THE PALLADIUM FAQ

Version 4.00: September 1, 2002


 

 

Introduction and Overview

I've been playing Palladium games for over 14 years, and now I'm keeper of the flame. I had the fortune of playing a Palladium game for the first time under Kevin S. himself, at one of his last appearances as a convention GM (Marcon 23, I believe). Since then, I've written hundreds of pages for the games (Thousands, if you count my Robotech fanfic that started out as an RPG campaign), and gone on to be a convention GM as well, including several years at Gen Con. My hopes of getting published by Palladium have finally come true, with my ABP-Z4 design in The Rifter #5.

Notes:

1. The FAQ is normally posted in multiple parts on the Palladium list. I'm looking for someone interested in propagating it to the PFRPG list.

2. The FAQ was originally written in WordPerfect, starting originally with 6.0, and progressing through 7.0 and now, 8.0.

3. Whenever you see text in brackets [] in the FAQ, they often denote little editorial comments by Robotechie, that I've not taken out.

 

Credits

Stan Bundy: FAQ slave/editor, Night Owl, and general loser. He can be reached at sbundy@kih.net (provided the mail server doesn't crash again).

Brian Myers: Writer of most of the individual RPG header descriptions, and compiler of the mutant animal list.

RoboTechie (Robert Mc Daniel): Editor Emeritus.

Dustin Ramsey: Former keeper of the HTML version of the FAQ, and major contributor.

Arch Mage Hadrian (Rodney Stott):

The following people also helped contribute to this FAQ. For the most part, I have no idea which contributions were theirs.

Jason G. Aults  Wayne Braden  Jim Cannon
Colin Cashman  Cyr Kithra  Brad Knowles
Raymond Saulnier  Sony  Triplett
sddey@acs.ucalgary.ca  Tom Potts (The Yak God)  Ronald Young
Shawn Merrow  Peapod Elf  J.W. Rommell
Cyclone  Necromancer Bob  Damien Darkstrom

 

[ALWAYS under construction.]

New and Improved items:

 

Contents

Section 0: Glossary

A separate file, appended to the end (WP version), or linked here in the HTML version.

 

Section 1: General Non-Game-Mechanics Questions

1.01. What is Palladium Books?

1.02. What products has Palladium Books published thus far? UPDATED!

1 03. What products are due to be released in the near future? UPDATED!

1.04. Why is Palladium always release items long after their announced release dates?

1.05. Who writes for/works for Palladium Books?

1.06. What is Palladium's mailing address?

1.07. What is the history of Palladium Books?

1.08. What other media (books, movies, etc.) is Palladium Books involved in?

1.09. What is THE RIFTER?

1.10. What was the "Palladium vs. Wizards of the Coast" lawsuit all about?

1.11. Is it true that Kevin threatened to sue any gaming magazines that published material for Palladium games?

1.12. I have this neat idea for a Palladium game sourcebook. What are the chances of getting it published?

 

Section 2: General Game Mechanics Questions

2.01. The Great M.D.C. Debate. A short analysis and warning.

2.02. How many attacks per melee does a starting character have? UPDATED!

2.03. Why are Rifts robots so much more powerful than Robotech mecha?

2.04. Why can some R.C.C.s have a O.C.C. and others can't?

2.05. How do I roll attributes and bonus dice?

2.06. What does "Standard" rate of fire mean anyway?

2.07. How Does Mini-Missile Guidance work? The different RPGs conflict!

2.08. Why should I be worried about falls? Won't my armor protect me?

2.09. What’s with all these rule changes? They’re slowing down combat!

2.10. What you mean, save vs. Pain? or Wards? What is the full list of saving throw types for Palladium?

 

Section 3: The Palladium Fantasy RPG

3.01. What is the Palladium RPG?

3.02. What changes are there between the 1st and the 2nd editions?

3.03. How do you handle characters who switch classes?

3.04. Whatever happened to those little pamphlet supplements for weapons, castles, etc.? UPDATED!

3.05. What is the "sexual deviations" table?

3.06. How do I handle P.B. for Changelings?

 

Section 4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & After the Bomb

4.01. What is the After the Bomb RPG? UPDATED!

4.02. Where do I find X mutant animal? UPDATED!

4.03. Why did Palladium drop the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license? What happened to the planned Second Edition? NEW!

 

Section 5: The Anime-Based Games: Robotech & Macross II

5.01. What is the Robotech RPG?

5.02. What discrepancies are there between the RPG and the series?

5.03. What is Macross II? Is it a sequel to Robotech?

5.04. Why were the licenses dropped? Updated!

 

Section 6: Heroes Unlimited

6.01. What is Heroes Unlimited?

6.02. What are the changes from 1st/Revised edition to 2nd Edition HU?

6.03. What was "The Justice Machine" supplement?

6.04. What changed in Aliens Unlimited from its original to "revised"? (i)

 

Section 7: Ninjas and Superspies

7.01. What is Ninjas and Superspies?

7.02. What changes were made to the revised edition?

7.03. Where is Mystic China supplement?

 

Section 8: Beyond The Supernatural

8.01. What is Beyond The Supernatural?

8.02. Whatever happened to all the announced but never published supplements?

8.03. I've got some questions about the first printing? Some things are confusing or missing.

 

Section 9: Rifts

9.01. What is Rifts?

9.02. Is Beyond the Supernatural REALLY the past of Rifts Earth?

9.03. Where are the stats for Victor Lazlo in Rifts World Book Four: Africa?

9.04. What are Universal Credits exactly?

9.05. What are the prices for vibro-blades and the neural mace?

9.06. How much does railgun ammo cost?

9.07. How do you Trade/Barter for goods?

9.08. What books are the core books necessary to play?/What books are good?

9.09. What do you mean "micro-fission reactors?" That's crazy!

 

Section 10: Nightbane

10.01. What is Nightbane?

10.02. Wasn't Nightbane originally called Nightspawn? What happened?

 

Section 11: The Mechanoids

11.01. What is The Mechanoids?

11.02. When is the Mechanoids RPG going to be reprinted?

11.03. What were the Mechanoids comics?

 

Section 12: Recon

12.01. What is Recon?

12.02. When is Recon going to be reprinted? UPDATED!

 

Section 13: Systems Failure

13.01. What is Systems Failure?

 

Section 14: Miscellaneous Stuff

14.01. What was "The Magic of Palladium Books"?

14.02. What was "Valley of the Pharaohs"?

14.03. What was "Rifts Manhunter"?

 

Section 15: The 'Net

15.01. What mailing lists are there for Palladium RPGs?

15.02. What online resources are there for Palladium RPGs?

15.03. What newsgroups/message boards are there for Palladium RPGs?

15.04. Does Palladium have an e-mail address?

15.05. Does Palladium have a place to ask about rules questions?

 

Section 16: Miscellaneous

16.01. Recommended Reading/Viewing/Listening

16.02. About the Author.

 

 

Section 0: Glossary

 

(Follow This Link)

 

 

Section 1: General Non-Game-Mechanics Questions

 

1.01. What is Palladium Books?

Palladium Books is a Role Playing Games company which was started in 1980 by Kevin Siembieda for the purpose of publishing his first RPG, a fantasy game called The Palladium RPG, from which the company derives its name. It was very successful and pioneered many innovations that today dominate the gaming industry (not the least of which being its format). Palladium went on to publish many more games in the 1980s, including the lucrative Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Robotech lines of licensed RPGs.

In 1990, Palladium Books published Rifts, Palladium's landmark post-apocalyptic game designed to tie all the concepts created in previous games together. It has since become the centerpiece of the Palladium world, and a huge commercial success, spawning over 40 source books as of its 10th anniversary in 2000.

1.02. What products has Palladium Books published thus far?

Product Name                                 Catalog   Cost       I.S.B.N. 
                                                #     (US $)
=============================================================================

The Rifter (100-series) Source Book/Magazine series
------------------
The Rifter #1                                  101     $7.95    1-57457-009-9
The Rifter #2                                  102     $7.95    1-57457-012-9
The Rifter #3                                  103     $7.95    1-57457-013-7
The Rifter #4                                  104     $7.95    1-57457-014-5
The Rifter #5                                  105     $7.95    1-57457-020-X
The Rifter #6                                  106     $7.95    1-57457-024-2
The Rifter #7                                  107     $7.95    1-57457-033-1
The Rifter #8                                  108     $7.95    1-57457-036-6
The Rifter #9                                  109     $7.95    1-57457-037-4
The Rifter #9 ½                                095     $7.95    1-57457-042-0
The Rifter #10                                 110     $7.95    1-57457-039-0
The Rifter #11                                 111     $7.95    1-57457-043-9
The Rifter #12                                 112     $7.95    1-57457-044-7
The Rifter #13                                 113     $7.95    1-57457-048-X
The Rifter #14                                 114     $7.95    1-57457-049-8
The Rifter #15                                 115     $7.95    1-57457-056-0
The Rifter #16                                 116     $7.95    1-57457-057-9
The Rifter #17                                 117     $7.95    1-57457-070-6
The Rifter #18                                 118     $7.95    1-57457-071-4
The Rifter #19                                 119     $7.95    1-57457-???-?
The Rifter #20                                 120     $7.95    1-57457-???-?
The Rifter #21                                 121     $9.95    1-57457-???-?
    Release Date: January 6, 2003

"200-series" books
------------------
Valley of the Pharaohs (Book) **   (1)         200?   $ 8.00    0-916211-??-?
Valley of the Pharaohs (Boxed Set) ** (1)      200?   $12.00    0-916211-??-?


Rifts Novels (300-series)
------------------
Rifts Novel #1: Sonic Boom                     301     $7.95    1-57457-026-9
Rifts Novel #2: Deception's Web                302     $7.95    1-57457-029-3
Rifts Novel #3: Treacherous Awakenings         303     $7.95    1-57457-032-3


"400-series" - The Mechanoids
--------------
The Mechanoid Invasion **                      400     $3.95          ?
The Mechanoid Invasion Book 2: The Journey **  402     $4.95          ?
The Mechanoid Invasion Book 3: Homeworld **    403     $7.50          ?
The Mechanoids RPG *                           400    $14.95    0-916211-13-4
The Mechanoids Special Edition (10)            400    $19.95    1-57457-021-8
Mechanoids Space                               320?   $24.95          ?
     Release Date: 2003


"Palladium Book" / Compendium series
-----------------------------------
PB Note: These were originally Catalog #404-410 when released in the 80s. No 
idea if the ISBN numbers have changed with the re-release.

Palladium Book of Weapons and Armor            401     $7.95    0-916211-07-X?
Palladium Book of Weapons and Castles          402     $7.95    0-916211-??-?
Palladium Book of Weapons and Assassins        403     $7.95    0-916211-03-7?
Weapons and Castles of the Orient              404     $7.95    0-916211-02-9?

Palladium Book of Contemporary Weapons *       408     $5.95    0-916211-01-0?
Palladium Book of Exotic Weapons *             409     $5.95    0-916211-06-1?
Palladium Book of European Castles *           410     $5.95    0-916211-11-8?

The Compendium of Weapons, Armor, & Castles    411    $19.95    0-916211-38-X
The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons         415    $19.95    0-916211-65-7


"450-series" -- The Palladium RPG: List of Original Edition Books
---------------------------------
The Palladium Role-Playing Game * (1)          N.A.   $19.95    N.A.       
The Palladium Role-Playing Game (Revised) *    450    $19.95    0-916211-04-5
The Arms of Nargash-Tor **                     451     $4.95    0-916211-00-2
Game Masters Shield ** (1)                     452     $3.95    N.A.
PFRPG Book II: Old Ones *                      453    $14.95    0-916211-09-6
Monsters and Animals *                         454    $14.95    0-916211-12-6
Monsters & Animals (Revised)*                  454    $14.95?   0-916211-12-6
PFRPG Book III: Adventures on the High Seas*   455    $14.95    0-916211-17-7
PFRPG Book IV: Adventures in the N. Wilderness*456     $9.95    0-916211-39-8
PFRPG Book V: Further Adventures in the N.W.*  457     $7.95    0-916211-40-1
PFRPG Book VI: Island at the Edge o/t World    458    $15.95    0-916211-61-4
Palladium RPG Book VII: Yin-Sloth Jungles      459    $15.95    0-916211-81-9


"450-series" -- The Palladium RPG: List of Second Edition Books
---------------------------------
The Palladium Role-Playing Game 2nd Edition(2)  450    $24.95    0-916211-91-6
The Palladium Role-Playing Game Crimson Ed.(8) 4500   $40.00    N.A.
Dragons and Gods                               451    $19.95    0-916211-98-3 
PFRPG Book II: Old Ones, 2nd Edition            453    $16.95    0-916211-09-6
Monsters & Animals, 2nd Edition                 454    $16.95    0-916211-12-6
PFRPG Book III: Ad. on the High Seas, 2nd Ed.   455    $16.95    0-916211-17-7
PFRPG Book IV: Northern Wilderness 2nd ed.      ???    $21.95    ?-??????-??-?
   Release Date: November, 2002 - Combines & Revises Original Books 4 & 5.
Palladium RPG Book VIII: The Western Empire    462    $20.95    1-57457-015-3
Palladium RPG Book IX: Baalgor Wastelands      463    $20.95    1-57457-022-6
Palladium RPG Book X: Mount Nimro              464    $16.95    1-57457-028-5
Palladium RPG Book XI: The Eastern Territory   465    $20.95    1-57457-034-X
Palladium RPG Book XII: Library at Bletherad   466    $16.95    1-57457-028-5
Palladium RPG Book XIII: Northern Hinterlands  467    $20.95    1-57457-022-6
Land of the Damned series (PFRPG Book #'s found in catalog, not on books)
Palladium RPG Book XIV: LotD: Chaos Lands      468    $20.95    1-57457-028-5
Palladium RPG Book XV: LotD: Eternal Torment   469    $21.95    1-57457-034-X
Palladium RPG Book XVI: LotD: The Bleakness    470    $21.95    1-57457-028-5
   Release Date: Early 2003.


"500-series" games -- Heroes Unlimited/T.M.N.T/Ninjas & Superspies:
List Of Out of Print Books (dropped series, and those relaced by new editions)
------------------------------------------------------------------
Heroes Unlimited *                             500    $14.95    0-916211-05-3
Heroes Unlimited Revised *                     500    $19.95    0-916211-05-3
Villains Unlimited                             501    $19.95    0-916211-49-5
HU: The Justice Machine **                     501    $14.95    0-916211-10-X
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & O.S. *          502     $9.95    0-916211-14-2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Revised Ed. *     502    $11.95    0-916211-14-2
After the Bomb (for TMNT)*                     503     $6.95    0-916211-15-0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures! *     504     $7.95    0-916211-16-9
TMNT Guide to the Universe *                   506     $7.95    0-916211-25-8
Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles* 508    $11.95    0-916211-35-5
Truckin' Turtles *                             509     $7.95    0-916211-43-6
Turtles Go Hollywood *                         510     $7.95    0-916211-46-0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Accessory Pack *  512    $11.95    0-916211-45-2
Aliens Unlimited *                             515    $19.95    0-916211-76-2
Ninjas & Superspies *                          525    $14.95    0-916211-31-2


"500-series" games -- Heroes Unlimited/T.M.N.T/Ninjas & Superspies:
List of Books currently in Print
------------------------------------------------------------------
Heroes Unlimited Second Edition                500    $24.95    1-57457-006-4
Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition Hardback (8)       5000   $40.00    N.A.
Villains Unlimited Second Edition *             501    $19.95    ?????????????
Revision planned, but not yet on schedule. Old version still in stock. 
After the Bomb, Second Edition                 503    $20.95    0-916211-15-0
After the Bomb Book 2: Road Hogs               505     $7.95    0-916211-20-7
After the Bomb Book 3: Mutants Down Under      507     $7.95    0-916211-34-7
After the Bomb Book 4: Mutants of the Yucatan  511     $7.95    0-916211-44-4
After the Bomb Book 5: Mutants in Avalon       513     $9.95    0-916211-47-9
After the Bomb Book 6: Mutants in Orbit(3)     514    $11.95    0-916211-48-7
Aliens Unlimited Revised Edition               515    $20.95    0-916211-76-2
Heroes Unlimited Game Masters Guide            516    $20.95    1-57457-035-8
HU: Century Station                            517    $20.95    1-57457-040-4
HU: Gramercy Island                            518    $20.95    1-57457-055-2
Aliens Unlimited Galaxy Guide                  519    $20.95    1-57457-054-4
Mutant Underground                             520    $13.95    1-57457-0??-?
    Release Date: December 2002
Ninjas & Superspies Revised                    525    $15.95    0-916211-31-2
Mystic China                                   526    $19.95    0-916211-77-0


"550-series" products -- Robotech
----------------------------------------------
Robotech RPG Book One: Macross *               550    $11.95    0-916211-21-5
Robotech RPG Book Two: RDF Manual *            551     $7.95    0-916211-23-1
Robotech RPG Book Three: Zentraedi *           552     $7.95    0-916211-22-3
Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross *       553    $11.95    0-916211-27-4
Robotech RPG Adventures: Ghost Ship *          554     $6.95    0-916211-29-0
Robotech RPG Adventures: RDF Accelerated T.P.  555     $7.95    0-916211-32-0
Robotech RPG Book Five: Invid Invasion *       556    $11.95    0-916211-28-2
Robotech II RPG: The Sentinels *               557    $15.95    0-916211-33-9
Sentinels Video Tape *                        557TP   $19.95    N.A.
Robotech II RPG: REF Field Guide *             558    $15.95    0-916211-36-3
Robotech RPG Book 6: Return of the Masters*    559     $9.95    0-916211-37-1
Robotech RPG Book 6: Return o/t Masters 2E(9)* 559    $12.95    0-916211-37-1
Robotech RPG Adventures: Lancer's Rockers*     560     $7.95    0-916211-42-8
Robotech RPG Adventures: Zentraedi Breakout *  561     $9.95    0-916211-67-3
Robotech RPG Book Seven: New World Order *     562    $11.95    0-916211-84-3
Robotech RPG Book Eight: Strike Force *        563    $11.95    0-916211-85-1
Robotech Video Tapes (Episodes #37-85) *     570-585  $24.95(4) N.A.


"590-series" products -- Macross II
----------------------------------------------
Macross II, The Roleplaying Game *             590    $11.95    0-916211-62-2
Macross II: Sourcebook (One) *                 591     $9.95    0-916211-63-0
Macross II: Deck Plans Volume 1 *              592     $9.95    0-916211-66-5
Macross II: Deck Plans Volume 2 *              593     $9.95    0-916211-74-6
Macross II: Deck Plans Volume 3 *              594     $9.95    0-916211-75-4


Recon (600-series)
------------------
Deluxe Revised Recon                           600    $20.95    1-57457-023-4
Revised Recon * (5)                            610    $14.95    0-916211-19-3
Advanced Recon * (5)                           611     $7.95    0-916211-24-X
Recon Modern Combat                            610?   $21.95    1-57457-0??-?
   Release Date: Early 2003. Was originally announced as Cat #601.


