Red in color, uses magic and psionics, can be any alignment, and gets 1D6x1000 MDC so it might be able to take a shot or two if PCs aggress. They’re also immune to fire, which includes MDC plasma. Oh, and their breath weapon does 6D6. Woohoo. Though they get 8 attacks per round and four of these can be breath weapon.
Great Horned Dragon
These guys are the strongest and most feared kind of dragon. They vary in color from light green to golden orange. They all know two kinds of magic. Exactly two. You can’t get your dragon degree until you have two. They have great MDC and take half damage from fire and cold, and get a bunch of spells and psionics. Basically these are the ur-dragons.
noted for their hoards of gold and fine collections of 1960s spy movie computers
More jerk-ass evil dragons. I’m beginning to think that ‘dragons love humanoids’ thing in the giant block of dragon-text was a big fat lie created by the ministry of dragon propaganda. They regenerate exceptionally quickly though still at “per minute” speeds, and can regrow heads in half an hour. Each head has a separate power. Fire/frost/acid do pretty much typical damage, poison/cloud of slumber would be cool debuffs but basically every suit of armor in Rifts is environmentally sealed. Sorry juicers! “Breath of Death” does 6D6MD OR SDC regardless of armor or being in a vehicle. So suddenly those PE bonuses might matter. The last head does Psionic Evil Eye as per the main rules and I’m not going to look that up right now. They can attack sixteen times a round, but only seven by breath. Their melee attacks are not bad for having a lot of them, honestly these guys are way better than the Great Horned Dragon for straight-up physical combat. The GHD would just be using more magic and cleverness presumably.
ARB: Every powergamer I knew in high school loved the shit out of these hatchling hydras, they get 8 attacks per melee at first level (where most characters get 2), a ridiculous amount of offense, and zero RP hooks! Hooray!
this piece is alright, it’s honestly one of gustanovich’s better bits, which is why the book uses it at least twice
The majestic ice dragon can be any shade of blue. Hint hint it’s easy to paint their miniature. Apparently these guys once had something of an empire on Palladium world and are still revered by wolfen. Beyond that, they are basically palette swaps of the fire dragon.
Also known as the serpent bird, they are symbols of light and healing. I wonder how many of these the Splugorth pluck and roast for turkey day? Supposedly worshipped by humans in the past as the “feathered serpent,” this is retconned out by later books. These guys are beautiful birds who like people and like helping them. They’ve got way better stats than the cockatrice at least. They’re on the wimpy end of the dragon scale but but eh, no big.
Really? Really? Okay, these guys are symbols of darkness and the undead, only come out at night, work with vampires, are usually evil. They can actually be blinded by sunlight unless they wear sunglasses. Specifically that is mentioned. Also kind of on the wimpy end of things, dragon-wise, I guess mostly they’re the goth dragons who couldn’t play football.
Serpent of the Wind
Long, thin, snakelike wingless dragons. Greedy conniving schemers. Not evil per se but so driven by greed that they rarely pause to consider any consequences whatsoever. Pretty similar to the fire and ice dragons statwise, just a little bit weaker. Oh look, there’s a picture.
ARB: Maybe I’m reading too much into things to note the only asian-styled dragons in the book are obsessively greedy sneaks. Sure it doesn’t mean anything.
Just wait ‘till Rifts Japan, then we’ll blow those stereotypes apart .
i suppose we’re lucky they didn’t classify this guy under ‘Dragon, tricky oriental’
Thunder lizards are wingless emerald green and gold serpent-like dragons. Today they are adventurers and the ‘lightning’ type to complete the elemental damage trifecta. They have a lower horror factor than fire/ice but otherwise they are really very similar.
“These furry giants are the neanderthals of dragonkind.” Basically they’re a big furry dinosaur rippling with muscle. They have no magic powers, no flying, and are of low sentient intelligence. Their damage is somewhat crap since they have no magic to back themselves up but they have a lot of MDC and you could literally run out of ammo before being able to take one of these down. Also, it is simply criminal that the wind-serpents got a picture and these guys didn’t. I demand a recount.
ARB: I just want to say I love these things for no sane reason.
What’s not to love about a feral Snuffaluffagus?
That’s it for dragons, really. The high-MDC-low(ish) damage thing is going to be an ongoing theme with boss monsters. It only gets worse. Part of the issue is that PCs have enough total attacks generally to just sacrifice as many as they need to dodge, and the monster’s less-than-stellar damage means that it will take a while to swat any gnats.
That’s where the ammo comment comes in. Aside from Glitter Boys who get 100 rounds plus an optional 30 round bonus drum, most guns have like 10 or 20 shots and then maybe you’ll have 1 or 2 extra clips, because the clips are a non-trivial expense even to get recharged. A 6D6 rifle with 10 shots will come out doing 180 or so MDC before going dry. Even the Kukulcan has a minimum of 1000 MDC, if you were determined to kill one of those. Most of the dragons will have 3-4000 or so. As well, several of the dragons here are immune to or take half damage from MDC plasma, which eliminates some of the better rifles. Basically, if you want to kill any dragons, stack bullets to the ceiling.
next time: more lizard men! and other entries from E to infinity
What we need is more kinds of lizardmen.
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 13 “Palladium Lizardmen and some other stuff”
Palladium Lizard Men
Optional PC. It’s necessary to say that these are the ones native to Palladium RPG since with the ones added backhandedly in the circus section of Vampire Kingdoms and the other ones added in this book, we’re getting hell up in lizardmen. These guys are semi-aquatic and live to colonize waterways, though they are technically Principled alignment. Apparently some of these rifted into Brazil and the swollen mutated bulk of the Amazon river and flipped their shit with glee. Hope they like Pacu fish. They own very little MD tech capability despite living in a jungle full of vampires and magical beings. This may be a hurdle for their community.
