As we start down the home stretch today’s question is. Game you would like to see a new/improved edition of. I was surprised by how fast this one came to me. With many of the other questions I pondered and walked around my collection thinking of just what RPG fell into place for me. But with this I read the question and I knew the answer. Rifts.
Oh in my days I loved this damn clunky beast. We were the best of friends and it was the best of times. My imagination had no bounds with the stories I could tell with Rifts and it loved me right back. Rifts was so crazy that it could take anything you could dish out at it and keep on coming.. But then something changed.
I wanted to tell stories of the human element. The real life grit of what it might be like to be in a Gritty Sci Fi post Apocalypse world.. and Rifts just fell short.. and once it fell short it kept falling shorter again and again as I looked closer. But I did and still do love the setting .. The rules. oh you clunky twenty year old beast.. The Glorious revision you could have ! And I would buy you. Oh I would wait in line for you. Because as you are now you just are a fond memory.
And with so much, So very much content that could be just ported over with no work to an updated setting. This system is just BEGGING to get new Edition. Kevin has Detailed every square inch of the Rifts world and much of it is free of stats and numbers that would make conversion or updating to a new system hassle free.
How would I envision a new Edition of Rifts.
A total combat and skill rewrite. As well as a Fresh look at the MDC/SDC/HP system as a whole. I would keep it D20 based. And normalize the number of attacks per round. My next change would be to dodge and roll with punch and all the other stuff and adopt a variation on the AC/CMB/CMD rules of Pathfinder and D&D. Giving all adventures a “PD” passive Dodge. Attacks that do not overcome the PD are just avoided by the players combat skill and training. I would then say any player who was struck could sack an attack for an active dodge. This would replace his PD for the round. Juicers could AD for free.
I would give MDC/SDC/HP a total rewrite.. and that would be the pain. Bots and Dragons and Armor and fleshy man bits are hard to make a system that keeps them intact individual and yet all desirable to play. Without spending an entire blog on the idea and just glossing over it I would venture the thought of a Die cap Scale system like the old D6 Star Wars. Personal/Armored/Robot,Vehicle scale
And with a breakdown of 1/3. Personal weapons would do 2/3 damage to Armored Scale and 1/3 damage to R,V Scale.
As R,V scale would do an additional 2/3 damage to Personal scale targets.
There is more than likely an easier way but that’s a quick idea…
Last fix I would do to a new edition. Percentile Skill system, Ditch it. Players do not feel enough growth in a Percentile system even when the growth is considerable. Only a few percent per level does not feel like advancement. I would consider using a DC system like Numenera uses with skills noted as Trained or specialized to lower the difficulty check.
I would also focus more on mankind and their struggle to survive in the world around them gone mad. With an additional focus on the powerful force of humanity that is the Coalition States lead by the maniacal Emperor Karl Prose. As the most powerful military and high-tech force in North America (perhaps the world). Personally I always fond it odd that most Rifts games have so little do with the CS in the backdrop of their games or go so far as to make them the uber evil of the game. But if you look at the Core Book closely you will see that Nearly all of the OCC’s are CS related or could be working Directly for the CS. This as a game backdrop I think would add much more to the setting.