System Failure (650-series)
------------------
System Failure                                 650    $12.95    1-57457-038-2


"700-series" games -- Beyond the Supernatural & Nightbane
---------------------------------------------------------
Beyond the Supernatural *                      700    $19.95    0-916211-18-5
Beyond the Supernatural Second Edition         700    $??.95    0-916211-18-5
   Due EArly 2003.
Boxed Nightmares (6) *                         701    $11.95    0-916211-41-X
Nightspawn * (7)                               730    $19.95    0-916211-86-X
Nightbane (7)                                  730    $19.95    0-916211-86-X
Nightbane: Between the Shadows                 731    $16.95    0-916211-90-8
Nightbane: Nightlands                          732    $16.95    0-916211-97-5
Nightbane: Through the Glass Darkly            733    $16.95    1-57457-004-8


Miscellaneous materials
-----------------------
RiftworkZ Art Portfolio                        799    $29.95    0-916211-99-1
Rifts Miniatures - Twenty different sets:   8001-8020           N.A.
         These are out of print, but still           $6.95 to $10.95 Retail
         Have plenty in stock at Palladium           (Currently $4-6 each)
Rifts G.M. Companion (Computer program)**     9000
Rifts T-shirts: Borg                         800-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Ley Line Walker *            801-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Dog Pack                     803-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Rifts Logo                   804-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Nightbane T-shirt                            805-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy RPG T-shirt                806-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Coalition Christmas          807-TS   $14.95    N.A.
The Magic of Palladium Books                   MOP    $12.95    N.A.
Rifts Briefcase / Book bag (12)               BR100   $16.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy Briefcase / Book bag (12)   BR200   $16.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy Dice Bag (12)               DB100    $5.95    N.A.
Rifts Dice Bag (12)                           DB200    $5.95    N.A.
'Real Gamers Use Dice' Dice Bag (12)          DB300    $5.95    N.A.
Rifts Psi-Cola Water Bottle (12)              BT100    $5.95    N.A.
Rifter #18 Cover Poster                       PO800   $19.95    N.A.


Rifts (800-series)
------------------
Rifts                                          800    $24.95    0-916211-50-1
Rifts Silver Edition Hardback (8)              800    $32.95    0-916211-87-8
Rifts Sourcebook (One)                         801    $11.95    0-916211-51-7
Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms         802    $15.95    0-916211-52-5
Rifts Conversion Book                          803    $19.95    0-916211-53-3
Rifts Conversion Book - Revised                803    $19.95    0-916211-53-3
    RElease Date: November 20, 2002 - Modified for new RPGs, the GM & Magic books.
Most Supernatural conversions Moved to Cat. #852
Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis                 804    $15.95    0-916211-54-1
Rifts Sourcebook Two: The Mechanoids           805    $11.95    0-916211-55-X
Rifts 1993 Calendar *                          806    $11.95    0-916211-56-8
Rifts World Book Three: England                807    $15.95    0-916211-57-6
Rifts World Book Four: Africa                  808    $15.95    0-916211-58-4
Rifts Dimension Book One: Wormwood             809    $16.95    0-916211-59-2
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & The NGR         810    $20.95    0-916211-60-6
Rifts Conversion Book Two: Pantheons of        811    $19.95    0-916211-68-1
  the Megaverse
Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks              812    $11.95    0-916211-69-X
Rifts Mercenaries                              813    $15.95    0-916211-70-3
Rifts World Book Six: South America            814    $15.95    0-916211-71-1
Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas              815    $19.95    0-916211-72-X
Rifts Dimension Book Two: Phase World          816    $19.95    0-916211-73-8
Rifts Dimension Book Three: Phase World SB     817    $11.95    0-916211-79-7
Rifts World Book Eight: Japan                  818    $19.95    0-916211-88-6
Rifts World Book Nine: South America 2         819    $19.95    0-916211-89-4
Rifts World Book Ten: The Juicer Uprisings     820    $16.95    0-916211-92-4
Rifts World Book 11: Coalition War Campaign    821    $20.95    0-916211-93-2
Rifts World Book Twelve: Psyscape              822    $16.95    0-916211-94-0
Rifts Index and Adventures, Volume One         823    $12.95    0-916211-95-9
Rifts Game Shield & Adventures                 824    $12.95    0-916211-96-7
Rifts World Book Thirteen: Lone Star           825    $16.95    1-57457-000-5
Rifts World Book Fourteen: The New West        826    $20.95    1-57457-001-3
Rifts World Book Fifteen: Spirit West          827    $20.95    1-57457-002-1
Rifts Sourcebook Four: Coalition Navy          828    $12.95    1-57457-003-X
Rifts World Book Sixteen: Federation Of Magic  829    $16.95    1-57457-005-6
Rifts Dimension Book Four: Scraypers           830    $16.95    0-916211-78-9
Rifts Index Volume Two                         831    $12.95    1-57457-008-0
Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia        832    $20.95    1-57457-010-2
Rifts World Book 18: Mystic Russia             833    $16.95    1-57457-011-0
Rifts World Book 19: Australia                 834    $16.95    1-57457-018-8
Rifts World Book 20: Canada (One)              835    $20.95    1-57457-025-0
Rifts World Book 21: Splynn Dimensional Market 836    $16.95    1-57457-027-7
Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec               837    $20.95    1-57457-030-7
Rifts World Book 23: The Xiticix Invasion      838    $16.95    1-57457-031-5
Rifts: Coalition Wars - Siege on Tolkeen
      Chapter One: Sedition                    839    $16.95    1-57457-045-5
      Chapter Two: Coalition Overkill          840    $12.95    1-57457-046-3
      Chapter Three: Sorcerer's Revenge        841    $12.95    1-57457-050-1
      Chapter Four: Cyber-Knights              842    $12.95    1-57457-051-X
      Chapter Five: Shadows of Evi1            843    $12.95    1-57457-052-8
      Chapter Six: Final Siege                 844    $20.95    1-57457-053-6
Rifts Game Master Guide                        845    $20.95    1-57457-067-6
Rifts Aftermath                                846    $20.95    1-57457-068-4
Rifts Dimension Book Five: Anvil Galaxy        847    $20.95    1-57457-0??-?
Rifts Book of Magic                            848    $20.95    1-57457-069-2
Rifts Adventure Guide                          849    $20.95    1-57457-072-2
Rifts Bionics Sourcebook                       850    $13.95    1-57457-0??-?
Rifts Dim. Book 6: Guide to the 3 Galaxies     851    $??.95    1-57457-0??-?
    Release Date: Early 2003 - price not yet announced.
Rifts Dark Conversions                         852    $22.95    1-57457-0??-?
    Release Date: December 10, 2002 - Contains Conversions from the supernatural RPGs


Miscellaneous materials
-----------------------
RiftworkZ Art Portfolio                        799    $29.95    0-916211-99-1
Rifts Miniatures - Twenty different sets:   8001-8020           N.A.
         These are out of print, but still           $6.95 to $10.95 Retail
         Have plenty in stock at Palladium           (Currently $4-6 each)
Rifts G.M. Companion (Computer program)**     9000
Rifts T-shirts: Borg                         800-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Ley Line Walker *            801-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Dog Pack                     803-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Rifts Logo                   804-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Nightbane T-shirt                            805-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy RPG T-shirt                806-TS   $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Coalition Christmas          807-TS   $14.95    N.A.
The Magic of Palladium Books                   MOP    $12.95    N.A.
Rifts Briefcase / Book bag (12)               BR100   $16.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy Briefcase / Book bag (12)   BR200   $16.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy Dice Bag (12)               DB100    $5.95    N.A.
Rifts Dice Bag (12)                           DB200    $5.95    N.A.
'Real Gamers Use Dice' Dice Bag (12)          DB300    $5.95    N.A.
Rifts Psi-Cola Water Bottle (12)              BT100    $5.95    N.A.
Rifter #18 Cover Poster                       PO800   $19.95    N.A.

Footnotes

---------

(N.A.) Indicates information was not on product (not necessarily that it didn't have one, just that it wasn't present).

(?) Indicates incomplete or possibly inaccurate data.

(*) Denotes that this item is Out-of-Print. And even though it is out of print you may still be able to find it somewhere.

(**) These are very rare products (10-15 years old, generally). They are VERY out-of-print. Many players consider them collector's items. However, Arms of Nargesh Tor, Valley of the Pharaohs and the GM's Companion are both downloadable from Palladium's page.

(1) It would appear these products had the catalog #, ISBN or both missing from the actual product packaging. If the number is in [], it is a number supplied by the company to me, that didn't actually appear on the product.

(2) There are three versions of the Palladium Role-Playing Game. There is the first edition (Early printings of the Revised Edition continued to include the "Sexual Deviations" table and kept the black & red cover art, instead of the newer full-color cover art), the Revised Edition, and the Second Edition.

(3) This is a supplement for the After the Bomb TMNT setting. Half of the book is dedicated to Earthspace in the Rifts setting.

(4) All but 577 were 3 episodes each. 577 had 4 episodes (the last 4 of the series), and cost $29.95. The Southern Cross tapes were #578-585.

(5) There are two versions of the Recon game. The original Recon was a miniature-only game, and was not initially a Palladium product. Revised Recon is a modern-combat game written with a different system related to (but not 100% compatible with) the Palladium standard system. Included in Revised Recon are the original Recon miniature rules. However, there have been plans to make a new, Second edition of the game, using the standard Palladium system.

(6) A tabloid-style newspaper came shrink-wrapped with this supplement.

(7) The very first printing of this game was called Nightspawn, but it was immediately changed to Nightbane due to Todd McFarlane's bad attitude (who's he gonna sue next - salmon?). All further printings are called Nightbane.

(8) There is a special autographed, limited edition hardcover of several of the RPGs, each with a 600-copy print run. Includes double-page end sheet artwork on the insides of the covers.

Rifts "Gold" edition - Cat # 8000G, cost $40.00. It is sold out.

Palladium Fantasy RPG "Crimson" edition - Features the Second Edition PFRPG contents, with a leatherette version of the First Edition PFRPG's original cover (red art on black background). Cat # 4500, cost $40.00. Released 1999, still a few copies available as of August 2000.

Heroes Unlimited RPG "Blue" edition - Features the Second Edition HU contents, with a Blue leatherette cover. Cat # 5000, cost $40.00. Released at Gen Con 2000.

(9) The Second Edition has 40 more pages of game material, by Wayne Breaux.

(10) A special edition reprint of the Mechanoids RPG (updated S.D.C. version of Books #1-3) was part of the Palladium 1998 X-mas Special, with the excess being sold through web orders only (though a few might have gone through normal distribution channels, or have been sold to retailers as a result of persons making multiple X-Mas Special orders).

(11) A special edition reprint of the collected "The Magic of Palladium Books" pamphlets was part of the Palladium 1999 X-mas Special, with the excess being sold through web orders only.

(12)These were Promotional items made for Gen Con 2000, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Palladium, and the 10th anniversary of Rifts. The book bags are cloth, with The Rifts bag being blue, and the PFRPG bag being black. The dice bags come in royal blue, black, red, burgundy and charcoal.

Interesting Fact #1: There was also another shirt for sale at Gen Con - not a t-shirt. The shirt was of the type the Palladium staff was wearing, with red sewn writing "Palladium Books: 20 Years of Adventure". They are not currently listed on the web page, and any that were not sold or given away at the con MIGHT appear in a future Palladium special (such of the Xmas special returns for a 4th year), but would be so few that they would be a random item.

Interesting Fact #2: the "Real Gamers" dice bag is a friendly poke at long-time Palladium friend and author Erick Wujcik, who (with his own company) is the author of the Amber Diceless RPG, based on the "Amber" novels of Roger Zelazny. According to Kevin and Maryann, Erick got a kick out of the joke.

The full Palladium catalog, which lists all current products, can be found at the Palladium Books web page (http://www.store.palladiumbooks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv).

 

1.03. What products are due to be released in the near future?

From the most recent updates/press releases on the list -

2003 Possible Releases (no Particular order)

In Limbo (canceled and never-completed products):

New Rifts Miniatures, and a Rifts Miniature combat system by Agents of Gaming:

Reason: Agents of Gaming had too many projects going on concurrently (mostly due to the overwhelming success of the Babylon 5 Wars game), and had to cancel both the Rifts and White Wolf "World of Darkness" mini games, from lack of resources needed to complete them.

Rifts World Book: Lemuria

Reason: Was being written by a non-author member of the Palladium staff. Other duties prevented him from completing it, so Kevin plans to eventually finish it himself.

Rifts World Book: Japan 2 (The Gods & Oni of Japan)

Reason: Kevin wants to write it, but has not had the time, due to various reasons.

Rifts: The Omegan Order

Reason: Lateness from Freelancers led to shelving. The name itself was reused for a group in the Phase World setting, and the original OO setting (dealing with NORAD-type survivors of the coming of the Rifts coming out in the PA-era Rifts setting) has been voided by the Chaos Earth setting dealing with the actual events of the Cataclysm.

BTS: Darklings, BTS: Nostromo: Agents of Darkness

Reason: Author left Palladium

BTS: The Lazlo Agency

Reason: Low Priority, but still being worked on in-house (may be bumped up when the Second Edition of BTS gets done)

BTS: The UFO Conspiracy

Reason: UFO Conspiracy is by Alex Marciniszyn, part of the non-author staff. On hold till he finishes writing it in his spare time.

N&S: Mystic China Sourcebook

Reason: Erick Wujcik. With all the time he was putting in on his own Amber RPG, he felt he couldn't do it right. So, he put the MCSB on the back burner, and left it there.

New Robotech Books

Reason: Were pretty much completed, but had been sat on for a while, due to Harmony Gold telling Palladium not to release books until the (non-existent) new series was announced. Then, they were canceled as a result of the license not being renewed. Blame Harmony Gold, as they tied Palladium's hands.

Rifts CCG & CCG Gargoyle Empire Expansion

Precedence went bankrupt just prior to printing of main run of the expansion. Remaining stock of main series cards available from Palladium.

RiftworkZ Two

This was announced, but it's likely that the material meant for it ended up in "Lightstrike", an art book published by Cartouche Press, of Zeleznik work for Palladium, Steve Jackson Games, and others. Of note, Cartouche also has art books by R.K. Post and Brom, both of whom have done Palladium work.

 

1.04. Why does Palladium always release items long after their announced release dates?

The following is an excerpt from the letter column of The Magic of Palladium Books #2. It explains most of the details behind this situation.

"Before we jump into letters and questions, I'd like to address the often asked question of "Why do you advertise books before they are completed?"

There are several reasons. The most basic is that people want to know what's in the works and want to know when it will be available. Often we will announce a "tentative" date or a "month of" as the release. Unfortunately, many exuberant fans seem to forget the tentative aspect (that means when we hope to have it done) or' seem to think that the month of means the first day of the month. That's okay, we appreciate the enthusiasm, as long as you're not getting mad because the item is delayed.

The other major culprit for actual advance advertisements is that most magazines have a two month lead time, and some, like comic books, have a three or four month lead time. That means we have to do ads for a product that will be out 2 to 4 months from today. If we wait until the book is finished, it will be sitting in our warehouse for a few months with no publicity. Consequently, we have to plan out a schedule and try to stick to it. But you know what they say about "the best laid plans of mice and men."

There are a number of things that can delay a book. The big three are Writer, Artist, Printer. If the writer or artist misses his/her deadline the schedule may become jeopardized. Yes, we do plan for delays, but sometimes things go so wrong that nothing can help. And human beings can only do so much. Then there is the printer. We have two good book printers, but they have their schedules and personnel problems. Most people don't realize that it usually takes FIVE weeks to print a book and sometimes six to nine weeks. That means we've been done with the book for a month or longer (and are already working on new projects) before we get the finished product to ship to our distributors. We could trim a day here and a week there if we cut quality corners, like not sewing the pages of the big books together, but I want to give our fans a durable game, on better paper, that won't fall apart. I think it's worth the extra week.

There are other factors, but those already mentioned are the most notable. I have to admit that most of you out there are very considerate, polite and understanding. We appreciate that. On the other hand, some of you are a little too patient. If a book is delayed and you have a mail order with us, we always try to send a post card letting you know it has been delayed. As soon the late book is back from the printer we mail 'em out (usually the same day)."

[end MOPB #2 quote]

As for the "other factors" that Kevin and Rick Burke referred to above, here is one of them, that plays a bigger role than it used to for Palladium, now that Palladium uses so many more freelancers.

Some freelancers live hundreds of miles from Palladium, and revisions require sending the text back, having the revisions done, sending it back to Palladium, etc., which can take months, if it ever reaches the point of being printable (example of a completely failed project of this sort: C.J.'s version of Psyscape).

 

1.05. Who writes for/works for Palladium Books?

The founder, owner, head writer, senior editor, art director and overlord of Palladium Books is Kevin Siembieda. He's been the primary force behind

Palladium Books, writing (among other things) The Palladium Fantasy RPG and Rifts. Kevin's wife Maryann was doing most of the typography, but is retiring to go back to school and. Other major staff past & present include Erick Wujcik (now freelances, and has his own company that sells the Amber Diceless RPG), Wayne Smith, Alex Marciniszyn, James A. Osten, and Julius Rosenstein, and a host of freelancers. For a list of current employees, go to http://www.palladiumbooks.com/staff.html

 

1.06. What is Palladium's mailing address?

Note that Palladium may be relocating in the next few months, due to a possible sale of their current facility to a neighboring business.

Palladium Books
12455 Universal Drive
Taylor, MI 48180

 

1.07. What is the history of Palladium Books?

This was my original contribution to the FAQ, and answers some of the questions about the origins of the Palladium system. BTW, the role-players mentioned in the group below have their characters' likenesses drawn in the front of the PFRPG book, and several of them were the founders of the Cyber-Knights in Rifts - not to mention several of those gamers still being part of Palladium's staff today.

 

The Mechanoids: A brief history

By Kevin Siembieda

(Extracted from the RPG section of the Caliber Press Comic

The Mechanoids #1, & reformatted by Stan Bundy)

The Mechanoid Invasion was the very first product to be published by Palladium Books. However, it was not my first idea for a role-playing game. I had created and written the Palladium Role-Playing Game (fantasy) and ran a two and a half year campaign play test. My playing group kept telling me to publish the damn thing. because they thought it was so much fun. Eventually I relented and approached every role-playing game company I could find. The best deal I was offered was $500 and a 1% royalty, so l said to myself, "the heck with it" and dismissed the notion entirely. This only made my friends try a different tact. They began to suggest I publish it myself.

I had been bitten by the publishing bug back in Eighth grade when Alex Marciniszyn and I published our first fanzine (we've been collecting comics forever), so this idea had a certain amount of appeal. Then again, Alex and I had lost our shirts publishing one of the first alternative black and white comic books, A +Plus # 1-5, back in 1977-78, before there was such a thing as alternative press. Even though we lost money, we had learned a great deal, and working on a few other magazines and comics taught me even more. So one day in 1980 I announced that I'd do it. I'd publish the Palladium RPG myself. Heck, I'd start my own publishing empire!

My immediate problem was poverty.