This is apparently a separate race from the Lizard Men mentioned above. These stand about eight feet tall with a dragon-like head and beautiful gold and silver scales. These guys and the Eandroth are “examples of the logical evolutionary progress of the theropod dinosaurs had they not perished..” Uh...huh. They were the secret ancient rulers of Palladium and created the elves. Thanks, assholes . A bunch of them were killed but it does not say why or how. Most of them fled and hid in other dimensions and stuff. Once they get into a position of power they start being friendly, but woe betide those between a Lizard Mage and the top. They want world domination and nothing else, though at least they aren’t jerks about it.
i for one welcome our new dinosaur tax-accountant overlords
The Lizard Mages aren’t available as PCs, not even the young ones. They get two magic OCCs with a shitload of automatic spells and psionics and better MDC than a dragon hatchling. So basically, they’re wandering Dr. Dragon Von Doom.
ARB: People always asked to play one of these for some reason. I wonder why?
No, not a spit-elemental (ew) but some kind of semi-intelligent vulture-like creature. It calls them semi-intelligent, but then calls them masters of the mystic arts, and they roll 3D6 for IQ. Maybe it’s because they still eat carrion with that IQ and magic spells that could fell a fresh horse. Anyway, they’re evil, so just shoot them.
Basically as described in myth, lion, human face, poison tail. Cruel vicious predators. Poison really loses a lot of its bite in MDC worlds.
Grotesque humanoids instinctively drawn to places of magic. They prefer to live underground, in soft moist dirt and aren’t bothered by frequent cave-ins. They’re fungus farmers who use corpses to grow their shrooms. They worship some strange religion but they refuse to communicate with other races and just attack if their lairs are invaded so nobody knows anything about it. Also their brains are actually in their chests, so decapitation takes 15 minutes to kill them.
Also also they turn into zombie drones when killed, called Shamblers. The undead ones continue to fight on behalf of the living maxparies and can be turned per the turn dead spell as normal, or pass a line of holy water.
Also there’s a section on various maxpary mushrooms, including the speed mushroom which doubles your attacks for 2D6 minutes. I suggest feeding one of these to a hydra for hilarity. The death mushroom tosses the eater into suspended animation for 1 to 100 days.
Lastly, they make some weird artifacts. The Stone of Drol is supposedly a key ingredient to a Raise Dead Circle spell. A Stone of Mal is used to control various undeads though it doesn’t give stats on how well. The Stone of Allil casts water magic spells. They also make hollow globes of silver or gold and sometimes seal other valuable things inside. Weird little creatures, these guys.
which one is the zombie one?
Horrific horse-dinosaurs that hate all life and love to torture and kill things. There’s a picture of them that honestly looks like it came out of a Brzezinski painting but done in ink by Gustanovich; it’s too big to include for something this one-dimensional.
More beast-mens, apparently sometimes confused with intelligent mutant cattle (just no stopping that Lone Star) or the demonic “Gallu Bull.” Apparently they’re actually vegetarians but people kept trying to wipe them out so they took to building trap-filled underground complexes. They are burrowing cows.
you make my heart sing … there just wasn’t any other way I’m sorry. Long-legged owls with rolling yellow-green eyes, rudimentary sapience. They steal food or trinkets and are basically weird low-SDC animals.
ARB: And then you have to wake up in the middle of the night and beat your potions and food back out of them.
it was very important that these be included
Rare, hard to catch, natural MDC, good mounts. The only exceptional thing here is that Palladium Pegasi have limited psionic powers.
Peryton -- Demon Deer
Perytons are winged deer that cast shadows like a human. They’re murderous and awful and I bet they jump out in front of cars on purpose since they’re MDC. Also they like to eat unicorns.
That’s probably enough for this installment. Next, we get the RAHU-MEN which will be very exciting. Okay maybe a little exciting. Also like seven different kinds of ‘worm’.
Inspired the legend of the Yeti -- the Abominable snowmen
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 14 “Rahoooooooooooo”
These are an ancient race of four-armed giants from Palladium world. These days they live as quiet mountain hermits. Back in the day they got racismed out of civilization and retreated to the mountains, now they pretend to be extinct. Apparently some live on Rifts Earth and the Triax book contradicts parts of this entry considerably. They’re an optional player race with okay stats, decent MDC and a natural four hand to hand attacks, plus all the ones you can get from skills. Natural sensitive psionics. And they’re allowed to be glitter boys. This has to be an oversight. But the book says! Or rather doesn’t say they can’t. Roll ‘em up!
ARB: “In fact, General Rasheen, member of the Council of Governors and celebrated hero of the New German Republic, is a rahu-man...” The New German Republic would turn out to be a human supremacist country akin to, if less oppressive than, the Coalition. Ooops.
l-liono...is that you?
Let’s just quote the first phrase here verbatim. “Ratlings are a race of humanoids indigenous to the Palladium world, who resemble humanoid rats.” There, I think we’re done. Oh, wait, more words. They hang around Lone Star pretending to be mutant animals and otherwise jerk around being sly and not fighting stereotypes at all. You can play as one of these if you’re into hairless tails and tiny skittery feet.
Scarecrows are animated scarecrows made of straw. They are basically sentient straw golems on a Wizard of Oz theme and many of them have been around so long since their forgotten origin that they’ve learned magic and gotten super-tough. Who has the flying monkeys now bitches?! The answer to these is of course fire.
ARB: It should be noted these things are, for some reason, immortal and regenerate at an insane rate... except for, of course, fire. Yes, scarecrows are the trolls of the setting.
These are in fact mammals. With stinging tails. Big evil predators but once again SDC, have at ‘em.
These are basically riding T-rexes used by the Eandroth. They’re fantastically dumb and have to be basically beaten into submission all the time. They become MDC creatures in Rifts because they are dinosaurs. Seriously that is the listed reason.
A malignant alien force that often materializes as a glowing humanoid shape crackling with energy. They are only vulnerable to magic and psionics, though they get very little MDC. They have some psonic attacks and are listed as being able to make two physical attacks per round but there’s no damage listings, so presumably SDC from PS.
