In the last few days before the end of the Kickstarter, I was able to get a copy of Riffs for Savage Worlds to review. I would like to thank the fine people at PEG for giving me the opportunity to get an inside look up the product. As well as trust that I will give the fans a good fair review.
The first thing I have to say in this is how well they captured the iconic feel of the Rifts RPG setting. Everything from the artwork to the verbiage as well as the layout exudes Rifts. As a huge fan of the Rifts setting it’s so satisfying see such a carefully well thought out translation to the Savage Worlds Rules set.
With the setting of Rifts, there are several key factor that you must nail on the head to strike the proper tone with the fanbase. Art is one of these key factors, and they nailed it! I do not need to go into much of an explanation on how well they did when it comes to the artwork. I will just let the art speak for itself !
The Rifts lexicon is another key factor to ensure that Savage Rifts feels like Rifts. Every opportunity was taken to do this. This could easily have been tragically one of the most overlooked features in the making of this book. I think this was one of the things they went over with a fine tooth comb to ensure it was not the case. The book reads like a Rifts book, and yet it is very obviously Savage Worlds bravo.
The iconic framework method of class creation was a treat to read and they were wonderfully done. As you look at the iconic frameworks you begin to understand what a complex job of bringing Rifts to Savage Worlds must have been. But it is presented in such a way that feels so right. You hardly notice or realize all of the work that must have gone into tweaking each of these to make them balanced as well as remain iconic. The work that went into bringing this to life is by no stretch of the word a labor of love.
There is not one class presented in this book that does not look or read like they were pulled right from the pages of the main Rifts RPG book. You can see the care that was taken in this book to capture the essence that is Rifts and bring it to Savage Worlds. It is as close to completely intact as was absolutely possible while still keeping to the Savage Worlds Rules.
Now some may say, but it is only a 96-page book how can you jam all that is Rifts into 96 pages? Well, you can’t but they packed it full of everything that they could. Also, they pointed you in the right direction of other existing products to draw from to make your Rifts experience bigger and better right out the gate. If you want to play a D-Bee then grab any existing product from the Savage Worlds lineup and make the race you would like to play. It is really that elegant and that simple. That is how it was done back in the days of Rifts RPG as well. If you wanted to play an orc you simply picked up the Palladium Fantasy RPG and rolled up your orc. Personally, it reinforced the symmetry of how well these two products go together.
There are nine full pages of edges and hindrances to help make Rifts feel more Savage. At the same time, that edges and hindrances are very much a Savage Worlds staple. The selection given further pushes the Rifts feel even more. With hindrances like the Juicers “Last Call” or “Psi-Shield” edge for Cyber Knights. Everything about these traits are Savage Worlds yet scream Rifts. Creating a wonderful marriage of system and setting.
The gear is 100% Rifts with almost all of your favorites represented. There are so many pieces of equipment that I am not going to take the time to list even a fraction of the content jammed in the 16 pages of gear. In addition, we already know there is more to come. With this large variety presented you can also pick up any old Rifts book you have on hand and find reasonable stat comparison of any weapon, armor or vehicle not listed. Add the “is it a tank” concept that has been spoken to determine if a piece of gear is MDC or not and you have a simple formula to bring in anything you can come up with into your Rifts Games.
The Magic and Psionics section covers new and Iconic Rifts powers as well brings a much more updated feel to the Rifts magic system. Thus allowing a user of Magic or Psionics a better more balanced feel. Allowing them to stand side by side with his other fellow Iconic Frameworks.
Now I only had the Tomorrow Legion Players Guide available for my review. As the Kickstarter is for a three book Set. The Tomorrow Legion and Gamemaster Handbook as well as Savage Foes of North America. If the rest of the product is done with the same attention and care. Another generation of Rifts fans will find this product a smash hit!
As I read the book for my review I took advantage of watching a game in action. This likely was the tipping point for my choice of Ranking that the game received. In the video many of the qualities that make Savage Worlds such a great system come into play. As well as you see how smoothly they blend with Rifts setting almost effortlessly. These are all likely things that I would not have considered in my review of the book because it is easy to overlook how the Savage Ruleset plays out so smooth and effortlessly at the table.
Seeing the game in action was a an eye opener. I would have loved to be part of the playtest. I never thought about how extras make the battles seem far more intense and fast paced. I loved it and I am eager to get this game on my table soon.
Critical Hit! Nat 20 Stop reading and go buy this book NOW! You not only should own this product there is Zero reason why you should not own this product to display proudly. These are the books that leather bound versions are meant to be bound in!
Deciding on my ranking for this game took some time. I have in all my review never considered rating a game so high. a rank of 20 was the rank of near perfection. Nearly unattainable. But in the reading of this product, I rated it on several factors but in the end the two things that stood out above everything else and locked this score in for me.
- First, if a fan that had not played Rift in 10 years were to pick up this book would it feel like picking up an updated version of the game they loved.
- Second, if someone who had never played Rifts picked up this new Savage Worlds project would it feel still feel like Savage Worlds. The answer to both of these is yes, that is an extraordinary thing to be able to say.
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