My second problem was that I had two ideas that I felt were critical in the success of my company: the square bound, perfect bound, soft cover paperback format (which Palladium would later pioneer) and the concept of one universal RPG system of rules. I would often hear gamers agonize about the difficulties in trying to adapt one game system to another completely different game system in order to combine ideas, adventures, and equipment. The original Palladium fantasy campaign included a blending of science fiction and technology with fantasy and magic. We had revolvers, particle beam rifles, cyborgs, a tech level, dimensional travel, time paradox, and even Martians, along with the usual fantasy magic, monsters, and fanfare; it all worked very well. I didn't see any reason why such an idea couldn't be marketed. This made me decide to produce a series of RPG environments all based on the same basic game system (which has been a great success and widely imitated).

My next problem was getting the actual bucks to produce the game. The Palladium RPG was my baby, but would cost over $12,000 to produce. All I could scrape together was $3000. I could not bring myself to stray from my vision of the trade paperback fantasy game, so I came up with an alternative idea, to produce a much smaller and less expensive RPG that would earn enough money to allow me to publish the Palladium RPG!

The question then was. ..what? You don't just toss something together out of the blue, especially as your first product. After a surprisingly little amount of brainstorming I came up with the Mechanoid Invasion.

The idea for the Mechanoids was initially drawn from the techno-level of my fantasy campaign. The release of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back fueled my imagination and hooked me on the idea of doing a science fiction game. The particle beam rifles, the light body armor, and psionic powers were taken directly from my fantasy campaign, as was the idea of robots, but soon the Mechanoids began to take on a life of their own. Before I knew what happened, the Mechanoid Invasion had turned into a trilogy and I was flying with ideas.

I would call my company Palladium after my fantasy campaign. After all, that is what got the ball rolling, and Books because my goal was to produce RPG books, not boxed games. The Mechanoid Invasion was a finished manuscript by December 1980, but I wouldn't be able to publish the book until 1981.

What did The Mechanoid Invasion look like? Sheesh, it was this flimsy, little, 48 page, comic book size book, printed on newsprint, with a blue and white cover (color was a financial impossibility at that time). The interior was black and white, with a lot of nice art produced by me and a piece or two by my pal, and fellow Detroiter, Bill Loebs (as in William Messner Loebs). The entire book was typed with one finger, on an IBM typewriter, by my roommate, Tony Falzon. The original manuscript was hand written, as were the next ten or so books to follow. Since I was a fairly poor speller (I still ain't no whiz-bang speller) and Tony wasn't much better, the book was riddled with

errors/typos, to the tune of about six to ten a page. Cover price, $3.75... Ah, but the magic was there and the book sold well. The Mechanoid Invasion would be followed by our historical weapons and armor series and The Mechanoid Invasion: Books Two and Three on nicer, white paper, still comic book size. In the Summer of 1983 I was able to publish the Palladium Fantasy RPG and the rest is history.

For more on the history of Palladium from this point on, go to  http://www.palladiumbooks.com/profile.html

 

1.08. What other media (books, comics, movies, etc.) is Palladium Books involved in?

Palladium released a trilogy of Rifts novels in 1999, and is debating further fiction ventures.

Riftworkz is a portfolio of covers by John Zeleznik of cover art done for Palladium's products.

Palladium is negotiations for the possible production of video/computer games, movies, and more, via their contract with Surge Licensing.

In the past, Palladium had the rights to the Robotech TV series and released several video tapes (see 1.02), but that license has expired. However, this (and the later ownership by no less than three different companies) has not stopped bootleggers from copying and selling these tapes. If you come across Southern Cross or Invid-era tapes with three episodes per tape (4 for the last Invid tape), in a generic-looking box with no mention of Palladium (but using scans of Palladium's box art and episode descriptions, if you're familiar with them), please report the seller to Palladium and/or Harmony Gold. Tapes of this type were spotted recently at Gen Con 2000 by myself, and are quite likely being distributed by bootleggers to retailers that may or may not know that the product is illegal.

Palladium also has a line of T-shirts that you can buy through their catalog, along with miscellaneous stuff they came out with for Gen Con 2000.

1.09. What is THE RIFTER?

The Rifter is a quarterly supplement/magazine for the entire Palladium line of games. Of game products by other companies, it most closely resembles the defunct Star Wars Adventure Journal West End Games used to put out when they had that license, only with a lot more fan input, including items previously available only from fans' internet web pages. It is the only Palladium product that is an exception to the rule against submissions that have been on the net. Go to the following page for a full description of this new supplement, as well as a link to submission guidelines. http://www.palladiumbooks.com/submission/rifterguide.html

 

1.10. What was the "Palladium vs. Wizards of the Coast" lawsuit all about?

WotC came out with a line of products that listed conversion notes for items using the Palladium System and several others (it was a generic game line) and they did not seek Palladium's approval over the use of their rules and trademarks. Palladium then sued WotC over this. This also sparked a huge flame war, K.S. had a presence on the net (e-mail) and ended up leaving the net after all the flames he received. The seriousness of these events exists only in the minds of a few crazed WotC fanatics, as was in fact a friendly lawsuit by all reports, that resulted in a verdict that prevented the other big shots of gaming at the time (TSR, under Lorraine Williams, for example), from suits that would have destroyed then-small WotC at the time. After all, had it been as hostile as the scandal-monger would have one believe, would the president of WotC have given Maryann Siembieda one of the original promotional Black Lotus cards when Magic: The Gathering was released a year or two later?

 

1.11. Is it true that Kevin threatened to sue any gaming magazines that published material for Palladium games?

Not exactly; it was more of a rights issue that got out of hand. Games Designer Workshop was being a little prickish, and things got out of hand (may they rest in peace; GDW went out of business in January 1996, ironically partially due to costs incurred from the lawsuit they lost to TSR over a violation of the non-compete clause in Gary Gygax's contract, when he did Dangerous Journeys).

What Kevin wanted was editorial pre-approval of any articles GDW would have printed in their Journeys magazine. This meant that, if a magazine wanted to print a non-review (i.e. adventure or other supplement) article for Rifts or other Palladium games, Kevin wanted the right to review it, and reject any part of the article that might conflict with the company's plans for Rifts (especially), etc. There was also the matter of the potential license difficulties that would have cropped up for TMNT or Robotech RPG articles. Also, it was perfectly in line with what other magazines Kevin had experience with at the time that had published Palladium material had offered.

GDW (then publisher of Journeys & Challenge magazines), used to pretty much publishing what they wanted at the time, took the stance that "We don't need your articles, if your restrictions mean a 1-3 month delay in an article seeing print." This is amazing, as they had been publishing Star Wars and Star Trek RPG info without permission (AFAIK) from Paramount, Lucasfilm, or those companies' official RPG licensees, and the former two entities went after other magazines for unauthorized articles quite viciously during that period, and were exercising the exact same sort of control with their official licensees as Palladium wanted from GDW (to the point that even if FASA, Task Force Games or West End HAD given permission for such articles, without oversight from the line owner, the permission still wouldn't have been legal).

The misunderstandings spread from there, with the result of both companies thinking that the other side wasn't willing to negotiate at all. And, before they could work it out, GDW had more important things to do - the TSR lawsuit, which TSR won, winning the Dangerous Journeys RPG and Journeys magazine. Shortly after that lawsuit was over, GDW went under (partially due to the suit, but also from other external matters), and TSR collapsed a few months later - a victim of greed and mismanagement.

 

1.12. I have this neat idea for a Palladium game sourcebook. What are the chances of getting it published?

It all depends on your skill, and the content. The guidelines for submissions are at the following address:  http://www.palladiumbooks.com/submission/submit.html

Note that stuff released on the internet CANNOT be considered for a book, but CAN be submitted to The Rifter.

A good set of advice on how to write freelance for game companies is at the following site, by the most prolific freelancer for Steve Jackson Games, David Pulver.  http://www.sjgames.com/general/guidelines/writers/freelance.html

 

 

Section 2: General Game Mechanics Questions

 

2.01. The Great M.D.C. Debate.

Some people think that the M.D.C. system is broken. Others think it should be reduced to 10/1 or 25/1 ratios instead of 100/1. Personally, I find the S.D.C. games to be broken, and think they should be converted to use M.D.C.! The reason S.D.C. games are even less realistic than the M.D.C. games, IMO, is that we have had machines that are M.D.C. for decades (tanks), yet in the S.D.C. games, they're barely twice as tough as a station wagon.

HOWEVER, NEVER TRY DISCUSSING THIS ON THE MAILING LIST OR MESSAGE BOARDS!!!! It is a dead issue, because no good comes from the flame wars it causes, and bringing it up can be grounds for banishment from the ML.

 

2.02. How many attacks per melee does a starting character have?

Good Question, but one that's as bad as the one above. DON'T ASK IT! The following is a step-by-step journey into the morass that is the HTH debate....

A. Initially, it was always assumed that the base listed for a HTH type was the base, except for in Heroes Unlimited, where characters had an additional 2 attacks each to accent the "heroic" nature of the game. Beyond the Supernatural's main book NPCs also follow this pattern, but the ones in Boxed Nightmares DO NOT.

B. Maryann has stated that it is 2 attacks plus HTH (as in HU & BTS). However, NONE of the games outside HU and BTS support this, in terms of the listed number of attacks of their NPCs printed.

C: In fact, ALL NPCs printed in/for Ninjas & Superspies, TMNT/After the Bomb, Robotech(including Sentinels), BTS: Boxed Nightmares, Macross II, Nightbane, and PFRPG 2nd Edition books, plus those from the first 23 Rifts books (Main book through CWC, + Index, Game shield adventures, and Manhunter), have the non-alien or HU-derived NPCs with HTH skills starting with the base for the style (not base +2), before counting boxing. Yes, I _DID_ go through the trouble of going through ALL the books to research this.

D. It was at this point that Maryann issued her ruling. But, of all the non-HU books published in the first year after that ruling, only Rifts New West NPCs and the single NPC from Psyscape obey it (and even the latter, head of the CS Psi-Bat, is listed as having HTH Martial Arts in her skills, but her combat stats are written up as if HTH Commando possessed), while the NPCs from Coalition Navy, Federation of Magic, and Rifts Index & Adventures Volume Two use the old system. This has led to even more confusion.

E. The PFRPG 2nd Edition HTH descriptions SPECIFICALLY state "STARTS WITH" (Emphasis mine) at the beginning of each HTH description. Again, this seems to preclude the 2+2 system, and it is in their first "MAIN BOOK" product published after the announcement. (Page 47) Furthermore, in the "Psychic Combat" section (Page 48), the above is confirmed by the following quote:

"A reminder: Most player characters start off with two attacks per 15 second melee round. Additional attacks may be acquired as one ADVANCES IN HAND TO HAND COMBAT EXPERIENCE and from the boxing skill, special bonuses or magic. The average person, not trained in combat, will only have one attack per melee round. Experienced fighters will have an average of THREE to six attacks per melee, sometimes more." (Emphasis mine).

Not only does the second sentence specifically state that the additional skills from HTH come from ADVANCEMENT & EXPERIENCE, the last sentence, concerning EXPERIENCED fighters only make sense with the HTH base system. EVEN IF SECOND level was considered "experienced" (highly unlikely), there would be NO POSSIBILITY of characters of 2nd+ level having less than 4 attacks using the 2+2 system. (Basic, Expert & Martial Arts would have 4 or 5, Assassin 5 or 6 - the latter numbers for each being with boxing).

F. The case is pretty strong, and it does not support 2+2, except for HU (which it actually fits). HU, being a heroic game, should have such an edge, but the other games not only don't need it, for all appearances, they've never had it in the first place.

G. The existence of Mecha/RPA combat further complicates things. First, there is the matter of the numbers of attacks that result from these skills. To quote the Robot Combat section of Macross II (Robotech & Rifts have analogous text, differing only in terms referential to the vehicles involved), Specifically, the "Determining the Number of Attacks Per Melee and Combat Bonuses") contains the following quote:

"This is how it works. Players will find two skills that exclusively determine the pilot's number of attacks when piloting a high-tech robot or power armor: 1) The pilot's normal, hand to hand combat/fighting skills, and 2) The pilot's Robot Combat skill. Simply combine the number of attacks and from each (and level of experience). The total number indicates the total attacks per melee possible. Most first level pilots, with both skills, will have a total of FOUR attacks per melee." Macross II RPG, page 36, left column, 2nd paragraph under the heading above. The emphasis on "FOUR" is PALLADIUM's, not mine. The text in the description above FIRMLY supports the "Base-only" interpretation, in ALL the books for M.D.C. games (Rifts, Macross II & Robotech).

H. Next, we have an exercise in game mechanics, using the various mecha/RPA games' pilot O.C.C.s and elite combat skills, comparing them to a Heroes Unlimited character with the Sonic Speed power. These examples are assuming the 2+Base system is correct, and show why it SHOULDN'T BE.

Examples:

a: HU (Revised) character (11th level): 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Sonic Speed (3 = 2 + 1 at 3rd level) = 10 Attacks;

b: HU (2nd edition) character (11th level): 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Sonic Speed (4 = 1 + 1 at 3rd, 6th & 9th levels) = 11 Attacks;

c. Glitter Boy Pilot (11th level): 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + PA Combat Elite: GB (4 = 2 + 2 from advancement) = 11 Attacks;

d. Robotech Destroid Pilot (10th level)*: 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Mecha Combat Elite: Gladiator (5 = 3 + 2 from advancement) = 12 Attacks;

e. (Brace yourself) Macross II Valkyrie Pilot (11th level)**: 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Robot Combat Elite: VF-2 (4 = 2 + 2 from advancement) = 11 Attacks, PLUS the character's mecha has AUTODODGE!!!

 

* Most extreme conventional example I could think of, though several other Robotech & Rifts designs also start off with 3 additional attacks, but don't get their second additional Mecha/RPA attack until 11th or 12th level.

** This is down-right scary, as the autododge means that the character will rarely EVER use any of the 11 attacks for defensive purposes, unlike the first three examples.

In other words, by 11th level, assuming that no other combat-affecting powers are not taken (such as Natural Combat Ability, or the Super-Soldier option from the AU Galaxy Guide) by the HU2 character, pilots with Elite combat in their vehicle have as many attacks than a speedster of the same level, if not more! This equals out a little, when the HU2 Speedster picks up attacks at 12th & 15th levels (plus any more from HTH in that period), but one has to remember that HU2 is NEWEST of these RPGs, and the revision only serves to equalize an imbalance that by all rights should not exist in the first place! I don't care HOW good a Rick Hunter or Sylvie Gena is - they shouldn't have more actions than a character more closely related to the late-80s version of Wally West!!! (the current Flash in DC Comics, Wally wasn't quite the mega-hero he is today - in the 80s, he was only capable of the speeds used in HU2's Speed powers).

I. On the other hand, the following rule clarification (also from Maryann, after my bringing up this matter) makes this a little (not much) more bearable. There are ways to tone down the sudden overpowering of Mecha/RPA characters' actions, without sacrificing game mechanics - but at the expense of quicker game play. In fact, the first of these methods is part of the game mechanics that is generally overlooked, in terms of smooth play (and because Kevin never wrote them into his example of how combat works).

Essentially, it revolves around two skills required for most mecha/RPA operation, but not really defined as to WHAT they are really used for, other than in the most basic terms. To shoot at a target, one must target it, unless shooting wild (or a spray). To target something, generally the combat and targeting computers must acquire it, and figure out the appropriate aim. Then, there is the matter of choosing which weapon (and conceivably, the ammo type as well). There are skills for this: Read Sensory Equipment (R.S. Instruments in Robotech) and Weapon Systems.

Before combat starts, and whenever new combatants (or non-combatants) enter sensor range, a RSE roll must be made. This would not take an action, unless one is specifically trying to identify a target as friend or foe by sensors alone, or if one is trying to use sensors where ECM is being used (the ECM skill is in Rifts WB11: CWC, but active sensors can be jammed just as easy as - if not more often than - communications, but makes you an even bigger target for sensor-homing munitions, as jammers overload the sensor with signal, not obscure it like stealth design). Failure of the RSE should make it more difficult to use the Weapon Systems skill in combat (say, ½ normal ability?).

Now, for each SINGLE target, a Weapon Systems roll will be needed to lock on, otherwise the shot is considered a wild shot (no bonuses other than P.P. - if applicable). Penalties from ECM, obstructions, or other interference from the environment may apply. Acquiring a NEW target (or switching to a new target) would require a Weapon Systems roll, taking up one of the pilot's actions. Environmental modifiers (as above) may apply. In other words, changing targets requires a RSE and/or Weapon Systems roll, which may take up one attack.

Similarly, going for a called shot with a ranged weapon would also require much more effort than normal, general, targeting, and takes an additional action (over and above that for switching targets, when applicable). Switching weapons (to/between ranged weapons), while going after the same target as before, would require a Weapon Systems roll to switch, but may or may not count as an action. (GM call)

When I asked Palladium about these, the response was:

"1) Although the examples presented are subject to situational modifiers and ultimately up to the discretion of the GM, they are essentially correct.

2) RSE does NOT count as an action if taken before combat actually begins. Once combat is initiated, RSE counts as an action from then on. Using the WS skill definitely counts as an action. The GM may allow both skills to count as a single action if they are used simultaneously.

Maryann/Julius
Palladium"

J. However, a much simpler method can be to use the 2+Base system in the S.D.C. games (where the extra attacks are more appreciated and useful), and remain using the base system in Robotech, Rifts, and Macross II, as the additional skill rolls will only serve to drag out combat even longer (especially if the players aren't used to them).

In fact, the following excerpt from the Beyond the Supernatural errata (from MOPB #1) suggests something similar (though before Rifts or Nightbane came out), and states flat out that BtS characters were NOT supposed to get the 2+Base method, despite that RPG main book being the only book to ever use it outside of HU, prior to 1998!!

"PAGE 45: A question about hand to hand combat. Do charac­ters get two attacks per melee automatically plus two attacks from Hand to Hand combat skills? Well it depends. Randy and I saw the BTS characters as being more vulnerable, normalish, people. That means they would have two attacks per melee only if they took a hand to hand skill and ONE attack per melee if they had no combat training. Additional attacks per melee come with greater hand to hand skill experience.

"However, if you want a more combat oriented game, or if you are combining BTS with Heroes Unlimited or Ninjas & Superspies, you should probably start the characters off with two attacks plus the two attacks gained from any hand to hand skills (total of 4 attacks at first level). This will make them more compatible with superhero types."

Also note that Ninjas and Superspies itself said in its revised edition, in the very first conversion note for using Heroes Unlimited and Ninjas & Superspies together, that the martial arts ARE NOT combined with the base two attacks of Heroes Unlimited! And, that even if a HU character (such as physical training) has a Martial Art Form, only the number of attacks from the Martial Arts Form are gained, not the base two plus the form. HU 2nd edition contradicts this, however.

K. In another attempt to clarify things, Palladium has (in the new Rifts Game Master Guide) explained how the 2+HTH system works, and adds them into the base for the HTH skills within, so that the new version of those skills have the extra two attacks listed as part of the base. Frankly, it's good they're making the attempt to clarify it, but I still say 2+HTH is a bad idea outside of HU.

L. One, very definitive analysis of the methodology for the Base-only system is on the following web page, by Dustin Ramsey/Kralizec!

http://www.rifts-rpg.com/adv/attacks_per_melee.html

The following is a shortened version of it...