ARB: I know it’s supernatural and evil, but it really should put some pants on.
ghost pants presumably
Optional PC. Lion/eagle/human version. They’re not usually evil as such, but since people respect their learnings and magics they tend to set up little churches and stuff and start demanding presents, and when people get disillusioned or go bankrupt, the sphinx just wanders off again. This sounds fantastic to have at the gaming table. They their natural RCC skills which are okay and then they can choose a magic OCC and get the OCC skills plus spells and stuff.
Syvans are walking corpses though not quite zombies. I guess more dessicated than rotten, and also still sentient enough to hate the living and try to weave elaborate webs of deception to wreck up shit. They get a lot of psionics and like to hoard money, which in fact ends up being at like dragon hoard levels with considerably less effort involved with killing one. I suppose first you must unmask its layers of disguise or whatever but seriously just shoot the gray-skinned skull-grin guy.
ARB: It’s really hard to tell from the crummy art, but they’re supposed to look half ugly and half uglier, for some reason. Like Two-Face, only all ugly.
Yay unicorns, what would we do without ‘em. They help the elderly with their taxes, give rides to children, and donate blood regularly. They are stand-up citizens. Good aligned characters are specifically barred from enslaving or killing a unicorn. Bad people of course want their horns.
Winged dogs or foxes, known for mischief, riddles, playfulness. Will in fact steal your wallet. They have small stubby hands with a thumb so they could play poker.
Somehow I bet these aren’t giant buffalo-sauced food animals. Hm, well, almost. A pair of giant wings attached to a softball-sized cotton ball. I admit I am puzzled. They like to make people happy. Come here and sit on my grill, that will make me happy.
Worms of Taut -- Demon Worms
Of ‘taut’? What? Thought to be demons, actually just “supernatural monsters,” oh well that’s okay then. There’s like six different kinds of these.
ARB: It turns out they can be summoned using the blood of a dead demon worm, which gives a real chicken-or-the-egg dilemma.
Sigh, I suppose I saw this coming. These are like 120-200 ft long and have an “easygoing demeanor.” They’re basically sluggish and apparently the Federation of Magic summoned some of these against the Coalition. Somewhere, Erin Tarn is making a wikipedia edit.
These things are lethargic and move as little as possible; people have to starve them to get them angry. They spit globs of mucus and engulf prey whole to swallow it. People who fail to dodge the glob are trapped at 1/8th speed and one melee action and it takes 10 actions to get free unless you have a PS of over 24, then you just get halved. If you just hold still and play dead it will swallow you and you can shoot at its vulnerable insides. Enjoy your stay in Rifts
ARB: It’s like there’s some joke to make about a wormlike monster that spooges all over people, but I’m damned if I can think of one.
Bright red wormish thing though it has a face, spits fireballs, nests of 1D4, doesn’t seem to breed.
Not so much a worm as a multi-legged salamander-critter. Hostile and aggressive predators, 10 ft long and prone to travelling in packs. They bite and use their prehensile tails to try and strangle people.
Like a naga right, but with a segmented wormy body and weird wormy three-toed feet. They like to kill people and collect money and treasure to lure in victims. Apparently they have ”incredible hearing that will alert them to any new odor in a 300 ft area, even when sleeping.” Poisonous, but who is not wearing armor in this game anyway.
Three-headed giant serpent. Spits acid from the middle head that can permanently blind someone. Again, hostile and mean predator.
I was honestly expecting more of these to be along the lines of the ear-burrowing thing in the old monster manual, or some of those other totally bullshit ‘screw the thief even harder’ monsters. These come closest but they’re actually less worse than rot grubs--they’re just small enough to hide in corpses, prominent urns, tombs proper etc and then jump out and attack. They’re not very tough but they could totally freak players out. Also it says they hang around places with a lot of food including ‘cyber chop-shops’ which...well the medical body horror kind of writes itself.
“The za is yet another winged, dog-like creature of magic,” how many of these have we had compared to lizard people? There was the Waternix and that was basically it. Maybe there were more in M&A original that didn’t make the MDC conversion cut. Anyway these are evil winged dog-like creatures of magic. They want to stack paper to the ceiling, don’t care who they hurt.
ARB: To be fair, there are also dragon wolves, who are understandably forgotten since their art is inserted in the middle of the table of contents, 112 pages before the actual creature writeup.
It should be noted this is total Siembieda style. “I’ve got three pictures of winged dogs! That totally justifies three monster writeups. Let no winged dog art go to waste!”
These are out of order for some reason, Yema comes after Za. Yema are an extinct race of flying reptiles from Palladium that have been mass-zombified. Apparently evil wizards mail order RC-kit control spells for these guys or something as that is where they generally show up, in the hands of evil magic-users. They’re passably tough.
the guy on the left looks more like a spectre than the actual monster entry but maybe not the one they meant
Oh these are annoying. Perfect for the last of the M&A critters. Magic stuff does no damage and splits them into two identical creatures. This includes punching and biting from magical creatures. But hey, all is not lost! Psionics which are of course totally not magic can hurt them, as can silver, wood and iron. Also once they get split into two they become Diabolic and hate all life.
ARB: I love these things for some reason, they basically make no sense at all. They’re peaceful until you attack them, and then they turn into a berserk horde... okay, it’s easy to see how they might get around. But where does that peaceful, original zavor come from? (Also, it should be noted they hoard magical weapons to pound each other with to make more duplicates, which basically makes them horrible metagamers.)
honestly it’d be non-scary if it didn’t have people teeth
That’s it for the Monsters and Animals Conversions. Just Beyond the Supernatural and “Beings who would be Gods” to go--which the ‘gods’ part includes ‘Demon Hoards of Hades’ and ‘Another Hoard of Demons’ so I guess they’re collectible. Also BTS includes some repeats from VK because I guess they were really struggling for pagecount with that book (circuses?!) so those will get limited coverage.
only the most common, dangerous and unique
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 15 “Basically anything not from Earth is bad”
I haven’t personally read BTS in years and years and years and only sort of skimmed the recent writeup. So, this should be an adventure.