1. All humans start out with one attack per melee. (This is a 'base' number of attacks) Individuals without any combat training will gain one additional attack at levels three and nine (Main Rifts book, pg. 28).

2. Learning the hand-to-hand combat skills Basic, Expert, and Martial Arts provides a first level character with one additional attack per melee. The hand-to-hand combat skill Assassin does NOT provide an additional attack at level one, but gives TWO additional attacks at level two.

3. If selected, the Boxing skill also provides the character with one more attack per melee.

4. Special occupational training (Bonuses given it the O.C.C.) may give the character extra attacks per melee. Rifts examples include Juicers & Cyber-Knights, among others.

5. Unless otherwise stated, non-humans are gain and accumulate hand-to-hand attacks in the EXACT same manner as humans. The exception to this is the base number of attacks that the being starts with. Carte blanche statements such as "three attacks per melee plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat training" (Centaurs from the Conversion book, pg. 113) and "four without any hand-to-hand combat training, or four plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat and/or boxing" (Rahu-Men from the Conversion book, pg. 154) mean that the particular race's base number of attacks is three for Centaurs and four for Rahu-Men. Statements such as "two without any combat training, or one plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat and/or boxing" (Wolfen, Conversion book, pg. 86) and "two without any combat training, or one plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat and/or boxing" (Gigantes, Conversion book, pg. 96) means that characters without a HTH skill have a base number of attacks of two,

while those with HTH have a base number of one attack per melee.

 

2.03. Why are Rifts RPA so much more powerful than Robotech mecha?

The Real reason is the age of the Robotech RPG, which was the first game to use M.D.C. Since its creation, a lot of work had to be done to better balance the system for use in Rifts (example - compare the Abm Mechanoid stats in Rifts SB 2 to the conversions from The Magic of Palladium Books #2 or the Palladium Update (an even older company newsletter that I've never seen myself). But, on a purely game mechanics level, consider the following.

Several things contribute to this situation.

A. Differences in materials technology: While Robotech Earth may have gotten some technical help from the SDF-1, even the REF designs date from circa 2020. On Rifts Earth, technology evolved under similar pressure, but directed against planetary enemies, up to the coming of the Rifts in 2098. So, even if Robotech mecha got a 25-year boost from materials recovered from the SDF-1, it would still be 50 YEARS behind Pre-rifts technology. So, weapons are weaker, armor is weaker, etc. On the other hand, the laser-resistant technology of the Robotech universe is vastly superior to the Rifts universe, as it is cheaper, and non-reflective (meaning that variable lasers probably would not be able to adjust to its manner of resistance).

B. Differences in emphasis: Rifts RPA/mecha are more oriented toward firepower and survivability; hence the boom gun and ungodly M.D.C. of the Glitter Boy types. The same holds true for most other Coalition, Triax and independent equipment. Robotech mecha, however, were designed with maneuverability and speed in mind, as well as the various Veritech mechas' ability to change modes. In order to get such things, the Robotech mecha sacrifice some protection and weaponry in order to get an advantage in their form of battle. See the following comparison:

World  Enemy types Effect on designs
Rifts  Equal numbers (usually), with generally equal power & armor  RPA designed to both give and take punishment; emphasis on Quick kills and soaking damage
Robotech  Enemy has vastly superior numbers, but much lesser power and armor protection  Mecha designed to avoid mass attacks by maneuvering, and with lots of low-power weapons to prevent overkill and preserve ability to make many kills

The Macross II mecha seem to have the best of both worlds. Their technology has the same emphasis as in Robotech, but has had just as much time to develop as Rifts Earth (though the development was in fits and starts, as indicated in the videos; the Metal Siren was the first radically new mecha in decades).

 

2.04. Why can some R.C.C.s have a O.C.C. and others can't?

In reality, there should be FOUR distinct classifications:

1) Occupational Character Classes: These are your run-of-the-mill character classes, well described in Rifts and other RPGs.

2) Races: A Race is an intelligent, usually humanoid, species. A Race has a diverse populace that can select from a variety of O.C.C. Humans, Elves, and True Atlanteans are all excellent examples of a Race. Some Races have limits on the classes they can select based on intelligence, genetic or cultural factors.

3) Racial Character Classes: A Racial character class is a race whose incentive (whether genetic or cultural) to have one particular occupation is so strong that all (or virtually all) members of said species possess that Occupation. Good examples are: Dragons, Dog Boys and Simvan. This also includes those species not intelligent enough to select an O.C.C., such as Grimbor or Seekers. Anything less intelligent is considered a monster or animal. One cannot change from an O.C.C. to an R.C.C. using class-change rules, but MIGHT be able (GM's call on each specific case) abandon an R.C.C. to be re-educated in an O.C.C. Of course, transformations like Vampires and Borgs are exceptions to this rule, as they destroy nearly all of what the character was before conversion, in terms of racial and psychic powers.

4) Psychic Character Classes & Psychic R.C.C.s: P.C.C. are found in original Beyond the Supernatural. They, and the Psychic R.C.C. types from Rifts, Nightbane, and other RPGs, are like an O.C.C. for the most part, except that they require a certain ability in psionics to be used. Hence, to take a Psychic R.C.C. or P.C.C., one has to belong to a race that can have psionics. Despite being more akin to O.C.C., in that they aren't limited to a specific race, they tend to be grouped with the R.C.C. types because of the genetic requirement. As with R.C.C., one generally cannot change from an O.C.C. to an R.C.C. or P.C.C. (With the exceptions noted in R.C.C. above), but MIGHT be able to change to an O.C.C. from the R.C.C. Note that the non-psychic P.C.C. from Beyond the Supernatural (Arcanist, Parapsychologist, Ordinary People) SHOULD be redefined as O.C.C. types.

 

2.05. How do I roll attributes and bonus dice?

It has generally been stated in most games that the only circumstances in which you receive bonus dice are:

If rolling 2D6, if you roll a 12 you get to roll *1* additional die.

If rolling 3D6, if you roll 16, 17, 18 you get to roll *1* additional die.

A. However, the first Rifts Conversion Book states otherwise, on page 25, in the section titled "Attributes". Thanks to Ronald Young for pointing this out. The relevant sentences are quoted below:

"Normal humans always roll three (3) six-sided dice for each attribute. A roll of 16, 17, or 18, means the an [sic] additional six-sided die is rolled and added to that attribute. If a six is rolled, another six-sided die is rolled and its number also added to that particular attribute."

This method is also used in both Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition, and Palladium Fantasy 2nd Edition, but is not found in any of the other games. However, it would explain some "blips" in NPC stats, such as Lynn-Kyle's M.A. of 25 in the Robotech RPG. The clearest explanation of this method comes from PFRPG 2nd Edition, page 14.

"An exceptional roll for humans and other characters who determine an attribute with the roll of three six-sided dice (3D6) is a roll of 16, 17, or 18. If any of these numbers are rolled, the player gets to roll an additional one six-sided die (1D6) and add it to his total. If a six is rolled, the player adds the six to his or her character's attribute and roll 1D6 again, and add that number also to his character's total attribute number. However, even if this last roll is a six, the player does not roll again. Note that such rolls are relatively rare, so it is very unlikely for a human player to have several attributes (4 or more) with attributes higher than 18."

B. Note that some games (Robotech II: The Sentinels, being one of them) give the bonus die for 2D6 for an 11 as well.

C. Nowhere is it stated that dice with bonuses do not get the bonus die. If they did not get the bonus, it would mean that a person with 3D6 for a stat has a higher potential maximum attribute score than one with 3D6+1, or even 3D6+5! Logically, you should roll the dice, check for the bonus die, roll the bonus die (if warranted), THEN add the racial bonuses.

D. Races with 4+dice (including dice times a multiplier for optional R.C.C.s from Monsters & Animals, Rifts Conversion Book, etc.) DO NOT get bonus dice in that attribute. However, Aliens Unlimited allows Alien characters do get bonus dice on ANY 16-18, not just natural 16-18 from the die roll, and for any number of dice.

The following web page has an alternate treatment for this situation:

http://www.rifts-rpg.com/adv/attribute_dice.html

 

2.06. What is "Standard" Rate of Fire?

Palladium's answer to this is on their page: http://www.palladiumbooks.com/stuff/oops/rof.html

There is another set of (extremely complex) optional rules in Rifter #11, but with the exception of the modification of how "shooting wild" works, they're not all that hot, IMO.

I suggest the following modifications, as a simpler way of doing things, and to take into account weapons that have burst limiters inherent to their operation:

Note that "Automatic Pistol" is a misnomer, being short for "SEMI-Automatic Auto-loading Pistol" (Treat "Machine Pistols" as submachineguns). As such, all conventional pistols are Standard ROF, with the exception of the following three, built for military/special ops use: 93R Selective Fire Beretta, Stetchkin, and the Heckler and Koch VP70, a rare pistol that was automatic ONLY when its shoulder stock was attached, as the stock's connections enabled the auto-fire mode.

STANDARD ROF:

A Semi-Automatic Weapon. If the weapon has an ammo capacity of 9 or more rounds, the character can fire short bursts through rapid pulling of the trigger, but CANNOT fire long or full melee bursts. Short bursts use 3 rounds, or 20% of the magazine, whichever is larger. If by some odd chance the weapon has an ammo capacity over 30, then 6 rounds is the maximum size of the burst. Regardless of ammo usage, such a burst on one target only does x2 damage.

PULSE WEAPONS:

Not just energy weapons, but projectile weapons (like the M16A2) that have a setting that fires a burst of 3-5 (differs by weapon) rounds as a result of one trigger pull. Despite the low number of rounds (compared to ammo capacity), this burst is considered a short burst for damage (unless pulse damage already given), and a long burst can be attempted by firing multiple, rapid trigger pulls (usually 4) at one target. Full melee/empty magazine bursts are not possible with this weapon type, unless it has a fully automatic setting as well.

AIMED, BURST OR WILD:

A fully automatic weapon. Capable of all kinds of burst fire.

  1. Machineguns assume for burst size that they use a 100-round belt, even if the weapon is actually fed from a 2000 round drum inside a vehicle.
    1. Single-barrel machineguns use the standard machinegun rules for damage.
    2. If a multi-barrel machinegun (like the XM-134 and M-214), the ammo usage and damage is multiplied by the number of barrels.
  2. Weapons not designed to serve in the machinegun role, yet with a standard ammo capacity of 50 or more (as opposed to an aftermarket accessory that extends ammo supply), use the old x5/x10 burst sizes for long and full melee.
  3. All other weapons of this type use the revised burst damage rules (x3/x7), unless burst multiplier is equal to or larger than the number of shots actually fired (in which case treat as the semi-auto rules - don't let a broken design ruin your game).

 

2.07. How Does Mini-Missile Guidance work? The different RPGs conflict each other!

There are two different types of mini-missile guidance: internal and command.

Internal guidance is the type used in Macross II, and seems (from references in the book) to be the type used by the Coalition RPA in Coalition War Campaign (Rifts World Book 11). Such guidance is essentially a more limited version of that of larger missiles.

Command guidance, however, is that used by Robotech and (other) Rifts mini-missiles, and they are often mistakenly referred to as having no guidance at all. Command guidance means that the missiles are controlled by the launcher. In the high-tech games, this is by laser designation of the target, or use of laser signals to the missiles themselves to alter their course; but older, 20th century tech missiles got similar performance by way of wires or fiber optic cables that spooled out from the back of the missile in flight, on which the commands were sent. Radio signals were not used, as they could be too easily jammed. With laser designation, the missiles automatically calibrate to that SPECIFIC launcher's laser frequency in the targeting computer, and when launched will track the reflected light to the target. However, the target must be designated up to the time of impact; with ranges of a mile or less, this isn't a problem with mini-missiles, unless you want to change targets. Changing from one target at a range over 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) to any other takes one attack to let the missiles in flight reach their target.

Guidance Type  Advantages Disadvantages
Internal Always +3 to strike, plus Weapons systems bonus 4 or more cannot be dodged  Cannot be used for called shots
No control after launch
PP & WP do not add in
Command  PP & WP bonuses to strike, plus Weapon systems bonus
Can be used for called shot
Can be redirected in flight*
Launching 3 or more counts as Burst for strike bonus
Any number can be dodged
Must have line of sight to hit

* Easier said than done, considering the speed of the missiles. Firer must first realize the mistake in missile flight, and then to redirect requires a strike roll with no bonuses, and a penalty equal to the pilot's PP-20; PPs over 20 DO NOT get a bonus this way, only no penalty. The redirection can be at nothing (i.e. the empty space beyond the original target, or another target within 50 feet/15m of the original. A pure miss on the redirection attempt means the original target is still hit; a miss due to penalties hits halfway between the old and new targets, and a miss due to dodge is treated normally. Note that, depending of the situation, both the old and new targets may still be in the blast radius of a miss, or even a successful redirection!

How Command Guidance Works (optional rule): It is commonly thought that mini-missiles are totally unguided. This is not true. In fact, they are more accurate than most guided missiles! Mini-missiles use what is known as COMMAND GUIDANCE; in other words, it is the launcher, not the missile itself that provides the steering commands. The exact process is described below.

Step One: Laser Designation. Also called "painting the target." For Robotech mecha, this is the primary purpose of the targeting system that pops out of the shoulder of GR-103/GR-97-equipped Cyclones; the RL-6 has its own internal system that serves the same function. All Rifts RPA and weapons that fire mini-missiles will have similar systems. The targeting laser is aimed at an impact point chosen by the pilot, on which the missiles will home. Mini-Missiles CAN be used for single-missile called shots, but at normal penalties.

Step Two: Launch. The missiles are launched at the target; remember that only single missiles can be used for aimed shots, as multiple missiles would interfere with each other when trying to hit such a small target. One or two missiles are +3 to hit, three or more are +1 to hit (as per WP rules; If WP Heavy actually possessed, use its bonuses instead). Add in bonuses for High P.P., the targeting system, and/or Cyclone Weapon Systems, if applicable.

Step Three: Tracking. Remember that these missiles have to track to their targets; if the firer has to dodge, the missiles will no longer have guidance, and will continue on their last course in a straight line. Unless the target is stationary, this will always result in a miss.

Any target under 500 feet distance requires less than a second to reach, and won't interfere with a firer's autododge (except vs. simultaneous attacks).

Targets at 501-1500 feet force the firer to waive the ability to dodge for one attack sequence.

Targets at 1501 feet to 1/2 mile cause the firer to lose the next attacks' action (if one possessed), WITH ONE EXCEPTION. If the firer still has both attacks and missiles remaining, he can fire another salvo at the same target while guiding the first missiles in (requiring another strike roll). The first volley of missiles hit at the end of the second action sequence, the second volley (if fired) at the end of the third, and so on. As long as missiles & attacks remain, continuing fire can be used.

Targets at 1/2 mile to 1 mile range can only be hit by certain mini-missiles. The rules are the same as for the last range, except that TWO attacks, not one are lost. The Continuing fire option is still available, however.

 

2.08. Why should my character worry about a fall? My armor will take it...

It is a common misconception that persons in body armor (especially M.D.C. armor) are protected from the impact of long falls. After all, falling damage is S.D.C. However, the damage from falling is from the sudden stop at the end, and is from the compression that results from the stop as much as from the surface impacted. As a result, body armor, force fields, or even magical and psionic protections from impact damage (Armor of Ithan, Invulnerability's additional energy field, Psychic Body Field, etc.), do NOT have any affect on reducing the damage from the impact. This was confirmed by the Siembiedas in the March 23, 1999 online chat on the Palladium web page.

 

2.09. What’s with all these rule changes? They’re slowing combat!

I know what you mean. Recently, Palladium has even gone on record making (as of HU2) a roll with Impact take an action, and saying that PP bonuses don’t apply to RPA/mecha weapons, when originally, the opposite was true for each (and an integral part of the game - without PP bonuses, what differentiates Max Sterling from someone with minimal stats, but the same skills?). Add to these the addition of two attacks per round to RPGs not designed for them (I.E. all the M.D.C. games), power creep and more, and you get a real mess.

The following is a suggestion on how to handle things. Essentially, the current rules, versus a set of fast-play rules (which are actually the ORIGINAL rules, in most cases). Using the latter will generally speed play, and make the game more enjoyable.

Current, Official (or implied) Rule  Fast Play Rule
(Italics = old official rule)
2 attacks + attacks gained from HTH (a)   1 Attack without HTH, or by HTH taken, especially for mecha/RPA based RPGs (Robotech, Rifts, MacII)
HTH applies only to Number of Attacks and actual, physical RPA/Mecha HTH Combat, not to any ranged attacks   HTH bonuses apply to all attacks, save missiles and attacks that fall under the rule for modern W.P., as the rules for all those games actually state.
Physical prowess does not apply to RPA/mecha combat except in HTH. (b)  P.P. Applies to all RPA/mecha combat, except guided missiles.
Roll with Impact takes an attack.(a)  Roll with Impact does not take an attack if only one attack rolled against, each action. Rolling against multiple attacks takes 1 action for each after the first, unless automatic roll possessed.
To get bonuses to hit in RPA/mecha, one has to roll each time a new target or weapon is chosen, versus Read Sensory or Weapons Systems (both if doing both), which takes up an attack when done, singly or combined.  Read Sensory is rolled once, often before the fight begins, and needs rolled in combat only if the first (pre-combat) attempt fails, an ambush eliminates the pre-combat roll, combatants enter a battle in progress, technical problems, or special detection rolls needed. Weapon Systems rolls normally do not require an action, save to make special rolls, like fire-linking weapons, aimed shots, etc.
Modern Weapons are -10 for pedestrians to dodge, and no bonuses apply, other than target speed penalties.  Modern Weapons are -10 to dodge, but any and all bonuses apply. (Combination of two rules sets- the -10 revision, and retention of bonuses inferred in HU2)
Spells take half your actions in a round for a low-level spell, one full round for a mid-level spell, and 2 rounds for a high-level spell. Spells take 1 action, +1 action for every 3 levels of the spell (rounding up, for a total of 2-6)
Psionic powers take one action, but may have meditation times that can kill minutes (if not the character, from the resulting delay).  Ignore meditation times out of combat. In combat, powers requiring meditation are penalized somehow. (Use 2 attacks, double ISP, etc.) Penalty should be decided before play begins, and be equal for all.

(a) Note that the disproof of these are in The Magic of Palladium Books, in answers Palladium gave 9-12 years ago to the questions asked then. To this day, it still bewilders me why they insist the current answers are the way it's always been, when they just reprinted LAST YEAR 10-year-old statements that prove otherwise.

(b) Alternatively, one could possibly argue that (despite the Rifts and Macross II rules saying otherwise), the addition of HTH and P.P. bonuses to mecha combat might only apply to Robotech mecha, because of the inherent symbiotic nature between a Protoculture/Robotechnology mecha and its pilot, as described in the RPG (and to a lesser extent, all other Robotech sources). A secondary case could be made that it might apply to Macross II as well, from the inherently high technology of that setting compared to Rifts.

 

2.10. What do you mean, "Save versus Pain"? Or "Wards"??? What are all the Palladium system save types?

The compiled list of save types are as follows. "Unless otherwise stated" means that most saves of this type may be different, from additional strength given to the magic type, due to a higher-level caster.