Also, apparently they reprint this whole section in Dark Conversions, years later. Because? Because, I guess. Palladium is a strange company.
ARB: You know, thinking about it, I know there were other writers on stuff like Beyond the Supernatural, there may be some totally uncredited work by Randy McCall or Erick Wujick in here. Beyond the Supernatural doesn’t really credit who wrote what.
Also, a lot of art in this section is pretty much cribbed from Boxed Nightmares, the only supplement Beyond the Supernatural ever got. (More are promised, and have been promised for basically twenty years now.)
These things can’t kill with a wail because Palladium was never as into ‘save or die’ mechanics. Instead they can just kind of clairvoyantly sense when people are about to die, and that’s when they show up. It’s ethereal and invisible and requires psionics or magic to get rid of, but really they’re just more noisy pests than actually dangerous. Also you can apparently get into an astral slapfight with them.
Boschala: The Living Nightmare
Predatory shape-changers from another dimension. They don’t understand Earth biology so they tend to appear as a mishmash of nightmare parts glued together. Each boschala will look different, unless they were summoned together, in which case they seem to copy each other. Also they can link together like predatory shape-changer voltron to make one big nightmare creature.
Also there is a specific warning in the book that if you summon 13 or more of these into the same place, they will be compelled to mate. This involves all the boschala merging together in a twisted pile of pulsating flesh and undulating limbs but it only takes 30 minutes; this creates one additional boschala and the process may be repeated every 24 hours. Also sorcerers cannot control them in packs of 13 or more.
There’s like nine percentile tables to roll on to determine their appearance, including ‘number’ and ‘type’ of tails, separately. They have Glitter-Boy range MDC and can do okay damage, also basically the highest horror factor you will ever see on a monster: 18. But seriously, they mate.
Dybbuk: The demon ghoul
This was covered in the Vampire Kingdoms writeup and so I am skipping it. I am putting the art in though because it is both a clearer and yet much more comical picture that includes the t-rex arms.
Like all ghouls, this creature feeds on the flesh of the dead. They are basically bog-standard ghouls except that they can self-rift themselves from dimension to dimension.
ARB: I like how they have 500 I.S.P. and their most expensive psychic power (Object Read) costs 6 I.S.P.
Dar’ota: Incubus & Succubus
Another VK repeat
An entity is a supernatural energy being invisible to the human eye. This would technically include the banshee I guess then? But maybe not; these are basically Rifts: Ghosts
These have a long write-up that is basically somebody quoting a Time-Life ‘mysteries of the unknown’ article into Palladium game terms. They play pranks, they react to strong emotions.
Holy crap so much write-up. Way to fill page-count I guess. These things inhabit an inanimate object until that object is destroyed. Sometimes they choose things like ‘trees’ or ‘rocks’. They are not very smart apparently. Unfortunately they cannot possess your bionic arm because it’s neurologically linked or something, wouldn’t that be a unique modern hazard. “Stop hitting yourself” is suddenly the cruel refrain of a thousand horror stories.
They telepathically contact people from inside their object-houses and pretend to be valuable magical objects and/or wise spirits. They feed on PPE and basically will exhaust any beings close to them as often as they can. They can’t possess items made of plastic at all. Otherwise they’re kind of like evil ghost hermit crabs I guess.
ARB: “Hi Sarah, I’m a magic piece of talking clay.”
These are new Ghost Classic. This is the art they get.
Seriously, a professionally published gamebook considered this good enough to inspire your imagination. These entities are drawn to the emotional impressions that humans leave on a place, and since strong emotions leave the strongest impressions, they re-enact murders and stuff. They are not very smart and often assume they were actually the actors in the incidents played out until banished or whatever, but they are not actual dead people you can (sometimes) see.
Apparently ‘tectonic’ means ‘pertaining to construction or building’ according to this entry. See? Greek wasn’t a useless degree, dad . But no, this thing like, constructs itself a little (12ft) golem body out of nearby inanimate objects and debris. This means that, just hypothetically, it could make its body out of baby dolls. Apparently they do this because it scares people and makes their emotions richer to feed off of.
Also these things can inhabit and animate humanoid or animal figures. Like robots. Like those skelebots they had in the first book. Also, since it feels no pain, setting their bodies on fire means that you now have an angry golem-body murderghost that is on fire to cope with.
If Syphon Entities are ghost hermit crabs, these are ghost decorator crabs.
warning: may murder hobos
Generally considered the most powerful and dangerous of all entities. These are the ones who can possess living people, whereas all those other ones cannot. It’s like Malice from X-Men, it possesses people to make them do terrible things. They can’t be banished or whatever, it’s gotta be an exorcism. Good thing there’s a few ways to do that. Enough ghosts, let’s do something different.
Gargoyles & Gurgoyles
“These appear as giant lizard-like humanoids...” Goddammit Siembieda, no more lizardmen. They hatch from eggs, but they are warm-blooded. Just like real dinosaurs! They’re aggressive pack-living predators and love to fight. Apparently they breed fast and are invaders (their italics) who want to conquer the planet. Gurgoyles are the wingless, submissive, put-upon little brothers of the gargoyles. They have a reasonable amount of MDC though not so great damage, but having to deal with a lot of these could be a problem.
Gargoyle lords can turn into living stone and get more MDC and damage. Gargoyle Mages can do some Warlock stuff and talk to elementals. Gargoylites are smaller-sized versions of Gargoyle Lords specifically and lack the whole aggression that all the others have and they get used as spies because...I guess because who would question that odd stony midget?