Saves modified by P.E. bonus:

* the O.C.C.s specializing in these types of magic list base save as 14 for Ward Magic, and 16 for Circle Magic, as does the list of saves in the section on magic terms, while the general save area in the PFRPG and other books list the smaller numbers. The larger numbers are correct, or you may choose to say they apply to the magic of mages who pick up those magic types as secondary forms of magic (like adult dragons).

Saves modified by M.E. bonus:

Horror Factor is like a save, but is dependent on the actual H.F. rating of the viewed creature. It's not an official rule, but many people allow repeated exposures (and made checks) to a specific creature type's HF to mollify, even eliminate, the check, and/or allow M.E. bonus.

 

 

Section 3: The Palladium Fantasy RPG

 

3.01. What is the Palladium Fantasy RPG?

The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game (PFRPG) is a traditional fantasy game. Players choose from a variety of races, ranging from the "standards" such as humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, gnomes, etc.; to more exotic races such as wolfen and changelings. Character classes range from the men of arms (mercenaries, knights, palladins, etc.) and standard users of magic (wizard), clergy (priest); to more unusual magic-users such as the summoner (circle magic), diabolist (wards), and mind mage (psionics; not really magic).

 

3.02. What changes are there between the 1st and the 2nd Editions?

  1. Five major changes have occurred.
  2. The adoption of Structural Damage Capacity for living creatures, such as characters (matching the other in-print games).
  3. Revision of the magic system to use P.P.E.
  4. Revision of the Psionics into the standard four categories from BtS, Rifts and Nightbane (instead of being level-based).
  5. Revision of the skill system to a Rifts-style system.
  6. The deities and dragons have been moved to the new product, Dragons & Gods.

 

3.03. How do you handle characters who switch classes?

Detailed rules for switching classes are provided on page 10 of the (2nd Edition) Adventures on the High Seas.

 

3.04. Whatever happened to those little pamphlet supplements for weapons, castles, etc.?

After a decade of being replaced by compiled books (which actually left out one whole book, and parts of others), they have been re-released in 2002, with new cover art (and i hope new graphics inside, as well). As of 1 June 2002, two were released, the third was at the printer, and a fourth scheduled for a 10 July release.

In reality, they were never actually supplements to the Palladium Fantasy RPG, predating it by 1-3 years (though the weapons were done in what would become the standard Palladium system).

 

3.05. What is the "sexual deviations" table?

The Sexual Deviation table is a subsection of the Neurosis insanity table that was included in early printings of the Palladium RPG. Ironically, it was written by a psychologist. It was removed from later printings for several reasons, ranging from the reclassification of Homosexuality as not being an insanity, to the total unsuitability of many of the rest for a role-playing environment (such as pedophilia, etc.). Maryann has specifically asked that this table not be presented here, so I have pulled it in my revision. If you want to play (or be) a depraved psychopath, go buy White Wolf's Black Dog games products.

 

3.06. How do I handle P.B. for changelings?

Always a issue open to spirited debate. However, the following appears to be the correct interpretation.

The P.B. stat reflects only the NATURAL beauty of the character. The character can have any P.B. he wishes when transformed. However, the maximum P.B. must be one that the character has seen before on a member of the race being imitated. In other words, if a changeling has seen an elf with P.B. 25, he can mimic an elf with similar P.B. (Different features, but up to P.B. 25). However, unless the changeling has seen a human with such god-like looks, they cannot choose a human form with such high P.B. Several N.P.C. changelings that have appeared in various sources seem to have the ability to shape their P.B. into anything they desire, but considering the travel most changelings do to protect their identity, they most likely built a repertoire of persons with low and high P.B. to work from.

 

 

Section 4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & After the Bomb

 

4.01. What is After The Bomb? What was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, TMNT) was a modern mystery/action game based around the (original) TMNT comics. (NOTE: The cartoons, live action show, action figures and (to a lesser extent) movies are the "kiddified" TMNT, while the game is based on the comics, which are much more "gritty" and adult.) Players choose an animal type, and use Bio-E (Biological Energy) to give the character more human-like features, as well as powers relating to the type of animal chosen. Due to circumstances, the TMNT RPG has been discontinued by Palladium (see below), but its legacy will live on at Palladium in the form of the After The Bomb RPG.

After the Bomb was originally a dark-future mutant animal setting, tied to the TMNT RPG. With the demise of the TMNT license, the TMNT connections were removed, and the setting modernized, while being combined with the rule changes that had been planned for the 2nd eedition of TMNT. Plus, Palladium still sells all the After the Bomb supplements from the TMNT era.

 

4.02. Where do I find X mutant animal?

The following is updated for the After The Bomb RPG. As one can see, a lot of zoo animals listed in the TMNT Main Book didn't make the conversion to After the Bomb, but will hopefully be converted in later products. Also, it is hoped that revised versions of the "Mutants" books will be done as well, as older TMNT products were never updated to Revised level, let alone the new After the Bomb RPG. It is also divided into categories by animal type (Invertebrates, Birds, Amphibians & Reptiles, Mammals and other types). Others will be subdivided by their status, such as the Dinosaurs & Cenozioc lifeforms mutated as a result of time travel, and the throwbacks & purebreds that don't necessarily resemble their true ancestral species. Some of these animals will be listed in two categories.

Current Products:                      Discontinued Products:

AtB     After the Bomb RPG             TMNT    T.M.N.T. Main Book
MDU     Mutants Down Under             TDT     Transdimensional T.M.N.T.
MiA     Mutants in Avalon              TT      Truckin' Turtles
MiO     Mutants in Orbit               MoPB    The Magic of Palladium Books #1
MotY    Mutants of the Yucatan         (and the reprinted compilation of MOP)
RH      Road Hogs

Insects & Invertebates, Mutant
These are pets, mounts and Mutant monsters, not player character types.

Animal                    Book & Page   Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========   ======                    ===========
Ant (pet)                 MiA 21        Earwig, Mars Mutant       MiO 50   
Ant, Bulldog (riding)     MDU 10        Fly, Drone/Riding         MDU 10-11
Ant, Mars Mutant          MiO 44        Fly, Mars Mutant          MiO 52   
Bee, Domesticated         MIA 21-22     Fly, Bluebottle Bristle   MiO 53   
Bee, Mars Mutant          MiO 46        Grasshopper, riding       MDU 11 
Beetle, Ladybird          MiA 23        Hornet/Wasp               MiA 23
Beetle, Mars Mutant       MiO 47        Praying Mantis, Mars      MiO 54   
Butterfly & Caterpillar   MiA 22-23     Snail/Slug, Riding        MiA 19-20
Cockroach, Mars Mutant    MiO 49        Snail/Slug, Monster       MiA 20
Dragonfly                 MiA 23        Spider, Wolf (riding)     MDU 11   

Birds
Animal                    Book & Page   Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========   ======                    ===========
Birds of Prey             AtB 81-82     Hummingbird               RH 6
   Eagle, Falcon, Hawk, etc.            Kookaburra                MDU 14
Budgie, Parakeet          AtB 84        Magpie                    MiA 14
Cassowary                 MDU 13        Owl                       AtB 83
Chicken                   AtB 101-103   Parrot                    AtB 86-87
Buzzard                   RH 6          Pigeon                    AtB 88-89
Condor                    RH 6          Pigeon, Passenger         AtB 89
Coot                      MiA 11        Peacock                   MiA 15
Crow                      AtB 85        Perchers, Songbirds       AtB 87-88
Diatrymon (extinct bird)  TDT 26        Puffin                    MiA 16
Duck                      AtB 86        Roadrunner                RH 7
Emu                       MDU 14        Sparrow, etc.             AtB 90-91
Flamingo                  MotY 12       Swallow                   MiA 18
Game Birds                AtB 88        Swan                      MiA 18
   Partridge, Grouse, Quail, etc.       Toucan                    MotY 20
Goose                     AtB 86        Turkey                    AtB 91
Gulls, Sea Birds          AtB 90        Vulture                   RH 7
Heron                     MiA 14        Woodpecker                MiA 19

Amphibians & Reptiles (not including Dinosaurs)
Animal                    Book & Page   Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========   ======                    ===========
Alligator                 AtB 77        Iguana                    MotY 14
Armadillo Lizard          MoPB 7        Komodo Dragon             MDU 18
Boa Constrictor           MotY 17       Lizard                    RH 8
Bushmaster                MotY 18       Newt                      MiA 14
Chameleon                 RH 9          Rattlesnake               MotY 18 
Crocodile                 AtB 77        Sea Turtle                RH 12   
Emerald Tree Boa          MotY 17       Slow-Worm                 MiA 17
Fer-de-Lance              MotY 18       Snake                     MDU 22
Frilled Lizard            MDU 16        Thorny Devil (Moloch)     MDU 24
Frog                      AtB 112-113   Turtle                    AtB 138
Gila Monster              RH 9          Wallace's Flying Frog     MoPB 7-8
Goanna                    MDU 16

Extinct Animals
Mesozoic Era (dinosaur era)             Cenozoic Era (Mammalian Era)
Animal                    Book & Page   Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========   ======                    ===========
Allosauroid (Throwback)   AtB 103-104   Argentadon (bird)         TDT 26     
Allosauroid (true dino)   TDT 17-19     Diatrymon(flightless bird)TDT 26     
Ankylosauroid             TDT 19        Glyptodon                 TDT 26
Brontosauroid             TDT 20        Hominidon                 TDT 16
Dromaeosauroid            TDT 20        Hyaenodon                 TDT 27
Duckoid                   TDT 21        Mastodon/Mammoth          TDT 27
Hypsilophoid              TDT 22        Megatherion (Giant Sloth) TDT 28
Pachycephaloid            TDT 22        Paraceratherion           TDT 28     
Pterasoid                 TDT 23        Smilodon & Thylacosmilus  TDT 29
Saurinoid                 TDT 24        Thylodon                  TDT 29
Stegosauroid              TDT 23
Triceratops               TDT 25        Pigeon, Passenger         AtB 89
Tyrannosoid               TDT 25


Mammals, Marsupial & Monotreme
Animal                    Book & Page   Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========   ======                    ===========
Bandicoot                 MDU 14        Rock Wallaby              MDU 22     
Cuscus                    MDU 14        Spiny Anteater (Echidna)  MDU 23
Greater Glider            MDU 16        Squirrel                  AtB 134-135
Honey Possum              MDU 17        Tasmanian Devil           MDU 23
Kangaroo                  MDU 17        Thylacosmilus (extinct)   TDT 29
Koala                     MDU 18        Thylodon (extinct)        TDT 29
Marsupial Mole            MDU 19        Tree Kangaroo             MDU 24
Mulgara                   MDU 19        Tree Porcupine            MotY 21
Native Cat (Tiger Cat)    MDU 19        Tree-Climbing Anteater    MotY 20
Numbat (Banded Anteater)  MDU 20        Wallaroo                  MDU 25
Opossum                   AtB 124       Water Opossum (Australian)MoPB 8
Platypus                  MDU 20        Water Opossum (Mexican)   MotY 21
Possum (Phalanger)        MDU 21        Wombat                    MDU 25 
Rat Kangaroo (Bettong)    MDU 21        

Mammals, Placental
Animal                    Book & Page   Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========   ======                    ===========
Aardvark                  TMNT 29       Leopard                   AtB 108-109
Ape: Gorilla & Orangutan  TMNT 29       Lion                      AtB 107
Ape: Chimpanzee           AtB 104       Manatee                   MotY 15
Armadillo                 AtB 78        Margay                    MotY 12
Baboon                    TMNT 30       Marten                    AtB 121
Badger                    AtB 78        Mink                      AtB 121
Bat                       AtB 79        Mole                      AtB 121-122
Bear                      AtB 80        Monkey                    AtB 122
Beaver                    AtB 80        Moose                     AtB 122-123
Buffalo                   AtB 99-100    Mountain Lion             AtB 109   
Camel                     AtB 92        Muskrat                   AtB 123-124
Cat, Domestic             AtB 110-112   Otter                     AtB 126
Cat, Wild (Bobcat/Lynx)   AtB 108       Paca (Agoutis)            MotY 16    
Cheetah                   TMNT 38       Packrat                   RH 11      
Chipmunk                  AtB 105       Pigs, Boars, etc.         AtB 135-137
Coati                     RH 7          Pika                      TT 31      
Cow/Bull                  AtB 98-101    Porcupine                 AtB 125-126
Coyote                    TMNT 35       Prairie Dog               RH 12       
Coypu                     MiA 12        Pronghorn                 RH 10      
Deer                      AtB 105       Rabbit                    AtB 126    
Dingo                     MDU 15        Raccoon                   AtB 129    
Disk-Winged Bat           MotY 8        Rhinoceros                TMNT 43    
Dog, Domestic             AtB 95-98     Ringtail                  RH 11      
Dolphin                   RH 8          Rodent                    AtB 129-132
Donkey                    RH 8          Sea Lion                  RH 12      
Elephant                  AtB 106-107   Sheep                     AtB 132-133
Elk                       AtB 105       Shire Horse               MiA 16
False Vampire Bat         MotY 9        Skunk                     AtB 134
Felines (general info)    AtB 107-112   Sloth                     MotY 16
Fisherman Bat             MotY 10       Squirrel                  AtB 134-135
Fox                       AtB 93-94     Tapir                     MotY 19
Giant Anteater            MotY 13       Tree Kangaroo             MDU 24
Giant Armadillo           MotY 13       Tree Porcupine            MotY 21
Goat                      AtB 113-114   Tree-Climbing Anteater    MotY 20
Goat, Spider-Goat         AtB 114-116   True Seal                 RH 13
Hedgehog                  MiA 13        Vampire Bat               MotY 10
Hippopotomus              TMNT 40       Walrus                    RH 13
Horse                     AtB 116-118   Water-Vole                MiA 18
Human                     AtB 119-121   Weasel, Ferret            AtB 139-140
Jaguar                    AtB 108-109   Whale                     RH 13
Jaguarondi                MotY 11       Wolf                      AtB 94
Kinkajous                 MotY 14       Wolverine                 AtB 140


Other Animals (playable as characters)
Animal                    Book & Page
======                    ===========
Octopus                   RH 9
Pig, Flying               AtB 138
Pig-People                AtB 137-138
Rabbit, Pleasure Bunnies  AtB 127-128 

 

4.03. Why did Palladium drop the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license? What happened to the planned Second Edition?

This is from an open letter by Kevin Siembieda, as posted on the Palladium web site in January 2000:

"Saying good-bye to the Ninja Turtles is like saying farewell to an old friend. So it is with a touch of sadness that I must announce Palladium Books' decision to let go of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles role-playing game license.

I know this news will disappoint many fans, particularly those who have been anxiously anticipating the release of the Second Edition of the Ninja Turtle RPG. There will be no Second Edition or any new T.M.N.T. product from Palladium.

A tiny handful of distraught fans on-line, have suggested Palladium does not care about our fans, because if we did, we would come out with T.M.N.T., 2nd Edition no matter what. If only it were that simple and easy. What these folks do not understand is that Palladium and Mirage (the T.M.N.T. people) have been keeping the game-line afloat for the last several years because we care.

At its peak, Palladium Books was selling over 4,000 copies of the T.M.N.T. game every month! Nearly 200,000 copies of the basic rule book, alone, have been sold since we first released it in the fall of 1985. The late 1980's also saw the black and white comic book outselling many color comics, with sales (I believe) of over 100,000 copies an issue. In fact, the explosive success of the T.M.N.T. comic book helped give birth to the "independent" comic book publishing industry, as hundreds of other creators began to "self-publish" their own comics and form new companies. The success of the Ninja Turtles encouraged hundreds of new entrepreneurs to take a chance, and it created a level of excitement that the comic book industry had not seen in decades (at the time, other than a few tiny, independent publishers, there was only Marvel and DC).

Meanwhile, role-playing was experiencing its own "boom" time, and with carefully executed licenses like the Ninja Turtles® and Robotech®, Palladium Books was quickly recognized as one of the top publishers of RPGs.

The mass market exploitation of the Turtles created hundreds of licensed products worldwide. That was cool, and made the original creators, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, some serious money. Toy manufacturers, the film studio, the TV cartoon people and scores of others made millions of dollars as the Ninja Turtles became a pop culture phenomenon -- the Pokemon of their day. There were three movies, a long-running TV cartoon, a zillion action figures and toys, comic books, coloring books, and clothes for little kids, to name just a few of the 150+ licenses that once existed. A huge success by any standard. And it could not have happened to two nicer guys, 'cuz Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are the best!

Ah, but you know how you always hear how everything (especially fame and success) comes with a price? Well, it is true. On one hand, the T.M.N.T. folks got to see their creation become an international mega-hit, with millions upon millions of children falling in love with the Ninja Turtles, bringing joy and fun to them all.

On the other hand, the successful "mass marketing" killed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the comic book and role-playing game markets where they first took off. Weird, but true. You see, the Turtles were what I refer to as, "kiddified." The once gritty, satirical, hard-hitting Turtles became cuddly, fun-loving, pizza-swirling heroes to little kids -- ages 3-10 -- and joined the ranks of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the Smurfs! While this made them a viable mass market property, it hurt them in the small, specialized market of role-playing. Basically, no self-respecting teenager or pre-teen wanted anything to do with the Ninja Turtles. Why? Because they had become "little kid stuff." It didn't matter that the role-playing game (and b/w comic book) was the same gritty, butt-kicking, imaginative and fun game it had always been. The Turtles were taboo to the teen market.

Role-playing sales plummeted overnight, from 4000+ copies a month to 1,200. A short time later sales fell to less than 100 copies a month. And sourcebooks ... forget about them.

No matter what we or Mirage did, nothing helped the RPG sales. We kept delaying the Second Edition T.M.N.T. game in a futile attempt to promote, hype and build excitement. We spent over $20,000 on promotional advertisements that appeared in Marvel Comics and offered the first 600 people to respond, a free copy of the current T.M.N.T. game. We sent out 600 copies, but saw no increase in sales. We hyped it up on-line, in The Rifter, at conventions, etc., to no avail. After nearly three years of hype we had 30 advanced mail orders for the Second Edition compared to 300 for Rifts Canada after only six months of hype. To make matters worse, half our distributors were not interested in carrying the Second Edition, and the other half were only willing to "try" a tiny amount. Despite our best attempts and advertising dollars (not counting the few thousand spent on the cover and interior artwork, some of which appears in this issue), few seemed to want it. To do T.M.N.T. Second Edition was throwing good money after bad. For Palladium Books, at least, the day of the Ninja Turtles had come to an end.

What drives me crazy is that to this very day I hear from gamers everywhere who first discovered role-playing games because they tried the Ninja Turtle RPG. Even more maddening is the fact that most of them absolutely love the game, and many still even play it! And why not?! It was (is) a truly GREAT game and loads of fun!! I think it's one of game designer/writer, Erick Wujcik's, crowning achievements. Not to mention the fact that it helped spread Palladium's universal game system (one set of basic rules, a Megaverse of adventure) to thousands of new gamers. Well, we had plenty of good years, got to know a couple of great guys in Kev and Pete (Gary, Jim, and Eric too). Furthermore, I'm proud to know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness RPG ranks as one of the best selling role-playing games of all time. And we had a blast doing it. Eastman and Laird recognized our expertise and let us run with it. They were always friendly, imaginative, helpful and cooperative even after they became millionaires. I'm telling you, these guys are the best!