Goqua: Master of Deception
This is a big ugly supernatural beast, the sort of thing that did not routinely visit Earth prior to the Rifts era. Unfortunately for these guys, they must prepare to be outclassed pretty much even by the one sourcebook already published at the time. At least they can’t be hurt with squirtguns. Also, the subject agreement within the entry makes it unclear if there is just one, and it is Goqua, or if they are a race, called goqua; the latter is probably correct but it’s confusing.
Apparently they’ve been manipulating humanity for a long time and some people, probably the Rifts-equivalent of that lizard people guy, think they’ve been behind all human myths of gods and stuff. Anyway they use magic and illusions to pretend to be stuff to try and get people to worship/do murders/give them things. They are also kind of picked on by the other supernatural beings, probably because they look like mole-snails.
ARB: There is the essential point that I look at them and go “It doesn’t look like it could manipulate a knob.” It’s all a part of their fiendish game.
humanity’s secret masters for all of history
Grave Ghouls: The classic ghoul
Bog-standard ghouls again, no rifting. They like to feed on corpses--old corpses--and mostly don’t do much but that. On the scale of supernatural threats, these are pretty minor outside of being gross--they don’t like to be disturbed but they don’t actually hate all life, they just want to eat the dead.
This section of the book made with 40% recycled material
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 16 “Gremlins from the Kremlin and beyond”
They have psi-powers for manipulating machines, they use them for sabotage. So basically that Bugs Bunny cartoon entirely.
All myths about supernatural dogs are actually these, and they are weird shape-changers who like to dress up like dogs. However, like the boschala, they don’t fully understand Earth biology and so sometimes the head is insect-like. Sunlight transforms them into their natural state as invisible energy beings. They attack humans because they are easy prey and apparently invisible energy beings feed on flesh.
These are more invisible energy beings, but instead of shapeshifting into dogs, they possess insects and turn them into six-foot monster-shapes. They feed on human bone marrow, only human, and only marrow. And despite turning their insect hosts gigantic, they are described as extremely elusive, darting to hide in cramped spaces and areas with only one entrance and all that. Honestly if the thing is willing to corner itself, just throw a bug bomb in and wait. It takes half damage from toxins but who cares?
elusive and subtle
These are in VK, and that plus Dark Conversions means plenty of mind-slug for all
Sowki -- the Serpent
These got mentioned in VK but not statted, so it looks like they go here. Apparently their name is pronounced ‘sah-woo-key’, okay. They are not snakes despite their name, being instead scaled humanoids (more...fucking...lizardmen) with a monstrous visage, I’ll just include the art to make it easier. They are not bloodthirsty by nature, but they are aggressive conquerors and see Earth as a place they can totally conquer the shit out of. So they hide among humans with illusion and shape-shifting and weave sinister webs of power or form cults and such. Oh, they’re optional player characters.
they can totally pass for human
The Death Weavers
Come on Rifts, stop using up your material so fast. VK at least had art.
Werewolf & Werebeasts
Optional PCs of course. VK did their special werejaguar culture and gave some of the other stats, so I will skip all of these because they’re just not very interesting. Though they are only vulnerable to silver, so if you play one be prepared for basically constant barrages of tableware.
because you deserve it
Dear SETI, from Rifts: merry christmas
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 18 “Alien Intelligences”
Supernatural Intelligences (already noted as an awful term but still, it’s an awful term) are generally malignant and evil tentacle gods or otherwise completely inhuman awfuls who want to variously gobble up or dominate humanity and other sentient races. They’re both physical and psychic manifestations and thus can divide themselves across multiple dimensions in fragments. This section spends a lot of words explaining how they’re different from astral travelers. There are some intelligences that aren’t actually malicious, just inhuman and lacking understanding, and some who represent love, order, justice and all that though obviously those are a tiny minority. They all feed on PPE and Rifts has a lot of that, and a reasonable number of sentient beings who can also provide it.
It goes on to give a general statblock for generation of supernatural intelligences including their 2D6x10,000 MDC. They tend to have a lot of abilities like seeing invisible, regeneration is basically standard, immunity to poisons and such. Eighty percent of them have that fractional-division thing where they can send their fragments out to other worlds. Then there’s a bunch of individual percentile rolls to see if a given intelligence has a particular ability, including various kinds of possession, shapeshifting, turning people to stone, fire breath/bolts, and various vulnerabilities as well. Apparently you don’t gotta be a vampire intelligence to be vulnerable to wood. Their physical form is meanwhile left entirely up to the GM, though generally random tentacles/limbs/etc.
Not the Sarah Maclachlan song but apparently a section that the writers felt deserved a boldfaced heading. It explains some mechanics for these intelligences to possess things, and says the victim gets to roll a mental block or parry. I imagine this derives in some fashion from the ME stat but almost no classes give much training in that so basically the victim is going to lose.
There are a lot of rules to this; basically only vampire intelligences can possess things in the same physical dimension as themselves, the others are only able to possess things with their fragmented energy bodies. Which, this wasn’t entirely clear before, I thought they were sending fragments of their physical selves as well. But, whichever. It also explains that becoming a vampire is ‘more like a metamorphosis’ versus a standard possession. Okay.
The intelligences can only make two attempts at possession in a 24 hour period, but this doesn’t seem like much of a restriction, especially if they can just up and try to possess whoever they want. Also it’s invisible when it happens and nobody knows but the victim. It also contradicts itself with rule 9 that says it can use all the powers and knowledge of a given body and then rule 12 which says it doesn’t gain access to the victim’s past memories or skills. Also though people rarelyremember what happened while they were possessed, they can still get insanity rolls when it’s over.
The Old Ones
These are a Palladium RPG thing. They’re thought to be extinct. Hell, the text even calls them the Great Old Ones in italics and everything. And Earth scholars supposedly know enough about the Palladium world and its history to wonder if the Time of Chaos there was like Earth is now. Probably . It also says that Palladium is not unlike Earth during the time of the Roman Empire, whatever that is supposed to actually mean. HISTORICALLY ANALOGOUS. It also says that the Old Ones created a bunch of races, including the elves which hey I thought the Lizard Mages created the elves. Somebody is the Edison in this scenario, stealing credit.