I want to make it clear that the good folks at Mirage Studios were willing to renew our license for another two years. It was Palladium Books who declined and asked to terminate the license. Sad and disappointing as it may be, it is just time for us to let the Ninja Turtles go and pursue other, new realms of adventure. Sorry.

We wish Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Gary Richardson, Jim Lawson and all the fine people at Mirage a bright and happy future. Thanks everybody, it has been a grand 15 years working with you. I guess we'll just watch the next 15 years of the Turtles' success from the back seat instead of the front.

 

 

Section 5: The Anime-Based Games: Robotech & Macross II

 

5.01. What was the Robotech RPG?

The Robotech RPG was a role-playing game based on the Harmony Gold animated television series, Robotech. Game supplements cover the Macross, Southern Cross, and Invid Invasion portions of the animated series, as well as the Sentinels. Characters can be human, Zentraedi, or a Sentinel race. Character classes include the Veritech and Destroid pilot. Campaign settings include Macross, Southern Cross, Invid Invasion, and the Sentinels.

 

5.02. What discrepancies are there between the RPG and the series?

The largest discrepancies are two-fold: Firstly, the RPG claims (in Invid Invasion) that the Invid returned some years after the Regis' departure, contradicting both letter and spirit of the last episode, providing an artificial reason not to end the role-playing campaign when the show ends. It is this liberty that has drawn the most fire from fans (though others have accommodated it into their campaigns).

Elsewhere, (in The Sentinels) Siembieda takes liberties with the number of ships that supposedly departed with the SDF-3 to Tyrol. According to all the known Sentinels reference material, the SDF-3 was supposed to be alone. However, Siembieda seems to be attempting to address problems in Macek's version of the Sentinels; one ship leaves, and hundreds (fully crewed) return. Likewise, he has the REF spend an indeterminate time sweeping the Galaxy clean of the Regent's Invid, where in the outlines for the Sentinels TV show, the REF was to have returned not long after the capture of the Invid's home-world.

One minor fault is that the Robotech Master's home world is Tyrol (also spelled "Tirol"), which orbits the giant planet Fantoma. The RPG somehow managed to swap the two names. The probable reason may be the reference to the Masters' home world in the Sentinels' video as "the moon of Fantoma" (which it is, because it orbits Fantoma), which was taken at Palladium to be like the reference to the planet Endor in "Return of the Jedi" as "The Moon of Endor", because of its small size.

Another thing that irks some fans of the original Southern Cross series, is that the Battloids were so different from their original designs. The GMP Battloid of the RPG was the REP Battloid in the anime, and all of the other Battloids (SC and EBSIS) were assigned to the wrong forces - some were not even Battloids at all, but power armor! However, in Robotech, we never see Battloids being used in any manner that would assign them to any given part of the SC, and most we do not see in action at all, and their brief appearances are easily missed. Assignation of some of these designs to the EBSIS (a Palladium invention, though a fairly logical one for its time of origin) served to give a purpose for these unused designs.

The biggest anime to RPG goofs are as follows:

 

Macross goofs:

RPG Version What it really was in the Japanese shows
Lancer One Space Fighter  The Oberth Class space destroyer, which is several hundred feet long! Multiply all M.D./M.D.C. numbers by 25 for a more accurate description. Crew is around 100, and ship capable of interplanetary flights. Anti-UWG forces hijacked one of these, used it to destroy another that was being used to evacuate Mars Base (how Riber died), which was in turn destroyed by Gloval in a third (his first space command). This happened around the time of the flashbacks we see of Claudia and Roy on Macross Island in "A Rainy Night" (ca. 2007-2008). The Miranda and Circe were POSSIBLY of this class, or of the one below.
Daedalus and Prometheus Ships like them were shown in space in the first few episodes before the fold accident and later when Dolza attacked. It is probable these ships had artificial gravity and contra-grav capability to allow them to reach orbit under their own power to help defend Earth, as well as ferry supplies to the Oberths, ARMDs, and the SDF-1, none of which were intended to ever land on Earth after launch.
The UF-14 fighter Actually belonged to the forces fighting AGAINST the United Earth Government! Real Name: Karyovin. Note, also, that the "Falcon" fighter was really named "Dragon", but due to how the kana were written in the art books used by Palladium as a source, it was very easy for the name to be misread.

Southern Cross goofs:
(Note: Items listed as Power Armor about the size of the Rifts Glitter Boy )

RPG Version What it really was in the Japanese shows
G.M.P. Battloid R.E.P. Recon Battloid (Also used by T.C.)
T.C. Recon Battloid  T.C.* Combat Battloid, Officer-style head
C.D.U. Battloid (Heavy)  T.C.* Combat Battloid, NCO-style head
C.D.U. Battloid (Light)  T.C.* Combat Battloid, Enlisted-style head
Cosmic Unit Battloid  C.W.O.S. Power Armor
E.B.S.I.S. Soldier Battloid  Sea Squad Power Armor/Dive Suit
E.B.S.I.S. Juggernaut Battloid  C.D.U. Battloid
E.B.S.I.S. Recon Destroyer Bat.  Mountain Squad Battloid
Merchant Republic Protector  Desert Squad Battloid
The Veritech Hover Tank  Missing stats for cockpit cover (used in space), and the autocannon CAN be used in Battloid mode, but is much less accurate than using the EU-ll (the autocannon does not get mecha bonuses, only bonus for high P.P. only when used that way), so it is rarely done.
AJACS  Not introduced as a standard mecha until 2029 AT THE EARLIEST. It was most likely on test flights when used in "Dana's Story" and the Robotech Movie (both of which used footage from after the AJACS' introduction in their creation, despite being set before the rest of the series).
T.A.S.C. Veritechs in general  The Logan and AJACS were used by the Cosmic Unit as well as the T.A.S.C., and were probably available as additional training for characters from the T.A.F. and C.D.F.C. with the Pilot M.O.S.
Southern Cross Space Craft 

Most are missing, or described as shuttles when really much bigger.

Robotech Masters Space Craft 

Their escort craft are missing (the type seen in the episode where Bowie was captured at the mounds, and most fleet battles)

* In the original Southern Cross series in Japan, all the ground forces (except the ATAC) were part of the TC, and used this Battloid type to one extent or the other, if they did not have a design of their own. The only statistical difference between the three types were their head units, and the resulting differences in sensors and weaponry, with the actual M.D.C. remaining the same for all three (as the RPG's TC Recon). And yes, this does mean the RPG was wrong about the R.E.P. not using Battloids, because they did use both the recon and combat models. Note that there was also a another Battloid design mentioned by Southern Cross Japanese source material, but it never had a published or drawn version (other than possibly a FOOT shown in one scene that doesn't match any other design).

 

New Generation/Mospeada goofs:

RPG Version What it really was in the Japanese shows
Cyclones 

Note that the Cyclone was invented LONG after the SDF-3 left Earth, and was not part of the Sentinels fight initially. The RPG numbers are from the period when Edwards attempts to seize control of the REF.

Two dubbing goofs (showing Lancer but with Scott's voice) resulted in the VR-052 types being given GR-103s in the RPG. However, it would not be unlikely for versions to exist having them, for ground use instead of as aircraft survival units. Also note that the VR-041 was originally intended as the standard model Cyclone, so the "alternate" VR-052 types (the RPG versions) could be VR-041 Cyclones with VR-052 arms.

Vindicator  Actually is the manned version of the Shadow fighter, and is same size as other Alphas. HOWEVER, there are scenes that clearly show some of these mecha as being the size the RPG makes the Vindicator, so it is possible to make a legitimate case for this type of Veritech's existence.
VAF-7A Shadow Alpha  An A.I. drone version of the Above, with no head and additional weapons (the GR-12s).
Other Alphas  Possibly had Jet Lasers (closing credits), Head mini-missiles (seen first episode in one of the space scenes), and color of the Mecha was not by model, but by rank, with green being low-ranking pilots.
Beta

The biggest mess in the entire RPG; so much that I have to break the format above to list all the errors.

  1. Had jet lasers (or possibly additional GU-XX mounts for Jet mode). Actually shown in use in one or two episodes, volleyed with the body GU-XX. The "Leg Missile Launchers" are actually the maintenance hatches for the guns. Note also that all the GU-XX (including the Alpha version) were energy weapons in the original series, but that doesn't HAVE to be the case in Robotech.
  2. The "Medium Range Missiles" are actually the sensor suite.
  3. The MM-40s are actually two separate launchers; the first are pop-up launchers as described in the RPG, while the front launchers (those that have flip-open lids in Battloid) are the real Medium range missile launchers, with 10 shots each.
  4. The "Long Range Missiles" are actually the ports where the Alpha and Beta link up, to allow the thrust of the Alpha to be diverted through the Beta to give it more thrust in Legios form.
  5. The "Bomb Bay", while usable as such, is also the real Long Range Missile launcher, with LRMs usable in place of bombs, in the same numbers as listed for bombs. Note that the racks can and were used for bombs as well.
  6. Arms have 3-Barrel cannons that are at least as powerful as the GU-XX, and could be treated (per arm) as equivalent to the Body GU-XX, but with the capability of being volleyed together (As Rand does when he takes out the RCB in episode #83).

 

5.03. What was Macross II? Is it a sequel to Robotech?

The Macross II RPG is based on the Japanese OAV (direct to video) series "Macross II", which was an unofficial sequel to movie "Macross: Do You Remember Love?", which in turn was based (rather loosely) on the Macross TV series, from which Robotech was derived. In other words, the scenarios are not related, though they use similar game mechanics and mecha (being both published by Palladium and written by Siembieda, and some of the designers in Japan were the same for both shows, this is not surprising).

There is an English-dubbed version of "Macross: DYRL", with an American (uncut) release name of "Superdimensional Fortress Macross". An older, butchered version is also out, called "Clash of the Bionoids". Strangely enough, the European and Australian release of the uncut dub has the name of the butchered version. Many anime fan-subbing groups have also done the movie. Some people (such as the original FAQ's source) used "Macross: Summer '84" as the title of the movie, which is like calling Return of the Jedi "Star Wars: Summer '82". "Summer '84" was a working title and "coming soon" blurb that too-literal anime fans of the mid 1980s took to BE the official title. Also, while "Macross II" is for all intents and purposes a sequel of "Macross: DYRL", it is now denied by the Japanese to be such, and "Macross: DYRL" has been labeled a "Based on a True Story"-type "Docudrama" made in the Macross universe, two decades after the events of the series. Another interesting note is that, while "Macross II" has been effectively disowned by the Macross creators (as the primary Macross creator Shoji Kawamori had no part in its creation), its music has resurfaced in the Macross TV series' sequel series, "Macross 7", telling the story of Max & Miriya as leaders of a deep space colony ship in 2045-46, and that of their youngest (of seven) daughters.

A fan page with the mecha of Macross 7, DYRL and Macross Plus has been created by the former moderator of the Robotech Mailing list, Dave Deitrich. This page is at the following address:   http://www.steelfalcon.com/macrossmecha.html

 

5.04. Why hasn't there been any books for these RPGs recently?

First of all, Palladium decided not to renew the license for Macross II, as that universe not only was practically disowned by its creators, but all of its existing source material had been exploited. As for Robotech, Harmony Gold was working on a new Robotech project. Originally called Robotech 3000, it was to be a fully CGI program (like Transformers Beast Wars) with Netter Digital (who used to do CGI for "Babylon 5"). However, the initial designs of that project met with horrible reviews, and Netter ran into financial difficulty, at about the same time. As a result, the CGI series was canned before it even started, and current plans now are for a traditionally-animated series, done in Japan by some of the same people who worked on the original series that became Robotech. See http://www.robotech.com for updates, but don't be surprised if this new series is never made.

Robotech 3000 initially caused all Robotech licensing to grind virtually to a halt, until more information was released concerning the new series. While minor items could be published by Palladium (Like my own ABP-Z4 REF Pod design published in The Rifter #5), no full-book-sized items were possible. In fact, Palladium had two manuscripts they WANTED to publish (one centering on the space colonies founded after the SDF-3 departure), but had to sit on, until the situation cleared. With the demise of Robotech 3000, the situation never cleared, and when the license came up for renewal, not only was Harmony Gold insisting that Palladium sign on for the next series' rights, sight unseen, but that those rights would be separate from original Robotech. Even more bizarre, HG wanted Palladium to agree to a SUBSTANTIAL raise in rights fees, while simultaneously insisting that nothing be published for the old series until the new series was premiered.

Faced with insanely stupid demands, Palladium let the license go. Other items at HG and robotech.com have since surfaced, indicating that (IMO) the owners of Robotech don't give a damn about their property, only in sucking as much money out of consumers, while they can get away with it on the short-term, instead of trying to make it a longer-term moneymaker (sort of an anime Enron).

 

 

Section 6: Heroes Unlimited

 

6.01. What is Heroes Unlimited?

Heroes Unlimited is a traditional superhero game, complete with superpowers, larger than life heroes, and evil villains. It includes a wide selection of super abilities, and a number of other "Power Categories" such as Special Training, Magic, Aliens, and Bionics. Overall, it tends more towards the gritty "vigilante" feel than other, more "heroic" games.

 

6.02. What are the changes from First & Revised editions, to 2nd Edition?

First of all, the book has been expanded in a major, almost obscene way, having over 350 pages (and still costing only $24.95). There some minor changes, and some major ones. The minor changes include the tweaking of the character generation system (see section 2.5), the addition of all the Villains Unlimited & Aliens Unlimited powers to the main book, and a reworking of the skill program system to be more streamlined (including giving all characters language, math and automobile skills for free), yet more flexible.

Major changes include the conversion of the Magic system to the P.P.E. system used in the other games, many new powers, more powerful write ups of existing powers, and the Mega-Hero class of Hero, which emulates the more powerful types of heroes found in comics.

 

6.03. What was "The Justice Machine" supplement?

The Justice Machine supplement for the original version of Heroes Unlimited was based on the initial Justice Machine comics. As a HU-original edition supplement , this means that each character only had one power (god, how things have changed for the better). The Justice Machine was created by Michael Gustovich. It tells the story of a group of adventurers from a despotic, alternate Earth (called Georwell) who fled to Earth after realizing their government (whom they had served as heroes and enforcers) was totally corrupt. The original series (cut short at 5 issues) from Noble Comics provides a lot of the information and art for the book, and what was to have been the cover of issue #6 became the cover for the supplement. Characters (heroes and villains) from all the printed issues, as well as those from those who didn't get published are detailed as well.

Game Details: The characters are weak, being written up for the old one-power system. However, all the new powers introduced in this supplement (catalog #501, ISBN #0916211-10-X) were revamped and published in Villains Unlimited, which inherited the catalog number from its predecessor, and those powers in turn have been updated and published in the main book of the 2nd Edition of Heroes Unlimited. Also, later comics at one or more other companies were finally produced for the Justice Machine, and I have no idea what changes occurred from the point where the description in the RPG book ends.

Palladium has always wanted to redo this supplement, but had two obstacles. The first is that they couldn't find the series creator anymore. When they finally did find him, it turned out that the rights to the series had been sold repeatedly, and that it has been nearly impossible find out who actually owns the series now, due to the rise and fall of the golden age of independent comics publishing.

 

6.04. What Changed in Aliens Unlimited from its original to "revised"?

According to the Palladium Web page, Aliens Unlimited has been updated slightly to make it completely compatible with HU2, Rifts, and Skraypers. It includes New (alien) super abilities, bionics, & magic. Essentially, the powers from the original edition were all redone with HU2, and found there, and the space freed up by this was used to provide more setting information and equipment. Now, if they'd only do the same for Villains Unlimited.

 

 

Section 7: Ninjas and Superspies

 

7.01. What is Ninjas and Superspies?

Ninjas & Superspies is sort of a combination of the Jackie Chan and James Bond genres. It's a martial arts/espionage game of intrigue and deception. Characters include the "Dedicated" Martial Artist, who has spent his entire life in a monastery perfecting his art and the Espionage Agent, the quintessential spy, among many others.

 

7.02. What changes were made to the revised edition?

Lots. In fact, too many to list here. The number of Martial Arts available to characters was lowered (the Dedicated Martial artist originally had 3 forms, the Worldly M.A. 2, instead of the current 2 & 1 respectively). All the O.C.C.s were altered (some radically), and several more were added in the revised version. Many Martial Arts Powers went from set bonuses, durations, or chance of success to ones scaled with improvement by level, or randomized, or otherwise had their bonuses changed. And every martial art underwent some depowering. Frankly, the original version of this RPG was so overpowered, that it looked more like it was written by C.J. Carella, instead of the author of the Amber Diceless RPG.

 

7.03. Where is Mystic China? How about the sourcebook for it?

After a delay of several years, the Mystic China supplement was finally released in early 1995. However, the promised source book for Mystic China was canceled, due to lack of time for Erick Wujcik to work on it (it was believed that it would be better to cancel it completely, than have a possible repeat of the 5-year "it will be out soon" snafu of the original Mystic China book). Of course, Erick being one of the most intense authors when it comes to focusing on a single project till its completion, it's unlikely he'll ever drag himself back to do the MCSB. In the period since then, he's played a major part in the new editions of PFRPG & AtB, in addition to his own company's Amber RPG, so it might really be too much to ask for him to revive a project dead nearly a decade.

 

 

Section 8: Beyond The Supernatural

 

8.01. What is Beyond The Supernatural?

Beyond the Supernatural (BtS) is a modern horror-type game, the predecessor to Rifts. Character classes range from the mage, to several varieties of psychic, to parapsychologist, to the nega-psychic, a character whose disbelief in magic and psychic powers negates said powers in his presence. One of the game's most fascinating concepts is the system of geomantic ley lines of mystic energy which crisscross the earth. Currently out of print, a new, updated, edition is due out later this year.

 

8.02. Whatever happened to the Nostromo: Agents of Darkness and Darklings supplements?

The person who proposed these left Palladium before they could be finished.

 

8.03. I've got some questions about the first printing? Some things are confusing or missing.

The Beyond the Supernatural Errata from The Magic of Palladium Books #1

Beyond the Supernatural has been selling great and will be going into its second printing soon. Unfortunately, a number of errors slipped themselves into the first printing. Damn Grem­lins!!!

Here are the corrections:

PAGE 9: Physical Prowess (P.S.) should be Physical Prowess (P.P.)

PAGE 31: Metallurgy and Parapsychology are listed as avail­able science skills, but there is no description. This is because I deleted them from the skills, but they were accidentally left on the skill list. There are no metallurgy or parapsychology skills for the typical character. Parapsychology is a special P.C.C. skill available only to the parapsychologist character class.

PAGE 45: A question about hand to hand combat. Do charac­ters get two attacks per melee automatically plus two attacks from Hand to Hand combat skills? Well it depends. Randy and I saw the BTS characters as being more vulnerable, normalish, people. That means they would have two attacks per melee only if they took a hand to hand skill and ONE attack per melee if they had no combat training. Additional attacks per melee come with greater hand to hand skill experience.

However, if you want a more combat oriented game, or if you are combining BTS with Heroes Unlimited or Ninjas & Superspies, you should probably start the characters off with two attacks plus the two attacks gained from any hand to hand skills (total of 4 attacks at first level). This will make them more compatible with superhero types.

PAGE 60: The Nega-Psychic clarification: Range of disruptive nega-psychic energy is 10 ft (3m). The nega-force lasts as long as the nega-psychic is within the 10 ft range. The nega-psychic can NOT turn off his negative energy. Affects only group magic, Icy line powered magic, and group psychic powers (seance) by disrupting the flow of P.P.E.

PAGE 63: Special Equipment: These are items available only to the Parapsychologist, although a few similar items are available in the general equipment list.

PAGE 94: Drawing P.P.E. From Others! This is a major. error. First, NO P.P.E. can be drawn from an unwilling subject. Only 2D6 P.P.E. can be drained from an unaware person (a person not aware that his P.P.E. is being syphoned off). Willing subjects can give up to 70% of their P.P.E. as stated and blood sacrifice is always two times (double) the victim's full P.P.E. at the moment of death. Second, drawing P.P.E. from animals: Animals are always considered to be unwilling victims. That means P.P.E. can only be gotten through a blood sacrifice of that animal.

PAGE 99: The number of spells known at levels 1-3 is 1D6. The example of 2D4 is wrong! Sorry.

NOTE: Magic can not be cast from the astral plane into the physical world. Thus, an astral traveler can not appear in a room and hurl a lightning bolt at some helpless human victim in our physical plane of existence. However, an astral traveler can cast magic on other beings in the astral plane while he is in astral form.

 

 

Section 9: Rifts

 

9.01. What is Rifts?

Rifts is practically a game which defies explanation. Is it cyberpunk? Is it post-apocalyptic? Is it a mecha game? What *IS* it? As I'm at a loss to describe it, I'll cop out and fall back to Kevin's own words....

" Rifts are tears in the fabric of space and time. They are found at the nexus points where several "lines" of natural energy (that mankind calls magic) intersect and create a surge in the lines of power. It is a terrifying and exciting extrapolation of the concepts of magic and ley lines as presented in the Beyond the Supernatural role-playing game. The science of geomancy had vanished centuries before. Only myths and crackpot practitioners of magic had any inkling about ley lines and mystic energy. Consequently, no one could have anticipated the fate that awaited mankind.

Nuclear holocaust ignited the destruction of the world as we know it, but it was not the primary instrument of destruction. The sudden destruction of a billion people triggered a surge in the ley lines. ... The sudden influx of psychic energy (P.P.E.) sent the energy rippling through the mystical crossroads of the earth like an earthquake. ... At ley line intersections (nexus points), rifts in space and time tore open, releasing even more energy. The earth shuddered and heaved. Millions more died, increasing the energy level of the rifts.

From the rifts spewed forth energy that tore through man's citadels of steel and concrete like a tornado through a city built out of match sticks. For every million or billion lives lost, the ley lines surged and destroyed billions more; a nightmare of geometric proportions.

The ley lines and the rifts that they spawned were not some insidious evil, nor a plot of some malignant intelligence from another world. It was an aspect of nature that science did not even know, let alone understand. Like a child playing with matches in a pool of gasoline, humankind dropped a match into the pool and was instantly engulfed. Once the match was lit and dropped, there was nothing that could be done to undo what had been done. Yet in a strange way, all this death was part of the birth of a new age. And through it all, humankind would persevere. Even the cosmic fury of a world gone mad could not completely eradicate all human life. However, it would take mankind hundreds of years to crawl out of the abyss that swallowed him. It is at this moment, as humankind finally craws back into the light of a new dawn that our story unfolds.

Rifts is a role-playing game that explores the earth created by the rifts. An earth that has been irreparably changed and is still changing. An earth more alien than any world one might find in another galaxy. A world where man must not only conquer himself and the environment, but a place where the environment is ever changing and the life forms one must compete against are not human."

[Taken from Rifts by Kevin Siembieda, p.7. Used without permission.]

 

9.02. Is Beyond the Supernatural REALLY the past of Rifts Earth?

Yes and no... Initially, it was stated to be so, citing the "time travel" of Victor Lazlo. However, Palladium now says that the BtS Earth is just a very close parallel dimension to Rifts, not the Rifts universe. However, this leads to problems in other areas (such as his friend, the Chiang Ku dragon, who survived from Lazlo's disappearance through the coming of the Rifts, without changing worlds). The two universes SHOULD still be treated as one and the same, unless you wish to incorporate elements that would be foreign to a BtS world into your Rifts game, such as a past with super beings BEFORE the rifts. The following theory, however, could explain BtS being both the past AND not the past of Rifts Earth, at the same time (no, I'm not losing my mind - just read it).

Theory: E Uno Pluribum; E Pluribus Unum.

In the beginning, there was but one Earth in the megaversal location where Rifts Earth now sits. This Earth existed in, evolved, and reached a high level of development in the use of both magic and technology. This was Rifts Earth, at the time of the Atlantean disaster.

When the dimensional rift experiment went awry, the local area of space-time was shattered. In addition to all the visible dimensional anomalies that occurred, more happened that was lost in the chaos. The once unique universe split into multiple, parallel dimensions - unknown in number. Instead of being a true, parallel split, the dimensional energy surges spread from their ultimate nexus (Earth) backward through time, trying to create a past for the fragments. In the process, each fragment's history was slightly altered from the original.

In one of these sub-universes, magic faded more slowly than the others; this was the universe of Beyond the Supernatural.

In another, the energies subtly altered the laws of reality in it as they spread, giving many races the potential for super powers, and resulting in the birth of several alien star empires, including the Atorian Empire. This was the universe of Heroes Unlimited.

A third universe, not a fragment, but one of the parallels being explored before the catastrophe, was colonized by a clan of fleeing Atlanteans, who abandoned all magic in the pursuit of technology. This pursuit led to their downfall, as their cyborg creations turned on them after a horrible misunderstanding. This was the universe of the Mechanoids.

Many other sub-universes existed - all varying degrees of closeness & difference from the original, not counting the myriad Atlantean and Nazcan colonies throughout the dimensions that existed before the split. One of these - or even one of the three above - could be the home universe of the Recon game, or even Valley of the Pharaohs. Most likely, however, the Phase World, Nightbane and Palladium Fantasy universes were already separate entities.

As for After the Bomb, well... It is possible that the universe was a fragment that went its own way, due to the similarities between After the Bomb and Rifts. In fact, the permanence of the separation may have been the result of the diligent work of the Time Lords of that dimension. Or, it could be a case of true parallelism.

In the 1980s, several different versions of a researcher named Victor Lazlo camped out at Serpent Mound, in Ohio. A freak cross-dimensional occurrence - actually a backwash of dimensional energy from the future - plucked all of him, and merged them into one person, who was deposited onto Rifts Earth, none the wiser.

In 2098, on several Earths, experiments progressed in dimension manipulation with technology. When these coincided with a major P.P.E. rush from a minor nuclear exchange half a world away, and the energies of a winter solstice, the collapse occurred.

In a matter of seconds, the majority of the dimensions created by the split, 12,000 years before, were collapsed back together. The Coming of the Rifts was not a reawakening of magic, as many believe; instead, it was the inevitable, forced rejoining of the universal fragments, causing total disruption of the planet Earth (the nexus of the original disturbance). In space, as one got farther from Earth, less notice was taken - unless one was in a system that had different sentient races in alternate dimensions. In fact, the further away one got from Earth, the less the change was noticed, as the perceptions of the majority (99.999%) of the residents thought the "new" status quo was how things had ALWAYS been, with the 1 in 100,000 exceptions being dismissed as crackpots ("But, I tell you - Yesterday, we weren't servants of the Atorians! I never heard of them until this morning, when I woke up a slave on my own home planet, that everyone says has been occupied for centuries!")

Initially, the reformed Rifts Earth was a patchwork of the ruined fragments of the individual Earths that it consisted of. D-shifting occurred often, where fragments of one Earth replaced another. However, slowly, instead of shifting, the actual EXISTENCE of these fragments began to coalesce together, producing a gestalt that, to the inhabitants, had always been that way. It would be almost 300 years later that Victor Lazlo is returned to Earth, not realizing that he was as much a gestalt as the world he mistook for the BtS one (which was part of it).

By 100 P.A., any hints that the Rifts Earth universe had ever been fragmented into multiple dimensions, had been totally obscured by the gestalt effect. The only persons who could possibly notice anything would be the Japanese, who sat out the chaos mercifully displaced as their multiple counterparts were crushed by tsunamis in the merger as the various alternate Japans collided. When they returned, the world was so different, and so few clues to the past remained, that many of them believe that they were displaced to an alternate world, not returned to their own Earth's future. Even Archie Three and the Angel of Death underwent gestalt mergers without realizing it. In fact, it may have been the merger of various, highly different Archie Threes, that led to his sentience.

As for the True Atlanteans, almost all of their colonies had been in universes that predated the original accident, and all that they really see is that their home world has had its physical existence restored - and not knowing of the split, would not realize that a merger had occurred.

Out of one universe, came many. Twelve millennia later, many came together, to form one. In the process, some fragments were lost, and unrelated universes got dragged in, to try to fill the voids of the missing ones.

As a result, attempts to time travel to the multi-universe period could put the travelers into one random constituent of the Rifts Earth past, or spread them out among many. The "alternate selves" conjured by some temporal magic in Rifts might instead be actual splitting off one of the mage's gestalt selves, from their merged existence, while the same spell in the multi-dimensional period would pull one of those duplicates from its world in the split.

The fate of Rifts Earth is a mystery. Will the fragments continue to coalesce? Or, will they fragment once more? Only time will tell.

 

9.03. Where are the stats for Victor Lazlo in Rifts World Book Four: Africa?

The first printing of "Rifts World Book 4: Africa" has a printing error in which several sections of text, including the stats for Victor Lazlo, are missing. The stats for Victor Lazlo are reprinted in "Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks", as well as in later printings of Africa. In fact, if you have one of these first printing copies, use it as an excuse to by the latest printing, with the new cover art.....

The other sections clipped are the XP tables for the various classes and part of the description of the Tree People R.C.C. They can be found at the following link... http://www.palladiumbooks.com/oops.html

 

9.04. What are Universal Credits exactly?

This Question was finally answered in New West. However, it was also listed on the Palladium web page. http://www.palladiumbooks.com/oops.html

 

9.05. What are the prices for vibro-blades and the neural mace?

These have been included in later printings of the Rifts book.

 

9.06. How much does railgun ammo cost?

[This system was created entirely by Stan Bundy.]

The rule of thumb I've always used with Rail Gun ammo is to base the cost on the max damage it does, modified by a supply and demand fudge factor. Base cost would be 1 CR per 1 M.D. of damage for a Burst (Single shot for those RGs like the Boom gun and Shemmarian that fire a canister round or single slug).

Examples -

Modifiers:

 

9.07. What about rules for bartering?

These rules were developed for the ammo price system above, but can be used for any trade, not just ammo.

Bartering: Figure relative prices for both sides' items.

  1. Take the two persons involved in the barter's MA attributes; subtract the lower from the higher. This is the bonus for the Higher MA's roll.
  2. Factor in a modifier in the +10 to -10 range into the "purchaser's" roll for the likelihood that the "seller" will have a use or buyer for the item being traded for the desired substance. (+5 for precious metals, -10 for obscure pre-rifts artifacts with no military use, 0 for typical military item trades, etc. The GM decides the actual modifier - these are just examples).
  3. For actually role-playing the barter session, the GM can add in whatever modifier he sees fit, based on how well/poorly the role-playing of the situation goes. Previous encounters between the two parties (good and bad; especially the latter) also fall under this category.

Both sides Roll 1D20, factoring in modifiers. The person with the higher roll

gets the better deal, getting +2% per point of difference in terms of cost.

Examples:

"Seller" wins by 5 = gets 10% more of traded item, or only trades 90% of the requested substance.

"Buyer" wins by 8 = gets 16% more of stuff wanted for original offered item, or gets to keep 16% of item offered.

Yes, I know that the percentages don't really balance, but it is the GM, not the players, who decides which side of the bargain is affected.

 

9.08. What books are good?/What books are vital to a Rifts game?

Everyone has differing opinions on these. What is vital and interesting to one, is hackneyed and boring to another. So, I'm going to concentrate on what items really are necessary for a game.

Core Books:

 

For a North American Campaign (Coalition-Centered):

Initially -

After the game gets underway -

Optional -

 

European Setting Games (NGR-Centered):

Initially -

After the game gets underway -

Optional -

South American Setting Games:

After the game gets underway -

Optional -

 

Pacific Setting Games:

After the game gets underway -

Optional -

 

Stand-alone settings:

 

9.09. What do you mean, "Micro-fission reactors"? That's crazy!!!

Yep... According to Rifts Canada, the RPA are powered by "micro-fission reactors". Whoever wrote this, and let it get in print, must be totally ignorant of nuclear physics. "Micro-fission reactors" are impossible for the use stated in the RPG for the following reasons...

A. Fission is based off one thing, primarily - critical mass. To get a fuel to work as in the RPG in such a small power plant, it could not be ANY currently used nuclear fuel. In fact, it would have to be so unstable that a short fall (even being pushed over, while turned off!) would cause the fuel to compact and detonate like a nuclear device, destroying blocks!!!! BTW, trying to use normal nuclear fuel in such a "micro-fission reactor" would result in no power whatsoever to the vehicle, because there wouldn't be enough fuel to sustain a reaction, to power it.

B. A radioactive decay system, which is what satellites use for power, is not fission, and doesn't provide enough power to walk a power armor, anyway. Sure, Voyager broadcast using such a power source back to Earth from Neptune, and we got pretty pictures - but the microwave in your kitchen uses radio waves thousands of times as powerful as its transmitter! Anything powerful enough to power a PA (let alone a robot vehicle) would have a power supply lifetime of weeks, if not days or hours!

C. Contamination - fission reactors are by nature extremely hostile to the environment when their containment fails. Ignoring the war between Tolkeen and the CS for the moment, look back to the one 100 years earlier between Chi-Town and the Federation of Magic. If it happened anything like what was described, and if fission reactors were used, then all of Rifts is a myth. Why? Because the radiation leakage from a few RPA reactors would have poisoned ALL of the Chi-Town area for decades beyond the current date, like the area around Chernobyl, today. All it takes is ONE reactor breaking containment and melting its way into the water table, resulting in a radioactive steam explosion - what's called "the China Syndrome" (yes, like the movie). You want a good explanation of why RPA fission reactors are bad ideas - just watch that movie and listen to what they describe - and this is coming from someone who's pro-nuclear-energy in real life!

On the other hand, the obvious means of power for the RPA is fusion power. Why, you ask? For one thing, "nuclear" energy could refer to fission or fusion - in fact, its original usage was such that it was more properly used for fusion, not fission (which is more accurately called "atomic" energy). It's just that the definitions got blurred by anti-war and anti-power-plant protests over the decades. Other reasons for Fusion power for RPA...

D. Fusion power is cheap, once it becomes technologically possible - one type of fuel can be separated from water (as the deuterium & tritium isotopes can be found to an extent in normal water's hydrogen - it's just a matter of concentrating it). Helium 3 (another, better, type of fuel for fusion) could be produced as well easily, through manipulation of tritium, as well as in normal helium deposits.

E. Fusion power can be done at many different scales - all you need is a force-field or magnetic bottle technology and lasers to focus on the fuel. Theoretically, size can be made exceedingly small, or as large as needed. All you have to do to turn off the power plant is shut off the lasers that provide the additional heat needed to go over the critical temperature, or alternatively, expand the bottle to where the pressure falls below the critical point (see G. below).

F. Fusion power is cleaner - You end up with Helium, Lithium, and other low-end elements, and nowhere near as much radiation or radioactive waste.

G. Fusion is safer - If you lose containment on a fission reactor, you get a Chernobyl. If you lose containment on a fusion reactor, you get a small plasma explosion, at most on the scale of a plasma SRM for PA, MRM for Robot vehicles, and if a city-sized power plant, MAYBE one like in that hokey movie a few years ago, that could level several dozen blocks - if you were stupid enough not to put it into a containment chamber of Rifts-era military grade material as secondary protection, about the size of a basketball arena (which might cause the surrounding blocks to experience a bit of shaking if the primary containment failed). And cleanup would take weeks, compared to decades or centuries.

H. Even the fuel is safer - You leak fission fuel, you get people dropping dead of radiation sickness and cancer for decades. You leak hydrogen or helium, even the "heavy" hypdrogen isotopes, it's lighter than air, and escapes into the upper atmosphere. At worst, you could have a hydrogen fire that would produce a bit of heavy water, which you'd have to dig up (and process to recover the heavy hydrogen), or dilute. Something a lot less lethal than plutonium or enriched uranium.

I. The final argument for fusion is that all the other RPA/mecha RPGs had fusion in use before 2009. IF you want to get technical, the Macross universe had it a year before the SDF-1 crashed, having developed it WITHOUT alien help. Robotech had it then, or within a couple years, but only used it as a secondary power source for their mecha. Sure, it was with alien technology helping, but there have been REPEATED statements in CB1 and other places that, ignoring Protoculture itself, all other Robotech equipment is inferior to that of Rifts Earth. Then, why would Rifts Earth not have fusion power at all, if so much more superior? It can't be from any kind of superiority of fission, because fission by its very nature is vastly inferior to fusion, even by today's science.

In other words, having fission in use in Rifts is about as nonsensical as having all the computers salvaged from 2098 ruins being 1998 technology.

 

 

Section 10: Nightbane

 

10.01. What is Nightbane?

Nightbane centers around the secret invasion of Earth by a race known as the Nightlords, from their own dimension. The Nightbane are a race of people who live among humans and can appear to be humans (the facade form) or they can take on their true form (the morphus form). The morphus form is a twisted shape which can include the shapes of animals, of machines, with spikes and razors, tentacles, wings and almost anything which could be combined to create a horrible, monstrous being. The players take on, as characters, Nightbane, humans, vampires and other beings to combat the Nightlords in their takeover attempt of Earth.

 

10.02. Wasn't Nightbane originally called Nightspawn? What happened?

Nightbane was originally called Nightspawn until Todd McFarlane stepped in and said that the name Nightspawn was to close to his character "Spawn" and he claimed infringements on his copyrights of the name "Spawn." Instead of getting into another lengthy court battle over this, Palladium Books agreed to rename the books, and future supplements, Nightbane as long as they were allowed to finish selling those books which were already printed with the name Nightspawn and not have to recall any of those books sold. Personally, I'm waiting for McFarlane to sue Washington state for allowing its salmon population to "Spawn".

UPDATE: Recently, McFarlane found out what it was like to have the tables turned on him. Courtesy of Damien Darkstrom.

"It seems that a St. Louis hockey player named Tony Twist has objected to the use of his name in Mr. Todd McFarlane's Spawn comic. For those of you who have never read it, seen the animated series or heard of the character, Twist (the character, not the hockey player) is a fairly fat Mafia boss. Twist then proceeded to SUE McFarlane's ass off! The jury recently awarded Twist $24.5 million.

Lesson for today, kiddies: Life is a circle. What goes around, comes around."