“It seems apparent that the Old Ones not only enslaved other beings, but entire planets across the dimensional web of the universe. They did not enslave, they tormented and destroyed.” Awesome editing guys.
Also it refers to a historical text from the Palladium world that says the Old Ones weren’t killed, just put to sleep in a non-euthanasia way, because the energy backlash of killing them would be too destructive. They were way powerfuller than the Splugorth or the vampire intelligences or whatever.
i am not sure what this is supposed to actually represent
They go into all this because it’s a story about another place that got Rift-shafted and how these Old Ones are still a waiting slumbering danger and stuff. Also it goes on to detail a few of them by name, and says that ‘Xy, the Great Old One’ basically screwed up a transformation circle and ended up as Thoth on Earth having totally forgotten his Old One past. We’ll see if that gets retconned, I can’t remember. The others are pretty generic evil evil evil, one is ‘miscreant’ and one ‘anarchist’ alignment so I guess those are the mavericks.
ARB: Thoth definitely keeps his backstory in future books, at least. Siembieda loves to reference the Old Ones even though they have nothing to do with Rifts Earth as far as I’ve seen.
I’m gonna stop there as next we get into things labeled directly as ‘demons’ and it’s a big section and also this stuff about absolute evil is honestly dreary. It’s like Siembieda put on a labcoat and held up something with tweezers and said ‘this is evil’.
And on that note of ridiculous--
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 19 “The Demon Hoards of Hades”
So, it is actually spelled ‘hoards’ in the TOC and header in this section, but they got it right within the actual text. Good for them. Sort of. As ever, they tie Rifts stuff into Earth’s history, citing myths of a hellish or at least kind of unpleasant afterlife that existed in many cultures on Earth in ancient history. Always ancient history. That way they can avoid saying the word “Hell” see, and then they won’t get moral panicked on! So anyway the dimension this particular pack of demons comes from is called specifically Hades and the guy that rules it is also Hades. Sometimes I feel like Rifts books are written by a grandad trying to scare the kids straight.
The dimension itself is described as eternal twilight, swirling clouds, mountains, acid rain, you know, the perils of evil places. Gargoyles get mentioned again as an underclass race that has adapted some of the demon culture to become even more savage and cruel and less unified than their free brethren. This is almost interesting, multiple cultures in a species and long-term hell exposure that didn’t end in chaos mutation. If the gargoyles weren’t kind of one-note lizard-klingons either way I’d be more impressed.
Okay, onto specific other denizens.
ARB: I’d just like to point out every demon from here on out has the following abilities: dimensional teleport and bio-regeneration. This means if you want to have a plot where you have to close the portal to keep demons from coming through? Doesn’t work, they can just show up on your couch, in your fridge, or in your toilet while you’re trying to shit like ghoulies oh nooooo-
Moreover, they can teleport out of your dimension, heal up, and pop back in again like ten minutes later to restart the rumble. I never thought I could describe a monster guide as “twinkish”, but here you have it.
Dogmen who look a bit like Wolfen but they actually only have dog heads but not dog legs, though they’re still furred I guess. They like to dwell in the desert of Taut--didn’t we insist that those worms were not demons from this place? Maybe it’s a misnomer. Anyway they’re pretty average critters.
Where would we be without some nice fish demons? Though this one has four tentacles for arms to go with its fish-body, and no legs so it has to kind of drag itself on land. Basically they suck outside of water and their best in-water attack is drowning people, which is less effective with sealed armor suits but don’t tell them that.
little bit like an evil seal with extra flippers innit?
Banshees & Grave Ghouls
Also live in Hades though there is no mention of if they are natives or just wandered in because it seemed pleasant or what. Ghouls get mistreated. Banshees just yell a lot I guess.
These are tiny little razor-sharp insect dudes filled with hate. Their wrath is terrible and yet adorable as any tiny rage-filled thing. Though they can still power-punch you for MDC so watch out. It says specifically that they go for eyes and genitals. They inflict SDC damage when picked up, so wear your nearest Dead Boy gauntlet when handling.
just precious l’il fellers
Mares or Nightmares
So, here we have the standard demon hor--what’s that? They’re not horses but monstrous hags? FALSE ADVERTISING. They like to sneak around and scare people and attack them with psionics while they are sleeping. They are passably tough and like basically everything that isn’t a mundane animal, they can turn invisible. PCs without invisibility detection will rapidly become screwed.
ARB: I guess invisibility is the neener neener alternative. “Oh, it failed to teleport... and it vanishes!”
Head of a hawk, man-torso, bird hands and bird legs and feet. They’re basically like evil frankenhawkman but they don’t carry maces by default and probably aren’t actually space aliens.
Some of the really middle-fingerish villains in this section are in the next part, at the very least Rifts demons are nasty business. Though I'd tend to say not in a meta-balanced way; you'll see.
While we're talking about Glitter Boys, it sounds like time for more Conversions! I'm sad there isn't a Kermit smiley, I'll do
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 20 “Greater Demons of Hades”
Here I guess is that section of the monster manual that twink players glare at and memories, knowing the faces of their ultimate rivals: the lords of hell. Of course in Rifts the Supernatural Intelligences vastly outclass all of these dudes who are not themselves SIs taking on a name from Earth’s history that signifies a connection from a previous time of Rifts blah blah blah anyway on with some demons.
Tall, bronze-skinned humanoids filled with malice and the desire to wreak havoc, immune to fire including MDC fire. Specifically knows the fire whip spell, imagine that. ‘Occasionally wears dragon armor’. The rules for dragon armor are not in this book but I am sure it is as awesome as wearing the skin of any sentient being can be.
You almost don’t need to add ‘demon’ to a locust to make it awful. But these have human heads and scorpion tails. Great, scorpions capable of flight. They’re the biggest, tuffest greater demons and all the other non-lord demons bow down. And there’s a lot of them. Thus why they are locusts.
ARB: Also there are “hundreds of thousands” of these things and each has around 900 M.D.C., 700 P.P.E., can paralyze even mega-damage creatures with their venom, has wizard-class spellcasting (including the ability to cause earthquakes), can turn invisible, and can teleport to any dimension. Why they haven’t crushed all dimensions ever is beyond me. Seriously, you don’t need to summon them, they can just ruin your birthday party whenever they like.
This is only mentioned in the ‘create your own’ Supernatural Intelligence template but the dimensional teleport requires that they already be familiar with a given dimension to teleport to it. But once one of them has learned, time to go home and bring back the boys. Well, I don’t know if D-teleport allows bringing passengers. It’s undefined. But I bet the dude who summoned a demon locust would pretty quickly find himself wanting to summon others ‘or else’.
Gallu -- Demon Bull
Giant ebony-skinned minotaur with a breath of smoke and fire that is specifically noted as just a visual effect. They often lead small forces of gargoyles, alu, or the like. In Rifts of course they like to put on clothes--MDC clothes.
Jinn -- Elemental Demon
Jinn are powerful free spirits within the Hades hierarchy. They just run around causing trouble more or less wherever they can.They’re impervious to everything but magic and silver. Wait, wait, I thought Jinn were mythically vulnerable to brass? Not everything is a werewolf, Mr. Siembieda.
ARB: Pretty much a lot of Rifts demons seem to be vulnerable to silver as a rule. It’s never really explained or made a thing of, they just are.
Anyway the whole species is under a curse that anybody can capture them or provide them with vital aid is their master until they have granted three wishes. If the owner of the jinn dies, it is set free to nettle the next passer-by. Wishes must be made using the actual word “wish” somewhere in the sentence. They can’t actually produce stuff from thin air, but they’ll use their power and cunning to take stuff or otherwise produce the requested results, all without explaining this to the wisher.
The jinn have some elemental characteristics but they use the same stat block. Also, they lose half of their powers during the daytime. They’re pretty tuff demons, and they know magic respective to their element plus they have some psionics.
Their entry also ends with a weird editing error. “...magic swords, vibro-blades, and energy rifles. The symbols of lust and decadence” and that’s it. I am not sure what they wanted to say there, but I am pretty sure we didn’t miss out on much.
Giant maws set upon three thick legs, with huge, wide teeth and three eyes on stalks. Not demon fly larva at all. They are the minions of Mictla the Devourer. And they’re ugly and they can petrify enemies. Their petrification is temporary, but temporary as in ‘minutes’ and they can attempt it eight times a round . These things are kind of a walking TPK.
ARB: Note that these guys originally showed up in a Palladium Fantasy RPG adventure. Imagine having to face one of these things without a boom gun.
two legs good! three legs scary! also probably a couple demon locusts in the background
The night owl has the body and wings of a giant owl with an ugly human head. They like to lurk up on high branches and hunt in solitude, though sometimes they ally themselves with evil sorcerers to try and corrupt them into more evil. They like shiny things.
they like to stare unnervingly at people i guess
You may have heard of this one previously, enough so that Google Docs doesn’t even think it’s a spelling error. Basically shape-shifting demon manipulators, out for power and evil. They specifically have a shapeshifting mimickry skill listed that goes into how exactly they can change into someone’s form depending on what material they have to work with. Strangely enough Changelings can just shift their shape to imitate people without even having to roll. These guys are obviously amateurs.
ARB: This game seems to love assigning random percentages to certain supernatural abilities. It doesn’t really say what type of action they take or what happens when they fail - does the Rakshasa forget to hide his tail? Does a dragon teleport to the wrong place, or no place at all?
I just imagine a dragon trying to teleport and repeatedly failing until he sounds like an angry guy trying to start a busted lawnmower. “Wha... come on, oh, fuck, oh come on. Fuuuck! Come on! Stupid teleportation! Work! Fuck!”
The Four Demon Beetles
These are beetles, they are demonic, there are four of them. They all have something referred to as a ‘transformation attack’. These attacks apparently mutate the victim unless a save vs magic of 15 or higher is made. Their names and individual descriptions are as follows:
Phoe, the fire beetle: Biting someone (even on armor) turns the character into a strange fire demon which will run off and start burning stuff in its path, original personality suppressed. It will wear off in 1D4 hours.
Kmm, the stone beetle: Shoots a yellow beam from its eyes that petrifies enemies. Permanent, unless Stone to Flesh is used.
Ti, the beetle of fear: Emits an eerie sparkling flash of light that instills numbing fear that leaves victims paralyzed and sobbing for 3D4 melees and has a 40% chance of causing a permanent phobia of beetles.
Dra of the green mold: Bite creates a green mold that will cover the victim in 1D6 melees. The mold is permanent and can only be removed by remove curse. It causes 05 to strike, parry and dodge, and does 1D4 hit points every day as the mold feeds on the victim. Healing them will slow the process but the mold keeps feeding.
So yeah these are kinda nasty and at least unique and differentiated from each other. I actually kind of like them, they’re not super-tough (190 MDC) and their powers are sketchy but a decent party could put them down with minimal moldy arson. They’re a lot more distinct than any supernatural intelligence or ‘old one’ we’ve had to deal with. Also the beetles are immortal, and will restore themselves even from dust. If the dust is gathered into jars and soaked in holy water, the can be held in limbo for a while.
ARB: They are pretty neat, I’ll second that. They’re not overwhelming but present unique threats.
Succor-Bemoth, a lord of Hades
A huge, thin, almost-skeletal man with pale gray skin and large, sad eyes. He is the symbol of jealousy, despair, and disease. 55% but no more or less he will have 1D4 banshees following him around, expecting death to come shortly. It says all that and nothing else, nothing about what he tends to do or why, or any agenda--I guess he just kind of wanders around causing sickness or whatever.