The award was thrown out later, as being excessive. Much like Todd's ego.

 

 

Section 11: The Mechanoids

 

11.01. What is The Mechanoids?

The Mechanoids is the name of the main race in a number of supplements and gaming books which have been published by Palladium Books. The Mechanoids are a race of psionic, psychopathic cyborgs with a pathological hatred of humanoids (humans in particular).

Long ago a race of humans (rumored to be True Atlanteans) began to experiment with space travel. Realizing their bodies were too frail to withstand the pressures in space, the humans decided to augment a number of their own with cybernetics to be part of the space program. This developed into a robot which was augmented with human parts, but was programmed to obey the humans and do whatever they said as long as it never hurt the humans under any circumstances or any orders given.

Soon, though, the humans began to fear the robots. They feared that they would rise up and begin hurting them. In a consensus vote, the humans decided to send the robots into deep space to explore and to never return. The humans could not bring themselves to destroy the robots because they were part human and were seen as their "children" by many.

The robots, which were known as Mechanoids, did not realize their masters feared them and believed this was a chance to prove themselves and please their masters. The Mechanoids went out into space studying, exploring and learning and in one hundred years they had advanced what would take the humans over one thousand years to reach. This also caused the Mechanoids to change in appearance, for they used their knowledge to improve upon themselves. Then they returned home.

The descendants of those who had created the Mechanoids had forgotten about them, for they never believed they would return. So when the Mechanoids returned, the humans did not recognize them and believed they were under attack, so they launched an attack against the Mechanoids.

This took the Mechanoids completely by surprise. They had returned home with vast amounts of knowledge to give to their masters and their masters had attacked them. The Mechanoids, though vastly advanced in knowledge, had the sentimentally of a child toward their masters, and like a child's reaction to punished for doing what they were told, the Mechanoids lashed out and fought back.

The Mechanoids, though, were far more powerful than the humans and they quickly killed off the entire human population on the planet. After doing this, after realizing they had killed their own creators, the Mechanoids went crazy from grief and came to the conclusion that all humans were evil and must be destroyed and all humanoid races must be enslaved so that they could not cause harm ever again to the Mechanoids. The Mechanoids then went on to increase their numbers into the billions and began a conquest of their universe.

 

11.02. When is the Mechanoids RPG going to be reprinted?

The Collected Mechanoids RPG was printed for the 1998 Christmas Special, but with limited numbers to be made available for retail sale. Except for the addition of S.D.C. stats for the O.C.C.s (not to mention typo correction in the process of reformatting the books, which were originally just copies of typewritten pages), the product is identical in content to the original three books.

As for the Mechanoids Space RPG, which uses the M.D.C. damage system and brings the RPG up to speed with the rest of Palladium, the latest "official" release date is December 2002 at the earliest. This project, like Recon Modern Combat, is on the back burner to do more Rifts and Palladium Fantasy projects, though Recon has its own curse to bear.

11.03. What were the Mechanoids comics?

In 1991, a small, independent comics company called Caliber Press released a licensed comic book based on the Mechanoids RPG by Palladium Books. Each issue cost $3.50 US and each 48-page issue contained a RPG supplement updating the "Homeworld" section of the Mechanoids RPG (Book Three) for the Mega-Damage® system. The comic was originally scheduled for five issues, but Caliber fell drastically behind schedule and issues #4 and #5 were never released. A brief description of the "supplement" section of each comic follows:

Issue #1: Introduction, a FAQ section about the myths about what RPGs are, the history of the RPG, Glossary, character creation, Alignments (stolen directly from Robotech; the Robotech character names used as alignment examples were left in :), Experience, Setting (1½ pages covering the time between the original RPG and the Comics), 5½ pages of O.C.C.s (5 total, one with an error).

Issue #2: Skill list (the editors of the comics lost the page with Military & Medical skills, plus part of the Mechanical list, but otherwise complete), 3 more O.C.C.s (and correction of #1's error), Hand to Hand combat / S.D.C. section.

Issue #3: Player Character race Descriptions (including a robotic race and a former Mechanoid slave race that can warp space and is effectively a low-power Master psionic as well), new M.D.C. weapons, body armor and a set of power armor (closer to the current exoskeleton stuff from Rifts) for one race.

All told, there were about 60 pages of game information in the three comics. The story itself took up where Homeworld left off, with the Mechanoid threat returning after a 200 year absence, and the discovery of both the Gideon E survivors on the Mothership, and the genetic connection of the Mechanoids to humanity. More would have been explained in the next issue, but it never came.

 

 

Section 12: Recon

 

12.01. What is Recon?

Recon is a modern-warfare miniature game. Revised Recon is a modern combat game that uses a system simpler than Palladium's regular system. Characters are easier and faster to make, as well as easier to kill.

 

12.02. When is Recon going to be reprinted?

March 1999 saw the release of a Deluxe Revised Recon book, combining the Revised Recon and Advanced Recon game books. As for a new edition, see 11.02. above. According to Maryann, the Recon project has had one of the most bizarre reasons for being delayed. The REAL reason for the delay in Recon is that the first five writers, despite swearing that they were going to make it a generic game, and despite some of the writers not even being AMERICAN, all kept drifting back toward centralizing the game in its original setting; that of the Vietnam War. Even she can't explain it. The latest writer disappeared for most of the last two years, leading to the re-release of the Erick Wujcik & Joe Martin version in a format similar to the special edition Mechanoids Trilogy, to tide people over. It was only recently discovered that the 6th writer's absence was caused by his joining the Canadian armed forces. The 7th writer (working with Maryann), apparently, is doing a much better job, since the new release date is only a few months away.

 

 

Section 13: Systems Failure

 

13.01. What is Systems Failure?

(Thanks to Necromancer Bob for contributing this summary)

Systems Failure is a somewhat bizarre addition to Palladium's line. It's kind of like the Road Warrior meets the X-Files. Originally, it was intended to be a satirical look at people's Y2K fears, but the final game is much more serious. Just before Y2K, the Bugs do indeed hit. Yes, that's plural. Bugs. Big, stereotypical, insect-like invaders who are here to enslave the human race (by means of their Silkworm brain slugs, of course), drain the Earth of all its precious energy, and other just generally mean stuff. Who's out to stop them? The nutcases of the world. Survivalists, militia men, rednecks, hackers, and other assorted nut jobs are the world's only hope. The setting is the year 2009, and the Earth is a post-apocalyptic waste land dominated by the Bugs and Warlord gangs. It's not too serious a game, focusing on stereotypes (in a good way) and cheesiness and humor. Not to mention blasting endless hordes of Bugs into oblivion.

 

 

Section 14: Miscellaneous other products

 

14.01. What was "The Magic of Palladium Books"?

"The Magic of Palladium Books" was a short-lived house organ published by Palladium Books from 1988 to 1991 that served mainly as a flyer for advertising their products. Seven issues were published, costing 50 cents each; the last was a "double issue", numbered #7/#8. The 'zine is considered a hot collector's item among fans. There was an even older thing called "Palladium Update", but I've never seen it myself. The seven issues were combined into a volume that was part of the 1999 Xmas Special from the online Palladium catalog, and the remaining quantities of that compilation can be ordered from there for $12.95. The only down-side to the compilation is that the color art of some issues (especially Long's LRV-558 art) was reproduced in black and white - badly (it was a straight B&W scan, as per the line art setting on a scanner, and the color pictures really needed to have been in grayscale).

 

Summaries of MoPB #1-8

#1 June 1988 -

Cover: B&W reproduction of Robotech: Invid Invasion cover

Contents:

#2 August 1988 -

Cover: B&W reproduction of Robotech II: The Sentinels cover

Contents:

#3 March 1989 -

Cover: Art from inside of Transdimensional TMNT, but COLORED expressly for putting it on the cover of MoPB.

Contents:

#4 September 1989

Cover: Two combined Sketches, colored - A VR-041 Cyclone cutting into the top of an Invid Trooper with its sabers, and Raphael & Donatello striking a dramatic pose with their weapons.

Contents:

#5 February 1990

Cover: A color still from the first TMNT movie (of Leonardo).

Contents:

#6 June 1990

Cover: B&W; Robotech, Rifts & TMNT emblems, with art for each.

Contents:

#7/8 August 1991

Cover: Wild Vampire feeding, from Rifts World Book 1: Vampire Kingdoms

Contents:

 

14.02. What was "The Valley of the Pharaohs"?

This is the only boxed product ever brought out by Palladium Books. It came out in 1983 and was written by Matthew Balent with a cover price of $12.00. The game covers role-playing in a historical ancient Egypt setting. In the box set is a fifty page book that covers the rules and historical background. There also a number of inclosed inserts with maps and diagrams of buildings. It has some of the common Palladium rules like hit points, skills and character classes but in most part it has its own rule system. Some of this material (the Pyramid diagrams, for example) would be recycled into later products, such as Beyond the Supernatural. It can be found as a download on Palladium's web page.

 

14.03. What was "Rifts: Manhunter"?

Rifts: Manhunter was a licensed product done by Myrmidon Press, a bunch of people associated with Kevin Long. Myrmidon had, by this point, their own Manhunter RPG in print. Rifts: Manhunter was a treatment of that setting as a licensed "Dimension Book" (in all but name) for Rifts, centering on a storyline that some rifts had opened on the edge of known space in that universe, that led to Rifts Earth, Phase World, etc., and the idea that some of the (relatively low tech) denizens of the Manhunter universe would try to explore/exploit the rifts.

The Manhunter universe gets its name from the Manhunter bots - things reminiscent of crosses between Terminators and various Marvel (particularly their UK branch) robots, which were created by a race of aliens to exterminate humanity, as humans were considered initially to be a threat to the rest of space society. After actually confronting the humans (and realizing that they were making themselves what they thought the humans to be, by trying to exterminate them), the aliens called off the war. Unfortunately, the robots rebelled, and considered this betrayal to mean that their creators were no better than the humans, and turned on them as well. The Manhunters were stopped, but not wiped out, and they still plot their revenge, using their artificial intelligence to develop more sophisticated models, working toward the destruction of their twin enemies.

Several other races are defined, including one that has an adaptive DNA feature that allows them to break the Palladium rule against cross-breeds - and from physical appearance seems to be inspired by the skunk-like race that the girlfriend of Corsair (of Marvel's Starjammers) is from.

In all, it's a dark, gritty universe that could be fun to play in. However, Myrmidon broke part of its contract with Palladium (the extent of which remains undisclosed for legal reasons), and the crossover died at one book, with Palladium gaining the remainder of the Rifts: Manhunter stock not already shipped to distributors. Since then, the only way to get a copy is to find one used, or tucked away in a forgotten corner of a game store, though a few of the remaining unshipped books were given out as part of the first two (1997 & 1998) Xmas Specials. Most recently, a few copies have been made available on Palladium's sale items page. If you don't mind a few printing errors (and as fans of Palladium, we're no strangers to those), pick it up, if you ever find it.

 

 

Section 15: The 'Net

 

15.01. What Mailing lists are there for the Palladium RPGs?

Odds are, if you're reading this, you know of the Palladium Mailing List at yahoogroups (The various Yahoo Groups work both like a mailing list and a message board, depending on how you set your preferences). However, if you stumbled on this FAQ through web browsing, and would like to know more, see below.

This list is dedicated to Palladium Books games in general, with Rifts being the dominant subject game, with half the remaining traffic generally centered on one RPG over the rest (in the past, this has been Nightbane or Robotech, but HU and even Ninja & Superspies have dominated list traffic for several weeks at a time). At least one Palladium employee (Wayne Smith, editor of the Rifter) is on the list, but on an unofficial capacity.

Other Yahoo groups/mailing lists for Palladium games include:

(Thanks to Amos Barrows for forwarding these to me)

Rifts Megaverse
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/riftsmegaverse

XPML, Alternate PML
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xpml

Palladium Netbooks
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pal-netbook

The Very Unofficial Palladium List
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palladium

Palladium Rules
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palladiumrules

*****************

There was also a list specifically dedicated to the Palladium Fantasy RPG. I've no data as to if this list still exists.

To subscribe to the Palladium Fantasy list, send a message from the address you wish to receive list messages to:

dolist@altnews.com.au

With the text: join palladium-frp in the text body.

*****************

There are several Onelist Palladium lists. One of them can be found at

http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/palrpg

At least a dozen others can be found by searching the onelist site. Other than the one above, I have no idea how many of these are active.

*****************

Finally, there is the Robotech Cantina. A somewhat sporadic list, if you join, speak up, and we'll start talking. Otherwise weeks might go before someone posts.

Excerpts from Robotech Cantina FAQ and Introduction V. 3.52

===================================

Written by:

Michael White ( mikew@atcon.com, aj331@ccn.cs.dal.ca )

Last Updated August 13, 1996.

----

What about the novels, comics, RPG, etc.

Domo shrugs. "Sure, whatever's your thing. Just keep this in mind: the show is pretty much considered central to this whole place, and there are a lot of differences between it and the novels, RPG, comics and whatnot. Not everyone enjoys them all.

What about PBEM RPG games?

"Ah, a gamer," Domo says, smiling. "Yes, Play By EMail RPG games *are* allowed here. We're a pretty small place, though, so we can only host two, maybe three games at any one time. We only have three tables large enough to accomodate them in any case.

"If you want to start a PBEM game as a GM, email one of the managers. You'd do well to get players beforehand, but it's not necessary. If the mail load proves too much, though, the managers may ask the GM of the third game to take it to private mail, perhaps to be re-invited to the list if the mail load drops. Also, the managers may ask you to take a game to private mail if it stretches on too long and there's a demand for the table.

"If you want to join in a PBEM game as a *player*, email the GM of the game you want to join. The GM is second only to the managers in authority over the game. The managers reserve the right to limit the number of players a game can have, though, in an effort to limit the mail load.

"Finally, remember that *all* messages related to the game *must* contain the tag [PBEM] in the header. Not everyone wants to read these games, and the tags allow them to delete the messages without reading them."

----

*The Cantina web page is located at:

http://jaddams.csw.uic.edu/cantina/

 

15.02. What online resources are there for the Palladium player/GM? (Archives, player finders, etc.)

There has not been an actively kept site (to my knowledge) in quite some time. The last site that tried to archive everything was Thunderstrike, which is now defunct. There's a listing of links on the Palladium Books web page, that will take you to a lot of active and dormant sites. And, most people who post stuff to the Palladium lists have their own web pages to archive their stuff personally.

There's also many, many different web rings dedicated to the games, as well (in the cases of the licensed games) as to the sources of some of these game universes. The Palladium Web Ring, The Quality Palladium Material Web Ring, The Robotech Page Web Ring, The Disciples of Zor Web Ring, and several others, are linked on my web page's entry page.

Another resource is Shawn Merrow's Palladium Gamers Registry, where you can register your location, and favorite games, or search that database for other players in your area.

http://members.aol.com/ShawnM011C/GamersRegistry/index.html

 

15.03. What newsgroups are there for Palladium RPGs?

Currently, there are no newsgroups devoted exclusively to Palladium games. But they are on-topic in rec.games.frp.misc. The Robotech RPG is also occasionally discussed in the alt.tv.robotech & alt.fan.robotech newsgroups, but beware - there are several self-righteous self-proclaimed experts that haunt the Robotech groups, that are hostile to the RPG, and will try to force their view of Robotech on you (never mind theirs is even more suspect, being based off their fanfic - hint: it was their atrociously bad timeline that was used as part of the background for the Antarctic Press Rubicon Sentinels blasphemy, and now they've been brought in by Harmony Gold to rewrite Robotech in that fanfic's image!). Robotech, Macross II and (to a lesser extent) Rifts are also on topic in rec.games.mecha, but only in dealing with the mecha/RPA elements of those games (designs, variants, histories, etc.). However, less than 1% of the traffic there is currently Palladium related, and 90% of it Battletech-related (the rest being Heavy Gear & Mekton).

Palladium has several bulletin boards (similar to news groups) for their games, as well as a board for buying and selling used games. They have also opened multiple chats on the page, one set for discussion and conversation, the rest reserved for online gaming. Every month, Palladium Representatives host an informational chat on their web chat.

The RDF-HQ Message Boards (http://go.ezboard.com/brdfhqcommunicationscenter) has a board dedicated to RPG-related material, and is a gathering place for Robotech fans seeking a place for open-minded discussion of Robotech in all its forms, including its root series. Like the Cantina ML, its ancestral forums (it's the 4th or 5th incarnation of what started as the Disciples of Zor fan group in 1995) started out as a refuge from the draconian "my-fanfic-continuity-IS-Canon" attitude of the original Robotech Mailing List (as I mentioned before, said person buddied up with a couple Harmony Gold employees and they are currently rewriting Robotech into the fanfic's image officially at http://www.robotech.com).

 

15.04. Does Kevin Siembieda/Palladium have an email address?

After the Wizards of the Coast flamewar, Kevin Siembieda officially dropped out of net-life. His wife, Maryann, has an account at msiembieda@palladiumbooks.com and occasionally posts to the mailing list. With her retirement, the best way to contact the company is through their web page.

 

15.05. Does Palladium have a place to ask about rules questions?

Palladium has what they call their Fan FAQ (no direct relation to this one, though the guys answering a lot of the questions were major contributors to this one, in its genesis). When questions are submitted concerning rules interpretations, etc., they will be answered, and put into the Fan FAQ archive. A selection of these Questions and Answers also appear in the Rifter quarterlies.

To ask Palladium a game related question simply fill out the web based form on the Palladium Web Site.

 

 

Section 16: Miscellaneous

See the listing of fan web pages on the palladium books web page.

 

16.01. Recommended Reading/Viewing/Listening:

For the Palladium Fantasy RPG:

Books:

Movies:

Anime:

Music:

-------------------------

For Rifts:

Movies:

Anime:

For Rifts: Manhunter and darker Phase World games:

Music:

-------------------------

For Heroes Unlimited/HU2:

Movies & Anime:

TV:

Books:

-------------------------

Ninjas & Superspies:

Music:

-------------------------

BTS/Nightbane:

TV and Movies:

Music:

-------------------------

After the Bomb:

-------------------------

Systems Failure:

Music:

-------------------------

Robotech & Macross II

Music:

 

16.02. About the Author.

Stanley S. Bundy (AKA "Hey You!", "Ted Jr.", and "Don Quixote of the Robotech Universe") is a two-bit philosopher, and peripheral visionary ("I can see the future, but only way off to the sides" - Steven Wright). His web page is http://www.users.kih.net/~sbundy/ . He is also current owner of three Robotech-related webrings, through adoption (the Disciples of Zor webring, Robotech Webring, and Robotech Fan Fiction Webring), and Administrator of the RDF HQ Communications Center EZBoard.

His interests include collecting anime, comics that nobody else reads, arguing with walls (or people whose minds do reasonable imitations thereof), gaming (of course), and wondering why my computer (and every other computer I use) does bad things that the lab consultants claim are impossible (such as WordPerfect's "SELECT that will not die!!!!"). Current projects include a personal-use-only (sorry) 2nd Edition of the Robotech RPG, trying to get back into college, and typing in The Freeman Chronicles, a massive 18-part Robotech fanfic that is now (finally) past the 2/3 mark in being put online.