ARB: I present the totality of Siembiedian villain motivations:
Belphegor of the Sulfur Pits, a lord of Hades
Belphegor has a huge gaping mouth and a repulsive odor that can be smelled at 4000 feet away, good thing your armor is environmentally sealed. It likes to torture, engage in hand to hand combat and rip living creatures apart. It’s the symbol of lust, ignorance, sloth. Okay.
Tougher than Succor-Bemoth though still in the realm where it could be fought by a well-equipped group.
Abrasax the Insatiable, a lord of Hades
Abrasax has the head of a cock, clawed hands, shedim-like (can’t we just say ‘hawk-like’) feet, a huge potbelly, and a knotted tail. He is antsy and fidgety and constantly restlessly seeking evil to do. He has a 66% chance of going berserk in combat. Symbolizes gluttony, anxiety, cruelty.
Those were kinda random, I mean individually they’re okay demon lords I guess but their assigned sins seem to just have been slapped on there. Better to just give them a geographic area of Hades or just say they’re ‘a lord’ and let others decide of what. Abrasax is noted as being lord of the Shedim at least.
Modeus, THE Lord of Hades
That’s double-bolded because Rifts did it first. This intelligence calls itself Modeus as an attempt to dodge fire for using the actual term ‘Asmodeus’ or something but also SIs are always from somewhere else, pretending to be whatever works locally to let them run things. He generally appears as a red-headed man when dealing with humanoids. He’s just gotten lazy after centuries of dominating Hades. 90K MDC, vulnerable to sunlight and daytime, which are in short supply in Hades I imagine. I suppose this is one of those places where ley line walkers would feel clever opening a portal to Earth’s orbit in order to defeat Wheatley.
Mictla the Devourer
Mictla is like the ex-ruler of Hades, I guess he got recall-diselected. He now rules 1/3rd of Hades and serves as a general and stuff, and in a weird stroke of what the hell, is content with his reduced position and serving Modeus. He was of course the Aztec god of the dead and his tongue acts like a carpet of adhesion.
Only 12,000 MDC, that’s pikerville for one of the capital-I intelligences, but then this guy’s been on the outs for a while. Vulnerable to silver, the usual range of extremely pesky powers and abilities. 13 attacks per melee which is unusually high, and on an 18, 19, or 20 you get thrown into its mouth.
ARB: The vulnerability to silver is farcical because it does less damage than the usual armaments PCs will be packing. Probably a holdover from the Palladium Fantasy RPG.
Parental rights groups will never catch on!
Here is our final installment, no more conversions!
Rifts™ Conversion Book One: Part 21 “Greater Demons of Hades”
Another Horde of Demons
Noooooooo what did I do? You only have three pages left, Conversions, focus! Sigh. Yet more attempts to avoid saying devil words directly, welcome to the world of Dyval.
Infamous tempters and betrayers, they’re basically satyrs if satyrs looked ready to fucking murder your dog. They try to trick and entice people when they can.
Hey! They said the D-word, call the x-tian police! These...also look like some depictions of satyrs, though they are listed as ‘resembling the Greek god Pan’ which can vary a lot depending on depiction, but is a little more human and less horny, ultimately. They turn into human shapes to lure humans into danger like goaty will-o-wisps.
Fenry -- Demon Wolf
In direct contradiction to where the Hell Hounds claimed to be all supernatural dogs ever, these are some other supernatural dogs. Big black wolves with glowing eyes. They are also apparently potent wizards and they like to eat people. I just have to say that ‘Fenry’ sounds like the title of a Norse childrens’ book.
Another supernatural predator that feeds on PPE. Basically shadows with glowing eyes, sometimes they wear robes and use knives.
“Virtually identical to the Fiend, except more powerful.” End of entry.
Classic medusa, snakehair and everything. They have petrification though it’s a passive--either you take -6 to strike for not looking, or you save vs magic every round I guess. They can restore those they petrify but are not usually inclined to do so.
Mephisto the Deceiver
Blah blah more intelligences. 40 foot mound of flesh with ten tentacles and twenty eyes. Though of course it changes its shape and possesses whatever the dominant sapient life of an area is. Also not real strong as intelligences go, though can teleport self at will up to 600 miles away so ‘neener neener’. Vulnerable to iron for some reason.
ARB: Not to be mistaken for the guy that wrecked Spider-Man’s home.
And lest we get distracted in our purpose, the book closes with a lizardman.
A lot of the monsters seem kinda bland with a whole lot of ‘loves to torture/kill/eat humans’. I mean I expect that a lot of things in a monster manual would be opposed to human life but somehow this evil is all very banal, plus the ‘supernatural intelligences’ thing which is not even close to being driven as hard into the ground as Rifts is capable of. Basically any evil plot will always have an SI at its core, you will have to figure out a way to plink off 100,000 MDC to ‘win’ the campaign unless of course it just teleports away to bother you later.
ARB: Dimensionally teleport, even. You thought you beat Mephisto by inflicting 11,000 M.D.C.? Nah, he just vanished away to the Land of Dairy Queen. He’s licking his fudge-covered wounds and laughing while half your party is dead. Six hours later he has full M.D.C. and is bursting out of your toilet while you’re out of your armor and turning you into meat-flavored toothpaste.
So, fuck demons.
It’s true, the dimensional teleport thing really is just extremely neenery. I can accept that a supernatural big bad would probably have an escape route, but there is no in-game mechanical way to block the d-teleport after the PCs catch onto this trick. So that is pretty ass.
In general the Conversion book was an early efforts in the Rifts line and it shows. Though all of Palladium’s other games theoretically used the same system, little differences exist between them and mashing them all into Rifts was messy and required rectifying stuff like how Acrobatics was different between lines. This is also one of the last times that anything anywhere will have SDC. Basically they sort of tacitly admitted that was a terrible mistake and just sort of pretended SDC didn’t exist in the future. Sigh.